If you are running a SaaS (Software as a Service) business you are always looking for good advice that can propel your business forward. Here are summaries of six articles that provide solid useful advice on SaaS marketing strategy and SaaS marketing metrics that you can use. If you want to read them more fully, follow the link at the end of each summary.
Four Failures That Hold Back Business Growth
Retaining customers is a critical aspect of keeping your SaaS profitable, writes Shayla Price in an article that appears on Kissmetrics. She outlines four factors in SaaS marketing strategy that hold back a company’s customer retention and how they can be overcome.
• The first is a failure to provide comprehensive customer service.
If you are not meeting customer expectations on a wide range of aspects — from how a website functions to sales services and help forums — your customers will be quick to bail on you.
In addition, you should be providing proactive customer service by calling users and asking them about their experiences. In this way a company can solve small issues before they become more serious problems.
• Second is a failure to develop long-term strategies.
Develop ways to retain your customers over the long run. Initiate new features that will keep your customers involved, such as: Adding a gaming element, making customers part of a community that has a vote and involving them in developing new product features. Also keep adding information to your help center.
• The third aspect is failing to improve your email automation.
Email automation enables you to use an SaaS marketing funnel to direct your message to the right customers using demographic data. Offer value and show them new features rather than just telling them about them. Accept feedback in an honest and respectful way.
Create promotional emails that are worth opening.
• The fourth oversight is to fail to reward loyalty effectively.
Develop a rewards program in which customers are aware of a group below them. Gold members should know there are silver members. Give rewards for actions that involve more than purchases, such as points for referring a friend or joining an email list. Use surveys to gain good reviews and promote them.
To read the full article go to: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/truths-about-saas-customer-retention/
Product/Market Fit Can Be Misleading
“Product/market fit” is frequently used wrongly, writes Brad Feld, a managing director at Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado, on feld.com.
Part of the misunderstanding lies in four myths: That you magically gain product/market fit, that it’s obvious when you have it, that once you have it you never lose it, and that when you gain it you have won and can ignore the competition.
Once he realized these misconceptions, Feld says, he came up with monthly recurring revenue (MRR) as a better measure of SaaS marketing metrics.
With no monthly revenue, the company has no product/market fit.
From $1 to $10,000 MRR, a company believes it has product/market fit, but in reality does not. From $10,000 to $100,000 MRR the company has the appearance of having achieved product/market fit. It is learning what customers want and sales are growing. But if the company is not growing at 10 percent a year, it does not have product/market fit yet.
Between $100,00 and $500,000 MRR the company is building a sales staff, is visible in its marketplace and might have regular customers. But a lot of companies slip here because they believe they have product/market fit and cannot lose it, yet when something goes wrong they start to fail.
If a company can blow through the $500,000 MRR and reach a million dollars in revenue each month, they have found product/market fit. The company’s growth rate now determines its value.
The search for product/market fit is ongoing and never ends. You should not confuse illusion with the real situation, Feld concludes.
To read the full article go to: http://growthhackers.com/articles/the-illusion-of-productmarket-fit-for-saas-companies
How to Assess Product/Market Fit for Your Business
In an article on product/market fit that appears on cobloom.com, Ryan Law takes a software-specific look at product/market fit (PMF), which he describes as a significant key performance indicator that a SaaS company should understand.
PMF is a way to assess whether a market can sustain your business and whether your product can meet the market’s needs, he says. A good market is one that is expanding and can support your business; a bad market is one that is contracting.
Law gives four reasons PMF matters for SaaS companies.
• It changes your focus
Instead of focusing on product development and testing assumptions about the market, you will have indications that the market can support your business and that your product solves a problem. That will lead you to consider increasing your investments in the company and obtaining capital to help you do so as well as expanding your sales staff and boosting your marketing campaigns.
• It means it’s safe to grow
Without PMF you are taking a risk growing your company. You are unsure whether a market exists for your product and whether it can sustain your business. Major investments are premature because you are not sure whether your business is slowing because of inadequate growth tactics or whether your product does not solve anyone’s problems.
