In most cases, the main efforts aim to provide a comprehensive solution for promoting and developing a business. However, if your plan is failing and customer data is being used inefficiently by the SaaS company, then it’s time to start thinking about digital tools for SaaS marketing automation. The article will be useful for online business owners, newcomers to the field of marketing management, specialised specialists, and all concerned marketing observers. Just five minutes to read – five tips, five effective mechanisms.
What is SaaS Marketing Automation?
- 1 What is SaaS Marketing Automation?
- 2 Why Automate Marketing Processes in SaaS Companies?
- 3 General Benefits of Marketing Automation Software
- 4 SaaS Marketing Automation Tips
Implementing routine marketing processes, from collecting information about the target audience to tracking the transactions that have already been completed, requires significant efforts to solve daily tasks. Marketing campaigns built on the use of classic schemes and tools, when projected onto the SaaS business model, apriori do not give the desired result. In this case, the optimisation of marketing processes should be based on a set of measures that include not only building a new digital concept, actively working on savings and freeing up valuable resources in a SaaS project.
SaaS marketing automation is not just a tool for such optimisation, based on building a chain of automatic processes. This kind of lever activates the mechanism for processing information flows, establishing communications with clients, lead generation, web monitoring, etc., by delegating functions from a marketing specialist to a special software product. That is, most of the operations that employees daily performed yesterday (in particular, SMS and email mailings, segmentation, targeting, and so on.), Today, marketing automation for SaaS can be transferred. In addition, an additional increase in the coverage of marketing campaigns is possible due to the simplicity and clarity of the procedure for implementing processes, multi-channel and delimitation of such workflows.
Why Automate Marketing Processes in SaaS Companies?
The essence and nature of SaaS as an object of marketing are dual. A SaaS project can be a software product aimed at automating processes. On the other hand, this is the object itself, subject to automation. In this context, a distinction should be made between SaaS marketing automation and marketing automation for SaaS.
The reasons for SaaS marketing automation can be many (as a rule, they come down to a set of standard CRM software products), while marketing automation for SaaS is recommended to be guided by:
- the relevance of improving the client profile through the formation of full-fledged databases and the subsequent use of an individual approach when moving through the sales funnel;
- the need to target and identify potentially attractive market niches and segments in the digital market;
- replacement of manual operations by more precise and purposeful machine ones;
- monitoring marketing campaigns through their management and evaluation;
- narrowing of time corridors for the implementation of processes;
- integration of SaaS analytics and marketing interactions model;
- forming optimal combinations of SaaS products, building a communication system with customers, and so on.
In addition, SaaS marketing automation allows you to customise and reuse tools within a campaign, thanks to a convenient and functional modular design of elements, which improves the quality of SaaS as a whole, prolongs its life cycle, helps to retain subscribers and forms an effective content strategy.
General Benefits of Marketing Automation Software
SaaS marketing automation software provides sustainable interaction and the development of direct and feedback links in the marketing plane and technologies for promoting and implementing SaaS. Lead generation and their movement through the sales funnel is the minimum functionality of the software product. Multi-subject orientation marketing automation for SaaS can be directed to the use of both one and several types of software at the same time. The main benefits will be:
- the possibility of cultivating leads based on a full-fledged segmentation of the target audience;
- growing interest of potential customers in the SaaS product;
- increasing the loyalty of SaaS users;
- optimisation of information processes.
Also, the advantages of marketing automation software include a flexible and fairly wide range of price offers.
SaaS Marketing Automation Tips
As such, there is no universal algorithm for SaaS marketing automation, but in general, there are several main stages and corresponding recommendations to improve business performance. Below are some of them.
Build Your Sales Funnel
Most of the tips for SaaS marketing and automation tips relate specifically to building an effective sales funnel. At the same time, there are two main approaches to selling SaaS products.
First, for the small-medium business (SMB) segment, the specifics of building a sales funnel is to target the target audience based on the principle of identifying its functionality. Therefore, it is necessary to show sufficient flexibility to the requirements of each such subscriber client, to have a fairly simple start and process of using SaaS, and a high level of service support in the 24/7 format. Each funnel stage micro-conversion is achieved using specific tools and marketing activities. At the same time, at the very beginning of building a SaaS sales funnel, activation of leads can occur without the active participation of the seller – the lead goes through self-registration, uses a limited version of SaaS, and only then buys a subscription with extended product functionality. Then a marketer comes into play, whose main task is to retain the client and form his loyalty to SaaS.
