16 Growth Marketing Strategies for your SaaS Startup
When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to think about growth. You have so many other things on your plate that the idea of marketing your SaaS product seems like a luxury.
But as soon as you start getting traction, people are going to come asking for more features and updates. How will you deliver them without running yourself ragged?
The answer is simple: SaaS growth marketing strategies.
Continue reading to find out how these strategies work, what they can do for your SaaS startup, and how to choose the right strategy to implement for your situation.
What is Growth Marketing?
For a concept that’s been around for so long, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what growth marketing is. In essence, it refers to the process of growing your business with marketing. It’s the art of selling without selling, but it does have a few notable differences from classic marketing practices.
Most notably, growth marketing is about establishing a stable and predictable system for growing your business over time, rather than the short-term gains that classic marketing focuses on. It requires a lot of collaboration with growth experts, data analytics, product managers, and other teams to be implemented correctly. This is because it requires a lot of complex strategies that will pay off over time.
Why is Growth Marketing Important to your SaaS Startup?
Growth marketing has been around for a while, but it’s still relatively new in the context of SaaS. It arose as a result of high-tech companies like Amazon and LinkedIn running into the classic “chicken and egg” problem. They realized that it was difficult to grow purely through word of mouth, and that they needed a better way to get new customers in the door.
So growth marketing techniques were developed to help companies acquire paying customers by enabling the viral spread of their products. These strategies take advantage of high-tech platforms like Amazon’s “People who bought this also bought…” section. Newer growth marketing strategies use machine learning and big data to create more personalized acquisition methods.
They can be used to increase your monthly recurring revenue (MRR), customer lifetime value (LTV), and improve organic traffic, usability, and SEO.
Growth Marketing Strategy for SaaS Companies
The most important growth marketing strategy for a SaaS Startup is the Customer Acquisition Funnel. This is a system that maps your customer’s journey from “Awareness to Purchase”. It looks something like this:
This demonstrates the various stages your potential customer goes through before making a purchase, which you should be prepared to handle.
Awareness: Showcasing the value proposition of your product “Elevator Pitch”. People need to know that they have a problem and what your solution is before buying. Consider paid advertising, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), and public relations.
Consideration: If they’re interested in your product, they’ll start to do their own research and ask friends and colleagues for advice. This is where it’s important to have a great website with helpful user experience (UX), FAQs, and case studies.
Conversion: Now you’ll need to convince them to make a purchase and provide as much information as possible. If you’re selling a SaaS product, this is when they’ll set up an account or make a purchase. It can be helpful to provide free tools like heat maps and customer feedback surveys to get a better idea of what your customers want.
The thing that makes growth marketing successful is a gradual, linear approach that constantly reinforces its effectiveness.
Every acquisition strategy will have a different percentage of people who fall into each category. For example, the conversion rate for your website might be around 25-30%. Some people will bounce, others might fill out a contact form, and so on.
Once you understand where most of your revenue comes from, you can use channels like email marketing or social media to attract more leads.
If your conversion rate is low, it might be time to reassess your SaaS marketing strategy.
Once the sales cycle is complete, you need to retain these customers and make them happy with support and product updates. To do this, you’ll use retention marketing or customer success marketing.
Customer retention is especially important for SaaS products because it keeps your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) high. It’s also necessary for maintaining a good net promoter score (NPS).
Customer Success is a newer form of marketing that’s emerged as part of the ongoing shift to “customer first”. Your customer success team should be responsible for onboarding, building relationships, and providing customer service.
16 Growth Marketing Strategies for SaaS Startups
Here’s what the growth marketing strategies checklist for a startup would look like:
1. Data-driven testing
Get a small, random sample of customers to use your product. Then track their behavior closely and see what features they use most.
This will help you figure out which features to focus on and how to improve your user experience (UX).
Make a core feature that people need to get value from your product. That way, they’ll have an incentive to keep using it.
For example, Gmail has a great email search feature that makes it hard to switch to another email client.
Your growth strategy should be focused on a handful of metrics that indicate the health of your business. Important metrics include active users, customer lifetime value (LTV), and customer acquisition costs (CAC).
Your best customers should be incentivized to bring new customers in. This can be done with a referral program or by offering them exclusive features or discounts. Studies have shown that referral programs are among the most effective way to increase customer acquisition and brand awareness.
They also have a lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA) than other marketing channels.
Group your users into groups based on who they are. Then you can market to them in a more targeted, effective way. For example, you could create a separate ad campaign for first-time users, or for customers who have been with you for more than six months. This strategy is particularly effective for SaaS products as they tend to have a longer sales cycle.
