The software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry continues to proliferate with its global market value expected to reach $132 billion by 2020. There are thousands of established SaaS businesses, and thousands more are appearing to vie for market share.
For your company to stand out in an increasingly crowded and competitive space, keeping up with best practices and the latest SaaS marketing trends is vital. Although the exact formula for success is unique to each business, there are a handful of key concepts that lay the foundation for a successful SaaS marketing strategy. Here are some SaaS marketing tips for incredible business growth.
1. The power of content
To attract and convert your target audience, you need to first educate them about the features, benefits, and advantages of your software. And this is where content marketing comes in. The beauty of a SaaS content marketing strategy is that it can be done on a lean marketing budget and continues to generate leads months and years after it has been deployed.
Creating and sharing authoritative writeups (such as white papers, social posts, and ebooks) helps audiences perceive you as a thought leader in your niche. Once prospects come to trust you as an expert, you can push them further down your sales funnel with content that educates them on how your software can effectively solve their pain points. Remember to personalize your content in line with the demographics of your audience.
2. Always upsell
Continuously upselling and cross-selling your existing customers is one way you can increase both revenues and customer satisfaction. However, bombarding customers with add-ons, promotions and more expensive subscriptions can easily have the opposite effect and make users cancel their subscriptions.
Before cross-selling or upselling, you must review the problems and behaviours of your customers to determine if a more expensive product will provide additional benefits and increased levels of satisfaction. Your sales team should identify potential customers and create personalized offers to target them specifically. Offering free upgrades and add-ons for a limited time can entice customers to move on to other subscription plans with higher fees.
3. Create a frictionless registration process
You can only capture and keep the attention of your target audience for so long. As such, you should make it stress-free for users to sign up and pay for your product. Registration forms are a crucial part of the conversion process and are one of the essential elements of a SaaS website.
When filling out an overly long and complicated form, potential customers may become irritated and exit your website, leading to increased bounce rates. It’s best to use simple and clean forms that only request for minimum information. If possible, your registration/sign up form should only have three fields; username, email, and password. You can request more information when prospects click the activation link sent to their emails.
4. Create an Affiliate Marketing Program
While affiliate marketing programs aren’t a new concept, most SaaS companies are yet to utilize and realize its full potentials. Affiliate marketing is great for SaaS businesses because it generates a constant flow of leads, and you only pay the affiliate marketer when the sale is closed. Aside from third-party affiliates, you can also leverage your existing customer base by offering to pay commissions for each new prospect they send your way.
5. Offer free trials
The easiest way to get customers to spend time with your product and experience how it works is by offering a free trial. While demos are great, a free trial gives prospects the thrill of owning the software (for a limited period), a better understanding of how it works, and a solid reason to subscribe at the end of the trial period.
Signing up for a free trial signals high buying intent and such users are virtually one click away from becoming paying customers. However, you should never offer all the features of your software in the free trial version — the free trial period should make users want to experience the full-featured product.
6. Increase organic traffic using SEO
Organic traffic is an indication that website visitors are actively searching for solutions to their pain points. Such prospects are genuinely interested in products that offer real value and as such, are more likely to convert.
A great way to increase the volume of organic traffic to your website is by fusing SEO with your content marketing strategy. SEO helps generate high-quality leads and is a terrific growth strategy for SaaS businesses because the ROI it delivers continues to compound over time.
Identify the keywords that your target audiences use to look for solutions to the challenges they face and create high-quality, informational content around these keywords. Once prospects find their way to your website, attempt to convert them by pitching a free trial, offering gated content for an email subscription or using other lead magnets.
With thousands of products already in the market and hundreds entering the space every other month, the SaaS marketplace is becoming very competitive. However, your resources and time remain limited. To expand your reach and maximise the impact of your marketing efforts, you should collaborate with other marketers and brands to get more bang for your buck. First, identify brands and marketers that your business can synergise with and create a strategy that leverages the assets and skills of both parties to drive more reach, deliver more leads and generate more impact.
8. Create an effective retention strategy
The SaaS business model uses the following sales cycle
Acquire new users
Motivate prospects to become paying customers
Ensure recurring revenues by providing ongoing value to customers.
Profitable SaaS businesses rely heavily on continuous subscriptions. As such, convincing customers to stick around is an essential undertaking. Your retention strategy should focus on helping new users derive maximum value and satisfaction from your products while resolving any concerns they may have.
You can create customer loyalty programs for long-term customers and also upsell/cross-sell new features and product add-ons. Essentially, you should pull out all stops to improve customer experience.
9. Paid advertising
When starting out with content marketing, it can take a while before you see any ROI. In the meantime, you can immediately start generating leads via paid advertising. PPC ads help drive targeted traffic at scale and combining it with granular audience targeting can deliver amazing results. Currently, CPC bids for software-related keywords can be quite expensive, but you can hack this by
Running sponsored posts on social media sites
Advertising on Google Display Network
Using Gmail ads to target your competitor’s audience
Running paid ads on Quora.
10. Email marketing still works
Amidst the furore and buzz of newer marketing strategies, it can be easy to forget the power of email marketing. Till date, email marketing remains the most budget-friendly marketing strategy of all time — each pound spent on email marketing generates approximately £44 in ROI. Since email marketing is great for building customer loyalty, it should be used heavily during the later stages of your sales funnel.
Since SaaS companies thrive on recurring revenues, high churn rates are inimical to long-term profitability. Getting new prospects to sign up and existing customers to renew their subscriptions requires that you continue to deliver ongoing value. Ensure that your software meets and exceeds customer expectations and then use the above marketing strategies to achieve next-level business growth.
But first, you must let the world know how truly amazing your product is. And this is where we come in. Starting conversations, educating prospects, and building interest – while connecting with those ready to buy is what we do.
We align your sales and marketing activity to create high-quality opportunities and sustainable pipelines that boost marketing ROI. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help your SaaS business achieve incredible growth.
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