Want to Increase Your SaaS Leads? Learn How Chanty Used Their Main Competitor to Drive 10,000 Signups

A David vs. Goliath Story

Imagine you‘re a small startup with a helpful product in a huge market. The only problem? That market is completely dominated by an entrenched competitor with massive brand recognition and deep pockets.

What do you do? How can you get noticed and attract customers when everyone automatically thinks of the market leader?

Chanty, a team collaboration app, found themselves in this exact dilemma. Their biggest rival Slack has over 12 million daily active users and 65 of the Fortune 100 companies as customers. Slack is synonymous with team chat.

Slack market share and usage statistics

Competing against those numbers, that level of name recognition, seemed impossible. But Chanty had a secret weapon – the power of organic search. They realized that not all of Slack‘s users were satisfied. Many were actually searching for alternatives, as these keyword stats show:

Keyword Monthly Search Volume
slack alternatives 4,400
slack competitors 3,600
slack vs teams 2,900
best slack alternative 1,900

By creating landing pages and blog content targeting these keywords, Chanty was able to get in front of Slack users at the exact moment they were looking to switch tools. And the results were incredible – over 10,000 new leads in just a few months.

Here‘s exactly how they did it (and how you can too).

Step 1: Uncover the Right Keyword Opportunities

The foundation of Chanty‘s competitor-focused lead gen strategy was keyword research. Using tools like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner, they looked for search terms that included:

  • Their competitor‘s brand name (Slack)
  • Comparison-related words like "alternatives", "competitors", "vs"

The sweet spot was keywords that had a good amount of search volume but weren‘t insanely competitive. For example, "slack alternatives" gets searched 4400 times per month and has a keyword difficulty score of 19. That means it‘s very possible to rank on page 1.

Screenshots of keyword research for slack alternatives

Step 2: Create Detailed, Authentic Comparison Content

Once Chanty knew which keywords to target, they started creating in-depth comparison guides and listicles. The key was to make the content genuinely helpful and unbiased.

Rather than just bashing Slack, Chanty‘s posts acknowledged its strengths while highlighting areas where Chanty outperformed. They included side-by-side feature comparisons, pricing breakdowns, and authentic user reviews.

For example, this post on the best Slack alternatives includes a detailed feature table:

Table comparing Slack alternatives feature-by-feature

And a balanced look at Slack‘s pros and cons:

"Slack has earned its place at the top of the team chat market by offering an intuitive, fully-featured product. For many teams, it‘s an excellent solution. However, some organizations might prefer a cheaper, more streamlined tool. That‘s where alternatives like Chanty come in."

By providing this type of objective analysis alongside self-promotion, Chanty established trust with readers. People could see they weren‘t just trying to poach customers with an inferior product.

Step 3: Capture Leads Within the Content

Comparison content attracts people with high purchase intent. They‘re aware of the market leader but actively looking for other options. Chanty capitalized on this by embedding multiple conversion opportunities within each post:

  • Inline calls-to-action prompting a free trial signup
  • Exit intent popovers with special discount offers
  • Comprehensive sign-up forms at the end of the content

A CTA to try Chanty for free

The key is to give readers an easy, immediate next step once you‘ve convinced them to consider trying an alternative solution. Strike while the iron is hot!

Step 4: Build Links to Boost Rankings

Creating the content is only half the battle. To drive traffic (and leads), Chanty needed their comparison pages to rank highly for the target keywords.

The main ranking factor? Backlinks from other authoritative sites. Chanty used proven link building tactics like:

  • Guest posting on relevant blogs (and linking back to their comparison content)
  • Partnering with review sites to get included in their "best of" lists
  • Reaching out to bloggers who had written about Slack and asking for a link

Graph of Chanty's backlink growth over time

Thanks to these efforts, Chanty‘s comparison pages climbed onto page one for nearly all of their target keywords. Organic traffic shot up and so did conversions. In Q3 2021 alone, Chanty added over 6,000 new leads directly from their "slack alternatives" content.

Landing Page Leads Generated
best-slack-alternatives 3,692
chanty-vs-slack 1,127
why-switch-from-slack-to-chanty 889

Adapting to a Changing Competitive Landscape

As you might expect, Chanty‘s success didn‘t go unnoticed. Competitors started copying their strategy. Suddenly, the SERP for "slack vs [competitor]" was getting crowded.

Instead of trying to beat them, Chanty decided to join them. They reached out to other smaller Slack alternatives and proposed a "co-opetition" approach. By featuring each other in their comparison content and linking to each other‘s sites, they elevated the whole category of Slack alternatives.

Slack alternatives cross-promoting each other

These efforts kept the leads flowing even as the space got more competitive. Chanty found that searchers were perfectly happy to click through and sign up for whichever Slack alternative they found first. A rising tide lifted all boats.

Your Competitor-Based Lead Gen Action Plan

Chanty‘s journey offers a powerful playbook for any SaaS business trying to chip away at a large, dominant competitor:

  1. Dig for keyword gold. Analyze what the competitor‘s unsatisfied customers are searching for. Make a list of relevant keywords with decent search volume and reasonable difficulty.
  2. Build authentic content. Create detailed, balanced content that showcases your product as a legitimate alternative. Give readers enough info to encourage a switch.
  3. Optimize for conversions. Place signup CTAs strategically within the content to capture lead information while purchase intent is high. Make it frictionless to convert.
  4. Promote the heck out of it. Build links to boost the content‘s ranking and visibility. The higher you rank, the more leads you‘ll get. Explore partnerships to expand your reach.
  5. Adapt & expand. As the competitive landscape shifts, so should your strategy. Look for opportunities to create complementary content with other market challengers.

With Chanty‘s strategy, you can turn having a massive competitor from a weakness into a strength. Go after their dissatisfied customers, give them a clear alternative, and watch your business grow!