For many SaaS marketers, customer success stops at customer acquisition, which is truly just the beginning of the entire strategy.
However, retention isn’t accurate and encompassing. Chances are you could be stuck with a bunch of basic plan holders when what you really want is to get more premium subscribers.
In reality, determining customer success is not that simple. It has plenty of moving parts that should work together, or else they end up in disarray. It involves insights to help you frame the direction your company has to take.
SaaS technology is gaining popularity every day. In fact, SaaS company valuation is likely to remain steady, and may even increase in the near future. It might seem superfluous to consider an app valuation before it’s conceptualized or the development process begins, but it is one of the most effective ways to ensure the continued success of the SaaS business. Most of the factors that define a business’ value to a potential future buyer overlap perfectly with those that make a company profitable for its founder.
SaaS startup growth is simply a numbers game, plain and straightforward.
If you bring in more clients than you lose, you’ll grow. If you fail to do so, your competition will eat up any market share you had.
Luckily, you can monitor competitors’ social media to get valuable insights to help move your company forward. It’s a great way to see what your competition is doing and how they engage with their customers. It also enables you to understand what’s working for them and what isn’t.
But what does it take to take a company to the next level?
Well, sometimes it could be as simple as hiring Excel programmers to take your confusing arrays of data and organize it into information you can use.
It could also indicate having the best VoIP phone system with the right combination of features, backed by reliable customer support. According to Nextiva reviews, VoIP business phone systems are quickly becoming the key standard for small business phone communication.
With all that said, below are X SaaS growth strategies to try this year.
Launch A Worthwhile Referral Program
If you look at the joint report between Heinz Marketing and Influitive, you’ll find that less than 1 in 4 B2B companies have a formal referral program. But those that do enjoy extremely higher sales, lower acquisition costs, and better relationship between their sales and marketing teams.
Creating a referral marketing program for just about any business is entirely doable and a quick win for growth if done right. A good example would be Dropbox, now valued at $12 billion.
Dropbox used a simple referral program in order to skyrocket from 100k to 4 million users within 15 months. The referral offer provided 500MB of bonus space for users, and each person they referred.
Evernote, a digital note-taking app, also set up a referral program that grew like wildfire. It gained its first million users in just about 446 days, due in part to Evernote’s referral program. It offers a freemium product with basic features and a feature-rich premium product with more space.
The program highlighted the premium offerings by giving points for each referral, which could then be used as credits to free months of Evernote premium. It had the added bonus of highlighting the key advantages of the premium account.
Offer Free Trials
“Try before you buy.”
The phrase isn’t anything new but is expected even more nowadays. According to a recent report, there are roughly 75 million millennials who have an estimated annual buying power of $600 billion. It is also predicted that millennials will be spending $1.4 trillion annually by 2020.
The freemium pricing model is a perfect example of a millennial-friendly brand deployment model as that generation is used to a self-serve option. There was a time when we had to talk to a salesperson to decide whether we like something or not. Today, we can find almost anything we want to know online—free trials are simply an extension of that.
Offering free trials can be a great way to keep a steady email marketing campaign going where you’re able to educate prospects on your software’s value.
Another great freemium model growth tactic is win-back offers for expired trials. This enables you to continue to reach out periodically to offer extended free trials or exclusive deals.
Use A Top-Notch Influencer Marketing Strategy on A Budget
Influencer marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. However, you do need to be smart and strategic about it.
Once you have your list of great influencers, reach out to them and start building a connection with them by following them on social media, liking and sharing their content, and engaging with them via the social channel of their choice.
Once your company is more familiar to the influencer, have the CEO or founder send a personal email to the influencer offering a demo and a free license for a year. Don’t ever do an automated outreach blast, and never have the email come from a PR firm as they’ll get ignored.
Keep the relationship going between you and your group of influencers by sharing their content and continuing the conversation. Find out if they’re using the platform and if not, why not. Identify the obstacles and how you can help them become power users of your channel. Over time, you’ll notice that these influencers will continue to refer you, give recommendations, and shout outs.
Employ Infographics In New Ways
One unique strategy that worked seamlessly for infographics software company Venngage was utilizing infographics to create links to their landing pages and blog articles.
“We focused on building viral infographics that visualized data and summarized our research findings, and pitched that to many publications," says Naser Alubaidi, Growth Marketer at Venngage. "We also found that pitching a viral evergreen infographic was more actionable than simply trying to get other websites to link to our content."
As it turns out, infographics are far from gone, and rightfully so. According to research conducted by MIT, 90% of the information sent to the human brain is visual.
Launch Your First Partner Program
If it is time to take your SaaS company to the next level, consider implementing a partner program to your mix. Having a well-structured partner program can yield excellent partners, which in turn may lead to a 48% growth in revenue, according to research.
Here are some tips for launching your first partner program.
- Define your ideal partner persona: So, what is your ideal partner’s target audience? Does it overlap too much with your audience? How well does your ideal partner sell? Do they have a product/service that works well with yours?
- Determine partner goals: Partnerships are all about giving and taking. When you’re entering into a partnership, you must define what fair trade is for their services. And not just that, you also require to figure out the results you’re hoping to see from your partner program.
- Build lines of communication: If done right, having a partner program can be more work than keeping a pet. It’s crucial to set up your lines of communication immediately. There are lots of tools out there to help empower your partner with the content and resources they need to sell with confidence.
- Eliminate assumptions: Are you looking for a successful partner program? If so, you must identify what steps need to be completed to obtain the goals you put in place. Your partner has to be an extension of your sales team; thus, it’s helpful to communicate what you expect from them on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
- Create a content library: Always place yourself in your partner’s position. It’s your first day at the office; what do you need to stand out and be successful? Content. Give your partner high-quality content that will help them answer queries and be proactive about their audience’s needs.
- Launch: You shouldn’t expect your partner program to be pitch-perfect after the first week or month. Some of the best players in the game are still trying to figure out how to elevate their partner program. Remember, the key is to keep trying, testing, and moving forward.
So these were five SaaS startup growth strategies to try in 2019. Keep in mind that even the slightest improvement in your growth and churn rates can have a great impact on your startup’s success.
Each advancement of your funnel indicates more consumers using your product, more promoters, and an excellent lifetime customer value. This means higher revenue and more opportunities to invest back into your SaaS company—more cash for product development, growth strategies, and better customer service—and growth.