SaaS businesses have grown rapidly in the last few years. But do you have what it takes to start in the SaaS world? Are your marketing efforts going to pay off in the long term?
In this article, our Google Display Ads experts will shed light on this topic and tell you exactly how to succeed in the SaaS marketing world.
In this article, we’ll talk about topics like:
- What is SaaS marketing and why is it different from other marketing strategies?
- How to attract B2B businesses with your SaaS product?
- How can you improve your SaaS marketing strategies to boost your sales?
But first, let’s start with the basics!
SaaS is an acronym that stands for Software as a Service and it refers to products like apps, online tools, and cloud-computing software. Some examples may include: Netflix, Dropbox, Google Apps, Slack, or DocuSign – they are some of the most popular SaaS companies.
As a rule of thumb, a SaaS product is any cloud-based app that you access via an internet browser instead of downloading it on your device (PC, phone, or console).
Why Is SaaS Marketing Different?
Knowing the difference between traditional vs online marketing will help you a lot, but there’s more to an SaaS marketing proposition than this.
SaaS products are difficult to sell because they have no physical presence. And, in many cases, they don’t even make sense to a lot of people.
Sure, everyone understands how Netflix works. But using Adobe Creative Cloud requires a lot more training. You’ll have to present an Adobe certification if you want customers to trust your designer skills.
Buying a pair of shoes or a comfy blanket are things that people want anyway. Thus, creating a digital marketing strategy for tangible products will be easy. But convincing people that they need something they can’t touch is challenging.
Even more, persuading B2B companies that need your product will be ambitious. In general, B2B companies are harder to please because they are more demanding than a regular customer. For instance, you’ll have to implement:
- a few extra layers of protection against cyber-attacks;
- a more complex design that satisfies the needs of a company;
- constant updates and features that are more useful than your competitors.
3. Customer Journey
The hardest part of having an SaaS product is to convince your potential customers (individuals, companies, or both) that your software plays an important part in their daily life.
Persuading people to buy a shirt is easy – all you need to do is to come up with an attractive design and put a fair price on it.
However, if you’re running a B2B business, your customers will have to go through multiple stages until you can call your marketing strategy successful. SaaS marketers call these stages the B2B sales funnel, and it looks like this:
- Build brand awareness (cold outreach, affiliate marketing, Search Engine Marketing)
- Earn the trust of your potential loyal customers (testimonials, social media content)
- Engage with your clients (webinars, analytics, tutorials, demos)
- Sale the service (clear CTAs, create special events, implement surveys, reviews)
- Retain loyalty (discounts, special offers, flash sales, better updates)
SaaS is a very competitive field. In the last year alone, this segment has grown significantly by 30%.
To stay ahead of the game, you’ll have to research what other services are available on the market and use this information to gain the trust of your possible customers.
For this, you’ll have to focus on both attracting new prospects and improving customer retention. If one of these 2 tactics doesn’t yield effective results, then your software won’t last long on the market.
Because you can’t make your clients pay a large amount of money right from the start, the ideal SaaS customers will subscribe to a monthly or yearly plan to use your app regularly.
For this reason, the SaaS business has a short sales cycle – under 12 months. 
When you’re setting the price of your service, you have to segment your customers. The most common segments for SaaS pricing are:
- Small businesses
- Medium businesses or agencies
Each segment will have a different price and value, so customers will have access to different features. As the price goes higher, they can benefit from more user accounts, better analytics, or more storage.
How Can You Implement an Effective SaaS Marketing Strategy?
If you think about it, SaaS marketing goals aren’t very different from a classic marketing campaign: you want happy and loyal customers that will enjoy your product for a long time.
However, if you want to put your brand in the spotlight, an SaaS marketing agency will be more fitted for your goals.
How to Generate More Traffic for Your Business
Fortunately, the basic rules of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are still the same for a B2B company and you want to boost your brand’s awareness and attract more loyal customers.
Here are 4 effective methods that you can try to implement right away!
1. Content Marketing
As a B2B company, you’ll still need to create attractive niche content to make your prospects trust you. By making high-quality content, your potential clients can see that you know what you’re talking about.
You demonstrate that you have experience in your niche and you address all the problems your clients have right now.
Professional SaaS marketers agree that the result of a successful SaaS content marketing strategy is when your product is selling itself.
For this, you need to create content that solves your customers’ problems and helps them achieve their next goals. Optimize your content with:
- Relevant keywords for your target audience
- Attractive images and videos
- Improved metrics by using Google Analytics (likes, shares, page views, bounce rate)
- Clear and concise CTAs
- Short paragraphs of texts that are easy to read
On average, billions of searches happen daily on Google.  Making sure that you get to the top of Google search results will help you find more relevant customers and build more authority in your domain.
