Startups represent a large audience and while they may not have the purchasing power of a Fortune 500 company, they still control a lot of word of mouth and influence related to products and services. Targeting startups is easy with firmographic segmentation using a revenue range and founding year. Startups are also a great early adopter audience for other startups, which is why they shouldn't be ignored (if you do, be prepared for disruption).
When to use this Playbook
If you are a startup yourself, this Playbook is a great way to get your first sales and gain some respect among fellow entrepreneurs.
If you're working in a larger startup looking to get the attention of other startups to either spread word of mouth or get customers that might be big someday, this Playbook is for you.
This Playbook is not for you if you are a large incumbent firm that doesn't fear disruption and doesn't think there is any financial or social benefit to having startups as customers.
How to personalize
You can catch the eye of startups by mentioning that you serve startups in your top-of-the-fold copy. Include a text such as "We offer the best website personalization for startups".
Language and tone
You can use less formal language when it comes to startups to build a better relationship. If this doesn't align with your brand at all, then forget it.
If your brand can endure it, we've heard unicorns are all the rage when it comes to startups 🦄
Startups love offers and discounts. Companies like Intercom and Hubspot offer deals to startups that are roughly less than 3 years old and have less than 5M in funding. This is a good channel to acquire startups quickly and the limited offer forces them to gain maximum value from your product.
Discounts that are valid for a limited time might have an adverse effect where a startup postpones signing up if they can't immediately use your product. So make sure you figure out your offers so that they don't create unwanted effects.
A suitable pricing range for startups varies from $0 to $500/month. Startups with funding are able to spend a little bit more. It's worth noting that the deal terms are equally important as the price: most startups prefer monthly pricing to annual pricing (sadly, most startups don't know if they're going to exist a year from now).
Lastly, hiding your pricing page is a big no-no if you want to acquire startups as customers.
Startups usually want to try products out themselves before committing to purchase. This means directing customers to your self-service route and creating call-to-action such as "Get started now" and "Start 14-day trial".
Unless the product you're selling is in a strategic position at the customer's company, avoid making them talk to sales.
How to create this segment
- Company revenue less than $1M
- Year founded less than 5 years ago