Take a look at this image:
Notice the “made with ClickFunnels” badge at the bottom right? What if I told you this small button brings millions of dollar of revenue each month? By the way, these are not my words, these are the exact words from Rusell Brunson & Todd, the founders of ClickFunnels:
On the bottom of a ClickFunnels page there’s a little button that says: “Powered by ClickFunnels”. We get tons of, an insane amount of people coming off of those (buttons) every single day.
Nathan Latka then asked the founders what % of new customers come from that branding button. Todd’s answer was mind-blowing:
I know that at this point, over million dollars a month comes in just from that badge.
ClickFunnels makes around $5M/month in revenue, and a simple badge is responsible for 20% of that number.
What is “Powered by” Marketing and Why Does It Work So Well?
I’ve done quite a lot of research on “powered/made by” buttons. I discovered their power by accident, by reading through hundreds of IndieHackers interviews. I recently started doing the same for Nathan Latka’s interviews and I’m seeing the same pattern (a big % of interviewed founders saying these buttons bring them a decent % of new customers).
Why do these simple buttons work so well? Ever heard of social proof? It’s when people copy what other people do. Especially if those people are influential/popular/similar to them.
How does this translate to B2B? People copy their competitors.
If you’re a pool business and notice your closest competitor adding a fancy landing page (making yours ugly in comparison), you’re likely to watch to “catch-up”. You do some analysis and notice a “made with ClickFunnels” badge at the bottom of your competitors’ page. Boom! You discovered their “secret” 🙂
Wavve ($115k/mo) is a tool that turns your podcast into a cool video (so you can share it on social media). These types of videos are used by influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk (short: Gary Vee), and Wavve just made it easier for your-average-podcaster to copy him:
Sometimes we joke that we’re basically just creating companies (referring to Wavve) to help people look more like Gary Vee. We’re definitely leaning into these video trends. This is what people want to create, we’re trying to make it easy for them.
Wavve also uses this principle to grow their product. They’re pretty aware of this “people want to copy cool stuff” principle, and used it to their advantage:
We’re very lucky in the fact that our product creates content that helps promote the product itself. So we have watermarks for our free plans. Even for our premium users, the animations that we’ve created are very unique to Wavve, which really stand out, and that helped a lot with word of mouth. (source)
“Powered by” a (sub)domain
The SaaS model opened up a lot of opportunities for “powered by” marketing. Several years ago, if you wanted to send a video to a co-worker, you had to attach it to an email, or upload it somewhere.
Nowadays you just send them a Loom link. Loom now has 1.2 million users users. When Nathan asked Shahed (the founder) about their #1 growth channel, this was his response:
I would say our growth channel is pretty organic. If you send someone a Loom video, they’ll watch it, they’ll be curious and sign up (source)
PandaDoc is a SaaS (soon to reach $19M in annual revenue) that helps you create e-signatures. When Nathan asked the founder where most customers come from, this was the founder’s response:
Variety of channels. Direct. Word of mouth. Natural virality of the product. Whenver you send someone a document, they get exposed to PandaDoc. Those are the 2 very large ones. (source)
SaaS opened up a lot of opportunities for people getting exposed to the SaaS itself. If you send someone a Loom video, they’d get exposed to Loom’s user interface, logo, and get curious what it’s all about. Same with PandaDoc, people sending a PandaDoc link to sign, and other people getting exposed to the web page/user interface.
Same thing with bepretty ($280k/mo), a software that helps beauty saloons book appointments. They started with 20 salons and then expanded:
Having those 20 salons really engaged really made the difference in growing, because we started having their users using our app… (source)
If you look at bepretty’s website, you’ll notice that each listing is on their main domain. This makes it pretty easy for someone (like a hair saloon competitor) to find out what their competitors are “powered by”.
“Powered by” Marketing is a Perfect Fit If People Cannot Articulate Your Value Proposition
Companies like Wavve have a lot of people find them by typing “Wavve” directly into Google, rather than typing a keyword like “audiogram”. Here’s the founders’ explanation for this:
Most people are finding us with direct searches and I think that’s because it’s hard for people to articulate what these types of videos are. Audiogram is the best term that has come up, but the average person doesn’t really know what an audiogram is. So it’s hard for people to define what they’re looking for, but when they see it from one of our customers using it and hears about it that way, they’re like: “Oh, this is great”.
We find people all the time that are like: “Oh my gosh, I’ve been looking for this exact thing!” (source)
There are many products in this category. Imagine you’re making a cool Instagram filter. You’re much to have your filter users if someone posts a video using it vs. someone typing “cool filter that turns my face into a Halloween tree”.
How to Get Your Initial Seed of “Powered by” Customers
Beamer ($54k/mo) is a tool to allow businesses to easily announce their latest updates/changes. They launched using an AppSumo promotion. Many AppSumo/lifetime-SaaS deals don’t pan out, but theirs did pretty well. The reason? “Powered by” marketing:
Q: AppSumo promo deal, how did that pan out?
A: Really well. We started being used by about 500 companies, just from that AppSumo promo which lasted 2 weeks. It got us really good exposure/word of mouth going. Like Intercom, our product is a widget that our customers will install publicly on their web apps. So it’s really easy for people to discover us just by using our tool.
We have customers like Intercom, HotJar, Drift. Any user using those products will actually see Beamer in action just by using them. Many people discover us that way. That’s how we generate a lot of leads. (source)
500 customers at $49 is around $25k in total sales. Now, consider the fact AppSumo takes 70% of the revenue and that leaves them a very small sum. This was Nathan’s latter question:
Q: With $25k, AppSumo usually keeps 70% of the revenue, you get 30%. Why do the lifetime deal at all?
A: That was never a play for us that had to do with generating revenue. The whole idea behind that was generating exposure, getting users/feedback and getting our widget installed on a lot of sites and web apps so people could discover it and it could start to grow, start that viral snowball, which is exactly what happened. (source)
Darko has interviewed over 1,100 founders to identify their best acquisition channels. Learn more at Zero To Users.