Successful SaaS marketing, or Software as a Service, does not follow the same marketing model as a one-and-done software purchase does. The SaaS business model depends on a much different approach to customers, lead generation and sales conversion. Because of the way SaaS is designed, it doesn’t neatly fall into traditional marketing strategies for physical products or for a service– after all, you still have to sell the customer on the product itself.
But where the in-between nature of SaaS makes marketing strategy difficult, its unique form also gives it advantages. Concentrating on these advantages and bringing them to the forefront of your marketing strategy will help your software as a service stand out and get noticed.
Use Your Expertise
When it comes to attracting visitors, as cliche as it sounds, content is king—and software as a service companies are sitting on a gold mine of customer-oriented content. Why? Because your software already exists to solve a problem. SaaS products are made to do something, to make some sort of process easier. Whether that’s home budgeting, financial trading, being an online studio you can use anywhere with internet, or something else, you already know exactly what problem your ideal customers are having.
So give them information on how to solve it. Blog articles addressing common problems or tips to help your clients face them are great for SEO, great for proving your authority on the topic, and great for helping convince your prospects to sign up for a trial.
The Advantage of SaaS Free Trials
One huge advantage SaaS has when it comes to marketing? They have an easy, ready-made option to use as a loss-leader. Developing a free offer to coerce prospects into giving up their contact information is a common digital marketing tactic, but SaaS does not need to create a free ebook, white paper or other content offer. Just offer a short-term free trial.
Acting as a built-in content offer isn’t the only thing that a free trial for your SaaS lets you use to your advantage. It is also a great way to onboard potential clients before they officially buy. The trial period can act as the demo or product introduction for the basic features of the software, letting your leads become knowledgeable about your product through first-hand experience.
Short Sales Cycles, Long Relationships
If your software as a service caters to other businesses, it can be relieving to know that the sales cycle for a B2B SaaS product is considerably shorter. Its easy accessibility, lack of a need to coordinate installation throughout an organization, and subscription-style pricing mean that corporate customers do not need to spend months or even years deciding whether to invest in a new way of doing business. Especially when combined with the self-service of a free trial, onboarding and installation moves fast, providing incredible value to larger organizations.
The other side of the short sales cycle coin: your SaaS doesn’t make the bulk of its money from that initial sale but from repeated subscriptions. Since it requires less of an investment upfront for customers to sign up and start using your software, the real marketing challenge is lead nurturing, not lead acquisition. After all, if you aren’t good at customer retention, the clients you won through the free trial will not stay on. By adjusting your marketing to have an emphasis on providing good customer service, as well as good personalized email marketing, you can build up customer loyalty and maximize your marketing impact.