November 22, 2022
5 Tactics For The Perfect SaaS Marketing Strategy

Attention to all SaaS product owners and marketers, we know it isn’t easy to get your marketing right, churn our high-quality content and focus on retaining existing users. This seems an even more daunting task if you’re just about to launch your product to market. 

However, fear not, you have come to the right place!

In this blog, we are going to break down 5 key tactics you need to be utilising to roll out your marketing strategy and make it a success 😅

For the more traditional folk (and marketing nerds), the first thing to know is that marketing a SaaS product is very different to traditional software and even further away from FMCG goods. 

First, we’re selling a service and one that we are looking to build recurring revenue from. KPIs such as customer retention, monthly recurring revenue and lapsed customer rates become incredibly important and our marketing needs to reflect that. 

In turn, some marketing channels such as email marketing, referral marketing and retargeting become crucial to the success of any well-laid marketing plan. 

This plan will show you how to hit your quarterly KPIs with ease.

Scroll down to see how you can integrate our 5 tactics for the perfect SaaS marketing strategy 👇

Tactic 1: Build Your Email List

We’ll preface this section with the perhaps well-known fact that we are email marketing nerds and whilst many on Linkedin might say the channel is dead, actually it could be your best-performing!

Recent research has shown that 87% of B2B marketers use email as a distribution channel. But you probably know that from the number of emails you have in your company inbox every day right? 

So if that doesn’t convince you, maybe this will: Millennials may be the age group that uses email the most. Data tells us that, in a 2018 study by Adobe, those who were born between 1981 and 1996 spent a whopping 6.4 hours a day on email. 41% even check their work email in bed, before or after work.

Trying getting that kind of engagement on Linkedin or even Twitter!

Perhaps most importantly, email marketing has an incredible ROI and is an effective channel to develop relationships with customers that last. That’s the crucial point with email marketing and any SaaS business.

Email marketing allows you to build a direct 1-2-1 relationship with your customers that is personalised, well-timed and effective. Imagine if you could give every single one of your customers a call and tell them about new product features, new discounts and deals, loyalty rewards and more! You’d be in the money for sure.

I hear you saying ‘Ok Rahoul, I’m convinced, but how do I make this happen?’

There are three key steps to get you going:

  1. Make it really easy for prospects to sign-up to your email list. Have a big form on your website and any key CTAs nice and bright. If it isn’t easy, they won’t bother.
  2. Nurture email leads through segmentation and automations. The power of email marketing comes from the ability to segment your audience and personalise the message. If you know a certain group of prospects have been on your website 5 times in the last week, you can ascertain that they’re pretty interested and so you can email them an offer or a free trial to get them over the line. Conversely, if you know you have lapsed customers, you can try to reinvigorate them and bring them back into the fold.
  3. Build your email list by offering high-value content. Whilst the awareness of personal data is quite high in the GDPR-weary world, users are still willing to give their data for something valuable. Offer checklists, guides and trend reports in exchange for an email address to build your list and nurture your prospects.

Tactic 2: Utilise the Freemium model

It feels like in an age of Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime and more, the Freemium model is something users have come to expect.

You’ve spent a lot of time developing a cracking product, it’s time to let it do the talking for you

The usual thinking is “I am prepared to have a diluted version of the experience for free to see if it serves my needs” and it is an attitude that can be helpful and harmful for SaaS businesses. 

On one hand, it is really useful to increase your overall users. It will give you an incredible insight into how prospects use your platform and how you are solving a problem for them. It also means you have a lot of data about them, making marketing just that little bit easier.

However, if the freemium version of your product does not stretch far enough for the prospect to get a good feel and understand how this solves a problem, you could lose them pretty instantly. 

Regardless of the industry you serve, competition is high and prospects are now used to trialling a number of SaaS products before they decide on a monthly or annual subscription. 

The option you have is to offer a free trial of all the features for a limited time period (14 days, 30 days etc). This would counter any concerns about users not having the full experience. 

The other benefit of this option is that your marketing has a natural cycle to follow. From the moment they sign-up to the last day of their trial, you know how they’ve been using your product and you can prompt them to move to a paid plan smoothly. 

The three key steps to get you going:

  1. Choose between a Freemium model and a Free trial. You will know which model fits best with your overall business model, either way, it is essential you give prospects a chance to try it out for free.
  1. Develop your marketing activations alongside the Freemium cycle. Utilise the data you gather and target users with high activity and deliver valuable messaging and content when they need it most.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Once you are in the mindset of giving something away for free, you will be flexible enough to try different methods. The Freemium or Free trial model can take shape in a variety of ways. Try them and see what resonates with your prospects the most.

Tactic 3: Retargeting

Using retargeting, sometimes called remarketing, will make you feel like a magician. 

If that isn’t enough of an incentive, then let us tell you that the ROI on this type of advertising makes it all worthwhile.

You’ve probably experienced retargeting in a number of ways, perhaps the most common is an advert or video on your Facebook feed after you’ve just been looking at that brand’s website. They’ve got ya!

A powerful tool for any SaaS business, retargeting allows you to nurture leads through a marketing funnel on the platforms where they spend time (Linkedin/Instagram etc).

Retargeting requires a deep understanding of your customer’s decision process and the messaging they need at each stage. 

