How to Market Your Online Backup Business
Most new online backup providers or MSPs already have some lines of business and are looking at expanding the business through the tried-and-true way by adding a new layer of service with online backup to an existing business offering. But If you have no customer base, then you have to market your online backup business by finding a good population to start with, often this is through a partner or some association or group that will allow you to target your offering to a distinct group so you can tailor your services and benefits to those customers. Specificity in your message and offering will greatly increase your chances of success.
Once you identify that group, whether existing customers or a population of potential customers, there are several ways of reaching out to those customers:
- regular mail
- online ads
- in-context ads (offered at opportune times when you are interacting with your customers)
- webinars / seminars
- promotional campaign
Of these, the most cost-effective will be emailing, as you can email a vast number of people for free. Keep in mind that you can not violate the Can-spam act, so you can’t simply email people without them opting in to receive your email. But if you already have a customer base that’s opted in, or belong to an association where members have opted in to receive an email, then you’re looking good. Using a free email service like MailChimp can help you organize your email campaigns, and also get you more info on what’s allowed and not allowed.
For the fastest traction, you may want to start with a phone campaign. Although many salespeople shy away from cold-calling, you will find that calling people who belong to an association, or whom you already know feels very different than cold-calling, and can really be as simple as explaining that you’re starting a business, and would they like to try it for free?
For most MSPs adding online backup to their offerings, a “launch party” email and webinar, coupled with a promotional, is a great first step. Since the offering is new, it’s appropriate to reach out to all customers and inform them, most typically with an email inviting them to a webinar. The webinar can be short, say 30 minutes, and talk about the basics. We suggest the following topics for the webinar:
- What causes data loss and why do online backup?
- Understanding online backup vs local backup
- How online backup works
- A demonstration of the online backup solution
- How to get signed up for a free trial
The call to action (topic 5) can include some kind of initial promotion, like getting one free month of online backup, or a reduced rate for the first three months.
Since the online backup market includes many commodity online backup providers like Mozy and Carbonite, topics 2 and 3 should include unique offerings that an MSP can provide that those commodity online backup providers can not. For instance:
- Tech support that is local and knowledgeable about the customer’s situation
- “Out support reps have worked with you over the years, and already have remote access to your machines, so they can easily assist you with selecting the right data”
- Integration and/or knowledge of the other deployed solutions
- “We maintain your email, so we know exactly what to backup from your machine to ensure that your email is fully protected”
- “Since we deployed and manage your billing systems, we know exactly how to configure database backup for that system”
- Better performance via business-class technology and hardware
- “We now provide business-class backup and restore to ensure that your data can be restored in minutes rather than days so you can minimize business interruptions”
- existing relationships and trust (and this is usually the biggest driver!)
- “You trusted us to provide you with your billing solution, trust us now to safeguard your data”
Our experience has shown that the more specific the offering is to the target group, the more they respond to the emails, and the more they respond during the webinar. Close rates can be as high as 15% in these scenarios, so this is a very cheap way to get started.
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