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5 Ways SaaS Marketing is Different

Managing Digital Presence

marketing for software as a service online

If you want to know how to market your SaaS company, you must understand how SaaS marketing is different from other forms of marketing. We take a look at 5 ways SaaS marketing is different.

1.) Marketing Software and Service

SaaS companies have the difficult task of marketing on two fronts.

Your SaaS marketing strategy should be focused on your software, and the service you provide too. Far too many SaaS companies neglect to effectively market their service, while pumping endless resources into marketing their software. Of course, it is still important to promote your software product. However, software cannot survive without service.

If there are similar software products to yours on the market, your service could be the deciding factor for a customer. It is therefore paramount to highlight the benefits of your service. Examples include cyber and data protection, installation guidance, or steps to ensure customer satisfaction – a SaaS company’s service is what turns customers into loyal customers. By informing your current customers of what you offer, you will help them understand your services better.

2.) Retaining Customers

This leads us onto our next point, which is retaining customers. A major way SaaS businesses should focus their marketing efforts includes retaining customers. Many businesses will devise marketing strategies to attract new customers or clients. While seeking new customers is important for business growth, the existing clientele should never be forgotten. 

That is all the more true for SaaS companies. Existing customers will be the first to try any new offerings you have from new products and deals to the latest software updates. But how do you retain existing customers?

Provide incentives. You should regularly provide software updates to ensure your product remains functional and beneficial to the customer. You should also provide a continuous after-purchase service, such as help and advice, repair or troubleshooting services.

Always remember: you are selling your service, not just your software. You may ask, why is retaining customers so important for SaaS companies? The answer is inherent to owning a service model – subscriptions.

With a plethora of software as a service offerings, customers seek new and simpler ways to run their businesses. The easier you can make your SaaS for the end user, the more likely they are to stay. This doesn’t mean compromising by providing less of what your business can do, but to make it simple and effective to use. 

It can cost around 5 times to acquire a new customer than retaining one that you already have.

3.) Subscriptions, not just a one-time purchase

Retaining customers is a natural focus for SaaS companies because their services are primarily subscription-based. Indeed, software is not usually a one-time purchase. Bundle products such as Office 365 or anti-virus software all rely on customer subscriptions. Even entertainment services like Netflix and Disney+ are subscription-based.

Therefore, the customer journey for SaaS companies is remarkably different from businesses offering products as a one-time purchase. Once a customer has decided to purchase a subscription plan, they often have the freedom to switch plans or upgrade depending on their needs. This flexibility enhances the relationship between the company and the customer.

A major reason why SaaS marketing is different is that success for many SaaS companies depends on long-term, ongoing subscriptions. SaaS marketing strategies must therefore highlight the strengths of subscription plans to prospective customers. 

But how do customers decide on a subscription plan? It usually starts with a free trial.

4.) Try before you buy

Free trials are a popular example as to why SaaS marketing is different. Many products don’t have the option of a free trial. For example, you wouldn’t try a cooker before buying it. This is where SaaS companies have an advantage compared to other businesses in terms of retaining and attracting new customers.

Free trials allow a customer time to decide whether a product is best for them. A customer’s freedom to try the product hands-on can increase the likelihood of a subscription once the trial ends. While free trials do not always generate subscription sales, they are a popular aspect of SaaS customer journeys. This is especially true when the end user prefers to stay with a service that they have been using, rather than keep trialing different products, which can be time-consuming.

SaaS marketing strategies must always reflect the customer journey. If your business includes a free trial of your software, then your marketing strategy must effectively communicate this. Free trials are a great incentive because, by definition, they are free. But customer decisions aren’t solely based on price.

5.) Not simply about the price

There’s no denying that price is a major factor when customers compare products. However, price is not necessarily the main consideration for SaaS customers. People want to know what you offer and how it can benefit them or their business.

For this reason, you should focus less on your price and more on the quality of your software and service. Highlight why your software is needed and why you are the best SaaS company to offer it. You want to ensure that your customers and businesses buy into the idea that you are providing a return on investment.

For further tips on how to market your SaaS company, visit our technology blog.