According to Statista, the SaaS market is expected to reach $208 billion by 2023.
There have been tons of experiments going around in the SaaS industry that resulted in countless strategies that businesses use to grow. But a strategy that’s helping one business grow might not work for others, which also implies that there’s no set standard.
However, there are some tried-and-true practices that you can use to improve your user onboarding process and scale your business. In this article, we’ll discuss these practices that you can use to improve SaaS conversion and retention to increase revenue and help your company grow.
SaaS Best Practices
All growth drivers for a SaaS company revolve around a seamless user onboarding process and customer conversion and retention.
It’s an ongoing process of familiarizing your potential customers with your product/service so that you can close more deals and help users get the maximum benefit from your offerings.
Here’s a list of the best practices that you can use to scale your business and improve revenue.
Know Your Targeted Audience
The first step is to know who your target audience is, and what their pain points and needs are. You need to understand what drives your potential customers to make purchasing decisions. One of the best ways to know more about your target audience is to create buyer personas, based on market research and data.
You’ll need to create these fictional representations by considering key demographics, such as gender, age, interests, income levels, job title, and location. It’ll allow you to create marketing strategies that’ll reach and engage your potential customers effectively.
Understand the Competition
It’s critically important for a SaaS company to understand what its competitors are doing. Take a look at their marketing strategies and materials to figure out what’s working for them and what’s not.
It’ll allow you to figure out where they’re lacking to position your business as a better option for your target audience to increase your sales.
Offer a Free Trial
You can offer a free trial to your leads to encourage them to become your real customers. As a SaaS company, you don’t need to deal with shipping and return costs, which means there’s nothing (or very less) to lose in offering free trials.
Both opt-in and opt-out free trials can help you increase your conversion rate. According to stats, companies offering opt-in free trials experience a 25% conversion rate, and businesses with opt-out free trials experience a 60% conversion rate.
When offering free trials, it’s important to make sure that it’s risk-free and easy to understand and sign up for customers.
Define the User Journey
This is where things get crucial. Once a user signs up for a free trial or paid subscription, you need to take them by hand and suggest a clear journey.
Keep in mind that 63% of customers consider that the level of support they get during the onboarding process is one of the key factors they consider while making their buying decision. In addition, 74% of potential customers will move to other options if they find the onboarding process too difficult.
You need to think from the user’s perspective, who might be thinking:
Why am I spending time on this solution and why should I invest my money in it?
You need to keep the users motivated through your user journey that provides guided assistance and an immediate action plan. This way, most of the users will go for your suggestions and make their buying decision.
Utilize the Power of Onboarding Emails
You must have automated campaigns that send emails to all the users who sign up for your free trial or buy a subscription. These emails should have valuable content and easy-to-follow instructions that allow users to understand how your product/service works.
Regular email marketing campaigns keep customers excited and eager, which means they’re more likely to read and engage with your communication. Make sure that you take full advantage of this channel to help users understand how they can get the most out of the SaaS product.
You can also explain the features of your product and tell your users why your SaaS program is the best option for them. It’ll increase your retention rate and help new customers get the most value out of your service.
Offer Interactive In-app Guidance
According to stats, 86% of customers say that they’ll stay loyal to a business that offers onboarding content and keeps them educated after they’ve made the purchase. Additionally, 78% of customers withdraw their plan because of poor customer experience.
Therefore, it’s important to offer interactive guidance righ in the product to provide a great onboarding experience to your users and keep them from leaving. Step-by-step product tours and onboarding checklists are the tools you should be looking for.
You don’t want your customers to misunderstand the objectives of certain features of your product either. It’ll make them leave your SaaS solution and increase the churn rate. Use tooltips to explain unituitive features and provide contextual help righ in your app.
Also, your software should provide self-service that helps customers use the application easily without needing to wait for your live support. You can utilize the power of in-app help center (the Life Ring Button). Don't forget to connect it with your knowledge base. Your customers can access these resources on-demand to understand how your software works without having to contact your support.
Create Referral and Affiliate Programs
A referral program is about rewarding your existing customers to improve your retention rate. You can offer small bonuses, discounts, or free valuable content to users who use your referral program and get their friends or family members to sign up for your service.
According to a study, 92% of customers trust earned media like personal recommendations from people they know. So, a referral program is a great way to increase your sales and retention rate.
You can also create an affiliate program, which will allow your customers to market your service on their own channels and earn rewards. It’ll increase your sales and keep your affiliates loyal. A study shows that affiliate programs account for up to 30% of a SaaS company’s total sales.
Security and Compliance
Educated SaaS customers are concerned about the personal information that they share with you during the signing-up process. It’s your responsibility to inform your customers that their information is in safe hands. Plus, you also need to explain how you’re going to use that information to improve their experience.
You need to use advanced security protocols to make sure that your software solution doesn’t fall victim to breaches and cyberattacks. If you have remote teams, you’ll need to use VPN services to provide your employees with secure remote access to your internal network. There are countless VPN services available in the market, with NordVPN or Surfshark being just a couple of the most commonly used worldwide.
Follow Up on Previous Customers
The lifecycle of your customer shouldn’t end when they make their first purchase. It’s important to keep in touch with your lost/previous customers and send follow-up emails to them.
Consider informing them about the new features of your product/service (if any) and send useful information that encourages them to check your software out again. You can also share a case study, explaining how your existing customers are using your solution to reach new heights.
Don’t Forget About SEO and Social Media
Starting social media pages and groups on different channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, is a great SaaS marketing technique to reach new potential customers. You can also utilize the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to target the right set of people who can become your loyal customers.
You’ll also need to continuously work on your website performance to improve its speed and make its interface intuitive and easy to understand/use.
Plus, it’s also important to have a dedicated blog that offers free (valuable) content, which will help your product to rank better on search engines and help your target audience understand why they need it.
Even if you have a SaaS solution that fills the gap present in the market and fulfils the needs of the target audience, it won’t work if you don’t use the right SaaS practices.
Your product should have a clear vision and it must be communicated to your potential customers so that they can feel comfortable and have a grip over it. It’ll make the onboarding process easy for the users and help them make the most out of your product/service.
The best SaaS practices discussed in this guide will help you increase your sales and improve your retention rate. At the same time, they’ll help your customers achieve their goals using your solution as well.
Remember, seeing from the customers’ perspective and creating a user journey accordingly is the best way to achieve success.