Do you know what’s common among Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Dropbox, and Steam?
We’re not looking for obvious answers like they’re all businesses and they’re all tech companies etc. So, what’s the real answer? Well, all of these are SaaS. Software as a service or SaaS is nowadays gaining popularity throughout the whole world.
Now, SaaS customers can be both individuals and businesses. Which means to acquire and retain customers you have to know special kinds of techniques.
On the other hand, we have B2B customer acquisition strategies. You might think that you know all about B2B marketing. But the truth is no one actually knows everything. HBS, INSEAD, and other business schools are constantly adding new stuff to the B2B customer acquisition and retention strategies. And it’s super important to know these new findings. Because the business world is moving too darn fast. And it’s pretty easy to cast away thanks to ignorance.
No worries, just as the title says, we’re here to cover the SaaS and B2B customer acquisition and retention strategy. let’s get into it-
SaaS Customer Funnel
The difference between SaaS customer funnel and other funnels is that- in SaaS, leads are pushed gently. So, we’re here with specific funnel level strategies tailored just for your SaaS customers. Now, let’s get going-
Here the goal is to aware the customer that you exist. You can do this through traditional marketing approaches like blogs, media mentions and word of mouth.
Now, how do you make sure that your customers are getting aware of your SaaS brand? It’s simple. Just boost up your lead generation. Better lead generation means more people are getting in contact with your business.
We’ve figured out 4 ways to ensure this-
- Refine your SEO strategy so that you can increase the organic traffic flow into your website.
- Conduct PR initiatives and events to get in front of the right audience.
- Encourage the current users to bring in more people through word of mouth.
- Promote your content through paid advertisements.
Remember that your content must be prepared in awareness theme. Don’t go for direct selling or anything. Mix up mediums for advertising according to your target market. For example, if your SaaS is for individual consumers, then you can go for light social media like FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. To aware business customers, go for LinkedIn marketing.
Here the goal is to educate the customers. So, give them some free resources. You can spread informative contents in this phase. Just remember one thing, due to the awareness phase people will come visit your site or any online presence. So, you have to give something more to keep their interest. And the best way to do that is through info stuff. And in this process, you have to get their contact information.
Now let’s look at some SaaS techniques for this stage-
It’s correct that you have to get information through a call to action. But you cannot directly offer them your product or service here. You’re providing solutions and information to them. Obviously, it’ll ruin the whole thing if you pitch them for sales right at that moment.
So, prepare CTAs to promote your newsletters, webinars, downloadable contents (E-books, etc.). However, make sure that people give their contact information while getting these resources. Oh, and try to make GDPR- complaint subscription forms. This will give protection while connecting with European customers after this stage.
Now, what does this contact list mean? This means these people are highly interested in your contents. In modern days when people give away their contact information, this means the content is more valuable to them than their privacy. So, these leads will need a slight push to turn them into customers.
After getting the contact information, start sending emails to those leads. Utilize whatever contact information you have. After that just keep track of the actions.
Analyze which customers are regularly opening emails, downloading eBooks and stuff. Track people who regularly react on your social media posts. See which people like what kind of posts etc.
Once you’re done with the analysis, start making tailored info contents. Actually, this is where you step into the Account-Based Marketing. Soon you’ll send your leads the contents that they love to see. This means better brand fondness. But make sure that your contents are relevant to your SaaS solutions.
These contents can be articles, case studies, and videos. You can showcase how one can solve real-life problems by using your offerings.
Moreover, you can announce to your customers. Actually, this strategy is highly innovative in the case of B2B marketing. Tailor this to the right people and someone’s going to be super interested in your business.
Now, let’s go through some pretty fantastic techniques to acquire Sass customers. You can apply any of these according to your business model.
Here you’ll give your lead the full extent of your services for a limited period of time. Go through these words again. We are repeating the important part once again. You have to give the full access to your product or service in this technique.
This technique can see high conversion rates too. Opt-in free trials can convert up to 25% of the adopters. On the other hand, opt-out free trials can have a conversion rate of 60%.
You know how Spotify works right? You can have both free and paid account in Spotify. But there’s a great difference. You can get some sick features in the premium version only.
You can apply the same thing for your SaaS business too. Create a limited access version of your solutions. And offer this to some targeted leads. You’ll see a great conversion flow soon.
We have surfed through a huge number of case studies, articles, videos, and other resources. From all that research, we have found 27 strategies that you can use to retain your customers.
let’s look at some of those-
- Reconsider and reassert your value proposition.
- Re-analyze every step of your onboarding process.
