Tired of generic B2B SaaS lead generation ideas ?. Want tips, tactics & strategies that actually work?. Well, then you're at the right place.
I know. You've worked hard to build an app that can really change the game in your industry. But, you aren't good in marketing, right?. The very idea of selling something scares you.
And, you aren't alone. Most tech founders aren't great at sales.
But, you know what?. Whether you love it or hate it, you gotta sell. There's no way out.
The good news?. It's easy to master the art of sales. I'm going to show you how.
After implementing the ideas shared here, you'll not only become better at sales but also generate hundreds of qualified B2B SaaS leads. Ready?
20 BEST B2B SaaS LEAD GENERATION STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
1. Outsource To Lead Gen Professionals
In a hurry?. Want high-quality leads right now? Then, the best thing you can do is to outsource to lead gen professionals.
Lead gen professionals are into the business of lead generation. They've mastered the art of lead generation. They live & breathe leads. Yes, for almost all industries.
Basically, their job is to generate high quality leads for their clients from sources like social media, search, forum, events, etc.
Of course, they do come with a price tag. But, hey isn't it better than blowing up money on ads that simply don't work?. Yes, that's the mistake I see most SaaS founders make. They think lead generation is simply running a few random ads here & there.
And, as per a survey conducted on marketers, lead generation outsourcing is 43% more cost-effective than in-house lead generation.
Outsourced lead generation may not be a long-term option but worth a try if you're looking for a few initial customers. You'll always need actual customers for testing, feedback & iteration. That's where the lead gen professionals become relevant.
The idea is simple: Use the lead gen professionals to get a few early clients & then simultaneously learn the art yourself. Once you're confident, you can create your own in-house lead generation team.
Success Story of Kentik, A B2B SaaS Company
Founded in 2014, Kentik is into the business of traffic analytics, meaning it helps companies analyse their real-time website & network traffic.
Kentik was initially struggling with cold outreach. They had contacted many list-providing companies but they couldn't get the type of data they wanted. Needless to say, their lead gen system was dwindling.
Things started happening when they outsourced their lead generation to TaskDrive, a reputed lead gen company based in California.
TaskDrive commissioned a full-fledged team & gave a list of granular contact information of target companies.
Thereafter, Kentek & TaskDrive went on to execute more than 60 lead generation projects together.
More than 118,000 high quality leads!. Imagine what can you do with that kind of lead data. The opportunities are limitless.
Today, Kentek counts fortune 500 companies like Dailymotion, IBM, Twitch, Yelp, Zoom as its clients. That's the power of outsourced lead generation.
To get started with outsourced lead generation, follow these steps:
Step 1: Lay down your goals. How many leads do you need initially? What's your ideal client profile?
Step 2: Hire a lead gen company like TaskDrive. Generally, they offer lead packages. Buy the package as per your requirements & discuss your goals with them.
Step 3: Coordinate with TaskDrive as they research & prepare a list of high-quality leads for your B2B SaaS business.
Step 4: Follow up & set an apppointment with the leads.
The outsourced lead generation tactic has the following advantages:
- Instant list of high-quality leads
- Predictable results
- Result-oriented approach
- Affordable (as compared to the costly mistakes by your in-house marketing team)
However, this lead generation tactic comes with the following disadvantages:
- Not a long-term solution
To succeed with outsourced lead generation, I recommend you to follow these best practices:
- Keep a well-tested sales funnel ready. It's important to convince & convert the leads.
- Study your competitors well. How're they generating leads?. Which companies are they targeting?. Where's the demand-supply gap?.
- Don't rush. Nurture your leads well. Try to establish a relationship with the leads first & then pitch your products. Nobody likes direct sales.
- Offer referral incentives to converting leads (like a free month of service)
- Prepare well before meeting your leads (even if it's over a phone). Preferably, prepare a script & have a few industry case studies ready.
2. Partner With SaaS Affiliate Marketers
SaaS affiliate marketers are publishers (like bloggers or YouTubers) who promote relevant products to their audience in exchange for a commission.
