Businesses such as eCommerce stores focus on short-term customer acquisition strategies. They streamline their marketing activities for a short period to promote a new product or service.
The software as a service (SaaS) industry is saturated, and it’s getting harder for businesses to make their way out of the noise. As such, SaaS companies aim to have a customer base that keeps returning for a long time. They depend on continuous marketing strategies as an investment for future success.
The SaaS customer acquisition strategy you decide to go with will depend on the goals you want your business to reach and the resources you have at hand. You must be patient and persistent to succeed. Building a relationship with customers is crucial, as they’ll become an active part of your business’s success.
What Is a Customer Acquisition Strategy?
A customer acquisition strategy is a way to reach as many customers as possible while keeping the marketing cost low.
The objective is to establish a loyal customer base that will grow with your business. Base your strategy on your company’s goals, resources, and needs. More than just a marketing tactic, customer acquisition strategies help the business grow by building loyalty and increasing demand for its products and services.
Reasons Why SaaS Customer Acquisition is Difficult
SaaS companies usually have difficulty acquiring customers at a sufficient rate. The sales cycle may be stretched out and time-consuming, making reaching a critical mass of clients almost impossible.
Here are the top four problems you will face when acquiring customers for your SaaS:
SaaS products cost a lot of money to develop. They are more complicated than traditional IT products, require a considerable software investment, and are constantly updated.
This cost transfers to the customer and may be too expensive for some. They also have to factor in recurring subscription costs, which makes them hesitant to take the next step.
SaaS companies must be more transparent about their intentions because of the nature of their product. In some cases, data collected from customers gets sold to third parties.
SaaS companies’ limited privacy policies are not enough to satisfy the customers’ needs because users need to be more confident in the company’s intentions. Hence they do not trust them and fail to subscribe to the service.
Many SaaS applications require a learning curve which can be daunting to some customers. It’s unlikely they’ll understand how it works and how to use it before they give up.
The service is constantly being updated and improved, and it may take a lot of work for a customer to get the most out of it. Customers who are already confused about a SaaS product are less likely to trust you and sign up.
Too many SaaS products are available on the market, making it hard for you to catch a customer’s attention. Customers get bombarded with messages and offers, so they’re not ready to hear your pitch when you reach out.
To err on the side of caution, they will probably go with a more established brand that they can trust over a new company that doesn’t have a solid reputation in the industry.
Tracking Leads through the Stages of SaaS Customer Acquisition
There are different phases the prospect goes through before deciding to buy your SaaS product. Understanding these stages will help you tailor your marketing strategy to attract leads and convert them into customers.
The prospect becomes aware of your product. This lead may come across your brand on social media, a blog post, or another type of content. They’re not actively looking for a solution to their problem and may be unaware of the pains that your product can solve.
At this stage, the lead becomes interested. The prospect may have come across your product and started learning more about it by browsing your website, reading blog posts, or watching videos.
The prospect may also subscribe to your newsletter or download resource materials. They’re starting to become familiar with your brand and are now aware of the problem you can solve. Prospects will also question whether your product is right for them.
The prospect is ready to evaluate your product and will research to determine whether it meets their needs. They may search for reviews, pricing, or similar products to compare them to yours.
The prospects will weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each company before deciding which product to choose. They may ask for demos and free trials before signing up for your SaaS product.
The prospect is ready to convert or buy your product. Your lead will fully understand your product and intend to use it regularly.
The prospect will also have picked a package that best fits their needs and budget. Your goal at this stage is to analyze their behavior and learn more about their needs so you can tailor your solution to retain their business.
How to Develop a SaaS Customer Acquisition Strategy
Businesses need to develop a customer acquisition strategy before they can start marketing their products or services. Developing one is simple, but it takes time and a lot of research.
The SaaS customer acquisition strategy involves a lot of testing and analysis. You’ll have to test channels, message formats, and audiences to see what works best.
Define your company’s goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, market share, sales, or customer retention?
The goals you set will be the basis for your acquisition strategy. They will determine how much time and effort you should put into each stage and whether you should use paid advertising or rely solely on organic traffic.
Here are the steps you need to take to develop a SaaS customer acquisition strategy:
Identify Your Target Market
Selling yourself to people who don’t need you is like throwing your money away. You need to find a market that’s worth the investment. Your efforts will only be practical if you find customers who are a good fit for your product.
