5 Inbound Marketing Strategies that worked for our Enterprise SaaS Product

5 Inbound Marketing Strategies that worked for our Enterprise SaaS Product


Fedena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we started the company in 2009 and launched the first version of our SAAS product in 2010, we started selling ERP to schools with feet on street sales team. It was hard with no results. Some principals even said “I will pay you for not selling this to me, please disappear!” It was tough selling ERP which is a known fact to any seller in the education industry. The sales cycle can get as long as 6 ­ 8 months.

Since being a startup we couldn’t increase our expenses, so we started looking for a better model for selling ERP. And as they say ‘Necessity is the mother of all inventions’, we found that using inbound marketing model, we could make the schools and re­sellers approach us for the product. This also reduced the sales cycle to 1 ­ 2 months. We even started closing deals within a days time.
Introduction to inbound marketing (For those who are new to this term)
When we go and sell a product/service to customers they feel that they are being sold
something which they don’t actually require and they don’t want to buy. The institutions were working efficiently without implementing any ERP and this made them reluctant to implement an ERP software all of a sudden. But there will be few, who would be looking out for a solution, and when you approach these institutes, you can provide them with the best out of your least value. Thus degrading your product value; and if you have committed any services then you are doomed. Now with inbound marketing the same customer will pay a higher amount visiting our store/website which costs him more (Total cost ­ cost of visiting our physical office or hiring us to give them demo).
As Steve Jobs said “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” This is very true for any ERP solution.
In Inbound marketing strategy people visit your site (come to your website/store) when they are really looking out for solution/business and they find you, therefore make sure that the website and your online presence are so strong that they turn into leads prospects. Such customers then don’t bargain (but you can’t stop the Indian customers! ­ Beware). But the demerit is that you will lose the customers who don’t fit in your product model. You will have to say ‘NO’ to some customers in order to have a scalable model. It means that, only those customers will purchase your product who are a perfect fit to your product model and hence less churn out. Thus the Life Time Value (LTV) of the customer will increase and a solid revenue model evolves. To say, this strategy has got its own merit and demerit but for a startup if this works then it’s great.


Inbound Strategy 1: Giving the basic product as free & open source
For us the inbound marketing has worked so well that, our open source version of the product gets around 150­200 downloads per day. Our product has amassed more than 65,000 downloads over period of 3 years. For an ERP this is a huge achievement. The opensource version is marketed by the eminent personalities in opensource community. To add to this prestigious institutes in India, IIM and IIT (one each) is now powered by Fedena. This wouldn’t have happened if we were to go and sell to the premier institutes. A specific percentage of these free downloads got converted as paid customers.
Inbound Strategy 2: Interviewing happy customers and publishing in blog.
We constantly interviewed our happy customers and published the interviews in official product blog. The new prospects reading these interviews got convinced about the product quality and converted as paying customers.
Inbound Strategy 3: Applying to various award competitions and winning the awards
increased credibility & conversion Never leave a startup competition un­participated. When we hear of an award winning product we come to value the product’s credibility. This really is a strong point in making the sale.

Inbound Strategy 4: Free demo with full documentation.
Our competitors were hiding demo of the product. You might have felt that once you are in a website and if you don’t find the demo of the product to test the product instantly and freely you are not going to try that product. But on the same time if you provide the access for a free demo, people try the product instantly and once he enters data into the trial version and if he likes the system he signs up and gets converted.
Inbound Strategy 5: Celebrating even small success in social media
We were never shy to celebrate even the small success in Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Now internet marketing is all about content driven marketing. The likes, comments, shares are valued more than other normal content marketing. Because here the users are rating the relevance of the content you posted and the web spiders rank those highly which get better ranking for your website. Implies the domain authority of your website increase when people talks about your product. Also it enables to spread your product information to all your fans and related ecosystem easily and effectively.
Abdulla Hisham
Abdulla Hisham is the cofounder and MD of Foradian technologies. Hisham drives the marketing and business development initiatives of Foradian. Foradian’s product Fedena was one of the winner of Edustars 2012. Checkout their product at www.fedena.comPhoto ­ https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1111330675/Picture_123a.JPG


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Makers of Award Winning Web Application for Schools.

Makers of Award Winning Web Application for Schools Foradian,


Fedena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Launches Fedena Marketplace.

Foradian Technologies, the maker of Fedena school management information system launches Fedena Marketplace. Fedena Marketplace is a onestop
shop for useful plugins and extensions for schools and colleges.

Foradian, the company behind Fedena, the award winning web application for school and college management used in more

than 40,000 institutes and powering 20 million users worldwide, is launching a marketplace to revolutionize education technologies. The Fedena Marketplace will be launched by Soumitra Sharma, from Investments Team at IDG Ventures India on Thursday here in Bangalore.

The Fedena Marketplace will feature plugins and applications that will help you add useful and necessary features to your school management information system. These plugins are developed by certified technical companies who focus on innovating education
technologies and can be installed easily without any help from a technical team. Marketplace lists and reviews Fedena native plugins, Fedena integration plugins and other professional services and hardwares.

