Interested in building a great SaaS marketing strategy?
This is a great market that rewards innovation.
According to a study, the “Cloud Computing Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 18.0% during the forecast period 2019 – 2025. The value of the market is expected to reach around USD 623.3 Billion by 2025.”
Building a Great SaaS Marketing Strategy
I will now take you through the key components of a great marketing strategy for SaaS.
A great product – the 1st component
Salesforce.com competes with Oracle’s Siebel CRM and other similar non-cloud-based products. The top traditional software solutions have the advantage of having developed a good reputation due to the back of their excellent functionalities, usability, and other strengths.
When small business owners mull over the choice between Salesforce.com and Siebel CRM, for example, they may be willing to forgo customization in return for cost savings and reduced IT support overhead. However, they won’t be willing to compromise on functionality.
At the end of the day, you must have a great product if you expect people to use it. This, therefore, should be the foremost priority in any SaaS marketing strategy. The product must sell itself.
Every aspect of usability including the ease of registration, setting up customer data, reporting, analytics, etc. should convey excellence.
Awesome customer service – the 2nd component
From the time that your customers discovered your SaaS product on the Internet, to the point they have actually implemented it into their day-to-day business, the entire interaction between you and your customers is conducted over the Internet.
Hire expert developers for your next project
From time to time, your customers will need help with the product, and you MUST be there to help. Therefore, you need to invest heavily in your customer service.
Do the following to assure your customer about your great service:
- Have your customer support contact or inquiry process displayed on your website. Also, publicize it using your social media channels so that it is very easy to find.
- You need to provide your customers with a wide variety of ways to reach your customer support team – phone, email, customer service messaging services, etc.
- Build a good, up-to-date knowledge base online that your customers can easily access via forums, etc.
- Your Twitter or Facebook channels should include information on your customer service hours, and make sure that the social media-based customer service hours are clearly displayed on those channels.
- Create Twitter and Facebook direct messaging bots that can handle common questions.
- Integrate chat-based customer service into your website.
Identify your target customer segment, and attract them – the 3rd component
Your SaaS product will not suit every business or organization. So it is important to identify your target audience. The 3rd most important component of SaaS marketing strategies is to attract the right audience. Every minute spent attracting someone else is a minute wasted.
The identification of your target audience should be reflected in your SaaS marketing plan, including the following:
- The overall design of your product;
- The look and feel of your website;
- Your ad and promotional campaigns;
- The blog posts you write need to have appropriate SEO keywords;
- The copywriting on your website and social media posts;
- In the guest posts that you write on other websites.
Provide the right information to your prospective buyers – the 4th component of your SaaS marketing strategy
Customers who are researching a SaaS solution typically spend a lot of time searching for suitable products and then comparing their features. They also compare the price points and read reviews and customer success stories on various online forums and social media channels.
So, if you can provide all this information on your website or your social media posts then it already makes your product more appealing to your potential SaaS customers.
You have heard “Content is king?” When you market your SaaS product through a content marketing strategy, you should consider providing content to the prospective buyers using as many channels as possible, e.g.:
- Your website;
- Your social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook;
- Through email marketing;
- By writing blog posts on your website, as well as other prominent channels such as ’Medium‘.
Build a conversion-focused website for selling software as a service – the 5th component
Since marketing for SaaS will take place entirely online, your website is very important. Simple is better. Make sure that it doesn’t distract the visitors, and the landing page has a razor-like focus on whatever sells your product.
Keep in mind that prospective buyers may not buy on their first visit, but will return to your website after consideration. To help this process along, you can use ’call-to-action’ (CTA) buttons that are placed effectively around the pages.
Buttons you may wish to include:
- Have a CTA button allowing for a subscription to your blog;
- Encourage the visitors to sign-up for your email newsletter;
- Provide a prominent CTA button to start a free trial;
- Guide them to your social media channel;
- Have CTA buttons for downloading relevant industry or product-comparison reports;
- Use CTA buttons at the end of your blog posts and have them in the middle for visitors who may not read the entire post.
Maintain a strong social media presence – the 6th component of your SaaS marketing strategy
You need to be present on the social media platforms where your prospective clients are. You will also need to regularly post engaging content to these channels.
At the beginning of your project, you should have built your ’buyer persona‘. Hence you will understand your clients and know where they get answers to their business-related questions, e.g. YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
You should post content demonstrating the value of your product as well as the expertise of your team on those platforms. There is also the need to run targeted ad campaigns on these channels.
Give offers for a free trial – the 7th component of your SaaS marketing strategy is a very important one
A big difference between marketing physical merchandise and SaaS marketing is that clients cannot physically interact with your product unless you give them a free trial.
Hire expert developers for your next project
1,200 top developers
us since 2016
The best option here is to give them a limited period in which to try out your entire product! Don’t try to restrict the product features as this will not sell as well as an unrestricted trial.
