SaaS is tricky and more difficult than selling physical products. If people want to buy clothing, in most cases they can see and even touch products. When it comes to software, potential customers may have a harder time choosing and understanding the product. These challenges make it vital for SaaS businesses to focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing the website and landing pages based on visitor behavior. The goal here is to improve the number of users’ desired actions (conversions).
CRO enables you to optimize the landing page effectiveness and understand the visitor better. Apart from that, this process is hard to imagine without tests and experiments as only they can help to reach maximum results.
Now, the website traffic is highly inconsistent. If the landing page visitors are not converting, you are losing business opportunities. The best way to improve such a situation and get more conversions is to apply conversion rate optimization. In one of our recent articles, you may find the statistics for landing pages CR divided by industries and see the benchmarks.
A good conversion rate optimization campaign saves your money and helps the company to grow. One of the most obvious ways to raise CRO is removing any barrier that might stop visitors from converting and focusing on client retention.
Conversion rate optimization is beneficial for any type and size of business.
CRO for SaaS companies
SaaS companies are highly interested in quality leads, so lead generation is the primary conversion goal. As a rule, a general SaaS funnel includes grabbing the customers’ interest, then gathering the information about potential customers using different means (forms, sign-ups, surveys, etc.), and contacting the leads to convert them into loyal, recurring customers. For SaaS businesses, it is your duty to help your customers find what they’re looking for and support their buying decision.
Some SaaS companies have to optimize the entire customer journey. This involves a cycle of conversions, engagement, upselling and more conversions to ensure the money keeps rolling in. SaaS companies should optimize not only the website and each landing page to maximize leads and conversions, but also the software product itself to sustain recurring revenue, upgrades, and renewals.
We dedicated one of our articles to 9 ways to improve SaaS conversion rate. To learn more about them, follow this link.
Now, let’s have a look at the CRO essentials for SaaS companies.
Landing page elements for a high CR
Ideas to increase CRO
- Prioritize Users Over Products
- Use customers’ reviews
- Invest In Customer Support
- Improve Onboarding Process
- Retain the customers
- Incentivize Referrals
- Focus on Your Trial Conversion Rate & Purchase Conversion Rate
- Track Micro KPIs
- Keep Up Your Promises
Landing page elements for a high CR
A lot of marketers think that when they need to optimize a landing page, they need to create a new one. This simply isn’t true, especially if the page generates a decent amount of traffic. By analyzing and optimizing the landing page elements, you can improve CRO by refining the visitors’ focus and gaining much profit with minimal effort.
1. Landing page design
A user-friendly landing page should be made with a simple and appealing design. User experience is highly important so you should tell people about the offer in the best possible manner. Make sure your visitors read all the essential and relevant information as soon as they land. You can add visual elements like infographics to visualize the data.
Use a catchy headline that conveys your value proposition and add a call-to-action button for a user to take action on your website. Here is the Salesforce landing page:
2. Landing page copy
The text emphasizes the visual design and gives a visitor details about the offer.
Trying a new unique selling point (USP) might be the quickest option to optimize the landing page. Adjusting the way you describe your offer makes you distinguished from your competitors. If you have a clear value for the customers, it is easier to convert users. Also, you can create various landing pages for each separate audience to emphasize the most appealing selling points.
USP is mostly associated with the whole brand and can be used on any page of the website while the landing page headline, style, formatting, and image are the first things to stand out and catch the attention of the visitors. Therefore, the aim is to convey your value proposition in an easily understandable and engaging way as the visitor will only glance at the right place for some seconds.
Also, make sure the font type, font size, and color capture your visitors’ attention and are easily readable.
Slack has a strong landing page headline followed by relevant content that focuses on its USPs.
The form is a crucial step for most SaaS companies, as they collect information about already interested visitors. Optimizing these important touchpoints will improve the conversion rate. But there is no one way to make a converting form for all companies. For some cases, a complex and detailed form may work perfectly, but for most businesses, a simple form with only key info will increase the number of conversions. The trick here is to always maintain a balance between lead quality and volume of leads that gets the best ROI.
Here is some advice to check whether your forms are easy to fill in:
- For most cases, the fewer fields, the better it is. However, it depends on the sales team operation and the funnel you have. At least, make sure that there are no redundant fields.
