Marketing Strategies to Grow Your SaaS business Part 4 of Series
We continue to list the strategies your B2B SaaS company must have to achieve success.
SAAS STRATEGIESSAAS GROWTHSAAS SALESSAAS MARKETINGB2B SAAS
This is part four of our five-part series on SaaS marketing. Part one described the SaaS formula and how marketing SaaS may differ from marketing for traditional products. In part two, we discussed marketing strategies that have proven highly successful for our clients. In part three, as well as here in part four, we will continue examining marketing strategies for SaaS solutions. In part five, we review the special metrics that a SaaS marketer needs to track.
It is important to note that we are sharing strategies that have a solid track record with previous SaaS companies we helped grow. Before we recommend ANY strategy, we complete our Discovery and Assessment Process. This will substantiate the activity and identify any nuances that might impact the rollout.
Omnichannel Approach - During the creation of your buyer personas, you will learn where your targeted personas frequent. While you certainly need to distribute the relevant content to those channels, it does not mitigate the need to have an omnichannel marketing approach.
An omnichannel approach will facilitate increased trust from prospective buyers, but equally importantly, will help build loyalty among current customers. This loyalty will result in better client retention. As they see a cohesive brand image being shown in a positive light across all channels, it will reinforce that they made the right decision in selecting your SaaS solution.
Regional Events - Developing a sense of community among current users will help both with retention and drive new prospects to want to be a part of that community. The communities will foster a sense of belonging where participants can share information, learn about new features, or discover tips that might make their jobs easier.
HubSpot managed to promote a sense of community better than most SaaS organizations. They had encouraged users to start up HubSpot User Groups, which created this camaraderie but also served to introduce new clients to the benefits of buying HubSpot.
Email Marketing - The reason email marketing is used for B2B SaaS marketing is because it works. The key is crafting an email that is relevant, personalized, and sent to a segmented list that wants to receive it. When it is done properly, the return on investment for email marketing, for the software and technology market, provides an ROI of $3,600% (Litmus). Before you get all excited, understand it is all about the execution of the marketing strategy. There are a number of highly successful strategies, but they ALL require the same foundation, and that is understanding what will resonate for a buyer persona at a specific stage of the buyers' journey. Get that information wrong, or even send it at the wrong time, and it will be seen as spam and provide zero return on investment. So, spend time developing your buyer personas (measure twice - cut once). Once you have locked in the messaging that a buyer persona needs to read, here are some best uses of email marketing.
Revive the Dead - Most companies have a list of once-interested prospects that have just died on the vine. Create a piece of educational content that addresses a well-known industry problem and share that with those dormant prospects. Make sure the solutions given are not just your product but genuine solutions. This will reestablish trust and open the door for a renewed nurturing campaign.
Client Retention - Using email campaigns to educate and connect with your current customers is an excellent method of reducing churn. Here are some of the emails you should be sending on a regular basis:
Product Updates: Inform your subscribers about feature updates and how they’ll benefit from them.
Product Tips: Share examples of ways to improve or streamline their business using your product that may not be readily apparent. If you have customer examples, showcase them.
NPS surveys: Learn what customers believe about your product to improve your product/services.
Company announcements: Share your latest big news with your audience, and make them feel part of your team.
Monthly Client Webinars: You should be treating your current customers like royalty and meeting with them monthly to share tips/tricks, product updates, and your product roadmap
New eBooks/Collateral: When you create a new ebook or collateral for a nurturing campaign, share that with your current clients. Make sure it is not gated when you do.
Welcome and Onboarding: Explain your product to new users. Provide them with a nurturing campaign that helps them navigate their new investment.
Prospect Nurturing - Most visitors, who visit your website or download an ebook, are not ready to buy. You have not earned their trust or shown the value of your SaaS solution. You will need to nudge them through the sales funnel by providing them with relevant content that addresses their concerns and hesitations.
To be effective, the content shared must be new information or presented in a new format. It is NEVER okay to send a nurturing email that does not provide a benefit to them when it is opened. That is the quickest way to be sent to the spam folder.
We have found that it may take eight touchpoints for the prospect to finally ask to be contacted by Sales. Make sure that you segment your list, so each person ONLY receives information that is relevant to their buyer persona at that stage of the buyer's journey. Make sure you use marketing automation software to make this process easier, and to ensure they receive the most relevant information as they move down the sales funnel.
Market Outreach - Develop a list of brand advocates and influencers who have relationships with the same targeted personas you seek. Share with them the same educational material and corresponding collateral. You will often see them using this content and provide you with attribution with their social network.