- Follow-up on your customer interactions.
- Avoid disturbing customers with unnecessary surveys.
- Upsell. Here upsell means to engage an existing customer at a deeper level.
- Provide free training. Microsoft Office 365 uses this technique.
- Keep a connection through social media
- Add new security features
- Release new versions
- Give customers their records. What they have achieved by using your SaaS services can really motivate people.
- Make sure that customers have the ultimate freedom to leave.
- Conduct interviews after customers leave. Don’t force them about the interview but encourage them. Perhaps you can put up some incentives for the interviews as well.
These are some of our researched findings. We will discuss these in brief in other content.
B2B Customer Acquisition and Retention
Here we will explain in a different approach. This is actually us applying one of our newfound strategies. We will reveal this strategy later on. But for now, let’s discuss B2B marketing.
B2b is always quite different. Business purchases are a lot more rigorous than consumer purchases. Even the basic purchasing models for the two types are totally different. So, let’s go through the strategies one by one without wasting any more time.
The B2B acquisition process can be both very delicate and very straight forward. Mostly it depends on your customers. Regardless of that, we will explore some methods here. You have to figure out yourself what is best for your B2B customer-
This actually works. We saw a sports apparel brand going big in one night. This happened only by using Facebook. All it did was releasing tribute jersey designs for vintage clubs. They didn’t sell those products but just showcased them. As a result, overnight they got a deal from DHL to make their employee uniforms.
So, social media marketing works fabulously.
However, for B2B enterprises, LinkedIn marketing is considered the best. The lead generation cost at LinkedIn is actually a lot cheaper than other options. However, you have to understand what your target group is. If your target group is from a third world country, then LinkedIn marketing might not work.
Lead generation can be used for 2 purposes. Firstly, for brand awareness and secondly for increased conversions.
No matter what your goal is, you must conduct super lead generation activities. Lead generation actually covers a lot many other options. Even social media marketing for B2B falls under lead generation.
So, we have discovered a two-level funnel for your lead generation activities.
These are simply called lead and nurture. In lead, you just drive traffic to your site and in nurture, you have to nurture them till they convert.
let’s look at the reach activities-
- Email Marketing
- Display ads
- Follow-up on your customer interactions
- Search Marketing or SEO
- PR activities
- Social Media Advertising and Engagement
- Long-form written contents; for example, eBooks
- Short-form written contents; for example, articles
- Videos and Webinars
Now, let’s look at the nurture activities-
- Email marketing (with tailored offers)
- SEO; Targeting B2B money keywords
- PR activities that convert
- Social Media Advertising that shows the value
- Long-form written contents; for example, specific niche topic eBook delivered straight to leads
- Webinars with industry leaders
Some of these strategies have overlapped but the trick is to tailor those according to your end goal.
A killer website can convert a lot without too much effort. Here comes the role of UI. There are so many things to implement in UI now. There are so many things in UI that influence others passively. Color psychology is just a simple part of that.
A website with great UI and content can easily gain the trust of the strictest business leads.
Customers can be really helpful here. Just imagine you see heavyweight businesses or business leaders reviewing in another service website. To be more specific, let’s imagine you see the review of Elon Musk or Richard Branson in a website. If the reviews are good, will you still be confused?
However, a large number of reviews can also bring in affection. So, encourage your clients to give honest reviews.
Many consider this strategy as outdated. But guess what. This still works. You just have to motivate your customers in the right way. How is that possible? Well, give them some kind of incentive. Something like-
‘Get this awesome eBook by referring 3 people about us.’
What Do you think about saving the best for the last?
We’re not saying that inbound marketing is not the best option. But it’s really a great one. We’re not talking without any research though.
Inbound customers most of the times have the highest intent to buy any product or service. Moreover, they’ve done their research. So, they know what they want and most probably are looking for some kind of offer or something.
However, finding the right inbound marketing content for B2B customers is a bit tough. Remember you have to cover several segments.
B2B Customer Retention
We will cut straight to the cream here. Here are the top 5 strategies to retain B2B customers-
- 01, Invest in R&D. Improvement and innovation highly attract B2B customers.
- 02, Deliver the best customer service out there.
- 03, Keep customer satisfaction on track
- 04, Aim for creating Brand Stickiness in customers
- 05, Show your B2B customers that you appreciate their business.
We’re finally at the end. Here we have tried to cover a lot many topics in the shortest way possible. Hope that you have learned loads of info about B2B and SaaS customer handling.
However, before ending we would like to ask you one thing. Which part of our content did you like most and why? Good Luck to you!