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20 saas marketing best practices

20 Simple SaaS Marketing Best Practices to Boost Your Business

saas marketing best practices

If you read only 1 list of SaaS marketing best practices today, this should be the one! 20 simple but very important tips to enhance your user acquisition, user retention and grow your business as a whole.

1. Avoid discounts

Discounts are deceiving: usually, companies try to get more users and clients. But in the end of the day, it can easily turn out that you brought in the wrong audience and they churn. Again: competing on prices is a very bad approach, compete on benefits instead! If you bring in a new customer based on your unique selling proposition but for the usual price, he will be more likely to stick with you for longer. The more they invest in your solution the more difficult is to leave you!

2. Build growth engine into your product

Growth engines are varying product by product: for example in Slack you share the tool with your colleagues, in Pipedrive you and your invited company get a discount. You have to build some kind of virality into your product even if it doesn’t seem to be good for a B2B business. You might hear that “it doesn’t work in B2B” but I hope you don’t try to sell to companies but to individuals… and in this case, it doesn’t really matter whether you are in B2C or B2B.

growth

3. Get into review sites

During the buying process, lots of people check reviews that are independent of you. Therefore they go to review sites and try to collect information. So it is important to “host your reviews” on your review sites too. For example on Capterra, G2crowd, financesonline.com.

4. Shorten your free trial period

Maybe it seems contra-intuitive but a lot of time shortening your trial period increases conversion rate. It’s because there will be a bigger time pressure on your trial users. Scarcity is one of the most effective tools when it comes to sales!

5. Increase your prices

Prices are usually lower than they should be. Lots of companies think that it’s important to have low prices to make people even register. But that’s not true! People are looking at benefits and features first. If you can convince that your tool is able to kill the pain your prospect has, you’ve already won. But there can be exceptions: if you target companies or people on low-budget… But competing on prices can be very harmful.

6. Offer annual payment

Annual, pre-paid payment is usually cheaper than paying month-by-month and it is wise to offer this solution. It is a little bit cheaper as you get their trust for 1 whole year! And it is worth a lot to have a client with you for a year as they won’t churn until that time for sure which makes your numbers more predictable.

7. Have a good customer support

Yes, it sounds obvious but one of the most important things is your customer support. It is especially true if you have big competitors in your market: as they don’t have much time you will be even able to steal clients from them just by providing good customer support!

But be aware: the level of your customer support should be highly affected by your business model. If it is self-service, it is enough to have a chat and email combination, if it is transactional, you might go to telephone too and if it is enterprise level, it can be a one-to-one, live solution!

8. Charge for additional support

Additional support costs you time and therefore a lot of money. Installation fees and one-to-one consultations can be charged if you can help your client reach his desired outcome sooner. If you help a company implement your solution they pay for the time they save that would be required if they would have done it alone. Also, if you educate them how to get the most out of your product, you give them additional value for their business that can be charged!

charge for additional support

9. Create a Buyer Converter product

The 9th of the SaaS marketing best practices is a very cool trick and stems in the Inverted Funnel Concept which says it’s great if you can use a Buyer Converter Product. This is a standalone feature of your product, it converts your leads into buyers offering low-ticket, very focused tools. These tools answer to highly specific pain points of your Buyer Personas. You can see these type of tools for free too but asking for few dollars could qualify your leads and frighten away freebie hunters.

10. Write free giveaways

Hooks such as ebooks, case studies and more will enhance your lead generation efforts. Not only you will be able to gather more contacts but you will be able to qualify them based on their interest!

11. Start paid marketing early

Most of the time it is good to start paid marketing. It will help you understand your market faster. Basically, you pay for the speed of getting the needed information. But naturally, it is true for every type of rules: there are exceptions. If you can build your growth engine early into your product, you might not need it.

start paid marketing early

12. Don’t lie about your product and never use hidden fees

Be honest: if your tool doesn’t know something, don’t offer it. Thank you captain obvious, ha? Also, it is important that you show your fees transparently. There is no more irritating than facing a surprise fee. People will pay it but will most likely to churn as they will be stressed. That’s not a brand that is loveable.

13. Use event-triggered emails for onboarding and retention

Behavior-based emails are important to send highly personalized, timely and highly targeted messages. Send your emails based on your users’ in-app activity to reach higher engagement! Also, congratulate your existing customers and give them loyalty rewards and similar messages when they achieve something. For example in Buffer, if your post gets higher sharing rate than usual, the team sends you an automated email to congratulate!

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Send personalized, highly targeted messages based on your users’ behavior. Get started now!

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14. Use the inverted funnel concept for user acquisition

Inverted funnel thinking is a framework that helps SaaS companies build their user acquisition processes from the “inside”: from the product point of view. If you would like to read about it in details, read the article on Inverted Funnel Thinking.

15. Integrate with lots of apps

Integrating with strategically important applications can be very effective way of spreading the word about your SaaS software. But programming integrations for the sake of integrations don’t make sense: try to find out which are the most important apps that can give your users value. In addition, your can check your competitions’ integrations to have a better understanding of your strategy.

integrate with lots of apps

16. Email course for education

Email courses are great if you would like to educate and nurture your prospects. Usually, these are for free but if you feel that you can create so high perceived value, you can turn it to be a good buyer converter product and offer it for a low amount of fee.

