How to Generate Leads for Your SaaS Business
No matter where you are in your SaaS journey, there's always new, untapped opportunities to generate more leads for your SaaS business.
And you'd do well to seek those opportunities. After all, acquiring new customers at a low cost is the best way to sustain business growth. Thanks to the ever-growing number of marketing channels, platforms, and technologies cropping up lately, customer acquisition is easier than ever.
That said, ‘easy’ doesn’t mean you can slack off in your lead generation efforts. Why? Because your competitors will not.
If you want to protect and grow your share of the market, you need to kick your inbound marketing up a notch.
So, where do you start? Well, as is the case in real life, it’s the simple ideas or things that work best.
And that’s where we come in. Here are 12 stupidly, simple ways that can help you generate more SaaS leads for your business.
Interested? Keep reading!
1. Use Chatbots
Don’t look now, but chatbots are quickly becoming the go-to solution in lead generation, especially in the SaaS space.
Find that hard to believe? According to a Drift report, chatbots saw a 92% increase in 2019, making it the marketing communication channel with the largest growth. The same report also shows that 55% of businesses using chatbots have generated a greater volume of high-quality leads.
So why are chatbots so effective in generating SaaS leads?
For starters, chatbots can respond quickly to a web visitor’s questions. In a digital landscape where attention is becoming a scarce commodity, you need to deliver instant gratification to grab and hold people’s attention.
Chatbots have become smarter as well. They’re so smart, in fact, that they can answer 80% of standard questions ( IBM ).
But don’t chatbots take away the human element in marketing?
Chatbots are meant to support, not replace, your human staff. Why allow your marketing and sales teams to spend countless hours answering basic questions over and over again if a chatbot can do all that work more efficiently.
Chatbots not only help you generate high-quality leads quickly, but they also allow your marketing and sales staff to focus on doing what they do best: nurturing those leads on a more meaningful level.
Want an example? Here’s Drift’s chatbot handing off a lead to the company’s accounting manager, Chelsea Ward. Pretty smooth, if you ask me.
[Image source: Drift ]
2. Host webinars
Webinars have been around for quite some time, but their popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic. As such, there’s no time better than now to include webinars in your lead generation strategy.
So why are webinars so popular?
First off, they’re convenient virtual learning tools that could be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. They also bring a sense of openness and connection you can’t get from most other types of content.
Simply put, attending a webinar is like talking to a respected mentor over coffee…. while in your pajamas.
Is it any wonder why B2B marketers generate 500 to 1,000 leads per webinar?
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73% of marketers consider webinars a great source of quality leads. This is not surprising since attending a webinar requires commitment on the part of prospects. It takes someone with real pain points (which you can solve) to make that commitment.
Lastly, webinars convert well. In fact, the conversion rates for webinars fall between 5% to 20%, which are higher than other types of content.
A few tips when hosting webinars:
- Choose a day and time that is most convenient to your attendees.
- Promote your webinar in advance (use a landing page with a clear call-to-action).
- Pick a topic that aligns with your SaaS solution and that will draw the interest of your target audience
- If possible, ask industry experts within your space to co-host the webinar with you (this will attract more leads)
[Image source: Crowdvocate ]
3. Create a video for your product
If a picture can paint a thousand words, a video can turn those words into a coherent story, and in less time.
Did you know that the human brain processes videos about 60,000x faster than text?
This is why, considering the complexity of most SaaS tools, you’re better off creating videos to make prospects and customers understand how your product can make their lives better.
Here’s an explainer video from Autodraw that demonstrates that perfectly.
So it’s not in the least surprising why 92% of marketers are now using video for lead generation. An Optinmonster study also shows that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year than other types of content. It’s even more telling that 80% of video marketers claim that video has directly boosted sales.
Video can be used in so many ways and across different stages of a buyer’s journey. Which is a big deal considering the complex and long sales cycles of SaaS products.
An explainer video or brand awareness video, for example, is an effective way to introduce your brand, services, and products. You can also showcase your offerings via video ads on social media to increase brand awareness and get your prospects to visit your website. Adding a video to your landing pages can potentially improve conversions by 86%.
4. Offer a free trial
There’s always some risk involved when you buy something. But the stakes are even higher when you pay for a SaaS tool. Nobody wants to end up paying for a tool that sucks for an entire month.
If your SaaS product is not getting enough leads, chances are most of your target users are just not ready to commit yet. Nobody wants to end up paying for a tool that doesn’t get the job done for an entire month.
And you’re thinking, “If only they’d give it a try.”
So, how about offering them a free trial?
By offering your target customers free access to your solution for a limited time in exchange for their contact information, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to show them what your product can do.
And once they get to that “a-ha” moment, they’re more likely to sign up for the paid version once their free trial is up. Why? Because they know that the investment will be worth it. After all, they already experienced it for themselves.
