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The Heavy Hitters Step Up to the Plate – SaaS Marketing Essentials

agile payments round up #1 topAs SaaS marketers know, trust is a key factor in running a successful business. Getting customers to sign up for a Free Trial of your software may, at first, be the result of a strong indoctrination process that gets prospects to know, like, and trust your product. It’s trust that makes buying a product or service easier. Sometimes trust is required to even get prospects to sign up for the Free Trial.

Some vendors are able to build trust in the very process of having prospects evaluate their product or service, which can make it far easier for that prospect to arrive at a buying decision. The stakes have raised. Not only must companies trust the SaaS product, but it’s critical that they trust the service provider.

There’s an entire economy of marketers who lecture on the merits of SaaS and what service providers can do to boost free trial conversions. Here are three home run hitters who can smash the ball into next week.

Sam Laber (http://www.datanyze.com/) - A marketing professional who understands the nuances of good customer service and business development across an array of platforms. Here are some of Sam's pearls of wisdom for getting prospects to try a free trial offer:

  • If free trials are important to your business, make sure you get that message across to your prospects and customers. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of times a call-to-action (CTAs) is hidden out of sight on a separate page or at the bottom of a web page where they’re impossible to spot.
  • Help prospects buy in. The marketer’s message, online or at a tradeshow, must help potential customers see the value in the product. Their job, as a marketer, is to analyze a customer’s movements with respect to the free trial offer. If on a website, how long did the customer remain on a page? How often are they logging in to the trial offer? Are they spending quality time during each session?
  • Create a how-to video. Nothing can get the message across like a video. Send an email with a how-to video thanking your customers for signing up for the free trial. It’s worth it, even if you made the video yourself.

Pierre Lechelle (http://www.pierrelechelle.com/) – As an SaaS marketer and growth hacker, Pierre is the go-to guy for helping businesses create a compelling online presence through innovate web marketing techniques. He understands the Internet and how users navigate the online concourse. Customers who are looking for SaaS free trial offers are looking for the best source. Websites now have to be mobile-friendly. The use of mobile devices has grown and will continue to grow exponentially.

Here are some suggestions about handling customers who reach a site:

  • Work on onboarding. Your value proposition should explain how your customers will benefit from an SaaS trial period.
  • Experiment with different approaches in asking for credit card information. While such information can increase the quality of your leads, it might also reduce the quantity of your leads.
  • Just remember that people may not always be ready to convert. It may take time. It’s worth being patient.

agile payments round up #1 middleJay Draper (http://www.mirasmart.com/) – Over 25 years of professional IT experience has made Jay an expert in engineering, support, and the administration of information systems. By nature, he understands what customer service is supposed to deliver.

Here’s some advice Jay has for SaaS providers looking to increase their free trial conversion rates:

  • It’s never about sales. It’s about listening to the customer to find out what they need and what motivates them. Your product has to answer their needs.
  • Address the pricing and timing of your offer. Make your prospects an offer they can't refuse.
  • Reach out to your customers in a personal way and stay on their mind.
  • Successfully boosting free Trial conversions of SaaS software doesn't happen by chance. It takes a concentrated effort.
  • Email Marketing
  • Email is one of the most effective ways to engage and educate new prospects. Just over 25% of SaaS companies utilize email marketing campaigns. There’s plenty of room for growth. Email marketing can turn active users into paying customers.
  • Personalize Your Emails
  • Building a personal relationship with only generic emails can be a challenge. Include their name, contact information, and Twitter handle if you can.
  • Provide Your Customers with Clear Instructions
  • Don’t leave your customers with any confusion in their minds about how to get started. Ideally, your customers should be able to use the product as soon as they have access. Clearly spell out their instructions.
  • Write a Call to Action with Clarity

The goal, whether on your website or through email marketing, is to activate the customer. Encourage and prompt them to login as often as they can within their free trial period. Make sure to send out several emails during the trial period. Prompt your users to join a monthly webinar.

This is good idea to deploy once you see that your user list is growing. Always make the webinar convenient for the majority. Provide a link to your video and presentation. Content is still king, and your community will be impressed that you're staying on top of the things that count.

For users who are actively engaged, extend their free trial period. Just don't extend the period for too long. The goal is to encourage active customers to become buying customers. Remember, SaaS providers, success is about educating your prospects and building trust.

 

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