There are many ways that SaaS, Technology and Software companies can increase their digital marketing ROI. Here are 6 easy tips to help you get much more from your marketing efforts...
1 Target the Right Audience at the Right Time
Many SaaS and Software companies make the mistake of trying to sell to everyone and anyone. If you define your target audience correctly by creating ‘Buyer Persona’s’ you will be able to run marketing campaigns that will grab the attention of the right audience at the right time.
Content must be created for individual personas for each stage of the buyers journey or you won’t get qualified leads who are actually interested in your product or service.
Tip: When creating your buyer personas try to include interviews with buyers who have purchased from you as well as those who went with someone else's product or service. You can learn a lot about your buyers and your possible shortfalls in your product too by doing this.
2 Content Marketing - Spread the word
If buyers don't know about your product or service, they can't buy it. Content marketing is one of the best ways to get visitors to your website, generate qualified leads and build your brand presence (to name just a few of the benefits). It takes time to build up content for marketing campaigns, but if you stick with it, invest sufficient effort, it will pay off over time.
Content marketing also helps build SEO. If you are currently paying for keywords, plan specific campaigns to target these keywords and you will be able to reduce this paid advertising over time as your SEO builds. For startups, PPC can be a very effective marketing strategy to quickly deliver targeted traffic to your website while you create strategic content. (Tip: Don't forget to make a content inventory and re-purpose existing quality content for any new campaigns you set up.)
Make sure you have a well researched distribution strategy in place and that it’s execution is planned out in well in advance, scheduled and continuously monitored so that content can be tweaked and re-distributed to maximise effectiveness.
Learn from the success of others and take a look at the content marketing that Moz, Hubspot, Kissmetrics and Unbounce do for some inspiration. Check out their blogs and social media posts as they get it just right!
3 Product Trials - Make it easy
It should go without saying that product trials are a very effective lead generation strategy. So make sure that you ...
- Make it easy to sign up for a free trial and A/B test different variations of the signup page and CTA. Remove barriers that will lower conversion rates.
- Don’t ask for a credit card details as it puts potential leads and buyers off
- Are very clear about the level of functionality they will get access to. If they are only getting access to a sub-set of the functionality be sure to tell them that
- Give them enough time to trial the product properly. I recently started a trial on a product with full functionality and after just 3 days the functionality available in the trial was reduced to the point that the trial was no longer valuable to me. As a potential buyer I found this very frustrating and I walked away.
- Recognise that someone who signs up for a free trial is a highly qualified lead so make sure you act on this. Nurture them during the trial period without being annoying.
- Try and get feedback from them at the end of the trial (whether they purchase or not) so that you can tweak the trial or the product itself to give future potential buyers a better experience (and possibly product). This is critical for growth and developing a product that meets the needs of your target buyers.
4 Optimise Your Pricing Page
Take a look at the analytics of the pricing page on your website. I’m guessing that it will be one of the most viewed pages on your site. Am I right?
Some tips for optimising existing pricing pages or designing new ones are:
- Check the bounce rate on existing pages - if the bounce rate is high it could mean a number of things 1) Cost is too high, 2) the page itself isn't optimised well 3) The lead wasn’t a well qualified one 4) there isn't enough information on the page etc. Use tools to find out why the bounce rate is high like heat maps, feedback, analytics etc
- Make it very clear what the buyer will get for each pricing level. Help potential buyers convert as best you can. UXPin have a very clear (and possibly too detailed) pricing page. Here's some of what the page looks like...
Unbounce have a great pricing page that gives additional information related to the pricing. It also puts the buyers minds making it very clear that they can cancel at any time, change plans at any time along with including a clear CTA for each option to start a free trial.
- Make sure you put your Pricing Page on the main menu (like Unbound above). Don’t hide it in the footer where buyers have to go searching. Be transparent - really transparent as far as pricing goes.
- Include a sign-up CTA on the pricing page and make sure its carefully optimised. Unbounce have the main sign-up on the top of the page as well as the free trial sign-up under each pricing option.
- Make it easy for buyers to sign up and submit billing information. Only collect essential information. You can get more later for nurturing.
- Complete A/B testing on your page, run heat maps to see if any visitors are having any difficulty with the design or how it could be further optimised. Do this regularly and act upon analytics insights.
- Consider putting testimonials on your pricing page
- Allow annual payments at a discount - a great incentive to get buyers to commit to a year
5 Use Videos to Explain and Demo the Product
Videos are essential on SaaS and Software Product websites. They are quick and easy for potential buyers to consume. Video gives you an opportunity to quickly show off your product and its features so take advantage of it..
- Be clear – Make sure your video clearly illustrates your product and high level features
- Be short and focused – remember people don't have all day to watch videos so keep it concise and focused on your core product offerings
- Be bite sized – Keep each part covering a key feature bite sized - don't go overboard!
- Have a Clear CTA – Make sure that when the visitor is finished watching the video that there is a clear CTA so that the visitor does'nt have to go to another page to sign up for a trial.
I mentioned the JIRA product trial page in a recent blog because they place a really great video demo of the product right next to a CTA for a free trial. This is a great design as it gives the visitor a chance to see if they think it will fulfil their needs and they can then click the CTA without having to go anywhere else to sign up for the free trial. Check it out here.
Bonus Tip - 6 Make it very easy to sign upMake it easy for buyers to quickly sign up and submit billing information.
- Only collect essential data for the subscription. You can look to collect more data later for nurturing existing customers (which is critical to extend the lifetime of SaaS customers - its cheaper to keep an existing customer than to get new ones and existing ones are likely to become evangelists for your brand/product)
- Find out what your buyers key questions are and answer them on the page - like Unbounce do below
- Remove main navigation menus from the sign-up page like unbounce have done to limit distraction
So in summary remember...
- Target the Right Audience at the Right Time - Create well researched Buyer Personas and consider the Buyers Journey
- Content Marketing - If buyers don't know about your product they can't buy it. Go plan targeted campaigns and create lots of related valuable content
- Product Trials - Make it easy or they'll walk away
- Optimise Your Pricing Page - possibly the most visited page so get it right
- Use Videos to Explain and Demo the Product - what better way but keep them short
- Make it very easy to sign up and actually buy the Product
There are of course more than 5 ways SaaS companies can dramatically improve their digital marketing ROI so when you implement these take a look at some of our other tips on how you can boost your lead generation with other tactics.
Want to learn more on lead generation? Then download our valuable lead generation best practice guide to super-charge your marketing efforts for 2018.
If you would like to discuss any of the content in this blog or challenges you are facing please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. You can also check out some of our other related blog posts like How To Attract Ideal Clients to Your Website for useful tips.