Lead generation is part of a much broader life cycle through which individuals or companies transition from strangers to customers. No two lead generation tactics are qualified equally. Regardless, if SaaS companies are to succeed, they must acquire and nurture those leads as part of their marketing strategies.
In this article, we’ll examine some lead generation strategies you can use for your SaaS company. We'll also provide a simple guide to getting started with your lead generation campaigns, plus a few tips to help you get more valuable leads.
SaaS Lead Generation Strategies
Launch a bare-bones MVP
This is particularly effective for SaaS businesses that want to capture leads for upcoming product features. Through the lean model, businesses can learn more about their existing customers’ preferences and attract other leads with the faintest interest in a minimum viable product (MVP).
If a user were to become interested in your product at such an early stage, imagine how valuable the product would be once it is fully outfitted.
Add premium features to a freemium plan
Free trials aren’t fading anytime soon. If you truly want to get some eyes on your product, a free offer for a limited time will still be effective. SaaS companies can include premium features in these offerings as teasers of what customers should expect upon upgrading to a paid plan.
It is easier to convert free trial users since they can try your amazing solution while making no financial commitment. Free trials lower the entry barrier for members unsure of their options. And this lessened friction translates to a smoother sales funnel and more leads.
Build active online communities
These online communities allow you to engage in genuine dialogue with your potential and existing customers. Also called “a family of invisible friends”, they are a fantastic avenue to interact with your target audience and explore finer details about what they seek from the solutions offered by your SaaS company.
Depending on your industry, channels to raise these communities range from subreddits, Pinterest group boards, Facebook groups, to Instagram hashtags and Twitter lists.
Building online communities exceeds the two-dimensional world of basic social media activities. It should be a long-term vision to connect people with insights, ideas, and opinions of others around a particular topic.
Reports as old as seven years back found that over 70% of B2B buyers use social media circles like LinkedIn groups to support their purchasing decisions. Nonetheless, when building this tribe of quality leads, think less about your brand and more about the human element that will entice people to join.
Hosting events with industry experts, especially one partnered with social media influencers, is a smart way to engage targeted user groups. The target audience will appreciate it because you’re enabling them to get free industry-inclusive sessions that deliver answers to resolving their problems. Oftentimes, these leads are simply glad to connect with their peers in other SaaS companies.
These events can be as light as fun sessions on Twitter spaces, to carefully planned Zoom seminars. In the end, the interaction will pave the way for a lasting rapport that will eventually convert strangers into paying customers.
Provide live chat support on your website
Live chat support integrations allow SaaS businesses to capture and nurture leads by reaching visitors who are still very interested in the product. The technology allows SaaS marketers to hold more conversations and reduce the time each lead spends waiting for a response, enabling a stellar customer experience and increasing lead conversion.
Optimize website speed
The slower a website loads, the higher its bounce rate. Slow-loading websites also rank lower on search engines, not to mention a poor customer experience that leads to more drop-offs. If such an issue can hinder purchase, it will also stifle lead generation efforts.
A responsive site opens up tremendous opportunities beyond lead acquisition. Thus, SaaS companies should invest in the proper technological infrastructure for their websites.
Create gated content
Gated content on a website is all the exclusive content that users can access by providing their contact information, usually an email address. Such content might include white papers, quarterly marketing reports, or even in-depth articles that cover certain trends.
It is no longer enough to create content. To truly stand out, software companies need to publish content that positions their brands as an authority in their industries. Gated content provides that opportunity, along with providing SaaS marketers direct exposure to high-quality leads.
Getting Started with SaaS Lead Generation
Consumers are always on the hunt for the perfect platform that can solve their problems and make their lives easier. For SaaS companies, given the abundance of options available to them, creating an effective lead generation strategy can be challenging. Where do you start? There is no right answer.
Many marketers have found it insightful to study how other SaaS companies in their industry nurture leads. Your marketing team might want to begin with Salesforce or any of the abundant useful tools on HubSpot's resources.
Alternatively, if you are looking for more tailored guidance, you can always refer to what worked for you in the past. Look back on how you enrolled your earliest customers, what features you offer, and even the lead generation KPIs you used to gauge your efforts.
Lead generation can be a slow process. Only about 10-15% of leads will end up becoming loyal paying customers. Nevertheless, those leads will increase your reach via word-of-mouth, allowing you to gain newer leads. Think of it this way: if you invest in a marketing strategy to generate leads, you are actually making a future sale.