Four Tested and Proven SaaS Marketing Strategies

people sitting at desk reviewing notes

Developing an effective SaaS marketing strategy requires different methods compared to B2C or traditional B2B marketing. Instead of selling a tangible product, you try to market a digital service to a specific audience.

SaaS marketing also typically involves a shorter sales process compared to the typical B2B approach. You want to make quick transactions. However, you also need to engage and nurture your leads. Balancing these goals is challenging.

For substantial growth and predictable recurring revenue, consider implementing the following proven SaaS marketing strategies.

1. Use Content Marketing for the Entire Buyer’s Journey

Almost every marketing strategy incorporates content marketing. While it is an essential part of any B2B marketing campaign, it offers unique benefits for SaaS businesses.

Through informative blog posts, social media posts, infographics, and other content, you help potential customers understand the features of your service.

Content also provides more value over time. Unlike paid advertisements, you own the content published on your website. The accumulation of content results in increased brand awareness and more traffic to your site, providing more leads and potentially more sales.

Despite these advantages, only 11% of SaaS marketing strategies include content marketing. This gives your company the opportunity to become a voice of authority within your industry.

What are the B2B Sales steps?

To make the most of your content marketing efforts, implement content creation in every stage of the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness and lead generation
  • Free software trials or demos
  • Initial purchase
  • Ongoing support

Use different content for each phase instead of solely for the awareness and lead generation phases. Start with content aimed at increasing brand awareness and use targeted keywords related to your industry.

To generate leads, produce high-value, informative content that helps illustrate the features of your service. This may include videos, tutorials, webinars, and other free content.

Most B2B SaaS marketers understand the importance of content for those first stages. However, the content aimed at converting paid customers and keeping them remains a challenge for many SaaS businesses.

After users sign up for a free trial or demo of your product, deliver content focused on features instead of benefits. These sales leads already understand how your product addresses their pain points. Use tutorials or guides to educate users on the value of continuing to use your service after the trial period ends.

The final stage of the buyer’s journey is ongoing. To retain customers, continue to offer support with informative content that explores more of the features of your product. This may include detailed walk-throughs on using specific settings or options that users may overlook.

2. Upsell Additional Features or Services

According to Gartner, about 80% of future SaaS sales come from just 20% of current customers. Increasing the average revenue per customer (ARPC) maximizes these future sales.

Upselling remains one of the more effective SaaS marketing solutions for boosting ARPC. According to Marketing Metrics, you have a better chance of selling to an existing customer compared to acquiring a new one.

The probability of selling to a new lead is just 5% to 20% while the chance of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%.

Upselling strategies start with a trigger. You need a specific action or milestone that triggers the upsell promotion.

For example, free trial users may receive a reminder to purchase the full version each time they exit the software. Some SaaS companies solicit users after a specific number of sessions or tasks performed.

Another way to trigger an upsell is when a customer reaches a quota or the limitation of a feature.

For example, a cloud storage company may trigger an upsell advertisement after customers reach their storage capacity while an email marketing SaaS company may upsell to customers after they reach their maximum number of sign-ups.

Upselling also requires a different approach compared to other SaaS marketing methods. Instead of focusing on features, you promote benefits.

The overall goal of the upsell is to highlight the customer’s motivations for using your software while explaining how an upgrade can deliver even better results.

3. Use Incentives to Attract More Referrals

The standard SaaS sales process includes three steps — acquisition, monetization, and retention. Many SaaS marketers make the mistake of focusing their efforts on acquiring customers while ignoring the remaining steps.

SaaS marketing does not end when you acquire a paying customer. Retention remains an essential component of the sales cycle.

As ongoing subscriptions are key to generating steady income, you need a SaaS marketing strategy that encourages customers to stick around. Referral marketing can help with this process while attracting new customers.

Referral marketing is also an underutilized SaaS marketing strategy. Currently, only about 33% of businesses use a referral program.

Referral programs are most effective for targeting consumers instead of B2B buyers as they are more likely to have friends who can benefit from the same product.

Common incentives for referrals include discounts, special offers, or upgrades. For example, Dropbox developed a referral program granting users 500MB of additional storage for each friend they refer.

Before implementing the program, Dropbox had just 100,000 registered users. 15 months after launching the incentive, the company acquired four million users.

Developing an affiliate system also provides customers with an incentive to recommend your product. With this referral strategy, affiliates attract leads for a cut of the revenue.

4. List Your Product on SaaS Review Sites

Whether you target B2B buyers or consumers with your SaaS products, increase your exposure on SaaS review sites.

Software review sites are becoming increasingly popular among consumers and B2B buyers. 91% of consumers trust online reviews while 81% of B2B SaaS buyers research the product online first.

Review sites give buyers a way to compare products before making a purchase. If your product does not appear next to products from your competition, you may miss out on potential leads.

Besides helping potential customers compare your product, getting featured on review sites offers several important marketing benefits:

  • Increase SEO and organic traffic
  • Generate referral traffic
  • Improve customer trust
  • Drive conversions
  • Provide insight

Don’t forget about SEO

Link building remains a key part of search engine optimization (SEO). With product reviews featured on authoritative review sites, you boost off-site SEO and generate more organic traffic.

At the same time, review sites help generate referral traffic. After reading the reviews, potential buyers are more informed and ready to visit your site, offering higher conversion rates compared to paid traffic.

During the research process, sales leads may search for mentions of your product. Each appearance on a review site lends more credibility to your software. This establishes a level of trust with potential customers, aiding with the buying process.

Review sites also provide valuable insight into your product. Analyze the reviews and feedback to find common complaints or features that customers would like to see added.

Continue to Optimize Your SaaS Marketing Strategies

These four proven SaaS marketing strategies are not foolproof. Always review the metrics of each strategy to find ways to optimize your marketing campaigns.

Revise content that performs poorly, use A/B split testing for emails aimed at upselling features, and explore new incentives to attract more referrals.

You should also remember to pay attention to the feedback on review sites to continually improve your product. In the end, the quality of your SaaS solution is the best marketing tool you have available.


Austin Cline is the founder and CEO of ASUN Digital. He frequently writes about brand strategy and digital marketing with expertise in B2B marketing. He has served as a senior director of marketing and director of digital and web for previous marketing agencies and has over 10 years of marketing experience. You can follow him on Twitter at @_austincline or connect with him on LinkedIn by visiting his profile.