Maybe you are not familiar with SaaS (subscription-based software as a service), but it’s highly likely that you are using a SaaS product in one way or another. If you are using Microsoft Office, you are already a customer because you have licensed their annual subscription.
SaaS products are mostly limited to healthcare and security, but in the near future, lots of strategic commonalities are going to run a subscription-based business.
If you are a business owner, you can learn so much from the SaaS industry, especially from its marketing tactics. And the value of these tactics is not just limited to subscription-based products. Any business can apply them. The key lies in understanding the theory behind each of these marketing tricks.
Let’s review some of these tricks and find out how they can help your business’s sales growth.
6 Subscription-Style Marketing Tricks You Can Borrow from the SaaS Industry
#1: Offer Free Trials
You must have seen that almost all SaaS companies offer a free trial of their product. Once the trial is over, you have to purchase their subscription. These free trial offers appear on the homepage and they often have a CTA (call to action). Some providers only offer a freemium version for the product for an unlimited time.
The purpose of such offers is to let a customer test your product or service. You are letting your customer decide whether or not your product is actually useful for them. They don’t have to rely on any other information.
This trick isn’t new. It has been around for years. It’s only that SaaS has perfected it. You give your prospect the opportunity to test drive for free and make them compare your services with your competitors.
#2: The Scarcity Effect
SaaS companies are really great at creating a sense of scarcity. They play with the emotions of their customers to create a sense of urgency. As a result, they end up purchasing the product.
So how do you add the scarcity effect? Phrases like “limited time offer,” “offer expires within 2 weeks,” or “only 2 slots left” work just fine. The fear of missing out will force a customer to make a decision at the spot.
#3: Ask for Testimonials
Have you ever noticed that SaaS companies create constant communication opportunities with their customers? Particularly for customers who use the product regularly. They keep collecting information from these users through questionnaires and brief surveys. They value such customers by showing their logos with positive reviews posted by them.
Potential customers will trust the words of other customers who have genuinely used their product. Testimonials work big time.
For a business, it’s not that easy to access a customer and ask them to leave a positive review. But if you make the effort, you will end up finding generous customers who would leave feedback. Shoot your customers a quick follow-up email asking them to rate your services. If they give you a good rating, you can even ask them to write a testimonial.
#4: Offer Great Customer Support
It may sound pretty obvious but it’s something the SaaS companies take very seriously. This trick will come in handy if you have big competitors in your industry. Such businesses don’t waste their time stealing clients by simply offering great customer service.
What kind of customer support you offer depends on your business model. If you have a self-service business, it will be enough to just offer chat and email support. On the other hand, if you are an enterprise business, then you are going to need a live chat or some one-on-one solution.
#5: Include App Integrations
A great way of spreading the word about your business is to integrate with popular apps. But that requires extensive research. Only integrate with apps that offer value to your users. It’s a great idea to check what kind of integrations your competitors are offering. This will give you a head start for your strategy.
As the SaaS businesses mostly rely on subscriptions and renewals, they focus on drop-off or lost customers. This phenomenon is known as churn. No matter what type of business it is, acquiring a new customer is expensive as compared to keeping an existing one. SaaS companies hence spend a lot of time improving their retention results to prevent a decline in sales. They know the art of delighting their existing customers. They keep on searching for ways to measure customer retention and become better at it.
All of us want our customers to subscribe to our services. And we could learn a lot from SaaS companies when it comes to connecting with customers.
Alex Brian is a writer by choice and digital marketing consultant at BuyInternetCable with 8 years of experience working with various startups. With a mix of creativity and analytical abilities, he has helped many online businesses, and proudly claims a big part in their success stories. When he’s not working, he enjoys watching cooking shows nonstop. His second passion is cooking for friends over the weekend.