The biggest word in SaaS marketing today is “scale.” Everybody is after the idea that they have to scale to hit it big. And, that’s true. Scalability is a key factor in your company’s viability.
Whether you’re after your next series in funding, or whether you’re pursuing a buyout from Google - or maybe you’re hoping to go public - you know scalability is everything. If your SaaS isn't growing fast enough, you've got a huge uphill battle while the clock continues to tick. You have to show that in just a short amount of time, your user count and your reach has been exponential.
Why is this important? Because this means people want what you have, and they are so excited about it they are willing to talk about it.
But what happens if you’re like most SaaS startups and you realize that just the exact opposite is happening? Are you screwed?
Well, unless you change your approach, then yes you probably are. Either people don’t like your product (which is probably not the case if you’ve been able to get investors to buy into your idea), or your user experience is really, really bad. Sometimes it’s REALLY bad. Usually it’s the latter.
User experience is so much more than what your website “looks” like. I get tired of hearing people talk about how UX is all about the design of your product or your site, because it’s not. If you think that way, it’s no wonder you can’t get users into your product. Hello!?
User experience encompasses everything from how people perceive your brand, to what kind of feelings they get when they interact with your marketing messages, to what their experience is when they are onboarding into your product, and so much more. Don’t get caught up in UX as just being a “design” thing.
There are literally hundreds of posts I could write about each one of the points I just mentioned, but for the sake of keeping this easy to read, I’m going to narrow down to what I know is the single biggest reason why your SaaS isn’t growing fast enough:
Your Conversion Strategy Sucks.
Don’t pretend like you have this awesome conversion funnel in place, and your problem is that you just don’t get qualified traffic to your site. True, that might be a problem. But I’m telling you, if your SaaS isnt growing fast enough and you want to scale, it’s because you don’t know how to convert visitors into customers the right way.
First off, YOU HAVE TO FOCUS ON WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT. If you haven’t done Voice of Customer research or Conversion Rate Optimization to nail your brand and messaging, skip this entire article and download the checklist at the bottom of the page.
Here’s what you’re going to do if you want to truly scale your SaaS business
- Write better content. Cliche I know. Every marketer is going to tell you that. But it is true. If your content is not of pure value to your readers, you’re not going to bring in the right kind of people. It also has to be dispersed in places your readers go. If your prospects are 80% women, then why the hell are you not all over Pinterest? If you are selling to a demo of 18-25 year olds, why is your biggest hustle NOT in Snapchat? Know your demo, and go there.
- Get them into a FREE trial. When they land on your site, don’t waste time trying to sell them your product. “Hi, I’m Jim and you just clicked on a random blog post. How about buying a huge subscription to a company you know nothing about?” NO! If you aren’t doing a free trial, you had better switch it up NOW. You are a software. Give them a chance to try it out for free. And you know what I would do? I would give them access to the biggest and best tier you have for free, if for nothing more than 7-14 days. Why? Because if your product is as good as your marketing material says it is, people will fall in love with the features of the higher tiers and not want to lose them. This means when you do convert them into paid, you are much more likely to land the “professional” plan rather than the “basic” plan.
- Event track the shit out of their onboarding experience. With the massive amount of technology at your fingertips today, there is no reason why you don’t have an easy-to-follow system for both your clients and your staff to help everyone onboard accordingly. For example, let’s say you know in your product that 85% of the people who do these 5 steps in a free trial end up becoming paid users. Then what does that tell you? Well, you know there are roughly 5 things you want every user to do to evaluate whether or not their free trial is a success. Include event tracking to monitor these steps, and if a user is struggling with a step, send them an email and give them documentation. Or if you have the bandwidth, have a support rep give them a call.
- Recruit evangelists. I love a new SaaS product. When I go and try them out, I totally evaluate them based off of how they treat me as a user. HubSpot is the perfect example of this. Crazy awesome support, an account rep to talk to at any time, and a community of truly passionate users who you can rely upon for help. It amazes me how many products I try out that straight up forget about me once I become a user. ARE YOU SERIOUS! You should be working harder once they are a user to get them to love you than you did when you were trying to court them into buying your product in the first place. Give incentives to share your blogs, give discounts, give free upgrades, include competitions. Make me love you so much that I have to tell my friends or colleagues to try this new product out. Just today I told a colleague about a SaaS I tried out over the weekend that he needed. And guess what? We both free trialed, and we both purchased. Not only that, but I purchased at the 3rd tier, and he purchased at the 2nd. Boom.
Don’t screw your visitors. Don’t blame your lack of conversions on poor traffic. I’m telling you, if your product is awesome, your users will absolutely love it. Just love them back.