When you’re in the SasS industry, growth is everything. It’s a highly competitive environment where only the ones who invest in their strategy and marketing departments have a real chance of making it big. SaaS marketers are incredibly creative and bold with their strategies. This shows that if you know what you’re doing, your product can literally break the internet and propel into articles like ours that showcase some of the best SaaS growth marketing examples.
So feel free to take notes and see which strategy and growth examples might work for your business, you might want to keep these in mind for future references.
Slack – Premium Features for Free
We’re starting strong with one of the most popular SaaS products almost everyone who worked in an agency used and abused, Slack. When they launched it wasn’t necessarily successful at first.
They later decided to offer all the premium features for free and that is what convinced most companies to start using it. After they fell in love with the product it was easier to make them pay for the product.
Buffer – 0 to 1.5 Million Faithful Monthly Readers
Getting your blog from the depths of Google’s 13th page where literally no one ever wonders to 1.5 million monthly readers is a really big deal. Buffer, the scheduling tool managed to do it in just about 2 years with content marketing.
The Buffer team at Buffer identified what people wanted to read and they created a strategy to deliver exactly that. Consistent posts and a strategy that included newsletters, relevant keywords, and catchy headlines managed to propel their blog through the roof in just 2 years. Needless to say that nowadays Buffer is still an authority when it comes to social media content and blog articles.
SemRush – Convert Free Trials into Subscriptions
Their marketing team tries to understand what their customers want, and what they can do to turn a maybe into a yes. Like many tools, they too offer free trials so that you can try it out and see if it fits your needs.
What SemRush did was incredibly smart and subtle. They removed the cancelation button on the subscription form and replaced it with a Customer Support request form that would put them in contact with the team. The team saw a 10% drop in cancellation in just a few weeks, as well as a ton of valuable feedback and suggestions.
Dropbox – Crazy 3900% Growth in Less than 15 Months
The giant cloud storage solution Dropbox is one of the most cited SaaS growth marketing examples out there. They started out small, with a little over 100.000 users back in 2008 to over 4 million users in December 2009. How did they do that? Easy, referrals.
A user gets free storage space when referring Dropbox to a friend. The more friends you refer, the more storage you get. This strategy is not new for any of us, but back in 2008, it proved to be incredibly successful for them. In just 15 months they saw a 3900% growth in users and of course revenue.
Revolut – Invite a Friend and Win Cash
It’s 2015 and the world is taken over by fintech apps. A new player is out on the market, trying to convince users to do banking with them, but it has to compete with already well-known giants. What to do? Easy, pay them to get you, new clients.
Yes, Revolut paid users to refer the app to other friends. For each successful sign-up, the user was paid a certain amount of money (up to $10). It was a pretty good growth marketing idea given that they wanted to penetrate certain markets. In some countries, Revolut managed to get over 1 million users in the first year of the launch. The cost of acquisition of a new client was pretty high, but they now have a serious client base in multiple countries.
Atlassian – Doubled Traffic with SEO
If you see a company having crazy success overnight, keep in mind that it’s probably due to their strategy and consistent work. Atlassian, the Australian company managed to double their traffic although they had zero SEO strategy.
They optimized all content on all platforms, all pages, and even the little details that most people tend to forget about, and it turned out in their favor. Their SEO strategy focused on a thousand things, instead of 3 main things for example.
Urban Sports Club – Pivoting and Going Online
A more updated growth example is Urban Sports Club and probably many other companies. When the pandemic hit the world back in 2020 most companies had to shift their activity and go online.
This app was offering physical access to the gym and therefore changed to online fitness classes. In just a few weeks, the app managed to partner up with many providers and kept most users engaged in online classes. Now all their content is catered to fit in the new normal, working out at home.
Retorio – Innovating the Recruiting Process
Innovating some of the oldest industries is what SaaS is all about. That is what Retorio did with the HR industry. They developed a product based on AI that helps recruiters screen for top talents, all remote.
