Product Campaigns: The Primary PLS Tactic

There are 4 types of product campaigns: Sign up, handraiser, overage, and usage.

👋 Hey, Drew here! Welcome to TheProductLed’s first guest post edition where I asked someone I enjoy learning from to write something they're passionate about.

Katya Fuentes is someone I came across on LinkedIn in the Elena Verna club of algorithmic chaos 😉. We immediately enjoyed chatting and nerding out on PLG. She’s been producing awesome content on PLG for over a year now, we’ve collaborated on a couple of things as she currently works at Amplitude. Enjoy!

For much more from Katya, be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn and subscribe to her Substack newsletter.

Imagine a world where your product sells itself... sounds like magic? It's possible.

Welcome to the era of Product-Led Sales (PLS), where channel-based and product campaigns are changing the game.

In this blog, we’ll unpack product campaigns as the primary PLS strategy.

By leveraging the inherent strengths of your product, this strategy zeroes in on users who are most likely to convert.

This is achieved by identifying high-intent leads and escalating those users from free to paid plans as they experience the value of your product (the aha moment), build a habit, and then handing them off to the sales team.

This approach substantially decreases the dependence on traditional sales techniques, enabling sales teams to concentrate their efforts on leads with the highest intent and potential ROI, rather than engaging with a broad spectrum of prospects.

There are 2 types of PLS campaigns:

  • Channel-based campaigns (email, in-product, etc)

  • Product campaigns

Throughout this newsletter, we'll cover the second type of PLS campaign: product campaigns. I will define them, go over the main four types of product campaigns, and how you can build your own with a comprehensive product-led sales strategy.

What’s a Product Campaign?

Product campaigns are the most effective PLS growth strategy. They are centered around identifying high-intent leads after users recognize the value of your product. They leverage the users most willing to monetize.

The ability to monetize them is based on key indicators: how they use the product, their interest in premium features (engagement with paywalls or pricing pages), and their realization that there’s more value to unlock (monetization awareness).

When you identify the highest-intent leads, your sales team will focus on closing them.

The 4 Types of Product Campaigns

There are 4 types of product campaigns:

  • Sign up campaigns

  • Hand raiser campaigns

  • Overage campaigns

  • PQAs or usage campaigns

👋 Sign up Campaigns

Sign up campaigns are your lowest intent and highest volume of leads.

The audiences of sign up campaigns are when you bucket users based on where they came from (e.x demo sign-ups, new user invites).

There are three key reasons why these campaigns are valuable:

  • Identifying Effective Acquisition Channels: They help you figure out which sources of user acquisition are most effective and lead to monetization.

  • Tailoring Messaging: Knowing where users came from might help you tailor your monetization awareness or sales copy.

  • Early Relationship Building: Account Executives (AEs) can start building relationships with these organizations earlier in the user journey, setting the stage for more successful conversions down the line.

🙋‍♀️ Hand Raiser Campaigns

This is your highest-intent, but medium-volume type of campaign.

Since this campaign type has the warmest leads, teams must jump on those ASAP.

This group of users might have clicked on ‘Contact Us’ on one of the product’s paywall or pricing page CTAs to have a higher usage limit, more outcomes or feature differentiation.

Airtable's pricing page CTA - example

⛔️ Overage Campaigns

Orgs that go over their usage limit can be considered for an overage campaign. Usually, these are high intent but lower volume.

For example, exceeding your MTU usage limit in Amplitude counts as an overage.

Leveraging the “why” behind the overage can support your PLS outreach tactic by suggesting the customer needs assistance moving up to a higher usage limit and needs more advanced platform capabilities.

Some hand-raiser audiences do come from overage experiences. Those who hit an overage may have a higher risk of churning too. It’s smart to identify these quickly.

🩻 Usage or PQA Campaigns

This campaign type is a mix of art and science. It's not as straightforward as others.

Those users didn't raise their hands to talk to sales (TTS). Instead, you figured out they're ready to monetize based on some of their attributes, properties, and actions they’ve taken in your product.

Those accounts are called Product-Qualified Accounts (PQAs), and the leads within those accounts are called (PQLs).

💡 A Product-Qualified Account (PQA) is an existing or potential customer who meets some objective scoring criteria that signals that sales team involvement is necessary for monetization.

🏗️ Building Your PQA Model

In order to build your PQA model, you need to answer the question, ‘Which account-level properties or behaviors indicate that an account is ready to buy?’

There are at least 2 ways how to can build your PQA model:

  • Using 3rd party tools: you can use PLS tools like Madkudu, Pocus, Breadcrumbs, or others.

  • In-house: do your own analysis, and build it from the ground up.

Here are the 9 high-level steps on how you can build your own PQA model:

  • Step 1: Do a closed won analysis.

    • Answer questions:

      • What did your users do 6 months prior to an upgrade?

      • Who were these orgs? (attributes, properties)

      • How many users were on average active in an org in the last 6 months?

      • What was their usage in the last 6 months?

      • Did they encounter any paywalls? How many times did they visit the pricing page in on average weekly in the last 6 months?

      • Did they collaborate with others in their org? (how many users per org, sharing links)

  • Step 2: Evaluate the value metrics reached of how you escalate users from tier to tier

  • Step 3: Define your PQA signals based on your analysis

  • Step 4: Create your Amplitude cohort

  • Step 5: Create a new SFDC campaign

    • Name your campaign

    • Give clear instructions on handling those leads and a response or sequence template to sales.

    • It’s NOT a handraiser, so don’t check that empty box off

  • Step 6: Sync your SFDC campaign and your Amplitude cohort

  • Step 7: Launch it 🎉

  • Step 8: Keep a close feedback loop with sales

  • Step 9: Track volume and performance daily or weekly and iterate as needed.

Wrapping Up

We’ve identified the 4 key types of product campaigns: Sign Up, Hand Raiser, Overage, and PQA or Usage Campaigns, as well as the steps for creating a Product-Qualified Accounts (PQA) model in-house.

During my growth journey at Amplitude, I quickly realized that the future of PLS is moving towards product campaigns as an additional layer to channel-based campaigns.

This shift in PLS represents a new era in growth and sales strategy, leveraging product value for organic user conversion based on the user’s maturity and actions, moving beyond traditional sales methods.

Thank you, Katya!

For much more from Katya, connect with her on LinkedIn and read her Substack newsletter.

See you in the next edition of TheProductLed’s monthly guest newsletter.

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