Software as a service (SaaS) businesses are growing exponentially. Industry giants like Adobe, Microsoft, SalesForce, and Zoom have captured a significant portion of their specific markets, but there’s still space for innovation and emerging technologies across SaaS business models.
If you’re considering how to take your company to the next level, the 15 tried-and-true methods below can help create the momentum you need. Read on to learn how to grow a SaaS business.
15 Tested Ways to Expand a SaaS Company
From free trials to networking and industry growth, here are 15 ways to expand a SaaS company in 2024.
Implement a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Direct sales remain the foundation of any SaaS business. For that, a strong marketing strategy is essential. Consider multiple marketing channels, including digital marketing, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and targeted advertising. Depending on the current company size and budget, the amount you’ll need to spend to see a strong ROI varies. Work with an experienced marketer to boost growth.
Building a strong internet presence is also an essential first step for startups on a shoestring budget. Consider implementing an affiliate program and working with influencers or marketers on a commission basis.
Optimize your website for SEO and implement SEO best practices across social media channels. Competitor research can help here, as understanding your competitors’ social media presence and what resonates can give you greater insight into your target market.
Offer a Free Trial Period
To attract potential customers and allow them to experience the value of the SaaS product, a free trial, often for a week or 15 days, can be a powerful marketing tool. If the product seems to magically solve problems in competitor products, a free trial can showcase the value you add. To gain the most from the free trial, monitor retention rates, feedback, and target customers’ profiles to gain greater insight into the captured market.
Provide Exceptional Customer Support
To maintain good customer relationships and ensure customer satisfaction and retention, customer support is essential. Even with an excellent product, if you can’t solve customers’ problems when they arise, they will go elsewhere. Promptly address any questions or concerns and quickly resolve any problems to the customer’s satisfaction.
Create Valuable and Educational Content
Educational content that adds customer insight is a marketing tool that builds authority while giving away valuable information. To maximize this strategy, make sure what you’re putting out is more comprehensive than competitors’ and that clients can’t easily get the information elsewhere. Consider creating regular blog posts or publishing free or low-cost e-books to establish your expertise and attract potential customers.
Implement Referral Programs
A referral program can incentivize existing customers to refer new customers while building customer loyalty. Steps to consider in your referral program:
- Set referral program goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge effectiveness
- Create incentives and decide on referral program rewards
- Create a landing page and customer referral system, codes, or links
- Setup the backend programming or software for referral tracking
- Promote the customer referral program
Attend Industry Conferences and Events
Networking is essential to building your business and creating key links within the industry. These events can help you to network, find new strategic partnerships, and showcase your service offerings. You may also request opportunities to speak or present at these events to increase your products’ exposure.
Consider reaching out, seeking new partnerships, and following up with key opportunities to build industry relationships and possible long-term partnerships.
Offer Personalized Onboarding Experiences for New Customers
A personalized onboarding experience can avert many of the pitfalls of a SaaS offering. Consider training onboarding specialists and thoroughly testing the onboarding process to troubleshoot common customer issues. Depending on the company size and the software complexity (and costs), you can offer a webinar, coaching session, live chat, or live phone support.
Continuously Iterate and Improve Your Products
Continuous improvement is the foundation of any company’s success, but it’s never been more true than in the SaaS space, where software can become outdated in as little as six months. To stay ahead of the competition and new software improvements, improving and updating product offerings and delivery continuously is essential.
Conduct User Surveys and Interviews
User surveys and interviews can give you valuable insights and better understand customer needs. Consider offering rewards, discounts, or promotions to incentivize customers to participate in surveys.
Taking surveys isn’t enough; you must implement meaningful changes and convey the evolving value proposition to customers. You can further build client retention and trust when clients know you’re listening and responding.
Develop Strategic Partnerships With Influencers or Industry Leaders
Influencers have powerful marketing credibility. Even while you’re building the business, you can leverage the following of industry leaders or influencers. To gain credibility and reach a wider audience, consider partnering with influencers whose audience matches your product offerings.
Leverage Upselling and Cross-Selling Opportunities
Upselling and cross-selling opportunities can increase sales per customer while building client trust. Consider upsells or related services to add to your core business model. For example, you could consider upselling business formation services.
Offer Tiered Pricing Plans With Different Features and Levels of Service
Tiered pricing plans with different features or levels of service are a core feature of many SaaS businesses. Consider a basic low-cost or free offering and at least three pricing tiers. The highest pricing tier can include personalized customer service or live support, while lower levels may limit some available features.
Utilize Data Analytics
Data can offer meaningful insights into your target market and customer experience. You can track and analyze user behavior and identify areas for improvement or optimization while fixing pain points or other issues.
Offer Discounts or Promotional Offers
Discounts and promotions can effectively increase sales, encourage additional purchases from existing clients, and attract new customers. Even if these lower your profit margin on subscription-based services, they can offer better returns in the long term. Beyond immediate sales, you can use promotions to encourage repeat purchases and long-term subscribers. Check out doola rewards here for inspiration – and possible support!
Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
A loyalty program can encourage long-term subscriptions and new purchases. Consider exclusive loyalty programs that incorporate games or offer rewards for related businesses in partnership. Learn more about building your website and integrating a loyalty program.
Building Your SaaS Business
Whether you’re just starting or already have a significant market presence, adopting solutions for continuous improvement is essential. Continuous problem-solving and solution-oriented software offerings will build long-term client trust. This, along with other strategies like a loyalty program, tiered pricing, and upsells, can expand profitability across the customer journey.
While building a business, automating key activities can save critical time to focus on core offerings. One major pain point of many SaaS businesses is accounting with reliable software that doesn’t take a huge amount of time to use or learn. For that, doola can help. doola’s bookkeeping services are designed for busy founders like you who want to spend less time tracking numbers and more time expanding their business. Get doola books here!
How can I increase the number of sign-ups for my SaaS business?
To increase the number of signups for your SaaS business, consider marketing, strategic partnerships, collaborations with influencers, referral programs, or presenting at relevant industry conferences.
How important is customer retention for a SaaS business?
Customer retention for a SaaS business is essential. A significant portion of revenue can come from repeat customers or subscribers.
What pricing model works best for a SaaS business?
Tiered pricing is one of the best pricing models for a SaaS business. You can also consider offering a free trial or sample.
How can I differentiate my SaaS product from competitors in the market?
To differentiate your SaaS product from competitors, focus on solving the problems with competitors’ offerings and highlighting the unique features of your SaaS. To bring additional value to your target audience that solves their main problems, you can leverage marketing and social media campaigns.
What metrics should I track to measure the success of my SaaS business?
Various metrics can measure the success of a SaaS business. In addition to profits or the bottom line, you can consider the churn rate, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition costs, monthly recurring revenue, activation rate, and customer retention rate.