There are a lot of SaaS companies out there, but only a few truly understand how to market their products and services.
You’ve probably seen this before: A company has an amazing product, but they never seem to get the word out about it.
Why is that?
They don’t use the right marketing strategies or they use the outdated ones from years ago. This results in low conversions and ultimately leads to failure for these businesses.
If you don’t want to be one of those companies, you are in the right place.
In this article we’ll cover 10 strategies that can help improve your conversions and grow your business as a result!
Without further ado let’s get right into it.
What is SaaS Marketing: The definition
SaaS marketing is the process of marketing and promoting SaaS companies, and their services.
Technically, SaaS marketing is a type of B2B marketing (assuming most if not all SaaS marketing is directed at businesses rather than consumers), and it can include content marketing, email marketing, search marketing, and social media marketing, to mention a few.
In this guide, we'll go over the ins and outs of each of these tactics, but first, let's look at what distinguishes SaaS marketing from other types of marketing.
The difference between SaaS Marketing and other B2B tactics
Though SaaS marketing has a lot in common with other B2B marketing tactics, it has three key differences:
- Short sales cycle
- Lifetime customer
- Selling a service, not a product
Short sales cycle
The average sales cycle for SaaS companies is much shorter than for other B2B companies.
This is largely because SaaS pricing models are often fairly affordable due to their monthly fee.
This often allows buyers to make purchasing decisions without having to consult with upper management, as is the case with bigger capital expenditures.
At least that's the goal. After the initial fulfillment, your clients may decide that your software is no longer necessary for their business goals. In general, however, once they're on board, you'll want to retain them as long as possible.
Keep in mind that you're not trying to push a one-time purchase, you’re trying to start a long-term relationship. This is very important for SaaS marketers, because establishing trust early on in the marketing and sales process is critical.
You’re Selling A Service, Not A Product
This may be a difficult concept to grasp because software appears to be a product on the surface. But there’s a reason we call it SaaS (Software as a Service) and not SaaS.
The main distinction is in the method of implementation.
Purchasing Photoshop as a product would be an example of software marketed as a product. You make the payment, download the installers, and complete the setup. There isn't much in the way of service here. Unless something breaks. And even then, good luck getting in touch with support.
SaaS, on the other hand, handles the implementation, installation, customization, and migration from previous platforms. Furthermore, because clients pay on a monthly basis, a higher level of after-sales service is expected.
This is something that SaaS marketers should keep in mind because it has an impact on the messaging they send out. In particular, rather than focusing on the software program, it becomes more about the company, its reputation, its happy clients, and its level of support.
Obviously, the product is important. That software platform is what gets the work done and solves your clients' problems, but the support and service element is crucial to guaranteeing their happiness..
Saas Marketing Strategies
In today's crowded market, attempting to market SaaS platforms as a standard B2B solution will almost certainly fail.
Given the rising number of SaaS competitors, most SaaS platforms are so preoccupied with lead generation that they often rely on features and price to close sales. This is where you can fine-tune your SaaS marketing strategies to reduce customer churn, optimize pricing, and grow your SaaS business.
The more your sales-ready messaging focuses on your target customer's future state and how your SaaS platform solves for those challenges, the more likely your brand will stand out and convert a website visitor into a free trial user on your SaaS platform (at the very least).
Traditional SaaS marketing methods aren't working anymore. New strategies are needed to match the level of innovation in these new services.
While some SaaS growth hacking strategies may derive from more traditional marketing strategies, the overall strategy needs to be reconsidered, given how different SaaS marketing is.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 SaaS B2B strategies to improve conversion:
1. Content Marketing
SaaS companies are in a unique position to use content marketing as the main growth strategy. Customers that are already looking for a solution to their problem on the web are most likely to adopt a new SaaS platform.
They often concentrate on features rather than outcomes.
Today's SaaS marketing is different, and strategic SaaS marketers create and distribute relevant content to answer the most common questions that potential customers have.
Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as writing a few blog posts.
