According to Gartner, SaaS businesses are predicted to have a continuous uptick in profitability in 2022 with a worth of approximately $172 billion.
The recent expansion in tech offerings has paved the way for creative marketing tactics that help both startups and already established businesses. Implementing previous experimental marketing strategies coupled with agile marketing, SaaS businesses can now enjoy a competitive edge.
So, if your business is looking to maximize its growth, below are some marketing strategies for a successful SaaS business that can help you remove the guesswork.
Top marketing strategies for a successful SaaS business
Here are 7 strategies to help you get started–
1. Offer product trials
On most occasions, free trials or freemium models work like a charm. Your business can participate in disruptive sales activities by offering free trials of your product to generate leads. These lead generation activities are more streamlined, and efficient and boast a better conversion rate than cold calling or other traditional lead generation methods for SaaS businesses.
That’s because they not only give your business visibility but they are massively effective in selling products, especially those related to software. Free trials help website visitors see how your product works and understand how it solves their problems.
You can implement this by giving users a 7-day trial or by opting for a freemium model that allows users to access limited features without a paid subscription. Once they develop a dependency on your product, they are more likely to convert to paying subscribers.
Since this is one avenue that can truly boost your business’ growth, you need to ensure the following–
- A smooth onboarding process
- Superior customer support
- One-on-one demos in case of a complex product
- Lastly, collect their emails to share product updates, discounts, etc.
2. Leverage the power of content marketing
Content marketing is a relatively inexpensive way for businesses to get their messages out, build strong relationships with potential consumers, improve SEO rankings and increase search engine traffic. Content marketing attracts a consumer base by providing them with valuable info when they are searching for germane topics and information on the web.
Simply put, driving more traffic to your site requires dedicated effort to publishing high-quality content on your site. The topics you cover in your resources should be in congruence with your target audience’s interests.
Optimizing the content you create on your blog means paying attention to both user intent and keywords. To rank higher on SERPs, you need to include relevant keywords while also providing value to gain authority in your niche.
If users are coming through Google or some other search engine, they’re probably looking to purchase a service, so they’ll want to see a sales page. On the other hand, if someone is looking to get their query answered as opposed to purchasing something, they might want to see resources like blogs, eBooks, or case studies.
3. Start your SEO efforts early
The secret to driving high volume traffic to your website is through search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. In the world of digital marketing, SEO uses both creative and technical methods to try and rank as high as possible on search engines such as Google.
SEO is a method that requires time, effort, expertise, and creativity to master. While time-consuming, it is an important investment since the higher your site ranks in a search, the more traffic your website is going to get.
Some websites have stronger and better SEO than others due to their internal structure and content; this often comes down to how closely they align with the keywords they are meant to target and some of it comes down to good old-fashioned technical expertise. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all technique since there are things that will work better for SaaS companies versus brick-and-mortar businesses, or a particular industry over another. However, you will achieve success if you create quality content that solves problems for your target audience.
4. Add PPC campaigns to your marketing budget
If you are looking for more traffic– don’t just hope consumers will find you on their own. Go after them instead! Try running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and getting ads placed on other websites or search engine portals. This is a scalable method that is easy to set up once you know what works. Use your budget wisely and adjust as needed with ease.
To create a successful campaign, you need to clearly state your value proposition and also experiment with different ad copies to see which one performs better. Additionally, to make the most of your campaign, try creating compelling ads that lead to the necessary landing page based on where the customer is in the sales funnel.
5. Incorporate email marketing
Using tools like Mailchimp can help you reach thousands of potential customers. Whether it is a cold outreach or a lead nurturing campaign, email marketing is a great way to generate sales and communicate with your audience in a more direct and personable way.
After you start gaining some traction through your campaigns, you can segment your audience and send targeted newsletters based on where they are in the marketing funnel. What’s more, since this is a cost-effective method of reaching out to potential leads, you can basically convert them to paying customers with barely any investment.
6. Incentivize referrals
Also known as ‘word of mouth’ marketing, this referral marketing involves people purchasing your product due to positive recommendations. These could be due to their friends or family using your product, testimonials on your website, or due to reviews and case studies.
Some of the major benefits of referrals are– better brand awareness, faster yet reliable conversions, lower customer acquisition costs (CAC), higher retention, and lifetime customer value (LVC).
While many businesses realize the importance of referral marketing, they do not have programs in place that incentivize people to act on them. There are many successful SaaS referral programs by known brands like Canva, Evernote, and Trello but the one that truly stands out is Dropbox. The brand has created a simple yet irresistible program that rewards ‘basic’ account users 500MB per referral up to 16GB and ‘plus’ account members get 1GB per referral up to 32GB.
7. Use retargeting
Even when your key conversion metric is providing freebies like ebook downloads or free trials, a significant number of website visitors will not click on the CTA button. However, retargeting (or remarketing) allows you to engage with previous website visitors who have shown a certain interest by staying on your page for a while.
An industry that leverages this type of marketing is the eCommerce industry. When a visitor views certain products on their website or has an abandoned cart, they show them ads for those products on social media or other websites, sometimes with a reduced price to trigger a conversion.
Retargeting should also be a tool in a SaaS marketer’s arsenal since it gives you a second chance at establishing a connection that could lead to a conversion.
Here are 2 ways by which you can implement retargeting in your marketing plan–
- Segment your website visitors based on their buyer journey, i.e, the awareness, consideration, or decision stage, and build a personalized campaign around it. Remember to exclude converted users.
- Target based on demographic to increase conversions and reduce your ad costs.
Lastly, remember to do A/B testing and tweak your campaign based on how your audience reacts to it. It will nudge your efforts in the right direction and provide a higher ROI.
Bonus marketing strategies for a successful SaaS business
In addition to the above strategies, here are a few more marketing strategies for a successful SaaS business that blend creativity and psychological techniques–
- A clear call-to-action (CTA) that triggers a response
- Landing pages that share valuable information
- Share social proof on your landing pages
- Give rewards for signing up
- Create a social media marketing plan
- Focus on account-based marketing
- Pitch to micro and macro-influencers
- Have clear pricing plans on your website
- Try co-marketing campaigns
- Make sign-ups easy
- Offer limited-time attractive deals
- Get featured on SaaS review sites like Capterra and AlternativeTo
Following these marketing strategies for SaaS products is sure to help generate more leads and improve sales, but it’s important to remember that in today’s world where competition runs rampant in the software industry, technology grows obsolete rapidly and new trends emerge often, your team needs to focus on more than just product value. It is crucial as a SaaS business owner that you stay abreast of changes in the market and ensure your growth experts keep up and swiftly adapt as well so that you do not fall behind in changing landscape.
The most important thing to take away from this article is that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will guarantee your success. Every company is different, and what works for one SaaS business won’t necessarily work for another. That being said, many of these strategies are often used in combination by successful businesses of all sizes.
Author bio: Trevor’s career began as a freelance learning applications developer and designer. After finding success in software he moved into SaaS consulting, and started the SaaS growth agency, Inturact. Over the last 10+ years Inturact has helped many SaaS companies find scalability and get acquired. Inturact is also an investment vehicle for Inturact Capital – a private equity fund that acquires, grows and exits SaaS companies.