Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) appeared in the market in early 2000. During this time, the industry has grown tremendously. Now, many resources are invested into SaaS companies to get benefits and meet the market demands. In this article, you will get an understanding of the main SaaS marketing objectives to help optimize your strategy and bring efficient results.
SaaS as a business model
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a cloud provider delivers applications over the internet. So the Saas customers receive a powerful versatile online tool for a subscription payment.
The SaaS market includes various software vendors and products ranging from video streaming to analytics tools. Common examples of free services for personal use are email (such as Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo!) and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs). For services like these, the user simply logs into the account over the Internet and has access to email from a web browser on any internet-connected device.
Organizations buy productivity apps for sales management, financial management, human resource management (HRM), billing, and much more. They pay for the use of these apps according to the appropriate service agreement.
Each SaaS works through the cloud delivery model. All of the underlying infrastructure, middleware, app software, and app data are located in the service provider’s data center. The service provider manages the hardware and software and ensures the availability and security of the app and stored data. So SaaS users pay a subscription fee to access the ready-made software solution.
Types of SaaS solutions
There are a lot of types of SaaS software that are divided into groups based on the sphere that the SaaS product improves (like online banking or communication). As more people are trying to improve their workload and especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, the popularity of SaaS will be increasing as you can use them in any life sphere. Let’s list the most common examples of services:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software collects customer data which is essential for a business that promotes the product and focuses on sales. CRM software is a tool for effective management that stores all customer data and helps improve customer relationships. The majority of CRM automates repetitive sales tasks such as emails. Here we can mention Salesforce, Hubspot, and Pipedrive.
- CMS and e-commerce platforms are a great option for businesses to start selling their products and save resources without creating a website. There are other useful features, like financial reports, discounts, gift cards, and integrations to simplify payment processing. Shopify is one of the CMS solutions.
- HR/HRM solutions allow managing human resources by interview scheduling, performance tracking, and employee reviews. They are useful for companies that are hiring new people, as HR products store all the data on candidates in one place. For instance, ServiceNow and Freshteam.
- Project management software enhances cooperation and progress in teams. They are more convenient than shared spreadsheets or documents. Many companies use Project management software such as ClickUp or Atlassian to optimize employees’ workload.
- Communication platforms are widely used SaaS. They allow instant messaging file sharing and other options. These apps are frequently used by businesses for communication between their employees. There are plenty of them like Slack, Zoom, and so on.
- Payment gateways and billing solutions enable businesses to accept payments in a fast and easy way. They are secure services to store financial customer data such as numbers of bank cards. Also, online transactions are much faster with SaaS like PayPal and Stripe.
- Accounting software helps manage and automates financial operations. Quickbooks and Xero are accounting software.
Marketing objectives for SaaS
Any SaaS company should find, attract, and convince potential customers to try their product. Unlike goods buying, SaaS clients can’t hold a product in a hand so they need something to build trust. They can only have a quick look at the info on the website and conduct research to compare possible solutions. So the marketing strategy must persuade potential users that your product is right for them and address their problems. That’s why your marketing must target each step of the customer’s online journey and provide website visitors with relevant information and offer to test the product. But with a vast choice, many new users log in once and never return as the majority of them don’t see the value of the product before moving on to another solution.
SaaS marketing strategy must persuade potential users that your product is right for them and address their problems. It must target each step of the customer’s online journey and provide website visitors with relevant information and offer to test the product.
A potential customer goes through almost all the decision-making process by themselves. And only at the last stage, they communicate with a sales team that helps and recommends the best option for the particular business. As a rule, the whole buying cycle for SaaS products can take a few months or longer to sign up a contract.
SaaS companies place online ads to find and engage new customers. Many of them use paid ads such as pay-per-click (PPC) channels and social media ads. Practically for all advertising channels, SaaS companies have the following objectives:
1. Right targeting
To be successful any company must target the right audience and SaaS is not an exception. With the appropriate audience targeting, a company maximizes its chances to reach interested consumers and decrease ad spend. So it is crucial to attract a potential customer who has a specific problem that your SaaS product can help with. So you should know what challenges your product solving and bring this information to the right people.
2. Brand awareness and trust
Brand awareness helps consumers recognize and remember your business. If you build brand awareness for the target demographic, you can become the first to think about and refer to in the segment. And if people are already aware of you and trust the brand, they will be more likely to buy the product.
3. Various marketing channels
Marketers use various channels to nurture leads like PPC, content, emails, and ads to convince leads in the decision-making and test their product.
4. Easy sign-up process
User experience is a crucial part of any product and service. In SaaS marketers often optimize conversions around various website goals — from the trial sign up to on-boarding to converting free users into paying customers.
5. Engaged users
Most SaaS offers users to sign up for a free trial or demo which is a milestone to convert users into paying customers. Typically, marketers accomplish this by optimizing the free trial plan to help a person get to the activation point, where they realize the true value of the product.
6. Increased customer lifetime value
Since most SaaS companies have a subscription payment for the clients, it’s obvious that SaaS companies are interested to keep their users as long as possible. So SaaS marketing strategies are often aimed to increase customer lifetime value.
SaaS companies have a lot of opportunities to introduce their products to potential users and grow. Next, we’ll move to PPC advertising for SaaS.
PPC advertising for SaaS
Let’s dive into PPC advertising for SaaS in some detail. PPC is a form of digital advertising in which the advertiser pays a fee when the ad is clicked. Depending on the SaaS company the advantages of PPC сan vary. Tracking each step of the funnel is important to understand what actions trigger customers to take the next step in the sales process.
First of all, you need to add monitoring and analytics tools to the website to set up goals and conversion actions. If a user performs one of those actions like clicking a button or filling in a form, you’ll be able to see this data. This information helps you analyze and optimize the ad results.
The next essential step is assigning a value to the conversion actions. Insights from sales and marketing teams allow you to understand which actions result in purchases and focus on them. These insights should be used to allocate the ad spend for important lead’s action. The main actions for SaaS are demo or free trial and call with a sales team. Here are some examples of conversion action to track Schedule a call / Book a meeting, Request a demo/ Book a demo/ Get free Demo and Start Free Trial.
The next steps are general for most ad campaigns, they are keyword research, ad copy creation, and deciding the campaign type. When the ad campaigns are running, the crucial moment is optimizations. You may learn more about the practical tips on optimizing conversion rate in one of our recent articles. Each business decides what is the most important key metric for its success. The basic metrics can be CTR, conversion rate, CPL, CAC and more depending on the business goal. Having this data in your ad campaigns you can optimize the performance for better results as they help you to understand which points are most successful and where you are losing the potential customers.
SaaS is a constantly growing market with its specific objective and competition. Choosing the most effective way to advertise the business is always challenging. You can test various channels and strategies. Tracking all key metrics of ad campaigns and developing the SaaS funnel is tricky and time-consuming. If you need any professional help or assistance with the PPC advertising, the Teamedia team is ready! We are fans and professionals of our work, we will monitor and optimize your ads to achieve the best results together.