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I Want to Break Free - the Success Story of Top-Notch Ruby on Rails Development Company

I Want to Break Free - the Success Story of Top-Notch Ruby on Rails Development Company

Alina Belascu
Alina Belascu


Railsware, the Kyiv born software development and consulting company, never settles for less.

No less than 90+ successful projects delivered to companies in Europe or the US, from startup companies to top-notch companies like Google, Philips, Sendgrid or Calendly.


Let’s not forget a nice 15th place in World Top Ruby on Rails Developers - by Clutch.

Top RoR developers by Clutch


From opening new offices in Krakow and Dubai, to designing its own products, Railsware is always asking for more. That’s why they’re experimenting with a new business model, getting closer to the SaaS approach, by designing products such as Mailtrap, Jira Checklist or Coupler.

Mailtrap (will tell you later what this is all about) is getting a lot of traction...400k+ estimated monthly visits. Will tell you in this blog post how they did that. Stay tuned.

Mailtrap website traffic



Looking good, Railsware. What else do you have up on your sleeves?

Let’s find out.

You just have to come with me in this quest, a quest where we’ll decipher the marketing and branding strategies behind Railsware, the company that’s trying to move beyond the outsourcing stereotype.

TABLE OF CONTENT

  • Brand Awareness at Railsware
  • Railsware’s Website
  • Railsware’s Traffic Acquisition
  • Content Marketing
  • Summing Up

Railsware, a  Ruby on Rails Development Company - Short Overview

Outsourcing is a type of business that can’t scale too much. The growth is brought in by growing the team size or increasing productivity. But the growth is limited.

On the other hand, when you develop your own product, now we can better talk about growth. With the proper sales and marketing strategies, things can scale...a lot.

So, there’s a new trend emerging among IT Outsourcing companies: developing their own products and moving beyond the outsourcing stereotype.

Besides having developed 90+ software development projects, Railsware is also developing its own products, Mailtrap being its most successful one.  

With Mailtrap, testers and developers can send all the pre-production environment email via a fake Mailtrap SMTP server.

Railsware has its own digital products


Railsware is also promoting open-source. Just look at their GitHub repos:

Github repositories for Railsware

“When we create a framework, we open source it” - nice mission.

Now, let’s see what former Railsware clients have to say about their interactions with this software consulting company. It seems that the strengths of the company lay in its:

  • Engineers, which are full-stack developers
  • Project management expertise
  • Ability to deliver high-quality services and products
  • Innovative approach
  • Effectiveness and adaptability, being able to meet deadlines and budgets
Clutch reviews

Next, in our article, we will understand that the proper inbound marketing strategy can bring you lots of qualified traffic. Also, by going offline a bit, interacting with your stakeholders live, you can build a better brand.

So, follow me in unfolding Railsware’s growth story.

Brand Awareness at Railsware

In an ever-changing digital age, prospects don’t want to be sold. Now it’s all about proving yourself useful and solving for the customers’ pains.

So, is Railsware able to deliver meaningful experiences for both clients and employees?

Follow me to find out.

Railsware’s Social Presence

We all understand that for a business it’s essential to be wherever the clients are. And the vast majority of potential clients have at least one social profile.

On the other hand, from the SEO perspective, social media signals are taken into consideration when ranking on Google or Bing.  So links published on a company’s social profile can improve the website’s search engine rankings and increase traffic.

So, moving forward in our story, we’ll peek into Railsware’s social media strategies.

Facebook

For Railsware, the Facebook profile is very much used for employer branding and hiring.

Jobs are being posted.

Jobs promoted on Facebook


The company culture is depicted as one where employees feel like home, where celebrations are a must. It’s not just hard work and growth, but also play.

Building an employer brand on Facebook


Railsware is also promoting events and blog content on their Facebook page.

Ruby on Rails events attended by Railsware


Sharing blog content on Facebook

Some posts also cover business-related topics, like this one that speaks about one of their products, Coupler.

Product promotion on Facebook

LinkedIn

The content published on LinkedIn has two goals: hiring and providing expertise in the community, with the final purpose of getting more clients.

That’s why they promote events they attend to, blog posts they release, products they build.

Hiring posts on LinkedIn
Promoting their own products


Being an important member of the tech community is a must, and a business should not lose the opportunity to “shout” this on every social media channel, for different audiences.

Attending Ruby on Rails events


Twitter

On Twitter, the employer branding issue is not really the focus.

The tweets promote events Railsware attends or organizes, articles they’ve published and career opportunities.

Sharing blog content on Twitter
Posting jobs on Twitter


They also held a Twitter contest around Mailtrap.

Mailtrap contest


Employer Branding and Hiring

The questions that arise here are:

  • How do tech companies build a fulfilling work environment?
  • How do they retain and attract the best employee talent?
  • How do they foster collaboration among employees?

Railsware might have found the recipe that works best for them.

Say hello to the holacracy, the flat management system. Feedback and sharing knowledge are part of the company culture. Getting involved in content writing and developing open source projects are really valued.

How are decisions made in this holacracy? According to the aforementioned blog post, the flow is the following:

  • Gathering employees’ individual feedback on top-3 “GOODs about the company” and top-3 “IMPROVEs about the company”.
  • Verifying the feedback in groups, then choosing top-5 “GOOD” and top-5 “IMPROVE” group points
  • Points classification
  • Prioritizing each point via team voting
  • Adding the priorities to the company map
Flat management in Railsware


Now, let’s move on a bit and let’s find out what former employees are saying about the company

on Glassdoor. It seems that the company  is dynamic, the environment is cozy, you can learn a lot, but there can be a good amount of pressure, depending on the project.

