The SaaS industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, with the market size expected to grow from $20 billion in 2015 to $50 billion by 2020. With so much competition, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs and their businesses to stand out among other similar services. However, while an innovative product or business model may be effective in attracting customers initially, customer retention strategies are what determine whether your company will survive long-term or not.
Find out what SaaS customer acquisition secrets these four entrepreneurs have, and what works for them!
Pay Attention to Reviews
According to Chris, the founder of Review Trackers, their software empowers businesses to understand customers better, build more trust, and find the insights that move their business forward.
This is what Chris has to say, “A customer acquisition strategy is vital for any business, including SaaS. By taking advantage of online reviews at nearly every level of the customer journey, you make it easier for people to notice your business online and influence their purchase decision.”
Ultimately, the ability of a prospective customer to find your brand and choose your business comes down to your online visibility. The more reviews you acquire and respond to, the more your search rank will increase, differentiating you from your competition, winning you more business and revenue growth.
In many cases, getting to this point requires visibility online, and review quantity plays a major role. Once people are aware of your brand you can further amplify consumer trust in you by displaying rave reviews next to your products and services. You can also dedicate a specific page of your website to reviews.
According to the ReviewTrackers research, 92.4% of consumers use online reviews to make most of their ordinary purchasing decisions. 44.6% are more likely to visit a local business if the owner responds to negative reviews.
Connect with People and Build Relationships
Yana Trihub, the CEO of Keyua said that to get success in their businesses, people follow the crowd which might not be the best option for their SaaS business. There are plenty of things that need to be adjusted accordingly. No matter what kind of SaaS business you have, you’ll have to build contacts and connect with as many people as possible. It’s a very basic requirement in any business which gives your customers a sense of trust.
These very people you build relationships with can be your future clients or can connect to your business in any possible way. If you have fewer competitors in the field, that’s fantastic! But don’t think that you will never face competition. Someone can copy your business idea and can even do better than you, in whatever aspect. Make sure you plan and work in that direction in order to avoid fumbling.
Think of the scrunchie businesses for example; everyone is making and selling scrunchies so you have to stand out and highlight how your products differ from others. How your scrunchies are not made of typical cotton, organza, or satin but Khadi, chiffon, georgette, and something like that.
Furthermore, Yana stated, “I agree that the functions and utility of your software matter the most, but do not completely ignore UI/UX and the design. People do get attracted to good visuals, so work on both. As a SaaS entrepreneur, you cannot afford to lose your data or any sort of damage to your software, you need to be 100% attentive to the software security so that you do not contribute to the losses of the company. Lastly, I would say, stick to your goals and don’t back off unless you’ve achieved them. It’s easy to get depressed over your losses, but you have to take the lead and get your company or business on the top.”
Engagement Through Emails
According to Olivia Tan, the co-founder at CocoFax the one sure strategy that helped achieve her first 100 customers was that she increased engagement from unopened emails.
How Did She Do It?
48 hours or so after sending an email to your subscribers, go into your email marketing software. Find all of the subscribers that received the email but didn’t open it. Resend your email with a completely different subject line to just people. This will give you a chance at increasing the number of opens of your campaign without looking like you’re spamming subscribers’ inboxes with the same email.
“I tested this out recently with my email subscriber list and found it to yield an increase of 35.41% for the total number of opened emails and an increase of 39.66% in click-through rate,” she added.
That’s huge when you put it in absolute numbers. Here’s the stats breakdown:
- Original Email Open Rate: 22.9%
- Original Email Click Rate: 5.9%
- Unopened Segment Open Rate: 10.8%
- Unopened Segment Click Rate: 3.1%
- Total Open Rate: 31.01% (35.41% increase)
- Total Click Rate: 8.24% (39.66% increase)
Study the Market
“The first step for entrepreneurs and especially for those who are new to the industry is to take plenty of time to study their market segment very closely,” said Shahar Erez, the founder, and CEO of Stoke Talent.
Gather the views of all role players in the company who would be involved in choosing, working with, and paying for the software. What are their needs and expectations? Do not assume you understand them from some preliminary data.
Dig deeply into up-to-date sources such as the SaaS Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030 released by Research and Markets that just came out in August.
Also, look at Report Linker’s SaaS Industry 2021-2024 reports for international and specific regional markets. A third excellent report is the 2021-2028 SaaS-based IT Security Market Forecasts and Opportunities, which has some useful COVID-19 recovery cases included as well.
Then what you will do is apply all those insights gathered in the processes of designing, testing, rolling out, marketing, and maintaining your services. Research is something you need to keep doing periodically.
Secondly, to make your offering more attractive to a broader selection of companies and users, offer various flexible payment terms and conditions. Make different subscription options available for what different clients actually need and can afford. Ensure it is very easy for them to scale and customize their usage of your services and all the features. This should be available on demand.
Begin with the MVP Approach
An MVP is a strategic approach in which a new product is brought to the market with basic features that are sufficient to capture consumers’ attention. David Bitton, the co-founder, and CMO of DoorLoop said that entrepreneurs need to begin with their current network and create an MVP.
Talk to people you know and people they know to determine if the product or service you’re offering is worth purchasing. Once you’ve created an MVP, distribute it to your current network so that they may test it and provide feedback.