To stand out in the crowded SaaS content marketing industry, you must consistently produce high-quality, persona-driven content that is not only keyword optimized but also provides value to your potential SaaS customers, allowing them to sell your SaaS platform to their boss.
This shouldn't be an issue for SaaS businesses, yet it is very often. Your SaaS platform is ideally positioned to write as a thought leader on the topic if you've put enough effort into generating persona-driven content that speaks to key pain points.
Since you’ve analyzed their pain areas and produced a solution that helps them solve their specific problem, you should already know what questions ideal consumers are asking.
Conversion rates, acquisition costs, and associated SaaS customer onboarding processes should all be considered when developing a SaaS marketing strategy.
How do you keep the communication going and draw leads deeper into your sales funnel without bothering them with cookie-cutter marketing automation emails when someone discovers you as a source of information and a solution to their problem? Do you personalize sales-ready messaging for specific industries or personas?
One option is to use persona-driven content offers to give away some of your more valuable content in exchange for contact information.
High-growth SaaS businesses have made it normal to offer free infographics, eBooks, videos, white papers, and other resources in exchange for an email address as part of any efficient SaaS marketing strategy.
This allows you to transform a potential consumer into a marketing qualified lead in your sales funnel.
2. Free SaaS Trials
One of the most effective SaaS marketing methods for client acquisition is to offer free trials to entice customers to sign up and start using your service.
If you want people to use your service and see the value you have to offer, this is a great way to get them to take the first step.
When it comes to using free trials, SaaS companies are in a unique position, as new customers can help move the needle in terms of recurring revenue.
Allowing a potential buyer to try out your product often comes at little or no cost, depending on the product you're offering.
This is a chance to showcase the quality of not only your product but also your customer service and support. Conversions to paid SaaS subscriptions may happen without additional effort if the product is a good fit.
After the trial period ends, you can reach out to consumers to get useful insights about their likes and dislikes since they’ve tested your SaaS platform and looked beneath the hood. This feedback is invaluable to your product team, as well as your sales and marketing departments.
However, if you use this SaaS marketing strategy, make sure you provide a long enough free trial for people to see the value of your product.
3. Pay Attention to SEO
When it comes to SaaS marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) is very important, especially if you rely on inbound marketing strategies.
There are three main components of SaaS SEO:
- Technical SEO
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
Technical SEO is all about how your website is set up, how it functions, and how it influences the user experience. Broken links and slow page load times, for example, might have a negative impact on your technical SEO.
Your content marketing approach should include both on-page and off-page SEO. All of the material on your website, including blog articles and landing page content, is referred to as on-page SEO.
Building links from other websites to yours is what off-page SEO is all about. Writing guest posts on other websites or appearing in a listicle that mentions your business are two common ways to accomplish this.
It's critical to recognize that while SEO can help you attract leads into your sales funnel, it can't help you turn those leads into customers.
From that perspective, the ideal long-term goal of SEO is to improve your search rankings so that you don't have to pay ads for those exact search phrases.
The first thing to do is to understand your primary audience and conduct keyword research, followed by a review of all of your content and meta-data in order to boost your ranking. Also, don't overlook the importance of backlinks in terms of search engine ranking.
Investigate ways to boost your domain authority by generating high-quality links and referrals.
Rather than making assumptions, rely extensively on A/B testing to gain information and visibility that will help you make data-driven decisions in support of your overall content marketing strategy.
4. Refine PPC Campaigns
Do you know what your Google ad quality score is? If you don't, this could end up costing you a lot of money.
Consider a PPC campaign if your content marketing strategy and SEO rankings aren't generating enough organic search traffic and leads.
Make sure you're utilizing the proper keywords, long-tail keywords, and variations to get your links in front of the right people at the lowest possible cost-per-click.
This is where your SaaS marketing strategy should consider PPC vs. SEO. Your SEO efforts should be used to help you get top ranks for your top performing PPC keywords or phrases.
Keep an eye on the quality of your ads as well. Most companies create a few ads and landing pages, then question why they are spending so much money on PPC keywords with the highest level of buyer intent.
