It took Ruben Gamez a year and a half after launching Bidsketch to reach a monthly recurring revenue high enough to be able to quit his full time job.
When he eventually figured out his process for integrating with other apps and getting them to promote his product…everything changed. You can listen to the full interview here.
His first integration ever (with FreshBooks) got him more signups for Bidsketch in a single day than in any previous month.
So what do you do when you find a system that works? Rinse and repeat.
Ruben was kind enough to sit down with us on the Rocketship Podcast and share his process for how he’s able to consistently leverage others’ audiences through his integrations. Here’s the quick run-down:
1. MAKE SURE IT’S A WIN-WIN-WIN
Trying to integrate with any and every app or service out there isn’t going to get you far. Even if time wasn’t an issue (and it always is), you need to make sure the integration is a win for:
A. Your customers—have they been asking for this? Will it benefit them and their needs? Will this improve your product?
B. Your marketing efforts—will this company be able to promote your product to good candidates? If their audience has little interest or need for your product — what’s the point?
C. The other app or service—will they also benefit from this integration/promotion swap? Will your integration help their customers? Will your audience be interested in their product? What value prop do you bring to the table for them?
2. PRIORITIZE BASED ON “B”
Even if A and C are lined up as wins, you’ve got to make sure you’re going to get solid promotional mileage out of the integration.
They must be willing to promote you via email to their email list.
Sometimes this means you need to play hardball — don’t be afraid to push a little bit.
Ask up front, before you do the integration, if company X is willing to promote you to their email list. If the answer is no, say something polite like:
“That’s okay, but we tend to prioritize our integrations based on who’s willing to work with us on cross-promotions, so we’ll probably table this for a bit and integrate with competitor Y. We’ll try to revisit an integration with you a few months down the road.”
This has worked extremely well for Ruben and almost always results in a willingness of the other party to promote him to their list.
But it’s crucial for you that they be willing to promote you to their email list versus something like a mention on their blog. The results are incomparable. People on an email list are the most valuable asset you can tap into. If you’ve got a little leverage (and you always do), make an email promotion swap non-negotiable.
Tip from Ruben: If you’re debating between two similar services for your next integration (and both are win-win-wins, and both are willing to promote you), always prioritize the one with the larger audience. Don’t forget you’re playing a numbers game.
3. MAKE IT A NO-BRAINER FOR THEM TO SAY “YES”
When Ruben approached FreshBooks about his integration, he did a lot of things right that he’s carried over to his other integrations.
First, his integration with FreshBooks was really valuable to both parties. It went much further than most “import your contacts from FreshBooks” type of integrations. It provided deeper value like converting a Bidsketch proposal into a FreshBooks invoice (and a few other things).
Second, the integration required no work at all from FreshBooks. He used their API and built out everything he needed without any special requests to their dev team.
Third, he made it super easy to promote the integration by creating a special landing page just for FreshBooks. Not only did he offer a special discount to their customers, but he gave them a dedicated place to send people from their email list as well as their own integrations page.
“The best thing you can do is to make it as easy as possible for them to promote you. Don’t add any work for them at all.”
— Ruben Gamez
To this day people coming from the FreshBooks integrations page to his dedicated FreshBooks/Bidsketch page convert significantly better than any other site visitor.