Example: I'm an affiliate of Quickbooks, the world's leading accounting software. That means if I would get a commission from Quickbooks if my readers buy the Quickbooks subscription. This model is popularly known as affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a huge industry in itself. In fact, as per a stat, Amazon gets more than 10% of its sales from it's affiliate marketers!
Affiliate marketers can help you generate a huge number of leads in no time. Best of all, there's nothing to lose. You'll need to pay only if you get sales.
Success Story of SoundStripe, A B2B SaaS Music Application
SoundStripe is a SaaS company that deals in royalty-free music.
They wanted to open new acquisitions channels & therefore partnered with PartnerStack, a SaaS affiliate marketplace. Within a matter of just 18 months, PartnerStack helped them to drive an additional $ 1 million in revenue!
Now, PartnerStack is an integral part of their marketing – it accounts for around 40% of their total sales.
Some of world's leading companies rely of affiliate marketing for leads & customers.
So, how do you get started?. Let me show you the steps:
Step 1: Request a demo with PartnerStack. It's the world's largest SaaS affiliate marketing marketplace. That means it connects SaaS affiliate marketers with SaaS companies.
Step 2: If satisfied with the demo, sign up for an account on PartnerStack by choose a pricing plan.
Step 3: Prepare an affiliate reward structure. That's the reward you'll be paying to affiliate marketers for successful conversions. The reward can either be a percentage of sales (50% of the subscription price) or a fixed amount ($ 100 per sale or $ 10 per lead). Feed the reward structure in PartnerStack & activate your account.
Step 4: Create valuable resources like videos, banners, case studies, etc. for affiliate marketers. That's it, wait for sales or leads to roll in!
Following are the advantages of this lead generation strategy:
- Constant stream of high-quality leads & sales
- Pay to affiliate marketers only when sales happen(CPS) or leads get generated (CPL)
- The more the affiliate partners, the more sales or leads you generate
- Predictable & scalable model
However, this lead gen strategy comes with the following pitfalls:
- High cost. Most popular SaaS marketplaces charge a huge fixed sum of money every month. Therefore, this may not be an affordable tactic for non-funded SaaS startups.
- Affiliate marketers take a cut or commission. With other lead acquisition channels, you don't need to pay a percentage or commission.
- It's not easy to impress affiliate marketers. Meaning, your product should be valuable enough & your rewards also should be exciting.
You should follow these best practices with dealing with affiliate marketers:
- Offer a generous reward (This is the ultimate make-or-break factor)
- Make sure that your product (SaaS app) is top-notch. Affiliate marketers like to promote only those products that they feel is going to convert well.
- As soon as new affiliate marketers sign up to promote your product, send them a series of emails (PartnerStack has a tool for this) that educates more about your products, its features, client case studies, videos, etc.
- Offer special bonuses to top affiliate marketers
- Offer special discounts or coupons to affiliate marketers on occasions like black friday, cyber monday, etc. They in turn will distribute those to their audiences. Win-Win for all!
3. Track Your Website Visitors & FollowUp
Need an affordable option to generate leads for your B2B SaaS business?. Then, this lead strategy is for you.
What if I say: "Hey, you're already sitting on a lead mine". No, I'm not mad. You're literally sitting on a lead mine.
Here's the thing:
Your website visitors are already your leads. They've visited your website & shown interest in your application. Why not simply follow up with them?
Yes, I know. Getting their contact details is a problem.
Used by more than 40,000+ marketers around the world, LeadFeeder is a leading website visitor tracking software. It simply helps you to generate the contact details of your website visitors.
So, how do you get started? Follow these steps:
Step 1: Sign up with LeadFeeder & connect your CRM or email marketing app with it. You should also integrate your Google Analytics account.
Step 2: Create a custom feed to filter the leads data & save the same. You can filter leads based on categories like location, URL visited, number of pages visited, etc.