Free trials are a well-known and proven strategy for SaaS marketing. There can be different types of a free trial offer, e.g.:
- Free trial with no strings attached;
- A free trial offer with the expectation of a paid subscription at the end of the trial period;
- For a free trial, however, the prospective buyers need to provide their credit cards;
- “Freemium” model, i.e. you provide the base product free of charge but you charge for additional features;
- The offer of a free trial is limited by time, for example, a 30-day free trial.
Note: Free trials are so common in the SaaS landscape, you may hardly find any SaaS company that doesn‘t provide any. Don’t be the one that misses out.
Manage client expectations – the 8th component of your SaaS marketing strategy
No customer likes to see strings attached to any free trial offer, especially when they have no idea that there are some. You need to be upfront with your prospective buyers about expectations so they don’t feel conned.
Here are some examples:
- If you charge a non-refundable fee for configuration, the free trial offer should clearly state this;
- Customers should know upfront if they must provide credit card details;
- It‘s your responsibility to let your customer know up front that the offer of free trial they have is for a limited version, or for a limited amount of time;
- The customers should also know upfront if they should expect a call from your company’s salesperson.
This is a matter of trust-building with your prospective buyers, and you need to be upfront. You can’t afford to give them an unpleasant surprise later.
Make it easy for your prospective buyers to sign-up for your free offers – the 9th component
The same rules above also apply to your newsletter.
Here’s the bottom line: The higher the number of fields you have in the sign-up form, the less likely it is that a prospective buyer will sign-up! Here’s a good article telling you why it is so.
Consider carefully what is the bare minimum amount of information that you need from your prospective clients for them to sign-up for your free offers. Is it only the email address? Collect only that. Simple is better.
On the other hand, if your product requires more information from your customers then you will need to collect it. Don’t put yourself in the position of being liable for something your customer should have known but was not informed of.
If you intend to share your email list with other SaaS companies, for example, make sure your customers know.
Don‘t mark a field as ’required‘ in the form, if it isn‘t required. Better still, remove it from the form and collect the information later. The customer-engagement cycle in SaaS marketing provides many touchpoints where you will get the chance to engage with your customers. This means that you can easily collect the information later.
Also, be sure to have a simple sign-up form. Remember an important rule here: if signing up customers is the objective of the form then anything that distracts the customer from that objective shouldn‘t be included.
Engage your customers: the 10th building block of your great SaaS marketing strategy
Here, you need to take a step back and think for a moment. Let’s assume that your prospective customer has signed up for your free trial. What do you do now?
Think about your product. Is it something that appeals to the users to play around with so that they can learn themselves? Then your marketing strategy shouldn‘t distract the users, rather leave them to try it out.
Hire expert developers for your next project
On the other hand, what if your product is something that non-technical small business owners will use to take care of an important function of their business? These customers will likely need more time to understand your product and how it can help them improve their business.
Your customer-engagement process should be tailor-made for your target customers. The objective is to give prospective customers a full understanding of your product including all its‘ features before the free trial expires.
Make it easy for your customers to buy your product: the 11th component
A feature of the SaaS business model is that marketing, sales, and product development aren’t separated into silos. When customers have accepted your free trial offer and tried the product out, they don’t need to wait for any salespeople to call them so that they can buy.
Unlike typical software products or services with a long sales cycle, the sales cycle in the case of SaaS is short, and a sale is often completed within the same day. SaaS products are relatively cheap, which helps drive a quick sales cycle.
You need to design the app in a way that gives enough information to prospective customers about how to buy it should they choose to.
The app should give customers the option to purchase as soon as the free trial period is over.
The 12th and the last component of your great SaaS marketing strategy: Help your delighted customers to market your product!
Nothing will sell your product or service better than delighted customers, the same rule applies to all projects and services. Make sure your customers are delighted with your product and service. This will make it easy for them to tell their friends about your great new product!
Planning to launch a great SaaS product?
The SaaS market is huge and competitive. You will need to plan proactively how you will build, deploy, and market your SaaS solution to attract as many customers as possible.
An efficient and skilled project team including SaaS marketers and developers will play a huge role here. Your marketing plan will work as long as there is a feature-rich and robust SaaS application behind it for the customers to use. Ensure this by partnering with highly-skilled professional software developers.
DevTeam.Space can help you here via its field-expert software developers community. You can easily partner with these vetted SaaS developers by sending us your initial product specifications. One of our account managers will get back to you for providing further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions on an effective saas marketing strategy
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. These are cloud-based applications that can be used by third-party users.
If you have a great SaaS idea then it’s time to onboard a great development team and get going. If you don’t have experience in creating such a product, contact a company such as DevTeam.Space that does.
Do research to understand your target audience, establish your goals and KPIs, launch your optimized product and advertise on social media and other outlets.