Get a list of websites that use a specific product or technology and put your product in front of them.
Why it's a good idea
Many customers of SaaS products and services have highly correlated technology profiles. Understanding the technology currently in use allows us to estimate:
- Potential budget for the service category
- Current capabilities
- Potential for sales
It also allows us to perform outreach with specificity. If we sell a greatly improved version (say, a free edition, or tailored for a specific niche), we can laser-target our marketing and sales processes to pre-qualified prospects.
To put it simply: “What could you do if you had a list of your competitor’s customers?“
Identify viable technology footprints
The first step is to identify similar technologies, especially those that you offer a valuable benefit over.
If you’re selling a privacy-focused analytics service, you may target Google Analytics users, for example.
One way to find great targets is to watch for significant changes to existing platforms that might cause many users to jump ship or seek alternatives.
Using a tool like BuiltWith allows you to search for a technology and get back a list of websites that use it.
It’s important to note that profiling works both ways — you can begin with the technology and find the targets, or make a list of targets and upload them to see the technologies they use.
The primary use case for this list is for cold email outreach. Once you know who is using your target product, you’ll figure out how to get in touch with them.
Pro tip: One way that we’ve seen this used is to take a list of companies who are using a specific technology and create a custom audience on LinkedIn. You can then run ads against specific roles at these companies, i.e., HR department employees.
If you have a compelling advantage over a particular competitor, and you know what roles your buyers have at specific companies, this strategy seems to be a no-brainer to get your comparison content in front of them.
At the very least, you could use the above LinkedIn audience in addition to cold email outreach for increased visibility.
Enriching your data
Once you have the list of websites that utilize your target technology, you can enrich it with a variety of dimensions, each offering serious advantages.
Our two favorites are:
- Physical address (city, state): Would allow you to reach out to companies within Boston, Mass, that utilize a competitor’s product.
- Keyword: Target only websites that mention accounting.
From there, you’ll need to find individual contacts at each of the companies. Using a contact harvesting service (like Hunter.io) can make this quick and easy, but you’ll still need to validate and verify (and there will always be false positives).
Technology profiling platforms vary in price from a few hundred dollars per month to several thousand, depending on how much data (how many records) and the data’s specificity. BuiltWith starts at $295 per month.
Alternatively, you could use one of the numerous crawling services, which tends to make sense only if you have a list of websites to begin with instead of starting with a list of technologies to find.
Tech and Tools
Technology Profiling Tools
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I'm a developer, marketer, and writer based in Appleton, Wisconsin.