Step 3: Follow up with the leads by emailing them right from LeadFeeder.
Here's a webinar that shows how to work with LeadFeeder:
Following are the advantages of using LeadFeeder:
- The number of leads is directly proportional to the number of website visitors
- Accurate contact details like email addresses
- Low cost
- Predictable & scalable
Following are the disadvantages of LeadFeeder:
- You'll need a good follow-up sales funnel to back LeadFeeder. If you're poor in following-up then LeadFeeder won't make much of a difference.
Follow these best practices to get the best out of LeadFeeder:
- Don't talk about your product in the first few follow-up emails. Instead, give value to your leads. May be share a case study or an e-book.
- Give an option of booking a call or demo in one of the later followup emails
- Don't keep the followup sequence too long. A max 7 followup emails should work.
- Offer a limited-period discount in the last email.
- Disclose the reason of your email in the first email. Remind the leads that you're emailing because they visited your website. Or else, they'll treat your emails as spam.
- If required, take help from professional email marketers. You can find one on UpWork.
4. Outreach To Industry Experts & Influencers
Imagine a random person calling you over phone & saying "Hey, there's a discount going on in Walmart, should I buy a pair of jeans for you?". How would you react to that?. Of course, you won't trust a stranger. Now, what if I replace the stranger with your friend whom you know & trust. Yes, you would say "Awesome. Get them for me as well!". That's how influencer marketing works.
Influencers are people who've the power to influence an industry with their opinion or insight. They're respectable in the industry circles & often their advice is valued by their followers.
Example: Neil Patel, with more than hundred thousand followers, is an influencer in the digital marketing space. That means if Neil recommends a particular product to his followers, they're most likely going to buy or try that product.
You can find industry influencers on all digital platforms starting from YouTube to social media sites.
So, how do the influencers work?. Well, it depends. An influencer can either work on paid basis or voluntary basis. That means even if an influencer isn't getting paid to recommend a product, still she may recommend the same if she thinks it's going to be valuable to her audience.
As per a stat, more than 89% of the marketers feel that ROI from influencer marketing is better than other marketing channels.
Success Story of Applango, A SaaS StartUp
Applango is an application that helps Salesforce users track the performace of their sales persons.
Initially, they were struggling to reach out to their core market: Salesforce users. Then, they decided to give influencer marketing a try. Influencers helped the company to reach out to actual Salesforce users & pitch the product directly.
Now, Applango counts fortune 500 companies as it's clients.
To get started with influencer marketing, follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Sign up on PublicFast as a brand. It's a marketplace that connects brands with verified influencers. Some of the top brands like Suzuki, Lenevo, Samsung & Fox etc. have used PublicFast to reach out to influencers.
Step 2: Reach out to influencers relevant to your industry
Step 3: Help the influencers with resources like screenshots, videos, blog posts, case studies, etc. You may also give them temporary access to your software. That's going to help them evaluate your product & frame a strategy accordingly.
Step 4: Measure ROI of your campaign. If positive, scale up your campaign & reach out to more influencers.
Following are the advantages of influencer marketing as a brand:
- Targeted & focused campaigns
- Works great with B2B
However, here're a few pitfalls that you must avoid:
- Requires careful filtering of the influencers. Not all influencers are going to generate leads. You need to carefully pick & only work with your industry-specific influencers
- Difficult to measure ROI for offline campaigns like events.
I recommend the following best practices when dealing with influencers:
- Take your time to cherry-pick influencers. Look at their profiles or portfolios. Which brands have they worked for in the past? What's their success rate?. PublicFast will help you to answer these questions.
- Frame & educate your influencers about your brand
- Ask for constructive feedback wherever required. Listen to your influencers. They're the ones with more experience & know what works & what doesn't.
5. Create A Conversion-Optimized Homepage
Your website homepage can be your biggest lead generator. It's the first thing your website visitors see when they land on your website. That's an opportunity to impress them & take them further down the funnel.
