These are the 19 most effective SaaS marketing strategies for 2023.
In fact, during the last 10 years, I’ve tried and tested hundreds of different marketing tactics. These showed me the most outstanding results.
So if you want to hack your SaaS business growth, you’ll love these awesome strategies.
Keyword research is undoubtedly one of the most essential parts of SEO.
If your content doesn’t match exact search terms or related to them that real people use, you won’t get any traffic from Google (or any other search engine).
How to choose the right keywords
Ask yourself one question: What topics do people search for that are related to your business?
For example, I run a blog on SaaS marketing, so some topics that come to mind are:
Type each topic one by one into the search box and see what Google suggests to you.
These are fantastic keywords to add to your list because Google suggests them. This means that lots of people are searching for them now.
Let’s search the same topic from the example above, “user onboarding.”
Then scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you will find there 8 keywords that are highly related to your search term.
Keyword research tools make things much easier. Besides the relevant keywords, you can get such information as search volume, cost-per-click, competition, keyword difficulty, etc.
Here are some tools for keyword research that I use and recommend (free and paid ones):
How do you know that the keyword is too competitive to rank for?
In the keyword research tools, check such metrics as “Competition” or “Keyword Difficulty.”
On the screenshot, you can see that the keyword “seo tools” has a keyword difficulty score of 75, which is considered to be “Super hard” to rank for. And right below the number, you can see a hint that says that you will need around 259 backlinks from other websites to rank in the top 10 for this keyword. That’s a lot.
In my case, the keyword “saas marketing strategies” was really easy to rank for, only 7 backlinks were needed to rank in the TOP-10 for this keyword. This is one of the reasons that I decided to write this article :)
(However, it’s worth understanding that these numbers are just estimates).
Also, while researching new keywords, try to focus on long-tail keywords. You’ll find tons of low-competition ideas that are easy to target this way.
I hate cold emails (like most people).
Because most of them are just bulk messages someone didn’t really give a crap about.
Not that smart sales reps and marketers buy a customer base, write one generic message template, send it to the whole list, and wait for “their potential customers” to reply (God knows why).
When I see another cold email like this one, I feel super annoyed.
There is one small secret of making your cold emails effective – personalization.
Here is an example of how Platfromly turned our cold emails into effective warm ones (I worked with the company back in 2020, but the tactic still works!)
Albacross is an excellent tool that allows you to capture your website visitors, track their website activity, and identify decision-makers.
Weekly, our marketing assistant collected the list of all companies who visited our website but didn’t subscribe to Platformly.
We used Hunter to identify the email addresses of our leads. Having only the company name Hunter can help you to find such information as name, position, email, social media accounts, etc.
With Mailshake, which is a service for cold email outreach, we created a few templates that are easy to customize and make super personal.
And it works! The reply rate surprised us from the very first day of the campaign launch.
Quora is a great way to drive traffic to your website and an awesome SaaS marketing channel.
If you don’t know, Quora is a Q&A site for intellectuals to voice their opinions.
There are more than 3 million questions on Quora and around 300 million unique monthly visitors.
Most Quora writers don’t reach a thousand views; the other ones generate thousands of leads.
What’s the secret?
Find and answer ONLY THE RIGHT questions on Quora.
Josh Fechter, in his BAMF BIBLE, shared an excellent tip on how to detect questions that bring the best results.
Pay attention to the questions with a 7:1 ratio of followers to the number of answers provided.
This is the perfect question to answer because the ratio is 15:1.
In less than a year, this answer got 18.3K views.
You already know the secret. It’s better to answer questions with more followers and fewer answers to stand out from the crowd.
When you start searching for questions, dive into the specific topic you chose, then save the juiciest ones for later.
When you want to access bookmarked questions, click “Answer” at the top right of your screen, and then choose “Answer Later” on the left side.
It usually takes around 30 minutes finding 5 high-quality questions I want to answer.
An interesting fact is that 90% of consumers read reviews before even visiting a company website.
77% of B2B SaaS customers conduct their own research before talking to sales managers.
Moreover, buyers who read online reviews before making a purchase are usually more satisfied with their purchases. It’s a great social proof!
