The 5 Tips You Need to Generate SaaS Leads
Written by Diane Chelius, Account Manager
SaaS clients have a stereotype of moving really fast and they want results right away. Most SaaS companies love data and willingly dig into their account to find what works and are actively working on how more people could utilize their software. Below are 5 of my top tips on how to generate leads for this special type of client.
Learn, Live, and Breathe the Service
During the onboarding process make sure you ask to participate in the demo of the service, to subscribe to their newsletter, blog, or any other content available. By learning as much as you can about their software, you are not only learning how to market the software to their target audience, but you are proving to the client that you are an extension of their marketing department and not just a vendor that pulls levels in AdWords. Advertising a service is next to impossible if you don’t understand every facet the software and your ad copy will sound generic instead of using the limited character count to get in the key components on why this service is important.
While you are learning about your client’s product, investing time to study the competitors is beneficial. Sign up for Google alerts or also follow their competitors on social media. During the onboarding stage have the client tell you who they consider their major competitors and what advantages that competitor has over the client, but also what advantages your client has over their competitors. Knowing this information will help you with writing new call to actions or new ad extensions highlighting your client’s advantages, especially if your ad appears alongside the competitor’s ad.
Going into Adwords and pulling Auction Insights is a handy tool and completing this exercise every quarter will allow you to see what new competitors are appearing on the Paid scene and if any competitors have dropped off the list. When showing your results to the client, they might not know about these competitors and sharing these new competitors can help your client’s overall strategy in dealing with their competitors.
Work That Sales Funnel
Typically, software as a service clients have a lot of chances for a user to learn about the product by having a blog about how to use the software or whitepapers on why the software is useful. If any of this content is gated, ask your client for a process for you to have the email addresses for creating a customer match list. These are lower funnel opportunities that have already engaged with your client in some sort of way but may not have signed up for that free trial, or participated in a full demo of the service.
With one of my clients, we tested out a customer match list for Gmail ads and saw 10 conversions come through in the first week. This was a big lift because the account normally received 80-90 conversions a month. When I created the Gmail campaign I also excluded their current customer emails and the AdWords generated list of converters. To make this technique impactful, you have to work with the client to refresh this list so your inventory doesn’t fall short.
Once you have leads coming through your paid search channels, it is crucial to talk to the client about the quality of leads. By building trust and focusing on a partnership early on in the relationship, it is easier to have these conversations because you want to ensure that the leads you are helping to generate are high quality as well as quantity. It can take some time and adjustments in AdWords to get the right leads, and with help from the client, this can be accelerated.
If the client uses a CRM like Salesforce and can be integrated with AdWords, explain about the importance of knowing which keywords or ads generated the leads that were real opportunities for the client and later turned into customers. For my client, we realized a campaign I created did drive about 20% of their leads, but the quality of the leads was poor so we made the decision to turn this campaign off. Because of our access to their backend data, we were able to capture what was not working and created some new campaigns and keywords that did not exist in the account.
Keyword Expansion for New Services
After you get into the rhythm of the account and your lead quality is hitting your client’s expectations you can work on growing the account further. Keyword expansion is a way to test some new business verticals for the software. This is a consultative approach because you are stepping up by showing the client you really understand how the service works and provide some test ideas on what other types of businesses could also benefit from using this software. My own client gets very excited about how to continue advertising their software in their niche system but understands the value and the potential the software has with new types of business. The client is already thinking of who else can use the software, help your partnership out by doing the same with the client by brainstorming new campaigns in AdWords to find another market that could use this service.
Working with SaaS clients can be a lot of fun because they do like to move fast on growing the account, but they also understand the importance of data and allow the numbers to tell a story. By working upfront with the client on learning everything there is to know about their software and make your relationship a partnership, you are able to explain the why behind your AdWords strategy for remarketing, keyword expansion, and test projects. When you focus on the quality of the leads, it reassures the client that this is a team atmosphere and that you want to work together to hit both quality and quantity traffic.