No in-house team member will be able to do this effectively, as they are wearing many hats within your organization. Ideally, this is a place where your SaaS platform should look to hire SaaS marketing agencies that only focus on conversion rate optimization.
If your company does not provide a compelling value proposition to potential clients, or your ads may not perform as well as you would expect, they may opt to sign up on a competitor's platform instead.
5. Show the price
Some SaaS businesses make it difficult for site visitors to see how much their service costs.
This is presumably done in an attempt to get customers more interested before revealing the price, but this can also hinder customer acquisition as a lack of transparent pricing will frustrate many potential buyers right off the bat!
How would you respond if you were looking to buy something and couldn't find out how much it cost?
You'd probably leave the site and look for another place to make your purchase. This can be a significant source of churn, therefore SaaS marketers should be perfectly aware of it.
No matter how brilliant the rest of your marketing efforts are, hiding or deliberately obfuscating prices makes potential buyers suspicious. Be upfront about your service's price or pricing model. Make sure your pricing structure allows you to easily demonstrate how each plan or package adds value.
6. Incentivize Referrals
Referrals are one of the most effective strategies to reach new clients in SaaS marketing.
A long-term customer who enjoys your product is eager to recommend your product and get you referrals.
Find ways to incentivize your current SaaS customers to spread the word and reward them for doing so, whether it's through subscription discounts, free premium features, or a full-fledged SaaS referral program.
One thing we should mention here is that there’s been a lot of discussion about whether or not businesses should reward referrals…
One school of thought believes that without an incentive, you won't get many referrals, while the opposing position believes that if you encourage too much, you'll end up with low-value, low-quality referrals. The best advice is to see what works best for your SaaS company and then optimize around that.
There is software available that can manage your referral program from start to finish, but at the very least, we recommend that you develop a referral landing page on your website.
Explain what makes a good referral to ensure you receive high-quality referrals. This could include the person's job title, industry, or the size of the organization they are working for. You should also specify whether, how, and when people will be rewarded.
By creating templates that sales, customer success, and support teams can utilize, marketing teams can make it easier for them to ask for referrals. Making it simple for sales reps to ask, as well as giving them the authority to do so is essential.
7. Make SaaS Sign-Ups Easy
It's essential to make signing up as quick and easy as possible, especially if you're offering a free trial to get customers started. Too many steps upfront can ruin the process, especially if the prospect isn't completely sold on your offering.
Analyze your signup / onboarding procedure to determine if there are any methods to streamline it so that customers can start using your product right away.
8. Introduce Deals & Discounts
Deals and discounts are also crucial to your SaaS marketing strategy. Offers can help show prospective customers that they can get higher value with you. Deals and discounts are also great for upselling and cross-selling.
While you can profit from running deals and discounts, make sure you only run them on occasion.
If people are offered discounts all the time, they will stop perceiving them as special offers. Instead, people will view these deals and discounts as the regular price they expect to pay.
9. Improve Customer Experience
This is surely the most important of all the SaaS marketing strategies recommended by experts.
Making your service as personalized as possible is an excellent strategy to improve the customer experience. For example, when they complete the sign-up procedure, send them a personalized welcome email. If you find that your active clients are dwindling, you could send out an email too.
What else can you do?
You can include a live chat feature on your website to help customers with their questions as they interact with it. This will aid them in navigating the site and locating answers to any questions they may have. There are many tactics to improve customer experience. Just make sure you are considering their experience first.
10. Refine Call To Action
Simply asking your SaaS customers to try or purchase your product is one of the most reliable ways to attract more of them to do so.
Analyze your overall marketing plan and define the steps you want your visitors to take after visiting your site.
After that, double-check that your CTAs are clear and visible in all of the right places on your site. Make sure the CTA is clear whether you want visitors to join up for a free trial, make a purchase, download a white paper, or subscribe to your newsletter.
These SaaS marketing strategies are intended to increase the number of high-quality leads and SaaS customers. But keep in mind that in high-churn industries like SaaS, the market is constantly evolving, so your team needs to stay up to date with SaaS marketing trends and focus on client engagement to keep churn to a minimum.