9 Types of SaaS Marketing: Which One is
Right for Your Business?
There are many types of software-as-a-service (SaaS marketing), and it can be challenging to determine which one is right for your business.
In this blog post, we will outline the nine most common types of SaaS marketing and explain what each one entails. By understanding the different types of digital marketing available to you, you can decide which strategy will work best for your company. Let’s get started!
What is SaaS Marketing?
SaaS marketing is the process of promoting and selling software that is delivered as a service, typically over the internet. This type of marketing requires a different approach than traditional product marketing, as SaaS products are not physical goods that can be sold in stores. Instead, SaaS marketers must focus on generating leads and converting them into paying customers.
Unlike traditional marketing, SaaS marketing is a more customer-centric and inbound activity. It’s all about bringing the right people to your product and then turning them into happy customers who will stay with you for a long time.
To learn more, read our blog on Why Is SaaS Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing?
The types of SaaS marketing can be generally divided into three categories:
Lead generation is the process of generating interest in a product or service with the goal of converting those leads into customers. SaaS companies typically use lead generation tactics such as content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to attract potential customers to their website. Once a lead is generated, the company will then use lead nurturing tactics to convert the lead into a paying customer.
Customer acquisition is the process of acquiring new customers for a SaaS product. This can be accomplished through various marketing channels such as online advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. Once a potential customer is acquired, the company will then use customer retention tactics to keep the customer engaged and using the product.
Customer retention is the process of keeping customers happy and engaged with a SaaS product. This can be accomplished through various means such as providing excellent customer support, offering new features and updates, and running loyalty programs.
The Nine Types of SaaS Marketing
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is SaaS marketing?”, it’s time to dive into the different types of marketing efforts available to SaaS businesses. Here are the nine most common types of SaaS marketing:
Type #1: Acquisition-Based SaaS Marketing
You have a great product, but your customers still aren’t biting. What are you doing wrong?
As it turns out, generating sales is only half the marketing battle – especially if you’re focused on acquiring new customers instead of catering to existing ones. Acquisition-based SaaS marketing (“acquisition” for short) is all about reaching the audiences who don’t know about your product yet.
Acquisition-based marketing means driving traffic that converts to your website using a variety of channels: social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more.
SaaS content marketing is also a key element of this type of marketing, as it allows you to educate potential customers about your product and establish your company as an authority in your industry.
Check out our list of 10 B2B SaaS Content Marketing Strategies That Truly Works
The goal of acquisition-based marketing is to generate leads and convert them into paying customers. This type of marketing requires a long-term commitment, as it can take months or even years to see results. However, if done correctly, acquisition-based marketing can be a powerful tool for growing a SaaS business.
It’s also important to measure how effective your acquisition strategies are by looking at the quality of traffic you’re getting: Are visitors actually spending time on your site? Which channels bring in new users versus returning visitors? How much do they interact with certain pages or content?
Type #2: Email-Based SaaS Marketing
Email is the most popular way of communicating to customers, both existing and potential. The inbox is where many companies choose to market their products because of its low cost and high returns.
Email marketing automates the process of sending emails to an existing SaaS customer or potential customer about your product. Third-party software can be used for this, such as MailChimp, Drip, GetResponse, HubSpot, or Constant Contact.
Regardless of platform, email marketing campaigns work well with customer retention programs as well as acquisition programs when done correctly (and with permission).
According to Templafy, the average office worker received 121 emails per day and sent out 40 emails per day. Email is here to stay—and it’s only getting more popular.
Email marketing can be used to nurture leads, increase customer engagement, and even upsell existing customers. It’s a versatile tool that can be used in a number of different ways to grow a SaaS business.
Type #3: Relationship-Based SaaS Marketing
The central concept behind relationship-based SaaS marketing is simple: connecting with people who are your ideal customers. The idea is to build relationships with them that can convert into trust and create new customers for your business.
There are many ways you can do this. If you’re not using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool yet, getting one is vital for building relationships at scale. Your CRM will be essential in helping you keep track of all the people interested in what you have to offer and even more importantly, those who aren’t-and most come equipped with some level of chatbot functionality that can create and nurture these relationships much easier for you.
Writing a blog and sharing it on social media is another way to grow your pool of prospects by showcasing your expertise and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. And if you want to take things up a notch, webinars are an excellent means for not only getting new leads but also nurturing existing ones so they stay engaged in your brand (and eventually become paying customers).
If building relationships sounds like something that would work well for your business, then creating or joining communities relevant to your niche is something else worth considering. For example, if you run an accounting firm specifically geared toward female entrepreneurs, then joining the Women Who Code community may be just the thing that gives you access to potential clients while still allowing you to practice your craft.