Thus, you need to identify who your target market is. The lead should have a significant problem to compel the need to find a solution. Researching and identifying your target market will take time, but it will be worth it once you figure out who your best customers are.
Start by analyzing your offerings and the type of problem they solve. Your value proposition should tell you what problem you solve for your customers. For example, if your SaaS solution helps businesses keep their data secure, you can identify companies with security issues as your target market.
Competitor research is another way to define your target market. Find out your competitors, their features, and their position in the market. Also, look at their acquisition strategy and customer profiles to identify trends in your industry.
A good idea about the industry and your competitors will help you tailor your strategy to the market and position your business as the go-to expert in your niche. Your target market should be easy to find, accessible, and have a strong need for your product. The easier you can target them, the more money you’ll save on advertising costs.
Get in Front of Your Audience Through PR Initiatives and Events
You can’t go door to door and expect people to buy your product. You won’t be able to advertise directly to your target market. Instead, you must build your brand and encourage people in your target market to learn more about it. The fastest way to do this is through public relations (PR).
PR can be an excellent tool for raising awareness of your company and brand. It involves developing a complete story around your product, developing ways of telling that story, and getting the news out there.
PR positions you as a thought leader in your market. It’s also a way to show potential customers that your company is legit and that real people are behind the brand. It can help build trust with potential customers. PR is effective because it increases awareness and credibility, creates positive sentiment, and enables you to reach new customers.
The highest-rated PR campaigns go the extra mile to involve the media, influencers, and other key opinion leaders. Public relations opportunities often come from conferences, trade shows, and industry-specific events. These are excellent opportunities to meet potential customers and show them how your SaaS product works.
Boost Organic Traffic by Refining Your SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy that helps you drive more traffic to your website. It also allows you to rank higher in search engines when people search for related keywords and topics. High rankings usually lead to more visibility, higher conversions, and more leads for your business.
SEO can be a cost-effective way to gain organic traffic. It may require a small investment upfront, but it takes time to establish and optimize search engine results. You’ll need to create an SEO strategy and audit your website to identify areas for improvement.
There are a lot of SEO tactics you can use to improve your rankings and get more traffic. However, avoid spammy and unethical tactics like keyword stuffing or black hat SEO.
Here are some of the best practices you can follow to improve your organic rankings:
Analyze Your Site Traffic
First, you should see your website’s traffic and conversion rates. Record your site’s data, including traffic, revenue, and conversion rates. Get an honest assessment of what works and what doesn’t.
By analyzing your site’s data, you’ll learn which traffic sources are most effective and correlate with high conversions. You’ll also have a better idea of what to refine to ensure success.
Optimize Your Site for Your Customers’ Keywords
Use a keyword research tool to identify relevant keywords for your market. Once you have them, it’s time to do some keyword analysis. Determine the strength of your competition for those keywords and their relevance to your business.
Keyword research can help you determine what terms you should use in your content and website. It will also show you which keywords will be most effective for branding and traffic acquisition.
Use the keywords in your content, on your landing page, and in your ads. By using them consistently, you’ll gain more exposure and make it easier to sell your services or products.
Create Valuable Content
A blog is a great way to build your brand and engage with customers. It can help you connect with your target market, generate leads, increase trust and credibility, and show off the value you provide.
You can create new content for existing SaaS products by answering customers’ questions about existing features or issues they’re facing. Provide tools to help potential customers overcome barriers when trying out your software. Post onboarding guides, tutorials, and valuable tips so potential customers can get started quickly.
Great content helps people find you and remember you. It also keeps people engaged during their search. People prefer to read articles that have around 400 words or more per page. Ensure that the images are relevant to the title and that the text is written perfectly for the reader.
Keep all your content consistent with your brand and messaging. When you consistently produce quality content, it can boost your site’s rankings and increase the relevance of your website to search engines.
Consider outsourcing your content creation to a team of writers and editors. You can save time and ensure your brand messaging is consistent in every article online. Also, you’ll have someone on standby to help create new content when needed.
Use Relevant Outbound Links
Building high-quality backlinks can help you improve search engine rankings. You can also get positive mentions through news articles and media outlets, which will benefit your website in the long term.
Sometimes, you may need to outsource this task to a professional SEO agency. They can develop relevant backlinks to your site, which will help you improve your organic rankings and bring more customers.
Have a Well-optimized Website
You want your website to load quickly and be easy to browse. This aspect is more important than optimizing the right keywords. If a user lands on your site but can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll bounce, and you’ll lose traffic.
