Unlike the software industry, SaaS has yet not reached saturation point. It's still in its early days so there's plenty of space left for growth. However, marketing SaaS products is not easy because it is quite different from traditional products.
In SaaS, the buyer's journey and the marketing funnel is not similar to that of conventional businesses. The target audience for SaaS is limited so reaching out to them is a challenge. In addition, most of them are already using the product, and it is not easy to influence customers who are have a stable product that they are happy with.
In this scenario, your brand might take months or even years to get noticed and accepted by the users. So, how do you encourage them to use a new product?
In this article, I will discuss strategies that you can use to reach and convert your target audience. Here are the eight must-have growth marketing strategies for SaaS businesses.
1. Track marketing campaign efficiency
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns is essential for identifying the channels that are generating the maximum revenue.
Marketing analytics tools such as Finteza offer detailed insights in the form of histogram, charts, and funnels via different marketing analytics metrics.
You can easily find out which banner ads are generating the highest conversions or the sites that are sending relevant affiliate traffic. The reports display relevant click, view and CTR statistics for every ad campaign in different zones.
When you understand which channels, time zones, locations, and ads that are most effective for your business, you can prevent advertising budget wastage. With improved conversion rates, your marketing strategies can achieve the desired results and help your SaaS business to grow.
2. Optimise your registration flow
The details you ask customers to complete when filling in your registration forms is essential. However, customers may deem them irrelevant and unnecessarily time-consuming. This often becomes one of the major reasons for traffic bounce.
Making small changes to your registration form can significantly improve your customer's experience as well as your conversion rate. The best way to optimise the process is to only request essential details such as the name and email address.
Here are a few brilliant ways to simplify your registration process:
- Break the form into simple steps: Create a step-by-step registration process. Divide the form into two parts. The first would be for the customer's name and email. The second would be for credit card details. Provide immediate access to users once you have the essential details received on the first page.
- Don't rush to get feedback: It's recommended that you do request feedback too soon after registration. Give customers some time to get used to your product. You can collect more data after a week or so.
- Allow third-party authentication: Registration on your site becomes easier for prospects when you allow third-party authentication services like Facebook, Twitter, or Google. There are a few benefits of using this feature. First, you know you are getting the correct information. Second, you don't need to verify the email address. Third, it is convenient and time-saving for both you and the user.
- Minimise mandatory fields in the sign-up page: If you load users with too many questions in the initial stage, many will leave the page. So, reduce the mandatory questions as much as you can (for example, company name, sector, size, turn over). If you do not support the idea of reducing the mandatory fields, tell customers why you need that information.
3. Implement the freemium model
Freemium model is a form of product-led growth strategy. In this business model, the product is utilised for user targeting, conversion, and retention.
The freemium model is a free plan that comes with limited access to a product for a lifetime or a certain period. It acts as word-of-mouth marketing and is more effective than traditional promotion and allows you to scale up0 more quickly.
There are three major types of freemium models of SaaS product you can adopt:
- Limited access model: In this model, users are given limited access to the top features of the software.
- Lowered storage model: Under this plan, users get limited storage or data quotas. The storage offered gives users an idea of how the tool works to persuade them to register for the paid plan.
- Minimal support model: In this plan, the user gets limited support and access to self-help resources and don't get access to priority customer support.
All these models are designed to provide users with a basic idea of your product and what it can offer. However, to get the full value of your tool, they need to subscribe to the paid plan.
4. Present yourself as a source of information
Rather being just a product provider, why not give your customer something more? Help people find you as a source of information and a solution to their problem.
You must have access to first-hand industry data that could be useful to your customers. Use this valuable internal data to benefit your customer and attract new customers.
Your company might have conducted a survey or created a report on the recent market trends that your customers and prospects might be interested in. Churn out as much high-quality data-driven content as you can through content marketing.
Take your effort to another level by promoting this content on social media platforms and in any advertisement campaigns.
All popular SaaS businesses have set the expectation that they provide high-value content for free in exchange for their email address. It could be in the form of infographics, eBooks, videos, whitepapers, and other resources. You can also repurpose your content for maximum exposure.
