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SaaS Marketing in 2021

SaaS Marketing is an interesting type of marketing. The SaaS business space is growing. As a unique service and revenue stream, it has to be marketed uniquely. According to Gartner, SaaS is expected to generate up to $141 billion in 2022. That is a lot of money. 

We are going to discuss what makes SaaS different and the different ways to market it.

First off, what is SaaS?

Software as a service or SaaS is a cloud based service. They differ from other softwares in that you don’t download and own the program; you use an application that is accessed via the internet. SaaS accessible, can be updated, requires little barrier of entry to use it. You can just download it from the web. Also, since it is a centralized platform, it is easy to capture and analyze data.

Long term planning is essentail for a SaaS marketing strategy.
Photo by Qijin Xu on Unsplash

Think long term

The SaaS financial model differs from other companies in that the longer the customer life, the greater the profit. Once you make that initial sale, your job is far from over. Your customer must renew their subscription every month, every year, to maximize profits. You need to be obsessed with lowering your churn rate (the percentage rate at which SaaS customers cancel their recurring revenue subscriptions). This means you need to be communicating and marketing to your own customers, consistently, to maximize your profits.

Growth vs. sales

When you look at the beginning stages of a SaaS startup, you will know where the priorities are: growth, then sales. At the beginning, you must grow your customer base and take as much of the market space as possible. If your startup grows stale with a small customer base, you will lose all momentum and never even ‌see a profit. That is why you must be obsessed  with your growth.

Now let’s look at some ways to best handle SaaS marketing.

An email campaign is important for SaaS marketing
Photo by Qijin Xu on Unsplash

Email marketing

How can the future be so reliant on the past? How to consistently communicate with customers and attempt to maximize their customer life and therefore profits? Well emails, of course. The largest SaaS companies have employees dedicated to cold emailing, because it works. 

Not only does it work for getting customers but also for keeping them. From the onboarding process, to announcements, newsletters, content and even just check in, the consistent and caring nature of your emails will let your customers know they are valued!

Freebies

Now this is the strange but very necessary component of SaaS marketing. A lot of the time you can’t just eyeball a piece of software and know you will love it. You need to use it, have it interact with your workflow to truly know if it will work with you or not.

Let me give you a personal example. My boss came into work very excited one day and gave us a long presentation and explanation of productivity software called Podio. After his explanation he asked the team what they think and we all had lukewarm opinions. Because we weren’t really sure what it would be like. Sure it looked nice and had all the bells and whistles, but would it actually make us more productive? We needed to use it to know.

We ended up loving it, by the way.

This is true for all SaaS, and why free trials are important for SaaS marketing. But most go even a step further and offer a completely free version. Yes, it is missing many features, but your customer base may use this free version, become hooked and NEED to upgrade to the higher quality premium version.

Content is king in SaaS marketing
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Content

HubSpot and MailChimp are content kings. They have spent a considerable amount of time and money to build up their blogs. Their efforts have paid dividends as an inbound strategy for SaaS Marketing.

With blog posts they can really focus on SEO. Target keywords, write quality content and ‌rank on search engines. It takes time and patience, but when done correctly can benefit your business for years to come. 

Also, they gain social proof and expertise in the eyes of their customers and potential customers.When someone is looking for help to promote their small business and they see and read a HubSpot article, they think that’s pretty cool. When they want to improve their SEO and they see yet another HubSpot article, now that leaves an impression. When they want to learn of inbound marketing strategies and see HubSpot at the top yet again, they know they are experts and should look into what HubSpots is all about. I mean, hey; they have already helped them so much.

SaaS Marketing is just another beast to traditional marketing. But once you understand how a SaaS business operates and how it makes money, it is a beast that can be slayed. SaaS will just continue to grow and may be the future. So there is plenty for all of us to learn and succeed.

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