Mike Slaats, the founder of Upvoty, has been working on his SaaS startup which helps the companies to see all the feedback and modify their product accordingly. In this interview for MarkUpgrade, Mike talks about the original source of inspiration for starting Upvoty, what’s the meaning behind the brand name and what’s the best advice to entrepreneurs who are wondering whether to invest in the perfect domain match for their brand.
Mike, please tell us how was the idea born for Upvoty?
We actually build Upvoty because of our own needs. In our previous business, we needed a way to collect and manage feedback in a more efficient way. When we searched for a proper tool we really couldn’t find any that both looked good and was affordable in pricing. So, we decided to build one ourselves.
Where did you get the name of your brand from?
We came up with the name after the team did a whiteboard session at the office. We combined different words that were related to feedback, upvoting, features, etc. Eventually, Upvoty was the one that was unanimously chosen as our brand name.
When and how did you get the domain Upvoty.com? What was important for you when picking a domain name for your brand?
Luckily for us, Upvoty.com was still available! So we didn’t have to purchase it. I believe it’s still very important to have a .com domain name. So that was definitely one of the requirements in picking our brand name.
Who is your typical customer?
Most of our customers are subscription-focused or SaaS-focused companies. We notice that mainly product-owned companies are interested in gathering feedback and communicating new product launches and updates. Upvoty is purely made for that.
How do you reach your clients? Where is your brand image in that process, and how do you keep it consistent across channels?
We focus a lot on content marketing. We believe that with the right message, you can target the right audience. So, we’re focusing a lot on content for product-focused companies with our blog posts and recently we even released a free e-book on how we grew from $0 to $1,000 MRR. Our brand is very important in a more and more crowded market full of feedback tools. We differentiate ourselves from the others with our cute little character which is present on all of our channels.
What plays the most important role in people finding you online?
Because we focus a lot on content marketing, our SEO is the most important channel. The good thing about our brand and domain name is that we immediately stand out against a lot of competitors with .io and .co domain names.
Feedback has always played a crucial role in any product or service development, yet many companies don’t have a structured way of collecting feedback and systemizing the data they get. How do you educate your potential clients about the importance of feedback? What role do your brand name and image play in that process?
While it’s true that feedback is always a crucial part of any product’s growth, we do see a lot of companies that aren’t just spending a lot of time really talking to their customers. We try to reach potential clients by providing them valuable content on our blog, not only by promoting a way to use feedback tool but also by really explaining that customer feedback is there to inform your product, not to make decisions. I think because we’re providing these helpful articles, our brand is benefitting from it.
What branding project has challenged you the most so far in your career? What did you learn from these challenges and what would you do differently from today’s perspective?
My biggest lesson learned was with another startup of mine where we didn’t have a clear branding strategy. Our brand name was too generic, our logo wasn’t unique, and our domain name wasn’t a .com. Based on that experience and what we’re experiencing now with Upvoty, I can definitely tell a good name and cool brand can help you reach more people because people are willing to follow you, share your content, and become ambassadors. Our biggest challenge for Upvoty was, and still is, social media marketing. We’re constantly trying out new content formats such as memes, inspiring posts, or behind-the-scenes posts. We’re learning on the go.
What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are wondering whether to invest in the perfect domain match for their brand?
I would say a perfect domain isn’t necessarily when you’re just starting out. It’s really all about validating the idea first. But if you have the possibility to start with a great domain name from the start, you’ll benefit from it later. Because in the end, you’ll definitely need one.
What should your global audience expect from you now, what’s next for Upvoty?
We are working very hard to make Upvoty a more competitive feedback managing tool for teams, big and small. That’s why we’re launching on a lot of integrations with common workflow tools such as Slack, Intercom, Zapier, and Drift. Besides gathering feedback, we want our users to communicate launches and updates in the best way possible. That’s why we’ve also recently launched our Changelog. We have a lot of things on our roadmap, so we’ll keep on evolving into a more and more advanced customer feedback tool.
We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat with someone about the process, book a free consultation at Mark Upgrade. We are always happy to hear from you.