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Software as a Service and growth hacking go hand in hand.
A vast majority of SaaS giants have admittedly succeeded, thanks to growth hacks. Just take a look at Airbnb, Quora, and Evernote. On the other hand, growth hacking relies on clever software to implement lead acquisition and user retention strategies.
The following are the best tricks for ambitious SaaS leaders:
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1. Build an Extensive Email List
Email marketing is a powerful customer conversion technique in every niche, especially if your product is digital. We’ll talk more about it by the end of this article. But first, we need to get you there – to convert customers via email; you need an email list.
Email list-building growth hacks are as follows:
- On-site freebies
- Sticky widgets
- Engaging pop-ups
- Header opt-ins
- Landing pages
- Fun contests
Using any of these tricks, you can easily convince your website visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter to exchange something exciting. This can be a piece of 10x content such as an eBook or a well-written landing page CTA that really sells your software.
2. Generate Hot Leads with Quizzes
The online quiz is the ultimate growth hack, and here’s why:
- A quiz can greet your website visitors and help you build your email list.
- A quiz can collect insight from your visitors, thus revealing why so many potential customers bounce from your site.
- A quiz can also measure your success rate and tell you why users churn.
It costs nothing to create an online quiz – the only thing you need is a smart quiz maker. And your site is not the only place where you can use lead quizzes to attract subscribers. Social media quizzes are just as popular, which makes them a perfect engagement hack.
3. Employ a Retargeting Strategy
We can’t mention customer churn without offering at least one solution.
Since customer churn tends to impact your overall growth, it’s only natural that anti-churn hacks also belong to this category. Without any doubt, the most powerful of these hacks is – retargeting. Some tools can help you retarget every user who leaves.
Needless to say, this includes website visitors who bounce too soon as well.
The aforementioned retargeting tools will trace rogue customers and indecisive leads as they continue to browse the web and show them your ads to nudge them into coming back gently. At least half of them will change their mind for the second time.
4. Implement a Referral Program
In the long thick book of SaaS tricks, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to referrals. Some of the most successful SaaS brands, such as Dropbox and Uber, have built an empire on referral subscribers. And depending on how clever you are, this hack may cost you nothing.
In referral programs, you offer something to your loyal users in exchange for – more users. Uber, for instance, started being a serious SaaS competitor by famously rewarding customers with $20 for every time they convinced a friend to try out the company’s services.
If you can’t afford to pay for referrals, you can copy Dropbox’s strategy. In exchange for new users, they were offering a portion of their product for free.
5. Dominate Content Marketing
Content is still the king of digital marketing, as many SaaS leaders know.
Take Buffer, for instance. As a startup, the social media tool company developed a content media strategy that helped them grow into one of the most influential niche blogs.
Once they established themselves as field authority, getting more subscribers was as easy as selling cookies.
Content marketing does take some time, but it is a low-cost trick that works like a charm.
When you start creating content for your potential customers, bear in mind that the key selling point here is – value.
You’ll be writing about the same things as your competitors, but as long as you provide something useful and engaging, your content will stay on top.
6. Engage in Influencer Marketing
Alternatively, you can find someone else to speak of your expertise.
Influencer marketing is effective for all the same reasons that make referrals so attractive to aspiring companies. Modern-day consumers don’t trust traditional advertising. Instead, they go to their friends and niche experts for product and service recommendations.
And while referral programs work on a one-by-one basis, influencer marketing has a big enough platform to make you an instant success. The only thing you need is a person with more than 10K followers and enough credibility in your company’s target
7. Let the Users Try Before They Buy
A different cautionary tale comes from Evernote:
The most popular note management tool on the scene, Evernote, hasn’t started charging for its brilliant product until recently. Until that moment, the company was generating buzz and building its user base using only a freemium software model.
Unless you have an excellent product, this growth hack can be risky.
But if your exciting freemium comes with a feature-rich paid version that people will want to invest in, then this model will help you grow really big. Alternatively, you can start offering a limited-day free trial, providing an engaging sneak peek into your product.
8. Offer the Best User Experience
Speaking of excellent products, let’s end this list with an obvious yet often forgotten growth hack – ‘be the best at what you do.’
Remember the old 80/20 rule and always put value before advertising. Only that way will you be able to provide the best user experience.
In this day and age of oversaturated markets, consumers are once again learning to recognize quality. Better yet, they are more than happy to invest in it. As growth hacks, quality and value may not bring instant gratification, but they sure bring long-lasting relationships.
Growth hacking is a cool way to succeed.
But even though some growth hacks are designed to be easy, it doesn’t mean that they will help your SaaS company in the long run. When in doubt, always opt for a long-term solution that offers the best user experience and treats your customers with the respect they deserve..’