• Failure to make good PMF calculations can kill a SaaS company
When a business fails to understand PMF, it moves capital away from product development too soon. Instead of growing, the company will face a situation that can ruin its reputation, swamp it with customer complaints and generate overwhelming requests for refunds.
• Change with the markets
A company needs to be aware that the market can change. As a result, the PMF definition also changes. The original product no longer fits the market and another company that caters to the new market arrives and dominates it.
A business should regularly check the key assumptions that underlie its business, asking whether the problem it solved still exists, whether it is significant enough, and whether the market is still a good one. In this way, PMF helps a business see into the future.
To read the full article go to: http://www.cobloom.com/blog/what-is-product-market-fit-and-why-should-your-saas-business-care
Strategies to Market your SaaS Business
These marketing strategies for a SaaS business are shared by John Laster in an article on TechieApps.
• Free Ebooks
Add a free ebook download on your home page. It shows your expertise, builds your reputation and enables users to gain useful information when they land on your website. In the ebook include examples of the products you have and your services.
• Enable sharing on social media
By adding a share functionality when a user signs up, you will send the news to the user’s friends and followers on social media. In this way, you will publicize your product on other platforms and use the media as a SaaS marketing funnel.
• Offer free trials
A free trial should not include the product’s full features. It should provide enough to indicate the premium features to the user. In that way, they will be prompted to sign up.
• Include testimonials
Adding client testimonials will be a big help in selling a SaaS product. They show the product is working for other users and thereby will help to gather users to try out your free trial and therefore result in more people buying the product itself.
• Feature blogs and guest blogs
A blog that offers useful information to visitors to the site can be of great help. Adding buttons that call for action on the blog can attract more users into trying out the product. Consider guest blogging, too. Create a list of relevant industry blogs and websites and ask whether they would be interested in providing you with a guest blog. Doing so can attract more traffic to your site.
• Market using email
Sending out email messages regularly to prospects is effective in attracting new business. Giving away free products or services as well as free trials can help you create an email list. Subscriptions, contests and exit intent popups can also elicit useful data.
• Affiliate marketing
Persuade users to refer the product to colleagues and friends. It is essential to provide an affiliate link involving cash incentives for referring the product.
To read the full article go to: http://www.techieapps.com/digital-marketing-strategies-for-saas
Cloud Computing Offers New Opportunities
Cloud computing services have introduced new ways of delivering IT services and how customers access information, business services and applications, says an article on the Industry Today website.
Cloud computing not only cuts business costs, but enables applications to be easily accessed from anywhere. The services can be changed and upgraded to satisfy business requirements. Cloud computing also provides resources and helps improve IT provisions without new investments in data centers. But due to rapid growth the market is likely to grow more slowly in the next two years.
SaaS (Software as a Service) is forecast to be the quickest growing part of the cloud computing services market, far ahead of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Growth in the market is likely to influenced by the global economy and will be driven by demand from western markets in Europe and North America.
Transparency Market Research is a global company providing market reports and analysis on trends for thousands of decision makers.
Going It Alone in a SaaS Startup
Nikki Nixon shares a few tricks of the trade that she learned when she started out as a one-person marketing team in an article on medium.com
• Work in blocks
When you find that time catches up with you during the day, allot times for certain tasks, putting the most crucial first.
• Organize obsessively
When you find you have tasks set out in a wide variety of places, consolidate them using a project management tool like Trello.
• Pick your social media
Select a few social media channels to which you can market that make most sense to you in terms of your brand. Choose a tool to automate the process. Buffer is great and it’s free.
• Set goals
Set up goals against which you can measure yourself. It gives you something to work toward.
• Gain help from friends
Because you cannot do everything yourself, use great resources, like Fiverr, where people undertake design services for as little as $5 an hour. Find friends in your business with whom you can exchange ideas.
To read the full article go to: https://medium.com/@techmarketeratl/how-to-survive-as-a-b2b-marketing-team-of-one-at-a-saas-startup-4611359c27d0#.ng3y7ebdj