How To Build a Winning SaaS Marketing Strategy In 2023? | Smart Money Match

How To Build a Winning SaaS Marketing Strategy In 2023?

SaaS is a unique building model that relies on renewed subscriptions and long customer lifecycles as the bulk of your profit-making. In most fields, you have the Pareto principle, where 20% of loyal customers make 80% of your profit. In SaaS, almost all of your profit is generated by return customers.

Since SaaS marketing is so different, it needs a different approach. Here s how you can use this knowledge to make a winning SaaS marketing strategy in 2023.

  1. Define your target audience

When running a SaaS business, you need to make sure that you find out the audience with the highest interest in your field and the highest potential retention chance. 

As a SaaS business, you look at the customer lifecycle worth differently than in any other industry. You see, in any other field of retail/service, you’re selling them a one-time product, and there’s a high chance that they’ll become return customers. In SaaS, there’s almost a guarantee.

Sure, there are some factors regarding the churn rate that you just can’t affect. Imagine a customer being forced to choose between renewing their subscription or paying their rent. For several reasons, a person’s finances can go downhill, but you can’t base your SaaS marketing strategy on this scenario. Instead, there are a lot of churn rate factors that you can affect, and you can recognize some of them in your customer profile.

The best tip to find your target audience is to define your product and service and try logically deducing who would be most interested in its use. You can also study competitors and see what kind of audience they attract.

Tools like Google Analytics and social media insights are especially useful in finding the answers to these questions.

  1. Hire specialist SaaS marketers

Digital marketers generally have the toolset to make a SaaS campaign work; however, there are more than a few reasons why you should always look for specialists. 

For instance, according to experts at Skale, continuous optimization is even more important because the product also evolves. The whole industry constantly evolves, so your campaign will require extra work to remain ahead of the curve.

Remember that most of your audience isn’t just learning about your product. Many people following your SaaS business content are regular users who want to learn the specifics of the product (they already know the basics of using it for so long). At the same time, you shouldn’t neglect first-time and potential users either.

So, unlike in industries where you can put brand recognition before brand awareness (in terms of priority), you won’t have this privilege in SaaS marketing. You need to work on both of these aspects of your brand simultaneously. This is a lot easier with people specialized in marketing on your side.

You need a more data-driven approach; most of this data will come from your existing audience.

  1. Set adequate KPIs

How will you know if your marketing campaign is a success or not? That’s simple - you set the right KPIs and see how they move. Still, what are the right KPIs in SaaS marketing?

  • Customer acquisition cost: This is how much it costs you (on average) to acquire a new customer. Ideally, your marketing campaign will reduce the average cost by attracting more customers on the same budget. This way, the average will be a lot lower.

  • Customer lifetime value: In SaaS, a customer lifetime value is all that counts. One customer who subscribes for 12 months is more valuable than 11 customers who subscribe for one month each. Your main objective is to increase the average subscription duration.

  • Churn rate: This is the rate of people who are canceling subscriptions. There’s a misconception that once people subscribe, they’re locked in. The main objective of SaaS marketing relies on trying to reduce the churn rate. 

  • Monthly recurring revenue: Finally, your monthly rent won’t wait for that one subscriber that we mentioned two metrics earlier to pay their final installment of the year. Therefore, having 11 subscribers at the same time has its merits. 

Just remember that all of these will be affected by your field. Even in SaaS, not all businesses are the same.

  1. Focus on acquiring new users

Some SaaS businesses use their free trial period to lure new users in. This won’t work, and, honestly, it’s not what a free trial period is supposed to do to begin with. If a SaaS asks for one’s credit card to start a free trial period, many people will just give up. The idea behind this approach is that people will just forget or not bother enough to cancel, but this is not a sensible approach.

Next, you want to improve your content marketing. People might want to learn more about your platform before using it, so you want enough free content to show them. This way, they can form their (positive) opinion in time. 

Don’t be shy about paying for advertising. The key thing to remember is that sponsored posts have a much greater reach.

At the same time, there’s nothing more important than your online visibility and organic reach. This is why you need to increase your SEO activity and leave more room for SEO and email marketing in your digital marketing budget. You have to send a word across; these are some of the best ways.

  1. Promote the idea of getting longer subscriptions

Now, how do you persuade people to subscribe for longer? Well, there are several methods you could try to maximize your SaaS revenue.

First, you should provide an essential service and do so admirably. This way, canceling a subscription will never even cross their mind.

Second, you can try offering a duration of subscription discount. What does this mean? For instance, you could charge them $10 per month but then $20 for a quarterly subscription (which means they virtually get one month for free if they commit to this). While, on paper, this seems like you’re losing money, there’s a method to this madness. Each additional month they spend with you makes them less likely to subscribe. In other words, you're virtually luring them in by making an offer that’s too good to refuse.

There are other ways you can incentivize longer subscriptions. For instance, you could offer them extra features if they stay longer. Regular customers can get early access to beta and more. 

You also want to improve your customer service and regularly communicate product upgrades. Sometimes, an announcement of a new patch might make a difference. 

  1. Use all the messaging methods at your disposal

Your customers are everywhere, on social media, forums, subreddits, and YouTube. They inhabit virtually every online space. However, assuming that they’re spending their time everywhere equally is just not true. 

Different demographics use the internet differently, and knowing where, when, and how may make a massive difference in your outreach. For instance, assuming that you’ll find boomers on TikTok and Gen Z on Facebook is not the best approach to outreach.

Also, younger generations are more likely to use voice search on their phones, so it’s smart to emphasize voice search optimization if they are your audience. 

We’ve mentioned it once already but cannot stress how important it is for you to use proper email marketing. First of all, this is amazing for your outreach, in general. However, it’s also a great way to communicate with your audience. Just think about all the updates, announcements, and special offers (an offer to promote a more expensive plan) you could send this way. 

  1. Continuously analyze and optimize

Finally, you need to analyze the effects of your marketing regularly and optimize whenever and wherever you can. 

This is why you need the right analytical tool and a great way to follow all the relevant metrics. This is why we set the KPIs so high on our list. It’s also crucial that you set up tracking and analytics at regular intervals but also make some random checkups. With modern tools, you can easily do this in real time. 

Perhaps the best way to approach this is through A/B testing. This way, you can test your theories in a simulated (safe) environment. You can test virtually any marketing idea this way, from the shape of your CTA button to the format of your email marketing subject lines.

Keep in mind that, in SaaS, your product is constantly evolving. What logic is there for your marketing strategy to remain the same forever? 

To grow your SaaS business, your marketing should equally focus on old and new customers

A SaaS business thrives on long-term relationships with its customers; however, for someone to become a long-time customer, they need to start as a first-time customer. You can achieve all of this through a well-constructed marketing campaign. This is why you’ll probably be much better off with a SaaS marketing specialist than with marketing generalists. 

By Srdjan Gombar

Veteran content writer published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.

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