Ideally, you should be including the following on your website homepage:
- Product benefit in the form of a tagline. Someone visiting your website for the first time should instantly come to know what your product does. How does your product help your website visitor? That's your tagline.
- A clear call-to-action button (like "Buy now", "Try now", "Start for FREE", "Get started" or " Start a free trial", etc.)
- Convincing stats like number of customers, transaction value, number of countries served, brand names, etc.
- Customer testimonials
- A link to case studies
- A demo video on how your products work. Shouldn't be long enough.
- Links to a few crucial pages like about, contact, pricing, etc.
Here're a few examples of homepages of successful B2B SaaS companies:
Following are the best practices you should follow while designing your home page:
- Keep the homepage light & fast.
- Take care of the branding. Choose a theme color & stick to it consistently.
- Use Wordpress to create your website. It's a flexible CMS that can design beautiful homepages.
- A/B test different homepage designs. Look for what's working & what's not.
6. Create Content Strategically (The Content Upgrade Method)
Marketing using content (like videos, blog or social media posts, etc) is known as content marketing.
If you look at some of the world's largest SaaS companies' websites, they all have one thing in common. That's a blog/social media profiles/YouTube channels. So, their content marketing strategy is simple. They want to help their target users with great content (blog posts, social media posts or YouTube videos) & in turn generate a ton of leads.
Example: A SaaS accounting software may help businesses with content like "How to file tax returns" blog post & in that post it may pitch it's software as a solution.
Content marketing works great because it's an indirect form of marketing. It isn't direct advertising. And, stats say indirect form of marketing generates 3X more leads than the direct ones. The reason? — People hate getting sold to. Instead, if you help them upfront, they may be more willing to buy your product.
There're various platforms like the following where you can post your content:
- Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
- Blog channels like Medium
- YouTube or Dailymotion
- Forum sites like Reddit
- Presentation marketplaces like SlideShare
Now, that you know what is content marketing & how it works, let me educate you about a content marketing lead generation tactic used by advanced marketers – The Content Upgrade Method.
Here's a normal content marketing lead generation funnel:
Problem > Topic > Content > Pitch product as a solution > Get leads
Here's how the content upgrade lead generation funnel looks like:
Problem > Topic > Content > Content Upgrade > Get leads > Email Followup
The content upgrade method involves offering a valuable resource within your original content in exchange for an email address.
A SaaS company that absolutely nails this strategy is Sumo.
Here're the steps you need to follow for this content marketing strategy:
Step 1: Note down the pain-points of your target audience. Based on those pain-points, prepare a list of topics that your audience might be interested in.
Example: If yours is a SaaS that helps businesses prepare Facebook Ad templates then one of topics might be like "The Facebook Ad Title Formula Used By Top Brands".
Step 2: Prepare content (videos or blog posts) with those topics & add a valuable (downloadable) resource to it. This valuable resource can be a checklist, cheat sheet, template, swipe file, etc. Use an email autoresponder like GetResponse to deliver that resource automatically over email.
Step 3: Prepare a series of emails (you'll be pitching your SaaS product in one of these emails) that get delivered after the download email.
The advantages of using this strategy are:
- Easy to get a lot of leads
- Easy to scale with paid ads
However, the disadvantages of this strategy is:
- Lead quality may suffer. Someone seeking free resource may not be an ideal target.
- Not easy to spread a piece of content without enough fan-following or authority.
7. Install Lead Popups & Forms (The Lead Magnet Method)
This strategy is somewhat similar to the content upgrade method I just discussed. But, with a twist.
While the content upgrade method focuses on content, this lead magnet method is applicable for your complete website. In fact, you can even use this strategy on other places of your presence like social media, email signature, text messages.
The lead magnet method involves a site-wide valuable resource in return of an email address.
Look at the following example from Terry Dean's website mymarketingcoach.com
The lead magnet can be in the following formats:
- Swipe file, etc.
The best way to attract the attention of your website visitors to your lead magnet is by using lead popups or forms.
