In the SaaS world, there is both art and science to using free products as part of a customer acquisition strategy.
Some companies give away highly functional versions of their software knowing full well that the majority of users will never upgrade. It’s worth it as long as a sufficient number sees value and moves up the ladder to a paid version.
Other SaaS companies might give away tools as a lead generator. For example, a grading tool that tells a business how well its digital presence is performing against its peers.
As Many Invoices as You’d Like
A major component of the free toolset is an invoice generator. The company rolled this tool out in June. It allows a user, presumably a small business, to create an invoice on the fly by uploading their logo and adding the necessary info (amount, billing address, etc.).
According to Thryv, there is no limit to the number of invoices an individual can create. We tried it out, creating a mock invoice. And it worked quite well. And notably, the system doesn’t demand that you leave your contact details in order to use it. Although some of the other tools do capture contact details.
The invoicing tool would be better, of course, if it were linked to a payments system. And Thryv happens to offer just such a thing with ThryvPay, which it launched as a stand-alone app in May.
Thryv launched a number of other free tools in addition to the invoice generator. These include an Online Experiences Scan. According to Thryv, this tool helps businesses “find out how their business scores, utilizing Thryv’s proprietary client experience index.”
The tool ranks a business on a scale of 1-100. The criteria include “online listings, ratings and reviews, customer sentiment, website, social media, and more.”
Thryv also rolled out a free Google Review Link Generator. This tool, as the name suggests, creates custom links to ask customers to leave a review on Google. Useful, given reviews are such a significant ranking factor.
Other free tools include the following.
- A tool that identifies savings opportunities for credit card, debit, and ACH payment costs.
- A tool to assess and improve a business’s email marketing efforts.
- A calculator showing how to raise prices by the hour or by the project to meet income goals.
- And another calculator that shows whether a small business is paying too much for its CRM software.
- Finally, a Google My Business quiz assessing how effective a business’s GMB listing is, and suggesting how to improve it.
A Rush of New Businesses
In a statement, Ryan Cantor, Thryv’s VP of Product and Marketing, suggests the free tools are also a response to a recent surge in new business formation.
“For the millions of small businesses getting started this year, we provide valuable tools to help them create a more polished, professional appearance,” Cantor said. “These tools not only help in their day-to-day activity but give them insight into how they are perceived by current and potential customers. And how they can improve everything from their invoices to their websites.”
The Bipartisan Policy Center, citing Census Bureau data, reports that in Q1 this year, new business applications were coming at double the pre-Covid pace. So it makes sense to be there as a resource for these fledgling business owners, many of whom are likely to be eager for any help they can get as they figure out how to get up and running.