What is SaaS marketing?

SaaS marketing is the act of promoting and selling subscription-based software to customers. SaaS marketing can include both B2B and B2C customer acquisition, depending on the nature and pricing strategy of individual SaaS brands.

The ultimate goal is to drive subscriptions, reduce churn, and increase customer lifetime value. It involves direct and indirect marketing strategies designed to persuade potential customers of the value of the SaaS product.

What makes SaaS marketing unique is that the product isn’t a physical item or a one-time purchase but a service that customers use over the Internet. Here’s what sets SaaS marketing apart:

  • Subscription model: SaaS relies on monthly or annual subscriptions unlike traditional software sales. Marketing activities have the goal of acquiring and retaining subscribers, focusing on the LTV and ongoing relationship with the customer.
  • Education: Since SaaS products often solve complex or specific problems or offer new ways of doing things, a big part of SaaS marketing is educating potential users about the software’s functions and benefits. This might involve detailed guides, webinars, free trials, and demos.
  • Value: SaaS marketing must clearly demonstrate the software’s value and ROI. Customers are committing to ongoing payments, so they need to understand how the software will help them save time, reduce costs, or improve their operations in the long run. Especially if the target group is B2B.
  • Growth: SaaS marketing strategies often include tactics for rapid growth and scaling due to the nature of the subscription model and lower pricing structures. This can involve growth hacking methods, referral programs, and short-term marketing activities.

Traditional marketing strategies for on-premise software solutions often reflect the nature of the product being sold: an expensive, one-time purchase (or periodically updated) software that is installed and runs on the customer’s own hardware. 

These strategies have evolved over time but typically include a mix of direct sales, channel partnerships, trade shows, and print advertising. 

With SaaS marketing, strategies have shifted to ensuring that their content appears prominently in search results, offering free trials/demos to reduce the risk for the buyer, highlighting the low upfront costs,etc.

SaaS marketing includes a broad range of marketing activities beyond content creation, including SEO, PPC advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing –. It’s about using various channels and strategies to promote the SaaS product.

Specific marketing activities and channels will depend on the short- and long-term objectives, as well as the budget and the team.

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