SaaS leaders use several different terms for what Left Hook calls a "Universal Integration," including:
"Third Party Integration"
Here's our textbook definition:
"A universal integration is a self-serve, productized software tool built to connect two other software products (usually via APIs).
Universal Integrations are configurable through a user-friendly interface and intended for a broad user base (i.e. not a one-off, custom integration.)"
Zapier Apps, Microsoft connectors, Hubspot Marketplace apps... all are examples of universal integrations.
These many marketplaces provide a potent opportunity to market your app to new audiences.
That's why we call them "Universal Integration Opportunities."
See a list the many marketplaces and app stores where Left Hook can help your product team launch quickly.
There are many reasons why SaaS leaders invest in universal integrations:
Drive Expansion Revenue
Delight Customers, Lower Churn
Enable Functionality thru Partners
Say "Yes" to Prospects
Leverage Marketplace for SEO
Open Partner Co-Marketing Channels
These sound like magical powers that any SaaS leader would want. But not every Integration Opportunity is right for every SaaS, and each comes with its own costs and risks.
To help you think about the ROI, here's some research by Left Hook and some case studies:
SaaS Leaders on Integration ROI:
"Our data shows that customers who integrate FreshBooks with one or more additional apps yield a 30.7% higher LTV than those who don't integrate.
Integrations help us keep customers longer, which is key to long-term revenue growth."
Senior Director for Partnerships & Business Development
"Integrations used to be a luxury... our data shows that customers with 5 or more integrations [enabled] are willing to pay 20% or more for the same core product.
This correlation is consistent among business buyers of all types, from SMBs to enterprises." [Source]
[Integrations] have particular importance early in a customer's lifecycle because they show the value of your product very quickly. This means you want to promote them as soon as possible...
Clearbit customers who integrate with Zapier are 20% less likely to churn." [Source]
Quotes are are either used with author's consent or republished from existing public sources cited above. Not intended to express any endorsement of Left Hook or its services. Contact us with questions or concerns.
ROI happy talk doesn't solve the "who builds it" problem. A valuable universal integration requires considerable niche expertise.
Often an in-house dev team squeezes them into the edges of the roadmap, learning as they go and building slowly.
We call this the SaaS Integration Paradox: Integrations that do not kill you, make SaaS stronger:
|Kills||Makes SaaS Stronger|
|❌ Eat Core Product Dev Cycles||👍 Enable Sales to Say "Yes"|
|❌ Wasteful Learn Once, Build Once||👍 Discourage Churn, Increase LTV|
|❌ So Many Requests- and Rising||👍 Drive Expansion Revenue|
|❌ Hard to Scale||👍 Deepen Fruitful Partnerships|
|❌ Constant Maintenance||👍 Required by Best Customers|
|❌ Expensive & Distracting||👍 Easily Outsourced!|
These challenges embody a single key risk: distraction.
FOCUS is the most precious resource in any (software) company.
Nothing eats focus like a growing list of integration requests championed by vocal customers or internal advocates.
We argue that it's more efficient to hire outside experts to build and manage universal integrations.
Give us a well-supported API and some clear use case thinking, Left Hook can develop faster and stay out of your dev team's way. Let's summarize:
- Your customers want demand DIY universal integrations
- Universal integrations deliver proven ROI
- They also consume precious internal developer focus (if you let them)
- Outsourcing to experts is secure and efficient
Enter Left Hook.
Left Hook Integrations are
Faster. Unlocked. Expert. Lasting.
Why We're Faster:
- Frigg, our integration framework
- +20 years combined experience with +200 different SaaS APIs
- 70+ successful app launches on platforms & marketplaces
- Efficient serverless micro-app architecture
- Based in North America EST; readily available for synchronous communication
- Startup Hustle10x
Unlike embedded iPaaS or other white-labeled integration platforms, Left Hook sells unlocked solutions that are:
- Liberated code accessible to your dev team (via GitHub)
- Hosted on capable cloud provider of your choice or our AWS
- Forever royalty-free under our non-exclusive license model
- Optional and transparent management fees and scaling costs
We abhor "vendor lock-in" and intend to sustain your business by providing continuous value.
More than developers, we are integration and software partnership experts. We start with data-driven insights to inform and sharpen your integration strategy, and then we code to the right priorities.
As technologists, we are integration experts, solution architects, and full-stack developers with +20 years combined experience.
Since 2014, we've built and/or managed over 100 different universal integrations on a dozen different integration platforms and marketplaces. And we've developed for nearly 170 different SaaS APIs.
Beyond technology, our roots are in marketing and partnerships. We came to this technology niche first as "citizen integrator" end-users and customers of SaaS tools.
Integrations are like any software product- as good as the attention invested to maintain and improve them.
Like a great German car, our solutions are built to last under proper maintenance. We take a long-term approach to your universal integrations, and look ahead to many years of mutual partnership.
We also understand when our clients take their integrations "in-house." That's why we sell unlocked solutions that are longer-lasting than vendor-locked models.
We build integrations/apps for these Marketplaces:
TALK TO US
Ready to discuss how Left Hook can accelerate your integration roadmap and help you launch new integrations faster? Chat with us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.