Software as a service (SaaS) has established a stronghold in the B2B market. The popularity has resounded throughout the industry, with the average growth rate of spending on SaaS products hovering at 58%. This figure is expected to grow as subscription-based models are commitment-free and easy to add to existing company workflows.
However, the popularity of SaaS also means that the market is laced with competitors. Having multiple companies in the same domain can reduce profits unless you power your marketing campaigns using unique strategies. You need to execute varying campaigns with the aim of showcasing your brand’s value and amassing a loyal client base.
Understanding the complexities involved in the process, we have devised a list of 9 SaaS marketing strategies to make your business grow among the big players. Read on as we decode the SaaS industry and discuss some tried-and-tested strategies.
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SaaS: The Reason for Exponential Growth
Traditionally, businesses have had no choice but to purchase the complete software to ease day-to-day operations. The purchase was preceded by a small demo that focused on the features and benefits of the product.
Plus, there were no provisions for using relevant features. Companies were compelled to pay for the entire software, despite not needing all the tools that arrived with it.
The arrival of SaaS revolutionized this market. Here are some of the benefits that speak for the impact of SaaS:
- Flexibility to pay only for the services used
- Elimination of the cost needed to upgrade physical infrastructure to accommodate software
- Higher scalability and seamless integration with the existing technology stack
- Time-saving setup since it already comes with the required configuration and installation
Essentially, SaaS has led to an increase in organizational efficiency at a reduced cost.
Marketing for SaaS Companies: 9 Methods with a Strong Track Record
The main point to remember before committing to a SaaS marketing strategy is to remain patient. The longer buying cycles in the B2B space mean that it will take time for promotional campaigns to convince prospective buyers. Once the prospects become aware about your SaaS product and enter the marketing funnel, the sales team can take over.
But the primary aim is to attract prospects through well-curated marketing strategies. Here are some tips to boost your marketing efforts and achieve higher ROI:
Capture Attention with a Freemium Model
Offering a freemium version of your software is a good idea to generate curiosity around your SaaS product. The goal should be to allow prospective buyers to sample the software by offering free features while ensuring that the premium model offers more benefits.
Freemium differs from free trials in a significant way.
- Free trials allow the users to experience the complete product, albeit for a limited time period.
- Freemium models unlock a select group of features for the users. For add-on benefits, they urge the users to subscribe to the product.
When using the free version, prospects are bound to realize the comfort and accessibility provided by the software. Based on their needs, they can top-up more features by committing to a subscription plan. This also lowers your overall customer acquisition cost (CAC) and establishes a distinct reputation in the market.
At the same time, it is vital to ensure that the freemium model does not take away the benefits of your premium subscriptions. The balance between both models is integral for increased ROI on marketing.
Craft a Unique Selling Proposition
Let’s face it – every SaaS product in the market boasts of its free features and subscription-based model, making life easier. But if every product is advertised using similar pain points, the prospect will likely go for a bigger brand name.
The solution is to limit the focus on generic benefits and go big with the USP of your product. Here are some ways to decide and highlight the USP of your products:
- Empathize with the prospects. Focus on building a seamless user experience that presents your product as a unique pick in the market.
- Communicate the business value of your brand and how the product was developed in accordance with it. This will help users relate better to your brand voice and the purpose of the software.
- Briefly discuss the strengths of your software and what makes it unique.
- Research your competitors and ensure you position your product in sharp contrast with their offerings.
A tried-and-validated example of this is HubSpot. This platform has marketed itself as a single solution for CRM and the management of different teams. But when you look for a SaaS product, HubSpot focuses your attention on its free online website builder and markets itself as a tool for building and managing your website.
It further emphasizes the flexibility of adding different tools to the online website builder and enables a seamless integration.
Lean on Targeted Content Creation & Marketing
Knowing your audience is critical in communicating your product to the masses. Perform comprehensive research that gives you insights into your ideal customer profile before crafting content and marketing it through various channels.
The reason is simple – different audiences have different preferences. By knowing your target audience and buyer personas, you can ensure that the content aimed at them is framed in more relatable language. Knowing crucial information like their demographics will also help you use the right channels to market your software.
