SaaS marketing is a topic that doesn’t get enough coverage on the Internet. For financial or other reasons, small businesses often can’t hire a marketing manager, and advertising falls on owners’ shoulders. With such a lack of related information, it can be challenging to deal with all marketing activities and figure out what will work and what won’t.
Recently we had an interview with our client Cris, founder of CRM called Studio Ninja. He is the owner who deals with marketing on his own. Cris told us about his path from idea to the first full year of operation and shared some marketing tips on his approach to CRM promotion. Thanks to a well-built marketing strategy, Cris reached 40% growth of new paid users.
6 Rules of CRM Promotion
Rule #1. Offer a free trial
Free products work well in every sphere of business. You will be more disposed to buy items you already used, tasted, or smelled. That is the way how our brain works, and good marketers know that and use that!
This rule works a little bit differently for SaaS sales, but still no worse. When consultants at the supermarket offer you a free sample of cheese or chocolate, they expect you to get excited and get connected to the product.
In the case of SaaS, clients can use the service for free during some period (trial period). It can be one week, a month, etc. After you try the service, it becomes difficult to let go. You already enjoyed the perfect functionality and can’t imagine your work without this CRM. That is the typical behavior of every human. We don’t like losing things we already own. We prefer not to lose rather than gain something new. In the scientific world, this is called loss aversion. It means wanting to avoid missing things.
A free trial will pay off if you sell a CRM solution.
You will give a customer a chance to own your product for some time. And when there is time to let go, nearly 30% won’t be ready to do so.
Rule #2. Offer promotional solutions.
We came up close to the second rule of SaaS advertising.
Cris from Studio Ninja uses the principle of loss aversion in his marketing strategy, but he also, knows another rule that brings excellent results. That is the rule of urgency.
When a customer subscribes to a free trial month, Cris wants to push the purchase slightly. After the first 20 days of the trial, he offers a 20% discount for the first twelve months. Users are happy to use such a great deal. Statistics show that nearly 90% of Studio Ninja’s paid subscribers came from this promotion.
Stimulating the sense of urgency is a good old marketing trick. Here we are dealing with the human response to a deadline. It is scientifically proven that receiving a discount or having a deadline activates our brain’s reward center. We seek to experience pleasure, and attractive discounts can give us satisfaction.
Do you remember that feeling when you see a great price for a pair of shoes? The same applies to getting a great deal of CRM.
If you want to drive your sales up, consider of applying promotions and discounts to your offer. Don’t forget to spice things up with a bit of urgency.
Rule #3. E-mail marketing
There are cases when the customer doesn’t convert into a subscribed user after the trial period. What to do in such cases?
You can use the user information you collected during registration to reach potential customers via an e-mail campaign.
You already have their e-mails and know they are interested in your services. That gives you enough data for a marketing attack.
Try to form your letter assuming that the customer is already familiar with CRM. It can be a good idea to the previous trick and offer a one-time discount. Force customers to feel the urgency of adding a deadline for the offer.
Also, you can provide some free materials on the site specific to your branch. It can be free e-books, prospects, infographics, etc. Users will have to contribute an email to get this free information. This little trick enables you to collect personal emails from interested users. Afterward, you can create an e-mail marketing campaign to attract new subscribers.
Rule# 4. Use a referring system
Another good working SaaS marketing tactic is using the referring system. For example, Cris uses the so-called “refer-a-friend model”. It means that when one of the users of CRM refers to another user, they will get a discount on the software. This model helped Cris to increase paid users by 200%.
We all are social creatures who struggle for social connection. In the referral system, we mainly use the power of word of mouth. It works as follows, your current paid user can refer or invite an unsubscribed friend to try out the software, and they both can get the bonus. You can offer a discount, cashback, or a certificate as a reward.
The referral system deals with cognitive psychology. We perceive the behavior as more appropriate if we see others performing it similarly. It is called social proof, which is the basis of referral systems. When people are uncertain regarding some purchases, they look to others to make the right decision based on others’ behavior. We are more eager to listen to the recommendations of our friends rather than nasty ads.
Rule #5. Ambassadors program
You may consider establishing extra activities to consolidate the results when you archive a solid basis for the product and brand. Something that will grow customer awareness and help to gain trust.
Brand ambassador programs gain popularity among marketing gurus, and you can use this for your benefit. The idea behind the programs is to embrace real people who use and enjoy your software to spread awareness among others. Establishing such a team of dedicated users can bring incredible value to your company.
Cris, in his marketing strategy, also uses ambassadors as product representatives. He selects a certain amount of photographers and upgrades them to Ambassador status. That gives them a free account. It also allows them to share a 50% discount on the software with their followers or communities.
Rule #6. Make a blog
Besides all the things listed above, we also want to pay specific attention to content marketing. Recently, content got well-deserved popularity, and every business tries to use it for their own benefit. For SaaS, marketing content also works excellently. Consider starting a blog on your professional site. Try not to present yourself in a good light on the blog but rather solve target audience problems with your content.
If you choose topics right and follow SEO principles, you can achieve good results in attracting potential users via the Internet. But remember that content marketing will never sell your product. It can raise brand awareness, attract new users and develop customer loyalty. But this is going to happen if you make an effort. You have to know your target audience and investigate what questions can bother them. Afterward, start writing content to solve your buyers’ problems.
Our client, Cris, has a blog on his site. He highlights recent trends in the photo industry, shares professional tricks, and posts company updates.
To sum up
We were happy to share with you some practical advice on SaaS marketing. We hope this article will be useful and bring additional value to your business. Do not be afraid to experiment and implement new, unexpected solutions.