Since people have a hard time using new technology, they did a split test with their offer to see which one performs better. After they’ve seen an increase in CTR they decided to offer the tool for free.
Typeform – Using the Freemium Model Successfully
Offering your tool for free at first or for the first 30 days is not something new, but the way you market this model can significantly help you grow. Typeform decided to offer its service for free but only for non-governmental organizations.
On top of that, they also offer free exposure and support to any NGO with a cause. It’s one of the smartest PR moves a company can make, and of course, it brings a lot of growth and money because people like to support a company that helps out NGOs.
Baremetrics – Smart Retargeting Ads for Stripe Users
Baremetrics knew that if they wanted people to use their tool they had to get them to do it the creative way, with catchy headlines and retargeting ads. Because Strips offers little analytics, their tool would be the best option.
With simple ads and smart headlines, their ads followed potential customers everywhere on social media and the web. Spending only $6 for a customer that is worth $650 seems like a smart ad spends strategy.
TransferWise – Turn Customers into Brand Advocates
When you’re new on the market the best way to get a ton of clients is by offering your product for free. TransferWise couldn’t do that, but they decided to capitalize on the brand advocates strategy.
By nurturing their customers at every touchpoint, the company manages to turn them into brand advocates that would gladly promote the service to everyone they know. This strategy turned out to be the most successful for them.
Hootsuite – Taking Advantage of the Trends
If there is something very popular trending worldwide and you have the means to create something relevant to that topic, do it. That is what Hootsuite did when Game of Thrones was popular.
They created a GOT-themed video with their product and it went viral very quickly. Having gathered millions of views from a relatively low-budget production, they surely acquired new customers with that one single video.
Nurturebox – Tapping into Quora to Address Questions
Quora is the best platform where you can market your product in a subtle way to your targeted audience. This is what Nurturebox did. They went to Quora and addressed all questions left there, leaving a link to their website at the end.
After a few months, they noticed an increase in traffic and conversions. Up to this day, they still use Quora and it turned out to be their largest traffic channel and one of their biggest lead generators for the business.
Usersnap – Clever Retargeting
Your email strategy could be converting so much better if you also send retargeting ads to that audience. This is what Usersnap did to grow. They would send a weekly newsletter to their list and then also retarget them with Google ads, in an effort to bring them back on their website so that they can sign up for a free trial.
Their web traffic and free trial sign-ups increased by 150% in just 12 months, after they applied this clever strategy.
Adobe – Switching to Subscriptions
If you have a SaaS product and you only sell it one, then you’re not maximizing its value to the fullest. The idea is to craft monthly subscriptions, extra features, or other ways to get your customers to spend money more often.
Adobe switched its business model from a one-time-only sale to a monthly subscription model. This way they can maintain the post-sale engagement and offer new features or updates to loyal customers. This switch was also facilitated by the cloud revolution.
Spotify – Disrupting the Music Industry
Spotify managed to make a name for itself really quickly. Their approach was bold and made them lots of money. And on top of that, they also managed to take down piracy and offer free legal music to the world.
With over 300 active million users each month and over 138 million of those being paying customers, Spotify makes its money by selling premium subscriptions. Premium means no ads and a customized app that will get you hooked in no time.
Airbnb – Hacking the Competition to Grow
Airbnb is a global success and a well-known brand. They managed to disrupt the market but it wasn’t always easy. They were competing with Craigslist, a giant platform where people would also list rooms and properties.
In order to beat them, they hacked them. Airbnb managed to list all its properties on Craigslist without them even noticing and got away with huge growth in website visits and bookings. They also used alternative methods such as sending people to some locations to throw parties and promote their platform which proved to be highly successful.
Google Chrome – Innovation and a Great Product that is Now a Default Browser
Some years ago Internet Explorer was the default browser everyone used. Things slowly changed when Google launched Chrome with all the cool features and innovations. Fast-forward a few years after the release they also included Chrome on each Android phone and that was the moment when it exploded.
