When you have a SaaS company, one of the biggest hurdles in the journey ought to be the generation of your first 50,100 and then the 1000 paying customers. As your business is in the nascent stage, there is only a minimal scope of discoverability and sales in the beginning.
However, you can easily score your first 1,000 SaaS customers with minimal effort and the right lead generation strategies. Today, let’s understand some of the best strategies that work best for new SaaS startups to kick start their business quickly and to gain the first 1000 customers!
Getting Your First 1,000 SaaS Customer Ideas
Regular outbound marketing strategies do not work well for SaaS companies anymore. The key here is to utilize the existing resources and invest in the best strategies that can bring ROI in the initial stages. Let’s check out some interesting ideas for gaining your first 1,000 paying SaaS customers.
Start with Content Marketing
While content marketing is an excellent strategy in almost every industry, a few extra elements should be addressed while curating a content marketing strategy for SaaS businesses.
One of the elements in SaaS content marketing is to help customers understand the product or service and their benefits accordingly. Since SaaS solutions are not physical, your potential leads may not be able to visualize them, and the use cases can be perpetual. Hence, using SaaS content marketing as a critical strategy to gain the first 1,000 customers will be a wise move. Content marketing can educate the consumers about your product and how your product can solve their problems.
Furthermore, SaaS products are constantly changing and adapting as per feedback by adding different features and integrations. Each update comes with more information that you should convey to your prospects. This calls for a reiteration of the value proposition and product specifics in every marketing channel. Different types of content types can be leveraged for SaaS companies. As per the Content Marketing Institute research, 93% of the marketers use blog posts as one of the content types, followed by email newsletters, case studies, videos, etc. The key here is to create different content types based on the customer’s pain points and goals which can align with varying stages in the customer’s buyer journey.
Get Serious About Cold Email
Cold emails are a great way to generate more customers for a SaaS company. After all, everybody loves free trials or demos. However, it should be used as a closing tool wherever appropriate. The key here is to demonstrate the products’ features the right way and how it can make their lives easier. This builds a stronger customer value management and closer to your final deal.
Needless to say, such trials can give more insight to the developers about how the products are being used on an individual level. This offers more marketing opportunities to your SaaS company which your competitor may not have. Also, going personal and getting deeper into the customer’s requirements will add more value to them, resulting in more customers. Hence, if done correctly, cold emails can bring a massive advantage to SaaS companies.
Supporting Your Content Marketing Efforts
When you have a content marketing strategy, you need to build a plan to promote and support the content you are publishing. Even though building a loyal and strong readership and community takes years, you can relatively speed up the entire process with the right steps.
For example, if you publish blogs about how your SaaS products or services work, their benefits, etc. You need to -promote every content in different ways. Unleash your creativity and explore multiple platforms like Hacker News, Reddit, etc., to help grow the readership of your blog posts. Such communities have users who are already passionate about your products and equally willing to be your final customers. However, do not forget to add value to your customers. Don’t end up promoting your content on irrelevant platforms or channels that are not bothered about your services.
Build a Social Engine
With so many people actively glued to the social screens, a solid social presence is an absolute necessity to strive in a competitive market. Start by leveraging the right social media platforms for your SaaS company and distribute your content to your social media profiles too. This way, you can add up to your content marketing efforts too.
Additionally, engage with your target audience over social media. Make them aware of your products or services, which will also assist in building your social media presence even stronger.
However, using only viral marketing tactics may bring a bunch of followers who would never use your product or service, which is a common challenge in the SaaS industry. Such people just sign up to stay updated but never use your product, resulting in a waste of effort. Hence, to combat this challenge, SaaS companies should invest in multiple platforms and test which ones work best for their company.
Make Sure Your Happy Customers are Referring to Others
Offering good quality customer service should be a part of your marketing strategy. However, you also need to ensure that your happy customers are referring your services to others!
Often customers tend to forget to refer your service to their friends or family, resulting in your loss of potential customers. In such cases, you need to try out different referral marketing strategies such as surveys or referral programs. Surveys can help you to analyze their experience with your products or services and accordingly pitch to them for a referral whenever in need.
Next, set up referral programs to encourage customers to bring more customers from their end. Referral programs offer incentives, freebies, gifts, and other additions to persuade consumers to refer your company more to their friends, family, or colleagues.
Generate Media Coverage
Another great strategy to make your target customers discover your brand is to generate press coverage. Discover the best press coverage opportunities. Use them for link building and ranking higher in the search engine result pages since search engines tend to rank websites higher with more credibility. Generating media coverage also adds more value to your brand credibility!
For example, suppose The New York Times or other such renowned names write about your company on their paper. In that case, you can eventually expect more traction to your website who could be your prospect clients waiting to be your final customers!
Become the Industry Authority
We already mentioned that engaging with different communities can help in making your brands more visible to your target audiences. It can also help you to build a better brand reputation. Community platforms like Reddit, Quora, etc., are some great spaces to state your opinions. You can participate in different conversations and add your insight as an industry expert while subtly promoting your brand to them.
This way, apart from adding value to your prospects by giving them professional advice and opinions on different aspects, you are also building your industry authority. Your prospects who engage with you on these platforms will be more likely to choose your brand over your competitors.
Needless to say, you can find many trending and relevant topics in such communities which you can use for creating your future content. This ensures that your content is relevant and addresses the needs and demands of the consumers.
Build a Solid Conversion-focused Funnel
There is no such metric as important as your conversion rates. Thus, focus more on building solid conversion-focused funnels designed to push more people to the next buying stage with the right steps until the prospect finally converts and becomes your final customer.
Focus on making your conversion-focused funnel as per your target audience. Start by creating a robust buyer persona of your ideal customer using psychographics and demographics. You can try out different tools like Facebook Insights to get all the information you need about your target audience. Step into your customers’ shoes and analyze what they are likely to think while choosing a brand for their needs. Next, explore how they are likely to search for solutions to their problems on the internet. This will give you specific keywords and phrases to add to our content to target different buyer stages. The key here is to generate content based on the buyer journey. It is solely focused on bringing more conversions to the business.
Do not forget to measure the performance and regularly track the conversion rates at every stage of your funnel. Since you are likely to find any flaws or points of improvement. Optimize and personalize your funnel as per customer experience. By doing this, you can easily create a comprehensive conversion-focused sales funnel that will help in giving the right direction to all your SaaS marketing efforts.
Even though none of these strategies is a one-time quick fix that gives instant results, these are bound to bring you results over consistent and long-term efforts. These strategies are proven to help every industry, especially SaaS. They provided that regular marketing efforts do not work well for them. Focus on adding value to your customers by creating good quality content aligned with your conversion-focused sales funnel and buyer persona. Always consider the customer’s pain points and understand their experiences to optimize your sales. Leverage different social media platforms, communities, media coverage to solidify your brand reputation. In the end, you can easily generate your first 1,000 SaaS customers in no time!