The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry has been on an upward trajectory for a while now. And the trend is set to continue, with this year’s industry revenue being projected to reach $85 billion, a 17% growth from last year.
But while the opportunities are there, figuring out how the SaaS business model works isn’t an easy task. In fact, many companies struggle with generating enough leads to sustain themselves, especially in the early stages.
Using sound marketing strategies proven to work with SaaS audiences is essential, as typical customers are usually very sophisticated and have a good understanding of their needs and choices.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most effective SaaS marketing strategies you should consider in 2020 and beyond.
Lead with Data
Data is at the forefront of any successful marketing campaign. But it’s also a valuable asset when showing your prospects the type of results you can provide.
As mentioned before, SaaS audiences are very sophisticated, as they’re made up of business professionals that know exactly what they’re looking for. In fact, most of them have very specific problems that they need to solve, so using buzzwords won’t matter if you can’t back up your claims with proof.
That’s where having examples of how your product delivers is crucial.
If you can show real examples of your product’s use in specific situations, you will immediately overcome many of the biggest obstacles towards making the sale.
Usually, if someone gets on your site or starts talking to you, they are already at a point when they want to achieve the result. Because of that, your main goal should be to show that you can provide that result, as that will be the biggest step towards converting the prospect into a customer.
But what kind of data can you show?
Well, the best approach is to talk with your current customers and track their progress when using your product.
You should be able to point to how your customers went from point A to point B using your service and what types of results they were able to achieve. When you show specific data that’s backed up by context and experiences shared by the customers, you will likely alleviate any doubts and get the client from being cautious to being excited to get started as soon as possible.
Utilize Unconventional Tools
The SaaS market is growing at a rapid pace, which means that there are many opportunities. But at the same time, it also means that you will likely face at least a few strong competitors who will be vying for the same customers as you.
Because of that, while email marketing, paid ads, and inbound marketing should remain integral parts of your efforts, you should also consider using unconventional marketing tools and methods that can help you break through and reach your leads more effectively.
For instance, if you feel like getting a response through email is becoming more challenging, you could consider using SMS marketing to dramatically increase the chances of your messages being read.
Even though SMS has been around forever, people still receive them, and they are five times more likely to open an SMS message than an email.
Many services allow you to send bulk SMS messages, providing you with an easy and convenient way to reach a large pool of prospective customers with an appealing offer or relevant news.
Sometimes, a simple and short message might be all that it takes to get a person to get back to you, decide to learn more about your product, or even make a decision to buy.
Referrals are one of the most effective marketing tools of all time. Having someone recommend your product to a friend and colleague instantly puts your company head and shoulders above the competition, making the sale much easier.
But even if you provide an excellent service to your current customers, there’s no guarantee that they’ll take the time to recommend you.
One way to boost referrals is to simply ask your customers to share their success story, both publicly and with their colleagues or business partners. For many companies, merely asking is enough to ensure that they never run out of new leads that come already pre-sold on the idea of working together.
However, if you want to really ramp up the number of people that come in through recommendations, you could consider incentivizing the entire process.
By offering your current customers something in return for every lead they bring in, you will provide a massive boost to their motivation when doing so.
Your customers will be much more likely to not only recommend you but also actively promote your products to those that they know could benefit from it. If they have something to gain, your story will probably be told in much more detail, making the eventual sale a breeze.
But what could you offer to entice your current customers?
Well, the good news is that the offer doesn’t have to be something extraordinary for the strategy to be effective. After all, your customers are primarily recommending you because they are happy with your service, and the incentive is just the icing on the cake.
Some examples of the things you could offer include a discount to the service, more features, more personal time from your team, or even additional perks that aren’t part of the primary offer.
The most important thing to remember when thinking about the incentives is that they should offer real value while also showing the customers that you appreciate them and their effort.
Use Retargeting Ads
Using paid ads to promote your SaaS business is a no-brainer. But while there are many ways to take advantage of Google or Facebook ads, few are as useful as retargeting ads that engage people who have already shown interest.
One of the main reasons behind the effectiveness of retargeting ads is their ability to reach people that are actively looking for solutions like yours.
When someone visits your site, they might not be ready to buy at that time, but they are at least interested enough to be looking at what you have to offer.
Using retargeting ads allows you to leverage and build on that interest, keeping your products and services on your audience’s minds and sharing different compelling angles for why they should choose your product.
Having a way to display timely retargeting ads is vital, as the prospects are typically close to a buying decision. If you don’t persuade them to choose your services, they might end up falling right into the hands of the competition, even though you were so close to making the sale.
Building an effective SaaS marketing strategy is essential, not just for the immediate sales but also for building the value of your business in the long run.
With the strategies listed above, you will be well on your way to rapidly growing your business and thriving even in the most competitive environments.