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In the growing sea of online vendors, modern-day brands are continuously struggling to earn that prime spot in the eyes of their customer base. For businesses selling products and physical goods, it’s safe to say that the Ecommerce arena is far from a friendly one or easy to penetrate. But for SaaS companies, the struggle becomes all the more complicated and burdensome, since the typical customer journey cannot be summarized into a landing page, a checkout page, or a single touchpoint of any nature.
On the contrary, SaaS businesses are at the same time in a better position to understand and refine their customer lifecycle, but also constantly exposed to performance gaps and missing links that could lead to losing customers. SaaS offers come with that unique layer of commitment, and that is often much more difficult to sell than a single-use product, no matter how affordable the software might be.
Overcoming certain hurdles in the interaction SaaS companies have with customers is the key to increasing conversion rates for the long haul. Add to that, adapting your digital presence and implementing smart, tech-based solutions can further contribute to growing your ROI and your conversions. To help you on that journey, here are the main SaaS-friendly steps for smarter CRO and higher conversions down the line.
Establish a powerful referral program
As confident as you are in your own software, customers are often reluctant to commit to your solution simply because there are so many others out there resembling yours, but perhaps with a more appealing feature or two, or simply more affordable. When you promote your brand, customers will trust you to an extent before they are convinced that you keep your promises. But to even give you the chance to do that, they’ll be far more likely to sign up if your existing customers toot your horn instead.
SaaS companies will experience much higher conversions when they transform customers into brand advocates. Then again, they also need the right incentive for such a gesture, especially if they’re about to recommend a costly solution to a partnering business. Make sure that your referral program is appealing to your trusted customers and use it to generate more leads that are bound to sign up.
Offer unparalleled customer support
Another common SaaS-specific issue is that your product is never truly done. Your developers are always looking for ways to improve it based on customer feedback and performance metrics of all sorts, but customers are faced with a unique challenge: they need to adapt and keep learning about your changing software in order to use it. Plus, they pay for it every month.
This kind of commitment calls for ongoing support for your customers, because without it, you risk losing not just an individual paying for your software, but their positive review and their referral. Think of support as a chance to boost customer experience and to get to know each individual subscriber. Collecting such customer-specific data will help you market your solutions more effectively and offer specific upgrades to each customer while you help refine their experience with specific setbacks they’ve had with your business. Such levels of support are much more likely to bring in more customers and lead to long-lasting paid subscriptions.
Shape customer perception with social proof
In addition to referrals, social proof can become a goldmine of lead opportunities for your SaaS business. The notion of social proof is our basic need as people to confirm the validity and trustworthiness of a service we’re about to pay for by seeing other people trust that same service. If a website visitor can see that their peers and like-minded individuals are expressing interest in your software, they will be much more likely to go through with the purchase, or at the very least, sign up for the free trial.
To achieve that effect, SaaS companies often use a conversion rate optimization tool that generates simple notifications whenever a purchase or a sign-up occurs, thus increasing the interest of any present website visitors to do the same. It’s simple, non-intrusive, and it helps create a powerful image of your business, thus enhancing your reputation and increasing conversions at a single go.
Cross-sell and up-sell regularly
Research goes well in your favor when it comes to using these two famous methods to grow your revenue. As it turns out, research shows that it’s 50% easier to sell to existing customers than to bring in new subscribers, and this is your opportunity to shine.
- Use customer support communication to offer additional software features that they might find uniquely useful.
- Pricing layers can help ease your customers into more expensive options, so make sure that you have enough tiers.
- Use your customer data to know what kind of additional offers you can make based on their personal experience, and you’ll increase your cross-selling potential dramatically.
- Invite customer reviews so that they can see how each tier of service genuinely works and to know what to expect. They will always be more likely to trust an authentic review than your own representation of your software potential.
Understand every step of the customer journey
There are no fixed patterns or ideal recommendations as to how you can use each customer touchpoint to your advantage. In fact, trying to use a single viewpoint for all of your customers increases your risk to lose them all somewhere along the line. Maybe the vast majority of your most qualified leads come from your Free Trial landing page, but that doesn’t mean that you should devote all of your time to that single touchpoint to refine it.
To actually activate those users and not lose them over time, perhaps you need to reach out in a week and check if they need any help using your software. Some will respond better if they are informed about new features they might find appealing. Conduct a thorough analysis of your customer journey to see which touchpoints have room for improvements and when you should interact with customers more to inspire them to sign up.
Yes, running a SaaS business has its hurdles, including that of the more complex customer lifecycle, but each and every setback can be transformed into an advantage with the right strategy. The listed steps all have the necessary potential to help your business boost conversion rates over time, so it’s up to you to make sure they are strategically implemented into your operations and that you are prepared to embrace the learning process that comes with this industry. Appealing to software customers will always be a challenge, one that can be made much easier to tackle with these targeted steps.
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.