- Nice and attractive forms are more likely to be filled in. Good-looking forms have readable text, consistent styling, and build at the right places.
- Easy password creation makes the entire form-filling process more comfortable. However, it sometimes can take time and even puzzle the user. If the password is needed, try to help the customer with it. At least the user should have this opportunity and see that you care. Needless to say, guiding users with strong passwords is the key to security as well.
- Having one-click form submits can also improve your conversion process. If needed, add reCaptcha, but a long process of submitting is definitely annoying for people. Also, if users are already logged into and stay logged in, it helps them convert easily.
Memberstack has the following easy and pretty short form where you can see an opportunity to sign in with Google:
4. Page speed
Page speed influences the website’s performance as it impacts the user experience, the conversion rate, and ranking on the search engine. For many companies, improving page speed requires time and effort. We all know how annoying waiting for a loading page can be. Users are increasingly impatient, and pages with longer load times suffer from higher bounce rates and lower average time-on-page.
5. Most efficient CTAs for SaaS companies
A call-to-action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to the next step or the action that the marketer wants the consumer to take. These actions are different and directly depend on the sales funnel and the most valuable action. For example, “Learn More” for brand awareness, “Download the Whitepaper” for consideration and “Start your Free Trial” to the bottom conversion stage. The stronger and crispier the CTA, the more leads it can generate.
Call-to-action buttons are the most important page elements which persuade your website visitors to take the desired action and start the conversion process. It is crucial to give weight to CTAs and not lose potential conversions. Different approaches will work in different scenarios, but some general tips apply in virtually all cases. We’re going to show you some CTA tips.
A CTA text link or a CTA button?
The answer is pretty obvious, we suggest CTA buttons as text links are often lost in the text and are difficult to highlight on the web page. While CTA buttons are more prominent and visible, they increase the number of clicks.
CTA words and language
Of course, each SaaS product is unique as well as its audience. Most marketers prefer a simple and effective approach to CTA. The most widely used CTA are verbs like ‘Submit’, ‘Start’, ‘Try’, or ‘Sign-up’ as the customer should perform an action.
HOTJAR has the ‘Try it free’ call to action:
You can test more communicative ways to grab the attention of your users. Here is some popular CTA text copy:
- Are You In? Let’s Get Started!
- Yes! Let’s Start My Free Trial.
- Grab Your Free Copy!
- Insights Delivered Daily to your Inbox!
- Where Should We Send Your Whitepaper?
First of all, use a language that speaks directly to your prospective customers. A ‘Contact us!’ button may be general, but ‘Let’s talk about how to attract new customers’ might work for your SaaS.
Placement of CTA buttons
The placement of the CTA button also plays an important role in increasing the number of leads. Some marketers suggest placing your CTA buttons in the first part of your landing page as it is prominently visible, while others recommend placing the CTA below the main text. The more exclusive your offering is the more chances of clicking on your CTA button irrespective of its placement on the web page.
But don’t limit yourself to only one call to action as you can put CTA at the top and at the end and even as a divider between the landing page sections. Single Grain puts a call to action at the very top of the landing page and directly below the ad copy:
CTA with multiple options
Expensify’s homepage feels original and cozy. The main image varies after reloading the page and the visitor will see different combinations.
The page features three CTAs giving visitors the option to get started with their email address, phone number, or Google account. This lets the visitor choose whichever method is best for them, rather than forcing them down one specific route.
Remember that offering an alternative is a way to make the customer experience seamless and more comfortable.
Talking about CTA shape and design, the button should look like a button. This means that you can go with shading, 3D effects, and subtle gradients, to make it look like something you can click.
- Size makes the button more noticeable to click. However, don’t use a too large button, but make it prominent and easily seen on the page.
- Button color should be contrasting to the background colors. It should catch attention, and preferably the button color shouldn’t be used anywhere on the page. The internet is flooded with case studies suggesting that one particular color, for instance, red, converts better than another, say green, and so on. But this doesn’t stand true in all cases. Rather, it’s all about which color pops up better on the background of your banner or web page.
- Special effects can be put on the button to make it interactive. They include beveled edges, rounded corners, drop shadows, gradients, arrows, and small icons.
The CTA is the most important part of the landing page. If you want your business to grow, you need to think carefully about your CTAs.