Optimize your website to create a great user experience and boost your rankings in search engine results. Remove duplicate or unnecessary content from your website and improve your site structure to make it easier for users to find what they need.
Go For Paid Ads
Advertising is a great way to make your product or service visible, engage users with your business, and drive traffic to your website. The campaigns allow you to reach a broad base of potential customers simultaneously.
Paid ads allow you to promote your product by targeting your ideal customers. You can target them using keywords, interests, demographics, and locations. They generate more leads for you and can improve your search engine rankings for higher organic placement.
Find effective paid channels for each sale funnel stage and set a budget before diving in. You can employ different paid ads, such as PPC, social media, and display ads.
But remember, you should rely on more than just paid ads for your marketing efforts. You must create valuable content that delivers value to your target audience.
Also note the challenges with paid ads, as you’ll need a large budget to reach a large online audience, which can take time to come by if you’re starting.
Review Your Pricing Strategy
You’ll need to stay competitive in your market to attract new customers. Stay on top of the latest pricing trends to ensure you don’t lose out on your competitors. Focus on delivering value for every price point to ensure you retain customers due to price.
Choosing the suitable subscription model and pricing tiers can help you increase your sales. Pricing models help you determine how you’ll offer your products or services. You can start with free, essential, or premium options and develop advanced paid plans.
A competitive pricing model ensures you stand out from competitors and addresses your customer’s pain points. It can increase customer acquisition, loyalty, and conversion rates.
Build a Strong Online Presence on Social Media Channels
Social media marketing (SMM) can help you improve your online presence, build your community, and attract new customers. Engagement and conversations on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube can give you more visibility. It can also help you speak directly to your target market.
You can use social communities to engage with your target market, get feedback on your products, and measure whether they’re meeting their needs. Make the most of this opportunity by establishing a social media strategy tailored to your SaaS product goals.
Create a content schedule for your social channels to improve the quality and frequency of your content. Consistency will help your target market identify and feel confident interacting with you.
Humanize your brand by giving real-time updates and interacting with your customers on social media. Take advantage of pop culture, holidays, and current events to create more engaging content.
Your brand can help your audience get through these milestones with a sense of humor and style. This approach enables you to build trust, maintain your brand image, and connect better with your target market.
Utilize Referrals and Testimonials
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most potent and effective ways to improve your product’s visibility and increase sales. It can help you spread the word about your business, attract new customers, and convert them into lifelong customers.
You can build an inbound referral program that delivers more leads to your business and improves the sales funnel. Encouraging current users to refer your product to their friends and family will help you build a large customer base.
Referral programs help you minimize customer acquisition costs, spread awareness about your product, and connect with new prospects. You can incentivize your existing customers for every referral they generate for you. Offer rewards for referring users – credit on their monthly subscription cost or a free service.
Customers may refer to your software if they’re happy with their experience. They can share prior experiences with competitors, too. Pointing out what sets your business apart will help you earn these valuable referrals and increase customer loyalty.
Testimonials are a great way to gain exposure, improve credibility, and demonstrate your expertise in the industry. They can help you build a broader base of potential customers, leading to higher sales.
You can also use testimonials from industry experts, customers, partners, and influencers in your marketing efforts. Display testimonials on your site and advertising material to highlight their influence on your brand.
Use SaaS Metrics To Improve
Your business must collect, analyze, and interpret key SaaS metrics to keep up with your leading competitors. SaaS metrics help you stay on top of your sales funnel and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.
Track your sales funnel from visitors landing on your site until they become active users or customers. This approach will allow you to set goals for your active users and improve their experience.
Here are some metrics you can track to improve your saas customer acquisition strategy:
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
CAC is a standard metric that compares your SaaS prices with the costs of acquiring customers. It’s the total cost of acquiring a customer, including your acquisition costs and typical marketing expenses.
Lifetime Value (LTV)
LTV is the revenue an active user contributes to your business each month or how much income you’ve attracted for a particular user. LTV reflects how valuable an individual customer is to your business.
Churn is the rate at which customers leave your SaaS product or service. Track this metric to determine how to improve your offering and drive more paying customers to your business.
Get Started With Your New SaaS Customer Acquisition Strategy
SaaS marketing is a vital part of your product’s lifecycle. Build a surgical plan focused on your target audience. To grow your SaaS business, perform regular marketing efforts and track key metrics to optimize results.