Try to find out what problems the individuals you’ve given your MVP to are having with the concept you’re attempting to build your startup around so you can address those concerns before the final launch of your product or service.
After making those changes, have the individuals who received your MVP be the first to receive the finished version. The chances are that your first set of consumers will come from that current network.
Write long-form blog posts centered on the interests of your potential clients to drive attention to your website. Use well-chosen keywords to improve your Google search rankings and allow people to find you. If your blog is successful, people will begin to connect to it, increasing your online presence and network significantly.
Well-thought-out, informative, and relevant content posted on your website and across the internet via guest blogging will set the groundwork for a fantastic reputation, increasing people’s trust in you and, thus, your product or service.
Know Your Customer
Next one, listen up to what Eden, the co-founder of PeopleFinderFree would like to share:
“Speaking from experience, the best advice I can offer to other SaaS business leaders looking to boost their startup’s acquisition rates is to focus on the customer. And by this I mean take the time to find out who they are, what it is they spend their time doing, etc. This is critical because you need to be able to know their pains and gains and be sure that your product/service acts as an effective pain reliever. This is often the most significant step in being able to attract them, because without really knowing this information, you will not be able to draw them in, even with the finest marketing tactics.”
In most cases, this means not being afraid of asking them for these details by using surveys. This is because the direct approach is often the most effective one. It will get you the answers to the questions you need to direct everything from your value proposition to how you should start spending your marketing budget. In fact, a good example is how many SaaS marketers tend to end up focusing their efforts on the acquisition channels that they feel most comfortable using. Instead, they focus on the channels that their target customers are actually using.
This often happens primarily because they failed to carry out sufficient research into their target audiences when all they had to do was simply ask them. In this case, a strategy that they used for their business was to list the most likely channels from your surveys, then test the top three based on how many potentials leads there are, how many of them you get through that channel, and how many of them fit into your ideal customer profile. From that point, you can then double down on what works best for your service.
Test Software Casually
According to Steve Roberson, founder of MapRight, people don’t tend to trust companies, and honestly, why would they? The average customer knows that a company’s goal is to make money, and they’ve often fallen victim to false promises from shady companies in the past. So, you can’t just tell potential customers that your software is great, because they have no reason to believe you. Instead, you have to show them, and you have to do so in a way that doesn’t require too much commitment on their part; until you’ve proven yourself in their eyes, they aren’t likely to hand over their information, and they’re even less likely to hand over their money.
“The most effective way to draw people in is by inviting them to test out our software casually, on their own terms. We do this with the help of our existing customers. When a subscriber has finished building their custom map, we provide them with an embed script. With this, they can easily upload their maps to their own websites without losing any of the functionality,” said Steve.
It’s a win-win situation; the subscriber gets to show off their property in a distinct and memorable way, and in the process, they show off our software to anyone who interacts with it. Our clients don’t have to create an account (or even give us their email) to access the maps. It is possible to play around with the app without making any commitments.
No matter how impressive your marketing efforts are, you can’t completely convince someone to buy without first gaining their trust. Accordingly, not all customer acquisition techniques need to be outreach-based; sometimes, you are better off letting people come to you. Allowing potential customers to interact with your SaaS product, no strings attached, is a great way to let them see for themselves the value you can offer. Nothing builds trust like personal experience.
Build an Online Presence
Simon Grabowski, founder, and CEO of GetResponse said that to start off on the right foot, entrepreneurs need marketing tools to get online fast without hurting their budget as for every business and entrepreneur, new beginnings are a challenging time.
First things first create a website so that your business can be online for everyone to find! Building your website doesn’t need to be difficult. There are a variety of web development tools available that feature predesigned templates and intuitive editors. Some are even free — like GetResponse’s AI-driven, code-free Website Builder.
Once you have a website, you can kick off your lead generation activities. Being online usually means having email communication with your customers so that you can keep them up to date on your offers, products, specials, discounts, upcoming releases, and more. To begin building your list of contacts you can add a signup form to your website. Usually, people will give you their email address via the signup form. This is because they know that by agreeing to get emails from you, you’ll be giving them some great insights, access, and discounts.
With a list created, you can begin sending one-time email broadcasts with updates and special offers to establish strong relationships with your contacts. Sharing informative and valuable content and delivering precise email communication will engage your contacts and bring them closer to your brand. That’s the start of it, and sometimes getting started is the hardest part.
Acquiring and Retaining Customers
Offer your product as a freemium model. Before you start worrying about losing your product to people for pennies, offering free trials and freemium is about more than giving stuff away for free. It’s about selling to people by serving them first. Nothing gets people on your side faster than providing value to them. Acquiring and retaining customers is the most essential component of a SaaS growth model. Also, returning customers are the key to sustainable growth. Plus, after they’ve taken the time to familiarize themselves with your platform, they’ll be more willing to stick with you.
Many SaaS companies are built on the idea of creating a product or service that is innovative, new, and exciting. It’s important to get customers hooked at first by enticing them with something they haven’t seen before. However, customer retention will determine your company’s long-term success. You can use the SaaS customer acquisition secrets shared above for retaining customers to help you grow your SaaS business over time. We would love to know which strategy you would prefer for customer acquisition!