Here are a few tips that can improve your SEO scores:
- Optimize with relevant keywords your meta titles and meta descriptions;
- Create an URL that’s easy to remember;
- Improve your website loading times;
- Perform a website revamp so you won’t deal with a high bounce rate;
- Make your website mobile-friendly.
The better your SEO strategies are, the higher the organic traffic you’ll have. Once you boost your visibility online, you can collaborate with other significant B2B companies to increase your sales.
What’s more, a good SEO strategy doesn’t stop at website optimization. It also includes strong social media marketing ideas. Your social content has a higher chance to become viral, and your followers will engage with your content by sharing and liking your post.
Social media SEO is like hitting 2 birds with one stone. For example, your community grows around your brand and interacts with your business daily. On the other hand, regular interaction with your audience will help you build authority in your niche.
3. Inbound Marketing
As the name suggests, inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses more on attracting more potential clients than pushing your business through affiliates.
Experts agree that inbound marketing is 10x more efficient than other forms of marketing strategies. 
Here are a few tips to make your audience understand what your SaaS product is about:
- Write useful blog posts about how other B2B companies can use your product to their advantage.
- Create workshops and webinars that help your clients understand how they can use your service to its full potential.
- Improve your local SEO and mobile SEO so you can gain more visibility online.
4. Outbound Marketing
By contrast, outbound marketing is when you actively reach out to your relevant audience. Some of the most efficient techniques are:
- PR outreach
- Cold email outreach
- Paid advertising
With PPC (paid-per-click) ads you can find accurate data about your audience and promote better content that your potential clients may find useful.
Outbound marketing maximizes conversion rates because it targets only clients that are interested to hear about your brand. Plus, you can network with people relevant to your niche by teaming up with influencers, journalists, podcast hosts, and other B2B companies.
This way, you can improve your website’s domain authority and build reliable backlinks to your website.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing has an incredible 4,200% ROI,  which makes it one of the most profitable marketing strategies.
But is email marketing that effective? After all, everyone has at least one email that goes straight to the spam folder.
Editor’s Note: Our marketing specialists will share with you some secrets about email marketing so you can increase your email open rate:
- Sprinkle some jokes in your email – a smile can go a long way!
- Personalize your emails with your prospects’ names, their company name, and any relevant information you can find about them.
- Make your email short and write clear CTAs that can guide your readers on what to do next.
- Focus more on the value you offer to your customers, and less on the value you want in return.
- Don’t send your emails on weekends.
- Double-check the email body for wrong punctuation, grammar, and spelling.
One of the most important things you’ll have to do before sending your outreach email is to gradually warm up your domain. In other words, you shouldn’t send all your emails at once.
Otherwise, your main domain can be flagged as spam. Instead, use a separate domain or a subdomain for your email marketing campaigns.
Another important part of email marketing is sending follow-up emails. Keep in mind that most people are either too busy to respond or they just forget. Sending around 2-4 follow-up emails will be just enough to get in contact with your prospects.
How Can You Sell Your Service?
If you want your product to sell itself, you’ll have to attract potential customers with interesting offers so they can test your product before fully committing to a plan.
1. Offer Free Trials or Freemium Plans
Free trials offer the opportunity to potential clients to see what your service is about. By letting them test your product for free, your prospects can see if your SaaS is a great fit for them.
In many cases, it’s also a great way to gather information about:
- What features are most important to your customers
- What possible bugs they might find during the free trial
- How you can organize your pricing so more prospects will commit to the paid version of your app
2. Offer Demos
People that are willing to participate in your demos are motivated enough to try your brand and devote their time to your business.
Demos are an efficient way to build stronger relationships with your customers by offering them clear solutions to their problems. Instead of contacting tech support and dealing with all the internal rules of customer service, your clients can look for answers directly from your demos.
This way, you can see exactly what are the most common pain points your audience deals with. Based on this, you can increase your product sales by turning your possible clients into loyal customers.
3. Focus on User Experience
If your app is the ultimate answer to your clients’ problems but it’s too complicated to use, your SaaS product won’t be very popular.
We’re living in an age of speed and people’s attention span has decreased significantly. Your customers don’t have the time to spend days or (even worse!) several weeks to learn how to use your product. Yes, this applies even if your service is useful!
Strive on making your SaaS product’s design intuitive so your service can improve your prospects’ life!
If you want to improve the user experience, you can ask for feedback or read your reviews carefully. Happy customers will help you increase your sales and make your product popular – so make sure that your product offers them a smooth experience.
