What is SaaS Marketing? (Complete Guide & Most Used Strategies)
In this complete guide to SaaS marketing you will learn:
- What is SaaS Marketing?
- What is a SaaS Funnel and how does it work?
- What are some of the most used SaaS marketing strategies.
- In the end, I will also offer you 7 tips that can make your saas product flourish.
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What is SaaS Marketing?
In simple terms, SaaS means “software as a service“. And SaaS marketing is the process in which you promote and advertise your software products.
The purpose of SaaS marketing is to boost sales of your SaaS product by creating awareness among your target audience and establishing a credible name for your product and company.
It’s slightly different from traditional marketing because you don’t have any physical store or product to flaunt, so it mainly emphasizes how this service or product can bring value to your customers’ lives.
The SaaS Funnel
SaaS funnel is a marketing tactic used by SaaS companies to lead their prospects or potential customers down to conversion. It’s also referred to as the sales funnel.
Whatever marketing tactics you opt for will fall under this broad umbrella of the SaaS funnel.
The following are its components;
- Website traffic – people who only visit your website.
- Sign-up stage – people who opt to sign-up.
- People who use free trial or freemium.
- People who convert.
Most Used SaaS Marketing Strategies
Successful marketing strategies immensely vary across industries and different product types.
In today’s world, some of the most used marketing strategies SaaS companies have implemented are listed below.
Content marketing can be a good investment when done right as it can increase in value over time. Today, companies across the world use content marketing to effectively grow their brand image and online presence. It enables companies to track their visitors and generate leads from their website and other online platforms.
Unlike other forms of marketing, such as Pay Per Click (PPC) where the leads will only be generated when a visitor clicks on the ad, content marketing takes a different approach that focuses on creating and distributing relevant content to engage and interact with its target audience.
This marketing strategy has proven to be effective time and time again. Product trials are when potential customers get together and examine, demo and test the product up close and in person.
If your product is targeting a tech-savvy audience, they would rather experience the product firsthand than speak to a sales representative. However, trials tend to work differently when a service is offered instead of a product.
Psychologically, customers are conditioned to expect discounts and offers on products (clothes, accessories, electronic gadgets, etc.) rather than on services. The interest shown in a product trial can give a strong indication of potential buyer intent and generate future leads.
Referral marketing is a promotional initiative for existing customers to refer new customers, usually through an incentive. Most companies who have implemented this type of SaaS marketing strategy have their own referral programs in place. The key to having a good referral program is to explain the incentivized process in detail and the additional benefits the customer will get for their referrals.
Search Engine Optimization
Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) goes well with content marketing as it can optimize your content in a way that makes it discoverable on search engines such as Google, Yandex, and Bing which can increase your web traffic. SEOs are categorized into 2 types as listed below.
On-page SEO is when a company creates content for customers by using keyword strategies, titles and descriptions, internal linking, faster loading pages, etc., to redirect them to their company’s website.
Off-Page SEO is the activities a company performs outside the website. Social media marketing, brand mentions, link building, etc., lead to greater exposure on social media and other online platforms.
7 Tips That Can Make Your SaaS Product Flourish
You can create the most cost-effective and time-efficient tool that doubles or even triples the productivity rate, but if you don’t market it well, you’ll not achieve the success you deserve.
To avoid this, follow these 7 actionable tips that will help you efficiently market your SaaS product or service.
Plan out your strategy for success
Without strategy execution is aimless.Morris Chang
Creating a strategy should be your first priority. In fact, you should create your strategy even before creating your product.
Avoid using too many marketing strategies at one time because they will only sabotage one another. You should have a clear vision of your long-term and short-term goals.
Jot them down.
Start by knowing your target audience and their needs. Then, practically think about how your product will benefit its users. Also, how will you create and design it, and what resources will you need?
You’ll need to run thorough market research.
Only then you can introduce your product that can be a game-changer in its field. One of the best ways to outgrow your competitors is by introducing a better pricing strategy than your existing competition.
Also, strategize time-efficient and cost-effective ways of acquiring your target customers. Then move on to marketing and advertising your product.
Having said that, once you’ve established your strategies, move on to these techniques that we will discuss now.
Lead capturing through incentives
There are multiple ways of capturing leads through incentives.
Who doesn’t like free things? Customers sure do. You can offer a free trial to entice your target audience. By offering a free trial, you’re showing your audience a trailer of your amazing product.
Once they opt for it they will have a time span (let’s say 14 days) to figure out how they can benefit from your product.
According to High Alpha, in 2017 alone, free trials saw a 66% conversion among users.
You can attach a demo video for the newbies to attract and instruct them. This will not just build a positive image of your brand but also facilitate the customer in their initial experience with you.
Free premium offer (Freemium)
Where many companies just offer a free trial for their main product, you can offer it for premium as well. This way, you will introduce your user to a whole wide variety of new and amazing features.
It’s a proven way of attracting users. Also, use targeted customer acquisition techniques in this phase. Targeted sales representation has a high success rate.
Trouble-free user experience = conversion
Acquiring customers is one thing but sustaining them – that’s the real deal.
According to statistics by Markinblog, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. Therefore, you need to make their user experience as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
Cater to them individually and personally. Provide efficient and proactive customer service. Also, try to facilitate their user experience.
You can create targeted and personalized emails to customers who have not engaged and then deal with their queries.
Always remember a satisfied customer is your company’s most valuable asset.
Marketing through different channels
Marketing in this digital age allows us to access and engage with people in multiple ways.
