The Essential List: Lead Generation Strategies for SaaS Marketing
Every industry uses lead generation strategies to grow their businesses, but for SaaS marketers there is a clear recipe for tried and tested lead generation success. We have analysed the best advice from the most successful SaaS marketers in the industry to produce this essential list of the best lead generation strategies for SaaS marketing.
We have divided these strategies up into 4 areas:
- SaaS Marketing
- SaaS Content Strategy
- Saas Sales
- SaaS Social Media
22 Successful SaaS Strategies To Increase Lead Gen
Inbound Marketing - This is an holistic marketing strategy for generating SaaS leads by ensuring that regular content updates (blogging, guides, podcasts, ebooks etc.) focus organic traffic to your site. Done consistently and over time will increase the steepness of your traffic curve and boost your ROI. HubSpot remains one of the biggest advocates of inbound marketing and adheres to many of the following lead generation tools below.
Start Beta Testing - If you can, beta test your SaaS product early. Contacting a small group of loyal customers and advocates will help start your marketing process. More so if and when they recommend to their own networks. As a starting strategy, it can work by ironing out problems and introducing awareness to your product. The bottom line is that it can be a pivotal stage in your product development.
PPC Campaigns - Good PPC campaigns are usually well-defined examples of taking notice (and advantage) of your customers' needs, concerns and pain points. They create the awareness of your product too. PPC can identify your customer's business difficulties, segment, convert and analyze your audience. Constant amendment and tweaking of your SaaS PPC campaign can consistently deliver leads that are targeted and create ROI.
Google Adwords - Adwords remain popular for one very good reason; they put websites at the top of search rankings. These prominent positions come at a cost, but done well and they can significantly increase your ROI and become a powerful customer acquisition tool for SaaS. Wordstream recognise Adwords could be one platform you have either not tried or dismissed and created a guide on how to use adwords for SaaS. Making sure you have a well-planned Adwords strategy aligned to your effective (and optimised) landing page will bring in qualified leads.
Display Advertising - SaaS onboarding expert Nickelled also see adwords and display advertising as underused commodities for the SaaS marketer. The potential to waste money on your Adwords and display advertising is huge, but utilising research and implementing best practice on SaaS display advertising is an essential guide on how to do it right.
SEO - One of those marketing buddies that walks hand-in-hand with your content and your marketing. You should be thinking about your on-page SEO and your off-page SEO. But the principle remains the same: bringing more people to your website from search engines. The key to making your SaaS SEO better, says State of Digital is making your SEO increase both volume and revenue. This means listening to your customers, picking the right keywords and analysing your competition, before you concentrate on converting.
Pipeline Marketing - Takes a wider look at your entire funnel by concentrating on the two most important aspects of it: your leads and your revenue. Just generating more leads (that then don't convert) won’t allow your sales and marketing teams to concentrate on building revenue. Growing your business still means generating leads, but what about the leads that you already have? Should your focus be on generating customers and building revenue? Pipeline marketing focuses on connecting your marketing and sales data to ensure you are making marketing goals based on revenue.
Drip Campaigns - Timely emails are important. They are a tactic that help you onboard your leads at a time when many can fall through the cracks. Create onboarding SaaS drip campaigns that last either 6 or 12 months. Some SaaS email campaigns can be daily for the first week and then every other day for week 2, before email weekly, then monthly. Others can space out emails that typically look like this: days 1,2,3,7,14,21,30,45 and then every two weeks or monthly. Your trial users aren’t just a (vanity) metric, using segmentation, you can improve the odds of users converting to paid.
SaaS Content Strategy
(image sourced altitudebranding)
The Right Content - Great landing pages means having great content to support it. Without either, lead generation won't happen. So it's important to understand what type of content works best for your audience. HubSpot offers comprehensive guide to creating great SaaS content. The big advantage of content marketing is its compounding return; great content increases in value over time. More importantly though, it will continue to generate leads too.
Blogging - A regular blog should be at the heart of your SEO and lead generation campaigns. It gives you the opportunity to target keywords, drive traffic and create links to important pages on your website. Your blogs also allow you to talk directly to your audience consistently, promoting your business and becoming a highly efficient form of lead generation.
