Software as a Service (SaaS) has arguably become the most lucrative distribution model for digital technology products. The best part about having a SaaS business is that it is typically offered through a subscription model. As long as you keep delivering value, you are bound to enjoy ongoing income from your customers. The critical part is marketing your service in the most compelling ways to convert your target audience into actual paying subscribers.
Although a novel business model, SaaS companies rely mostly on tried-and-tested marketing platforms, albeit in ways that better emphasize the customer experience. Email marketing affiliate programs, for example, are extremely personalized for optimal conversions. Social media marketing works alongside other channels like email and SMS to provide a truly omnichannel experience.
Whether you’re new to the SaaS business model or you’re looking for new ways to promote an existing service, these are the top six marketing methods you should consider.
Email is not only inexpensive but also incredibly effective for promoting SaaS companies. With the right tools, it is a channel you can use to build an email list of highly qualified leads, convert them into actual paying customers, and keep them engaged so that they remain loyal to your brand (i.e., will keep paying the subscription fee).
Among the best ways to guarantee the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign to promote a SaaS product is to deliver content that’s not just personalized, but also useful to your audience. Here’s a good example from Asana –
Being a work management app, Asana understands that the best way to keep their audiences engaged is to continuously deliver useful content on productivity and effective teamwork. For your SaaS business, think about topics that are relevant to your brand as well as useful to your target audience. Figuring that out is the most crucial step in maintaining a successful email marketing campaign for your SaaS product.
Joining an affiliate network for your SaaS product could immediately put your brand in front of hundreds of thousands of marketers experienced in promoting products like yours. Essentially, this gives you access to a sales force paid based solely on performance. They’re incentivized to bring in leads for your subscription software, and they’ll do so using various techniques that you wouldn’t be cost-effective to use on your own.
Successful SaaS companies enjoy high customer lifetime values. Knowing this, you should try to be as generous as possible with your commission rates. The more competitive your rates, the more affiliates you can attract and the more motivated they will be to promote your product. This will make it easier for you to build credibility, widen your reach, and lower your cost of acquisition. Ultimately, it is one of the best ways to propel your growth.
Like affiliate marketing, referral marketing enables you to build a sales force, widen your reach, and improve the visibility of your SaaS brand. But instead of going through affiliate networks or third-party websites, you tap into the networks of your own customers. You can create your own referral engine by offering incentives to customers that recommend your service to others and, as a result, generate sales.
It is the nature of humans to patronize products recommended by people they know and trust. Because your customers are people who have first-hand experience with your SaaS product, they are able to offer meaningful feedback and more personal recommendations to their own networks. Thankfully, there are now many tools that make referral engines easy to set up and maintain.
Social Media Marketing
Social media remains to be one of the best ways to form connections with your target audience. It allows you to reach highly targeted profiles and also enables you to maintain open communication. This helps your customers feel closer to your brand and are, therefore, more likely to patronize your SaaS product and recommend it to others.
Additionally, social networks are excellent platforms for continuous engagement. Not only does social media marketing help convert audiences, but also keeps them interested in your brand. You can use it to inform, entertain, and generally provide value through content. It can also be used as a platform for your advocacies and a means to build a community around your brand. Ultimately, all this social media engagement will translate to better sales.
Grammarly, a writing assistance software, is an excellent example of a SaaS company maximizing its use of social media. The company uses its Facebook page to keep its millions of followers engaged by providing editing tips and useful information for writers. Additionally, they respond to comments and are readily available to provide customer support. Their use of social media undoubtedly contributed to the 30 million daily active users they have amassed over the past decade.
Investing in SEO and other strategies that lead to organic growth is an excellent way to ensure long-term success. However, if instant growth is what you’re after, nothing can beat the power of paid campaigns. Depending on your audience profile, you can choose to run PPC campaigns and other paid advertising on search engines, social networks, and many other high-traffic websites.
While traditional search engine advertising and social media sponsored posts are powerful enough to drive immediate growth, you’ll enjoy even better results through retargeting ads. These are advertisements that target people who have already interacted with your content before and are, therefore, more easily converted into paid subscribers for your SaaS product. Additionally, you can run paid content discovery campaigns on popular websites and video-sharing platforms.
Many people discover apps through online directories. These are sites that list and organize software products based on categories. Apart from listing available apps, these directories list functions and also provide helpful screenshots so people get a good glimpse of what to expect. Some directories also publish write-ups containing the pros and cons of each software product. Furthermore, some provide a means for other users to offer feedback in order to provide even more value to their own web visitors.
Getting your SaaS business listed in some of the most popular app directories is an excellent way to expand your reach. Every listing will also enable users to compare your app to similar services, so each one is an excellent opportunity to boast the functionalities that make your service the superior choice.
Marketing a SaaS business is undoubtedly challenging. Apart from having to overcome the difficulties of promoting an intangible product, you also don’t have the benefit of a marketing roadmap laid out by successful software companies. If email marketing affiliate programs didn’t work for one SaaS, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for yours.
Thankfully, you can consider the dependable SaaS marketing methods listed above to determine the best combination of tactics for your specific offerings and target audience. In doing so, you’ll be able to build solid campaigns that don’t just convert but also retain your subscribers.