The best things about these educational contents that not only you build trust but also get nurtured leads! In addition, you can cautiously get them go into your software and take action with your tool – so you also give them a benefit focused, effective onboarding too!

17. Use “Empowered by” for your free plan

“Empowered by” is mostly known the “must-have” virality agent for a specific level of service. For instance, you know that you can send newsletters for free with MailChimp if you let them insert that iconic Monkey into the footer of your emails.

This type of brand building and virality tool makes it easier but it is not usable in every industry.

18. Always follow-up and notify

We are facing a high volume of information day by day. As a result, we tend to forget things even if it is important for us. Maybe it sounds a little bit awkward but people will highly appreciate if you follow-up on them and help them remember!

always follow up and notify

19. Your sign-up form should be short and clear

If your sign-up form asks for more information than you would use, than just simply it. Why the heck you are asking for information that you don’t need?

You should also manage expectations: for example telling your prospects that after the free trial they will have to pay, the will have a free version, etc. Be concise but honest.

20. Send win-back campaigns for not converted trial users

Your active trial users are the best type of fuel so get the most out from them! It is very important to try to get back your lost users to your trial. You can use remarketing and automated email campaigns too!

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Send win-back campaigns to engage lost trial users! Get started now.

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Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Automation

Optimize your email follow-ups automatically: introducing Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Automation

As we discussed before, it is difficult to test how frequently you should send your follow-up emails. In addition, it is nearly impossible to AB test your drip campaigns and your emails in it. Now – as we promised – we share an easy solution. Introducing artificial intelligence for marketing automation that is an automatic solution for drip campaign optimization. This is the last article of our 3 part blog post series.

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What is the problem with drip campaign optimization?

It is a challenging task for marketers to optimize their drip campaigns because current solutions out there don’t really support it.

A/B testing a drip campaign was a time-consuming process: you not only needed to plan the process, the execution was a real nightmare. The current marketing automation software’s don’t have the right solution for you: therefore you needed to create (at least) 2 versions of the drip campaign, pay attention to send enough traffic to both of them, evaluate the results and continuously pay attention to the significance to make a real decision yourself. In addition, A/B testing your emails in your drip campaign was nearly impossible… Performing tests like this are really challenging because of the time it requires from you.

And what if you want to play with the sending frequency of your drip campaigns? Lots of questions are arising on this topic: for example, how often you should send emails to your leads and clients. There are different answers, best practices, and usually, you get hints such as take your offer’s price and the length of your sales cycle in consideration.

An A.I. driven solution that optimizes everything automatically for you

In the chatbot world, artificial intelligence changes the whole industry right now. The same is happening in the world of artificial intelligence for marketing automation too – although it’s not that noisy yet.

Reinventing marketing automation is actually happening. The first step of this process is helping you optimize your drip campaigns for higher conversion rate to increase your ROI.

You need to do only 4 things:

  • Setup your drip campaign
  • Create your A/B/N versions of your emails
  • Choose the time period you want your emails to be sent
  • Choose a conversion goal (such as you would do in Google Analytics for events)

And that’s all!

Thereafter everything is handled by the artificial intelligence. It will test your drip campaign as more and more leads are going through it. On top of it, it continuously optimize to have higher conversion rate for the goal you picked previously. Yes, without any need of manual intervention from you.

  • Conversion goals can be really anything:
  • open rates, clicks
  • form submissions on a landing page
  • started trial
  • payments
  • and so on.

In addition, the A.I. will automatically stop your drip campaign if your lead or customer reaches the defined goal. (Only if the conversion goal is not repeatable in a drip campaign, such as payment or starting trial.)

Basically, the A.I. will handle everything on autopilot: sending time frequency, AB testing your workflows and your emails in your drip campaign.

Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Automation: just the first step 

Automatic drip campaign optimization makes marketers’ life easier but it is just really the first step. Big brands don’t have the chance to break up with the traditional Marketing Automation solutions. It’s because radical changes would increase their churn rate. They simply can’t afford to do that.

That is why big companies are afraid of startups, that can change the fundamental, basic approaches on the market – no clients, no business constraints. Disruptive companies are able to change the market by reinventing the industry with their innovative, new approaches.

Marketing automation is going through the same transformation nowadays. After automated optimization the next steps can easily be with the help of Artificial Intelligence:

  • Optimizing the whole messaging system of a company (not only email campaigns but multi-platform communication)
  • Writing email copies
  • Providing predictive analytics (this is actually existing right now)
  • Smart lead scoring
  • Automated segments
  • Controlling your software with speech recognition
  • …and more.

Moving marketers to a more strategic position

Technology not only helps you gain more clients but fundamentally changes how you use a tool… and what is your job as a marketer. The same applies here too – Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Automation is nothing more than a tool that makes your life easier.

It helps you focus on the most important things: like understanding your market, have a more informed decision on changes or save cost by smarter budget planning.

