Stealing your competitors’ customers, trials and traffic

We are sharing one of the hidden growth strategies that no ones talk about, stealing customers from your competitor wether if it is a trial, current customer or traffic to their website. These strategies will let you tap into a valuable, high-intent audience of users that are either actively looking, trialling or using a problem/product you are already offering.

These tactics are great if you just got started but as well they will let you piggyback on the brand your competitors have spend $$$ building.

We’ll first go through how to reach competitors’ customers:
Contact Unhappy Competitors’ Customers
Bid on Competitors Phrases
Monitor Negative Brand Mentions
‘Alternative To’ Pages
Use Techtracker to Find Leads
Get Intent Data from G2 Premium
Bid on Competitors’ YouTube Videos
Bombora Surge Reports

Finally, we’ll discuss how to approach this strategy in market categories where annual contracts are common vs Monthly so you learn how to close higher ACV’s.

OK cool, but is this scalable?

Some my questions is it ok to target competitors’ customers? The reality is the strategy doing it well can land you a heavy steam of new high quality leads.

Lastly what we are doing is not unethical it is what VC’s are preaching daily in San Francisco 😉

Contact Unhappy Competitors’ Customers

Review sites like G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot can be useful not only for competitor research purpo

ses but also in your acquisition strategy.

How do you find people that are worth reaching out to?

First, filter down to 3, 2 and 1 start reviews and average reviews, next sort them by recency. The sooner you contact them after they leave a review, the higher the chance they still haven’t signed a contract with someone else. Remember you need to be hands on with these customers, as they might otherwise leave a negative review about you as well.

These are the reviewers that typically suits your target, and showing high Intent. Make sure to read the review very well to understand if they are a fit and what you can reach out to them about. Often they will respond as they need a solution and if you can address the issues they had and ensure you can deliver, they are a perfect fit.

Next, how do you get their contact info?

Most reviewers have their full name, job title, and company name shown on the reviews.. In this case go to Linkedin and use Salestools.io to capture them and enter into a sales automation at that stage designed for that.

Here is an example of a review of Find That Lead – we will show you below how to contact Steffen in seconds.

Click on his profile and in most cases it shows you the details such as here

If that doesnt work do a Google reverse lookup of the profile picture

If that didn’t work then try to contact the reviewer directly on G2.com

Bid on Competitors Keywords

Another method to reach customers or potential customers of your competitors is often a less expensive way to get in front of your ideal customer profile. One way to do it is by bidding on your competitors’ brand keywords, e.g. [competitor’s name] + help/support/contact/cancel, etc. Then drive the audience to a landing page comparing your competitor’s product against yours and explaining why it’s worth making a switch and how you have a better service with success cases will help to convince them taking the bait.

Another strategy is bidding on is phrases such as [competitor’s name] + pricing/reviews/competitors/alternatives. They all fueled by high intent, so if you have a good business case and a better solution for your target audience to try out your product instead of competitors’, you are on the right path for some high-converting traffic.

There is another group of keywords we recommend to avoid, which is brand keywords, e.g. [competitor’s name] in general. They are often searched by users who is trying to login to the product and doesn’t feel like typing the website in the browser, or only just heard about the company and want to learn what it is, they have less intent to buy at this point.

Often overlooked, Bing Ads can also be a channel worth testing. Even though the search volume is much smaller, CPCs are much lower than on Google Ads. Plus, you can copy your Google Ads campaigns with just a couple of clicks (which btw is a great move by Bing to lower the entry barrier for new users to try their product).

Monitor Negative Brand Mentions

One thins that is powerful is to use products such as Brandmentions or Mention to monitor your competitors. The reason why is, often when someone is happy or unhappy they share it, and this is a great place to get an alert when someone mentions their sentiment around your competitor. Sometimes people ask on Twitter etc does anyone know how to solve [X problem] and if you offer a solution and monitor it, you can jump in and capture the lead.

Here is an example on how Techtracker.io acquires new customers, they monitor Twitter for questions and respond quickly if they can solve it, leading to more signups.

Alternative to Page’s

Alternative to [competitors] name is a great way to rank in SEO but also help leads to understand the difference. There is a few important things to remember, most startups get this alternative page wrong, what i mean by that is they tend to make a schema comparing themselves with the market leader and show how they are better every where.

Here is an example of how Crisp have made a Matrix comparing Crisp and Drift, and missleads the customer making them look better. Luckily this is something most companies has stopped, and not a best practice. Drift is know for powerful Chatbots, eco-system and integration (which nothing is mentioned here). Crisp is leaving out what matters and add silly useless functions to look better.

So the lesson is, it is great to have Alternative to pages, but don’t disrespect the competition, your leads might loose their respect for you. If you are cool and point out how you are better, without saying a bad thing about your competitor, you are more likely to win.

Use Techtracker to Find Leads

Techtracker is a unique SaaS product, they are newer in the market already bigger than Wappalyzer, Datanyze and offers functions that Builtwith doesn’t offer today!

Why we recommend Techtracker is their fast growth and core functions
– Ability to Send Website Alerts (monitor accounts for changes)
– Track a technology (get an alert when your competitor has a new trial)
– Find new accounts based on tech usage
– Use Keywords + Tech (Shoes + Shopify) as an example
and much more.

So how do you utilize Techtracker to steal your competitors customers?
Let’s say our company is Exact Visitor who competes with Leadfeeder and Leadforensics. They want to know when a company is trialling Lead Forensics and Leadfeeder. All they need to do is to set an alert when some one trials Lead Feeder or Lead Forensics and they get daily reports like these:

Then Exact Visitor can setup a full automation on Salestools to find the decision makers and reach out 100% automated.

Lets say i am a company selling to Shopify Stores selling shoes and need to identify them, Techtracker can help with that as well:

Simply build the report and reach out 🙂

Get Intent Data from G2 Premium

If you are in SaaS you can’t avoid G2 a review site that leads the market. With their expensive Premium version they let you see not only the companies that viewed your product listing but also the companies that viewed your category page and your competitors’ listings.

What is valuable is to know which companies are researching your competitors, and this is something G2 has helped companies like Drift and Segment to use, to grow faster.

This channel is expensive and require you have a high Life Time Value of your customers, otherwise it would not be worth exploring.

Bid on Competitors’ YouTube Videos

David Gerhardt former director of Marketing for Drift famously shared his favorite hack, buy commercials on your competitors videos on Youtube.

One example is Sprint they bought preroll adds on ATT and explained how they are better before, the consumer got to see the ATT video.

Google lets you hyper-target your ads to specific videos, which makes it a perfect opportunity to capture some of your competitors’ potential or existing users.

Here is a longer guide how to setup ads on your competitors videos.

Bombora Surge Reports

Bombora is a giant when it comes to intent data, they purchase form fills from websites and analyze the intent on companies across the internet. They can “predict” based on user consumption who is likely to be in the market for a new solution.

Here is an example of companies looking at Outreach.io right now:

This give you the edge to reach out if you are a competitor but also Outreach to close poential customers that are in the market faster, and before they sign with your competitor.

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