Usually, retargeting is based on an interaction with your brand. This could be a website visit, a download of a whitepaper or even a like/comment on a social media post. Each of these gives us different information about what the prospect is looking for. 

Let us use the example that a prospect has visited your website in the last 24 hours. They may have landed via a Google search or directed from an affiliate. What we do know is that they spent time browsing and have shown some level of interest. This is very much at the ‘awareness’ stage. 

You could then retarget this prospect via an ad on Linkedin, showcasing your latest trend report that they can download for free. Assuming they have a reasonable amount of interest in the industry and area, they would download this and move into the ‘consideration’ stage, whilst you now have an email address to nurture and turn into a customer.

Easy right? 😅

You could develop this one step further and target your email list via Linkedin or Instagram with testimonials and case studies to help get them over the line.

The opportunities are endless and with your creativity, you could come up with some smashing campaigns!

The three key steps to get you going:

  1. Understand your customer’s decision process. Get into the mind of your customers and understand what they are truly looking for. This will help develop your month-to-month market activations and ensure no prospect slips through. 
  2. Work out where your prospects are used to being marketed to. We know that especially in the B2B arena, retargeting via Instagram or Facebook is less successful than Linkedin or even Twitter because users do not visit the former two platforms for ‘work’ and so anything business-related goes unnoticed. 
  3. Gain a healthy data set before launching. Retargeting campaigns work best with large data sets. Therefore, don’t rush to run your first campaign after a couple of hundred website visits. Focus on driving traffic to your website and building awareness first and then go all out via retargeting. 

Tactic 4: Content Marketing

The product you’ve created has been built to solve a problem right? So, your content marketing from web copy to blogs and further afield including checklists and reports must all contribute to solving the same problem.

Content is the name of the game for brands across the board, but for SaaS businesses looking to make the lives of their customers easier, simpler, faster and more effective - content marketing is how you communicate that advantage. 

The more value you are able to provide, the more likely prospects are going to choose your product and more importantly, trust you!

Our recommendation is to build your content marketing strategy to align with your ideal customer’s decision-making process. 

For example, if you think their first touchpoint should be a no-frills e-book download to do with their niche or job, then you should focus on that as your initial hook.

Later down the line, perhaps you retarget them with a blog about how your product solves their problem exactly with some great adjacent services/products. This could be in an email newsletter or through a retargeting campaign. 

The final piece of the puzzle might be a testimonial video of how you’ve solved a common issue for your existing users. Content such as testimonials and case studies are best utilised during the decision stage as it gives a lot of social proof and confidence in your product. Don’t overplay your hand too early and deliver these earlier on in the process, your prospects won’t receive them in the same way.

The three key steps to get you going:

  1. Churn out content like a newspaper. Content marketing will be crucial to hitting your KPIs and establishing your brand as the only ‘solution’ to the industry’s big problem. At each stage of your marketing funnel, high-value content will be relied upon.
  2. Speak to your existing customers. Before you rush into spending time developing content that you *think* would be useful, ask your customers what would be of value to them. This will help you decide what’s urgent and what is ‘nice to have’. 
  3. Develop content for multiple platforms. We get it, nobody has the resources to be making bespoke content for every platform - it would take forever too! Instead, we recommend developing content so that it can be used across a number of platforms and channels. 

Tactic 5: Set up a referral system

Thought we ran out of stats? Think again!

A well-oiled referral system can set your business up for success and drive down your customer acquisition costs dramatically. 

In essence, this tactic is based on the understanding that 84% of B2B transactions are conducted based on referrals. Realistically, it’s pretty high for any purchase. You are more likely to trust a product if someone you trust has recommended it right? 

A referral system is simply there to incentivise and manage users who are in love with your product and recommend it to their colleagues. 

The biggest advantage of setting up your own system is that you have a lot of flexibility. 

You could reward users who refer friends with money off their plan, an extra user for the service or even unlocking new features. 

The level of reward could even be based on the number of referrals a user has sent out. The more they bring in, the bigger the rewards. Seems fair right? 

You could go one step further and reward existing users who leave you a testimonial or review!

The three key steps to get you going:

  1. Identify a reward system that incentivises users. If you do decide to give 5p for every referral, chances are nobody will bother. When creating a system, make sure the rewards leave you profitable but also incentivises the user. 
  2. Embed the process into your onboarding. Make your referral system a core part of the process for new users. This way, they will always know about it and are more likely to refer you.
  3. Research competitor schemes. It is always a good idea to know where your reward system sits compared to your competitors. If they are outshining you, they may end up nicking some users to try and match if not beat their offer.

So, that was a lot, right? We wanted to make sure you left reading this blog with some actions to take away and kickstart your marketing strategy as soon as possible.

SaaS marketers don't have it easy, but thankfully there are so many tried and tested marketing strategies and tactics you can utilise with a good degree of certainty that they will work and build your business up for success. 

We hope the range of tactics we have discussed encourages you to spread your strategy across a number of channels. Putting your eggs into one basket can be easy but dangerous and it won’t be sustainable. 

If you focus on value and solving your users’ problems, you will be constantly winning!

Finally, don’t forget that marketing is all about trial and error. What worked for one business, might not work exactly for you and you will have to try to find your own spin on it. Just don’t give up at the first hurdle, you’ve got this 💪

If you’re looking to boost your marketing and lead generation, Book a call with our SaaS specialists and kickstart your growth today 🙌

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