8 Powerful Tips That Will Improve Your SaaS Conversions

Author

Neil Patel and Contributor

November 6, 2014

Do a few minutes of research, and you’ll come up with a load of conversion advice. “Make CTA buttons bigger! Create killer headlines! Streamline your checkout process!”

Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum.

Don’t get me wrong. All those things are important, but they will only take you so far. The very best conversion optimization is tailored to specific industries. The more specific and focused the conversion tips, the bigger impact you’ll see.

If you are in the SaaS industry, there are at least eight industry-specific tips that you should follow that will help you to improve conversions.

1. Make it free.

The free trial is now standard practice in SaaS sales. Few buyers will drop thousands of dollars on an SaaS unless they get to try it out first.

By all means, provide free trials, and be generous with them. Don’t limit the functionality or curtail the software’s capabilities unless a full trial version will actually prevent future conversions. Instead, give each user full, free, and unlimited access to your software.

2. Brag about your perks.

Business researchers and experts once studied 1,400 B2B customers to discover why they bought.

The results were shocking. Customers didn’t buy solutions; they bought benefits.

In today’s plugged-in, research-savvy, high-tech buying environment, your customers already know what they want. They know how much it costs. The know what functions it needs. And they know how to get it. They even know about your company, and how your product differs from the competition.

They’ve done their homework.

It is wasted effort to try selling a solution to buyers who already know the solution. Instead, you should sell your benefits. Here’s what this looks like, practically.

  • Talk about your superior uptime.
  • Talk about your expert customer service.
  • Talk about your incredible security.
  • Talk about your advanced features.

Talk about whatever it is that makes your product particularly distinctive. If there are a handful of other businesses selling the exact same solution, then you need to differentiate yourself by virtue of your benefits.

3. Make the trial period just long enough, but not too long.

Free trial timing is just as important as the free trial itself.

  • If you make it too short, your potential customers don’t have time to experience the product’s power.
  • If you make it too long, you jeopardize the sales cycle.

There’s no one-size-fits all timeframe. Most SaaS use anywhere from 14 days to 30 days for a free trial. The best way to find out which works best is to test different times.

4. Keep a mailing list.

In spite of the frothing frenzy over social media, the most powerful marketing weapon is still email.

Email reaches more people, more consistently, and with better ROI than any other marketing channel except organic search.

Email has powerful conversion potential, but you must have a mailing list. Devote a considerable amount of marketing time and effort to the mailing list, and then to optimizing your emails for opens and for conversions. The payoff will be huge.

5. Use metrics.

Generally speaking, SaaS buyers think in numbers, metrics, statistics, and pie graphs.

One of your best marketing strategies is to use data driven evidence to make your case. Here are types of information you can feature on your landing page or homepage:

  • How your SaaS saves money.
  • How your SaaS helps the client make money.
  • How your SaaS improves business operations.
  • How your SaaS improves business revenue.

Loading your copy with real, hard, indisputable data is the best way to persuade buyers.

6. Make customer service your top priority.

Most SaaS sales are all about getting new customers, getting them on a recurring payment cycle, and then getting some more new customers.

But what about all your existing customers? They are the real source of revenue.

In some SaaS niches, only 5-30% of revenue is from an initial sale. The lion’s share of the revenue, 70-95%, comes from renewals and upsells. It becomes enormously difficult to replace the revenue lost through churn by gaining more customers.  Conversions are important, but keeping the conversions you already have is even more important from a revenue perspective.

Instead of devoting your business to a hard-driving approach to new sales, give some TLC to your existing customers. There are simple ways to do this:

  • Free upgrades
  • Onsite training
  • 24/7 support
  • Expert and prompt attention to requests and customer service calls

7. Use testimonials from users in your target industry.

Testimonials are a must-have, but choose them carefully.

SaaS users are highly discriminating when it comes to persuasion by means of testimonials. The most compelling testimonials will come from users who have a lot in common with them. Testimonials need to have the right match.

  • Demographic similarity
  • Occupational or position similarity
  • Industry similarity

The more similar the testifier is, the greater the buyer’s likelihood to convert.

8. Provide three tier options.

Evidence shows that customers will choose the middle option the vast majority of the time.

In weird twist of psychology, our brains are wired to select the central option. Stack your marketing cards on your middle option, and watch your users convert.

Conclusion

These are powerful tips that will improve your conversions, sales, and revenue.

But even these tips will only take you so far. The most powerful form of optimization that you can do is consistent change, careful A/B testing, and a deep knowledge of your target audience.

What conversion tips have helped you to improve your SaaS conversion rates?

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