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Aug 21, 2019 10:49:58

How did you get your first 100 B2B SaaS customers?

by @hum | 367 words | 🐣 | 215💌

Sarah Hum

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Continuing to answer Quora questions to do my 200WaD while marketing Canny.

Here's my answer to: How did you get your first 100 B2B SaaS customers?

If you're on Quora, your upvote would help my answers get seen. Thanks in advance!


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My now-cofounder and I had been feeling the pain of giving products feedback. It felt like nobody was listening. So we built Product Pains. It was a community where anybody could give feedback about any product. 

The concept was simple: you could post new feedback for a product or vote if the same feedback exists already.

After growing Product Pains to thousands of users, we learned that our approach was backwards. People started asking if there was a way to embed feedback collection into their websites. 

Here's the key: they said they would pay for it.

So we built it and they paid for it.

Eventually, we flipped Product Pains, the community, into Canny, the SaaS tool.

Canny has never been free. It was important for us to understand that we were creating value worth paying for.

Our first 100 customers can be attributed to:

  1. Building and listening to our community. They asked for something, we built it, they paid. They also helped us boost our official launch.
  2. Launching Canny on Product Hunt
    We ended up 2nd for the day and 5th for the week. This got us a lot of traffic.
  3. Supporting open source projects
    We love supporting open source and, in return, it spreads the Canny love to other teams.
  4. Content marketing
    A few of our posts made it on the front page of Hacker News. These are definitely our highest traffic days. However, this isn't a repeatable strategy. We've been working on create more sustainable, SEO-focused content.
  5. Very light paid advertising via Google and Facebook. At a minimum, I would recommend doing some retargeting. Set it and forget it until you have bandwidth for a proper paid acquisition strategy.


As a small team, try to focus on a small number of key channels and going deep on them. Trying too many things usually means you're not doing a great job at any.

Good luck!


From Sarah Hum's collection:

  • 1

    @hum Thanks for sharing Sarah.

    Do you have a place where you talked about what went into building Product Pains - the idea and how you grew it to 1000 users.

    Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Aug 21, 2019 19:06:01
    • 1

      @seunoyebode hmmmm we don't actually, might be a good blog post!

      Sarah Hum avatar Sarah Hum | Aug 23, 2019 10:20:47
    • 1

      @hum Please do write about it. I'd love to be tagged, if you don't mind. Thank you.

      Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Aug 23, 2019 23:05:17
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