Lead popups are the popups that are automatically shown to your website visitors after an interval or when the website visitors are about to exit your website.
Look at the following example of an exit intent popup on HubSpot:
Follow these steps to execute this lead strategy:
Step 1: Prepare a resource that's going to be extremely beneficial to your website visitors
Step 2: Sign up for Get Response. Upload the resource to GetResponse & grab the lead popup code. Install the code in the header of your website. Here's a video to help you better understand this process.
Step 3: Prepare an email autoresponder sequence in GetResponse. You should be pitching your SaaS product in one of these emails.
Following are the advantages of the lead magnet method:
- A great way to capture leads from website visitors
- Very affordable
- Scalable– The more traffic your website gets, the more lead you would generate.
However, the lead magnet method comes with the following disadvantages:
- The leads may not be highly targeted
- May not work if your target is big companies
You should follow these rules for bringing the best out of this lead magnet method:
- Make your lead magnet as valuable as possible. If you think of sharing X, then make it 10X
- Add a curiosity element to the lead magnet's headline (Look how Terry has done it)
- Add a virtual image of your lead magnet
- Explain the content of your lead magnet in summary or bullet points
- Make the call-to-action button eye-catching
8. Live Chat With Your Website Visitors
The best way to turn a website visitor into a lead?. That's by answering her questions.
Example: Someone just landed at your website. She went through your product details & was impressed. However, she had a doubt regarding the pricing plan. Now, if you instantly offer a live chat option to her & clear her queries, she may instantly start a free-trial or even become a customer.
To get started with this live chat strategy follow these steps:
Step 1: Sign up with Live Chat. It's a world's leading live chat software serving companies of all sizes.
Step 2: Create user or agents in the Live Chat software. They're nothing but the sales people who would be chatting with the website visitors.
Step 3: Install the live chat code in your website. Boom!
No, you don't need to be online 24*7. Live chat has an option to mark the chat as offline. In that scenario, the visitor will leave her email address in the chat box. You can reply to her email address when you get online again.
Here'a video that explains how live chat works:
Following are the advantages of installing Live Chat on your website:
- Instant conversation means more leads
- Personalized support
- Better quality of leads
However, following are some disadvantages of this live chat tactic:
- You may need to invest in a team
I suggest best practices before installing live chat on your website:
- If possible, hire a live chat agent who would be responsible for talking to website visitors & capturing leads
- Educate & train the live chat agent
- Monitor the conversations of the live chat agent with the visitors & plug the loop holes, if any
9. Unleash The Power Of An Instant Demo
There's no faster way to get a SaaS lead than through an instant demo.
What if a person lands on your website & is expecting to try out your product without any sign up or commitment?. That's when you can offer her an instant demo & get a warm lead as a consequence.
An instant demo is done by sharing your own desktop or mobile screen with the prospective lead. You don't need a complex set up.
Let me show you show it's done:
Step 1: Sign up with Crank Wheel. It's a screen-sharing software that's specifically designed for sales teams.
Step 2: Add details of your live agents(it can be you as well) who will handle the demo call requests from prospective leads. And, also install the crank wheel chrome browser extension.
Step 3: Upload demo videos to Crank Wheel
Step 4: Grab the code for "Get an instant demo" button & install the same on your website.
Step 5: When the customer clicks on the "Get an instant demo" button, a notification will be sent to the live agent on the chrome browser. The live agent can handle the demo call thereafter.
Here's a video that shows how Crank Wheel works for instant demos:
Following are the advantages of instant demos:
- The prospective lead can see a live review of your SaaS app without a sign up
- Better way to clarify doubts of the prospect. You can talk & answer queries right away.
- It's also a way to showcase your customer support to the prospect. The more you care, the more leads you would generate.
However, following are the disadvantages of instant demos:
- Not helpful if you've a small team. You can't be online 24*7. However, Crank Wheel comes with a feature wherein the prospect can schedule a demo at a future time if no live agents are available.
