SaaS Growth Strategies: Software-as-a-service or SaaS is a way of delivering applications on a subscription basis.
Within this model, a service provider is responsible for hosting and maintaining the app, data, runtime, operating system (OS), and hardware.
Developing SaaS solutions has a number of advantages, as maintaining and managing such applications lies on a cloud provider’s shoulders. Key benefits of this model include:
In this article, we’ll overview the industry market, explain why having a growth plan is important, share some SaaS growth hacks, and choose a SaaS marketing strategy to follow in 2022.
The modern SaaS market offers a number of solutions tailored to the needs of different b2b customers. Among the big names are:
- Adobe Creative Cloud, a set of tools for graphic design, video and photo editing, and web development
- Zendesk is a customer service platform that allows businesses to provide support to their customers via email, SMS, phone, and live chat.
- Dropbox, a cloud storage provider that provides files storage and synchronization
- Pipedrive, a sales customer relationship management tool
- Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing service
Salesforce, a cloud-based platform for customer relationship management, is considered to be the first SaaS solution. In the first two decades of the 20th century, the SaaS market has experienced exponential growth.
The pandemic made people all around the globe switch to communicating and working at a distance, therefore SaaS providers like Zoom, Jira (Atlassian), and others came in handier than ever before.
As of 2021, there were 15,000 SaaS companies in the United States only. Their customers worldwide amounted to 14 billion.
[Leading SaaS countries in 2021, by a number of companies. Source: Statista]
This data provided by Statista proves that the SaaS development market is highly competitive. That’s why developing a SaaS platform it’s worth following the SaaS industry trends and thinking of a growth strategy at once.
The core point to focus on when marketing a SaaS platform is to provide real value to potential customers. But in terms of the overcrowded market, even a perfect product can’t market itself.
A SaaS strategy should embrace various marketing channels as well as focus on bringing comprehensive information about a SaaS product and its features.
What is special about a SaaS marketing strategy? It targets b2b and b2c companies and involves a longer customer journey.
Why is it so? Implementing SaaS is a complex project that often requires integration with the existing processes, tools, and frameworks.
Answering these questions, it becomes evident that growing a SaaS business should first of all be aimed at providing essential information about system usage. Here are the 5 ways to ensure SaaS growth.
Most plans for b2b growth include giving away a free trial. SaaS solutions have a lot of different features and functions, so it takes time for users to get used to them. When the free trial is over, a customer can decide whether to keep using the app or stop.
For SaaS providers, offering a free trial is the best way to show how valuable the product is and find out what its full business case potential is. Even if a customer doesn’t want to keep using your app after the free trial, you’ll be able to figure out what went wrong and use that information to make your product better and grow.
Set up webinars, training, and demos, and post about them on social media, to help people who are trying out your product for free or who might buy it understand how it can help them. Here are some things you can do to help your SaaS grow from these events:
- Explore your target audience in detail and tailor your online events to the needs of each group (explain how your software can help businesses of different sizes, within specific domains, etc)
- Uncover real use cases and give examples that are applicable to real-life (explain user roles, demonstrate integrations with popular systems)
- Think of sharing other customers’ testimonials
- Make sure to share the recording with those who were not able to attend and post it on social media
Make sure your website contains useful information about the product features. This will help you both acquire new customers and demonstrate loyalty to those who are already using your product. Diversify your content to appeal to various audiences based on the way they perceive information.
- Define your target audience and create content that approaches your buyer persona
- Avoid writing superficial articles and create in-depth content tailored to the product value
- Make sure to use comprehensive infographics
- Create educational videos (explain product features, tell about integrations supported by the system, etc)
- Publish fresh market studies and reports
- Produce PDFs and e-books
If you don’t spend enough time and money on SEO, your content marketing efforts might not work. Ranking high in search engine results pages brings more people to your SaaS website and helps you find more leads. For SaaS to grow, an SEO plan should include:
- Understanding your potential customers’ search habits and behavior
- Optimizing your blog posts and website content with relevant keywords
- Adding high-quality links from authoritative online resources to the content published on the product website
- Finding the ways to improve your domain authority
One of the best things you can do to grow your SaaS business is to get the valid email addresses of your potential customers. This way, you can let people know about new products and special offers, welcome new customers, share a strategy for keeping customers, and more. Here are some real-life examples of how to get the most out of email marketing:
- Explaining new product features
- Suggesting further options after a free trial period has expired
- Offering tutorials to new customers
- Sending transactional proofs
- Distributing discounts to regular customers
- Offering supplementary products and advanced product features (upselling and cross-selling)
Since the number of SaaS companies grows by a factor of 10 every year, SaaS providers should think about a marketing plan as soon as they start making software.
If you want to grow your SaaS business, you should look into ways to spread information about how the product works through the channels that are available. Talk to your regular and potential customers to show them how valuable your product is. Invest in content marketing and hold online events to spread the word about your SaaS and reach more people. Try your best to give customers who are using a free trial version what they want.
SaaS makes it easy to grow and allows for regular updates and new releases. If you have a marketing plan and know how to put it into action, it shouldn’t be hard to grow your business.