This week we feature Sven Kapudija, Founder of The Basetrip. The Basetrip allows travelers to find, explore and compare information for over 650 cities and 230 countries worldwide.
In this interview, you can read more about his work at The Basetrip, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.
Your location: Lisbon, Portugal / Zagreb, Croatia.
Your favorite gadget: Nexus 5X.
You start your day with: NOT-turning-on any devices until I had my breakfast.
Your favorite time-saving trick: turning off notifications >more productive > more time saved.
Your top 3 blogs you read daily: I don’t really read any blog daily but I like to sometimes watch Gary Vaynerchuck and check out the Jason Fried & David Heinemeier (37Signals/ Basecamp) guys.
Describe an average day at The Basetrip?
The day starts pretty standard — going through the inbox and responding to everything that isn’t blocked and can be responded right away, while other emails are snoozed until later in the day or for another day (snooze in Inbox by Gmail is awesome for this).
Within emails, we also have an email that is sent by the LightReports (note: that is our tool that we used internally and recently exposed for everyone to use) for getting a daily overview across all of our services like Google Analytics stats, social network & SEO stats, API users & payments, sent remind me emails to users (note: remind me emails are the emails users are opting in on The Basetrip when they are not traveling at the moment, but will soon — so we can remind them of The Basetrip exactly at the right time), any bug reports that came in etc. It is pretty lightweight and serves more like an overview and we open specific tools only when something is not right — for example number of bugs drastically increased overnight.
After responding to emails & getting a good overview we start going through the Trello board to analyze the features and things that need to be done — everything from design, coding, marketing to business outreach. And then getting it done throughout the day — one by one.
As a founder, what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?
Turning off email, slack, mobile, really any notification(s) possible — it made me much more productive because I can get a good chunk of my time for a specific task. It works beautifully! It’s true that some emails won’t be answered within minutes but within hours, but that’s OK (unless there is something really urgent like site went down, but those are special notifications anyway) because when they will be answered the responses will be given much more thought then otherwise would be the case.
As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?
We don’t use any marketing-specific tool, except Buffer for automating our social posts. We use Trello and it would be the top one, although it’s not automation it’s indispensable part of our toolkit. We also use Shutterstock for images & Intercom for our communication with customers.
Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?
Word of mouth plays a big part in our marketing. Apart from that, we base a lot of our outreach on the emails we receive from our regular & business customers — be it bug reports or just general feedback. We get them through Intercom, analyze, categorize and use later when we need to decide on specific wording or overall strategy.
What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?
Making sure our product is top-notch. Everything else is secondary. We also take great care to not put any advertising or affiliate links that aren’t useful to quite a majority of customers we serve. It’s true that we could squeeze more juice out of advertising but it would degrade our product and word-of-mouth would suffer at the end and our reputation and quality which is something that we strictly decided not to do.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?
Not strictly marketing-related, but don’t burn out. Been there — done that. It’s simply not worth it — everything will suffer, and at the end the very thing you are trying to push will suffer because you won’t be capable for anything really for some time until you recover. Work hard, but know your limits.
How do teams at The Basetrip have fun at work/ make work fun?
We are quite a small remote team so there isn’t any “formal” fun-at-work but I guess it goes hand-in-hand with previous question. We are trying to balance out the hard work with some off-time to recharge the batteries and it is really highly individual. For me — I recently “discovered” surfing, and as I’m currently in Lisbon, Portugal — it’s something that is really fun & energizing.
A big thanks to Sven for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out The Basetrip.
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