At first introduction, the term growth hacking sounds like something illegal or in a legal grey-area that hard-working people wouldn’t want to get involved with. However, growth hacking actually represents a process of fast experimentation designed to identify the most efficient ways to grow certain businesses, especially for SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses.
Fortunately, growth hackers aim to seek low-cost methods in SaaS marketing in order to achieve long-term sustainable growth. This is different from traditional methods, such as social media and viral marketing, that repeatedly exploit simple, short-term trends.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Relatively aggressive results with long-term sustainability results when you implement some of these innovative methods into your marketing toolbox. Here are five tips for growth hacking ideas for a SaaS business.
1. Are people searching for YOU? Develop a content marketing strategy
Look for numerous tools that allow you to get a deeper customer insight into your SaaS business. Learn yourself, or employ someone with sound knowledge on the matter, how to analyze this data and make it work for you.
Related: Are You A DIY SaaS Startup Owner?
Website analytics (Google Analytics)
Google Analytics offers a seamless flow with all of your google applications. Turning data into insights that you can directly make results.
Email open/click rates (MailChimp, AWeber)
Specifically built for business, these email marketing platforms can be very quick to set up and look professional.
Social and content marketing (Buffer, Buzzsumo)
These platforms give you the ability to recognize and learn what social media and content marketing is on trend, schedule your posts, and manage multiple social media accounts. These features give you an ultimate ‘leg up’ in getting ahead.
SEO (SEMrush, Moz Open Site Explorer, Yoast)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the key tools in marketing that you need to understand if you want drive more organic leads to your SaaS business. Correct SEO is an ever-changing trend that, by using valuable applications, will keep you on the right track.
Heat maps, feedback polls, surveys, user session recording (Hotjar, Qualaroo, Inspectlet, ClickTale)
Using graphical display of data can help you quickly and efficiently analyze the information you have at hand. By using such tools like ClickTale and Hotjar, you can obtain information in an exciting and useful way.
2. Follow people who are following you. Implement a retargeting pixel
It is extremely important to meaningfully engage with your customers. One of the first ways, especially when you are starting out, is to follow the people who are following you. By following your own followers, you have a chance to engage, which we will discuss later, and retarget the 98% of people who were not interested in your service on their first visit.
Another way to engage with audiences is to advertise directly to them by using a retargeting pixel. A retargeting pixel is essentially a growth hacking idea that tracks your visitors by using a shortcode added to a landing page or a website. Once visitors leave your site to consider their options (as most do before purchasing or joining up), your advert will then be placed to serve primarily to these visitors as a reminder, keeping your brand name fresh in their minds. This is why you often see ads from some websites you visited recently.
3. Let people circulate information about you. Implement a referral program
You don’t have to pay through the roof for advertising all the time. Let your fans and customers advertise for you. By implementing a referral plan like the one below, you can reach thousands more with minimal effort by you. The genius idea of a referral program helped Dropbox become a successful SaaS business in cloud services by growing 3900% in just 15 months.
Taru Bhargava, author at AppVirality has emphasized the effective nature of referral.
We tend to follow the footsteps of those whom we value. Sometimes these actions imitate ‘the monkey see and monkey do’ approach. According to a Nielsen report, 84% of people go by recommendations from friend and family. If we observe it carefully, word-of-mouth via mobile app referral follows the same trend.
Another great example of how a referral system works is when Uber famously offered a $30 credit to customers who referred a friend. This turned out to be an extremely successful venture partly by allowing the company to expand into more than 50 countries within the ultra-short time span of only three years.
4. Users don’t come just because you build an app. Engage actively with customers
Engagement is the key to retaining long-term customers and growing your community. There are plenty of growth experiments you can try to increase engagement rate for your SaaS business, such as offering promotions, adding polls for customer feedback, and creating mini-games. Consequently, you will keep your followers entertained and engaged in your SaaS business activities and blog. On average, 54% of participants will engage in polls, 51% like open chat and 40% use emoticons. Remember that visual content gets shared up to 40 times more often on social media, so keep the number of words down and include images whenever possible.
Another method to build and reach out to the community is by designing webinars. These live, web-based videos are becoming extremely popular because people are given the opportunity to engage in real-time with one another from all over the world. When offering webinars, it is important to focus on the proposition. There are some great webinar service providers available, allowing you to tap into the emotive and personable market, which is the kind of exposure that customers now seek from their buying experiences.
5. Users don’t grow on trees. Nurture an email list.
Introducing your company through emails seems like an old digital marketing strategy, while social media usually takes all the attention as an effective growth hacking idea. However, you might be surprised to find out that email marketing is still a leading channel in lead generation. A number of active users using email is three times more than on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Research from McKinsey & Co. survey has shown that email marketing is 40 times more effective than marketing campaigns on social media.
Besides focusing on increasing the core social media metrics, such as likes, retweets and shares, don’t forget to build a long email list. Successful growth hackers always have a long email list of potential customers. There are wonderful tools that help you to harvest emails and start email automation such Snov.io or Reply.io.
One simple hack you can apply now is to create a pop-up with a subscribe button in your website so that people who visit your website can leave their email for latest news. From that, sending regularly newsletter or new blog post could be a nice start to meaningfully engage with potential customers. Because there are a lot of good guidance on making an email automation campaign succeed, head to our next blog post about sharing how to build email automation for your SaaS business.
These growth hacking ideas for Saas business are just some of the best ways you can apply to generate more leads, have more conversions, and bring more followers to your page, website, or business. The beauty of growth hacking is the immediate results for access. By using some of the brilliant tools that we have shared with you in this post, you can confidently utilize the power of the Internet to make it work for you and your business.