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“Powered by” buttons for customer acquisition (zerotousers.substack.com)
81 points by justiceforsaas 47 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

Another anecdote (or maybe data point?!): Typeform basically had all the initial growth of the product via a "Powered by" button that was shown in the bottom of each form generated. We did no marketing/sales except having that "Powered By" button shown for forms created by all non-paying users.

Since the "Powered By" button of each form was affected by the number of people visiting each form and some creating their own, leading to more views of the "Powered By" button, we called it "Viral Marketing" (maybe "Marketing" is the wrong word, don't remember exactly what we used to call it) where the growth of the platform funded more growth of the platform, inherently.

So +1 for the "Powered By" button, leads to tons of people discovering your product based on already using it for something. Users who want to white-label the usage of your product will also be ready to pay more to get rid of it, so not only a acquisition channel, also a way of affecting how you set pricing.

+1 for the "powered by" acquisition channel.

1) Add "powered by"

2) Gain from brand awareness / leads it generates

3) Also gain by selling a higher tiered "white-label" plan that large co's can upgrade to if they want to remove your powered by branding.

Even if it fails as an acquisition channel, it can still succeed at encouraging an upsell path.

I was surprised this wasn't mentioned in the article, but I have made several purchasing decisions for my company with the simple incentive to remove the "Powered By" branding, even though we weren't gaining anything feature-wise.

It makes an effective freemium model. Give all users all (or most) features for free. Then the ones that want to remove the branding will pay for that privilege. This way, the smaller free users are essentially paying for the service through promoting your brand. The users that don't want to promote you have a way to do it and will you pay you for that.

Agreed. I'm really surprised why so many founders don't use it intentionally (like paying big-names to be 'powered by' their SaaS).

Interesting pow. it’s also true for email beanding which is practically the same.

Do you mean messages like “sent from my iPhone?”

That obnoxious shit is one reason why I won't buy one. It's like a Usenet sig still being used 20 years after they became uncool.

You know that signature can easily be customized or removed - it's just that nobody does it.

Yeah, the "power of default" :)

It's there so people understand your message may not be typed as carefully as it would be on a desktop system.

It can be removed, they just make it so bloody hard.

No they don't. It's just the default signature; changeable like anything else.

The opposite of that method is also valid, go on builtwith search on which website your competitors is installed, contact each website owners and offer them your solution

I’m using my own scraper (for companies using Gmail/Zoho). They require users to add a TXT DNS record, so that makes things pretty easy.

AFAIK, product parts had labels since forever

True. It wasn’t usually user-facing, though.

Frankly, I don’t like it. In publishing at least it was fairly common to have lines about certain levels of cooperation and contribution but those were largely relegated to the Masthead rather than plastered throughout a given article. Industry people could find the info, but readers didn’t have to have their view cluttered.

Now with paying journalists to do their jobs being a matter of contention even more of the articles can be cluttered with ads and it’s being shared about as a net positive.

The headline is of course false. The founders got their first users first, and then got more users by putting their name on the UI of their products, which are embedded in public-facing publications, which their customers' competitors can see.

Savvy powerful customers like Amazon sign contracts banning disclosure of the relationship, for exactly this reason. They charge a substantial fee for the right to be used as advertising.

What part of the headline is false? The author never claims founders got their users first there.

That and a maze of empty, clickbait deflections in the first 5 paragraphs and I couldn't even tell when we'd arrived at the point or not.

There may well be some good research and advice here but the presentation is trashy. State the conclusion in the first sentence and then back it up. Use a solid headline, not deception.

Author here. I disagree. When introducing something new, I want to start with HOW I came to the conclusion. Just my style. I understand you if you don't agree though.

Hey, author here. By "first users" I didn't mean they got their first users FIRST. But yeah, got your point. Changed the headline to "Powered by" - An Acquisition Channel Nobody is Talking About".

Powered by has been around for 20 years, it's known trick and generally only applicable for the free tier of product.

One can imagine a Web page: powered by d3, hosted on github, protected by cloudflare, built by Travis CI and scanned by snyk.

It's somewhat tolerable, and it's cute.

But it doesn't apply so well for non free stuff.

Have you read the article at all? He mentions examples like Scitter Engine which are completely “non-free stuff”.

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