Viral Marketing for B2B SaaS Founders

This is the fifth chapter of the B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook

“If something is built to show, it’s built to grow.”

Action Items

1. Add your Brand to Customer Work


‘made with’

Glide apps are branded while users are on the free plan. This allows Glide to leverage the marketing efforts of their free users.


Mailchimp’s email footer creates a viral effect. The company reaches their customers’ customers by adding the linked logo to the bottom of emails.

Branding can be removed on premium plans. But premium users are incentivized to keep the footer with an affiliate program. (Page)


WordPress Branding

WordPress turns customers into billboards by adding branding to their sites. The first two paying tiers of WordPress customers are unable to opt-out of branding. The two latter tiers can remove WordPress branding from their sites. (Page)


Intercom’s logo is displayed on the corner of customer sites. The company leverages their customers to raise brand awareness. Many prospects come to Intercom as warm leads that are familiar with the brand and how the product works. (Page)


Intercom Message

Intercom displays a message during conversations that customers have with leads.

Clicking on the message takes users to an Intercom landing page.

This viral strategy is extremely effective with Intercom’s B2B customers. These are businesses that serve other businesses. Some of these businesses will find value in a tool like Intercom. (Intercom Tag)


Sent via Superhuman

Superhuman’s email signature is a status signal and virality tactic. (Post)


‘Made in Webflow’

A ‘Made in Webflow’ badge is added to all sites designed on Webflow. The company uses friction to keep the badge in place.

The badge must be manually removed. The presence of the badge means that each user can lead to more users. Paying customers must manually turn this feature off. (Webflow Branding)


Airtable Forms

Free and Plus Airtable plans include branding on forms. Airtable users must purchase Pro or Enterprise plans to remove the branding. (Page)

2. Use Customer Networks to Promote



Glide app creators receive prominent promotion on Glide’s website by entering the showcase. To enter the showcase, users must tweet their app to their personal networks along with the #madewithglide hashtag. This strategy allows Glide to leverage their users’ networks to grow.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is zapier-banner-860x310.png


Partners Promote Integrations

Zapier’s partner kit guides developers through the process of promoting their app on the platform.

Developers help Zapier grow by pointing their users to the platform. Zapier benefits from the growth of all the businesses in their ecosystem.

The more popular an app gets, the more people want to connect it to other apps. This strategy means that Zapier benefits from the work of hundreds of marketing teams. (Partner Kit)

3. Make Sharing Easy


Sharing Notion

Collaboration tools are inherently viral. Notion takes full advantage of this by making it easy to share documents with others.

Notion also caters to enterprise customers, where usage often spreads throughout an organization. (Sharing)

Luke Burgis Blog Post


Invites as Currency

Superhuman’s invite system acts as an unpaid affiliate program. Users are compensated in status instead of dollars.

Those who receive invites can skip the waiting list. Luke Burgis leveraged his ability to invite users as social currency. (Post)


Workspace Collaboration

Airtable established a viral loop by allowing users to invite others to collaborate on spreadsheets. (Page)

4. Build a Social Tool


Zoom Video

As a communication tool, Zoom lends itself to virality. The value of Zoom lies in connecting two or more people. (Post)


Public Airtable Bases

Public spreadsheets help Airtable grow by increasing brand visibility. Anyone who views a public spreadsheet becomes familiar with the brand and how the product works. (Page)


Positive ROI from Free Users

Chapter 3 discusses freemium marketing and how SaaS companies use free forever plans as lead magnets.

Some companies also leverage free users as billboards to spread the word about their own products.

Most B2B SaaS companies have extremely low marginal costs to serving new users. They can create nearly infinite upside by adding their branding to the projects of free users.

This allows companies, like Glide, to extract value from free users by piggybacking on their marketing efforts.

Viral Marketing = Social Proof Marketing

All viral marketing tactics ARE social proof marketing tactics but all social proof tactics DO NOT lead to viral growth.

When a company adds testimonials to it’s website to increase conversion rates, this is social proof marketing. But it does not lead to viral growth.

When Peter shares a cool product experience with Tom, this acts social proof AND leads viral growth. Chances are that Tom will share the story with two more friends.

Social Tools are Inherently Viral

Communication tools are only valuable when used by two or more people.

Therefore, Zoom is an inherently viral product. Users are incentivized to get others to adopt the tool so that they can communicate. Self-interest drives Zoom users to assist the company with growth.

The Book

This is the fifth chapter of the B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook