The most important tasks for any early start are writing code and talking to users. When we started Intercom, the latter was my job. About 50% of my time was spent communicating with potential users, whether asking them to try Intercom via email, meeting them at conferences, responding to them in blog comments, or talk to them on Hacker News. Looking back, I didn't see these activities as marketing with a capital buy email list M, but they absolutely were. They allowed us to reach a whole new audience that would never have heard of Intercom if I hadn't talked to them. If you were to look at the top 100 paying customers for Intercom, I'd bet most came from one of these channels.
Probably the most common question I get about this phase is some version of "Where did you find the time?" », and the answer I give is always the same: in the same place where buy email list we found the time to write the code, design our product, raise capital, etc. You have time; you have just decided that these tasks are a lower priority. I did not do it. Build an audience There is a great story in "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" by Dr. Seuss. It's about a boy who, no matter how many hats he takes off, always finds another underneath. Founding a startup is a bit like that. You will probably be wearing multiple hats and continuously juggling them. The plan was simple: get people to learn about Intercom and talk about
Intercom In the early days of Intercom, the marketing hat fell buy email list on my head, but I'd be doing marketing a disservice (and 2011 Des a disservice) if I said that's what I thought I was doing. I didn't have a perfectly defined startup marketing strategy. I certainly didn't have an “acquisition strategy”. The plan was simple: get people to learn about Intercom and talk about Intercom. So I was the person in charge of writing the blog, meeting people at conferences, speaking on stage, etc. These tactics worked because they appealed to the types of people we were selling to. Writing articles about running a SaaS business, scaling a SaaS business, growing your audience, and selecting your features was the best way to reach our audience - people working in small SaaS companies like Intercom.