My attempt at starting a SaaS product

A little over a year ago I really started looking into products I could build as a little side project. One of my ideas at the time was CampaignPro, a tool for managing marketing briefs within agencies.

I spent ages designing, getting feedback and building presentations for this project but ultimately didn’t end up developing it. For reasons I’ll explain throughout this article.

What is CampaignPro

CampaignPro allowed users to create, manage and distribute marketing briefs in minutes. It provided a drag and drop platform for account managers to build briefs and then a way to automate who in your team the brief would be sent to.

Brief Templates

CampaignPro had a selection of brief templates to help speed up your teams briefing. They had everything that you need to plan campaigns on the world’s most popular marketing platforms.

The CampaignPro Dashboard in Light Mode

CampaignPro Blocks

Blocks would’ve allowed you to drag prebuilt sections into your campaign briefs. For example, If you are running a campaign that involves Google Search Ads you can drag and drop the ‘Search Ads Block’ from the sidebar and it will populate the brief with everything needed for that type of campaign.

The CampaignPro home page in light mode

Briefing Automation

If you’re wanting to speed up the setup of campaigns, then CampaignPro flows would’ve helped you out. Flows allow you to plan the progression of a brief through copywriters, designers, marketers, etc.

CampaignPro flow diagram demo

Tools I used to setup CampaignPro

  1. Adobe XD - My program of choice for designing anything
  2. Ahrefs - An awesome SEO tool which helped me focus my content strategy
  3. LinkedIn Campaign Manager
  4. Google Ads
  5. Apollo - A very cool tool for generating email lists
  6. - An incredible email marketing and automation tool I picked up on Appsumo years ago for about £50
Adobe XD screenshot showing the design of CampaignPro

Why this project?

While working in multiple agencies I noticed that briefing was a common bottleneck. People often found it hard to create detailed briefs especially if they weren’t that familiar with certain ad platforms. It was also then even harder to track the progress of the brief. That was what I aimed to solve with CampaignPro.

How far did I get?

I did market research, built a website and designed the tool. I had even started running Google and LinkedIn ads to the site in order to see if people would sign up. I think it only got about 3 sign ups before I stopped working on the project.

I even managed to get people interested in the investing in the project but it was for very small amounts of money and at the time I didn’t feel confident enough in myself to pursue the project with investor money.

How I was marketing CampaignPro

I initially didn’t want to spend anything on advertising so wanted to focus on email marketing and SEO.

For SEO I started researching low keyword difficulty keywords relating to briefing, what to include in briefs, how to make an effective marketing brief, etc. I then released an article per week while I was designing the product.

For email marketing I used Apollo to generate a list of marketing executives and managers who I would then place in an email list in Encharge. I could then use the blog content I was writing add some more promotional paragraphs and send to those users. This was how I got my first few early sign ups.

Why did I stop?

I stopped working on CampaignPro when I realised what a mammoth task developing the tool would be. I’m not a particularly good developer, I understand the logical side of it but struggle with syntax and choosing a programming language to develop a project in.

Future plans

I think I may try this project again in the future but for now I’m leaving the website live and not continuing to develop the idea. I have other projects I may start up soon but thanks to CampaignPro I’m now more sure of what I can do and what I would need to get help on to develop a project.

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