7 Ways to Increase SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rates

Scaling a SaaS business involves learning how you're currently converting at various stages of the funnel, and improving upon them. Here are 7 ways you can increase your SaaS free trial conversion rates.

Measure traffic by quality

As mentioned above, the first step is to ensure you're measuring important KPI's so you can improve them. One of these important marketing metrics is to measure your websites traffic by channel to learn how each affects overall lead quality.

A couple ways to look at this is to measure your visit-to-free trial conversion rate by traffic source. This will let you know how each specific channel converts to free trials or demos. To take this a step further, it's important to learn the free trial to paid customer conversion rate by channel as well. Knowing this can help you focus your marketing on the areas that are sending you the most business - ensuring your spending time and money on areas that can help you grow your business in the most cost effective way.

Test copy

Begin by testing copy that aids in the conversion process. For example, homepage copy above the fold or around the call-to-action button. Also, test the copy on the call-to-action button itself. When testing, keep your tests clean by only focusing on one test at a time and have an accurate way to measure the data. When brainstorming copy changes, think about how your target audience would think and how your solution solves their problems.

Try video

Does your audience struggle "getting" what your software does? If so, try using an explainer video. Explainer videos are great for communicating your UVP in less than 90 seconds. Place the video on your homepage and maybe even on your conversion page.

Pre-frame with content

Leverage your content marketing strategy and website copy to pre-frame your prospects towards choosing your solution. For example, let your persona research drive your content strategy where your content will support your prospects buyer journey. Educating along the way while pre-framing them to realize the value in your software and service in a non-salesy way. Let your content help them discover this value on their own.

Optimize registration page

Surprisingly, this is one area I don't see often. Have you tested your registration page? I've seen noticable results from testing messaging on the registration page. For example, does your page simply include a sentence or two and a form? If so, test that against a more traditional landing page layout that highlights your UVP and outlines what the prospect is registering for and why.

Focus on solutions not features

It's easy to get caught in weeds of how awesome your software and feature set is. However, features aren't always the best at convincing prospects and website visitors to try or buy. Solutions on the other hand, work much better!

Let your marketing copy convey how your solution will alleviate your prospects pain, challenges or help them reach their goals. This is why you created your software in the first place right?!

Train

One tactic I see that's often a second thought is the email automation after someone begins their free trial. This is your opportunity to do two things - educate, train and get them engaged in your software so they can get the most value in a short amount of time. Second, you want to upsell to a paid account.

For example, if your free trial is 30 days, the first week or two could be focused on getting them up to speed, engaged and getting value out of your product. The second two weeks could be focused on the account upgrade opportunity.

There are nearly limitless ways to increase conversions and it's easy to get lost in the data. What's important is being concious of how you're currently converting and trying these ideas to increase conversions. Get started by trying these 7 ways to increase SaaS free trial conversion rates.

For more information on what changes to make to your website to increase conversions, download our free eBook below.

3 Software Marketing Ideas to Increase Demand and Convert More Sales

Want to increase demand and convert more SaaS sales? Read these 3 software marketing ideas to implement and take your marketing to the next level.

Facebook Advertising Funnel

Facebook Ads present a cost effective way to put your brand and messaging in front of your target audience at an affordable price. However, in order to really be effective with Facebook Advertising, you need the right strategy.

It's important to create strategic Facebook marketing funnels to introduce your brand, educate, deliver value and outline your product or services UVP. Social ads are different so often times Facebook Ads will not deliver desired results without some type of funnel. Remember, people don't go to Facebook to buy things. However, the targeting Facebook Ads has is second to none, making it perfect for getting in front of exactly the right people.

For your Facebook marketing funnel to work, you'll need good content. Content such as blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers, webinars and free trials. For example, you might share a blog post that your target audience would enjoy that relates to your industry. Next, you would retarget those blog readers and offer them an invite to your webinar, download an eBook or even start a free trial depending on how well known your brand is.

Email Automation

Email automation works in tandum with your Facebook marketing funnels. Once someone enters your list, you can have email automations to convert prospects to free trials or demos, and free trials and demo leads to customers. A third suggested automation is for customers to help train them on your software and keep them engaged.

Create nurturing campaigns aimed at educating, delivering value and ultimately, upselling and moving prospects through your funnel.

Content Marketing

As mentioned above, you'll need content to use in your Facebook funnels and email automations. Before you begin creating content, it's crucial to first complete your persona research and create your content strategy. Creating content with no strategy will not do you much good.

You'll want your content to help attract new visitors to your website, educate and begin framing their minds to the pains your software relieves.

Divide your content up into several stages that match the buyers journey such as the Attract/Research stage, Consideration and Decision stages.