After that, each year they implemented new features such as extensions, and nowadays Chrome is the default browser almost everyone uses. They offer a customizable browser that syncs and works on all your devices. Genius!
Netflix – Ahead of Trends
Netflix started out as a DVD rental chain store. But when DVDs began dying they saw the opportunity to make money from the latest trend. Streaming.
By offering the latest and most loved TV Series and Movies and a smart algorithm that can recommend options you’ll actually like, they managed to become the biggest streaming platform in the world.
GrooveHQ – Experimenting with Pricing Models
When you don’t know what is working and whatnot, you start adjusting small things and see what changes. GrooveHQ, an online ticketing system decided to experiment with prices to see which one works best.
This strategy came into being because they were not seeing the results they expected after launching. After a few changes, they discovered that a simple, all-in monthly pricing model gave them the best conversion rates and a 358% increase in conversions.
Moosend – 10x Organic Traffic in A Year
Ranking and increasing organic traffic with content marketing can take a long time and a lot of companies don’t have that luxury. Moosend wanted to increase traffic too but decided to do it from the bottom up.
They analyzed which posts were more valuable and effective and then optimized them and promoted them. The results speak for themselves, a 10x increase in organic traffic in 2019 alone.
Postfity – SEO Strategy Can Go a Long Way
When a company is doing badly financially, it’s always good to let your new marketing manager work its magic. When Postfity wasn’t seeing great revenue, the manager decided to switch the strategy.
She and the team tested guest posts and link-building outreach to get more authority and exposure. In 8 months web traffic doubled and MRR (monthly recurring revenue) doubled.
Chanty – Using SEO when You’ve Got No Budget
When you have to grow but you’ve got zero budget for paid ads or other marketing efforts you turn to SEO for help. By using keyword research Chanty managed to rank high and compete with the giant, Slack.
After doing that, as well as guest blog posts and highly optimized content, they managed to get over 400 new clients and 50.000 monthly visits on their website. And yes, they rank higher than Slack for certain keywords.
Future Fuel – 0 to 100,000 Visits
Another successful story is Future Fuel who used a smart SEO strategy to skyrocket its growth from 0 to 100k in just 6 months.
The strategy was simple, highly optimized, with good quality content, and consistent content. It sounds crazy, but it’s possible when you do it right.
Squibler – Helping Writers All Over the World
Although Squibler was developed in only a few months, it quickly became a loved product by writers worldwide. The founders noticed that users were more interested in templates and tools so they helped them with that.
They created multiple templates and dedicated landing pages that will guide users and offer them exactly what they want. Others noticed their growth and soon they were acquired by a bigger company. Although it was short, they managed to rank incredibly fast and have around 45k users/month. Pretty cool for something built in just a few months.
Audible – Leveraging Influencer Marketing
You’ve probably heard about Audible by now from one of your favorite YouTubers. This company managed to attract some of the most popular Youtube stars to promote their products. It’s simple and it works.
All influencers do is mention the product, how they use it and how great it is, and offer a code or a link to sign-up for a free trial. After you use the product for 3 months, you’ll definitely want to buy the subscription.
Groupon – Sharing is Caring
The giant Groupon has a few lessons to teach any marketer, but one of the most important is their sharing strategy. They know people can’t stay away from a good deal, so they made their entire product based on sharing.
Each time you want to get that hot deal you’re required to either share it with 2 more friends in order to unlock it for example. This is just one of their smart strategies to make people share their offers and grow.
Kissmetrics – Make a Name for Yourself First
When you’re competing with Google Analytics, which is free, you have to be pretty creative. In order for Kissmetrics to grow, they used content marketing and email marketing. Each subscriber was getting newsletters with high-quality articles and guides written by industry experts. On top of that, they also offered free trials for subscribers only. They saw a 300% increase in email subscriptions.
These are some of the most successful stories that inspired us. What works for them might not work for your SaaS but understanding how others successfully grow immediately gives you tons of growth strategies to start with. Pick one and let us know how it fairs!