Automation for Humans is a blog about marketing automation with a human twist, and Encharge is the product we're building.

Check end of post for photo details

I'm Kalo, a software entrepreneur from Sofia, Bulgaria.

My background is in digital design working for big boys like the UK Gov, Microsoft, and Virgin but my fascination was always lying beyond moving pixels. Back in 2016, I launched HeadReach, my first micro-SaaS business. Grew it to 7k users and a couple of hundred customers and recently sold it to one of our lead competitors.

Flash forward to late 2018, I'm working with Slav — my technical co-founder, a good friend of mine and former CTO of PostPlanner — on our next big thing. Encharge is a simple but powerful marketing automation tool.

Something that is easy to set up by the marketers, but also personalized and human-like for the end customers.

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What is this blog all about?

Firstly, this blog is about marketing automation formulas that work.

My fascination with automation started with HeadReach.

When you run a self-serve, low value/high volume SaaS product, you don't have a lot of wiggle room for pricey growth experiments. As trivial as it sounds, you have to be lean. While VC-funded startups could afford long CAC (customer acquisition cost) payback periods, I had to keep our expenses to a zero. All that while building an excellent customer experience.

I turned over to marketing automation to create personalized communication and value for our customers. And while HeadReach didn't turn out to be "the company of my life" I learned a lot along the way.

We were running HeadReach on a well-oiled automation engine. From top funnel acquisition to retention tactics, I didn't have to do a single in-person demo (not that I'm advising you not to talk to your customers.)

Marketing automation was the cardiovascular system of our little startup.

After that, I helped a few other early-stage products to grow beyond ramen-profitability into very decent lifestyle businesses by using the battle-tested marketing frameworks and tactics from HeadReach and my previous projects.

Within 3 months of working with Kalo we grew our revenue almost 3 times and increased our conversion rate with over 60%.
Ivan Nikolchov, Co-founder Simvoly

I'd like to share this knowledge here with you.

Secondly, this blog is about transparency.

I was very fortunate to attend not one but two live lectures by Patrick from PriceIntelligently (brilliant guy, make sure to Google him). I learned a lot from him, but one slide really stuck with me:

Click here for the whole presentation.

The market is becoming increasingly more saturated, switch costs smaller and people generally don't care about features anymore. In other words — online products are getting commoditized.

As scary as this sounds, I think being transparent is a great way for bootstrapped businesses like HeadReach and Encharge to stand out. Leave the business babble and boring reports to the big guys and show your real face. That's why you're going to see my face a lot here (..and partly because I'm a bit narcissistic, too.)

But what I'm trying to say is that we're going to go out on a limb here and share all the ugly (and hopefully some beautiful) stories of building a company from scratch. And what we hope with Slav is that the value economy will reward us with an audience to learn from.  

How can you help us?

If marketing automation excites you, I'd love to speak to you. Please drop me a line on [email protected]. We're looking for people to talk to. Not selling anything at this stage.

Also, make sure to subscribe for early access to Encharge if you haven't done it, yet.

Keep hustling,
Kalo

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Photo Details:

  1. Pioneers Festival
  2. With David Darmanin - CEO/founder Hotjar
  3. Graduated YC Startup School with HeadReach
  4. With Steli Efti - CEO/founder Close.io
  5. At the Xawards
  6. With Slav - my co-founder of Encharge
  7. Silicon Valley - favorite geek series
  8. Cool stuff at the Pioneers
  9. Mentoring at the Startup Weekend