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I’m Augustin Prot, the co-founder and CEO of Weglot, an API based translation solution which makes any website multilingual. We help 50k+ companies (small and large like IBM, Nikon or Spotify) to display their website in different languages.

We started Weglot in 2016 with Rémy Berda (co-founder and CTO), and built a product used by SMBs through a go-to-market strategy based on inbound and a no-code approach. On top of that, we recently designed an Enterprise offer and started distributing it to larger companies this year. Weglot is profitable with a 2x year on year growth.

Feel free to ask me anything about: 

  • SaaS inbound distribution
  • Getting your first users
  • No code approach 
  • SMBs B2B sales
  • The value of support
  • Any other question :)
  • AP

    Augustin Prot

    5 months ago #

    Thank you all for your questions, it's been a pleasure sharing my first AMA with you. Have a good day / night!

  • JP

    Joohee Park

    6 months ago #

    In your business, what are the KPIs?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      Weglot is a SaaS solution, so business wise, we're not very exotic in terms of KPIs. We're closely looking at MRR, churn rates - both Customer and Net MRR - and ARPA.

      On top of that, we're also following Marketing KPIs - visitors, signups, activated accounts, CAC; Support KPIs - number of customers help per day, FAQ visits, contact rate; Usage KPIs - number of API calls and translated words.

      1 Share
  • SS

    Sagar Sahil

    5 months ago #

    First off, thanks for sharing this valuable knowledge.

    Now, my question is what important steps you took in the beginning?

  • BO

    Britany Ochalek

    6 months ago #

    What were some of the most important questions you answered to determine which market to target?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      We had different types of questions at different steps. So I'll try to summarize them here :).

      Step 0 - the idea - How can I remove the pain and frustration I had when adding translations and multilingual features to my website? (Rémy, co-founder of Weglot, ask himself this question when thinking about problems he met in his previous startup). Answer build a service to do that easily.
      Step 1 - market size - Is the idea worth it? How big is the total market roughly? Total number of websites in the world, ok it's big enough.
      Step 2 - Traction - How can I get more users, find distribution hubs to drive growth? Be web technology specific and feature your solution on the WordPress plugin marketplace. We actually got the answer listening to our first users feedback asking for a WordPress plugin.
      Step 3 - Replicate - What other CMS web technology can I target? Users willing to invest money and pay for tech solutions, ideally making money with their website, so e-commerce would be the best + having an ecosystem with an app marketplace. That's how we decided to launch on Shopify after WordPress.
      Step 4 - Scale - How can I have a way to target all website technologies? Developing a "universal" integration and keeping a custom distribution when it's possible. That's where we are today

      1 Share
  • LF

    Léo Fritsch

    6 months ago #

    How did you validate initial market demand for your product ? What experiments did you do ?
    Thanks !

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      Since the idea was coming from a deep frustration of my co-founder Rémy, we knew there was a problem and pain. But we did not know if people would actually use a solution like ours and pay for it (API based, subscription based). We launched super fast, Rémy already had 1 user when I met him, and we were already trying to get as many people as possible testing the product. We were improving very quickly based on feedbacks and hunting for users. We went to co working places, asking everyone if they have access to their admin website and if they could test and use our product. Plus we did very manual outreach to early adopters FB group members. Next step was to validate someone would pay for it and finally if we could find ways to further distribute our solution. It all brought us to having a dedicated WP plugin (based on users feedback) and being listed on the WordPress plugin marketplace and doing ranking optimization for our key words (it brought us an uptick in number of users).

      1 Share
  • PC

    Pedro Clivati

    6 months ago #

    Thank you for doing this, Augustin.
    I'd love to learn more about the no-code approach: what does it truly mean?
    And you also mentioned being launching a new Enterprise offer. How does that GTM strategy differentiate from the inbound and no-code approach?

    1 Share
    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      The no-code approach for our use case means, can you add a feature traditionally done by developers to your website without knowing any code, in minutes. And it's also about building a product where the time between signup and value effect is minimized, for us it's max 10 to 15 minutes.
      So doing dev thing quickly without dev.

      The GTM for the Enterprise offer is based on ABM and outbound. However, the no-code approach is part of the value proposition. So the GTM is different from inbound but the no-code approach is shared by both strategies as a key value proposition.

      1 Share
  • GN

    Gustavo Nunes

    6 months ago #

    Hi, Augustin. With everything that's happening in France, I hope that you and your team are doing well.

    1) once you get your first customers, what's more important? Should you focus on retention or get more people to your funnel?
    2) how multilingual SEO is important for today's businesses? How Weglot help companies unleash their full content potential regarding global reach?
    3) the growth methodology is part of Weglot's DNA? If yes, could you share the result of an experiment that wasn't expected?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      2) multilingual SEO, like any SEO is crucial. It's a way to get untapped traffic at low cost and to start building a presence and reputation in new markets. Weglot helps companies by providing a turnkey translation solution automatically optimized for SEO. Meaning, it makes sure translated pages are indexed.

