In this interview, Peter speaks with the Co-founder of StatsDrone, John Wright. He has twenty years of experience working mainly in the online gambling industry and affiliate marketing. With this experience, StatsDrone was brought to life. Read or watch this interview to hear how John went about using personalised video to increase SaaS sales.
[00:00:01] – Peter
Okay, so we’re here live. I’m speaking with John Wright, founder of StatsDrone. John, lovely to chat with you. Would you like to share a bit of an introduction on who you are and what you do?
[00:00:13] – John Wright
Yes. My name is John Wright. I’m from Toronto living in Montreal, Canada. I’m a SaaS founder, and I wasn’t sure that I would end up in this space, but I’ve got 20 years of experience working mostly in the online gambling industry as well as affiliate marketing. And from having that experience and exposure to the industry, I was able to kind of think about different pain points that exist in the affiliate marketing industry that aren’t really being talked about. We share them as affiliates, but no one’s been able to, my opinion, articulate them very well. And that’s kind of like the core thesis of what we’re building for our tools for both affiliates and affiliate programmes.
[00:00:55] – Peter
Okay. How exactly does StatsDrone work and what does it do? If you could give us a brief kind of summary.
[00:01:02] – John Wright
Yeah. The app right now, we’ve got lots of products in the pipeline, but the first one that’s in market at the moment is it’s an affiliate stats aggregator. So it’s a bit of a mouthful and probably our biggest disadvantages. We don’t have a core set of keywords that identifies us. Kind of like we’re an SEO tool so you can find us and we’re SEMrush or traffic because we’re not that company. And a lot of affiliates don’t understand what we do. We have to be very proactive in sales. So, yeah, it organises all your stats commissions.
So if you were working with, let’s say, 100 different affiliate programmes, it will go in through API or scraping, pull all your data, store it for you, organise the KPIs and give you that feedback to say, where do you think the app suggests you should send more traffic to earn more revenue?
[00:01:50] – Peter
Okay, so it sounds like a kind of performance monitor, but also informs decisions on where to focus your affiliate efforts.
[00:02:01] – John Wright
Yeah, the initial idea was that it could save time, but the business intelligence aspect of it is something that we’re spending more time on and we’re kind of uncovering or discovering different things that we can add in that regard. Like, just a quick example. It’s like if you’re sending traffic to a campaign and it’s performing well, and then all of a sudden it just kind of cuts off, you kind of want to be notified on that and it’s your responsibility to pay attention to that. And sometimes if you’re looking at charts and charts of data that’s not intuitive, you can’t just see it unless you manually cheque your programme. So this is one of the features of the app that we’re currently working on.
[00:02:39] – Peter
Fantastic. Okay. So, John, I’m really interested in your background of how you got started with StatsDrone. What made you start the company and what your experience has been like. Could you talk us through that journey that you’ve been on in the last few years?
[00:02:54] – John Wright
Yeah, well, in the stats up itself, I’ve used a couple of other stats programmes that have existed on the market, but I felt they were missing very crucial elements, like some of that feedback loops that is mentioning. So I knew I wanted to get in that space. I didn’t realise how big or profound it could be, so it almost felt like it was by accident. But it just comes from having that experience, being an affiliate, marketing, working as an affiliate, but also having been an affiliate manager previously, and just kind of seeing all these pain points come to life that I’ve experienced.
And everyone in the industry, we talk about the pain points, but we’re not articulating it, saying, hey, someone should build this. From all those years of experience, I’m like, I have to do this and I want to do it. And I’m pretty passionate about it. I’ve got a background in engineering, so this is a perfect home for me.
[00:03:44] – Peter
Yeah. Is this your first SaaS business?
[00:03:50] – John Wright
Actually, it’s probably not my first SaaS business. I’ve tried building other softwares in the past and have failed mostly. I would say that’s just due to having lots of projects on the go at once. So with this one, the lessons learned from the past are, this is my core focus. It’s everything I do. I’ve had other affiliate sites and those are sold just to say, you know what, we have to be zeroed in on this project and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.
