Kraken.io – Marketing of an Image Optimizer SaaS

In this marketing teardown we look at a SaaS from Berlin: Kraken.io. Their software compresses images at a high rate, without visible loss of quality. This marketing teardown analyses on how they market this image optimizer SaaS and what they can do better.

Slides

Here you will discover

  • Why it has an impact to offer a reseller backend
  • How to market a image optimizer SaaS, that is rather for technically oriented people
  • Why personal brands matter
  • How to run a guerilla marketing action with a crawler
  • Why you should use Kraken.io for your next wordpress project

Also, I reckon you check out their free web interface whenever you need an image compressed.

Disclaimer

“This analysis is based on observation only. We are not affiliated with Kraken.io in any way. I don’t get money from these links.”

All data is gathered in May 6, 2014

What is Kraken?

What is Kraken.io? The pitch in short: Image Optimization for Software Backends and WordPress

Or, as they put it:

“Kraken is a robust, ultra-fast image optimizer. Thanks to its vast array of optimization algorithms Kraken is a world ahead of other tools.”

It was launched in May 2012, and development started around August 2011. Here is how the typical results look like:

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The Team

The founders are Przemek Matylla (@matylla) and Karim Salman (@karim79) in Berlin.

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Business model advantages

  • SaaS, recurring revenue
  • API – once Kraken is used in another software, it’s unlikely to get removed from the service
  • Reseller aspect. Taking marketing efforts away from the SaaS company.

Authority Analysis

Twitter and Google plus are both not really in use.

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Name Confusion: Kraken.com

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Blog

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Personal Brands

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Podcast Interviews

No podcast interviews of any of the founders can be found. It seems they never appeared as an Authority themself in the marketing space.
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Tech Reviews and Press

Kraken listed some tech reviews from various websites like Passion Digital, Kiwano, Thrive Themes and The Next Web.
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  • “Another primary issue with Kraken is the lack of ability to change quality settings. This is especially a problem with lossy compression, where the quality of the image is degraded.” Andrew Munsell (in a review on Jan 13, 2014)

  • “In case that isn’t enough awesomeness, Kraken also have browser add-ons for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers so you can optimise your images quicker than ever before!” Jay Downing, 2012

The Challenges

How to Market a SaaS

One of the drawbacks of the Image Optimizer SaaS – Kraken.io is that is not visible to the end users.

  • …that is – once installed – never showing the benefit?
  • …that optimizes without clear monetary value add?
  • …that no user sees?

(User = Client of the web designer or the web designer only using the wordpress plugin)

Questions to Ask

  • How big is the CLV?
  • Who is the Customer Avatar?
  • Who is the ideal partner for Joint Ventures?
  • What would be good marketing channels?
  • How can the Authority of Kraken.io be built easily?
  • How can more subscriptions be sold? (since every additional user does not cost anything apart support + server)

Let’s Break It Down

The Revenue Formula

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By Jay Abraham. See this explanation by Tim Conley

1. Traffic

Target Customer

  • WordPress users who need to get the job done
  • Programmers who want to save time to develop their own image processing
  • Software companies with high loads of images (save money on traffic and improve site speed for SEO)
  • Where can they be found?

Getting Interviewed on Podcasts

Participating on podcasts is a great way to promote and advertise Kraken.
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Talks and Workshops

Kraken can reach and expand to more people/potential customers by:

  • Giving talks (e.g. Berlin)
  • Handing out slides and workshop material
  • Give free premium accounts for everyone giving a workshop on that topic

Content Marketing

Publish white papers about the usage of images:

  • How is the size usually?
  • What if Kraken.io would not have compressed them?
  • How does Google honor images in terms of site speed?

Assumption: people who are interested in that would also use WP + Kraken

Guest Blogging

Kraken.io can expand their reach by targeting these blogs:

  • WordPress programming
  • Internet marketing
  • Design / photography

Give out premium features in return for a link / badge “optimized images by Kraken.io”
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Guerilla Method Algorithm

Go for aggressive outbound (automated)

  1. Build a list of wordpress blogs
  2. Parse each for images
  3. Check compression of images and the possible gain with Kraken.io
  4. Make a result PDF and the benefits resulting from the gain.
  5. Pitch the owner with a free Kraken.io trial of 30 days, free plugin

2. Conversion

Competition

How can Kraken.io position themselve as much better than using existing free software packages? (e.g. Ruby on Rails gems like Paperclip)

  • Publish a report on the development and change cost of using an own method.

Freemium WP Plugin

Assumption: the power of Kraken.io is its WordPress plugin. It would sell better with a trial period.

  1. Make the plugin freely available for 1 day, limit the use to 5 pictures per day
  2. Spread it through JV / Affiliates / PPC
  3. Measure the free and paid adoption in the course of 1 month

Building Authority

  • Document the crunching process and let tech writers use it.
  • Address objections and turn it into case studies.
  • Be out there and comment on these blogs!

3. Customer Lifetime Value

Performance Estimation

In 1 day Kraken crunches more than 100k pictures. Given the average platform does 100 pictures / day, that’s around 1,000 customers. That can be a 6 figure yearly income.
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Performance

Kraken is a powerful SaaS that solves one problem well. Its marketing effort is rather passive. Depending on the future growth goals, no additional marketing is needed (assuming that the customer churn rate is low).

Contact Kraken.io

Email feedback@kraken.io
Try their free online tool!
Tweet to @matylla and @karim79

  • Free checklist: SaaS Marketing best practices (lessons from the teardowns)
  • Free checklist: SaaS Marketing best practices (lessons from teardowns)