Only the bravest entrepreneurs venture into SaaS, so if you have just built your software, I’d say congratulations on this outstanding achievement! Or perhaps, are you still considering the SaaS industry and are gathering research materials online?
This article would answer most of your marketing questions, whatever category you belong to, especially if you are a founder of a Saas startup.
The thought of being your boss and solving real problems with technology is an appealing one, but the road to success for SaaS founders and their businesses is, unfortunately, quite a long one.
Motivation and determination may get you to start your own business. However, if you want to succeed, you need to know the ins and outs, the strengths and weaknesses of your software product.
This will enable you to plan the right marketing strategy for your target audience. Once you’ve got your plans laid out, it’s time to start promoting your SaaS product.
This article contains some of those tips, but before we dive deeper into how to promote your SaaS startup, which is the main business, let’s talk a bit more about SaaS.
What Is a SaaS Business?
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a business that creates software to solve problems. Everyone uses one or more of these software tools in their everyday activities, from typing and editing to communicating via email and hosting a website.
SaaS businesses are essential in today’s corporate world as they provide the tools necessary for practical daily activities. Most SaaS companies are B2B and run on a subscription business model.
The Saas Business Model: How A Saas Company Works
SaaS runs on a subscription business model; what this means is that SaaS customers are required to pay a periodic subscription fee, often monthly or annually, to access the software.
Some subscriptions are based on how much data needs to be stored, the number of users who will access the application or the desired level of technical support.
7 SaaS Startup Ideas
If you are amongst the startup or tech enthusiasts and are looking to build one for yourself, here is a list of some of the most successful SaaS categories that just about anyone can start in no time;
1. Customer Resource Management (CRM)
When people talk about CRM, they usually refer to a CRM system, which is a SaaS product (software) that helps with customer contact management, sales management, agent productivity, and more.
CRM software can now manage customer relationships across the entire customer lifecycle, right from the top of the funnel to the bottom, spanning marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service interactions.
Top examples of CRM software companies include Zoho, Hubspot, Salesforce, etc.
2. Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing automation software is so much more than just a way to send and track your emails. These software products help to increase your audience, segment your lists, and combine all your marketing channels, turning the software into a powerful solution to grow your business and earn more revenue.
Top examples of email marketing software companies include MailChimp, SendinBlue, Klaviyo, FloDesk, etc.
3. Bookkeeping and Invoicing
Some SaaS companies focus on billing and invoicing services, while others offer a full range of financial tracking and reporting services. All businesses need reliable bookkeeping tools to keep their books in order. A wrong choice will prove frustrating for a business owner, as changing accounting software is time-consuming.
Top examples of bookkeeping and invoicing software companies include Xero, Receipt Books, Gusto, etc.
4. Project Management Software
These softwares are used by a wide range of industries for project planning, resource allocation, and scheduling. It enables project managers as well as entire teams to control their budgets, quality management, and all documentation exchanged throughout a project. The software can help collaborators communicate and stay on track.
Top examples of project management software tools include Asana, Monday, Linear, etc.
5. Web Hosting
A web hosting software is a control panel with a graphical interface helping to manage different websites, databases, files, emails, etc., hosted on a server from a centralized location.
It is used by organizations and web hosting service providers for managing multiple websites and databases. Remote servers can handle everything a business needs in its online presence.
Top examples of web hosting software tools include Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddy, etc.
6. eCommerce Service Providers
An eCommerce service provider is a software a business employs to handle all their B2B and B2C eCommerce needs.
These needs include product pages, reviews, transactions, order fulfilment, customer support, and returns. The best eCommerce platform comes down to your unique business model and growth plan.
Top examples of eCommerce software tools include Shopify, Wix, Magento, etc.
7. Human Resources Management Software
An ideal HR management software would assist in driving every aspect of your HR department. From automating recruitment to performance management, a comprehensive set of roles is played by HCM software solutions.
SaaS companies can offer tools to track employee hours, manage payroll, and schedule, and manage the hiring process.
Top examples of HR management software tools include Workday, ADP, Zoho People, Indeed
7 Strategies to Promote Your SaaS Startup
We have considered what SaaS is and additionally examined the top 7 SaaS businesses you can put in the works. Now we will learn how to get out there and tell people about it.
In the days before the internet and social media, promoting your business meant spending a fortune on advertising or PR services—a high cost for a SaaS startup trying to get off the ground. Not anymore.
Thanks to technology, there are now lots of ways that a small, fledgling SaaS business can get word of their products or services out to prospective customers—many of them free.
Let’s look into it.
1. Prioritize Your SEO
Your website will be of little use if nobody can find it in their search engine. To generate the most online traffic, and therefore customers, you need to rank highly on at least Google. Because really, does anyone click to the second page of results? Rarely.
