With the global market projected to reach a staggering $702.19 billion by 2030, it's no secret that the SaaS industry is not just thriving - it's dominating.
But what exactly fuels this growth, and how can businesses harness its potential to ride the wave of building sustainable businesses?
Whether you're a tech entrepreneur looking to grow your own SaaS startup or a seasoned executive seeking to optimize your company's offerings, you’re in the right place.
This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of SaaS growth marketing, exploring its key elements and providing valuable insights for success.
Let’s dive in!
What is SaaS?
SaaS(Software as a Service) refers to a software delivery model where service providers host applications and make them available to users all over the Internet.
This cloud-based approach has revolutionized businesses' operations by offering scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.
With SaaS, companies can access software applications through a web browser, eliminating the need for costly installations and maintenance.
Did you know companies use an average of 130 SaaS apps, according to Vendr?
This accessibility has democratized software usage, allowing even small businesses to leverage powerful tools that were previously reserved for larger enterprises.
Understanding SaaS Growth Marketing Funnel
The SaaS growth marketing funnel provides a framework for understanding how prospects move through different customer journey stages.
Each customer journey stage is focused on a specific part that helps you move the customers closer to using your product and becoming your raving fan.
How does growth marketing differ from traditional marketing?
Unlike traditional marketing approaches that primarily focus on branding and awareness, growth marketing looks beyond mere visibility.
6 Steps To Dominate Your SaaS Growth Marketing
1. Start by Increasing the Awareness of Your Product
During the awareness stage, your goal should be to familiarize prospects with your company's existence and ensure they hear about you.
To capture their attention, you can leverage content marketing by creating informative blog posts, ebooks, and videos.
For example, a SaaS company targeting small businesses can create a blog post titled "10 Essential Software Solutions for Small Businesses" highlighting their product's benefits.
They can also create an ebook that provides a comprehensive guide on streamlining business operations using their software.
So there are different channels you can use to increase awareness about your tool.
Here are a few most popular ones.
1. Use SEO to capture attention
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial in increasing the visibility of SaaS companies online.
Did you know that 46% of product searches begin on Google?
Knowing this fact, it is known that SEO is definitely one of the most popular channels that SaaS companies use to increase awareness about their company.
By optimizing your website and content for relevant keywords, you can improve your rankings on search engine results pages.
This, in turn, drives organic traffic and increases the chances of acquiring new customers.
Discover how we helped AI Tool grow from 0-60k monthly organic visits in 7 months.
2. Spread awareness through Social Media
Furthermore, SaaS companies can leverage social media to expand their reach.
It is known that based on where your customers are and which social media they use, you can be there and let them know about you.
Create engaging and shareable content that resonates with your target audience and promotes your brand.
Creating valuable and unique content on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can reach a wider audience and generate awareness among potential customers.
2. Make Sure Your Prospects Take You Into Consideration
The next step after your potential customers become aware of you is the consideration stage.
Prospects in the consideration stage are actively evaluating different SaaS solutions.
There are different ways you can stand out from the competition.
Here, you should provide in-depth product information, conduct product demos, and offer free trials to stand out.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Create a dedicated product page
Having no information or a small portion of it might not be enough for potential customers to understand how your tool works.
Create a dedicated product page on your website that provides detailed information about your features, pricing plans, and customer testimonials.
Make sure to tailor your messaging to address specific pain points prospects may have.
By highlighting how your software solves common challenges and improves efficiency, it can effectively differentiate you from competitors and move prospects toward the decision-making stage.
Here’s how Zapier did it:
They explained in three simple steps how users could easily create automation depending on their needs.
So whether users want to automate data export, notification popups, or anything that will simplify their business processes, Zapier covers them.
And that’s what they clearly understand from this page.
2. Allow prospects to feel your product
It’s great presenting your product features and how it works through a dedicated page.
What’s even greater is showing it to your prospects or letting them use it.
Here are two easy ways you can do it:
- Create demo videos showcasing how your software works and its benefits.
- Offer free trials or a freemium plan of your tool that can be an effective tactic to entice prospects to try out and learn how to use your software.
By allowing potential customers to experience the value of your product firsthand, you’ll be more likely to increase the likelihood of conversion.
Note: Before choosing the pricing type you will use, know that Freemium SaaS tools convert 25% more customers without the need for sales than free trials.
Here’s what SaaS companies generally do:
3. Use the power of content marketing to position your product
Content marketing is a powerful tool that SaaS companies can utilize to attract and engage potential customers.
SaaS companies can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry by creating valuable and informative content, such as blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies.
This not only helps in building brand credibility but also generates organic traffic through search engine rankings.
