The SaaS model is fast gaining immense popularity, with customers increasingly opting to buy periodic subscriptions to cloud-based services/solutions rather than shell out top coin for buying a product that has to be physically installed and maintained.
Why SaaS is a success:
- Low on-boarding costs
- Post-subscription customizations are quick and easy
- Error-free service, and extensive support
- Automatic updates and newer versions
- Ad hoc service that can be discontinued at minimal cost
As everything seems to be going in the right direction for SaaS providers, this might be a great time to successfully develop your own SaaS. You just need to remember that marketing your SaaS smartly is the key to its success as a product.
Here are a few tips from experts in the field:
- Know your customer: Having a focused target customer segment goes a long way in defining your business goals. Decide on what kind of customer/business you want to cater to, what their specific issues/needs are, what solutions they want, and which channels you can use to deliver those solutions to them in the most effective way.
- Do an initial soft launch: Many SaaS providers are wary of soft launches, thinking that they take away the ‘surprise’ or ‘big bang’ factor of a hard launch. But, contrary to belief, soft launching (releasing your product to a restricted number of people) is actually beneficial:
- It gives you the precious opportunity to catch bugs and make improvements before the flawed product is sold to everyone!
- It allows time for valuable feedback from beta users that can then be incorporated into the service before the hard launch.
- It gives you an idea of the value addition it brings to the customer. That can help fine-tune your product to provide the most in-demand functions and not others.
- Simplify the sign-up process: One of most important things to get right is the design and content of your sign-up forms.
- Do not insist on creation of a user name before sign up. Finding one that is not already taken is time-consuming and may put off the user from signing up. Give the option of creating one, post sign up.
- Use the auto-fill feature to fill in city/state details based on pin code. Also, if possible, use auto complete for filling in country name. This eliminates cumbersome scrolling down a long list of countries, as a short subset of countries will show up to match the letters the user starts to type.
- Offer a preview of newsletters: Rather than having a default ‘yes’ checked for newsletter subscription, entice the user with a short snippet or preview of the newsletter on the sign-up page.
- Add product walkthrough: One of the most frustrating experiences of a user after she signs up for a service is to land on a page and not know where to go next. Make your page navigation simple and straightforward to help the user find her way forward. Better still, add a usage guide or for a step-by-step walkthrough of the product.
- Follow documentation processes: For a SaaS company it is critical to get all its documentation processes leading up to the launch as well as beyond. Before signing contracts, draft SLAs that are satisfactory to both parties and only then proceed with implementation. The service agreement should be mutually beneficial to the client as well as the vendor.
- Understand the key metrics: Working out the CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), LTV (Lifetime Value) and the relationship between the two is critical (LTV should be higher than CAC) for success of your SaaS business. Subscriber churn is another important metric that you should be monitoring. Also keep an eye out on any up-sell/cross-sell opportunities to leverage them optimally.
- Adopt content and influencer marketing: Even for highly technical SaaS companies, content marketing can be very powerful in establishing authority of the provider by offering ideas and advice that others don’t (or can’t). Similarly, influencers can play a huge role in generating brand visibility and boost the trust factor in your product. Exploit these two routes to attract and convert more subscribers for your SaaS.
- Online reputation management: Social media is a powerful tool. It can generate enormous interest, visibility and brand recognition; however nothing kills a SaaS company faster than bad reputation. Therefore, keep a very sharp eye on online ratings and reviews of your product/service/company and take remedial action immediately if you see negative reactions. The idea is not to negate them, but turn them into opportunities. Without appearing to be defensive, present other beneficial aspects of your product.
With the above points in mind, go ahead and launch your new SaaS. With hundreds of man hours of experience in handholding our clients through their marketing efforts, we know exactly what to do (and not to do) to lead our clients to higher number of leads, greater conversion rates and increased ROI.
Contact us if you want to talk more about how effective digital marketing can amplify the success of your business.