Focusing on lifecycle marketing allows you to create and nurture a relationship with your audience. So instead of making lead generation and onboarding a priority, you are positioning yourself as a partner for the long term.
The benefits of SaaS lifecycle marketing include keeping users engaged and satisfied, boosting your renewal rate, and upselling with more consistency during renewals.
Read on to learn more about some of the best marketing practices you can implement to build a successful SaaS lifecycle model.
1. SaaS UX Design Matters
The rise of the digital marketplace has accelerated. As a result, the B2B buyer journey is increasingly taking place online and calls for a convenient digital experience.
Adopting these SaaS UX design best practices will help keep your audience engaged while facilitating tasks at every stage of the lifecycle:
- Keep your UX simple and functional.
- Test it on all platforms, including mobile.
- Adopt a simple navigation structure to facilitate access to information.
- Create a streamlined design that draws attention to your main takeaway.
- Incorporate prominent search tools to help with self-direction content consumption.
- Put users in control with a convenient platform they can use to manage their accounts.
- Keep your design and UX consistent across your website, marketing materials, and products to increase brand recognition and awareness.
SaaS UX is crucial for your website and the other platforms you use to generate sales and communicate with your audience, but a growing number of SaaS providers are also rethinking how they design their products.
A common practice is to offer a free demo of a SaaS product with a built-in feature that allows the user to complete a purchase from the product’s interface. You can take this concept further by adding built-in features to facilitate the purchase of add-ons within the product.
You can also add design elements to help users access your knowledge repository, contact a live person, or submit a support ticket.
2. Make Content Marketing a Priority
Interactions with sales representatives represent only 5 per cent of the typical B2B buyer’s journey. Buyers spend most of their time researching their options independently.
Placing content marketing at the core of your lifecycle marketing strategy will yield several benefits:
B2B buyers often report struggling with a complex buying journey. Developing content adapted to the early awareness stages can help compare the myriad of options available and put a prospect closer to making a purchase.
Content will keep existing customers engaged. Keep delivering value through quality content to establish yourself as a long-term partner. Once a customer adopts a solution, you can show them how to get the most out of the SaaS product through your content.
Use content to deliver value at every level of the customer’s organization. For instance, training materials can increase adoption rates for the SaaS solution.
Customers can explore new possibilities thanks to your content. They can learn more about unused product features or discover add-ons and upgrades that would support their growth goals.
Quality content can become a gateway that facilitates face-to-face or remote interactions. If a user gets value from your videos or articles, they will be more likely to sign up for a webinar or attend a live event.
Diversity and convenience are key concepts for a successful content marketing campaign. You can improve engagement by sharing content on platforms that are convenient for the user.
These platforms can include email, your blog, or social media. Don’t hesitate to explore new channels like podcasts or YouTube.
Diversity matters because not everyone has the same preferences for consuming content. Some users will prefer short articles or infographics that deliver bite-sized information, while others will prefer to sit down and watch a long-form video to explore a topic in depth.
Get to know your audience better to determine the preferred content formats and channels at every stage of the lifecycle.
3. Make It Personal
Did you know that 80 per cent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if a marketer offers a personalized experience?
B2B buyers are busy. You can help by delivering the information they need to move to the next step of the lifecycle. Keeping the message relevant throughout the buying journey and stages that follow reduces information overload and ensures users remain engaged.
Personalization will also make your customers feel valued. You can even use what you know about a customer and their organization to develop a customized SaaS package adapted to their unique needs.
You can start implementing your personalization strategy by gathering information when you generate a lead. Gather more data during the onboarding process to refine your personalization efforts. Find the right balance between asking for information and respecting privacy. Make some data fields optional to give users more control over what they share.
Next, you can segment your audience to deliver content that feels valuable and relevant.
Segmenting your audience based on industry, company size, growth stage, or even location can make sense, but you should also segment based on a customer’s current lifecycle stage:
- Acquisition. Focus on increasing awareness of your brand and solutions. Deliver content that helps prospects make a purchase decision.
- Engagement. A great onboarding experience will help keep a customer engaged. Share content designed to help customers get more out of their SaaS solution.
- Retention. As a customer’s renewal date approaches, you can share information about new products or special offers.
Don’t hesitate to fine-tune your personalization efforts based on behaviours. For instance, a customer in the engagement stage that has been consuming content about a new product might be ready for an upgrade.
You should also look into prescriptive selling. This B2B sales strategy focuses on personalized product recommendations.
Some sellers go as far as creating unique products adapted to the needs of each client. It is a solution worth considering for the SaaS space where you can create unique SaaS bundles.
4. Get Customers Involved
Customers are an invaluable element of your SaaS lifecycle marketing strategy:
- Use surveys, interviews, and other methods to gather as much feedback as possible. Track your customer satisfaction index and always look for ways to improve your products and marketing efforts based on the feedback you get.
- Creating a referral program can be an excellent way to boost your sales at a low cost. Your customers have a network of professional contacts in their industries who might find your SaaS solutions interesting.
- Online reviews matter. Over 90 per cent of consumers check reviews before making a purchase. Gather testimonials to create social proof on your website and lets your customers know you appreciate them taking the time to rate or review your SaaS solution on third-party sites.
- Be active on social media. Creating an online community for those who use your products can add value. Plus, social media is an opportunity to keep up with the latest issues and trends your target audience cares about.
- Influencer marketing is a key marketing trend. It is spreading to the B2B space, and getting endorsements from the right industry experts could unlock more sales.
Ideally, all of this data should be turned into a dashboard to make it easy for you to make informed decisions.
But if you don’t have time or resources for that, use something as simple as Google Sheets pie charts (here is a quick, step-by-step guide covering how to create one) to segment customers based on how they interact with your brand.
5. Don’t Overlook Human Connections
Lifecycle marketing is a model that allows you to automate a wide range of tasks. It is ideal for cutting costs and scaling your approach. And with the rise of the digital customer journey, a significant portion of your audience will prefer consuming content independently.
However, it is crucial to identify the touchpoints where a human connection would provide value for the prospect or customer. A phone call, video call, or even an online chat session at the right moment can help a user move to the next stage in their lifecycle.
Ideally, you should have a go-to person available to each prospect or existing customer. Give them the possibility to reach out to this person when they have questions or need support.
You should also introduce a human interaction around these touchpoints:
- After the initial purchase, you can wait a few weeks and schedule a phone call to check up on a new client. Find out if the SaaS solution meets their expectations and ask about their next goals.
- Offering training after a purchase is another key touchpoint. Training is part of a successful onboarding process and can help a client get more out of their new SaaS solution.
- Keep track of upcoming renewal dates so you can reach out a few weeks in advance. Schedule a phone call to ask a few questions and determine whether a client’s needs are changing. Use this information to put together a customized SaaS package.
- You should reach out to clients after major events, like Black Friday. A new contract, a merger, or even a new hire at the executive level can result in significant changes for a business and warrant making some changes to the SaaS assets in use.
- Use a CRM to track interactions and flag customers or prospects who have been inactive for a while. Having someone reach out to ask whether the SaaS solution is still a good match will make customers feel valued.
Why SaaS Lifecycle Marketing Strategy?
You can build an effective SaaS lifecycle marketing strategy by approaching this process as a cycle rather than a linear buying journey.
Focus on offering excellent UX, quality content, human interactions, and a personalized experience to establish yourself as a long-term partner for success.
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