So if you own a SaaS company, you should definitely consider your presence on the SaaS review and listing websites so people can easily find your offering.
Here are the TOP-5 websites that every SaaS company should submit their product to.
Well, you submitted your business to all of these SaaS (software as a service) directories and now waiting for the new reviews to appear.
You are waiting for a day, two… week, month, and nothing happens.
When I worked for Platformly, when we just submitted our product to all of the SaaS directories, we faced the same problem – almost no organic reviews.
We quickly understood that we needed to take the first step and launched the campaign that helped us to generate 800+ reviews.
Here is how we did it.
We created a viral reward campaign on UpViral (this is an excellent service that allows conducting viral campaigns in a few clicks).
Our current users were able to leave us a review, record a video testimonial, participate in a short survey, and much more in return for a reward (in our case, product add-ons).
In short, our users were able to get points for completing specific actions. These points were incentives that helped them to unlock rewards.
We sent them only one email (and 2 follow-ups for those who haven’t participated).
And got such results.
397 people participated in our campaign. In total, we got more than 800 reviews, many social media mentions, product suggestions, and social media follows.
Of course, after the campaign, we awarded all of the participants.
The Skyscraper Technique is a simple strategy that turns content into high-quality backlinks.
As the research shows, link building is still one of the most significant factors associated with earning higher positions in Google.
Here’s how the Skyscraper Technique works in a nutshell:
There are a lot of ways how to find relevant content with tons of backlinks. Here is my favorite one (= the simplest one):
Enter a broad topic related to your niche into Ahrefs Content Explorer. This is a searchable database that helps to discover and analyze top-performing content in your industry.
Since you are looking for content with many backlinks, set the “Referring domains” filter from a minimum of 50 domains. You can also add a language or publishing data filter (in this case, I added only “English” filter to get pages in my target language).
Here we have it – 94 potential “skyscraper” opportunities.
You can also use such SaaS tools and services as Buzzsumo, Quora, and Reddit to discover popular topics in your niche.
Your next step is to create content that’s 10x better than what’s already on the first page.
Here is how you can do it:
Important Note: I recommend you beat the existing content on every level: length, design, freshness, depth, etc. And what is most important, bring something new to the table.
Now it’s time to share your content with those who have already linked to specific content that you improved.
Since they’ve already linked to a similar article, the chances are high that they will link to the way better one.
Paste the URL of the original article into Ahrefs Site Explorer and open the “Backlinks” report.
This report shows you all the backlinks to this page. However, not all of them are good prospects (some spam directories, forums, etc, could be included).
Let’s apply a couple of filters to narrow down the list with the best opportunities for outreach.
That leaves us with 160 highly relevant prospects.
Once you have collected the list of your targets, it’s time to send them an email.
Here is an example that you can modify based on your context:
If you are a SaaS business and just starting out, retargeting is your best friend.
When I just launched my first SaaS, the first thing I did was keyword research.
And I was surprised about the CPC for Google and Facebook Ads (especially for targeting a completely cold audience).
For example, for the keyword “marketing automation,” the top-of-page bid in the US Google is €83.41 (which is $93.21).
Are you ready to pay this for just a single click?
Nope? Then one of the best solutions for you is retargeting.
In a nutshell, retargeting is essentially creating personalized ad campaigns for users who have previously visited your website or other content.
The basic idea behind retargeting is to reach out to users who already know your product and, for that reason, have much higher conversion rate.
It works perfectly for almost any industry with longer sales cycles, and SaaS definitely falls under this category.
When setting up a retargeting campaign, don’t forget to segment your audience since they all have different needs.
For example, segments for a SaaS business could be:
At Platformly, one of our segments were people who visited a specific feature page and haven’t converted.
Here is what the retargeting ads look like for these segments.
1. Marketing automation page visitors.
2. Lead capture page visitors.
3. CRM page visitors.
Launching a lifetime deal campaign is an excellent solution for early-stage SaaS startups. It helps to attract early members and get enough money to fund the development and other expenses.
I launched a SaaS on lifetime deals platforms a couple of times. And every launch was a great success.
Because during the early stages, people don’t get attached to the product, they get connected to the vision and team behind it. And due to the user-centric and relationship-building mindset of the products we launched, people loved them.
