Generating first customers for your SaaS startup requires a lot of time. Time in the early days of any is scarce. There’s so much work to be done that you don’t know what to work on first. But in order to stay afloat, you need a steady flow of customers.
Woodpecker got its first customers through cold emailing. Yet, there are other ways that can support the lead generation process in your company.
In today’s article, Deepti Jain from Aeroleads will tell you a bit about those other ways of generating leads for your startup.
7 Growth Hacks For Your SaaS Startup
How many startups actually succeed in getting customers? You’ll be surprised to know that not many of them find success. In fact, a Harvard Business School study shows that approximately 75 percent of startups with venture funding eventually fail.
The primary reason is the inability to generate leads. No matter what your business model is, lead generation is imperative. Having said that, generating leads takes commitment and when you are just finding your foot in the industry, you need to work really hard to get customers.
Growth – fast growth – is what every budding company aims for. To achieve this fast growth- you need to follow some strategies coupled with hard work.
Hack #1: Tell your story in a compelling video
Think of it this way – you are introducing your brand, or a product, or service that you offer to your niche that doesn’t know anything about you. Try making a video in which you describe what your mission is and how you are going to help your prospects.
Before you ask yourself, “Would a prospect even care to watch a video?” Let me tell you that 72% of B2B buyers watch videos throughout their entire path to purchase! Crazy, right?
Here’s how you can amplify your chances of lead generation by leveraging an introductory video:
Figure out what you want to tell
If you make a video without a plan, then it is highly unlikely that anyone will even watch it till the end. Plan how you’re going to tell your story. And that is easily done by building an interesting plot that will compel the audience to research a bit more about your product.
Call to Action
We are done with the hardest part. Whew! But there’s still a lot to do. Like adding something that will compel your audience into taking action.
Say, for example, John was so enthralled by your video that he watched it to the end and he wants to give your product a chance, but wait… he doesn’t know what to do in order to buy your product. Don’t make this drastic mistake.
Place a relevant Call to Action that will direct your audience into doing what you want them to do – what to do next? Where to go next? How to buy it? And so on…
Your introductory video is staged – there’s no doubt about it.
But think of a spontaneous video where your customer is talking about your product. Such a video will make you more trustworthy in the eyes of a website visitor.
If you are not sure of how to go about making an introductory video, then the best way is to hire a professional.
Hack #2: Leverage social media
When your SaaS is at the starting stage, you can never have enough tools in your arsenal. And Social Media marketing is one effective tool. And the best part is it costs little to no money. Channels like Facebook and Twitter can be a great lead generation power tool.
Why is social media marketing important for generating leads?
- Social media marketing is an amazing way of getting some exposure and traffic.
- It develops loyal customers.
- It establishes you as a thought leader among the crowd.
- You can tap into a large audience via social media channels.
- You can build credibility and authority.
As you see, the benefits are bountiful. But how to go about using social media in B2B? Here are some tips.
Choose your social media channel wisely
With the overabundance of options, social media marketing might end up overwhelming you. But who said anything about using all the channels? The key is to determine what channel(s) is the best option for your business.
Offer relevant and valuable content
It’s the most talked-about tip… except it’s not really a tip. Isn’t it rather obvious that people are going to show interest in your product only if they find the content relevant and helpful? You can easily establish yourself as a thought leader by regularly updating your networks with valuable in-depth information related to your business domain.
Don’t go overboard with the promotional content
One survey shows that 46 percent of social media users will unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages. Simply because people are following you to find something helpful, not to see how great your product is. The best way to analyze if you are doing too much promotion is by using the 80/20 Pareto Principle. Your organic content should have a percentage of 80 percent while you can include 20 percent of promotional content to your page.
Hack #3: Generate leads with content marketing
Content marketing may be indispensable for your b2b startup.
Why is Content Marketing emerging as a necessity?
- It is the most inexpensive way to support your SEO efforts and to boost your Google rankings.
- Helps in building a lasting relationship with your customers.
- Create thought leadership among the niche audience.
- Boost your brand recognition by integrating social shares with your content.
- Increase your brand’s visibility in the industry.
That being said, don’t expect quick results from the Content Marketing strategy. It takes time and patience before people actually start noticing your content and your brand.
A webinar is the best way to interact with your prospects and wow them into going further down the sales funnel. Make landing pages, calls to action and blog posts about your webinars to attract viewers.
Hack #4: Cold emailing
Despite being touted as an outdated option by some, email is still at the forefront of generating massive leads and handsome ROI (Return on investment).
You can boost your leads by crafting a crisp, informative template – but is it enough? Not really!
Here are some tips on creating a successful email campaign to generate leads:
- Make your subject line quirky, engaging and customer-oriented.
- Write in a simple, crisp and persuasive language without being overtly salesy.
- Use attractive sub-headings and bullets to break up the text.
- Make sure that the emails are mobile-friendly.
- Clearly articulate how your product and services will be helpful to the prospect.
Hack #5: Find influencers
Influencers have considerable authority over the decisions of their followers. And the best part is, outsiders have a better chance of persuading your customer base as they are normal and low-key, therefore, somewhat relatable to the audience.
And that can prove to be remarkably empowering for your SaaS startup.
Check these tips on How to Pick and Reach out to Influencers With Email? >>
Hack #6: Build a Partner Program
Partner Program is a proven way to accelerate the growth of your SaaS. Partners are both your product’s resellers and brand advocates. Not only do they acquire new customers for your business, but they also spread the word about your product and make it get noticed.
Are you considering getting started with your SaaS Partner Program? Find out more on How to Find and Pitch to Partners >>
Hack #7: Drive traffic to your SaaS website with Google Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing or Google Ads is a way to place your ads all over the search engine so as to bring visitors to your website. No one can really ignore them so it is a sure way of generating leads and drive traffic to your website.
But, such campaigns might exhaust your budget pretty quickly. Thus, make sure to engineer your Google AdWords properly to acquire maximum profit in the minimum amount of time.
Hack #8: Affiliate marketing
You probably don’t even know but chances are you click on multiple affiliate marketing links each week. Same way, you can use affiliate marketing to generate leads for your website.
Here’s how you do Affiliate Marketing: First, you recruit an affiliate who will integrate affiliate links- directing to your product- into their blog posts. You have to pay them some commission whether according to the sales they generate or on a flat fee per product basis.
Hack #9: Use integrations as a growth strategy
Integrations not only supercharge your app with extra functionalities but also expose your SaaS to a wider customer base. The customers of your integration partners are likely to become your own clients too when they notice the value your tool may bring to their workflow. It’s a chance to kill two birds with one stone.
Hack #10: Increase your brand exposure
Yeah, but how to do that on a bootstrapped startup budget? – you may ask yourself. Well, actually to spread the word about your brand you don’t need to have a huge budget to spend on a PR Agency at all.
You can do it all by yourself. The only thing you need is the right strategy. First find a topic to write a press release about, then build a database of journalists and editors who might be interested in publishing it and get in touch with them. To make the process more efficient it’s best to contact them via email, which is easy to scale and personalize on a high level at the same time.
Thank you for the article, Deepti. I think those 7 growth tactics are something every start-up marketer and salesperson should know about.
If any of you, readers, would love to know more about AeroLeads, we reviewed the tool in our list building tools series. Read it here: Prospect List Building Tools Vol. 7: Aeroleads >>