For the most part, SaaS marketing is similar to e-commerce marketing. However, there are some distinct factors that make SaaS marketing stand out. Below are 16 unconventional but true things successful SaaS founders know about market:
1. Metrics Matter
Your marketing should be tied to other important metrics in your business. For example, you should know how much you are spending on acquiring customers and how much you are generating from your new leads. Watching these metrics will help you determine whether your marketing efforts will result in positive returns.
2. Relationships Matter
If you are bootstrapping your startup, building relationships with key influencers in your industry is crucial to your success. Networking with influencers via email and social media and can help you with credibility when you launch.
3. Launch Big
Regardless of the type of SaaS business you are running, you need to launch big and fast. Now, launching big does not mean buying a Superbowl ad. It simply means being at the places where your audience hangs out. Get the word out about your product through all avenues.
4. Get Feedback
Steve Jobs famously said that customers do not know what they want. This may be true for a company with the ingenuity of Apple. However, most customers know what they want. Listen to their feedback and implement them.
5. Push the Right Message
Your product is only as good as the value customers will derive from it. Users must know how they will benefit from your product. The benefit must be compelling enough to make them want to pay for your product.
6. Know your Audience
Know your potential customers and how to reach them. Find out where they hang out, the tools they use and the technologies they prefer
7. Be Honest
Be honest when marketing your company. Provide sufficient information to prospects that will ease the conversion process. For example, if you offer 3-day trial, provide the information on your website. Do not wait until the customer is on page 3 of signup to divulge this information.
8. Timing is Everything
Timing is crucial when launching or marketing your product. If your product solves a problem that has cropped up in your target industry, move fast to get users to know your solution. Build and ship fast. Follow Eric Ries’ lean principles to get in the market.
9. Marketing is a Fully Integrated Architecture
SaaS marketing is more than getting your message to your prospects. Remember, the transaction does not end when a sale is closed. You still have to nurture the customers to make them remain with you until they outgrow your solution. Therefore, your marketing should include everything from product to customer support.
10. Manage Expectations
All founders wish that their companies achieve viral growth. This is why “growth hacking” has become an obsession among most founders. However, in spite of any marketing or growth hacking strategies, expectations should be managed based on your resources and skills.
11. Marketing can be Cheap
SaaS marketing can be cheap when it’s done online. For the most part, the biggest expense will be time. You can market your product through blog posts and social media networks, which are mostly free.
12. Free Users Do Not Help
Unless your business model is based on advertising, you do not want to target free users. Recurring revenue is at the heart of SaaS and your target market should be people ready to pay or take premium packages.
13. Don’t be Everywhere
You don’t need to market your product everywhere. You only need to be where your customers are. Define your ideal customer before you start any marketing campaign. If your customer is “everyone”, you need to rethink your offering.
14. Market with LTV in mind
Don’t strive for the first sale only; you need customers over the long term. After closing a sale, upsell users to other premium packages or add-ons. Remember to provide value to make customers stay over the projected lifetime value.
15. No Set-and-Forget System
Your marketing will need to be optimized on a regular basis to get more users and lower your churn. Look at different marketing strategies to determine those that are helping you achieve your growth and revenue objectives.
16. Planning is crucial
Startups tend to try anything that will help them achieve growth. Unconventional marketing approaches can help achieve significant revenues even with a small team. However, having a proper plan is important to successfully implement your marketing strategies.
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