Overall, the reviews add up to a score of 4.9, which is really good.

Glassdoor reviews


A lot of content on social media is used to build employer branding, from video to images. They’re all portraying a family-like company where awesome things are built.

Video content


On their blog, from time to time, they are also covering topics related to employer branding. They are talking about the company’s culture, remote working…

Inside these topics you can find also employees testimonials, which are an important employer branding asset.

Employees' testimonials

Community Building

Railsware is also involved in the community, just like the other Krakow fellows we’ve analyzed, Codete and Miquido.

From sponsoring Ruby meetups, to co-organizing conference tracks, Railsware does not shy away from building live meaningful experiences.

Sponsoring Ruby on Rails meetups

Co-organizing conferences

The events they sponsor or organize are held in Poland, but Ukraine as well, like these ones:


Now that the events landscape is being disrupted, they are attending virtual events, like Ruby Wine (April 2020).

attending virtual Ruby events


Railsware’s Website

The layout of the website is simple and easy to navigate.

Important pages are not hidden too deeply within the information architecture.

Vital information is shown above the fold: case studies and testimonials as social proof, the call to action.

Railsware's website


We live in a turbo-world, people don’t afford to get lost in crowded information. I’m no designer, but looking at this website makes me feel good. Everything is clear, navigation is easy...nothing seems to disturb my experience.

Slick design


The contact form does not seem to have useless fields.

Contact form with segmentation


There’s a lot of social proof: from client logos (among which Google, Philips, Sendgrid, Calendly), testimonials, to Railsware numbers.



Client testimonials

Railsware’s Traffic Acquisition

93%+ of the desktop website traffic comes from direct and search sources (according to Similarweb).

Website traffic sources



In terms of direct traffic, I’m assuming the 14.95% visitors landed on the website, following actions such as:

  • No UTM tracking added to their links
  • People typing in the website or going to their website via a bookmark
  • Privacy and security plugins in users’ browsers, thus more traffic is stripped from the “referrer” header, showing up as direct.
  • A part of mobile traffic often gets marked as direct

When the search traffic is this high (70%+) is quite clear that some inbound marketing strategies are being designed.

Let’s check them out.

Content Marketing

So, what does the 78% search traffic mean?

It tells us that buyers are actively seeking out a solution to a pain or problem, and are managing to find the answers on the Railsware website.

For content marketers, this means there should be website content (blog articles, videos, case studies and other long-form types of content) that can fulfill the visitors’ needs.

Now, following the customer journey, what kind of content does Railsware develop in order to solve for the visitors’ problems?

Railsware is consistently writing tech content (and not only) on the blog.

They have 3 content writers aboard!

But they’re ot the only ones writing content. Many team members are engaged in delivering good quality content, from engineers to analysts.

Tech content writers
Everybody writes content



Some of the blog posts were also posted on Medium (back in 2017 and 2018).

Tech content on Medium


For those visitors that have finished their research and are ready for more info, case studies are built to bring more proof of the company’s tech expertise.

case studies

But let’s go deeper a bit, and see some data.

As per Spyfu, the Railsware website attracts 7.8k SEO clicks a month.

website organic clicks


If we look at the top pages, the blog gets a lot of traction on topics related to Google sheets, Python, React, NodeJS....

top organic pages by monthly click


The top organic keywords that are ranking on the first page deal with “ruby on rails”, and this is a good thing, because they managed to position themselves as RoR experts.

keywords on the first page


But let’s not forget that having good quality content ain’t enough for getting a good rank. Backlinks are a must.

And Railsware receives a lot of them. Check this out: do-follow links from domains with ratings above 70, like: Behance, Stackoverflow, Meetup.com, Chrome.google.com (because they’ve built an add-on for Google sheets - cool trick, right?)

backlinks

They even hired a linkbuilding and outreach specialist!

Linkbuilding specialist

What intrigues me is the fact that I do not see any gated content: ebooks, reports…

One thing is for certain, their inbound team has grown over the past year, this mean they’re onto something, don’t you think?

Good content is still the king.

Summing Up

So, which are today’s takeaways?

Let me tell you mine:

  • People nowadays don’t like to be sold, they want to be offered solutions to their problems. Inbound marketing can provide the answer, and it goes to ways: building long-lasting relationships and increasing website ranking in search engines.
  • Live experiences, offline connections are a must in this digitized world. From meetups to organizing conferences, you gotta be there. Now that the events world is disrupted, you need to move online, and still work on building a community around you.
  • Building projects and releasing them out in the open for free can get you in front of a whole new audience
  • Building one’s own product can help a business scale up and diminish business risk, because you no longer depend on certain projects, you can have a monthly recurring revenue baseline

So, Krakow’s IT outsourcing market: checked!

Poznan’ software houses: checked!

Warsaw’s software houses: in the house!

Wroclaw’s software houses: clear!

Wow, it’s been a long odyssey…

But we’ve learned a lot.

In case you haven’t been following the whole story, check out our “Growth Marketing Secrets of Top European Software Houses - Poland Edition 2020 ebook” to understand which B2B marketing strategies are working for Poland’s successful software houses.