There are so many platforms that can be utilized to reach your target audience. Let’s see how we can make use of all these;
Inbound and outbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a targeted approach to resolve customers’ problems and facilitate them.
It’s a personal and targeted method to reach out to customers and can be implemented through the use of interactive social media posts, webinars, reports, etc.
On the other hand, outbound marketing uses traditional marketing methods such as billboards, mail, seminars, cold calling, PPC, open houses to get your company’s name across a diverse population.
Needless to say, you must try both these methods.
Content marketing is a very rich niche.
It involves different kinds of content like blogs, email marketing, webinars, case studies, etc. It’s a company’s most priceless possession mainly because its value increases over time, and it keeps on bringing a good return on investment.
Content is like a knowledge bank for both users and you. This means that your customers can take tips and knowledge from your written content or videos to gain more insight into your product.
And you can get more knowledge about your users through questionnaires, review forms, and engaging emails.
Two ways in which content has actively brought traffic and conversion are blogs (that are SEO -optimized) and testimonials that convince readers that this product is worth using.
You must try all or most of these techniques.
Email marketing is the most influential and beneficial source of marketing and all SaaS companies benefit a great deal from this.
The best part is that the availability of email design platforms like Unlayer, and other automation and personalization tools have made email marketing triple times easier.
Email marketing should be a must-have in every SaaS marketers list.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
According to Hubspot, SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than social media.
SEO works wonders for SaaS companies as providing a good source of traffic and conversion rates through Google searches.
To gain traffic and conversions through SEO, you’ll need to tailor your content in such a way that it appears on top of the google search. This makes SEO pretty much dependent on content marketing.
Just grab a good SEO expert for this field to provide and inform you with the necessary techniques, and you’re all set.
Besides testimonials and review forms, you can create a positive image of your brand by using case studies of influencers and authority figures who vouch for your product.
Psychologically, people will agree to anything that is said by an authority figure. Also, it’s an excellent way to have positive referrals for your brand.
Besides this, you must incorporate testimonials and referrals in your content marketing techniques.
It’s the age of social media, and all parts of it must be cherished. According to Statista, in 2020 alone, there were 3.6 billion social media users.
Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. It’s an excellent source to create awareness of your brand and engage new and existing customers with your product.
In fact, one of the lead sources of customer acquisition is paid Facebook ads.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Investing in PPC must be on your priority list as well. It goes hand in hand with SEO. In fact, it compliments SEO.
Make sure you spare some budget for PPC. It can bring you a valuable amount of traffic by optimizing ads according to your brand’s name and SEO-based keywords.
Keep on trying and testing for the best results.
Here’s a rundown of each platform’s effect on traffic for a SaaS website in 2020.
Know matrices to test performance
One of the most significant parts of marketing is evaluating the success of your marketing strategies.
So here comes the real question: what exactly are the right metrics and KPIs to know that?
We have mentioned these below;
This can be slightly misleading, so you need to focus on the quality and source of each lead and the number of unique visits as well.
We’ll be honest with you; it’s not easy. But also, it’s totally doable.
You can take assistance from tools like Google Analytics or Kissmetrics to measure these more accurately and efficiently.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
It refers to the total cost of acquiring or gaining a new customer during a given period of time.
It helps the company to calculate the value of each customer to the organization.
Another KPI that you can measure is the conversion rate.
It simply refers to the percentage of visitors that completed the desired goal (subscription or conversion) divided by the number of total visitors.
A flourishing conversion rate is the direct sign of the success and prosperity of your marketing strategies.
Return On Investment (ROI)
Another metric that you should consider is the return on investment.
How much have you invested in PPC, resources, content, etc., and what is the amount of profit you are gaining from these sources?
After all, profit is the priority goal for any company and the main reason why we are focusing on these marketing strategies in the first place.
Churn rate refers to the rate at which a customer stops engaging with your company or brand.
As unlikeable as it sounds, churn rates alarm the marketers that there is a flaw or loophole in their marketing strategy.
It can either be a result of not catering to the customer’s needs efficiently or maybe a lack of sustaining customers. Having said that, the churn rate is another important factor that must be taken into consideration while marketing SaaS.
According to Tomasz Tunguz, the biggest SaaS industries experience a 6 to 10% yearly churn rate.
Use deals and promotions to keep customers
Deals and promotions are the best and, without a doubt, the most famous way of attracting and sustaining customers.
You must introduce deals and discounts in all parts of your customer’s journey.
You can offer a discount during sign-up after your user has achieved a certain milestone on special events like birthdays, anniversaries, or, most importantly, during the holiday season.
Moreover, you can offer discounts to beta users, introduce referral programs, use social media platforms to introduce gift vouchers or discount coupons, etc.
Subscribers love discounts and promotions. According to Convince & Convert, 75% of consumers actively look for deals and discounts in their inboxes.
That’s enough reason to try it out.
Like we discussed earlier, your marketing strategies should be based on extensive market research and competitive analysis.
Only then can you think of strategies to outsmart and beat your competitors.
You can also take inspiration from some of the best companies in the SaaS industry., understand their marketing techniques, what are their KPIs, how long did they reach to become a sensation in the SaaS world, etc.
Following are the names of the most progressive and successful SaaS companies from 2021 to 2022. Take as much information and inspiration from these companies as possible.
Ready to create a SaaS marketing plan that will outshine all existing companies?
We believe you are.
Just ensure that you incorporate all the tactics mentioned above in your SaaS marketing plan, and you’ll witness your product skyrocketing to success.
You can use all of these techniques to make the maximum profit of your SaaS product. After all, most of them go hand in hand and complement each other.