January 26, 2023

The Free Tool Strategy Behind SendView’s Growth

Is it the only reason for our growth? Of course not. Building a competitor analysis tool like SendView requires a quite a few channels to ultimately scale, but whenever we’ve had big months or hockey stick moments? Well, there’s usually a tool behind the scenes.

I love tools for a bunch of reasons (like SEO), but there are four primary ones.

First, free tools don’t require support. If they’re part of the product and require you to create an account? Different story. But if there just sitting out there, free to the world, sorta loosely connected to the product it simply doesn’t come with an expectation of support like a formal, paid product does.

Second, even though it doesn’t carry the support like a normal products, it’s still launchable. You can still add features and enhance it and iterate on it. It gives you the same opportunity to tell your audience about something cool but

Third, you can capitalize on the goodwill and trust earned from solving part of their problem. It doesn’t solve the whole problem, it may only be a tiny sliver, but it shows the user that, yeah, you can solve this problem which makes you a solid candidate to solve the rest of their problem that the main apps is supposed to solve.

Fourth, tools are reusable. I create a PDF guide? Your audience can use it one and…well…that’s probably it. But a tool can be used over and over and over, maybe even daily. It gives someone the chance to experience that goodwill, the solved problem, and build that relationship with you over and over again.

So, we build tools like…

ESP Finder
A simple service that helps you see what the ESP is behind emails in your inbox by just forwarding them to a special address that’s been used by thousands of marketers over the last couple years.

Email Tech Tracker
A dashboard where you can keep an eye on which email tech / coding trends are picking up steam and which ones are flatlining (which also is a great way to collect emails).

Social Share Link Generator
Email marketers love to put sharing links in their emails and our share link generator makes that easy by prepulating share links to sites like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc. with just a few clicks.

When we launched our new dashboards in SendView, I decided to recreate them for Twitter so people could see all the insights they provide for Twitter accounts and imagine what they’d look like for email using SendView.

Sometimes I’ll launch a tool with the goal of just trying to get it to rank, but other times I’ll put a lot of time into a tool’s marketing. For example, when the 2020 presidential election was coming up I built a dashboard that compared their email strategies and sending volumes leading up the election.

screenshot of trump vs biden dashboard

But marketing strategies were topics of debate among media outlets, so I spent a few weeks emailing writers at all sorts of news companies who had covered marketing strategies with a link to the dashboard and an offer to get them more data if they needed.

The result was tens of thousands of views of this dashboard and a thousands of dollars in added MRR.

Again, tools are on arrow in the quiver, but it’s been a really reliable one for me over the years.

More Thoughts & Such

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Put it On Paper
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An Ode to Awe
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Change Has to Be Sold
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Knowing When to Stop
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The Language of Uncertainty
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July 7, 2023   Read this post →

Who am I? Who do I want to be?
June 29, 2023   Read this post →

Hi, I'm Gregg.

I'm a SaaS marketer and maker.


Never heard of me? All good, these days I don't chase influence as much as I do balance. By day I run marketing for Inntopia and evenings see me building SendView, but my happy place is playing in the mountains with my family.