Lead generation is obviously one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy. However, lead generation is increasingly becoming more challenging, with 63% of surveyed marketers stated that their top challenge throughout 2017 was generating leads.
Arguably, the challenge is even more important in the SAAS industry, as lead generation is very important in encouraging growth in an SAAS business. So, how can we have an effective lead generation strategy for SAAS business? In this guide, we will share several powerful tips you can apply as your lead generation technique.
Without further ado, let us begin with the first one.
1. Develop and Publish Valuable Contents
In our previous guides on digital marketing (link) and SEO for SAAS companies (link), we have repeatedly stated that content marketing is as important as the software product itself.
Why is this? According to several studies, including the one by Google and Millward Brown Digital, most B2B shoppers begin their research with a generic search for valuable contents. Meaning, if you can provide them with the contents they are looking for, you get their attention.
There are a lot of SAAS companies that are successful thanks to their content marketing: HubSpot, Moz and KissMetrics being just a few examples.
Check out our previous guide on content marketing here (link), but here are a few key areas you should focus on:
- Your Blog
Your blog is a powerful tool in many different aspects: besides providing valuable contents to your prospective leads, it can also act as the most important part of your SEO, which can also act as an indirect lead generation tool.
So, your main focus is to update your blog regularly while targeting the right keywords. But, and it’s a big but, your contents should be valuable enough to your audiences, which in the case of the SAAS industry, often demand highly technical contents.
- Technical Contents
Technical ebooks, whitepaper, or study reports are really valuable in the SAAS industry, and is almost a surefire way to gain leads. You may offer them as a download, in exchange of their email address or other information. Then, you can use the gathered data to start an email marketing campaign.
- Video Contents
We can’t neglect the importance of videos nowadays. Simply a video of your product demo can be helpful not only in lead generation, but also to encourage conversion. Also, consider live streaming and webinars. Behind the scenes contents are also viable to build credibility if you can execute them right.
2. Optimize Your ‘About Us’ Page
Your about us page is one of the most important assets in building credibility. Most people on the internet (including your potential customers) check for online reviews (if any) and your about us page to check your credibility. If both are aligned with each other, they assume you are a credible business, and vice versa. So, by optimizing your about us page, you are already halfway done.
Although the about us page is usually relatively short compared to the rest of your site, it is also arguably the hardest to optimize. Here are some tips you can try:
- Focus on Your Customers First
Yes, the page is called ‘about us’, but it is no secret that people are more interested in things concerning ‘me’. You can either be upfront or subtle in this, but you should generally address your audience’s challenges, possible questions, and goals. Also, provide them with necessary facts of your customer base (their peers) like customer retention and new customers acquisition numbers.
- Tell a Great Story
Us humans are always interested in great stories, even more in those we can relate with. If your company has a modest beginning in your founder’s parent’s garage, tell that. Also, don’t make the story to long. You might have a history of half century, but you won’t need to tell everything in detail.
- Use Different Forms of Media
Utilizing images, infographics, and even a short video can make your about us page more interesting. Make sure that the design is aligned with your overall brand presence.
3. Create A Clear Lead Generation Path
Sometimes (well, a lot of times), we failed to capture leads simply because we don’t help our prospects with clear lead-generation channels. There are generally four key areas to focus on for this aspect:
- Call to Action (CTA)
You should have a clear, targeted, and relevant CTAs on most of your pages. Check out these examples of successful CTAs to get started.
Giving something valuable to your prospects will motivate them to continue building relationship with you. For an SAAS business, the most common (and effective) offer you can give is a free-trial to your software. Valuable white papers, studies, or ebooks can also be viable. In short, the idea is to give something valuable in exchange of their information (at least, an email address) so you can contact them in the near future.
In conjunction with your offers,a proper form is very important to effectively capture your visitors’ information, turning them into leads. The key here is to capture all the essential information without making the form(s) too long .
- Landing Page
Have a landing page for each of your offer, product, or campaign. This guide by KissMetrics will help you create and optimize your landing pages.
4. Live Chat and Chat Bot
Live chat is the modern, digital-age equivalent of sales hotline call, which was the definitive go-to lead generation method back in the days.Having a working (and proactive) live chat on your site certainly has many benefits regarding lead generation, but here are the main two you should consider:
- A live chat quickly and effectively captures your visitors information, simply by asking them to give their name and email address before the live chat app gets activated. Have you ever hesitate giving an email for a live chat? Most likely you don’t, showing how effective this method is,while also giving real benefits to your visitors.
- A huge part of your SAAS business besides your software is your support service, and a proper live chat shows your visitors that you have a reliable, fast-acting support. A live chat can even be considered as a part of your sales demo, so take it seriously.
With the emergence and advancements of AI technology, chatbots are also increasingly popular nowadays as a powerful customer service tool. While it is not yet a perfect technology, there are many ways you can utilize it with your live chat support to effectively engage customers. For example, have a chatbot to greet all your visitors, and for those who open the chat window, have a live chat support team ready to answer. This is a very nice article by VentureBeat a couple of years back regarding chatbot and lead generation.
5. Effective Content Promotion and Leverage
While above, we have (again) addressed the importance of an excellent content marketing plan and execution for an SAAS business, your contents shouldn’t stop there.There are many ways to leverage your contents to generate more leads. For example, you can tie-in a textual content that did well in the past with a live streaming video, or you can use an influencer to promote your content.
Also, for a B2B business, LinkedIn is a powerful way to push your contents, simply because the social media platform is where your prospective leads are.Also, combine your content leveraging with powerful Call to Action (CTA) to bring them into your landing page.
6. Lead Nurturing
Although technically lead nurturing happens after the lead generation process, a proper lead nurturing will turn your leads into actual customers, which will also have the possibility to turn into your advocate, effectively generating more leads for you. So, lead nurturing is also, to some extent, an important part of the lead generation cycle.
The easiest and most obvious ways to nurture leads are through marketing automation, phone calls, emails, and content sharing, but you can do much more by utilizing a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
A proper CRM software will automate many aspects of the lead nurturing process from sending simple follow ups to managing complicated email marketing campaigns. It can also act as a powerful analytic tool to identify valuable leads, and can even help in scoring conversions.
While lead generation in the SAAS niche can be really challenging, arguably the most important part is to regularly produce (and promote) valuable contents. In SAAS business, we can say that content is just as important as your software itself, especially for lead generation purpose.
It is also important to be able to capture those leads effectively, and then nurture them to increase conversion rate. All the tips we have shared above are effective, but implementing them well is the most important part. The key here is to be able to attract, capture, and nurture your leads in an integrated system.