Launching a SaaS (software as a service) startup and building it into a money-making venture are two very different stories. Look no further than Reddit forums like r/startup or r/entrepreneur to discover that launching a SaaS startup and earning revenue from it is anything but easy.
Discovering a pain point and building software to ease that pain point is only the first step. Attracting paying customers to your software and keeping them as satisfied customers is much harder than many entrepreneurs anticipate.
If you want help improving your SaaS startup’s user acquisition rates, there are a number of moves you can make. With laser focus and a commitment to customer satisfaction, you can increase your startup’s odds of long-term success.
Review the following 10 tips for improved customer acquisition rates to see which ones can give your startup the “hockey stick” growth rates so many startups long for.
1) If you want to improve your startup’s user acquisition rates, fine-tuning your sales funnel is a must. It’s not enough to know you want to increase your customer base and improve your retention rate; you must have a detailed strategy in place to ensure you reduce your startup’s churn rate. Your team must understand the difference between customer acquisition and lead conversion. \
They must know how to guide a sales lead from the awareness stage to the conversion stage. If their lead nurturing skills aren’t strong, your company’s ability to guide potential customers through your sales funnel is going to be mediocre at best. Make it your mission to optimize every component of your startup’s sales funnel for success and your customer conversion rates will soar.
2) SaaS startups should consider creating a detailed chatbot strategy for increased customer acquisition rates. Chatbots are becoming an integral part of customer conversations. From a chatbot on your website offering 24/7 sales support to a voice-activated chatbot for Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices, integrating chatbots into your user acquisition strategy can give you a sizable advantage over your bot-less competitors.
Understand the questions potential customers ask of your support team on a regular basis, and then program your chatbots to offer the relevant information. Chatbots will eventually become a must-have marketing tool; outshine your competitors by doubling-down on chatbots early.
3) Referral and affiliate marketing can increase your SaaS startup’s growth rate significantly. If you want to attract more customers to your company, doesn’t it make sense to reward those who are sending you sales leads? Whether you work with an existing affiliate marketing network or create your own in-house referral program, upping your marketing game with affiliate commissions/referrals is an excellent growth option to consider.
4) Forum marketing is another tool SaaS startups should consider incorporating into their overall user acquisition strategy. While many startups know about marketing on Reddit or ProductHunt, far fewer know how to uncover niche-specific forums where their target customers are conversing online. Use a forum search engine like BoardReader.com to discover niche communities filled with your startup’s dream customers.
Whether you’re looking for B2B customers, small business owners, communities of freelancers, or stay-at-home parents, you can find your startup’s target customers by investigating online forums. Once you discover the forums where your potential customers are having online conversations, you’ll kick yourself for not using a tool like BoardReader sooner.
5) Related to online forums, hosting AMA sessions (ask me anything) with members of your startup’s team is a great way to acquire new sales leads. Host an AMA session on Reddit, Periscope, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Let your audience pepper your team member with questions and have your startup’s representative answer their queries in real time.
Hosting AMA sessions shows customers your team isn’t just reading from a sales script and is willing to engage with their audience on their audience’s terms. The questions your SaaS startup receives in an AMA session can provide powerful insights to further your inbound marketing and content marketing efforts.
6) Speaking of content marketing, one of the smartest moves you can make as a SaaS startup is to develop a detailed business blogging strategy early. Include everything from posts on your startup’s blog to guest posts on sites like Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, or Inc.com.
Discover which websites relevant to your target audience accept guest posts, and then submit content to these posts to grow your digital footprint. It’s easy to discover business blogging opportunities if you Google “contributor guidelines” + a keyword relevant to your target niche.
Some of the most successful startups started their blogging efforts early and stuck with it even when there was little to no reaction to their content. Remember that blogging for your startup isn’t just about attracting readers. Search engines index fresh content and increase your odds of being found by potential customers online.
7) One effective marketing initiative many SaaS startups overlook is updating team members on the status of current outreach efforts. It is imperative every member of your startup understands your company’s current marketing strategy, which methods you’re using to improve user acquisition rates, and how your marketing outreach efforts are progressing.
A team that feels involved in their startup’s marketing efforts is much likelier to go out of their way to assist with brand growth. From sharing your SaaS startup’s marketing messages on their personal social media profiles to encouraging their network to read your business’ blog posts, you can significantly increase the spread of your marketing messages when you include your entire team in the process.
8) Don’t overlook the potential of using websites like Eventbrite.com or Meetup.com to uncover opportunities to engage with customers. Chances are mighty good you’ll find a host of events in your area where you can connect with potential users for your SaaS startup. Use the search function on these websites to hunt for conferences, trade shows, and community gatherings where you can build your network and introduce your startup to new connections.
Don’t worry if you don’t come out of these meetings with a bunch of sales leads; simply by introducing yourself and your startup to others, you increase your odds of acquiring new customers. The people you meet at these events might not need the services of your SaaS startup, but there’s a chance the people in their network might. Continue to expand your network and you’ll eventually attract new customers to your company.
9) If you want to learn how to improve your startup’s user acquisition rate, consider paying close attention to the user experience of your website and mobile app. UX (user experience) can make or break a startup; failure to ensure potential customers have a smooth experience interacting with your company can send them running into the digital arms of your competitors.
Hire a UX designer and conduct regular website and app audits to ensure all components of your user’s experience are optimized for customer satisfaction.
10) Automate sales processes when you can to give your team more time to work on acquiring new customers. If your team is repeatedly performing the same tasks, automating those processes allows them to direct their attention elsewhere.
Work with your team members to understand which aspects of their jobs they think could benefit from automation, and then work with your software team to make the necessary changes. Sometimes little tweaks to your processes can have a significant impact on your customer acquisition rates.
Incorporate these 10 tips for improved user acquisition rates into your SaaS startup’s growth strategy and you’ll be impressed at how quickly your company can grow.
Not only can you increase your sales rates and profit margins, but your increased traction is also likely to make your SaaS startup even more attractive to potential investors. Who knows what the future holds if you start getting multiple investors investigating your startup!
SaaS Startup Marketing – 10 Tips for Improved User Acquisition Rates
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