Fedena Marketplace will be up and running at:

AIndra, one of the partner technical company has developed AIndra Attendance Management plugin for Fedena, which allow schools to mark student attendance with just a click on a mobile phone. AIndra Attendance Management uses artificial intelligence technology to scan student’s face and mark him present in the records thus saving both time and efforts. This is one of its kind technology and a pioneer one too. The plugin is now available at Fedena Marketplace.

Fedena Marketplace now showcases some very unique and advanced Fedena plugins like 55444 Search developed by Mobicube which uses 55444 SMS mobile search technology by Innoz, an offline search engine that allows you to search through your school’s data with an SMS, Super
Receptionist by Knowlarity an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for your
institution, and a lot more.

Sharing his vision about the Fedena Marketplace, Abdulla Hisham, Cofounder and MD at Foradian says, “We want the Fedena Marketplace to be similar to Amazon marketplace targeted at schools and colleges. Even though the core offerings will be Fedena plugins and nonplugin. Nonfedena products and services will
also be introduced gradually.”

About Foradian
Foradian is an award winning school ERP software provider, based in Bangalore, India. The company’sflagship product Fedena is an enterprise software solution for schools, colleges and universities. The basic version of Fedena is available as free and open source. Fedena is user friendly (powerful UI/UX which allows any user to start using the application in just 10 minutes of login) , business friendly (Apache license) and customisation friendly (plugin architecture) software.


Contact Information:

Abdulla Hisham

Foradian Technologies Inc.

#2733, 16th Cross, 27th Main,

Sector 1, HSR Layout,

Bangalore, Karnataka,

India 560102

Phone no. 00918884557786

Email: hisham@foradian.com

Site: http://www.fedena.com/

Blog: http://blog.fedena.com/




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Revolutionizing Education Technologies.

Revolutionizing Education Technologies with school management software. If you are the administrator or owner of a school or college, you are approached by hundreds of business on a dailyFedena Marketplace basis who want to sell you their products and services. But you don’t know whom to trust or what to buy that offers the features and benefits your institution needs. Most of these companies will disappear after selling their products and services. Is there a place where you can buy the things that will increase the efficiency of your institution?

Foradian, maker of Fedena, the award winning web application for school and college management, is launching a marketplace to revolutionize education technologies.

Fedena Marketplace is the one-stop shop for all tools needed to run education institutions efficiently. Fedena Marketplace spotlights plugins that enhance the features of Fedena. These plugins are built by certified technical companies who focus on innovating education technologies. You can choose the plugins you need and add them easily to Fedena without the help of a technical team. Fedena Marketplace lists and reviews Fedena native plugins, Fedena integration plugins and other professional services and hardwares you will find beneficial. Your educational team can develop plugins that will add value to Fedena. Once developed you can list in the Fedena Marketplace to generate revenue.

Among the first plugins ready in the market; a plugin to take attendance of a classroom using a digital camera. Simply go to the classroom and take a classroom photo. The artificial intelligence tool will recognize the student faces automatically and will update in Fedena. Messages will be sent to parents mentioning the presence or absence of their students. Details and all data are stored safely for future analysis.

“We want the Fedena Marketplace to be similar to Amazon marketplace targeted at schools and colleges. Even though the core offerings will be plugins of Fedena, non-plugin and non-fedena products and services will also be introduced gradually” said Unni Koroth, CEO of Foradian.

Take your school or educational institution to the next level by contacting Fedena today.

About Fedena

Fedena is an enterprise software solution for schools, colleges and universities. The basic version of Fedena is available as free and opensource.

Why Fedena (2 minute video)

What is so great about Fedena (Quora answer)

Foradian won three awards in 2012 for innovation in business model and product –
Emerge 10 by NASSCOM, MIT TR35 by TechnologyReview and Edustars by Accel Partners

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Changing the face of Education.

Fedena is changing the face of education. Fedena is a multipurpose school and campus management software which is used by thousands of educational institutions worldwide. Fedena is for all


Fedena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

administration, management and learning related activities. As a school administrator you can use it to manage students, teachers, employees, courses and all the system and process related to running your institute efficiently.

The main problem which affects education institutions is lack of resources. In this day and age, global education is looking for sharing the ideas which can make the education more powerful. To counteract the lack of educational resources, available open source tools are playing a pivotal role. Many funded research projects produce software as part of their work.

Those educational institutions that are making use of open source tools are at the forefront of continuing education. School administrators are incorporating Fedena, and their open source approach into their corporate culture in order to compete and succeed in the new century. The adoption and application of these new management strategies are already evident within many companies in almost every industry. Higher education and other public and private institutions are able to acquire and use these tools at little or no cost.

Most open source operating systems and related tools are low-cost or free for educational use. They come with a variety of useful administration tools and user applications. Open source software is generally free, and so the world of support through the vibrant communities surrounding each piece of software. One only has to look at how well supported Linux has been over the years to see the benefits of using open source tools.

So let’s review.

Fedena  is  Free.  The basic version of Fedena is available for free download.

Fedena is Opensource.  Fedena allows you to edit the source code and make changes of your

Fedena is user  friendly.  The UI/UX of Fedena is done carefully considering the teachers and
parents as users.

Fedena is business friendly. Fedena is license under Apache License 2.0. It allows business to
keep their changes to the source code under their own licenses.

If you’re an administrator at an educational institution and want to take your institution to the next level, contact us today.

(This if the first in a series on a theme of open source education tools)

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