It is a good idea to rely on lead magnets to get more insights into your audience.
Take the Help of Testimonials
Did you know that use review sites to decide?
Regardless of how much your brand shines a light on the benefits of the software, users are less likely to be convinced unless peers have rated it similarly. Tried-and-tested testimonials are a huge part of the buying decision, and subscription-based SaaS models are no different.
Encourage existing subscribers to post their honest opinion on various third-party review sites. Since most prospects stumble across these websites organically, they will be more likely to form a positive opinion about your products and be convinced to explore your software.
Once the prospects visit your website, you can use targeted marketing and promotional methods to onboard them into the sales pipeline.
Highlight Public Beta Releases
Innovation forms the core of the software industry, as you must stay on par with competitors. The addition of a new UI, more features, and simplified functions might sometimes be supplied without insights into what has changed.
But what if you released them for a specific audience?
The market is brimming with product testing websites like Product Hunt and App Sumo that allow users to experience the initial versions of your product. So, if you’re unsure whether your new features will be recognized, use these platforms for marketing new releases and obtaining crucial user feedback.
The best part is that it gauges the audience’s reaction to your product.
Encourage Referrals with Incentivization
Marketing strategies do not have to be limited to direct marketing. You can use the reach and industrial expertise of your existing members to draw in more prospects and convince them to use your software.
How? Two words – referral programs.
Building an effective and well-planned referral program might seem complex, but it pays significant dividends. This is reinforced by a report released by Trust Radius, which claims that referrals are the most effective forms of B2B marketing.
Referral programs have a two-pronged effect – they reward existing clients for referring your brand while helping you amass a wider user base. Even if a user starts with the freemium model, you can rest assured that if the UI and features of your software appeal to them, they will switch to a paid subscription model.
Look Towards SaaS Email Marketing
SaaS email marketing is one of the most impactful methods of gaining traction in the market. You can send cold emails or use a pre-tailored database to target relevant decision-makers and highlight your products. It also allows you the flexibility to convey new additions to your SaaS products and keep prospects in the loop.
Promotional emails, newsletters, and even an intimation of offers are just some content you can send through email marketing. The aim is to nurture leads and keep your brand fresh in the mind of prospective subscribers.
But the essential pre-requisite for successful SaaS email marketing is a reliable database, usually available with B2B marketing database providers. Leveraging this data along with your marketing strategies can help you achieve higher ROI and boost your profits.
Leverage Account-Based Marketing
With account-based marketing, you shift to a more focused approach and concentrate on selling to high-value accounts. The goal is to optimize marketing resources and direct them to qualified leads who will respond better to your promotional messages and offers.
Personalization forms the crux of ABM, as it is your responsibility to identify problem areas and offer your SaaS product as a solution to them. Concentrate on what your product can do for them instead of relying on highlighting the generalized benefits of your software.
If done correctly, ABM can elevate your marketing strategies and on-board high-value prospects into the sales pipeline. You can even market to prospects in different countries with relevant tools. For instance, the USA business list can help single out high-value prospects from the USA.
Once you have amassed several users and convinced them to subscribe to your SaaS features, you can use additional methods like a referral program to incentivize them if they bring in new clients.
Track & Adapt
Standard marketing strategies might not get you the result you desire. Based on the market response and competitor actions, adapting and changing your marketing campaigns is necessary.
A good rule of thumb is to track your marketing results weekly. Tracking the progress and results of your campaigns will help determine the responses and click rates of your SaaS email marketing efforts. If you feel the campaigns are not performing, you can change them and use a new approach based on these insights.
SaaS marketing strategies must be innovative to capture the interests of the prospects. The first step is to showcase the product’s value by letting the users experiment with a freemium model. At the same time, you can send them targeted communications depending on their buying stage to express the features and benefits of subscribing to your software.
You can also run personalized email campaigns and use account-based marketing to target high-value accounts and acquire higher ROI.
Experimentation lies at the core of SaaS marketing; your willingness is the only limit. But ensure that you stay consistent with your marketing efforts and make suitable adaptations, when needed, to remain relevant in the market.