Choose your words carefully, think about the best placement, then make CTA pop off the page with a smart design. These steps make CTA crystal clear for the visitor. Making a small change on the CTA copy is actually a pretty minor change on the page. However, it has a much bigger impact on the decision-making process of the potential customer, and, as a consequence, the conversion rate.
It is very important to test the variables on your CTA button. They are crucial elements of both the landing page and the conversion funnel. Besides that, it also makes sense to pay attention to detail.
Ideas to increase CRO
In this section, we’ll discuss more opportunities that boost successful marketing advertising. It’s an obvious and important point that could be also called taking care of your potential and existing customers.
Prioritize Users Over Products
Focus on customer satisfaction. Collect your product feedback and feature requests in one place. It gives you valuable insights into who your users are, what problems they have, and what expectations they have, what features the product lacks.
Use customers’ reviews
Many companies use social proof on their website as testimonials to strengthen the trust in the brand and product. Online customer reviews are a great way to grab attention and increase sales. The importance of customer reviews is tremendous as they are very helpful to a vast majority of hesitant consumers and they also secure your online visibility in search rankings. In other words, if done right, social proof can be one of the most powerful marketing tools you’ve got.
Invest In Customer Support
In the SaaS market, good customer support helps to retain existing customers and attract potential ones. Make sure you have enough human support to help your clients with their issues and questions regarding the software. Using chatbots on your website also solves a common query to be in touch 24/7. Having improved your customer experience, your conversions will go up.
Improve Onboarding Process
During the onboarding process, the customers should understand the value of the product and reach their goal with minimal effort. So it’s your interest to optimize the onboarding and create a clear and transparent process. Start with analyzing user behavior and track the steps where most users drop off. Simplify these tricky steps to increase the onboarding rate. Focus on how long it takes to onboard new users after they land on your website.
Retain the customers
Your current customers are the most promising users. They have already paid for the software and went through the onboarding process. The SaaS model gets profitability over time, and, if the users churn, SaaS will lose the prospect.
Customer retention means making your customer stay and engage with your product long enough. As they become long-term users, it will give you more opportunities to upsell and increase their lifetime value. Long-term users are also much more likely to become promoters of your product, bringing in more users via referrals.
If existing customers trust your company they can recommend the product. This also allows your business to have a high-quality lead with no extra time and spending. Referrals are already at the bottom of the funnel as they know a lot about the product and they have a positive opinion. Therefore, they will definitely increase your conversion rate.
It’s a great idea to have a referral program so the customers know all benefits for them as well. Make this strategy a win-to-win for each party.
Here is how Trello implemented the referral program:
Focus on Your Trial Conversion Rate & Purchase Conversion Rate
A free trial period is a common practice for SaaS products as it’s the most effective way to show the advantages of the software. That’s why tracking how many of your users churn after using the trial version of your product is a place for optimization. You can use feedback forms to understand what made them opt out of your service. Purchase is mostly about the first impression. You need to make sure that your free users start paying you as soon as their free trial ends.
Track Micro KPIs
There are often not many conversions in SaaS ad accounts. Besides, there can be not enough data to optimize. In such a situation, you should track growth metrics and micro KPIs. Micro KPIs help you reach your end goal (e.g. email clicks, newsletters’ sign-ups, and referrals). Measuring ‘sign up for free trial’ shows the future possibility of conversions. Also, you can set up session recordings for the most significant landing pages.
Keep Up Your Promises
The last of CRO strategies is about honesty and long-lasting relationships.
Giving false claims can increase sales but the customers will understand and churn quickly. An honest first impression attracts the right customer. Note down your USPs and present them in an attractive manner.
And you should say “NO” to customers who expect much more than your software offers or if a software doesn’t meet the customers’ requirements. In fact, it’s the only way to stay true to your product.
All in all, when it comes to SaaS companies, the CRO requires more attention compared to other types of businesses.
Conversion rate optimization has become a mainstream effort. It not only enables companies to understand how customers think, use, and perceive their brand but also exposes them to an incredible range of data to shape their future business strategies.
Most CRO strategies are about testing and prioritizing. It’s about building a user-centric website and providing the best user experience on each step of the customer journey.
You should improve conversion rates based on online user behavior. However, keeping customer retention strategies is also crucial.
Teamedia has significant expertise working with SaaS companies and optimizing key performance metrics including CRO. Should you need any assistance with campaigns’ creation or optimization, feel free to contact us!