Therefore it will empower you to move to a more strategic position. Instead of wasting your time on the daily routine with tons of repetitive and boring todos, you will be able to have a higher influence on the whole business you are in.

Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Automation: The journey is just about to start…

Reinventing marketing automation is a challenging task but lots of companies understand the importance for marketers and for businesses. So it is happening and will change the way we use MA systems fundamentally.

Automizy’s first step on this path is announcing the A.I. driven, automatic drip campaign optimization feature. It’s in alpha stage yet, but very soon we’ll release our closed beta.

So, we would be really pleased if you could tell us your opinion, feedback in the comment section about our upcoming feature.

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Improve your conversion with landing pages

The first impression is one of the most important impression not only on a date but in case of landing pages too. Visitors meet the landing page right after clicking, so it is a key factor of increasing conversions

What is a landing page?

In the purest sense a landing page is nothing else than its name refers, an arriving page. Most of the time we arrive to this page by clicking on an advertisement. Most often you can meet landing pages at AdWords’ ads, where after clicking on it you land on a special page, where only the offer will be included without any other functions or sub sites. A landing page is so influential and not negligible at all in inbound marketing, because it will be decided on this page, that what we can do with visitors, or in other word, will they be converted or not. Since the landing page function is to convert lead from a simple visitor.

increase_conversion_with_landing_page

Landing page vs. home page

Many times landing pages are mixed up with the website’s homepage or subpages, but it is totally different from them. Professionals know that in order to increase conversions the landing pages are needed. Different offers and ads should have no global navigation to the primary website, because the web page, especially the homepage performs many other function what can distracts the visitors’ attention from the offer.

By contrast, we can influence the visitors and persuade them to reach our intended conversion goal on the landing page. It must not include such information what would divert their attention from the action, we want them making.

How does it increase conversions?

The landing page always has an ultimate goal, as you could have read it above, it is to generate leads from the visitors.  However, the aim of the landing pages have to be defined for the conversion. The goals of the landing pages could be:

  • lead generation
  • lead nurturing
  • cross sale, up sale
  • or to build loyalty

To whom speaks the landing page?

You are probably thinking right now that what kind of silly question is this, to whom? The answer is certainly for everyone who clicks on my advertisements. But is it really sure and doubtless that everyone is in your target group, and surely will they purchase anything after clicking? I have a bad news, it is absolutely unsure. Therefore landing pages have to be created for the buyer personas. (If you haven’t got any buyer persona yet, set up one, click here to find out who the Buyer Persona is)

Is less sometimes more?

This phrase is might be true in every day’s dressing up, but it is not in the case of landing pages. So the good thinking is to make more landing pages, but it isn’t as easy as you think. The landing pages cannot just be created by a belly punch. It is worth to categorize them by the number of buyer personas, and in addition, where they are in the buying cycles.

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Source:Hubspot

On below research made by Hubspot, it very well illustrates how landing pages can increase the conversions just by their amount. Setting up landing pages might be a lot of work and not least time-consuming, but just think about the result they could bring, and you will be highly satisfied at the end.

Lead Generation Funnel Cheat Sheet

It is very shocking that it is worth to set up even more landing pages than 40. You wouldn’t have thought it, would you?

What to pay attention to when creating landing pages?

1, To whom you speak with your landing page? So who is your target group? As I already mentioned it above we create the landing pages for the buyer personas. Although it is correct, let’s not forget those visitors who are not your buying personas yet. There is a great chance that someone, of whom you thought earlier that cannot be an interesting target for you will visit your page. Thus create a landing page for them as well.

 2, Ask or give only one thing: The essence of the landing pages are to convert shoppers from visitors and to accomplish that, nothing should distract their attention. Ask only for one think e.g.: get them subscribe, fill out the form, or to download an E-book. It is also true for the offer. Have only one offer on your landing page which should point to the ads and as a result they are going to lead to certain conversion.

3, Use relevant CTAs: Landing pages have to have relevant and clear CTAs’ buttons. To make them simpler write on them what to do e.g.: subscribe for, or download, etc. You can even use arrows to drive their eyes, so the point is, not letting the visitors thinking, just to enforce them for finishing the action. (You can read about CTAs by clicking here)

 4, Visuality always wins! Do not just use text on the landing page, instead use it parallel with visuality. To make it clear, the illustrated offer is always more powerful as it grabs the visitors’ attention sooner, therefore your offer can be more attractive.

5, Always use forms: Using forms on the landing page is mandatory. Do not make such a landing page which has only one button for downloading content. Neither the page where you ask for the email address or name in return for the offer is the best way. If you still stuck with the previous than at least use a proper form or which is way better, throw to the bin your whole page and start thinking about your new landing page. The reason why using forms is mandatory is the following, with the aid of them collecting data and building a personal profile of a lead is child’s play. And with a proper personal profile making bespoke content and maxing-out conversions are just a step away. Always highlight forms and try to ask for as many data as possible. Worth to use dynamic forms because in this way you can gather more information from the lead.

6, Use A/B testing! I know it is boring hearing testing all the time from everywhere, but it is something that has to be done not even in case of the landing pages. Use A/B testing to find out which landing page works better and why.

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