The 7 Golden Rules of Marketing a SaaS Product

This article was originally posted on TMCnet here as a guest post from me 

The SaaS marketing world is a fascinating one, offering plenty of opportunities to the savvy investor. Many people believe that when it comes to SaaS, every company has its own unique field and set of rules; however, there are certain marketing techniques that apply to everyone, regardless of the business field. It should also be noted that some companies ignore basic rules when it comes to their marketing strategy, leading to their demise. To help you in your marketing and business enhancement efforts, here are few rules to keep in mind:

1. Customers are the ones giving you value

Even though you might have spent years developing a ground-breaking solution that seems to be better than what everyone else has to offer, it’ll be useless if customers don’t know about it or can’t reap its benefits. The customers are the ones who determine a business’s value, and in the absence of them, nothing will work – regardless of how good your business plan is. You have to create a marketing strategy that will draw customers’ immediate attention. A great example is the WalkMe homepage, which provides visitors with three different benefits: reducing end user confusion, decreasing help desk costs and increasing conversion rates. These are three spot-on solutions to issues that most websites and companies face.

2. Tell customers how your product can benefit them, without bragging

A common yet destructive phenomenon that we get to see in the SaaS marketing domain is ego – people talking about themselves, instead of focusing on their customers’ needs. This can be compared to a business meeting, where two people are sitting at one table. Both of them are obviously at the meeting for their own benefit. If one of these businessmen takes over the discussion and only talks about himself and his product, then chances are the second person will become disinterested and leave. Things go exactly the same in the SaaS marketing world. Customers want to know how their needs can be fulfilled, and not how awarded and praised your product is. LivePerson’s homepage is a great example of a company that focuses on addressing customer needs.

3. Benefits are always more important than features

Regarding the previous rule, potential customers will always be more interested in what benefits they’ll get from your product, rather than the features it has to offer. It’s important to display your product’s features in a way that links them to the factors that will benefit your clients. A nice combination of these two elements will definitely enhance your homepage. This is where a skilled product marketer can help branch the gap between potential customers and your sales team.

4. Customers are emotionally-driven

The name of your company matters a lot less than creating a relationship with your customers. Any good, inspirational source will tell you when it comes to making sales, it’s the ability to influence people’ decisions that makes the difference. If you can’t create an emotion-based connection with your audience, then you’ll hit a wall of resistance. On the other hand, when you find out what motivates your potential customers and apply these elements to your marketing strategy, you will achieve optimal conversion rates. Take a look at how HubSpot engages visitors with their homepage, and you’ll get the idea.

5. Fear can be a powerful ally

Although it’s not so popular in the online scene, fear-based marketing can be one of the most effective ways to convert visitors into customers – and retain their trust. Think of it this way: If someone told you to do 10 push-ups per day just because it’s healthy, would you do it? Maybe, but you wouldn’t be motivated to do it every single day. On the other hand, what if someone told you that people doing 10 push-ups per day have a 25 percent less chance of suffering from a heart attack? Now that’s a real motivation. If you can manage to make your leads feel like they are going to be at risk without your product, than there’s a high chance for your financial reports to improve significantly.

6. Simple solutions are the most effective ones

Most people are tempted to provide complex guidelines and authoritative descriptions when promoting their products because they think customers will be more tempted to buy. However, you should consider not everyone is an expert in the field, and some people might not have the patience to try and comprehend what you have to say. For this reason, you have to promote your SaaS product in such way that allows even a 3rd grader to understand what it does and how it’s used. If you do so, you’ll likely increase your customer database considerably. For a good example of simplicity, check out Marketo’s homepage.

7. Everything needs to be tested and optimized

Last but not least, if you want users to get the most out of your product, than you need to ensure everything has been tested and optimized accordingly. If you choose to blindly ‘take a shot in the dark,’ there’s only a slim chance for you to hit the target.  But, if you repeat the experiment over and over again – with the lights on – and with proper focus, you will raise your chances dramatically. The same rules apply to SaaS marketing. Test everything. If you notice something that has the ability to improve your product, than optimize and implement it. This way, you’ll considerably increase your chances of making more sales.

Kevin Goldberg