With that said, offering a free trial doesn’t guarantee paying customers. For a more detailed guide on how to convert free trial users to paying customers, read this article by Databox.
5. A/B test your landing pages
You need landing pages to generate more leads for your SaaS company, but you have to make them conversion-focused to get real results.
So many pieces go into making a landing page “conversion-focused.” You need to make sure your design stands out, that your content is highlighting your offer’s benefits, and that your call-to-action is grabbing visitors’ attention at the right moments, just to name a few.
Doing all of the above helps. But the problem with relying too much on these “best practices” is that they can only do so much. Why? Because people are unpredictable, and there’s no telling for sure how they’ll respond to your landing page until you’ve tested it on real people.
And here’s where A/B testing can help you.
CrazyEgg defines A/B testing as “the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing asset and measuring the difference in performance.”
For our purposes, we’re only going to talk about A/B testing landing pages. There are many landing page elements you can test, including your CTA, your headline, layouts, visuals, and more
To do this, you send one version to one group and send another version to another. The version that performs better is the one that gets used, at least until another version shows better results in a subsequent A/B test.
You can think of A/B testing like an elimination tournament where you pit two versions of your landing page against each other, and whoever comes out on top becomes the champion (or at least goes on to the next round).
[Image source: Crazy Egg ]
A/B testing not only gets you higher conversions and better sales, but it also gives you more opportunities to understand your audience better, which can give you invaluable insights that will help improve your lead generation (and marketing) efforts moving forward.
Admittedly, the concept of A/B testing may sound difficult for some, but thanks to A/B testing tools like Optimizely, AB Tasty, VWO, and more, performing an A/B test doesn’t have to feel like rocket science.
6. Distribute content on social media
If you want to increase your brand’s reach, build a presence on social media.
Why? Because social media is where the action is. In fact, 92% of B2B buyers use social media to engage with industry leaders and influencers. Moreover, almost half of social media users use social platforms to research new products.
But don’t do the hard sell once you’re there. That’s the fastest way to turn off your potential customers. Remember, before they decide that you’re the right “fit,” they want to know the person behind the business.
You can demonstrate thought leadership by participating in conversations related to your niche and helping out. That way you can build trust and awareness in your brand. As you continue to engage your target audience and influencers in your niche industry, you can slowly build trust and awareness in your brand. People will seek you for your expertise, which will in turn spark more interest in your SaaS solution.
But mind you, while “showing up” is already a big deal, it’s not enough to generate a steady stream of high-quality SaaS leads. You need a social media strategy.
A few tips on executing your social media strategy:
- Define a specific goal, and then track and measure the core KPIs aligned to that goal.
- Choose social media platforms where your target audience hangs out.
- Get to know your audience . The better you know them, the more you’ll be able to entertain them, educate them, and provide them what they need.
- Don’t sell at every opportunity. You are there to build relationships and attract target customers to your business.
7. Integrate with other SaaS products
The ever-evolving digital landscape continues to change how we work. Chances are, your target customers are already using a carefully curated set of digital tools to help them achieve success (and happiness) in their professional (and personal) lives.
And if they’re smart, they’re using those separate tools as if they’re one cohesive unit. It’s for this reason why most of them now prefer SaaS products with high integration capabilities.
Want more potential users to consider using your SaaS product? Then integrate with other SaaS products that complement your own. Besides, SaaS solutions don’t function in a vacuum. They must integrate with other SaaS products to unleash their potential.
This is why Growsurf used integrations as a growth strategy. For example, we knew how tedious and time-consuming it can be to run a referral program through an email campaign. So we figured we can make marketers’ lives better by integrating our referral software with ActiveCampaign. Thanks to the integration, ActiveCampaign users can now automatically generate unique referral links for their contacts to share.
Simply put, integrations are convenient for your users… and for your lead generation efforts. By integrating with products complementary to your own, many potential customers are more likely to switch over to your SaaS tool just because the integration makes their lives easier.
8. Speed up your website
Your website visitors aren’t likely to stick around if your website is taking forever to load (and by “forever” I mean 3 seconds). Did you know that 87% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than 2 seconds to load?
Google has announced that page speed is a significant ranking factor in search. So you need to speed up your website not only because most humans have the attention of a goldfish, but also because it increases the likelihood that your target customers will find your content. The more traffic you get, the more opportunities you will have to convert your target audience into leads.
You can evaluate your site speed easily by using speed testing tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix.
There are many ways to speed up your website. If you think your website speed is keeping your visitors from converting, this helpful article by Crazy Egg should help.
9. Offer content upgrades
If you want to attract and build a targeted audience, you need to regularly put out content.
Gathering names and email addresses is a big part of it. But it can be difficult sometimes to get visitors to give you their contact information. Offering a content upgrade is a great way to increase your batting average.
So it’s a lead magnet?