Type #4: Niche-Based SaaS Marketing
You guessed it– this type of SaaS marketing specializes in a specific niche, whether it be based on industry, role, or both. This approach is not for all businesses, but can certainly be successful, especially if your SaaS product is designed to meet the needs of a particular group.
For example, you might focus on a niche such as:
- Healthcare: Doctors and healthcare professionals are looking for ways to streamline workflows and provide better care for their patients. A software solution that can improve business efficiency or patient engagement could resonate well with this group.
- Project management: Teams need tools that can help them keep projects moving forward-and stay organized in the process. Marketing your SaaS product as a project management tool could appeal to this audience since it targets a major pain point of theirs.
- Education: Teachers and administrators alike struggle with managing schedules and grades so that they have enough time to focus on what’s most important: teaching students. Your SaaS product may be able to help them streamline these processes so they spend less time stressing over administrative tasks and more time making an impact on their students’ lives!
Type #5: Content-Based SaaS Marketing
Content-based marketing involves creating useful content for your target audience and providing that content for free. This strategy is perfect for SaaS companies because it’s highly scalable and focused on value.
When you create content, you’re not just trying to make a sale; you’re also hoping to solve a problem or issue your audience is having. If done well, this can build trust with your customers and encourage them to come back again. Content marketing has the most impact over the long term, making it ideal for B2B companies that want to nurture leads until they convert into sales.
Your content can take many forms: blog posts, podcasts, videos, ebooks, white papers and more. And you can use this strategy in several ways-for examples:
- To attract new leads: You can use content to attract new leads by optimizing it for SEO and promoting it on social media.
- To nurture existing leads: You can use content to keep your leads engaged by sending them personalized emails with relevant articles or other types of content.
- To convert leads into customers: You can use content to help your leads make a buying decision by creating case studies, testimonials, and other types of content that showcase your product in action.
Type #6: Conversion-Based SaaS Marketing
Every SaaS business, whether it’s a B2B SaaS company or a service industry in general, needs to focus on conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of optimizing your website’s conversion rate to increase revenue. If you want your SaaS business to be successful and make money for you, then you need to focus on the specific things that will help your users complete the purchase or download process successfully-and CRO should be one of those things.
This type of SaaS marketing is all about conversion-getting your users to take the desired action on your website. To do this, you need to have a well-designed website that’s easy to navigate and understand. You also need to create compelling copy that speaks to your target audience’s needs and pain points. Finally, you need to have a strong call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to take the next step.
Type #7: Retention-Based SaaS Marketing
Retention-based marketing usually involves targeted messaging through phone, email, or in-app messages. These messages come in the form of discounts and special offers, notifications of new features and free trials, or just general customer service communications.
The goal of retention marketing is to keep your customers happy with your product (or service) to continue to use it for as long as possible. This is often referred to as “customer success” because it focuses on improving the overall experience for your customers. Improvements may include better onboarding processes and more training resources (like documentation). It also includes increasing the communication between you (the company) and the customer so that they feel like their concerns are being resolved promptly.
This type of marketing is about making sure your product does what it says on the tin-and even more than what’s promised on paper!
Type #8: Community-Based SaaS Marketing
Community-based SaaS marketing is all about building a community of like-minded individuals who support each other in their goals.
The Wall Street Journal, for example, uses their paywall as a way to build a tight-knit community. That’s because they know that there aren’t many other ways to read the WSJ besides actually paying for it and being part of the community. They created an entire website dedicated to helping and explaining how to use their product-and that doesn’t even include all of the help you get in learning how to use their product from interacting with the community itself!
Type #9: Partnership-Based SaaS Marketing
The last one on our list is a simple but effective strategy that can help you grow your business. Partnering with other businesses makes it possible to get your app in front of the customers that need it. In the early days of building a SaaS business, partnering with other businesses is one of the most effective strategies for getting users, especially when cash for ad spend is scarce.
A few ways you could take advantage of partnerships:
- If you have a SaaS product for marketers, why not partner with another marketing tool? You could offer each other discounts or free trials and cross-promote your products to similar audiences.
- Create a marketplace where people can sell complementary products or services to your core product customers. It’s like the app store on iPhones; they provide the platform and apps are sold through them.
There are many ways to market your SaaS company. You can find the right way for you by looking at your business’s goals.
How to Set Up a Marketing Plan
Setting up a marketing plan for your SaaS business is an exciting opportunity to grow your market share. Before you begin, it’s essential to take the time to establish clear goals.
Your goals are what will drive your SaaS marketing strategy forward so they need to be hyper-focused on your specific vision and mission.
Before you get started on any campaign or marketing tactic, here are a few questions you should ask yourself in order to formulate target goals:
- What are my objectives?
- Who is my target audience?
- How am I going to reach that audience?
So there you have it – nine of the most common types of SaaS marketing. These give you a good starting point for determining which type of marketing is right for your business.
Check our blog for more tips on how to make the most of your SaaS company.