[00:04:16] – Peter
Yeah. Doesn’t it just really help you improve your success rate if you’re all in one thing and you don’t have any other distractions or side projects? I know it’s common for entrepreneurs to have a few projects, but personally, I feel similar to you.
[00:04:29] – Peter
I can only really just focus on one thing and give that everything you can to make it succeed. So insane that I’m interested in some of the learnings that you’ve had with StatsDrone, what has been your experience with that? What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned or had to overcome?
[00:04:48] – John Wright
Yes. I’d say there’s probably two major takeaways for me and profound learnings. The first takeaway was I thought by building this app was going to sell itself. I’m like, hey, this app saves you time and it can kind of help you earn more revenue. I’m like, this sounds like an easy walk in the park. And then, of course, when I launched it and basically started doing some of the marketing, and when I didn’t see the sales come in, I said, okay, I really need to get into actual sales. I need to learn this. And that aspect was pretty daunting. I don’t have a sales background, but I had to learn it and I had to learn it. So I could also hire the right people.
So that was the first thing. I think a lot of people think that just because they build something that they think is amazing or is needed in the market, it’s not always going to sell itself. The second thing I discovered was when I was looking for investors, we bootstrapped our company and we were looking for some investors to add some money to the project so we can accelerate it.
[00:05:42] – John Wright
I started doing video pitches to talk to investors. Like, I had a pitch deck ready to go. I designed it. I love my pitch deck. But pitch deck plus email wasn’t leading to a lot of follow up calls. My video pitch, which was about five minutes long, I showed them exactly what I built. After that, I got a lot of very quick follow up calls, like, let’s have a meeting. So I learned that very quickly and as always, doing more outreach for trying to sell my own stats up. I said, let’s go back to video and see if we can actually use that for our actual outreach. So rather than sending an email and trying to do a pitch, let’s make a video.
I’ll do like a two minute demo of our software and that as well as leading to profound results. And I’ve talked to other SaaS founders and people that basically are investors or looking for investment or even SEO that do outreach, and they’re all saying pretty similar things. Anyone who’s tried video, they’re saying this is the future. And for me, I think we’re going to see a new wave in the next couple of years where the emails that you get in your LinkedIn inbox, in your email that have links and all that stuff, you’re now going to get a lot more video links.
[00:06:48] – John Wright
And right now it works. Maybe in the future it becomes saturated. But this is really hot right now.
[00:06:55] – Peter
Yeah, it’s a great tip, isn’t it? Can you tell us a bit about how you’ve been doing that? So let’s first briefly we’ll touch on how you approach finding investors or raising capital. What kind of tools were you doing? What were you doing in these videos? Were you just shooting a kind of Aloom video or screen share demo of your product and sending it out to investors that you thought might be yeah.
[00:07:21] – John Wright
That’S pretty much it. I use two tools, I use a lot of loom. I’ve also started using another one called TELLOE that’s they do pretty similar things, but that’s more focus on B to B, basically. Yeah, nothing special if you think about it, it’s like investors want to see that you’re comfortable talking and you’re confident and you can pitch things. So my very first video, I was nervous, I kept rerecording it and after 2 hours I’m like, I’m never going to get this video done if I just blast through it. And who cares if there’s going to be mistakes.
So, yeah, there’s nothing special. You can make a video on your phone, you can make it on your computer. The more time you spend thinking about it, the worse it can be. And we have software to show, so I’m basically talking my way and giving them a demo of what we’ve built and it’s just selling itself.
[00:08:13] – Peter
Sounds good. Yeah. I’m not familiar with TELLOE, so I’m definitely going to go and cheque that out. I met somebody who works at Bonjoro and I’ve heard about that, so as a nice kind of mobile experience for also quick follow ups with personalised videos. So I know there’s a lot of great tools occurring in that space when you moved into using it for sales, I think. Also you mentioned you were sharing kind of demos of your platform. How did you go about that? We are generating prospect lists and then working through them or just starting with your network and then just doing brief videos to reach out and introduce the product. What was your kind of approach?
