What’s your number one focus as a SaaS company? Growth, of course. Skyrocketing success is expected from you. It’s vital to your long term survival:
Even if a software company is growing at 60% annually, its chances of becoming a multibillion-dollar giant are no better than 50/50.
McKinsey & Company, Grow Fast or Die Slow
Month over month growth is essential to covering the losses from churn SaaS companies generally experience. To beat expectations and keep you in the green, it’s time to get your strategies set for growth in 2019. There are always new emerging strategies, growth hacking tricks, and tools to help you boost your growth.
SaaS Growth Strategies
Here are a few fresh strategies for boosting growth for Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms.
Driving Traffic and Creating Awareness
- Getting the right content in front of the right audience – As you've likely heard, content is king and very much still is, especially with SaaS. Users expect a lot of information in helping them make a buying decision and expect your brand to have a high level of authority. Developing the right content that attracts and keeps the potential customers engaged is important. You can use tools like Spyfu and Google Keyword Planner to determine what your top keywords are, what your target audience is searching. A few strategies are sharing your content as a guest post on another blog with a similar audience, using platforms like Medium and publications, and using ads and boosting to get in front of the right audience.
- Using Personal Branding – An often overlooked growth strategy is using the personal branding of your founders and the experts on your team to better reach an audience. People love interacting with and learning from real individuals online. If someone from your team has a skill or expertise that can provide some helpful information, it’s a great way to promote your brand inadvertently and authentically. There are plenty of Founders writing on Medium, Quora, some have their own blog series or podcasts that provide a lot of insight that your target audience will be interested in. It builds trust, credibility, and a personal connection to your brand. Just sharing what you know and experience you have can help you organically reach and engage your target audience.
- Providing a free tool or resource – Another great growth strategy is to provide a free tool or resource on your website that attracts your target customer and continually brings them back and gives your brand some authority. Coschedule has done a really good job with creating a Coschedule Headline Analyzer that allows you to analyze a headline for a blog post directly on their site. In exchange, they ask for your email. A headline analyzer makes perfect sense for their target audience. You can create a tool like this for your target audience to use it or you can do something as simple as providing a guide on how to do something in exchange their email.
- Ad optimization tools – There are plenty of tools you can use that will help you optimize the way that you are creating and displaying ads. You can use Adroll to retarget users who are coming to your site long after they leave your site. Over 90% of the users that come to your site will likely bouncing never return again. Adroll targets them with an ad elsewhere with an offer specific to their interest on your site. If they looked at premium packages, Adroll will target them with an ad for a premium discount and bring them back. Especially for something like SaaS, it takes a little bit more decision making to actually go through with a purchase. A big part of your effort will be keeping at the forefront of your potential customer’s mind and bringing leads back.
Onboarding and Reducing Churn
- Improve your onboarding progress with a progress bar and social elements – A huge part of maintaining growth is simultaneously reducing churn while you sign up new users. If you’re signing users up but a big percentage is dropping in the first month, you’re really not growing at all. This is a huge problem for SaaS companies. To prevent churn, make sure users are well versed in your product from the beginning. A good way to make sure users go through all the actionable steps of your onboarding process and keep them on for all the “lessons” is to include a checklist or progress bar. When users see this, they are much more likely to go through the whole process and not miss important info. If you can, include social elements like adding friends or colleagues. The more social engagement there is, the more users are likely to return and begin uses features together right away. Learn more about improving your onboarding process.
- Engage new and returning users with updates – You want to keep users and potential users in the loop by effectively announcing your updates and new features to show your team is working hard to improve your product. It builds trust in your brand and keeps user loyal when they see you providing what they ask for. Try Beamer on your site or in your app. Beamer is a changelog and newsfeed that opens up when users click a “What’s New” tab in your navigation or an icon in your app interface. A sidebar stream of updates opens up with the latest: new features, deals, updates, news, content, etc. It’s a central place where you can update everyone. You can use push notifications to reach users off your site or app and bring them back with exciting updates. It’s a great way to boost engagement, reduce churn, and keep those “on the edge” potential customers coming back.
Feedback and Peer-to-Peer Marketing
- Collecting feedback – Creating winning SaaS products is a process of listening to customers and adapting. Make it a point to effectively and frequently collect feedback from users at all stages. There are plenty of tools that can help you imbed surveys and quick ratings into your website and app to collect easy feedback. You can use Beamer to collect feedback: users can leave their reactions and comments to your latest updates in your feed so you can gauge responses. Collecting feedback and applying it to updates and new features ensures your product is evolving correctly.
- Incentivizing sharing your product – To reach a target audience just like your current customers, an easy way is to incentivize and make it easy for them to share your product. You can ask users to invite more users in exchange for something. In the beginning, Dropbox asked you to share their link with 5 or 10 people and get extra storage space on Dropbox in exchange. It was wildly successful. Make it easy to share your product on social media or via email. A lot of users will do so especially if it's incentivized with a perk like an extra feature (Dropbox’s storage place), an extended trial, or discount.
- Referral marketing systems – A really easy way to get into in front of more users like your current users is to use your current users as advocates for your brand through referral marketing programs. There are tools like ReferralCandy that can help you easily set up referral program for your product and your current users and enthusiasts help you sell while they also benefit. Social proof and peer reviews are powerful; their words are more persuasive than yours! You can even offer to provide your referrals and affiliates with content and material to help better sell your product. Chances are really good they already have access to the target audience. They will communicate with them in a much more authentic and genuine way then you can do with ads.
Any of these are really easy to implement just a few can help boost your growth really quickly in 2019. Give them a shot and tweak them to match your target audience and your goals. Additionally, try Beamer as a really easy way to boost engagement on your site as well as better communicate with potential insert and current customers.