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Launching a programmer-focused SaaS tool

rhyeal

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I'm launching a programmer-focused SaaS tool and looking for the ideal place to market it. It's a tool like GitHub where nearly every programmer has a use for it and many would just subscribe like the rest of the tools we use - GitHub, Jetbrains, Postico, etc.

Based on some research on Google Ads, I can spend about $1 CPC and expect to get maybe 800-1000 clicks per month. While that might not seem like a lot, the keywords I'm using are very problem/solution focused. For instance, it's like searching for "ENOENT: no such file or directory". Not many people search that, but when you do, you're looking for a specific solution, i.e. you are in the buying mindset.

So, I think I'll get fairly good product trial and conversions off those clicks. We'll see.

But, I don't want to rely on Google Ads alone to drive in traffic.

Other places I'm thinking of advertising and/or making content:
- Facebook Ads
- Reddit Ads
- Stackoverflow
- Medium (this is content focused)
- Quora

I've been keeping track of the websites that I visit most each day as a programmer and these are in the top for software answers.

I'd love feedback on the strategy and approach.

Am I missing any large, technology-focused web properties that developers go to find solutions to problems?

Specifically web developers, i.e. NodeJS, PHP, DevOps, AWS, cloud, stuff like that. Not C++, .NET, or mainframe tech :)
 
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rhyeal

rhyeal

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Meetups (and stickers) coming for sure!

The best part about the stickers is if you follow the two lines on the sticker, you're onboarded to the product. Made it simple enough to use a complex tool that the instructions can fit on a 2inch x 2inch laptop sticker.
 

d7laungani

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What is your tool do exactly? First of all a specific kind of programmer would google "ENOENT: no such file or directory " .By that I mean probably someone more junior. Second of all you need to consider when do programmers search for such things. More than likely they are in coding mode trying to solve their immediate problem. They either find an immediate solution on stackoverflow and move on or then consult with other people around them.

Specifically because most of them would be working at a job so they wouldn't pay for it themselves.It would be their company. I think you should keep that in mind.
 

AstonMartinOne77

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Second of all you need to consider when do programmers search for such things. More than likely they are in coding mode trying to solve their immediate problem.
@d7laungani has made a good point. But I still think that if there's real value in your product, in the long term, programmers would eventually vouch for it and their companies would buy your product.
 
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rhyeal

rhyeal

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@d7laungani I definitely agree that they might be in a programming mode. The "or move on" would be where my product would fit in. What the tool does is handle, right now, a specific type of 301 redirect in an effortless manner, without the programmer needing to do more than a few clicks. I'll clarify that it's NOT URL shortening - at least not right now unless the market deems that's an essential component of the product.

Other tools that I've seen - and that I pay for - in this broad category of "add-on value, simple tech, harder than you think problem" are like DMARCian and Report-URI. It's a similar installation method of a single string to integrate the product. The initial hurdle is in the self setup, which requires enough technical knowledge to grok the product and it's usefulness, but a desire to not be responsible for the underlying system. It appeals for it's ease to programmers that reach for cloud solutions. So people that do .NET, C++, old school guys that racked and stacked will immediately think the product is dumb and pointless. However, the newer school of programmers that reach for vendors to provide tech instead of owning multiple systems will think the product provides value (at least that's the theory!)

I'd rather be controversial in that sense. Just like some people will never use cloud computing providers for various reasons.
 

OverByte

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If it solves a problem I would try to find posts on stack overflow which mention the problem and plug there. Stack overflow is probably the most trafficked site by programmers and they are on their actively seeking solutions. I'm not sure if they have ads but that may be a venue as well.

I would also suggest posting on hacker news.

Good luck.
 
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OverByte

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Also, as a programmer who has worked with many programmers I can tell you that many programmers have an aversion to paying for software, not to discourage you but something to keep in mind as you are marketing. Obviously this doesn't hold for all programmers, I'm not in that bucket, but a lot are. So you can try to make an enticing package that a programmer can get approval from a manager / director for or you can target developers who are building their own side hustles who are more entrepreneurial and I believe more likely to pay for software.

I would definitely suggest offering a free trial if you aren't already, I won't pay for any software that doesn't have a trial.

If you have something that you could offer that is less functional and open source it is a good way to get eyes on your landing page where you could sell them on a paid solution.

I'm not sure specifically what you are offering, handling a redirect makes me question why you would need a SAAS solution for that but I'm guessing you are just being vague. If you'd like you can DM me more details and I can give you my opinion on whether I would buy this and potentially give you more insight into your target customer.
 

c4n

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find posts on stack overflow which mention the problem and plug there
This. I solve like 90% of my questions that pop up on stack overflow.

Make sure the entry barrier is high enough that people cannot solve the problem themselves with a few lines of code, avoiding your service.
 
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rhyeal

rhyeal

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It seems like StackOverflow is the #1 place to advertise. And yeah, it's even free, which is awesome. Time to go find *all the questions* that pertain to my product and write up some freaking awesome answers!
 
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rhyeal

rhyeal

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That sounds like your targeting web developers and maybe API providers.

What does a PL/SQL programmer care about 301 redirect
Correct. A DBA wouldn't care about the product, unless they were a fullstack developer.
 

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