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The Best AI Reads For SaaS Founders 🤖

We've curated an essential reading list for SaaS founders looking to explore AI's potential. In this article, we dive into Intercom’s pioneering journey in navigating the AI paradigm shift, provide insights on what every CEO should know about generative AI, and much more.

Whether you're an AI-native startup or a SaaS company transitioning to becoming AI-enabled, these readings will equip you with the insights you need to create a robust AI strategy.

Ian Ito @ SaaS Weekly ai

The Playbook To Multi-Channel Marketing & The Art Of The Product Launch

The key to successful multi-channel marketing relies on both understanding your audience and effectively engaging with them. To help put that into context, Sprig's CMO shares her playbook for launching a product.

Let’s dive into the play-by-play.

  • Ditch the passive 'if you build it, they will come' mindset. Your product launch should be dynamic, with an active strategy tailored to your target audience.
  • Adopt the Paid, Owned, Earned (POE) media model. Leverage all three types of media to enhance your reach, increase your visibility, and connect with your audience more effectively.
  • Maintain a regular and consistent marketing presence. Repackage, reframe and redistribute your content over time to keep it fresh and engaging.
  • Amelia Ibarra @ SaaStr growth

Typeform’s Viral Growth – And Its Disruption?

Typeform impressive growth showcases the power of a Product-Led Growth strategy paired with viral marketing. Today, about 80% of the company’s new customer sign-ups come through word-of-mouth.

Here are a few lessons we can learn.

  • Organic growth is a powerful driver of customer acquisition. Aim to build a product that users love and can easily share with their community, this can significantly amplify your reach.
  • Innovation should remain at the heart of your growth strategy. Constantly exploring new product ideas and iterating on existing ones should be a key part of your growth roadmap.
  • User experience and polished design are crucial for product success. A good product is not just about the technology and features but also about how enjoyable and easy it is to use.

Kyle Poyar @ OpenView growth

How Sales Professionals Are Using Artificial Intelligence (New Data)

A recent HubSpot survey revealed that sales professionals are saving, on average, 2 hours and 15 minutes daily by integrating AI into their workflows. By using tools like ChatGPT to write personalized prospecting messages and automate menial tasks, reps are spending more time selling and building customer relationships.

Erin Rodrigue @ HubSpot sales

How Much Is Your CEO wWrth?

A common misconception is that CEOs maintain a majority equity stake in a startup throughout its lifecycle. While that may be the case for bootstrapped companies, venture-backed businesses are a different tale. On average, a Founder CEO's equity drops from 40% to 15% as the company scales from $0 to $100M in revenue, with Non-Founder CEOs experiencing a similar decline from 13% to 5%.

CJ Gustafson @ Mostly Metrics finance

SaaS Capital — Across 1,500 SaaS Startups, Yearly Contracts Don’t Actually Increase NRR

SaaS Capital’s annual Retention Benchmarks report is here! Across the 1,500 private B2B SaaS companies that were surveyed, there are a few compelling themes. 1) The median Net Retention is 102%, while the median Gross Retention is 91%. 2) A company’s retention rate increases as the ACV increases (which makes intuitive sense: higher price, longer sales cycles, and implementation, stickier product).

Jason Lemkin @ SaaStr finance

How To Optimize Your Free Trial

Let's talk about how to increase your user activation and conversion rates. What's the secret sauce? It's simple, enhancing your free trials from start to finish.

Here's a quick rundown of how you can do that.

  • Make your sign-up page compelling. Let potential users know why your product is right for them from the get-go (this is your first pitch, so make it count)
  • Personalize the onboarding experience with user data. Use insights from your sign-up forms to tailor the journey and speeds up the time-to-value.
  • Clearly communicate your upgrade prompts and trial limits. Be transparent about the benefits of upgrading and the boundaries of your trial.

Kyle Poyar @ OpenView growth

13 Effective (And Low-Cost) Ways To Promote A Product

There's a goldmine of high-impact promotion strategies you can use to bring your product to market without breaking the bank.

Let’s dive into a few of these tactics.

  • Hype up your product with a social media pre-launch. Build excitement with tactics like product leaks or countdowns
  • Leverage media press releases and listing platforms like ProductHunt. They're an easy way to boost exposure, get feedback, and add some credibility to your brand
  • Optimize your landing page for SEO. A well optimized page can generate free, passive, and consistent traffic

Mateusz Makosiewicz @ Ahrefs growth

How Intercom Navigated The AI Paradigm Shift

The AI landscape is ripe with opportunities for growth and innovation, and Intercom’s story is a great case study. The company embraced and transformed its product suite by implementing an AI strategy focused on manageable risk and high reward.

Here are three key takeaways from their journey that you can learn from.

  • Tackle a low-risk, high-potential problem with AI first. This allows room for learning and error while still offering significant upside.
  • Build a Centralized AI Squad. Not everyone needs to be an AI expert, but a focused team can guide your AI initiatives.
  • Embrace language as the new UI. Consider how incorporating text and voice into your SaaS interface can simplify user interactions and widen your user base.

Ethan Kurzweil @ Bessemer Venture Partners ai

What Every CEO Should Know About Generative AI

Generative AI is redefining the workflow of all industries, SaaS included, by streamlining operations and enhancing a company’s offering. However, as the AI ecosystem continues to expand, CEOs need to balance leveraging the benefits of AI, addressing any accuracy and risk management concerns, and ensuring their organizations are prepared to implement AI efficiency.

McKinsey ai

How The HubSpot Blog Team Uses AI

HubSpot is the gold standard for SaaS companies creating an efficient content strategy. But to further grease the content engine, HubSpot it's now incorporating generative AI into its process. Here's the inside scoop. HubSpot is using tools like ChatGPT and Bard to speed up research, brainstorm ideas, and create quick outlines.

Caroline Forsey @ HubSpot marketing

As VC Deals Shrink, Convertible Fundraisings Are On The Rise

Amidst a drop in venture-backed valuations, startups are looking beyond the traditional priced rounds. Instead, they're moving towards fundraising mechanisms like convertible notes and SAFEs that let them avoid a repricing of shares and extend their runways - all without lowering their valuation. For the companies still raising priced rounds, there’s been an increase in structured deal terms like cumulative dividends and liquidation preferences.

Kevin Dowd @ Carta finance

Think $1M ARR Means You've Achieved Product-Market Fit? Think Again.

Is this a hot take? Achieving $1M ARR doesn't necessarily mean your company found product-market fit. Instead, founders should consider alternative factors and frameworks to dive deeper. For example, consistent feedback from customers within your ICP is a better indicator of product-market fit, signifying that a product is solving a common problem for a specific group of people.

Kaitlyn Henry @ Openview Labs product

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