The Organic SaaS Growth Consulting Playbook

How I help SaaS businesses achieve success with organic strategies.

- Ankur Tiwari

Organic SaaS Growth Consulting Playbook by Ankur Tiwari from

Strategic Framework

Organic growth is not just organic traffic; it's the organic nurturing, conversion, retention, and delight of the highest possible proportion of the best fit segment of that organic traffic.

SaaS organic growth stands on six core pillars:

  1. Market
  2. Product
  3. Messaging & Positioning
  4. Economics
  5. Machine
  6. Distribution

Organic growth activities progressively attempt to discover the best fit of these six pillars unique to your business. It leads to product-market fit, sustainable revenue and user growth, and a highly optimized business design.

Organic growth enables you to work closely with prospects and users, dicover new insights that were previously unknown to the market, build trust, and in the process, improve the product, messaging, support, pricing, sales process and all other aspects of your SaaS business.

The biggest advantage of organic growth is the possibility of building a competitive moat at the intersection of low risk, high value, low cost, and medium efforts.

A competitor can copy your Facebook ads, landing page, and even pricing page. Still, it's almost impossible for anyone to copy the best fit of all six core pillars of your SaaS business as it's unique to your business.

Organic growth prepares a SaaS business for efficient exponential growth in the future.

A Note On Paid Ads

I use paid ads primarily for testing purposes.

It is different from digital marketing, which uses paid ads as acquisition channels to bring more traffic, focusing on improving the cost-return equation.

I don't suggest digital marketing for early-stage SaaS businesses before discovering the best fit of the six core pillars. Early reliance on paid ads often leads to inefficient funnel conversions, high acquisition costs, high churn, and low customer lifetime value.

However, I am not opposed to paid ads. I acknowledge their power to reach an audience en masse, and if at any point in time it feels that paid ads are necessary at scale, I will inform you. But again, I am not a paid ads expert.


I can’t tell you at the onset which strategy will succeed for your business. But if you are doing something because ten other people are doing it or it just ‘feels’ right, then that will certainly fail.

When faced with the complexities of the market, haphazard actions lead to bewilderment in no time.

To systematically design growth actions, understand their consequences, and discover the next step, I follow a four-step loop of research, strategies, implementation, and results while tracking feedback at all stages.

It is a time-tested process that offers a reliable approach to growth. It helps quick start growth, get early wins and discover levers for sustainable growth.

You can be a founder-only, one-person business, or a fifteen-person up-and-coming business; the strategic direction of my consulting service depends on the product-market fit:

  1. Pre-PMF: if you have not yet achieved the product-market fit, I recommend building a PMF engine and focusing all strategic initiatives to achieve PMF.
  2. Post-PMF: if you have already achieved the PMF, I recommend focusing on growth and, if needed, improving the PMF.

Month 1: Research & Lowest-Hanging Fruits

Someone has rightly said — “to the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. But generic solutions don’t solve specific problems. Thus I spend the first month carrying out multi-directional research and understanding your business.

Sometimes businesses have opportunities that, when identified, can be leveraged immediately. With this understanding, I diagnose your business and suggest actions to build immediate momentum.

Thus, 360-degree research and strategies to conquer the lowest-hanging fruits are two key activities in the first month.

Here is an inside look of my research process:

  1. Product Demo: A video call where you help me understand your product.
  2. Product Usage: I or/and my research associates use your product ourselves and experience it for at least a few weeks. I also try out a few of your competitors to understand the unique positioning of your product in a competitive landscape.
  3. Internal Interviews: This is where I get on video/audio calls with you and your team (if any). Depending on your team size, I like to gather insight from everyone — founders, sales, marketing, relationship management, engineers, and the customer support team. I record all calls and use them to gather 360-degree insights.
  4. Customer Surveys: If you have customers, I design micro-surveys for them. Then your tech team should build them within the app and nudge users to fill them. In-app surveys are best instead of email surveys as it's best to survey the users while they are interacting with the product. Besides your customers, I also conduct independent market research to uncover potential target markets. It helps you segment the market and direct your growth activities toward the most profitable audience. In the case of a new business, it enables you to determine your first target audience.
  5. Data Science: If you have been in business for quite some time and have users, I would like to churn your product usage data to discover high potential growth levers that are otherwise hidden. I have a data scientist in my team, and they can do magic when it comes to fuelling growth from data. It is usually the most important source of insights for SaaS businesses with users. Product usage data is a goldmine, and I can not emphasize its importance enough.

At the end of this research phase, I will prepare a research report that will:

  1. Talk about your most compelling opportunities, possible paths to realize them, and my recommendations for potential strategies.
  2. Clearly define your most important problems and suggest strategic directions to solve them. It contains the first draft of the growth strategy for your business with long-term goals, short-term milestones, and the roadmap to achieve them.
  3. Strategies to target the lowest-hanging opportunities for quick wins, so we build momentum immediately.