Secondly, building a sales funnel for SaaS B2B, unlike SMB, is based on using channels such as email marketing, SEO for SaaS, promotion of demo versions, telephone sales, and so on. That is, the presence of the human factor in this funnel model is decisive and predetermines the strategy for promoting a digital product.
Conclusion: both types of sales funnel models differ from each other in the degree of participation of a SaaS company specialising in the process of promotion by stages. At the same time, in the first case, marketing automation for SaaS should be aimed at generating and offering high-quality content to a potential client. And second, SaaS marketing automation efforts should be applied to increase profitability due to using the product’s demo version.
Determine Key Metrics You Will Monitor At Each Stage
The main metrics that help analyse the effectiveness of SaaS marketing automation, as in any other direction of digital business, are similar to each other. Therefore, the marketer needs to decide on their list, and the feasibility of calculating within the following recommended enlarged groups for each sale funnel stage.
- Group 1. Activity indicators (the number of messages in the mailing list, the setting of behavioural triggers, the number of visits web pages, and so on.).
- Group 2. Engagement metrics (site traffic metrics, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, and so on.)
- Group 3. Customer Metrics (Cost of Acquisition, Customer Lifetime Value, Qualified Leads, etc.)
- Group 4. Indicators of value and performance (return on investment, income, and so on).
Shape Your SaaS Marketing Automation Strategy
The specificity of a SaaS product is that it is dynamic and subject to constant improvement. Therefore, even if you have a proven effective and convenient marketing automation algorithm, you need to constantly monitor the current situation regarding technological improvements and SaaS changes.
The formation of a SaaS marketing automation strategy should be based on three pillars of the organisation of the marketing process:
- Forecasting based on analytics (makes it possible to fully use analytics results to build effective predictive models for attracting and retaining customers, segmenting users of a digital product).
- Online interaction with customers in the 24/7 format (allows you to improve the service by establishing direct and feedback links with users, automating marketing decisions in real-time and linking user activities with trigger events).
- Personalisation (focused on automating online mailing lists, managing user data and product information, marketing automation allows you to optimise marketing processes through a single user interface).
Identify Key Processes That Require Automation
Marketing automation for SaaS can be carried out in the following areas:
- email and SMS mailings, push notifications;
- lead generation and lead warming;
- target audience segmentation and target coverage;
- split testing;
- SMM automation;
- marketing automation for the B2B market;
- building marketing forecasts and plans;
- development of traditional methods and marketing tools.
Each direction is unique in its own way and requires detailing the main processes in the SaaS plane. In each case, the head of the company that develops and approves the Internet marketing strategy must consider the specifics of SaaS and the type of market in which it is positioned. Suppose email and SMS mailings can be self-sufficient in e-commerce within CRM, then in the case of SaaS. In that case, such a process can be used in synthesis with landing pages, SEO and web analytics, SMM, content marketing and other tools. Here, first of all, we are talking about a synergistic effect for a dynamic SaaS product.
Develop Your Own Software or Choose from Existing Marketing Automation Tools
To automate SaaS marketing, you can use existing tools or develop your own if you have the right skills and resources.
The arsenal of automation tools is quite wide and has been tested; therefore, the probability of errors from its implementation will be minimal. In modern digital marketing practice, the most common are the following:
- webinars / content autowebinars;
- automation designer;
- email onboarding;
- Live chat;
- lead counter;
- website tracking;
- smart retarget.
In each case, it is advisable to assess the extent of the tool’s use and effectiveness based on the specifics of SaaS and the type of market in which the SaaS company is present.
If you don’t have confidence in your abilities and you don’t have experience in automation, then it’s time to seek help from digital marketing agency specialists. This is the only correct solution that can fully identify the problem and offer an automation solution.
Summarise. Marketing automation is a convenient and useful way to optimise marketing efforts for SaaS companies of any size. The use of automation will not only allow you to dive deeper into the sales process and save time by implementing routine operations with the software but also minimise the risk of errors in the marketing strategy due to the human factor. Of course, SaaS marketing automation is one of the main digital trends, and its implementation is a process that requires adherence to a clear plan.
Checked by marketer Victoria Fedchenko