6. Viral Cycle
Identify key events in your customer journey that are likely to trigger viral growth, then design ways to prompt those events. Dropbox is a great example of a company that used this strategy to great effect. They gave away free storage space for every friend you referred, which led to explosive growth. Another one is Facebook, which made it easy for users to invite their friends.
7. NPS Score
NPS score indicates how likely your customers are to refer your product to their friends. You can use it to identify your strongest promoters and encourage them to keep advocating for you. You may also want to focus on improving the experience for your detractors, as they are more likely to leave negative reviews.
Monitor how people are using your product by collecting data from your website and app. This information can be used to make decisions about the future of your product. For example, if you see that most people are abandoning your checkout process, you may want to make changes to the design. If you see that people are using a particular feature heavily, you may want to focus on developing it further.
Identify your most important users and target them with your marketing. This could be done by splitting them up into different segments, such as first-time users, returning users, or high-value customers. You can then tailor your marketing messages to appeal to them specifically.
10. Traffic growth hacking
Increase the number of people who flow through your site or app. This is important for startups because it can make or break your chances of success. Without traffic, you won’t be able to acquire new customers or generate revenue.
There are a number of techniques you can use, such as SEO, social media marketing, and paid advertising. Choosing the right ones will depend on your business and the stage you’re at.
11. Marketing automation
Automate the tasks that don’t require human input. For example, you can use marketing automation tools to send out emails, track website visitors, and score leads. This will free up your time so you can focus on tasks that are more important.
12. LTV-based user acquisition
Acquire users who are likely to generate enough revenue to be worth the price. You can do this by looking at their lifetime value (LTV) and comparing it to the cost of acquiring them.
This is a more strategic way to grow your business and can be more cost-effective in the long run.
13. Retention marketing
Get your existing customers to stick around. When you do that, they’ll recommend your product to others. One way to do this is to offer them value-added services or features that they can’t find elsewhere. You can also improve the customer experience by making it easy for them to interact with your product.
14. Lead scoring
Prioritize leads based on how likely they are to become customers. You can do this by scoring them based on their demographic information, interests, and behaviour. This will help you focus your efforts on the leads that are most likely to convert.
15. Community building
Create a community around your product or service. This could be done by building a forum, blog, or social networking site. You can also hold events or create content that will appeal to your target audience. This will help you attract more people to your product and create a loyal following.
16. Content marketing
Produce content that is relevant to your target audience. This could be in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, or case studies. You can also create video content or podcasts.
Through content marketing strategies, you’ll be able to attract more people to your product and educate them about the benefits of using it.
There are other growth marketing strategies that you can use, but these are some of the most important ones. By using them correctly, you’ll be able to grow your startup and achieve success.
How to Choose the Right Growth Marketing Strategies for your SaaS startup
The right growth marketing strategies for your SaaS company will depend on a number of factors, including your business model, the stage you’re at, and your target audience. You’ll also need to consider your budget and how much time you can devote to marketing.
Here are some tips for choosing the right SaaS growth strategy for your business:
1. Experiment and try different things: You won’t know what works until you try it. experiment with different strategies and see which ones produce the best results.
2. Choose the strategies that are most relevant to your business: Not all strategies will be relevant to your business. Focus on the ones that are most important and have the biggest impact.
3. Tailor your strategies to your target audience: not all strategies will appeal to all audiences. You need to find the ones that are most relevant and target them specifically.
4. Choose the strategies that you can commit to: You need to be able to commit to the growth marketing strategies you choose. They won’t be effective if you don’t put in the effort.
5. Make sure your strategies are scalable: You need to make sure that your strategies are scalable. This means that you can increase or decrease the amount of resources you devote to them as needed.
6. Focus on the ones that have the biggest impact: Don’t try to do everything at once. Focus on the strategies that have the biggest impact and see the greatest results.
7. Prioritize strategies that require the least amount of time and resources: Not all growth marketing strategies require a lot of time or resources. Choose the ones that are the most affordable and easy to implement.
8. Evaluate your results and make changes as needed: growth marketing strategies aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to evaluate your results and make changes as needed.
If you’re not sure which growth marketing strategies to choose, start by experimenting with different ones and see what works best for your business. You can also ask other businesses for advice or read online articles and case studies.
The bottom line is that you need to choose the strategies that are most relevant to your business and have the biggest impact. You also need to be realistic about how much time and resources you can devote to marketing. By using the right growth marketing strategies, you’ll be able to grow your startup and achieve success.
If you wish to learn more about SaaS growth marketing strategies, read more from our SaaS marketing blog.