Eliminate Churn - To grow any SaaS business, it is imperative that you reduce churn. We all know that it is more expensive to earn new customers than it is to retain existing ones, but for a SaaS company, it means more than that. The SaaS model is based on the continued growth of monthly subscriptions, which are often contracted out on a month-to-month basis. This ability, for a client to leave at the end of each 30-day period, means you have to continually work to keep them. All the Marketing and Sales efforts are for naught if you have a high churn rate.
To put this in perspective, Harvard Business School did a study that determined increasing customer retention by five percent increased profits between 25 to 95 percent.
We have outlined several client retention strategies throughout this blog series.
Paid Demand - A paid demand program is an essential component of all SaaS marketing strategies due to its effectiveness in generating immediate results and driving targeted traffic. By investing in paid demand, SaaS companies can enhance their visibility, attract potential customers, and ultimately increase their conversion rates. Here are some of the strategies that will help a B2B SaaS company generate highly sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
Pay-Per-Click (PPC)- One of the best ways to utilize paid demand is through search engine advertising. By leveraging platforms like Google Ads, SaaS companies can display targeted ads to users actively searching for solutions similar to theirs. To protect your paid demand investment from bots or outright fraud, we recommend that you utilize PPC fraud protection software like Click Cease.
It is also critical that you utilize PPC in a strategic manner. This requires extensive research to find the keywords (or long-tailed keywords) that are not more expensive because every one of your competitors is vying for them. We recommend using Spyfu for this analysis. Also, it is possible to steal market share by bidding on your competitor's name or branded product name.
Social Media - Another effective strategy is social media advertising, which allows SaaS companies to reach a wider audience and engage with potential customers through platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
Retargeting Leads - Paid ads also offer a great opportunity for ‘retargeting’, which consists in reaching out to those who already interacted with your website in some way. It’s an effective product marketing strategy—customers are up to 70% more likely to buy your product when you use retargeting.
Once you develop a significant contact list, and/or web traffic, who has not engaged, you should consider retargeting them with Display Ads that will engage them as they surf the internet. This process will keep them engaged and interested in returning to the site for more relevant content.
Lookalike Traffic - Lookalike targeting works in a similar fashion as retargeting, except we use third-party software that can identify and match up the key attributes (income, title, location, etc.) that are found in your best clients. This is a means of highly targeting potential clients who are currently not part of our database.
Amplification - If you have a piece of content, or a webinar, that did exceedingly well organically, you can expand your reach and bring into your sphere new prospects by promoting that content with paid demand.
Co-branded Emails - One of the most effective ways to use paid demand is to acquire leads through the use of co-branded emails. You contract with a third party, often a respected industry publication or association to rent their email list. The reason this works so well and is not spam, is that they send the email out under their brand and domain. This process combines the best of influencer marketing with the impact of emails. There are many highly influential magazines that B2B targeted personas receive that provide valuable information and content on a regular basis. They have come to respect and trust these publications to help keep them informed and current on the best way to operate their business.
The compelling nature of a co-branded email is that you find a publication that will resonate with your targeted buyer personas, and you have them send one or several emails under their banner. Since the recipient trusts the source of these emails, the open and conversion rates are substantially higher. The trust the email recipient has for the publication is transferred to your brand. Often, publications will guarantee an open and click-through rate. This is an excellent opportunity to add a guaranteed number of contacts to your database for future nurturing.
Speed To Lead - The absence of a prompt response to a lead at ANY stage in the buyers' journey usually means they will look elsewhere. We live in an age where instant gratification is the expectation, and if a prospect has to wait a mere few minutes, they will begin to look elsewhere. While this is true at every stage, it is most critical when a prospect has made a bottom-of-the-funnel request.
When a potential customer expresses interest in your product or service, it is essential to respond promptly to capitalize on their interest and increase the chances of conversion. By being the first to reach out, you demonstrate proactive customer service and show that you value their time. To improve your speed to lead, consider implementing automation tools that can instantly alert you when a lead comes in. Additionally, having a dedicated team or individual responsible for following up on leads promptly can further enhance your response time. Remember, the sooner you engage with a lead, the more likely you are to close the deal and secure a loyal customer.
We recommend that the time to call back (yes, pick up the phone and call) should be less than five minutes at the maximum. Ideally, you should be calling them back within 60 seconds.
Over the past three blogs, we discussed marketing strategies that have been highly effective for our B2B SaaS clients. There are still a dozen more campaign strategies that we did not address. They will wait for our eBook on B2B SaaS marketing. Please look out for our final blog in this series where we discuss the special metrics that every SaaS marketer needs to track and own.