For example, when we launched Platformly on SaaS Mantra, we got tons of useful product feedback.
Here is a list of what you should prepare for the lifetime deal launch:
All other promotional stuff will cover your lifetime deal partner: educational webinars, email newsletters, social media ads, and announcements, etc.
Note that some of them charge up to 50% of the campaign revenue.
Here are a few proven lifetime deal websites that can help you with the campaign launch:
If you are into SaaS or B2B marketing, I’m pretty sure that you’ve already heard about Product Hunt.
It’s an excellent place where companies (mostly SaaS) can launch their products to an audience of passionate entrepreneurs and techies.
Product Hunt can help you significantly increase website traffic, generate valuable feedback, and, most importantly, find new customers.
For example, when we launched Platfomly on Product Hunt back in 2019, we got 3x more traffic than usual and 5x more signups within one day.
Moreover, we became the #3 product of the day and got into Product Hunt’s daily newsletter with hundreds of thousands of readers.
There are many comprehensive guides on how to successfully launch the product on Product Hunt:
I’m not going to create one more ultimate guide on this topic since all you need you can learn from the articles above.
I just wanted to highlight the top 3 most important things for the successful launch.
You need to create a clear and straightforward message.
Upvotes don’t give you anything unless they are from those who are interested in your product.
Ensure your tagline focuses on the values your product offers your target audience. Avoid cliches and generic phrases.
Create a specific offer for a Product Hunt launch. This will encourage users to purchase your product.
It could be:
One of the main goals of the Product Hunt launch is to collect feedback from the target audience.
Getting in comments and asking for it is a simple way of driving discussion and promoting your product.
Jump on new trending topics before they take off.
Write something that no one wrote about and become an expert in this niche.
How to find these growing trends for your new article?
Use Google Trends. This is a great source to confirm if a specific keyword is growing and trending.
To get even more insights on this topic, check the “Related Queries” section at the bottom of the page.
This is the place where you can see the related queries that are starting to blow up.
Once you find a trending topic, create a guide that will immediately become the only guide on that specific topic.
This way, you’ll be generate tons of ideas and build an epic content marketing strategy.
Compared to Facebook organic reach on LinkedIn is insane right now.
For example, with almost 3K subscribers, you can easily reach 30K views with a single LinkedIn post. Yeah, it’s 10X from the amount of the 1st connections.
But here’s the secret:
For your content to get lots of comments and shares, it needs to be engaging.
So if you share a couple of sentences with a link, it’s probably going to get buried by the LinkedIn algorithm.
Instead, use this simple 4-step formula for writing LinkedIn posts that get a lot of reach and engagement.
Co-marketing is a robust SaaS marketing strategy no one talks about.
Just imagine: two companies merge their resources, experiences, and skills to launch one powerful campaign that reaches at least 2X wider audience than each of them could achieve on their own.
Choosing which company to collaborate with, consider such factors as:
When you decide it’s time to partner with someone in your industry, just send an email to the relevant person.
Your first email should be clear, straight to the point, and friendly, like in the example below.
Another brilliant example of a co-marketing campaign is a partnership of MOZ with SproutSocial.
(SproutSocial is a social media management platform, and MOZ is a solution for search engine optimization)
Since both companies target marketers, they partnered on a webinar on how to fuel SEO with social media.
Through their promotion of the webinar and case studies to their respective audiences, they have successfully carried out lead generation, resulting in the generation of warm leads that were later converted into paying customers by both companies.
The fact is that Facebook engagement is steadily increasing despite the frequent algorithm changes.
Moreover, the recent research Sprout Social conducted shows that 40% of marketers view private communities as a top social trend to prioritize in 2023.
What’s the big deal about Facebook groups?
I bet now you want to create a Facebook group for your product (if you haven’t already).
There are a lot of simple strategies to grow your group from 0 to 1000+ members on autopilot. Some of the most effective are:
If you need more inspiration on cool SaaS product groups, you can check my favorite ones:
Starting an affiliate program is an excellent idea for just about any SaaS business.
You already know that costs for “classic” Google and Facebook Ads are high and keep growing. And the chances are high to become lost in the mass of ads that bombard users daily.
An affiliate or referral program is a solution.