[00:09:00] – John Wright
Yeah, it was a bit of both. I mean, I’ve already had an existing network of friends, so I mean, I hit them all up, but sometimes the friends weren’t replying to the messages. John’s trying to sell me his software and I’m not interested, or they didn’t take the time, and then of course, I send them that video and then I got a follow up email, so I’m like, okay, great, that’s working. And for the cold outreach, there’s so many affiliate sites that exist that not everyone puts their face and name on it, so they’re just a company. Or they’re even more anonymous where it’s like you can’t even find out who they are.
So you’re dealing with either an email or a contact form. And I’m trying everything right now. It’s like I’ll find a website and I’ll be, you know what, they’ve got five social media accounts. I’m going to message them on that social account. And I think I’m discovering I need to do more testing and more analysis on the conversion rate of this, but I feel like I’m getting better conversion rates also through social media, where I send them a Facebook message or send them a LinkedIn message, if I can get them on LinkedIn or even Instagram or Twitter and Reddit out of all places.
[00:10:03] – John Wright
I think we’re just getting so saturated with email that I think that’s why I’m starting to see these results. So I’m personally going to test it more and I’m going to start recording that data to say, where am I getting better conversion rates? And you know what? If it’s going to start coming to the service where social media is getting the better response, I’ll know this, I’m sure I’ll go back to your community and share those findings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other people already know this as well.
[00:10:28] – Peter
Yeah, fantastic. It’s great to hear you’re adopting some new sales kind of tactics that are proven to work for you. What kind of success rate are you getting? Are you closing deals, getting a lot of new sign ups or anything like enterprise deals for your product?
[00:10:46] – John Wright
Yeah, it’s leading to so much. I mean, we have other products that were basically doing pre sales and the videos are doing more by talking about them. They’re kind of interested, but once I give them a demo, the interest is just totally different in terms of our existing software. Right now, the conversion rate is starting to become our most profound tool, such that we have tools to scale email. We can find affiliates and basically go, let’s get their contact info and get databases in the 20,000 30,000.
But we’ve tried doing that outreach and we’re just like, you know what, let’s just do slow and steady. You get the one customer message, the more personalised, the better. And I think with that discovery, I think we’re just going to be personalised all the way. It’s slower, but when the conversion rates more profound with Loom, you can see when they’ve watched the video and sometimes you’re seeing them, they’re watching it multiple times and then you see the sign up and you’re like, we got success.
[00:11:47] – Peter
Yeah, it’s great to be able to see that in real time, see how effective your video is, how quickly somebody viewed it. That’s always a great thing.
[00:11:55] – John Wright
And it’s even funny when you send a video and then three months later they view it and you’re like, it doesn’t matter, it’s sitting there, it’s waiting for them. You never know when they’re going to open it, but yesterday I had a couple of videos that I sent out early in the summer and they just got, like, your videos being watched. So now, basically, I’m always on my back and going, let’s see who’s signing up and see if I can relate that it came from that video.
[00:12:20] – Peter
That’s fantastic. Hey, John, I know you’re busy in conferences and travelling around a bit. How can people find out a bit more information about you, about StatsDrone as well, if they’re interested?
[00:12:33] – John Wright
Yes. The best way to find me is to search for my name, John Wright, but add the word stats from because there’s thousands of John writes. I’ve actually connected with a couple of John Wrights in my own industry. I’m mostly on LinkedIn these days. I’m finding it’s probably the better social network for me for doing business. So John Wright, StatsDrone. I’m firstname.lastname@example.org and yeah, I’m on all the social channels, but I’m spending most of my time on LinkedIn.
[00:13:03] – Peter
Awesome. Okay, well, it’s been great talking to you. Thanks so much for your time and thanks for sharing your insights about the video and how effective that’s been for you.
[00:13:11] – John Wright
That’s true, yeah, I’m happy to share it. And thanks for having me.
[00:13:14] – Peter
Great. You’re welcome. See you again.
[00:13:16] – John Wright
Thank you. Bye.
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