SaaS marketing is different. Here is a look at top trends and how direct mail can help you engage your best prospects.
Creating a successful marketing strategy for a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company can be uniquely challenging. While traditional marketing methods work well for most companies and business models, SaaS brands operate under atypical circumstances and therefore require very different marketing strategies.
Unlike marketing tangible products, like patio furniture or laptop computers, SaaS marketers are trying to sell a software that can’t be physically touched. Every update made to a SaaS platform results in a change in service, and an investment in a SaaS product can be costly.
In addition, conventional product-based businesses characteristically generate revenue via one-off purchases. The SaaS model, on the other hand, typically requires annual or continuing monthly subscriptions.
These idiosyncrasies can make it hard for prospective customers to properly assess your value. Luckily, though, SaaS companies are creating strategies and developing methods for attracting and retaining customers.
Here are some key SaaS marketing tactics worth implementing.
- Content creation
Okay, maybe this one is not so different from a product-based business, but it is one of the most effective marketing tactics for acquiring new users, and also why some of the best SaaS companies maintain exceptional blogs and offer complimentary resources.
High-quality content creation is the best way to showcase thought leadership and deep industry knowledge. When customers see that you’re providing valuable industry information and solutions to their problems, they start to view you as the authority in your space, and therefore the clear choice over the competition.
Before getting started, develop a content marketing plan to help keep your content strategy on track and streamlined, and always remember to incorporate SEO best practices.
- Focus on unique features
There is a lot of proverbial muscle-flexing in the world of SaaS marketing. Brands often claim to do what others can do, only better. This type of boastful, nondescript statement may sound powerful, but it does nothing to indicate your brand’s unique features and benefits.
Another common misstep is to place too much emphasis on your pricing model as a differentiator. This can be a dangerous mistake, especially as new competition enters the scene and a battle for the lowest prices ensues.
Instead of focusing on the similarities between you and the competition, emphasize your brand’s truly unique features, like industry awards or a specific aspect of your brand’s platform, and how they translate to valuable benefits for the end user.
- Free trials
This is where SaaS brands can outshine those with more traditional business models. A shoe store, for example, can’t just give away free shoes to test out for 30 days. SaaS companies have it much easier in this regard. At the end of a trial, there is nothing to return or any strings attached. Users have a clear-cut choice to invest in a paid plan or not.
This means you should include your offer for a free trial predominantly on your website and in all marketing materials. Use the offer to create eye-catching calls-to-actions as regular reminders to claim and redeem the trial.
- Encourage activation
Now that people are signing up for free trials, it’s time to focus on getting them to actually use your software. Sure, you could send reminder emails a few times a week, but it’s best to take more of a strategic approach.
Users are more apt to move forward and complete the trial process if logical next steps are laid out for them. Determine what actions are necessary and then create a strategy to help guide users through those actions.
This is a great opportunity for SaaS marketing automation, which can help deliver relevant information to trial users based on where they are in the activation process.
- Direct Mail
This method may seem surprising as compared to marketing automation and digital marketing in general, but people engage with direct mail more than any other type of marketing and advertising. As a matter of fact, SaaS marketers boosted their direct mail budgets by about 15 percent in 2019.
The ongoing success of direct mail can be attributed to the high level of targeting and personalization in an over-populated digital climate. Brands like Salesforce are using direct mail because of its ability to break through the “clutter,” grab the attention of the right recipient, and provide a tangible reminder of who they are. And Salesforce is not the only one. There are many other digital giants like Linkedin, Uber, and Google that effectively leverage direct mail.
To achieve the highest engagement with direct mail, make sure your efforts align with those of your sales team, and that your messages are customized and personalized to your recipients.
When it comes down to it, the elements essential to marketing your SaaS brand include having a great product, a stellar customer support team, and a strategic mix of digital and direct mail channels to help capture the attention of your audience.
Need help marketing your SaaS brand? Drop us a line.