As SaaS continues to grow as an industry segment, many businesses are finding that traditional marketing strategies are not as effective in an increasingly crowded field.
By 2021, SaaS market revenues are projected to grow to $113.1 billion. (Gartner)
While SaaS does share some similarities with B2B marketing and other eCommerce techniques, there are some aspects of SaaS marketing that require a different approach. If you are looking for a competitive advantage, check out some of the Top SaaS marketing strategies.
55% of SAAS companies rate Customer Retention Cost as the key metric to measure. (Totango.) Conversely to other industries, if a SaaS platform scales at 20%, it has a 92% chance of still going out of business within a few years. (Mckinsey)
Outstanding Customer Experience
It seems a little strange to offer one of the oldest marketing strategies and SaaS marketing best practices as tip of the spear for SaaS marketing, but it is effective at nurturing leads into happy customers. If you want to stand out in a crowded field of SaaS platforms, overdelivering on customer service is the fastest way to get there.
Outstanding customer experience should be the foundation of any SaaS marketing strategy and start with your potential client’s first visit to your website and continue as long as they are using your SaaS platform. Nearly all SaaS products are designed to make the client’s life easier. They should experience that right from the start.
Ensure that your website is optimized to meet potential new customers and offer them easy access to everything they need to make a decision about your product. Consider FAQ sections or product demonstration videos. Make signing up a breeze, especially for trial offers.
Of course, you want to capture as much information from a customer as you can, but too many steps or too many fields could lose you potential clients and decay your monthly recurring revenue. Be sure it that is easy for customers to get their questions or concerns answered either by email, phone, knowledge base or a live chat.
The advantage of many SaaS packages is that they lend themselves exceptionally well to free trials. There is no better way to clearly qualify a lead and then pull them deeper into the sales funnel than by actually getting them to use your product. Even better, the trials are often “self-serve,” meaning it doesn’t take much additional effort to have more people trying the product.
However, as frictionless as these trials can be, make sure that you are doing everything you can to help the customer have a positive experience. Depending on the complexity of the product, this could include one-on-one SaaS customer onboarding via phone or video conference, a pre-recorded “getting started” video, or automated emails with links to helpful information. The better the free trial experience, the higher the chances of the trial converting to a sale.
Helpful Relevant Content
Content marketing is an effective way to draw people to your website and into your sales funnel in many marketing segments, including SaaS. Remember that many potential customers are not yet searching for SaaS.
They are looking for the answer to a problem. Sure, your software may be the best solution, but they may need some help getting there. Provide useful content that is clearly targeting your typical lead. Draw them to your website where you can begin to build a relationship of trust. Blogs are an impactful way to offer that information. However, depending on your product and industry, you might consider offering eBooks, White Papers, even podcasts or webinars as part of your SaaS marketing strategy.
People count on review websites to help them choose a hotel, decide where to eat, or even choose a plumber. Now, they also rely on them to choose business software. Many people will begin their search for software at one of these websites like Capterra, Trust Radius, or GetApp.
The websites often provide guides for finding and choosing software as well as editorial and customer reviews. As consumers put more and more trust in review sites, you may find that some have made a decision before ever visiting your website.
At the very least, be sure to submit your software’s specification and value proposition to the site’s editors. Depending on your offering, you may also find it worthwhile to take advantage of paid marketing opportunities available on the websites. Some offer advertising, preferred listing placements, and more in-depth reviews.
Another approach, which is not unique to any SaaS marketing plan is encouraging customers to refer their friends and colleagues, based on their own positive experience using your SaaS platform. You can eve The best way to earn referrals is to offer an excellent product and outstanding customer service.
However, most of your customers will still need a bit of a nudge. Small incentives can go a long way toward encouraging your current customers to help you find new customers. Discounts, upgrades, or other perks won’t cost your business a lot but may return great dividends in terms of new customers.