Just like any other business, SaaS startups are at the mercy of their customers. The more customers they can acquire in a short period of time, the higher the chances of success they have.
Acquiring and retaining customers is challenging, however, with these 10 growth hacks any SaaS business can snag a large portion of the market share and come out on top. Let’s dive in!
1. Offer freemium services or free trials
One of the best ways to attract new leads is by offering a free version of your software.
You can do so by offering free trials, or by releasing a limited version of your product that can be used for free.
Freemium products are often successful in aiding SaaS growth because they give companies and individuals the chance to explore your product on their own, without the aid of pushy salespeople.
In this sense, individuals can learn about the software, see it’s value organically, and upgrade to a paid version as their needs change.
Considering that Spotify started off as a free music streaming service in 2011, and as of the first quarter of 2020, it boasts 124 million premium subscribers, I’d say they’ve done pretty well for themselves.
2. Launch a referral or partner program
Partnering up with your biggest fans is a great way to grow your customer base.
Users that are already familiar with your product, and are excited to use it. They can be your best brand ambassadors and salespeople.
By utilizing their professional networks such as LinkedIn or Medium, they can refer your products to their peers, generating relevant leads.
3. Create content clusters
Driving traffic to your site by creating unique, relevant, and helpful content is a great growth strategy that you can implement today.
By establishing yourself as an expert in your niche and optimizing your content for search engines, both new and existing customers will be able to find your articles organically, find value in them, and keep coming back to read more.
What are content clusters?
Content clusters are a new way of optimizing your content for SEO. Content clusters go beyond choosing a focus keyword, and reiteration.
They focus on interlinking relevant content together to create a web of articles that relate to each other, and that users can find useful when learning about new topics.
In essence, it’s a general page that briefly touches upon all topics regarding social media.
However, it contains links to other articles (that you’ve created) about social media that go more in-depth about the topic (such as strategies, optimization, retention).
These sub-articles link to other specialized articles, creating a content cluster, also known as content hubs.
4. Optimize SEO and CTAs
Creating content clusters is not enough.
To have search engines rank your content amongst the highest displayed search results, you’ll need to optimize your SEO on your entire website– page by page. To do so, you need to think about each page that you create strategically.
Each page needs a:
- Focus keyword and focus keyword synonym (that is reiterated throughout the text)
- Meta description containing the focus keyword
- A title containing the focus keyword
- Image alt tags
- H1 formatting
- Indepth, rankable content length
- Inbound and outbound links
OnPage Champ can help you optimize your page real quick by identifying the competitors’ best practices, and highlighting your gaps.
If you need help getting started with optimization, check out their guide or watch the video below.
Once you’ve optimized your content, read over it again and make sure you’ve added calls-to-action (CTAs) in relevant places.
CTAs are great way to prompt your users and website visitors to take a desired action, such as create a free trial.
Utilize pop ups
Pop-ups and exit windows are a great way to generate new leads and grow your customer base because they give your website visitors one last push to leave their contact information before they exit your website.
Generally, pop-ups and exit windows offer website visitors a small discount or premium content downloads (such as eBooks, eGuides, or results of unique research studies) in exchange for the potential customer’s name and email address.
Once this contact information is collected, it should be automatically placed inside your CRM so your sales and marketing teams can start working on converting the lead into a paying customer.
You can use SumoApp to start embedding exit-intent popups, just like we have implemented on this website.
5. Create fresh content and repurpose the old
As briefly mentioned above, creating fresh, unique, and relevant content for your readers is a great growth strategy for any SaaS business.
When your readers find your content helpful and insightful, they’re more likely to share it with their peers and professional networks which can easily generate relevant leads for your business.
Moreover, if you’ve created a really successful piece of content in the past, don’t be scared to repurpose it.
Dive deep into your engagement statistics to see what generated the most interest, traffic, or significant actions such as free trial sign-ups.
Then, re-purpose the content by creating something new out of it.
For example, if you’ve created a blog post that was successful in the past, you can try creating a video, podcast, or webinar that re-iterates the same information and builds on it.
By doing this, your content will attract new audiences, garner more views, and grow your customer base.
6. Get reviewed on established review portals
Before the modern shopper commits to a product, they do their research by asking their peers, watching YouTube videos, and checking out reviews on esteemed review portals.
Once your product is listed, the next step is to gather as many reviews as possible.
The more reviews and the higher rating you have, the more trustworthy and legitimate your business will appear.
Even though your customers can be satisfied with your service, they might be reluctant to leave you a review simply because it requires too much effort (signing up, signing in, writing out the review).
As such, it’s important to offer your customers incentives for reviewing your product. Think gift cards, credits towards their next purchase, or discounts.
7. Create a customer-centric culture
Customer satisfaction is closely correlated with customer retention and revenue.
In fact, many businesses have realized this and completely shifted their focus on their customers. It’s no longer enough to create a product that people want.
It has to go hand-in-hand with exceptional customer service. In essence, if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will.
According to a study by PwC, 92% of customers would abandon a business after only 2 negative customer service experiences.
Even though this sounds scary, it can prove to be an opportunity to grow your business.
Research what your competitors are lacking in terms of customer service (speed, personalization, transparency) and work on providing it for your customers every day.
Positive-word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire, and those that abandoned your competitors are bound to flock to you and give your product a try if it’s known for its exceptional customer service.
8. Expand your product
One of the fastest SaaS growth strategies is to integrate with other software.
Do some research or ask your current users what apps they use daily, and what integrations would help their daily workflows.
How can integrations with popular apps grow your business?
Imagine the product you’re selling is a help desk software.
If you can integrate it with another software that your users use daily, such as a CRM system, your customers will be happy because they will no longer have to input new information about your customers into the CRM system separately.
This integration should ensure that they can input all data into the CRM simply by being logged into their help desk software, saving your customers about 5 hours of data input per month.
Now, imagine the customers of the CRM system you’re integrating with.
They don’t use your software yet, however, they’ve been looking for a help desk system that integrates with this specific CRM.
It’s a no brainer. They’re likely to choose your product over your competitors (given they don’t provide this type of integration.)
Even though this is a broad example, I’ve experienced it in real life.
I remember that a potential lead rejected my product, simply because it didn’t integrate with a popular messaging system.
The key takeaway? Don’t miss out on growing your business, simply because you’re lacking integrations.
Most SaaS providers know the value of integrations and thus are keen to integrate with as many products as possible in hopes of expanding their reach and customer base.
9. Reach out to influencers and SMEs
Partnering with influencers and SMEs (subject matter experts) is a great growth opportunity for any SaaS business because:
- SMEs and influencers have large followings and great reach
- Their followers take their recommendations and advice very seriously
- Being featured or mentioned in one of their posts can generate tons of new leads for your business
Heres one of the posts where we collaborated with SEo experts in the industry to take their view on Google May Core update.
10. Create an online community
Our last tip for growing your SaaS business is to create an online community for your users.
You can do so using a knowledge base software that has the ability to create forums, which are online message boards that enable your users to interact with each other and help each other solve problems.
If you make your forums available to the general public, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll show up on Google searches, driving more traffic and relevant leads to your site.
Growing your SaaS business is all about strategic partnerships, unique content, and optimization.
It’s no longer enough to rely on traditional advertising. You have to create a story, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and optimize to high heavens.
With a little bit of testing, and consistency, driving traffic to your site should be a piece of cake.
However, it’s up to you to capture the interest of your website visitors and convert them into paying customers.