In 2015, end-user SaaS spending was valued at 31.4 billion USD.
Fast forward to 2021, and this figure grew to 152 billion USD. In 2023, the SaaS market is projected to reach a market size of 208 billion USD.
This kind of exponential growth makes now a perfect time to make money in SaaS. It also means there’s a lot of competition. New B2B and B2C players join the space each day, offering software solutions to the market.
To stay competitive in this environment, you need quality marketing. And in this post, Australia’s #1 marketing agency will share 6 strategies proven to work well. Here are 6 powerful strategies for marketing your SaaS business.
Why is SaaS Marketing Different?
SaaS marketing works differently because you’re selling an intangible product that customers cannot see or touch. Therefore, you need different strategies to convince people to pay for the product.
Other than being intangible, SaaS products are usually offered through recurring payments, often in monthly or yearly instalments. They are dynamic, changing over time.
The end result is that consumers end up paying for an evolving product repeatedly. This is unlike other products or services that only require a one-time payment and are out of the provider’s control once the purchase is complete.
These differences mean that the marketing strategies that work for other products may not work with SaaS. Instead, unique strategies like allowing customers to use software for free on a trial basis are more suitable.
Using SaaS-specific strategies helps customer retention and recurring revenue. Here are 6 we’ve found to work exceptionally well based on our experience with 350+ clients.
1. Free Trials
Free trials are a common strategy for SaaS marketing. They are the bread-and-butter way to attract new customers.
The reasoning goes like this. It costs you little or nothing to add an extra customer to your software. So why not add people before they buy – and entice them to stay with you as a paid customer?
This works because the ideal SaaS customer uses a product for the long-term. Such a customer naturally want to try new software. They will also stay with the software, committing to a subscription, if they still use it after a trial.
Free trials are effective because buying intent is high among consumers who opt in. If they opt into a trial, they’re looking for software and considering yours as an option. They will likely sign up if they are happy with the trial. If not, they’ll move on to a competitor.
Therefore, free trials give you a perfect chance to impress a prospect who’s highly likely to convert.
SaaS’s median conversion rate from free trials to paid subscriptions stands at 62.4%. This means that about two-thirds of people participating in your free trials are likely to become paying customers.
To increase your conversion rate, offer a discount on paid subscriptions. If users can get the software at a discounted price after loving the free trial, they will likely subscribe for longer.
How to Run a Good Free Trial
Here are a few tips on how to run a successful free trial:
- Make it easy to sign up – Ask for a few basic details such as a name and email during sign up. Most consumers are unlikely to sign up if you ask for too many details, especially regarding payment methods.
- Make it risk-free – Make it so that your targets lose nothing by trying out your product. This could be by offering a free trial requiring no payment or a no-questions-asked money-back-guarantee offer.
- Give enough trial time – Your customers should have enough time to try your software and familiarise themselves with its features and benefits.
2. Referral Programs
Something that works almost as well as consumers having a free first-hand experience of the product before buying? Hearing about it from someone they know. 90% of people are more likely to buy from a brand recommended by a friend.
Encourage active users of your product to refer it to their friends, relatives, colleagues, or followers on social media.
By turning your customers into your brand ambassadors, you can save on customer acquisition costs, increase conversion rates, and increase brand awareness.
To get both your customers and their loved ones on board, incentivise your referral program. Offer rewards for both referrers and referees. An example is giving a subscription upgrade to your existing customer and a subscription discount to the person they refer.
How to Create a Good Referral Program
Here are ways to create a referral program with a high ROI:
- Run a survey – Ask your customers whether they would recommend your product and why. This gives you insight into whether your product has enough impact on your existing customers to make them want to refer it to others.
- Provide value – If you fail to provide value, your customers are unlikely to be willing to recommend your product to their loved ones.
- Keep it quick and easy – Your customers shouldn’t have to go through several steps to get referral codes or for their referees to redeem theirs.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing also works perfectly for existing customers nearing the end of their subscriptions, past customers who cancelled their subscriptions, and users almost through with their free trial.
Emails can keep customers engaged at different stages of the sales funnel and afterwards – from onboarding to conversion, retention and re-engagement.
For instance, an email sent to a customer on a free trial offering a subscription discount if they make a purchase before the end of their trial can be the last push they need to become a paying customer.
