Getting your marketing efforts right is no easy feat, no matter what sort of SaaS company you are. And with competition becoming fiercer by the day, there is simply no room for error in modern digital marketing.
So as the New Year approaches, there’s no better time that right now to make positive changes to the way your company drives sales and retains customers. Here are nine all-too-common SaaS marketing wrinkles you can iron out of your strategy right now – just in time for 2018!
Ignoring the importance of User Experience (UX)
Nothing is more important than creating a user-friendly experience for your site visitors. Afterall, you only have about 15 seconds, if you’re lucky, to capture their attention.
Mobile users are notoriously hard to please – while PC users might spend up to 39 minutes on your site, a mobile user is likely to move onto some other task after just 17 minutes, if you’re lucky.
Mobile users are pretty fussy, too: they are five times as likely to leave your site if it hasn’t been optimized for their phones or tablets.
That means there’s no room for error in your website design strategy. Without a clear purchasing path, for example, your visitors are lost. They may also want to reach out to you instantly with questions, so you need to go out of your way to show that plenty of customer support tools are on hand for their disposal.
You also need to make sure the UX works well for you and your staff. As your biggest marketing tool, your site should be optimized so that it always creates meaningful leads for you to follow up on.
So whether you are putting your UX together from scratch or simply doing a spot of fine-tuning, it pays to remember what Land Rover CEO, Ralf Speth has to say on the matter:
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”
Not utilizing tracking pixels to your website
How do you catch the potential customers who got away? The people who paid you one or two visits and never came back? Don’t forget that people like this once had a pretty solid reason for coming to your site – and may still retain that same level of need.
This is where remarketing comes in, and where those all-important conversion pixels start paying off. If SaaS is your game and your main marketplace is your website, you can use these powerful tools to turn “just browsing” types into paying customers.
Only about 5% of your website visitors will convert on their first visit. Remarketing will allow you to bring back the remaining 95%.
There are a whole host of conversion tracking tools you can start using, such as the LinkedIn conversion tracker and the Facebook Remarketing Pixel to name but two. Turning a blind eye to pixels represents is a massive no-no for modern marketers.
Ignoring the way audiences consume content
Stop what you’re doing every now and then to take an objective look at your website.
If you are trying to sell a B2B SaaS product using a site that looks like it was designed for end-users, you are doing something wrong – and the opposite is just as true.
B2B users like minimalism and hate clutter, especially when they are on their mobiles. And although you might think enterprise users are too busy to scroll, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, all users like to scroll. And 66 percent of all engagement happens below the digital fold. So give site users some space, and don’t deliver all of your killer content in one, over-filled section of your site.
B2C customers, meanwhile, are more likely to respond to effective branding and influencer marketing, and, per a still-influential study by Khalifa and Limayem in 2003 – transaction efficiency and exceptional usability.
What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.
Unless your company is a household name, chances are your site visitors came straight from a search engine. That means if you aren’t spending time (and resources) on improving your Google ranking, you are going to lose out to your competitors.
In 2016, 57 percent of B2B marketers agreed that SEO generated more leads for them than any other marketing initiative.
And not only do you need killer keywords, visuals are important, too. Sites that use a greater variety of images also end up getting more hits. And remember that video can score you a higher search engine ranking – by 2019, video will make up 80 percent of web traffic.
Not incorporating a blog
Big SaaS players know that blogs bring in visitors, create interactions and retain customer interest long enough to get them to convert.
A good blog can make up the majority of your company’s monthly traffic, essentially generating leads for your sales staff to follow up on.
The trick is to produce content that visitors will find useful, no matter where they are in their customer journey. Consider creating a short daily blog post with a well-curated digest of industry news, a few insights and maybe a couple of fun video embeds or gifs. Promotional links should be secondary to all this – or included deep in the blog post so as not to put your readers off.
Sharing your posts on social media drives up interactions, especially valuable when they come in the form of comments. Selectively responding to these can create new leads and make you look approachable.
Be sure to use shareable, searchable headlines. And if you’re using WordPress, be sure to use tools like Yoast to drive up SEO. Hosting the blog on your own site is a good way to draw yet more traffic to your site – and hopefully, eventually to your product pages.
Underutilizing social media
In a social media study conducted back in 2012, Jarvinen concluded “the advances in digital measurement tools remain largely unexploited, and firms lack the human resources and know-how to make the most of opportunities provided by a developing digital environment.”
Sadly, for many SaaS companies, this still rings true.
Social media is one of the fastest ways to remind your customers that you are a relevant part of their lives, providing them with information about your products’ new features or forthcoming updates.
If you manage your social media channels well, creating a good, regularly updated mix of fun, thought-provoking and stimulating content, you will not only add validity to your product, you will look like an active, prospering company that has a personality – and plenty of time to spend on outreach.
And if you have video to share, social media video is super-shareable – video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more in terms of sales-ready leads, and do so at a 33 percent lower cost – so there’s plenty at stake when you draw up your lead strategy.
Firstly, not all leads are created equal. You need to determine if a lead matches your target customer model. Understanding who your visitors are is vital. If you don’t know what position they hold in their companies and where they are based, your sales staff might end up doing guess work.
In the case of B2B sales, they specifically need to be able to find out more about the company these visitors represent. Again, you are in the dark if you don’t know how big they are, what sort of industry they are involved in.
There is still much value in the time-tested Budget, Authority, Need, Time (BANT) model. If a lead cannot afford your product, is it really worth your sales team’s time to pursue them? Is the lead a decision-maker? Can you identify a particular need for your product at the company? Is the lead in a hurry? You need to be able to answer questions like these quickly in order to know whether it’s worth moving on to the next stage.
Your sales team needs to be on the same page when it comes to lead strategy – the alternative is a lot of inefficiency.
Not focusing on customer retention
Lincoln Murphy, said it best,
SaaS products aren’t a gym – the best SaaS customers actually show up and use your services.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending all of your time and energy on chasing new customers – at the expense of retaining the ones you already have.
If software is what you specialize in, make sure you do an outstanding job of upgrading it regularly, testing for functionality, speed, stability and compatibility. If a customer informs you about a bug, make sure you fix it quick-smart – they are bound to be impressed by your efforts, which could also lead to repeat orders (and referrals)!
You also need to excel at customer service, which often means prioritizing your communication with existing customers over chasing leads. Harvard Business Review’s famous customer service survey found that 80 percent of companies believe they offer superior customer service – yet just eight percent of their customers agreed. Awkward.
And customer engagement is more than just firefighting. Customers want to feel like you are making a genuine effort to retain them, so failing to reward them with incentives and benefits, like free updates, discounts and loyalty bonuses can often lead them to shop elsewhere.
Misusing analytics tools
2015 Small Business Outlook report showed that fewer than 30 percent of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking or coupon codes, and 18 percent say they are not tracking anything at all!
Although most responsible SaaS marketers know that analytics is important, a surprisingly large amount of companies still neglect to use free tools like Search Console or Google Analytics – as well as social media analytics apps like Tailwind.
If you budget allows for it, you should be investing in paid analytics tools too. All this data can help you understand more about who visits your site and how they interact with it. Analytics can provide a winning edge – letting you steal a march on your rivals.
So now what?
You may have made these mistakes in the past. Your SaaS company may be making these mistakes right now.
(Wait for it.Yup. Your Facebook pixels aren’t tracking)…
It’s not too late, though. You can turn these mistakes right around and get your digital marketing into high gear.