Here are some article types you can create to make your products a top choice for your prospects:
- Product-led & solution-focused articles - e.g. “X Best Email Marketing Chrome Extensions”
- Alternative articles - e.g. “ X Best Mailchimp Alternatives”
- Comparison articles - e.g. “Mailchimp vs Mailerlite - In-depth Comparison”
3. Help Prospects Make The Best Decision
In the decision stage, prospects are ready to purchase.
Here, it’s up to you to sell your product and persuade customers to convert by implementing different strategies.
1. Offer limited-time discounts
Offering a limited-time discount can create a sense of urgency and encourage prospects to take action.
SaaS companies can also provide personalized offers based on the prospect's specific needs and requirements.
By tailoring your pricing plans or offering additional features, you can make your offer more compelling.
2. Double down on testimonials
Customer testimonials play a crucial role in the decision-making process.
To get them to work on your side, showcase success stories and positive reviews from satisfied customers to build trust and credibility.
Highlighting how your software has helped other businesses achieve their goals can instill confidence in prospects and facilitate their decision-making process.
3. Provide responsive customer support
Offering responsive customer support is essential in the decision stage.
To put it more into perspective, 79% of businesses said that using a live chat tool helped them increase customer loyalty, revenue, and sales.
Prospects may have lingering questions or concerns.
Addressing those questions promptly and effectively can reassure prospects and facilitate their decision-making process.
By implementing these approaches, you can guide prospects through the different stages of the growth marketing funnel and increase the chances of conversion.
4. Put Your Focus on Customer Retention
What happens after the purchase is what makes your business grow.
Did you know the average annual churn rate for SaaS businesses is between 10-14%?
Being over that bar can potentially harm your business and lead to collapse.
That’s why retaining existing customers is vital for sustainable growth and should be more important than focusing on getting new customers.
Another statistic supporting this is that acquiring new customers can cost five to seven times more than retaining customers.
I guess you’re now more aware of the customer retention importance.
By nurturing customer relationships and delivering exceptional user experiences, SaaS companies can reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value.
In fact, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase your profits from 25-95%, according to Forbes.
Let’s go through some crucial techniques that can help you increase your customer retention rate.
1. Build a customer success team
A strong customer success team is pivotal in ensuring customer satisfaction and retention.
By providing personalized support and guidance, you help customers maximize the value they derive from your products or services.
Tip: Show your customers how businesses like their use your product to achieve goals easier, and educate them with case studies and customer stories.
This not only builds trust but also establishes a long-term relationship with customers.
2. Implement an effective onboarding process
One of the key elements of growth marketing in the SaaS industry is customer onboarding.
This process involves guiding new users through the initial stages of using a software application, ensuring they have a smooth and positive experience.
SaaS companies can increase user adoption and reduce churn rates by providing comprehensive tutorials, personalized onboarding emails, and proactive customer support.
Here’s what Box did to make their leads get a habit of using their tool.
Once the users sign up to their platform, they get a 14-day free trial to use the product.
Here, Box provides a checklist of onboarding tasks.
By completing these tasks, users are extending their trial.
This is a great way of rewarding positive interactions with the products and getting the users to know how to use your tool.
Not only do they learn how to use your software, but they also feel proud and nice getting rewards wanting to use it more and more.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
3. Offer personalized support
Offering personalized support is another key aspect of customer retention.
Providing dedicated account managers or support teams can enable you to address customer queries and concerns promptly and efficiently.
This personalized approach makes customers feel valued and supported, increasing their loyalty and reducing the likelihood of churn.
For example, Intercom provides you with an AI bot and allows you to contact their customer support experts to help you with concerns and questions easily.
And they let you do it in many different ways. Whatever way fits you.
4. Proactively address customer feedback
SaaS companies should actively seek feedback from their customers and use it to enhance their products, services, and overall user experience.
Proactively addressing customer feedback is crucial for continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.
So how to do it?
Mailchimp, for example, offers their users a chance to leave their feedback about any part of the tool or the page so that they can improve the experience for their users.
Demonstrating a commitment to listening and acting on customer feedback will foster a sense of partnership and collaboration, strengthening your customer relationships.
By implementing it, your users feel more important to you and feel they’re building the tool and better user experience.
5. Offer additional value-added services
Offering additional value-added services to your customers, whether for free or paid, makes them more bonded to your product.
This approach not only increases customer satisfaction but encourages upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
By covering all your customers' needs, so they don’t need to go elsewhere.
Instead, they’re all yours. 😉
Let’s say you have an email tool, for example, why not provide your users with the best email templates they can use for any purpose?!
And what’s a better way to use those templates than with your tool?!
Especially if you allow them to use it with a single click.
