The Importance of Marketing to Clients, Not Just Prospects
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Most of us think of marketing if we're asked to name the primary driver for new businesses. While budding brands must use marketing that draws in new customers, SaaS providers have something unique to consider. The way that SaaS businesses engage their customers as time moves forward generates the lion's share of those brands' profits, wallet share, and stickiness. Acquisition is only half the battle – SaaS marketing needs to focus on retention.
If you're in the thick of a SaaS business, think about shifting your team's marketing mindset from attraction all the way through to engagement and then onto delight. SaaS marketing does not stop when a prospect becomes a customer. Your leads can easily be nurtured to a point of sales readiness–and even beyond.
Transcending marketing strategies: onboarding, immediate aftercare, and ongoing support
Regardless of the marketing strategy (or strategies) you opt to try out, some things always remain the same. Three key factors play a crucial role in any marketing effort's success. As a SaaS business focused on retaining happy customers, your marketing strategy should always involve:
Onboarding is so vital because it determines a customer's likelihood to continue using your service.
Think of the phrase "SaaS onboarding" as an umbrella term. It refers to users' entire experience as they begin their time as a customer of your service. If you think about the last time you tried to add a habit to your life, you can think of that "trying" period as the onboarding period. Maybe you had a goal to hit the gym more often; onboarding could involve signing up for a gym membership, learning about equipment and classes at the gym, and maybe even getting some free swag.
This quickly illustrates how important good onboarding is to SaaS success. If your onboarding process doesn't get your customers comfortable with you and your service –and fast – it could mean trouble.
There's no way to lay out a perfect onboarding process in a bullet-point list; but here are some steps to think about incorporating or improving within your onboarding game plan:
- Welcome email
- Product or service tutorial
- Sign up form
- First login
- Educational emails
- Check up call, text, or email
- Data import
One of the best steps a SaaS team can take to retain its customers involves expending a little TLC. If you're willing to provide users with immediate aftercare whenever they need it, you might be surprised by their positive receptions.
If possible, think about following up on every interaction with a customer. This isn't always a natural thing to do – but as you get to know your users, opportunities become clearer. If a customer approaches your support team with a problem, the support team should offer a solution: they should solve the problem and say something to the effect of "I've helped you. Have a nice day."
The support process shouldn't end here – there's still more opportunity for interaction with the customer. SaaS teams can use follow-ups to serve as further customer aftercare. Some services wait weeks to send out stale follow-up emails; and, while this is better than nothing, it hardly inspires positive feedback or makes a customer feel valued.
Consider getting in touch with customers to offer a little immediate aftercare when it's possible. A quick email (or phone call, if your brand is small enough and your work is intimate enough) within a day or two can do wonders at easing customers' minds. Their feedback will be fresh, you'll be able to offer quick advice if more is still needed, and it's another chance to deepen the customer's connection to your brand.
One highlight of virtually every successful SaaS brand is a steady support team. Whether they're branded a "Customer Success" team, a Support Team, or some other title, this group is responsible for ongoing support in the SaaS sphere. If you offer your customers unbeatable support, they're much more likely to actually use your service.
Let's be honest: the realm of SaaS can be a little complicated. Throw in a B2B tilt, and suddenly the situation starts getting even stickier. A lot of service users start out with abso
lutely no idea how to use the software in front of them. Many don't leave with a much better grasp of what's going on. Industry experts have shown time and time again that your support needs to be stellar if you want to hold onto a sizable user base.
Klood: The SaaS Growth Agency
At Klood, we're committed to helping our clients form GamePlans for inbound success. Our SaaS marketing services are custom-tailored to meet the unique goals of B2B SaaS companies. If you'd like to discuss your SaaS brand's marketing strategy GamePlan with a seasoned pro, give us a ring today. We'd love to help you get started on building your roadmap to success.