You may be interested in: Modern Rules of Reputation Management Using Reverse SEO
4. Insert Clear CTAs
Imagine that you’ve just created the perfect, most exciting content that your audience is pleased to read.
But if you don’t insert a clear CTA, your audience will be confused or even frustrated. You’re making them feel all excited about your product, but you don’t tell them what they need to do next.
A concise CTA will encourage your customer to read more of your content or become a paying client. Your audience will know if your product is available, where they can buy it, or how they can subscribe to get more awesome content.
Most professional marketers agree that a well-placed and relevant CTA can increase sales by more than 80%.
How Can You Measure the Success of a SaaS Marketing Strategy?
Because your ideal customers are B2B companies, the SaaS marketing metrics are a bit different than the traditional ones.
Here are 4 crucial marketing KPIs you should track:
1. Customer Churn Rate
According to specialists, here’s the traditional formula you can use to determine your churn rate: 
- Custom churn rate = [the existing number of customers at the beginning of a period – the existing number of customers at the end of the period] / Existing customers at the start of that period.
If you happen to get a churn rate you don’t like, all the answers you need to know are in the marketing strategy:
- Maybe you need to come up with a better UX
- The pricing might be too high or too low
- The prospects don’t enjoy the product too much
After you get your answers, you can create a better SaaS marketing strategy that improves your customer churn rate.
2. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Because one main goal of an SaaS company is to increase customer retention, you need to focus on a metric that shows you how your relationship with the customers is evolving over the years.
To make it easier to understand, let’s take Netflix as an example. CLV will measure:
- How often do their customers use their membership
- When they stopped renewing their subscription: after 1 year, 3 years, and so on.
- What made them come back: better pricing, new TV series.
Once you have a better understanding of how customers use your product and for how long they do so, you can improve your SaaS marketing strategies.
3. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
These metrics refer to the cost related to gaining a new client whether we’re talking about the costs of the resources used to attract a new customer.
The formula you can use to determine CAC is as follows:
- CAC = Marketing costs and Sales / Number of new customers
However, keep in mind the marketing costs includes every expense for a certain period such as:
- Marketing strategies costs
- Managers and marketers salaries
4. CAC-to-LTV Ratio
The ideal CAC-to-LTV should be 3:1, meaning that the value of a customer should be 3x times more than the cost of gaining them.
If the ratio is too high, let’s say 6:1, that means you’re spending too little and you should improve your marketing strategies. Otherwise, your business will fail. If your metrics are close to a 1:1 ratio, it means that you’re spending too much.
Frequently Asked Questions on Saas Marketing
1. What’s unique about SaaS?
SaaS is a special market because your customers renew their subscription to your services regularly. This way, your business gives a predictable monthly revenue.
Based on this, you can reinvest in your business to make your software faster, more secure, and give your audience useful tech updates.
2. How do I create a SaaS marketing plan?
First of all, you have to do complex research and find what are your competitors, what they can’t offer at the moment and you can, how your ideal buyer persona looks like, and what are your marketing goals.
Creating an SaaS marketing plan can be a time-consuming sales process, so it’s better to have a team of specialists, say One Search Pro, to help you with it.
3. How do you market a SaaS platform?
People are not very likely to try a new software unless they believe it’s essential for their daily routine. To attract more customers, you can offer incentives like freemium plans, discounts, promos, or sales codes.
Also, a good way to reach a wide audience is to collaborate with influencers. This way, people will be more inclined to try software if a reliable person recommends it to them.
4. How do you grow a B2B SaaS?
Growing your B2B SaaS will not happen overnight, that’s for sure. You must collaborate with an SaaS marketing agency to improve your strategies until you get the results you want.
To attract more clients, you can integrate your product with other platforms, and promote your software on ProductHunt.
5. How can social media be used to market SaaS?
Social media platforms have different target audiences. If you’re an SaaS marketer, LinkedIn and Twitter are some of your best options.
On LinkedIn, you can find relevant contact details for possible influencers or relevant prospects to promote your brand. On the other hand, you can use Twitter for your PR campaigns.
However, keep in mind that every social platform has its perks. What works well for one SaaS product will not necessarily work the same for another product.
Further reading: Top Social Media Sites in Malaysia to Market Your Business
All in all, SaaS is a promising market that has grown rapidly in recent years. While it’s more difficult to promote software to your audience than a tangible product, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
A professional online marketing agency can make the marketing process a lot smoother, so you can focus exactly on what you like most – your brand!
If you still feel that you have questions regarding the SaaS marketing campaigns, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
With more than 10 years of digital marketing under our belts, we offer top quality services and consulting in various fields.
Our specialists from One Search Pro are ready to answer your questions and make your business bloom so contact us today and let’s put your SaaS business in the spotlight!