Very unique opportunity to acquire a unique, patented SaaS product that is making use of the Amazon Alexa device for marketing related to your WordPress website. Ideal for a SaaS marketing guru or a firm with complementary software who can take this to the next level.
Watch the video below to learn a bit more about the business
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background? How did you start with this project?
I have been starting and running technology businesses since 1982. I try to identify new exciting hardware that does not have easy-to-use software for a large user base. There are now close to 300 Million Alexa devices in use and over 3 Billion Alexa Ready devices… The problem is that it’s very difficult and time consuming for small businesses to use Alexa voice to inform, engage, sell and support their customers and community
So… We developed an easy one-click method for any small business using a WordPress website to create their own Alexa Voice presence. They can even send messages directly to Alexa devices. Sort of like MailChimp for Alexa. Except these messages have over a 90% open rate.
This seems like a relatively unique and sophisticated tech. What sort of team or knowledge would the new owner need to keep this operational and continue to develop upgrades in the future?
This sale includes the team that created the technology and they are excited about moving to the next level. We have a technology road map that continues to add value for users while adding higher priced monthly subscription levels to increase revenue.
Have you marketed this product yet? How did you come across so many leads?
As we stated in the Shoutworks listing, we are more technology people than marketing people. We have built an awesome way for small businesses to use the Alexa Voice but we have really not done any digital marketing. It’s just not our expertise.
That said, from the beginning we identified an initial target market of WordPress websites. There are over 450 Million of them. We knew that a way to market to these website owners/administrators would be essential. So simultaneous to the product development we started building an eMail leads database of WordPress website owner/administrators. We targeted businesses with lower or negligible COVID disruption (avoiding businesses like restaurants, dentists, and anything in the travel sector). Our researchers identified leads which we have onboarded then engaged with a periodic newsletter. We have over 1 Million data points related to user engagement with that newsletter and our current onboarded list is over 700,000 eMail addresses. Now all we need is a solid digital marketing team to create and implement the strategy to turn those leads into paying subscribers.
Is there competition within this industry? Others doing something similar? How protective are your tech patents?
The only competition is from tools that help designers create Alexa Voice Skills (Amazon calls apps for the Alexa Skills). Using these tools is a difficult and costly process requiring significant technical skills. Then… When the Skill is submitted to Amazon for publication and inclusion in the Skill directory there is usually a high probability it will be rejected because it does not conform to the many design guidelines. Using these tools, if a Skill is ever approved it can take many approval cycles.
With Shoutworks the user just downloads the WordPress Plugin, gets a Shoutworks License code, picks a name for their Skill, then clicks the Create Skill button. Within minutes they can hear their content on their Alexa and actually send Voice notifications. When they add, edit, or change content those changes almost instantly are available on Alexa Devices.
The Shoutworks patent covers the end-to-end process of creating a voice application from WordPress or any web-based platform.
You never know how protective a patent can be until someone challenges it. But this is my sixth Patent and in my experience, these type of patents can be enough to discourage competition.
Are there any regulations from Amazon as to how this tech can be used with their devices?
Yes… Lots of intricate rules and procedures. That’s why people need Shoutworks. We automatically and invisibly navigate those to get Skills talking within minutes.
Do you have any recommendations for the new owner on how to scale this business?
Everything is in place to signup, charge, and operate the service. We have paying users. What is needed most is a Phased marketing campaign that leverages the 700,000+ eMail list and develops a repeatable funnel. Then in follow-on phases marketing programs could expand to other possible top of funnel alternatives. Finding the right marketing messages and calls to action will be the key.
With the right Digital Marketing-savvy Shoutworks company buyer we would be open to a sale price partially based on future revenues generated by the service and the eMail list.