Well, sure, but unlike most lead magnets, a content upgrade is bonus content that is relevant and adds more value to an article or a blog post on your website. Mostly, content upgrades have higher conversion rates because they fulfill a visitor’s next intent.
Let’s say you read a blog post on how to create a customer journey map. While the blog post in itself already packs a lot of value, wouldn’t it be nice if you also get a customer journey map template you can integrate into your workflow to go along with it?
A content upgrade can take many forms, including:
- PDF printables
Hubspot is one company that has made a killing in offering free content upgrades. In their 5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan blog post, they offered a ‘Marketing Plan and Strategy Template’ as an optional download (they even showcased the premium content within the post to make it even more irresistible, as shown below).
10. Add CTAs in your email signature
Too many SaaS providers fail to include a CTA in their email signatures, which is a damn shame considering the opportunities they provide in generating leads and boosting ROI.
Better yet, they are so damn efficient. Once you have your email signature set up, you can promote your brand and draw attention to your SaaS offerings in every email you send.
That said, you need a strong CTA for your email signature to become one of your most efficient and powerful lead generation tools.
Here are a few tips on that score:
- Express your CTA clearly. Mention the benefits and tell them what they need to do to get them. Avoid using wimpy directives like “Click here” or “Read more.”
- Use a button design that stands out. A CTA needs to be seen to be acted on, after all.
- Use a boldface font to make your CTA pop. Make your CTA hard to ignore (not to mention that they’re easy to click).
Melanie Rose, Sales Manager of DOABLY, has really nailed this CTA thing.
Is the above example too intimidating? No worries. Email signatures are easy to set up thanks to great tools like WiseStamp, Exclaimer, Drift, and Rocketseed.
11. Create remarkable blog content
If you don’t have a blog yet, it’s time to start one now. If you do have a blog already, it’s time to re-evaluate if it’s truly moving the needle for your business.
Are you truly creating remarkable blog content? If you’re not, you’re losing out on a lot of opportunities for new business.
Your blog needs care and attention because it can have far-reaching benefits for your business. It can help drive qualified traffic to your website, build authority within your niche, and warm your target audience up to your offerings.
You can think of blogs as a long-term form of customer service.
“[B2B marketing publication] the Demand Gen Report estimated that 47% of buyers read between three and five pieces of copy before contacting a sales rep while [research firm] Gartner estimates that more than 65% of purchasing decisions occur before a buyer ever makes contact with a supplier, ” said Anu Ramani, founder and managing director of Isoline Communications.
What the above quote tells you is this: Modern buyers have more control over their purchasing journey than ever before. They research a ton to find potential solutions to their challenges.
If you want your potential buyers to consider you, they need to be able to find you (through your blog) when they do their research. Your blog posts should be able to address their problems and resonate with them.
But you need a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs throughout their buyer’s journey. Only by doing that can you publish blog posts that address those needs.
Also, make sure your blog posts are engaging enough. So much so that they’ll keep on reading and look forward to reading more.
More importantly, make sure you have a content marketing strategy in place. Again, content marketing, after all, is a long-term strategy. It’s about building trust with relevant, helpful, and inspiring content.
But don’t just stop there. Creating blog posts can be hard work, so why not maximize their value by promoting them? Besides, doing both regularly can drive more traffic back to your website, which creates more opportunities for new leads.
12. Use the power of referral marketing
The power of referral marketing or word of mouth as a lead generation channel can’t be overstated.
You need to build and cultivate trust to generate leads. You can say that trust is foundational to lead generation.
The thing with ‘trust’ is that it has now become a rare commodity in the current digital landscape.
How do you make your target audience trust you enough so that they sign up for your webinar or email list or whatnot?
Answer: You let your best customers (or brand ambassadors ) do the selling for you. After all, who better to do that than the very people who have experienced your SaaS solution’s value?
Studies will back me up on this:
Granting that you’re already delivering a great product and exemplary customer experience, chances are some of your happiest customers are already spreading the word about your SaaS solution.
The operative word there is “some.” Truth be told, most of your customers won’t send referrals even if they like your SaaS solution. If you want more customers to recommend your solution, you need to make the act of sending referrals desirable and easy for them.
And how do you do that? By incentivizing referrals. And you can systematize the entire process by setting up a referral program. Do that part well and you’ll be filling up your sales pipeline with highly qualified leads in no time (and at a low cost).
Running a referral program can get overwhelming as your referrals and leads continue to increase. How do you keep up? Thankfully, a referral program software like Growsurf can help get your referral program up and running without the busywork, allowing you to scale your lead generation efforts and set your business up for success.
Over to you
Now that you’ve read this blog post all the way through, your mind is probably buzzing with SaaS lead generation ideas. This is a crucial moment in your business so make sure that you take a moment to sit down and figure out which of the methods above will make the most sense for you and your business.
So, which lead generation strategies above do you plan to use in your SaaS business? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
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