The ranking also provides credibility. Imagine someone sees or hears about your brand and decides to look it up. What do they see when they do?
To rank, you will need to work on your SEO techniques regularly, monitoring your statistics closely and refining your features accordingly. One of the first things to do is carry out keyword research with the aid of tools like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, or SEMRush.
Everywhere. What phrases are your customers searching for? What questions do they have? Do your best to answer all their queries, in one place. But be wary of keyword stuffing: Google can spot this a mile off and may penalise you for it in the rankings.
2. Invest in Email Marketing
Once you’ve got your own email list of leads, go ahead and start sending those enticing emails that will draw customers to your landing page.
The best way to do that is to get yourself a reliable email service, along with access to other communication channels like Web Push or SMS, to promote your business.
Also, add personalization. We are inundated with emails every single day. At work, at home, on the move. How is yours going to stand out from the hundreds of others crowding your customers’ inboxes?
Ultimately, what you want is a click – you want your customers to read your email, and take action. There’s no better way to achieve this than with a big, bright call to action button. Ask a question, spike your reader’s interest, or give them an offer, with a blindingly obvious button they can hit to follow this interest.
Learn how to write the best cold emails here.
3. Set Up A Blog
It costs almost nothing to set up a blog. An easy-to-maintain blog is a great way to interact with your customers (both current and potential), provide them with updates, and publish content that’s useful for your search engine optimization efforts.
Interviewing other experts in your field is a fantastic way to network, and can help you build credibility among your audience. Create useful content that your readers will want to share.
4. Be Generous with Branded Merch
Taking your business promotion offline can also reap bountiful rewards. Items such as custom notepads, luxury pens, or novelty mugs can go a long way.
This could also be considered as one of the most significant factors used by customers to decide whether or not to stay loyal to a product, so be sure to do some research on the best, most useful items for your brand and target audience.
Keep in mind that single-use plastics and other throwaway items harm the environment and are likely to upset sustainability-conscious customers.
On the contrary, things like travel mugs or reusable bags can be great options. These items are highly useful and often used, which will maximise your brand awareness.
5. Don’t Ignore The Power Of Videos
Video marketing is very popular with today’s consumers and offers a great way to promote your business. It is extremely effective to increase your customer base by displaying videos showing your product or publishing instructional videos.
Videos can be used in a number of ways by small businesses to market themselves. One of them is to be active on YouTube; it is the most popular video platform on the web. Your business benefits greatly from building a YouTube presence.
The right channel could draw enormous passive traffic, which would ultimately lead to new customers. You can engage with users and increase your brand’s visibility by commenting on videos relevant to your niche.
6. Use Affiliates To Promote Your Products
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to maximise brand awareness and promote referral marketing for SaaS products and small businesses. It involves incentivizing other people with wide-reaching platforms and capitalizing on their influence and reach to increase your company’s exposure.
In return for endorsing your product, the affiliate marketer will get a commission on all sales generated through their link. The below infographic sheds more light on the process involved in affiliate marketing.
The most valuable affiliate marketers are undoubtedly existing customers, people who have a first-hand experience of your product. You can also find and recruit professional affiliate marketers who have been in the business for a long time.
If you don’t have the time to seek out relevant affiliate marketers, there are many affiliate channels you can use, which have tens of thousands of affiliates actively seeking products to promote.
When you get your priced affiliates to promote your brand, you’ll need an all-in-one software to automate, manage, and monitor the entire affiliate marketing process.
For this, metricks.io is your one-stop-shop, with excellent features that provide the best experience for both your affiliate manager and your precious affiliates with easy-to-use and understand advertiser and affiliate dashboards. Create your program now.
7. Networking and Partnerships
Collaboration with similar small businesses can result in special offers for local customers. Network with other small businesses doing similar work to yours.
By coming up with a low-cost offer for both companies, both companies will benefit from customer retention. It’s important that your companies offer complementary products if you want your customers to take advantage of a dual offer.
Pairing up creates not only a doubly attractive offer for a client, but also halves your marketing costs. By working together, you can save money on promotional costs and get valuable referrals.
Conclusion on SaaS Startup
As a SaaS startup founder, you should understand that building any business takes time and effort. For example, the main problem with trying to boost your natural ranking on Google is can take a new business between six months and a year for it to start showing up in search results, partly because new websites are automatically given a lower rating by Google than established ones and partly because things like blogs and links take time to be noticed.
So in the early stages of starting up, you might also consider doing some SEM – search engine marketing, also called pay-per-click advertising (PPC) – and known on Google as Google Adwords.
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Henry is a marketing and communications specialist. He enjoys helping individuals and brands find answers to their marketing questions. He has spent the majority of his career in the SaaS industry, gaining experiences in areas such as corporate communications, digital marketing, copywriting, and community building.
Henry currently serves as the head of marketing and comms at Metricks.