Another important element to making your content marketing successful is content promotion. Simply hitting Publish in your blog will not be enough. It's important to promote your content via social media, to help get it in front of your audience. The social sharing will also help your content get indexed faster by the search engines so that in time, your content will generate its own traffic.

Remember to create premium content such as eBooks, white papers, case studies, video content, recorded demos etc. to use for lead generation.

Try these 3 software marketing ideas to give your product the exposure it deserves. If you would like more information on ways to attract and convert more traffic to sales, download our free eBook below.

SaaS Content Marketing for Lead Generation

SaaS content marketing is the same, but not. While there is overlap as to the methodologies you follow for content marketing, there are a few unique elements to include for SaaS companies to succeed in lead generation.

If you're not on the content marketing bandwagon yet, it's time to hop on! But don't just create content for the sake of creating content. You need a well planned content marketing strategy to ensure you're hitting your lead generation goals and not wasting time and money.

Don't over promote

I wanted to begin with covering what NOT to do. Time and time again I see software blogs that only talk about their product. I know you're excited about your solutions, but no one really wants to tune into your overly promotional broadcast. Leave the promoting to your feature pages.

It's okay to occasionally write about how great your software is - covering press, milestones etc., but be sure to not over do it.

Know your audience

Dig up the research you used when creating new solutions and features. You created them because you knew there is a need and pain that you can help alleviate. Leverage this in your content marketing plan as well.

Create buyer personas that include information such as:

You can deliver value with your content by knowing what your audience is interested in and their challenges. Use this as an opportunity to help, deliver value and set the stage for the solutions you provide.

For example, if you specialize in business intelligence software, you could write about what metrics the C-Suite wants to see, common analytics dashboards, or where to begin with data.

Include content for funnel stages

In order for your SaaS content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to create different types of content for your sales funnel stages.

The most common stages are:

Promote

Simply publishing great content will not get you far. How are prospects supposed to find your content if you don't promote it? Organic traffic from search engines takes time, why wait?

Create a strategy to promote your content. Share your articles with your own social media networks as well as promoting via paid ads. For example, after you publish an article, share with your Facebook fans and Twitter followers (be sure to use hashtags to pick-up anyone not in your direct network). Don't forget LinkedIn. Share with your LinkedIn network as well as any relevant groups your in.

Your network will never be big enough, so amplify your reach with social ads. Facebook and Twitter Ads are great for promoting your content to your target audience. They both offer robust ad targeting and have an extensive reach. You'd be surprised how many targeted visitors you can get with $20!

Include call-to-actions

Now that you've worked hard attracting visitors to your content, don't waste your efforts. Include strategic calls-to-actions to get visitors into your marketing and sales funnel and generate qualified leads. Don't simply just go for the sale here. Remember your buyer journey stages.

Here are a few ideas for calls-to-actions you can use based on where they may be in the buying process:

Be sure to leverage landing pages and forms for your calls-to-actions and offers to maximize conversion rates. Each prospect and lead you generate should be added to your marketing automation emails to nurture them into sales.

Don't forget your customers!

SaaS businesses have an more than one funnel to worry about, especially those who use a freemium model. Simply getting people to try your software is often not enough. It's important to get users engaged with your software or else they will not value your solution.

This often means getting people to change their habits and frequently log into your application.

Create another content marketing strategy to educate new users. This is where you can geek out more and promote your solutions and features.

Provide educational training content and deliver it often to ensure you're staying top-of-mind and helping new users realize the value of your application. If they're not engaged, they won't upgrade.

Successful content marketing takes a lot of planning and labor. To learn more about SaaS lead generation with content marketing, download our free eBook below.

What to Include in Your SaaS Metrics Dashboard

In order to keep a pulse on the health of your business, you need a quick and easy place to view the KPI's most important to you. The best way is to create a SaaS metrics dashboard.

What metrics to include

You're likely monitoring dozens of SaaS marketing metrics, but which ones should you add to your KPI dashboard? Obviousely this will vary depending on your business model, but some simple metrics to begin with are:

How to create a dashboard

One of the challenges you'll face is combining the above metrics into one dashboard as the data comes from multiple sources. There are a few options to consider:

When building your SaaS metrics dashboard, be sure to follow the following tips:

How to use

Having all of the metrics that matter in one simple dashboard makes it easier to habitually view. Make sure you always know, on a daily basis, how things are going with your most important KPI's. It's easy to get consumed in the whirlwind of the day-to-day grind, but checking your dashboard often will keep you in tune with the health of your business and focused on growth.

For more information on which metrics to track, how and why, download our free eBook below.

5 SaaS Marketing Metrics to Help You Move the Needle

As a SaaS marketer, it’s crucial you closely monitor your metrics. There are SO MANY metrics to look at, which ones should you select to review most? Which SaaS marketing metrics tell you if you’re doing a good job?