Here are a few ideas for topics to create content:
- relevant news and events that covers your niche
- ideas and solution to the several issues of your customers
- teasers on primary product feature of a newly launched product
- introduction of any new government policies
- global market developments
5. Offer a product tour
It's not that difficult to acquire customers in SaaS business. The toughest part is retaining them. This is exactly where most of businesses fail. When introducing a SaaS product, it is essential you educate customers about the product. No matter how great your product is, if your customer don't understand how it functions, they will join your competitors.
Many apps are complex or designed differently to their rivals. Therefore, you must convey how the product works and how it can be helpful. This is why you need to provide a product tour.
A product tour gives the audience a clear picture of the product and understanding about how they can get the most out of it. Once they are in the picture, it will be easier for them to use the product and save their time in exploring the important features.
6. Make the most of referral marketing
Referral marketing is an old marketing strategy but works wonderfully in SaaS Business. The referral could be in the form of free premium features, subscription discounts, a full-fledged SaaS referral program, and more. These offers are often being spread faster by your existing customers.
The more attractive is the offer, the higher are the chances of getting new customers. For instance, you can reward both the referrer and the one being referred to.
Here are a few referral programs practices you must follow:
- Make your referral program visible: You can display it on the homepage of your website with information about what the perks offered.
- Advertise your referral program: Referral marketing is one of the key strategies of digital marketing. There are several ways you can create affiliates. You can run ads on social media or search engines like Google to persuade businesses to join your program.
- Offer product's attractive features as an incentive: Find out the attractive features of your product and offer that as an incentive.
- Provide an easier option to refer: Make it easy for customers to refer their friends. Adding social media links or options to copy your referral code will enable your customers to refer someone with one tap.
It is always best to take the help of an experienced affiliate program manager having experience in digital marketing.
Digital ad revenue is expected to reach $275 billion by 2024.
SaaS businesses use mediums such as social media ads, inorganic search ads, and native ads platforms to join hands with other businesses.
7. Set up Q&As or webinars
Your customers might have queries or concerns about your product. Conducting question and answer sessions can be an excellent way of connecting with them. Be it physically or remotely; you can address their concerns and build a bond with them. At the same time, it will help you get the attention of your prospects.
This also provides an opportunity to educate your customers. During webinars or direct sessions, you may receive feedback. It could be concerns, positive feedback, negative feedback, appreciations, suggestions, and more. Ultimately, all the input will help you improve your product and services.
You can host webinars using different platforms like Facebook Live, InstaLive, Hangouts, Zoom, etc. Plan your session with plenty of time to discuss and answer all the queries of your customers. Don't forget to record the video and share it on your website. It will be also helpful for you to analyse these videos later on.
8. Work on your CTA
The CTAs have a huge significance in getting the clicks. Therefore, it is essential to understand how to optimise them. At times, CTAs are not well understood by customers. A wrongly placed CTA can confuse the user, resulting in traffic bounce.
Every CTA has a specific role and is designed to take the user to a certain page. This means they have to be clear and placed mindfully.
Here are a few ways to optimise your CTA:
- Be clear about the next steps you want site visitors to take.
- Use CTAs related to your product to make it easy to understand.
- Conduct keyword research to find the search terms used to find your product.
- Determine why customers use your product and use that term as a CTA.
9. Get featured in the SaaS review sites
People do check product reviews before buying. Even for SaaS products, customers are likely to check the reviews before making a buying decision. They read about it, compare the product features and then they go to the product site to know further.
Review sites can be advantageous to your business. You can send your software specifications and value proposition to these sites. This way you will be able to mention all your product advantages.
Get featured in any many popular SaaS review sites as you can. Your intention should be to get more industry exposure for your product.
By now you should have a better idea about how marketing strategies for SaaS businesses work. Use these strategies and grow your SaaS businesses and continue to collect feedback to identify what resonates most with your audiences.
Post by Joydeep Bhattacharya of SEO Sandwitch Blog.