Email is the best channel for this kind of customer outreach because they are personal, hence will have a more profound effect than a random paid ad.
Also, 99% of people check their emails daily, meaning they have a higher chance of getting your message to the right person at the right time than channels like social media.
How to Optimise Email Marketing for SaaS
Here are tips on optimising your email marketing campaign for SaaS:
- Segmentation – Craft your marketing emails for different segments of your target audience. Examples of segments include those using your free trial, active subscribers, and customers who have cancelled their subscriptions. Sending the same message to all three will backfire since their interactions with your product are completely different.
- Identify your goals – What are you trying to achieve with your email marketing? Perhaps you want to increase brand awareness, retarget prospects, or drive sales. Once you’ve identified your goal, creating the right email copy that gets the desired results will be easy.
4. Content Marketing
Creating organic digital content about your service is one of the most effective ways to attract new SaaS customers.
Organic content is responsible for more than half of web traffic, meaning it has a bigger reach than paid ads. The more traffic you get to your brand’s site, the more leads you stand to convert.
Besides having a better reach, content marketing is more affordable than paid advertising. You’ll keep getting free traffic and leads as long as the content exists. This is unlike paid content which you’d need to keep paying for to get exposure to your target audience.
An effective tactic for SaaS content marketing is creating targeted content to appeal to specific customers. For instance, your software might offer solutions to individuals, businesses, and industries. Create specialised content for each group, showcasing how your software can benefit them.
For example, suppose you are a content creation software provider. In that case, the solutions and features you offer a large marketing team differ from those an individual graphic designer would need.
In this case, creating the same content for both is unsuitable. By creating targeted content addressing their specific needs, you’ll be better placed to make conversions.
5. Video Marketing
Almost half of the time online is spent watching videos, which makes video marketing a great way to reach your target audience. Not only do videos take up most of users’ time on the internet, but they have also been proven to work better than other content types:
Video marketing has also shown to be especially important for SaaS, with 88% of people having purchased software or downloaded an app after watching a video.
By incorporating videos into your SaaS sales process, you can:
- Keep your customers engaged with your brand – Videos have a high engagement rate, so they’re a great way to keep your customers talking about you.
- Save time – A short explainer video can tell customers everything they need to know about your product’s features, benefits, and how it works. This is more time-efficient than reading a long article. With great product videos, customers rarely need to contact a staff member before making a purchase. This saves time for both your business and the customer.
Video Content to Create for SaaS Marketing
Types of video content that work for SaaS marketing include:
- Product explainer videos that outline software features and benefits.
- Demo videos to show how your product works.
- Case studies and customer testimonials which act as social proof and show prospects the kind of results they can expect.
- Customer support videos to answer frequently asked questions and act as troubleshooting guides.
6. Optimised Landing Pages
Your efforts to draw in leads can be wasted if you don’t work on your landing pages. Landing pages allow you to collect customer information in exchange for an offer. For instance, you can ask for their email in exchange for a free trial.
This, rather than your homepage, is where your prospects should come after coming across your content elsewhere, for instance, through a link in their email.
Create distinct landing pages for different targets for the best results. For instance, are they first-time sign-ups using a free trial? A landing page offering them a new-customer subscription discount is relevant.
If they are existing customers on a monthly plan, a landing page offering an upgrade to an annual plan is more suitable.
Ensure to make your landing pages simple and straight to the point. Landing pages with too much copy have a conversion rate of 11.10%, while those with fewer words have a conversion rate of 14.30%.
Highlight the benefits and features on offer in bullet points, then add a clear CTA button. Avoid adding unrelated content or links that could distract your site visitors from the offer.
Make your landing pages more engaging and persuasive by using images, video, screenshots, and customer testimonials and photos.
You can further optimise with SEO by using long-tail keywords in the page copy. Also, insert keywords in the landing page title, headers, URL, and image alt tags.
With the right strategies, you can achieve better conversion rates, increase customer retention, improve referral rates, and reduce churn rate for your SaaS product.
SaaS products are often changing, and customer needs change, too, with time. Ensure to track your marketing performance often and keep your strategies updated to keep up.
The SaaS industry is highly competitive, so consider engaging professional marketers with the right skills to help you attain your goals. We’ll give you a $1,200 free consultation that leaves you with an actionable strategy for finding clients and growing your business.