Below are 5 important SaaS marketing metrics to start with to keep a pulse on what’s working and what’s not.

Lead growth

One metric you’re likely working towards week in and week out, is filling the top of your funnel with quality leads. A SaaS “lead” is often a free trial or demo. These are potential users who express initial interest in your product.

When tracking your overall lead volume, pay close attention to how this data trends. It’s a good idea to track and review your week-over-week and month-over-month trends. This data will tell you which marketing activities are doing a good job of getting prospects into your funnel. Attracting the right visitors and converting to leads costs you either time, money, or both, so be sure you’re using this trend data to spot what’s working and what’s not.

Cost-per-lead

Lead generation is the fuel that keeps the machine going. There are so many different ways to generate SaaS leads, but it’s important to monitor how much you’re paying for them.

Tracking paid advertising campaigns such as Google AdWords can be pretty easy, but be sure to track time cost as well. Activities such as content marketing can be a little trickier to track cost-per-lead, but it’s crucial to monitor to ensure you’re spending budget in the right places.

Lead to customer conversion rate

Of the leads/trials/demos you generated, what percentage of those converted into paying customers?

This data will tell you:

Customer Acquisition Cost

Most all marketing departments have a budget to stay within. It’s important to know what it costs to generate a new customer. For examples on how to accurately run these calculations, download our eBook.

Knowing how much it costs to generate a new customer gives you the opportunity to find ways to optimize your campaigns in order to bring this number down. The more customers you can squeeze out of your budget the better! How else can you scale?

Engagement

Don’t stop with top-of-funnel SaaS marketing metrics, monitor and track how engaged your users are. Get strategic here! Figure out what metrics deems a user engaged, and what influences engagement as well.

As a marketer, you can really help by launching and tweaking campaigns to help keep customers engaged. For example, what content would they need to get started with your product and quickly begin seeing value? If they’re not engaged, they won’t stick around for long.

It’s a good idea to build some sort of dashboard or custom report that enables you to view these metrics quickly, easily and in one place. You’re stretched for time, so don’t waste time chasing these numbers down every week. Building a custom report/dashboard will take you extra time initially, but will save you hours in the future.

Monitoring your SaaS marketing metrics is only worthwhile if it prompts action. After reviewing your metrics, let the data tell you where to optimize. Optimizing based on data is what will help you market smarter and more effectively.

For more important SaaS marketing metrics and KPI’s, download our eBook.

Tech & SaaS Conferences for 2016

We're compiling a list of the top tech & SaaS conferences for the upcoming year. We'll be updating this list regularly. If you know of any great conferences that are missing, please let us know in the comments and we'll add it to the list.

2016 Tech & SaaS Conferences:

Note - some conferences do not have 2016 information posted yet.

Are You Selling your Software's Solutions or Features?

You probably already know that you should focus more on your software’s solutions instead of features, but let’s be honest, your website, emails etc. focus primarily on your feature set… right?

It’s easy and natural to find yourself talking about your features, after all, they’re awesome! But try to always remind yourself WHY you built them.

Features tell, not sell

With features, you’re simply outlining what your software does from a technical standpoint. While what the features do is important, you’re missing is the emotional connection. You’re telling and not selling. Focus more on the solutions and benefits your features provide.

Features are competitive

When you only focus on features, you make it very easy for consumers to compare feature sets, which can often put you at a disadvantage. Feature wars can often be a losing battle. Consumers are comparing words, there is no emotional connection.

Goals, challenges and pain points

It’s important to constantly remind yourself and your team why you created those features and what they can do for your customers.

Focus more on their goals, challenges and pain points. Can your software’s features make their lives better by helping them reach their goals? Can you make their life easier by squashing their pain points or make something less challenging? Talk more about what your features help your customers do, or don’t do; more on the result of using the software.

Satisfaction and fear

At the end of the day, people buy things to improve their lives or because of fear. Always communicate how your software can satisfy your customers needs and the “bad” things that happen as a result of not having your solution… ie, their pain points.

Once you connect with your target audience on an emotional level, showing how your software’s features can improve your customers lives by providing solutions, you will have less competition and more sales. People are most interested in what your software can do for them, not necessarily how cool and shiny they are.

Change everywhere!

Once you get in the habit of customizing your marketing communications to speak more to your target market’s goals, challenges and pain points, remember to be consistent and do this everywhere. Each touch point is an opportunity to help, and convert. This includes copy on your website, emails, advertising etc.

Remember, the reason someone is looking at your software, is because they’re hoping it can be a solution to their problems. Let them know how much better things will be by using your product. Not through the features, but the solutions and benefits they provide.

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