Our friends over at www.findmyworkspace.com share some amazing tips on how to improve your marketing efforts if you own a startup software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup.
The SaaS startups industry has a projected growth rate of 19.5% annually. Although the market for such is also projected to grow fast, it also goes without saying that competition in this industry is stiff and relatively fast-paced.
It gets even harder to convince people to go past the free trial stage of your product if they know they’ll get similar services for free elsewhere. As the owner, how can you possibly keep up with the competition and up-sell your services to customers?
Here, we give you 11 tips for SaaS startup marketing.
1. Nurture leads and inactive customers through emails
Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to your customers especially for those who are into the business-to-business (B2B) industry. Email communication is personal, but not too intrusive like how social media can be, and because of that, it is perfect for software-as-a-services startups.
Leads are customers who either signed up for your services or downloaded a free e-book from you but are still basically undecided to whether or not pay for your service.
These are your potential customers. They may need a little push to convince them that your product is worth the buck. It wouldn’t hurt to do a follow-up by dropping them an email, ask them if they are still interested, or offer them a trial package to help them get started with your service.
Inactive customers however are those who have already made use of your software. In one way or another, they managed to disappear or stopped their subscription along the way. It wouldn’t hurt if you send them a follow-up email. You can ask them what has gone wrong, and offer ways to renew the service.
2. Focus on inbound or content marketing
People look for information online. If you could successfully provide information about your industry or niche, or offer tips, guidelines and how-tos that would be useful to your target market, then you are on the right track towards getting more organic leads.
You can do inbound and content marketing through frequent blogging, e-books, white papers, or even through other types of media such as webinars and podcasts. You should definitely get benefit of this, as it could also help you become an authority in your industry. It means, more leads, more customers in the end.
Don't forget to read our blog post about 25 tips for content marketing for beginners, if you are new to content marketing.
3. Make sure your service can be easily accessed everywhere
Offering a free trial is great to get leads. However, it may not be enough to keep them using your service. You need make sure your software service fits your customers' needs and usage patterns.
Do remember that your market may have specific needs. So if you are targeting people on-the-go, then it’s best to have a mobile app version along with an online web version.
4. Forge partnerships with industry-influencers or referrers
This could also be part of your inbound marketing plan. If your software is fairly new to the market, you need important partnerships to gain extra leverage or exposure to gain more leads and customers.
You need to start looking out for websites, bloggers, or industry-experts from your niche and try to establish a relationship with them. If done successfully, these partners can feature your services in their pages and in return, you may offer them an incentive or a free pass to your service.
This tip may not be easy to apply for your SaaS startup but if you can manage to do it somehow, it could be very fruitful.
5. Be more engaging and responsive to leads and customers
Nowadays, businesses that incorporate a personal touch in their services are greatly appreciated and recommended by its customers.
Have you ever heard of word of mouth? Right, it is very important and if you could keep your connection with your customers, you can benefit a lot from word of mouth. Remember, you also need to have a very good product.
Don't forget, your Software as a service startup may be overwhelming for beginners and for people who are still adjusting to its use and overall potential. Make sure customers have a way of contacting you whenever they need your assistance. It would be best if it is either through email or live chat.
6. Position yourself as an authority or expert in your niche
As we have mentioned already, part of your content marketing plan is to position yourself as a reliable expert in your field. If people can’t trust your expertise, how do you expect them to patronise your services?
Make sure to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and developments of your niche, so your customers would learn and be informed from you too.
7. Develop new ways to improve your service
This is more of product development, but new additions and features to your software as a service can be a tool to reel back in those inactive leads and customers in the past.
New additions and improvements to your service may also increase the chances of existing customers to retain your services. You should also keep updated your customer about your new features via email as well.
8. Take note of your client’s journey
More often than not, Software as a Service startups are conceived with a purpose in mind, and that usually involves making its users achieve a more efficient system in their business or personal dealings.
The job does not stop at providing said software, it also includes making sure that your clients actually get the results they wanted. When they get results, it means that your software is working. When it’s working, they will continue using it.
For that reason, you client’s journey is also important. You can take note of the problem areas that they are struggling with, and offer them tips and guides that you may have prepared from your inbound and content marketing efforts.
9. Provide incentives to long-term clients
It’s great when most of your clients have been with you for quite some time, but it does not mean that these existing relationship should not be nurtured.
Once in a while, you also need to make them feel appreciated by offering incentives and special offers. You can do this through discounts, free upgrades or free add-ons.
Don't forget you have already spent a lot of effort to get those customers, do not lose them.
10. Generate new leads through paid ads
Content Marketing through direct and organic means may take some time to establish. If you want to jumpstart your exposure, paid channels like Google Adwords and Facebook ads can be useful. This may entail significant costs, but if it is done correctly, it could guarantee immediate results.
11. Make it sharable to social media and emails
Good old word of mouth is still an effective marketing tactic. Aside from personal promotions and referrals from industry-experts, customer referrals are also great ways to attract more leads.
Encourage customers to talk about your stuff by creating a widget or a mini about page that can be easily shared through social media pages or email or chat conversations.
The first step towards creating an effective SaaS startup marketing campaign is by making sure that you and your team collaborate well enough. Collaboration can help you determine which areas could be unique selling points for your service, which areas should still be improved on, and how to reach out to your target market more effectively. So, plan ahead your SaaS startup marketing strategy.