Month 2 to 6: Experiments

After the research phase, I will begin designing and implementing various growth strategies. I focus on the strategies at the intersection of:

  1. Testing of riskiest assumptions
  2. Capturing the lowest-hanging fruit market segment that is also the most profitable one out of all the options
  3. Discovering the best fit of six core pillars

However, the exact nature of these strategies can only be discovered at the end of the research phase.

Note: The first month’s research aims to discover strategic insights and growth levers at the business level. It is not strategy-level research. Whenever I take up a strategy to work on, it will begin with strategy-level research.

For example, suppose at the end of the first month, I suggest that product onboarding has to be improved and content with humor has to be built for acquisition. Say we start working on onboarding in the third month; during that time, I will go deep into onboarding, carry out the necessary research, and move forward. Similarly, if we work on the content in the fourth month, I will conduct the necessary research, like keyword research in the fourth month.

Thought Partnership

This program is not a run-of-the-mill advisory program that usually involves one-way communication. Instead, think of it as a Thought Partnership where I will help you brainstorm growth ideas, challenge constraints-centric POV, and wherever necessary, encourage you to broaden your worldview. Unparalleled opportunities exist at the intersection of correct and up-to-date worldview, strategic clarity, and relentless execution.


  1. I will set up a Trello board for project management and onboard you and your team.
  2. I use Google Drive for data sharing. Links to drive files will be put on Trello, and access will be given to you.
  3. Once a week, I will get on a 30-minute video conferencing call with you and your team. These calls are centered around discussion on:
    • Performance of past experiments - results and analytics.
    • Recalibration in the strategy, if any, in the wake of past results.
    • Challenges, if any, that your team is facing in implementing the strategies.
    • A view on metrics and KPIs, understanding if we are in sync with long-term goals.
    • Discussion on the design and implementation of next strategies.
  4. Most of the work is asynchronous so that everyone can do deep work.
  5. All the communication will take place on Trello. I check Trello three times a day.
  6. I am not available on phone calls, WhatsApp, or other modes of instant communication. Instead of a fast response time, expect carefully designed, massively impactful strategies.
  7. I will carry out the research, design strategies, create content, design experiments, and so on.
  8. Your tech team will implement the strategies and share the results with us so that we can improve upon them.
  9. The table below shows the growth activity-wise general breakup of work between our team and your team.
    • The second column contains the list of growth activities that I usually work on for clients. It is a general list instead of being an exhaustive list and it is not specific to your business.
    • The third column mentions the deliverables for me. It details out the work I will do for you and the format in which I will deliver the project to you.
    • The fourth column shows the action steps for your team.
    • Sometimes, clients ask me to help them with their part of the work. I've expertise in some of them, and they are listed in column five. These activities are billed separately.
# Activities Thoughtlytics Deliverables Client Deliverables Other Services (Billed Extra)
1 Growth Strategy A document containing research findings, opportunities and growth strategy. Plus growth model spreadsheet. (Also, positioning and messaging, if applicable.)
1 Content Strategy A comprehensive content strategy within the Thoughtlytics app and in a Google doc.
2 Content Writing Blog posts in google docs Upload the blog on the website
3 Content Distribution Social posts, emails, and other forms of contents in a google sheet
4 Email sequences Emails copy in a google doc Set up the drip campaigns in the software of your choice
5 Experiments Hypothesis and experiments in google sheets + google docs Run the experiments and A/B tests and share the result with us periodically. Suggest software to run experiments and, if needed, work with developers to set up and run those experiments.
6 User Interface (UI) Wireframes and images in jpg, png format Implement those UI
7 Data Science Churn the product usage data to discover deep growth levers Provide data in the required format End-to-end transformation - getting you data ready i.e. data systems, pipeline etc.
8 Marketing Website Design Copy and wireframes in a google doc + images Design of web pages Design of web pages (Webflow or HTML+CSS)
9 Referral program design Research and program design in google sheet and google doc Software implementation of the referral program
10 Community Building Market segment research, Recommendation on the platform to build community Day to day management and growth of the community Day to day management and growth of the community
11 Funnel Design Funnel design, copy, and wireframes/mockups of web pages in Google doc and sheet Creation of web pages and implementation of funnels on the website Creation of web pages and implementation of funnels on the website
12 Surveys Questionnaire design Implement the surveys within the app or create standalone surveys using tools like Google forms
13 Analytics Stack Recommendations on analytics stack, setting up of events etc. Setting up the analytics stack Setting up the analytics stack
14 Video Marketing Video strategy and scripts Video production, either in-house or by any third party. Video production


  1. Timely implementation of strategies like setting up and sending surveys, updating landing pages, implementation of experimentation, and so on, for strategies work only to the extent of their execution.
  2. Timely sharing of data — results of experiments, results of surveys, analytics data etc. It will help us to be agile and fine-tune the strategies.
  3. Access to use your product to me or/and my research associates.


  1. A minimum of 3 months of engagement is needed to provide tangible results.
  2. $3500 per month to be paid at the beginning of each month.