Around the world, thousands of startups compete for funding, clients, and brand awareness every day. Getting global recognition and clientele is especially hard for startups since they not only have a lot of competition but also given the fact that any step they take can either mean growth or bankruptcy.
Datagran is a global AdTech-MarTech startup, offering a Marketing suite made to grow businesses and their advertising efficiencies using AI. Datagran is also a diverse team of individuals who were all determined not to let geographical limitations get in the way of the company’s global success. In 2017, Datagran launched its product suite with adOptimizer. In 2018, Datagran partnered with AppSumo to run a promotion that got them over 3k new adOptimizer users from 101 different countries in a matter of two weeks. Here’s how we did it.
But first, what is Datagran’s adOptimizer?
adOptimizer leverages artificial intelligence to reduce clients’ CPR (cost per result) on digital advertising. Using Advanced Dynamic Optimization (ADO), our algorithm learns which ad placements, demographic specs, and creative assets are generating the highest results. Then, it applies the top performing variables it identifies to client campaigns in real time. Currently, adOptimizer supports campaign optimization on Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, and Google Display; offering a diversity of plans, with pricing and features made for SMBs and corporate clients alike. So far, adOptimizer has a proven record of consistently reducing client’ CPR by a minimum of 20%.
What about AppSumo?
AppSumo is the place where savvy entrepreneurs and SMEs, shop for flash deals on digital apps, courses, and tools made to improve their businesses. AppSumo deals come in the form of promo codes, redeemable on its partners’ websites for highly discounted pricing on their products. For companies like Datagran, AppSumo represents an excellent opportunity to promote digital products and onboard new users.
AppSumo has earned its worldwide credibility by tightly controlling the quality of the content it promotes. To get featured apps and startups must apply through the AppSumo website.
We applied to AppSumo a total of three times. The first application was sent on February 17, 2018, and we were notified of our acceptance on April 3rd. Though our first two applications were not accepted, the results that came from our eventual acceptance made it all worth it. Our advice to your company is simple: persevere and make your product promotion-worthy so you can get backing from world-known sources like AppSumo.
We must add that AppSumo’ people are also an incredible asset to their business. Jeff Lurie, their business development manager, and his team showed extraordinary professionalism supporting us before, during, and after the promo went live. Christy, a member of Jeff’ team, got to know our product in-depth, showcasing its features in a short video. Afterward, our team joined a Slack channel with theirs, which was created with the express purpose of solving our questions. Throughout the whole process, the AppSumo team had our back, and the promo wouldn’ have been such a hit without them.
AppSumo X Datagran Promo Launch.
One of the most hectic weeks in our company’s history
At this point, Datagran was organized into four central teams: Marketing, Development, SMB, and Corporate. On May 30th, AppSumo sent out its newsletter announcing our adOptimizer deal: $49 for a promo code that would give users lifetime access to adOptimizer’s plan for small businesses – regularly priced at $90/month. Once the word got out to AppSumo’s email list of over 800.000 subscribers, all four of Datagran’s teams came together to attend to their overwhelming response. Leaving job descriptions and titles aside, every company employee, from intern to CEO, spent the day focused on giving AppSumo users the answers and support they needed to start using adOptimizer.
Even though the adOptimizer deal had been up on AppSumo’s website since May 23rd, the response we received after the newsletter went out was unlike anything we’d seen before. In total, from May 23rd to June 30th, we answered over 900 inquiry emails and held over 874 client-initiated chats, each lasting an average of 35 minutes.
From May 23rd to June 6th, 3245 adOptimizer promo codes were purchased on AppSumo. Many purchasers got two or more, combining them to optimize larger ad spends.
Less than 8% of all codes sold had to be refunded. The majority of refund requests were due to misunderstandings regarding our optimization process and why it necessitates a minimum ad spend per campaign. Many of the refundees were not able to meet the minimum ad spend required for proper optimization.
Although our codes sold evenly throughout most of the deal’s lifetime, we did see two surges on May 30th and June 7th. These surges can be directly tied back to the dates of AppSumo’s two email blasts containing our promo. Almost 40% of sales were on those two dates, a remarkable testimony of AppSumo newsletter’ reach and purchase-driving power.
Thanks to its openness and transparency, AppSumo has become more than a daily deals site. It is also a community where forward-thinking entrepreneurs are known as “Sumo-lings” contribute by leaving honest reviews about their recent purchases. On AppSumo’s review pages, apps and products are ranked and reviewed concerning tacos instead of stars, five tacos representing total satisfaction with a purchase.
Below are a series of insights gathered from the adOptimizer’s reviews on AppSumo:
1) Quantitative breakdown: Out of the 16 reviews users left on the deal’s landing page, six users left 5-taco reviews, two were 4-taco reviews, 3 were 3-tacos reviews, and 2 were 2-tacos reviews.
2) Qualitative breakdown: we split the different reviewers and their comments into three categories: 5 and 4-taco reviews, 3-taco reviews and a third subgroup of 2-taco reviews. The following were the most recurrent topics within each subset:
The most common compliments we got from the 5 and 4-taco reviewers, were related to efficiency, support, and usability.
The most significant sources of feedback from the 3-taco subgroup’s comments were evenly divided between an inability to export existing campaigns, unclear access to ad accounts, unfriendly email address name, unintuitive UI, and dissatisfaction with our support team. It is important to highlight that each of these topics, only came up as a source of negative feedback once. (As there were only five 3-taco reviews total.)
Lastly, we took a look into our 2-taco reviews for sources of improvement. The recurrent themes in this subgroup reviews were similar to what we had already been seeing. Sumo-lings wanted the ability to import existing campaigns, to access optimization on higher ad spends, and a less time-consuming UI. Additionally, some wanted lower pricing on our plans designed for bigger and corporate businesses – which we found interesting given the nature of AppSumo’s community. By leveraging constructive criticism, we’ve created a more robust platform and gained a much better understanding of our clients.
The AdOptimizer-AppSumo deal was a winner: we got more than 3000 new clients and valuable feedback on how to improve our platform to onboard even more of them. The deal generated over $145.000 worth of revenue and launched us into the global tech atmosphere by earning us members in every continent. Additionally, the hectic days following the deal’s launch served as a great confirmation of the strength of our team and a reminder that it’s the humans behind our AI that make all the difference.