Once you have developed a compelling and effective Software as a Service (SaaS) product, it can be difficult to truly make an impact in an incredibly crowded marketplace full of clamoring voices. To help you rise above the competition, below are some proven SaaS growth hacks.
Let’s explore some common, unique growth strategies that can result in better experiences for customers throughout their buyers’ journeys and allow you to scale your company.
While these steps vary in terms of difficulty, cost, time required, when and how — and if — your company should implement them, it’s likely they all should fit into your overall marketing strategy.
A referral program works by incentivizing customers to encourage others to sign up for your program, whether that be through cash credit on your service, or something else. Referral programs are one of the most effective ways of increasing your customer base and increasing satisfaction and engagement for your existing clients and are especially effective for SaaS companies.
A personal recommendation from a friend or colleague will create immediate brand trust and is more effective than an advertisement. While it may incur some up-front costs, a well-played referral program will almost always result in long-term growth and engaged customers.
You can implement these in a variety of ways and in different stages of customer acquisition for different results. For instance, you can ask existing clients to refer new customers in exchange for a month of free services. Another way to incentivize your customers is to offer them discounts — whether they are new or existing customers — for sharing something on social media or following one of your pages.
In a crowded market full of similar options, a free or discounted trial is one of the best marketing strategies out there. The length of time your trial lasts depends on your financial situation and what you’re offering.
Some SaaS giants — like Spotify and Dropbox, for example — have serious free trials. In addition to its permanently free version with ads, Spotify often runs deals where customers can try their premium product for free for three months. This lengthy trial gives the user time to make playlists, get accustomed to downloading music for offline use, and listen without hearing advertisements.
Once the free trial has concluded, more times than not the user feels that the product is worth paying for.
For smaller companies, an extended free trial can be difficult to pull off financially. A longer free trial isn’t always better. Extended trials can result in users forgetting about the service or using it for a while and then never actually subscribing.
Partner with Other Companies
One excellent way to improve your marketing strategy and grow your SaaS business is to co-market with other companies. One example is the partnership between Hulu and Spotify. They bundled their services in the hope that clients would realize their need for both.
You can also work with other SaaS companies to offer your product to them at a discount in exchange for something similar from them. This type of b2b SaaS marketing is effective in building long-term relationships.
What if you could get a second chance with those potential customers who come to your website or landing page only to leave without converting? That’s exactly what a retargeting pixel does.
By “following” your potential client around the web, nudging ads for your site and SaaS product toward them wherever they go, you increase your odds of converting that customer. For this method to be effective, it is essential that you have a simple call to action and value proposition.
Improving your conversion rate is key for scaling your company, and this simple method allows you a second chance with those near-miss website visitors.
The Hail Mary
Another way to convert potential customers who are attempting to leave your site is the Hail Mary. Simply put, this is a last ditch effort you give to a visitor on your site. You offer them something useful — whether that be a great offer or some sort of helpful content — in exchange for their contact information or email address.
This helps you develop a new lead that was ready to walk away from what you have to offer.
There are some simple pricing strategies you can take to ensure that your offer appear to have maximum value. Most SaaS businesses implement a tiered pricing structure with various levels of subscriptions.
- Anchored Pricing: This simple strategy involves placing your most expensive pricing option first, making the other options appear like they are better deals.
- Left Digit Anchoring: This is a common strategy used from retail to the food industry to technology. Instead of simply listing the price as $100 flat, with left digit anchoring you list the cost as $99.99. This is especially effective when jumping between hundreds or thousands. Studies show that sales almost always work better with this pricing format since customers associate with the lower number.
- Decoy Price Points: With a business model that includes several tiers of pricing, you can use a decoy price point to increase the apparent value of your other options. For instance, you can offer three subscription levels. The first should be the most basic, the second including an additional benefit, and the third being the all-inclusive package. The second can serve as a decoy price point. Much more expensive than the first and comparable to the third, it increases the apparent value of your most comprehensive package.
One of the most cost-effective and efficient forms of marketing in today’s online landscape is content marketing. With helpful pieces of content such as blog posts, videos, and white papers, you can simultaneously increase your brand awareness and promote your service. All of your content marketing efforts should have some sort of call to action relating to the content you produce.
Related to content marketing and search engine optimization are strategies implemented to ensure that your content gets in front of the right people. You want to simultaneously improve where your website and service ranks in google’s algorithms and ensure that your content gets in front of the right eyes.
To ensure that your content has quality links that it needs for Google’s algorithms to recognize it, here is a great strategy known as the skyscraper technique:
- First, you find a piece of content from a relevant site that relates to the content that you wish to produce. This piece should have plenty of backlinks to it and should have been shared plenty of times.
- Second, you produce a similar piece of content that is superior in every way. It should be longer, more detailed, thorough, and reliable.
- Lastly, reach out to the sites linking to the original piece of content to tell them about your new piece of content. This should generate some high quality links to your site.
Integration and Engagement
As you aim to promote your SaaS products and scale your business, you should focus on integrating your service with as many other websites and social media as possible. This allows people to easily, without friction, share their experience with your service and spread awareness.
In terms of engagement, you want your customers to have an active relationship with your company. Referral programs, email communication and other similar incentives can help with that. Another helpful tool is to integrate live chat into your website for potential customers and into your service for existing clients.
What Do You Need to Grow?
For each and every one of these strategies and growth hacks, you need capital. Of course, there are different costs associated with each of these strategies, but you need growth capital to research, plan and implement them all.
That’s where we come in.
Regardless of which of these SaaS pricing growth hacks you are looking to implement, your company will need an injection of external capital at some point. With your reliance on relatively small monthly payments and a lack of upfront payments, SaaS companies like yours are in particular need of outside investments.
We specialize in providing capital to SaaS companies just like yours. Our process is simple. We provide you with the growth capital that you need to expand your operations and increase the value of your SaaS business in exchange for manageable monthly payments based on your monthly, recurring revenue.
Unlike others, we do not take any equity, a seat on your board, and our terms are simple. To be eligible, you do not have to be profitable, but you should have a predictable recurring revenue of at least $50,000 a month. If you are a SaaS company, learn more about how we can partner with you today.