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Nevo David

How companies get hot leads in open-source

May 11, 2024

Nevo David

Many open-source companies face a significant problem:
They don’t know how to talk to their customers or their ICP (ideal customer profile).

The classic example will be Wing.

Wing is an open-source (self-hosted tool) - MIT you install on your computer. People who use Wing don’t need to talk to anybody. They just:

npm install Wing
And start developing.

Of course, every person can add a book or a call on the website, but how many people will actually use it? (Hint: not a lot)

Every person that doesn’t schedule a call you miss:

  • Customer Discovery - understand what’s stopping them from using Wing and assist them to use Wing.

  • Potential customers - offer them deals to start adopting Wing for their company.

Shai from Wing managed to go into 10+ discovery meetings in one week 🙈
I will share some of Shai tactics and other methods you can use.

You can catch people between different stages of their product adoption. We will start from the very early to the most motivated.

People who just heard about your product

This category will usually fill up faster - but will not always give you potential customers.

# Tip one: Waiting lists:
People always have a fear of missing out - developers, too. We have tried to drive people from waiting lists with multiple companies, and it works amazingly. Notable things we ask in the forms:

  • Email

  • Organization Name

  • What are you planning to build

  • Budget

  • Role

  • Working for: Myself / The Company (my favorite)

If you know that you are releasing your product/cloud or anything on a specific date, you can add a bit of FOMO. For example, we are looking for 100 people, and registration ends at X.

# Tip two: Welcome email
If your product has a cloud or any form of registration, you can automate it with a welcome email to schedule a call. This usually has a low conversion rate, but it is still good for slightly more motivated users.

# Tip three: Live chats and Discord
Add live chats for both the website and your product. When somebody wants to ask a question related to features, bugs, or usage, you can always schedule a meeting.

# Tip four: Webinars
I have seen many webinars where people invest a lot in bringing the audience together and creating valuable content but forget the most important thing - getting leads. You can push people to book a call after the webinar. Alternatively, you can see who attended and connect with them later.

People who have already started using your product

# Tip one: CLI Tools:

Wing created a cool command for their CLI tool wing it app.w It takes your application and shows a playground of all its services. You have to register to use the simulator. The nice thing about it is that you get people to the stage where they have done more than just registering - you talk to people who are using the product.

# Tip two: CRMs like Common room

With Commonroom, you can see the GitHub accounts using your product. The best part is that you can see if multiple people from the same company are using the product and connect with them.

# Tip three: Scarf Analytics

You can add Scarf Analytics to your packages to get information about people, such as companies, cities, countries, etc. Please make sure you inform your users when you use it, as it can be a bit intrusive.

How to reach out to people

It’s tempting to send an email because that’s something you will mostly get through all the channels. But I feel that it’s very impersonal.

Instead, hire somebody on Upwork to do some leads enrichment - give you all the missing details such as company name, size, etc. And their social media account.

It depends on where they are active, so try to connect with them.
My biggest recommendation is LinkedIn because if you send somebody a message on X and they haven’t followed you back, the message goes to the “Other” inbox.

Enhance your outreach. If you will automate the process, feel free to use software like Hyperise, which can make the message look 10x more personalized.

This is all for this week.

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