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If you run a SaaS company, there is probably a lot on your mind. From keeping your clients happy (and just keeping them) to paving your way to profitability, one major concern is customer acquisition. With the cost of digital ads significantly going up over the past few years and the churn rates SaaS companies have to deal with, getting new customers to adopt your SaaS and keep using it can be tricky. One usually underutilized source, and perhaps the most valuable, is your current customers. Below we look at five ways you can utilize your existing client list to grow it.
1. Use lookalike audiences in your ads
Almost every social media platform offers this now. If you upload a list of your clients, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have the ability to find other users that are similar to your clients. The assumption is that if they have several characteristics in common, they may be more likely to be interested in your software than others that don’t. This, in turn, would lower your cost per conversion and therefore your acquisition cost. You can further segment lookalike audiences to make sure your targetting is spot on. All social platforms encrypt lists so the information of your clients is not accessed by the platforms and is safe and secure.
2. Ask for reviews
Clients that have been using your services for a long time are your best brand advocates. Even if they don’t have thousands of followers, they may still be more influential than you think. Reach out to the most active of your clients and ask them to leave a public review either on your website or on Google. Not only will this achieve social proof and show that your clients are happy, but also it could boost your SEO and increase your website traffic leading to more organic leads.
3. Start a referral program
If your software is used by individuals, they might refer you to their colleagues and friends. If it’s used by startups within an ecosystem such as an incubator, they could recommend you to their fellow companies as well. Starting a referral program would offer your users an incentive to spread the word and referral programs are proven to be very effective. Make sure you’re selective about who you choose to be an affiliate and the marketing materials you provide them with. A bad referrer might get you some new clients at first but could eventually hurt your churn rate and possibly your reputation.
4. Ask for feedback
Keeping users happy is key to surviving in the competitive SaaS space. Asking for feedback, seeing what works and what doesn’t can help you focus your product development on solving the problems your clients have and roll out new solutions that you can possibly charge a premium for or attract new customers with. As Alistair Croll said at the 2019 Startup Fest in Montreal: “you’re building a product to figure out what product to build.”
5. Investigate use-patterns
Find out what your clients do with your product. Are you using a product or a service just because it has one function that no other product offers? Knowing which function of your software is the most valuable to your clients will allow you to highlight and further develop it to attract more.
Sometimes users come up with new uses for a product that you did not think of when developing it. The same is true with SaaS. Think of how we occasionally use our emails to take notes, for instance. Having this knowledge can help you improve the way you present your value proposition and promote your SaaS more efficiently and can even give you ideas for expanding into a totally different segment that you didn’t know would be interested in what you have to offer. Ongoing marketing (and market) research can help you stay ahead of the curve and have an edge over competitors.
While some of these actions such as using a lookalike audience and asking for referrals may not be costly, further market research, development, and strategizing for acquiring new customers could require a substantial investment. Since SaaS companies typically don’t have an plenty of conventional assets, you could use your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to get a loan and use the funds from your SaaS MRR loan to fuel these growth activities and scale your business to increase profitability.
Tapping into your existing client base to reach more people and grow your influence can be the most profitable decision you’ve ever made. From accessing their network to betting on their loyalty and getting an MRR loan, your clients are your most important asset.
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