Right now, trends show there’s a great moment for developing software as a service businesses. According to PwC Global Software Leaders report
„Subscription revenue (including SaaS) is forecast to grow at a 17.5% compounded annual rate, reaching 24% of total software revenue by 2016”.
What about you, are you ready to take advantage of the trend and increase your slice of the revenue?
SaaS are businesses for which online conversions are crucial. Along with retaining customers as long as possible, getting fresh conversions should be one of the main objectives of any SaaS business. But how can you get more leads or subscribers and maintain all the while an advantageous investment/return ratio?
The answer lies in the very nature of software as a service. From a marketing perspective, the main characteristics of SaaS are:
1. it’s based on a monthly fee. However, clients can give up whenever they want.it can be globally accessible
2. clients don’t need dedicated or even partial resources to manage it
3. clients don’t need to invest in additional hardware, but they need to be sure the software they’re using is secure and runs perfectly
What influences in a critical way the business model of a SaaS and the way it can be marketed, is the monthly fee. Unlike traditional licensed software that gets the entire tax in 1 payment, SaaS relies on small tranches of revenue that are delivered each month.
In this particular situation, growth and development can be achieved only by increasing the adoption rate (conversions) among people who visit the website and by trying to transform the current customers into loyal customers.
Given the fact that conversion takes place on your website, the idea that you should optimize your website, the user experience and the way you present your product should be the key to your marketing actions.
So, what can you do to increase conversions on your SaaS website?
Define your goals and the KPI’s to measure them
If you are a start-up you’ll probably need to build an image first, gain some micro-conversions, and build a database of first sign-ups. Your conversions can be anything from the number of downloads of a guide to the number of free trial sign-ups. Depending on these goals, create on your website the visual display that encourages conversions.
You want to make them sign up for a free month of usage so that they get to know your product and be persuaded by its qualities?
You want them to fill a form so that they can be contacted later by your sales team?
Well then emphasize the paths to these conversions by every mean. Zendesk.com is surely not a start-up, they’re more like a top customer service software, but their landing page is a classic example of how SaaS conversions should be encouraged through design and well-placed call to action.
Get their email
Conversions at first view are hard to get, so make sure you have the plan B prepared. In this case, a plan to get your visitors’ email and remarket the product through email campaigns. How to do that? Give them something valuable in exchange for their information: a guide, a demo, a white paper or a free consultation.
This is how Salesforce.com, the sales app, gets their information about visitors and possible future customers. Free trials are available only after filling in a form. And they not only ask for the email, but also for other key information that will help them assess the potential of a client and further personalize the offers they send him:
Email is a great channel for reinitiating communication and for keeping visitors informed. Maybe they didn’t get everything right from the beginning, and you can deliver more compelling information. Maybe you can offer them something more tailored to their current needs: free registration, free 24 h assistance, and ideas for implementation for 2 months.
Give the visitors reasons to trust your application. Address their concerns about security and compliance.
There are Saas who work with important data, sometimes directly on the client’s website or database. That’s why they have to run impeccably. To communicate this, and to make prospects feel comfortable with using the application, use trust labels. Provide assurance to your visitors and possible customers. Make your application secure, acquire labels that are relevant to your industry, and display them.
That’s what Surveymonkey.com does, even if they’re not really emphasizing it (trust labels are placed in the footer of the home page).
Testimonials are great if you want to prove that your quality and efficiency arguments are not supported only by you, but by clients as well.
You can use classical testimonials from clients (the “quote” model).
Pardot.com found a way to make this more authentic. They created a board with real tweets from enthusiastic collaborators and clients. It’s a very simple and creative way to show that these testimonials were not requested, they were actually spontaneous.
There is another alternative to classical testimonials. You can just combine personalized interactions with testimonials. Just think about it: what if you could prompt testimonials that are more relevant to each visitor, depending on the keyword they searched for or the campaign he accessed?
You can build this kind of personalized testimonials with Omniconvert, the 3 in 1 conversion tool.
Let’s say your visitors came from an advertorial that talks about the efficiency of your Saas in the food industry. Thanks to the segmentation functionality, when arriving on site, these visitors could receive a testimonial from someone from the food industry that has used the Saas with spectacular results. This way you also create continuity between your advertising promises and your landing page arguments.
Similarly, a visitor that came from an Adwords campaign aimed at professionals from the fashion industry will get a testimonial from someone that used the Saas with great success for his fashion business.
Display On-exit messages
Services are hard to present in just one sentence or in a few seconds (that’s how much the majority of visitors stay on a website). To convince them to spend some more time, things have to be engaging and to attract his attention. Then you can unravel the rest of the information, the functionalities of the Saas and the advantages of your offer. If you fail at doing so, you always have a second chance: the on-exit messages.
Whenever one of your target visitors wants to leave the website without taking any noticeable action towards conversion, you can try to reengage him by prompting an on-exit message. Ideally, a message that gives him something that will make up his mind about trying the product.
Here’s how Clicktale.com applied this tactic on its website:
These were just a few ideas about the e-marketing initiatives you can take to start the selling cycle for your SaaS. You can always test and see what works better for your SaaS.
If you want to experiment more and see how to increase conversions for SaaS, try Omniconvert!
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!