SaaS-based businesses are the fastest growing business type in the global economy. With the ability to create products and solutions from anywhere, host and operate those software solutions in the cloud, and reach your exact target audience so that you’re not wasting your marketing dollars allure of a SaaS business is tremendous.
And because of all of these benefits and the low barriers to entry into any market, the competition is incredibly fierce. Individuals and small businesses working out of their garages are competing with global technology companies who can outspend their annual budgets in hours.
That being said, Lift Digital has been on both sides of that battle. Having created, executed, and reiterated on hundreds of marketing campaigns for SaaS-based businesses we know how to target, who to target, where to target, how to craft an offer, how to take advantage of others’ brand equity, how to get visitors to turn into free trials, and get those trial users to convert into paying customers and the thing we’re all after: MRR.
We would argue that there’s more involved with SaaS marketing than traditional B2B marketing, even though there may or may not be a demo or sales cycle (with everything being self-service).
First things first, you absolutely must have messaging that captures your target market’s attention. You have to show them that you understand their challenge, whether it’s making more money or streamlining some process. You have the software solution and service to soothe their pain and make their lives easier. You can help the gain more customers.
Next you have to convince them that your solution is what can solve that problem, giving them enough information to be willing to give your SaaS solution a chance. You can’t simply have a landing page with a “Free Trial” button at the top and not tell people what they’re going to get out of using your software or how it’s going to benefit them. Tons of SaaS businesses go straight to the free trial or demo without educating a visitor, and it’s a missed opportunity.
Along those lines your landing pages must be robust, educational, and designed with getting people to start their free trial (or accept whatever you’re offering) in mind. Every page has to have a goal, and if your goal is to get them to start a free trial then design your landing page where that is pretty much the only action they can take.
Another incredibly important and often overlooked aspect of marketing for SaaS businesses is having a financial model for marketing.
Knowing or at least having an idea of:
- LTV or Lifetime Value: how much a new paying customer is worth?
- CAC or Customer Acquisition Cost: how much you’re willing to pay for that new user?
- Payback period: how many months of customer usage will it take to recoup the cost of acquiring that new customer?
- Conversion rate of free trial user to paying customer: how many free trial users does it take to generate one new paying customer?
Once you have these metrics you can determine what the goal price of getting each new free trial user should be and we can optimize to that KPI. You would be surprised at how companies of all sizes (including enterprise companies mid-market companies doing billions in sales) don’t know or understand how having this financial model for marketing (and business operations) is crucial for the success of the company.
Of course, there are other issues to work out:
- How quickly are you following up with your leads and free trials users?
- Driving usage of free trials is directly linked to converting them into paying customers, so getting the right people to trial is more important than getting a ton of free trials
- Have as many “how to” articles and videos on how to get the most out of using your software
- Have a good free trial experience. If your free trial is cumbersome or confusing, you’re doing more harm than good.
- Make it super easy to start a free trial
- Make it even easier to have free trial users convert into paying customers. Don’t make them wait for the expiration of the free trial period, and give them some incentive to start paying early
- Absolutely make sure the free trial users understand and feel the value of your software and service
Finally, here are a couple of tips on how to drive more awareness, trial usage, and business:
- Market against your competitors (and partners). If you have an add-on SaaS, use your partner’s brand equity. If you’re marketing against a competitor, use their brand equity. Setup landing pages that compare your solution vs their solution.
- Get as many reviews as you can. Ask for testimonials. Get reviews on reputation management websites like TrustRadius, TrustPilot, G2 Crowd, Capterra, and others. Get those ratings syndicated onto your Google Ads account so that your rating shows up in your ads (which dramatically increase CTR so long as you have good ratings).
With decades of experience and hundreds of campaigns executed for SaaS businesses, we’re absolutely confident we can target your ideal users, get them interested in your solution and service, and convert them into trial users and new customers.
Reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help your SaaS business grow like never before.