Identify Influencers - It can also be beneficial to reach out to bloggers and influencers in your market and ask them to review or write about your product. Bloggers are increasingly viewed as successful influencers for SaaS companies and while some are more or less biased than others, their comments are often widely read and widely shared. Marketing Insider offers a handy list on some of the more influential companies, bloggers and influencers in the SaaS industry.
Guest Posting - One of the earliest tools for generating leads was guest posting, which, when done right, shouldn't be any more expensive than the time it takes to create the content and is STILL hugely relevant today. Guest posting has the enduring ability to link back to your content and reach a whole new audience. As Netrepid's CEO Jonathan Bentz explains: "If businesses trust the editorial of the hosting site then they will automatically trust those companies listed within it too".
eBooks - To boost your ranking for keywords surrounding your product offer free SaaS eBooks. Ultimately this can be cost-effective and give you the opportunity to reach thousands of potential clients. eBooks help reach your target market with relevant strategies to help them or their business. If you struggle to come up with ideas on how to make your eBooks more relevant, then ask your existing audience what their pain points are and what they would like to learn more about.
CTAs - Your CTAs must be efficient at converting. So much so that they become effective lead generation tools themselves. Pawel Grabowski offers a clear guide on how to make your SaaS CTAs generate and convert. Your CTAs can offer eBooks, PDFs, access to Free trials, quote requests and direct leads to landing pages.
Landing Pages - Do your landing pages work? Successful SaaS companies are ones that introduce technology easily and simply, without getting too waylaid by complex processes. The same can be said for your landing pages. For an idea on what works and what doesn't Unbounce has reviewed 15 SaaS landing pages. The ones that work echo SaaS tech; they explain the problem and the solution simply and without any complications or hassle.
- Saas Sales
Free Trials - Test driving can be a persuasive tool. While most SaaS vendors offer free trials, it’s still important to get it right. Pierre Lechelle goes into great detail on how to avoid negative issues related to free trials as well as how to convert users. His big piece of advice is to consider your sales funnel, and ask yourself 'do you need have a free trial?'.
Live Chat -This might not be top of your sales 'to do' lists but it can capture a big proportion of your leads; leads that are already motivated to talk to you! Live chat is the modern way of recreating that archaic sales staple: the telephone call. Until websites were put in between the business and the customer, phoning people up (as well as outbound marketing) was the only way of talking to potential customers. Live chat is building momentum as the modern alternative.
Lead Nurturing - When done right lead nurturing is effective, but according to Wishpond, if you don't have the right SaaS lead nuryuring tools at your disposal then it doesn't matter how good your lead generating is, you won't convert them into sales. Having the right CRM software can help you organise and manage lead relationships. This allows you to automate certain key tasks like follow up emails, streamlined workflows as well creating and sending emails.
SaaS Social Media
(image sourced idunn)
Twitter & Facebook - While analysing your follower count can be seen as an exercise in vanity, it is also a strategy that shouldn't be ignored. There are four basic pointers in how to generate SaaS leads using social media including: growing your audience, following relevancy, hashtag research and considering paid social media campaigns.
LinkedIn - According to WebProfits founder Sujan Patel LinkedIn is the best social platform to be pushing your SaaS content out. Your SaaS platform will address the needs of business customers: all of whom will be on LinkedIn. Make sure you leverage that by either sharing your content widely on the platform or by creating LinkedIn groups and creating a network of your own answering and engaging with interested businesses and contacts.
Quora - One the fastest growing social places for business, because it's a place where specific questions are answered. Answering the tough questions can be a great way to directly talk to and discuss with people related and active in your industry. Eventbrite made Quora one of their core SaaS social media strategies and found it to be great for leads, conversions and continued networking. A side-effect of prolonged engagement and well-written answers is increased SEO.
Meet-Ups - Hosting meet-ups can introduce you to a whole new world of networking opportunities. Host topics on subjects that you know a lot about and that your potential audience will find beneficial. Offer free food or drink and invite anyone involved in SaaS tech you can think of. If you make the topic engaging enough and you can both grow your network, reach further by accessing others' networks and, most importantly gain authority.
These SaaS marketing and lead generation strategies are ones that have been tried and tested by successful SaaS start-ups and SaaS marketing professionals. You should always test your strategies first to make sure they are a good fit for your SaaS business and your audience.
If you have any SaaS lead gen strategies you’d like to add contact us, or click on our Live Chat box on the right.