      2 Share
    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      3) As part of the Enterprise GTM we did testing for the ABM strategy. So we thought sending physical reach out, through custom postcards, with a QR code of a custom demo video to key decision makers and users of targeted companies was a great idea. It actually did not work at all, no one trigger the QR code tracker. And the worst thing is that with everyone being partially or full remote this time, we don't know if it's because they did not receive it or they just did not care about it.

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      Thanks Gustavo for the kind words.
      1) Answering both is cheating I guess. If I had to choose I would focus on get more people to the funnel. If you're in a low touch SaaS model, volume and distribution are key.

      1 Share
  • AS

    Alexandru Stoica

    6 months ago #

    Hello, Augustin

    I wanna know how did yoi grow the business (how did you 10x/100x it)?
    Also, how did youa approach the process of building an mvp?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      We've been growing the business by leveraging CMS marketplaces (being featured on WordPress plugin directory or Shopify app marketplace), doing search paid ads and being involved in the communities of the technology we were addressing.

      For the mvp, I learned a lot from Rémy, who is the other co founder of Weglot and had the original idea of Weglot. We launched super fast, and as soon as someone agreed to test the product we started looking for more users and iterates on the product at the same time.

      1 Share
  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Josefin Joseph

    How do you qualify your inbound leads before passing them to sales?

    1 Share
    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      We have hundreds of signups a day so it's an interesting challenge. We're doing 2 things today. A classic contact form where we're asking company size so it's pretty straightforward most of the time. A qualification based on domain authority. We tend to keep a minimalist onboarding and ask min info to avoid slowing down the activation journey of the users. That's why we only ask them an email and password when creating a Weglot account.

      1 Share
  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Dhruv Kahr

    How to turn an outbound marketing campaign into an inbound, opt-in campaign?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      Contacting leads and prospects without their prior consent is allowed by the GDPR. So I guess the question is how to turn outbound into inbound. One way could be to publish industry based data on a public page with gated details (accessible via emails) that you generally send inside your outbound marketing campaign. Then, start the distribution of the page, optimize ranking and even test search paid ads for the page.

      1 Share
  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Monika Benčaťová

    What is your favorite go-to no-code tools in your marketing tool kit?

  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Joshua Ho

    What types of growth hacking works well for B2SMB customer growth? What doesn't?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      What worked for us was to optimize Weglot WordPress plugin's ranking in the WordPress directory listing in 2016. At this time, we (it was Rémy) found out that when you select "Newest" as a search criteria, the algorithm would rank first the most updated plugin for a given keyword. So we updated the plugin every day and it helped a lot to increase the daily number of new installs and users. But now, filters are not available any more. Hopefully we managed to be page 1 and top 5 today.

      Something that did not work, we built dedicated Drupal, PHP/Symfony and Laravel integrations of Weglot to replicate the success we had on WordPress and Shopify. The idea was to have user traction on these technologies by being specific and present on the module listing for Drupal and being an open source bundle and packages for Symfony and Laravel. It did not work at all. We did not get many users. Plus, it meant we would have to maintain many integrations of Weglot in parallel, so it was not scalable. This failure helped us a lot to move to the next step which was building a "universal" integration, simple to add (like on Shopify and WordPress) and web technology agnostic.

  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Alexander Kehaya

    What are the best tactics for creating a high converting sales funnel and landing page?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      The tactic we're following, I don't know if it's the best, depend on the goal of the landing page. For inbound landing page, we're trying to make it more like a testimonial, feedback about how to use our product for their specific case. So I'd say, keep it authentic, specific and sign-up oriented.
      For outbound, make something very customized, so they feel you spend time working on their personal use case, if possible use something they're familiar with (one of their websites for a demo for example). And offer a momentum as a CTA, so it can be a chat, a demo or just a follow up email.

  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Joe Hanson

    How do you manage leads generated by sales that either aren't qualified or ready to buy?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      As we're doing inbound mostly we do not really meet the not qualified use case. For not ready to buy leads, we want (not yet setup) to do content nurturing, for example send them data reports about their industry or similar case studies after a couple of months.

  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    6 months ago #

    Question from Matt Hogan

    Do you think its necessary to track your time spent supporting a client like an agency might track billable time?

    • AP

      Augustin Prot

      5 months ago #

      No I don't, or more specifically not at a very detailed level (time tracking per user/client). As a SaaS solution with more than 50k users, it's not feasible. However, we need to keep an average number of customers helped by product specialist. If at some point we're not at this level, it means we have either issues in the product or in the Product experts team. Hopefully, today, the team is amazingly great and the development team is bringing regular and continuous innovation at a great pace too. Plus communication between the 2 teams is crucial to make sure there is a virtuous loop.

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