With instant demos, you need to follow these rules for best results:
- Keep the friction as low as possible. Don't ask for too much information. Once the demo goes through well & the prospect is framed, that's the time you should be asking for contact details like email addresses etc.
- An instant demo is a golden opportunity to generate a hot lead, therefore make sure you train your team well for the same.
10. Delight Your Website Visitors With Rewards
Everybody likes challenges. So do your website visitors.
This lead generation strategy involves offering challenges like quizzes or contests to your website visitors. To participate & see results of those challenges, the website visitors will have to enter their email addresses. That's a lead!.
This strategy works because of the power of curiosity. Your website visitors will be curious to know about their results. And, more importantly the reward that they've earned.
The rewards can be anything ranging from 25% discount on subscription prices to an eBook. Or, rewards can also simply be a professional advice.
Neil Patel is uses this exact strategy to generate hundreds of leads everyday. Here's the snapshot of his blog page:
So, start rewarding your website visitors with the following steps:
Step 1: Think about a quiz or contest that'll resonate well with your website visitors.
Step 2: Sign up with Outgrow. It's a SaaS application that helps sales team capture leads using contests, chat bots, calculators, surveys, etc.
Step 3: Structure & configure the quiz in Outgrow
Step 4: Grab the quiz code & install the same on your website.
Following are the advantages of rewarding your website visitors:
- Evokes the curiosity element in the prospects
- Easy to start & install
Following are the disadvantages of rewarding your website visitors:
- Doesn't work that well when your traffic level is low
11. Install Proof On Your Website
What's the best way to convince a website visitor to become a lead?. That's by talking about your recent conversions. Yes, you heard it right. Showcase your customers who recently subscribed to your SaaS application & see your number of leads rise sharply.
By sales data I mean – the name, geographical locations & time of purchase of your recent customers. These data will help instill confidence in the minds of your website visitors. And, as you know, trust is crucial in B2B sales.
Imagine you going to a busy market to buy groceries. Will you step inside a shop with no customers?. Or, will you be inclined to visit a shop with customers queued up?. That's what I'm talking about.
Don't freak out. You don't need to feed manual sales data every now & then.
It's a software that makes generating conversion data ridiculously easy. It'll generate a small widget on the bottom of your website pages that'll show the customers who recently subscribed to your SaaS product.
Here're a couple of examples of Proof:
Here's a video that'll help you to set up Proof on your website:
Following are the advanateges of using Proof:
- Convincing & real sales data
- Easy to install & get started
- Increase in lead conversions (Proof survey shows that companies saw 10% increase in lead conversions after installing Proof on their websites)
Following is the disdvantages of using Proof:
- May not work well for a new SaaS companies (low traffic level)
12. Offer A Free Trial OR A Free Pricing Plan
Offering a FREE trial or a FREE pricing plan is a must if you're confident about the capabilities of your SaaS app. Let your product do the marketing for you.
Example: Shopify, a great eCommerce SaaS product, offers a 14-days no-credit-card FREE trial to it's leads. That's one of the reasons why Shopify has an awesome website visitors to FREE trial conversion rate.
Even even a FREE trial user doesn't convert into a customer after 14 days, Shopify still has the email address of that lead. It can then market, frame & take that lead through an email sales funnel. In short, Shopify has got a lifetime lead.
In marketing language, this FREE trial offer is also known as "freemium pricing model".
Alternatively, you can offer a FREE plan instead. That means your pricing plan will consist of a lifetime FREE plan with a few basic features of your SaaS app. For advanced or full set of features, your users will have to upgrade to a paid plan.
Example: Canva offers a generous FREE plan to its users as such:
Stats say that offering a FREE trial is better than offering a FREE plan (in terms of conversion).
Following are the advantages of offering a FREE trial or a FREE plan:
- Best way to help prospective leads preview your product
- Nothing-to-loose strategy
- Highly targeted leads generated
Following are the disadvantages of offering a FREE trial or a FREE plan:
- A FREE plan can be a burden to your resources
- FREE trial or plan seekers may not be your ideal target users
Here're a few things to keep in mind while offering a FREE trial or plan:
- The FREE trial days should carefully calculated or else your cash flow will suffer. An ideal number of FREE trial days is one that allows your leads to figure out & test your product completely.
