If you’re a SaaS Founder, You NEED to Study Notion

The Growth Strategies used become a $2B startup and reach 1M users after a single seed round

Notion was founded in 2012 by Ivan Zhao. Since it’s re-launch in 2018 it’s been the fastest growing platform for teams and individuals. Notion is no code software positioned as the one stop productivity, collaboration, note-taking and multipurpose SaaS solution tool.

Strategy 1: Product Led Growth

The core of Notion’s growth is driven by it's amazing product. 80% of their traffic comes from direct search, 6% from paid ads. They got huge traffic from their 2018 Product Hunt launch (over 6K upvotes), leading to a wave of word of mouth and passionate fans. The launch created tons of buzz, and it hasn’t seemed to really slow down…

Strategy 2: Subreddit

Notion's built a 119K member subreddit - a place where users connect to share templates and Notion product ideas. The community grows 200+ members daily, consisting of first time users and experienced users who will turn new users into pros.

The community isn’t just growing in size, but it’s super engaging, averaging 25 new posts and 200+ comments/day. It’s one of their core drivers of growth and ultimately develops/improves the product over time with users creating new templates and use cases.

They leveraged this to build a Notion Ambassador program for their biggest Notion fans and creators, while connecting with users to constantly get product feedback.

Strategy 3: Ambassador Program

Notion has had great success by identifying and working with the most active/passionate users in their community. They launched an ambassador program called Notion Pros to find users interested in working more closely to help promote Notion.

They created a landing page and got 400 applications, but chose 20 to start. They helped build the community and create content for the brand. With no paid incentives (just voluntary), they encouraged ambassadors to generate income through Notion courses and consulting.

They created a landing page and got 400 applications, but chose 20 to start. They helped build the community and create content for the brand. With no paid incentives (just voluntary), they encouraged ambassadors to generate income through Notion courses and consulting.

The key takeaway was they found their power users, connected with them, and provided an opportunity to collaborate and build an army of Notion marketers. They gave them freedom to create content and have exclusive benefits as incentives - letting their passion drive growth.

Strategy 4: Ease of Onboarding

They made it easy for teams or individuals to setup and get started right away - speeding up activation + increasing retention. They customized every user's first experience with an onboarding quiz to learn how they'll use Notion. Right away, they we’re provided with the best templates based on their needs.

If you were creating a team workspace, they also made it super simple to invite your team members. A great hack was not only allowing you to invite others on your team, but allowing people to join if they have your company domain.

Strategy 5: Templates Growth Loop

Notion created a templates directory, where users can share templates they created. This not only builds their community, but shows other users different/better ways they can use Notion, making it an even more valuable product.

Templates have become their strongest driver of growth today, with many building brands, social media audiences (and making money) by providing valuable Notion templates. The more people realize how easy it can be to create and share templates, the more users turn pro users.

This helps Notion attract new users, activates them by getting setup in Notion quickly, retains users because the templates provide value, turning them into active users, which then sparks more creators to build and share their templates.

Today they are leveraging templates to make the experience more valuable and are encouraging users to create and share their templates to the Notion community and their personal audiences on social media. The more people do this, the more the loop strengthens and accelerates!

Notion Today:

- 4M+ users

- $26.4M annual revenue

- 40 employees

Keys to Growth Success:

- Powerful Community

- Brand Ambassador

- Customized onboarding

- Viral loops


Sources:

  • https://nogood.io/2020/12/22/notion-growth-strategy/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20Notion%20has%20an%20incredible,organically%20and%20through%20a%20community.

  • https://druriley.com/notion-marketing-playbook-8-strategies-17-examples/

  • https://foundationinc.co/lab/notion-strategy

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidjeans/2020/04/01/buzzy-work-app-notion-hits-2-billion-valuation/?sh=56a817e878ec

  • https://www.reallygoodux.io/blog/notions-lightweight-onboarding


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