Applying B2B Marketing Strategies to Your SaaS Customer Lifecycle

By Philip BerardoDec 21, 2018

SaaS customer lifecycle
image credit: Jirapong Manustrong/shutterstock.com

The sales cycle for a SaaS company is traditionally much lengthier than other industries. This is because SaaS solutions tend to be complex and have high costs and increased competition. These challenges only make the sales process more intimidating for both the company and potential customer.

Here’s how you can apply b2b marketing strategies to lead your customers through your SaaS customer lifecycle.

 

Awareness Stage:

Use SEO best practices to spread the word about your SaaS solutions

In the Awareness stage of the SaaS customer lifecycle, leads will be conducting research and likely locating your company organically. They may come across your company from a piece of content you’ve published, an advertisement, or through a referral from another website. Search engine optimization is a major strategy in b2b marketing because attracting attention to your company is no simple task.

Before you can focus on sharing the benefits of your SaaS solutions, you’ll need to work on building brand awareness. This can include publishing blogs regularly and sharing content on social media. The goal is make your audience aware of your SaaS brand based on its presence, consistency, and the problems it can solve. Follow these SEO tactics to help boost your brand reach, allowing new customers to find your company:

  • Use alt-text on images from your website. This is especially important if you’re using multiple images to show what your service is and how it works. Many SaaS companies like to use diagrams and models to show the effect their solutions can have, so be sure to use alt-text with these as well.
  • Meta descriptions for your webpages should be kept at around 150 characters or less. Search engines won’t be able to display a full description if it’s too long, which means a user may not understand what your page is actually about.
  • Content marketers will be familiar with topic clusters and their impact on SEO. Keep your content linked so search engines know they are related. This will help ensure all of your relevant content is displayed based on similar searches.

 

Engagement Stage:

Design call-to-actions that entice leads to convert

At this point in the customer lifecycle, your focus should be on obtaining a lead’s contact information so you can begin the nurturing process. Whether you’re using pop-up forms, contact forms on you website’s home page, or CTA buttons at the end of a blog, you’ll need to provide enough opportunities for a lead to share their information.

Engagement is often the longest stage of the SaaS customer lifecycle because it’s difficult to build trust with new leads that are unfamiliar with your company. It’s important to have this in mind so you don’t feel discouraged from a lengthy conversion process. Here are some actions you can take to encourage a new lead:

  • Use gated content that provides more value than the amount of information the lead will exchange with you. In other words, is the content you’re offering meaningful enough to warrant a contact’s full name, email, company name, etc?
  • Try to design forms around logical fields. For example, if a contact is signing up for a newsletter, you realistically need only their email address and maybe first name; you shouldn’t require a phone number, annual salary, company size, or other information.
  • The placement of your CTAs also makes a big difference. When using pop-up forms for instance, determine whether or not a pop-up should appear after a certain amount of time, when scrolling down a page, or upon exit intent.

While offering free trials and demos is a great way to entice new customers, not all SaaS companies use this strategy. As an alternative, have your marketing teams reach out to sales and work on developing targeted messaging through webinars or case studies. Once an interest is sparked, provide customers with an opportunity to contact sales and schedule a follow-up call.

 

Delight Stage:

Nurture your new customers with exclusive offers and value-driven service

Now that you’ve acquired new customers, it’s time to work toward retaining them and providing continuous value and support. The key here will be interaction; you don’t need to wait for a customer to reach out to you because there’s no guarantee that will happen. Instead, offer your SaaS customers unique features and content that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

To prevent customer churning, you may consider sharing an exclusive newsletter or giving early access to a new solution your company is introducing. Nurturing customers can also be done through an email marketing campaign. This will allow you to share relevant content and offers to individual customers, while personalizing your messaging. Here are some of the ways you can craft a successful email marketing campaign for your SaaS company:

  • Use list segmentation to organize your contacts by different demographics and current pain points.
  • Follow up and respond to emails in a timely fashion. If you’re letting a customer know you will reach out to them again, be specific on what time they can expect to hear from you. For example, avoid phrasing such as “in a few days,” or “soon,” and instead try to be specific with “I will reach out Tuesday afternoon.”
  • If you aren’t using an email automation system, you can still set up notifications for when a contact is re-engaging or hasn’t engaged with your emails in a long time.

 

By following each step in the SaaS sales cycle and applying your b2b marketing best practices, your company can work toward retaining and growing its existing customers. If there are still areas of the sales cycle you’re feeling unsure of, feel free to contact thinkdm2 for additional guidance. As a b2b digital marketing and branding agency, we have experience working in the SaaS industry.

 

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