Rethink Commerce Blog

The Best Marketing Strategies For SaaS Acquisition

Posted on March 4th, 2015 by

Growth and the ability to create sustainable long-term success for SaaS companies are typically a function of three key factors – 1) New SaaS acquisition, 2) Long-term retention, and 3) Maximization of customer lifetime value (CLTV) through effective up-selling/cross-selling and timely subscription renewals.

Since there can’t be growth without new customers, acquisition is arguably the most important of the three factors. But merely acquiring new customers, even at a high initial value, is not enough to sustain SaaS growth. What will is the ability to acquire new customers at a fast pace.

Educating customers about your SaaS offering, helping them evaluate it and facilitating SaaS subscription can increase the strength and speed of your SaaS acquisition initiatives. In line with these goals, here are three marketing strategies that you should focus on:

1. Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing can be an incredibly effective tool for both emergent and established SaaS companies to quickly acquire new customers. For those not familiar, it is an approach where compelling and relevant content is made available to visitors at the right time during a buyer’s lifecycle. It incorporates several key strategies like SEO, social media, content marketing, blogging, lead generation, etc. to increase quality visitors and sales leads.
Not only does inbound marketing promote accelerated SaaS acquisition but it also boosts customer retention and helps maximize CLTV. For users, there’s something very attractive about SaaS companies that earn attention via strategically placed, high-quality, high-value content.
There has been a fundamental shift in the past couple of years that has seen many companies across different industries adopting inbound marketing to help attract the right people to their brand at the optimal time, convert them into new customers and ultimately retain these users and turn them into brand advocates.

2. Content marketing

While content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing, it has many adherents that argue its effectiveness renders all other marketing strategies and tactics irrelevant. What isn’t up for argument is that it works particularly well for SaaS providers, because it satisfies users’ need for education and awareness.
With content marketing, you can leverage your intellectual capital – in the form of white papers, blog posts, e-books, case studies, how-to videos and guides, info graphics, FAQs and a whole lot of other content pieces — to increase awareness about your offerings and facilitate evaluation. SEO, social publishing and blogging in particular help attract the right audience to your platform.

Further, like inbound marketing, content marketing can be used to optimize all the three determinants of user growth. Remember to keep your content valuable, shareable and regular. The importance of following a regular publishing schedule cannot be stressed enough.

Tip: Tailor both inbound and content marketing for the different sections of your sales funnel.

3. Evangelism marketing

Evangelism marketing, which focuses on happy customers or ‘evangelists’ to deliver marketing messages to prospects and customers, is an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing. It has worked incredibly well for Apple, and many other brands and products that have earned loyal followings.
Online marketing teams can in fact, leverage technology and platform evangelism to create a SaaS ecosystem for their customers, which in turn attracts and converts more customers. Adobe used platform evangelism for its Flash platform.

Tactics include user demonstrations, talks, how-to articles and any other vehicles or events that can get your install base excited and talking about your offering. Identify your most loyal customers, nurture relationships and then use the enthusiasm to draw mass support for your services.

Avangate specializes in providing customer-centric, digital commerce solutions. Contact us for more information about how our integrated payment processing, affiliate network and other digital marketing services, including inbound marketing, will help you to grow your business.

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Raj Badarinath

VP, WW Product Marketing and Alliances

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