Note: Helping your customers succeed and improve their businesses in every aspect will cause you to grow even more.
5. Optimize your conversions and revenue
While acquiring and retaining customers are essential, optimizing revenue streams is equally important for long-term viability.
SaaS companies can achieve revenue optimization through various strategies such as:
1. Upselling and Cross-selling
Did you know that 90+% of revenue comes after the initial sale for SaaS businesses?
That revenue mostly comes from renewals, upsells, cross-sells, and usage charges that allow SaaS businesses to maximize customer lifetime value(CLV).
Upselling involves offering customers additional features, upgrades, or higher-tier plans to increase their spending.
By identifying customers who have the potential to benefit from these additional offerings, you can increase your average revenue per user and drive overall revenue growth.
Discover users who are getting to the limits of your product usage and offer them special discounts to upgrade their package.
What Dropbox is doing is offering you to increase your plan if you leave out of space.
Using this strategy can potentially result in more conversions, and your users will bring you more revenue.
Conversely, cross-selling is the practice of offering complementary products or services to existing customers.
By analyzing customer needs and preferences, you can identify opportunities to introduce additional offerings that enhance the value and utility of their core product.
For example, offering a setup and integration service along with a project management platform as an initial purchase can be a nice example of cross-selling.
This not only increases revenue but also strengthens customer loyalty and satisfaction.
2. Implement pricing tiers
Introducing tiered pricing models allows SaaS companies to cater to different customer segments with varying needs and budgets.
Offering different pricing tiers with varying features and capabilities can attract a wider range of customers and maximize your revenue potential.
This strategy enables your customers to choose the plan that best suits their requirements, increasing their satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of churn.
Most SaaS companies structure their pricing this way, such as Hubspot.
Here are some useful tips to make your pricing tiers more attractive to your leads if you plan to integrate it.
By continually analyzing customer behavior and adapting pricing structures accordingly, you can maximize your profitability with this model.
3. Implement referral programs
Implementing referral programs can be a highly effective way for SaaS companies to acquire new customers and increase revenue.
By incentivizing existing customers to refer their friends, colleagues, or contacts, your company can tap into the network and leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
This reduces customer acquisition costs and generates high-quality leads with a higher likelihood of conversion.
Let’s take Dropbox, for example.
Their referral marketing program was one of the main reasons for their global success – 3900% growth in only 15 months!
By leveraging the power of existing users’ referrals, Dropbox doubled its user base every three months.
Of course, the referral marketing reward and form don’t tell the whole story.
Dropbox took other actions to help encourage those referrals and kept improving their product based on users' feedback.
6. Use the Right Tools to Support Your SaaS Growth
Utilizing the right tools can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your SaaS growth marketing efforts.
Let's explore some essential tools every SaaS company should consider:
1. Marketing Automation Tools
To drive growth in the SaaS industry, companies often leverage advanced marketing tools and technologies.
These tools enable them to automate repetitive tasks, analyze data, and optimize campaigns in real time.
By automating email campaigns, lead generation, customer segmentation, etc., SaaS companies can save time and deliver tailored messages based on user behavior and preferences.
Some marketing automation tools that can help you with these tasks are:
- Different AI generating tools, such as ChatGPT
- Email outreach, sales engagement, and different automation tools, such as Lemlist, Hunter, Mailshake,
- Social media planning and publishing tools, such as Hootsuite, Buffer,
- And so on.
2. Customer Relationship Management Tools
A robust customer relationship management (CRM) tool helps SaaS companies manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the customer lifecycle.
It provides valuable insights into customer behavior, enables efficient pipeline management, and facilitates targeted marketing campaigns based on customer data.
Some of the most popular CRM tools are Hubspot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and so on.
3. Analytics and Reporting Tools
Analytics and reporting tools play a crucial role in understanding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and making data-driven decisions.
SaaS companies can optimize their marketing efforts and allocate resources effectively by tracking key metrics like customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLTV), and churn rate(CR).
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Data Studio can help you track your performance and have data accessible anytime.
Successful SaaS growth marketing requires a comprehensive approach that combines customer acquisition, retention, and revenue optimization strategies.
Leveraging targeted strategies, optimizing customer onboarding, and utilizing advanced marketing tools, can help you achieve accelerated growth and outperform your competitors.
But you’ll need a strong marketing team to support your ideas and achieve your goals.
So whether you think of creating an in-house or outsourcing agency team to support your growth, make sure to consider your needs, budget, and goals.
Likewise, feel free to contact us to help you discover what’s best for your business or whether there is a potential to work with us.
We would love to help you and at least give you some valuable advice.
Book a 30-minute free consultation to help you determine what’s best for your SaaS business and give you some valuable ideas to grow your business starting today.