Revolutionize Your SaaS Business with 9 Proven Tactics and Growth Tools
With SaaS, it’s all about attracting and retaining your customer base for as long as possible. So, to win in this game, you need to ensure that they notice you easily, decide to try out your platform, and hope they’ll be too lazy to switch somewhere else.
All jokes aside, being early and investing decently in your marketing could get you some impressive results. While the right tools are important, you must also be tactical and think strategically. Here are the top nine tips you should try out.
- Offer a free trial
Signing up for a SaaS business is a bigger commitment than buying a product. It’s long-term, and even when the value is the same (one $60 payment instead of a three-months subscription of $20 per month), the feel is still different.
People want to know what they’re committing to, and the simplest way to show them is to give them a free trial. Now, you can choose what to put in this package (we’ll discuss packages later). Standard practice is to have a permanent free plan (with restricted features) and give your premium plan for free for a month (or a week/two weeks). You can just offer a free trial if you don’t have a free plan.
This way, you can show them exactly what they stand to gain. Also, you can help them handle a one-time project for free. This earns you some extra favors, a potential review, and a new interaction in the future. If they ever choose to commit further, they’re bound to stick to a familiar platform.
- Work on your SEO
A lot of people won’t look for your platform by brand name. Instead, they’ll look up industry-relevant keywords and see what comes up. This is why it’s so important to work on your SEO.
This is the best way to catch the early attention of someone joining the industry. Remember, they’re new and have no frame of reference, meaning you can convert them even with a subpar USP.
Also, it’s essential to understand that newcomers to the industry have no point of reference when it comes to these services. So, they naturally assume that those ranked the highest have the best standing in the industry.
Lastly, people are lazy. They hate the research. Regardless of whether this is smart, you should capitalize on this idea. Position yourself so that you’re one of the first platforms they’ll discover. This way, working with you will be their easy way out.
If you have a blog, you could use SEO to drive more traffic. Speaking of blogs and content…
- Outsource your SaaS content marketing
In the previous section, we talked about how SEO can help you with those too lazy to do proper research. Well, you need a different approach for those who are ready to invest some time and effort (those who aren’t afraid of reading and watching long videos). You need content marketing.
Ideally, you want to outsource this task to a SaaS content marketing agency. An average blog post will take between four and five hours to write; if you want to publish regularly, you just have no time for that.
Also, this content needs to go beyond just understanding your business. It needs to be well written from a technical standpoint and satisfy all the criteria of SEO writing. In other words, you need a specialist.
- Devise a smarter pricing strategy
Almost every SaaS out there has several pricing tiers for different pricing plans. It’s not uncommon to have a free plan and several premium versions. These often come with advanced features, better support (sometimes live chat is locked behind a premium version), or support for more users/accounts.
You also want to incentivize longer subscriptions. For instance, you can offer a sizable monthly discount for those willing to pay quarterly or yearly in advance. These discounts are amazing, and they drastically help with your cash flow.
They also boost your customer retention. After all, you don’t have to worry about returning customers because renewals are automatic. So, it’s all about retention. A longer payment is a commitment in advance. At the very least, you can expect to retain them for that period. Due to the nature of renewals, the renewal is also longer by default.
- Improve your customer support
Continuous use means a higher likelihood of a problem. This is why your customer support needs to be incredible. Also, the psychology of the user is that they fixate on the last interaction. If you’ve been using a platform without a problem for six years and have one problem, whether or not this is resolved determines your experience.
This means that they may cancel a subscription and even go out of their way to leave a negative review. Just imagine the frustration of abandoning the platform you’ve used for years because of a problem that’s crucial for your work, but you’re unable to resolve. It’s not hard to imagine they’ll take all this frustration out on you.
The other way around is likely, as well. A simple and quick resolution to their problem may earn you a recommendation and even turn them into brand ambassadors.
- Introduce a referral program
One of the most straightforward growth hacks is to introduce a referral program. The way this works is simple, you give discounts, free months of use, a switch to a more expensive plan, etc., to anyone who brings in a new user.
To avoid abuse (a fake persona to earn a reward), you may wait for the reward until this new user subscribes. Another thing you need to do is make sure that the reward is proportional to the value gained.
Overall, a referral program incentivizes your users to turn into brand ambassadors. They’ll actively try to lure people in if the reward is high enough. If it’s more modest, they’ll promote you when they get an opportunity. Either way, you’re winning.
- Utilize influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is huge in SaaS, especially if these are micro-influencers related to your field. The thing is that people generally look up to influencers, but here it goes even further than that. In this scenario, they’re more than just influencers. They’re also long-term users with experience in your field. This makes them extra qualified to pass the judgment.
In other words, if you have an audio editing SaaS and get a recommendation from a local musician, their word will carry a lot of weight.
Micro-influencers are not just less expensive than their larger counterparts; they’re also much more effective in their niche. These are usually either local celebrities or niche experts. In other words, while they have a smaller audience, their connection to them is considerably stronger.
- See innovation as the only way to stay competitive
SaaS products are always in development, so you need to innovate regularly to stay competitive. A long-term user will not abandon you just because someone else has introduced a new feature. However, things might worsen after two or three or after you fail to introduce it for several years.
The main thing to remember is that your developers need to keep an eye on the competition and do their own thing. You don’t have to invent the wheel every single time, but you must ensure you don’t start lagging. This would lose you even the most loyal of your regular users.
This is why you must focus on these core tasks (and outsource everything else).
- Utilize the power of social proof
People want assurance. Sure, giving them a free version is a great way to earn their trust, but do they even want to bother with you to start with? It’s much quicker for them to look you up online. They might read a review, check Reddit and Quora for questions about your brand, or even ask questions on these platforms themselves.
In other words, they’re looking for social proof. So, why not offer it to them? You want to start by checking brand mentions and asking for a tag or a link. This will make these positive comments easier to find.
Next, you should start with review generation and review aggregation. This way, you’ll gain a much stronger foothold in this field. Either way, you want all the social proof you can get, and sometimes you’ll have to work extra hard for it.
With the right tools, tactics, and long-term strategy, you’ll easily ensure growth for your SaaS
In the end, SaaS is a competitive field, and you need all the tools, tactics, and strategies you have available to remain competitive. A great site and the right product development are crucial, but you must look past this and be extra cunning. For instance:
- Persuade them to subscribe for longer
- Ensure that you’re the first they hear of
- Offer them a deal they would be crazy to turn down
Sometimes, all you need is a unique angle.
By Srdjan Gombar
Veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.