What’s up with Rippling’s Intriguing Gift Card Promotion?

There is no shortage of SaaS companies wanting to help the small, independent business owner get back more time to focus on things they were trained to do. You know that theme, help the business owner by deploying technology that, once implemented, will save the owner time.

We also know from talking to operators in the space how challenging it has become to strike up a conversation with a business owner. Today’s local business owner/operator has dozens and dozens of inbound calls, emails, and texts coming from one SaaS provider after another. We don’t doubt that all are genuinely eager to help the business owner run a better business. 

So when we got this message below inside of LinkedIn we took notice. 

Sure I am listed as the “founder” of ThinkLikeAnApp as that is probably how they searched and found me inside of LinkedIn. And though we doubt Jessica spent a ton of time trying to figure out if ThinkLikeAnApp had any employees. It doesn’t. But that isn’t the point. That Jessica — Rippling’s Director of Client Engagement no less — was ready to give me a $100 gift card is what got our attention. 

Brought to You by the Zenefits Guy

Rippling for those who do not know, is the second large-scale start-up launched by Parker Conrad. You can find extensive stories about his time at Zenefits and his ensuing departure. Just last month, the company took a $250 million round of funding from some brand-name VCs. You know, Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, just to name two.

In an interview with TechCrunch around the time of the round that took the company’s total funding to $450 million, Conrad pointed to the company’s “compound” model. This involves focusing on numerous lines of business that can share underlying components. 

Rippling CEO Parker Conrad

We doubt Rippling, which is currently valued at around $6.5 billion, is the first SaaS company pursuing the small business market to offer a $100 gift card. But we find it telling that a company like Rippling is resorting to this tactic. And who knows? Maybe it is a great tactic.

Having seen some customer acquisition costs in the small business arena well in excess of $1,500, a $100 gift card to get someone to listen to a pitch seems pretty reasonable. Of course, it all comes down to conversion. If Rippling can achieve anything over say 8% conversion (which would put their CAP at $1,250), then they’re on to something. 

We’d love to hear from Rippling to let us know how it is working. This marketing tactic intrigues us. And we would definitely like to learn more about how well it works. We also wonder which other companies are having success using this tactic to gain small business operator mind share.

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