Here are a few reasons why you should start or invest in an affiliate program:
Loyal customers can help drive revenue. This is a win-win for both parties. Customers that are happy with your SaaS can make money by spreading the word about you.
You will reach the relevant audience. There is a close match between your current customers and those people they will promote your product to. This overlap will bring you super-relevant organic traffic.
Save your marketing budget. You only pay for the customers you acquire via the affiliate program. The ROI in the case of an affiliate program is evident compared to other digital marketing channels.
Check some best performing SaaS affiliate programs that will help you to create the best offer for your business:
You may not see it, but a lot of SaaS businesses do webinars regularly. Webinars are an effective channel to connect with your audience through the real-time experience.
Here are a few reasons why you should start running webinars:
For example, the second-fastest-growing SaaS company (read Intercom) is running weekly webinars.
According to Phil Byrne, Senior Product Educational Manager at Intercom, they run three types of webinars:
In the conversation with Demio, Phil said that, without a doubt, webinars do the work.
“We analyze the effect of our webinars through user behavior pre- and post-webinar attendance, and they are beneficial from a user and a business perspective.”
The popularity of podcasts has never been higher; many SaaS companies have already included them as a vital marketing channel.
Slack, Tinder, Buffer, Intercom, and other big names are already successfully growing their audience with podcasts.
Why will podcasts be dominating the media landscape in 2023?
According to Forbes, the increased adoption and development of technologies, such as voice recognition devices and smartwatches, will make podcasts even more comfortable to access, which will boost their popularity even more.
Podcasts are accessible, allow users to multitask, are easy to make, versatile, and enable building a community.
Its listeners are loyal, affluent, and educated.
So if you’ve ever thought about beginning to record a podcast for your business, now is the time to start.
You’ll be able to grow a loyal audience before your competitors enter the podcasting space.
Product-led growth is a strategy that involves using your product itself as a marketing tool to drive growth and acquisition.
In a product-led growth strategy, your product is the primary means of acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. This approach is particularly effective for SaaS businesses because it enables them to create a product that is so valuable that it sells itself.
Here are some tips for implementing a product-led growth strategy:
Slack is a great example of a SaaS company that has successfully implemented a product-led growth strategy. Slack's freemium model allows teams to try the product for free, and its self-service onboarding makes it easy for teams to get started. Slack's product is so valuable that it has become the primary means of customer acquisition and retention, with a reported 93% retention rate among paid customers.
Pricing is a crucial aspect of saas marketing because it can impact customer acquisition, retention, and revenue.
Finding the right pricing strategy for your product can be challenging, but it's essential to ensure that your pricing model aligns with your business model and goals and provides value to customers.
Here are some pricing strategies to consider when aiming to increase customer lifetime value:
HubSpot is a great example of a SaaS company that has successfully implemented a value-based pricing strategy.
HubSpot's pricing model is based on the value that its products provide to customers, with different pricing tiers based on the features and functionality that customers need. HubSpot's pricing is also based on the number of contacts and marketing automation workflows, which aligns with its customers' goals of growing their businesses.
Sales and marketing alignment is essential for SaaS industry because it ensures that both teams are working together seamlessly to attract and retain customers.
When sales and marketing teams work together effectively, they can provide a consistent customer experience, nurture leads, and close deals more efficiently. Here are some tips for aligning sales and marketing efforts:
Salesforce does a great job implementing this strategy. Their marketing team provides a consistent brand message and generates leads for its sales team to follow up on. Salesforce's sales team provides feedback on the quality of leads generated by the marketing team, which helps to refine the marketing strategy and generate higher-quality leads for their sales funnel.
Marketing is super important for SaaS businesses to get customers and grow.
In this article, we talked about a bunch of different marketing strategies like making good content, using social media, getting referrals, and sending emails. By using these strategies, SaaS businesses can grow and beat the competition.
But don't forget, marketing is always changing, so you gotta keep learning and trying new things.
Just stay open-minded and keep experimenting.
Irina is a Founder at ONSAAS, Growth Lead at Aura, and a SaaS marketing consultant. She helps companies to grow their revenue with SEO and inbound marketing. In her spare time, Irina entertains her cat Persie and collects airline miles.
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