- Do not offer all core features in the FREE plan. Or else your conversion rate will likely suffer.
13. Run PPC Ads With The Value First Approach
You can see PPC ads everywhere. On Google. On Facebook. On Reddit.
These're ads that advertisers run & pay on per-click basis. Hence, the name.
Example: An advertiser ran a PPC ad on Google by paying $ 100. The ad reached to more than 10,000 people (that many number of people saw the ad). Out of those, 100 people clicked on the ad. That means the advertiser paid $ 1 for one ad click.
Here's the actual examples of PPC ads on Google & Facebook:
Under this lead generation tactic, I do not want you to directly pitch your SaaS product to your audience. Instead, run your PPC ads with the "value first" approach.
Let me explain.
The value first approach of running PPC ads means you should first help your prospects (people who visit your website after clicking on your ad) & then pitch your product.
The reason? As I said earlier in this post, indirect advertising works better than direct advertising. People hate being sold to. They want value. Give them that first. Collect their contact details. And, then you've a complete life-time to pitch your product.
Example: Imagine yours is a SaaS app that helps businesses to manage multiple social media accounts easily. Now, don't go ahead & start PPC ads titled "The Best Social Media Software For Businesses". That won't work. And, even if it does, you'll have high CPC (cost per click).
Rather, I suggest you to provide value to your users first. Prepare a great content (video or blog) titled "10 Best Ways To Increase Your Social Media Engagement". Run that content as PPC ad. Bring people to that content, capture their contact addresses, build a relationship with them & then pitch your product.
Follow these steps for better understanding:
Step 1: List down some of the major problems that your target audience is facing. Choose the one that you can create a content around.
Step 2: Create the content & a content upgrade to support that content. I talked about the content upgrade method earlier in this post. Remember?
Step 3: Publish that content & run a PPC ad to bring targeted audience to that content.
Step 4: Create an email autoresponder sequence using a tool like GetResponse. Pitch your SaaS product in one of those emails.
Following are the advantages of this value first method of running PPC ads:
- An effective way to pre-frame prospects before pitching your SaaS product
- Your ad won't look like an ad. That's a simple way to differentiate your brand from others.
- Propects won't feel like being sold to.
The only disadvantage with this PPC ad method is:
- You'll need good knowledge of email marketing & sales funnels.
I recommend you to take an email marketing & a funnel optimization course on Udemy.
14. Answer Questions On Quora & Reddit
A forum is an online community where you can get answers to your questions or help others with your answers.
Example: Imagine yours is a billing software for restaurant. You can answer forum questions like: "What's the best billing software for restaurants" with your answer & a link to your SaaS app.
To demonstrate the power of Quora, I wrote an answer to a make-money-online kind of question. After a few weeks, I checked the stats & was surprised. The answer had gone viral with hundreds of upvotes & shares:
To get started with forum marketing, follow these steps:
Step 1: Join forums like Reddit & Quora & create your profiles there.
Step 2: Search for questions relevant to your industry or product
Step 3: Answer those questions with as much details as possible (with a link to your SaaS product)
The advantages of forum marketing are:
- Quick & easy way to spread your brand name
- Forums already have an audience base
- Also an effective way to build credibility & authority
The disadvantages of forum marketing are:
- Writing awesome forum answers is an art. Therefore, it requires practice & some patience.
Following are the best practices you should follow while answering forum questions:
- Describe yourself professional in your profile. Add a photo. Link to your SaaS website. Also, link to your LinkedIn & Twitter profile.
- Don't spam answers with your website links everywhere. Only add links where you think it's necessary.
- Focus on helping the community.
15. Get Viral On Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a platform where product enthusiasts discover & vote for new SaaS products.
Super-successful SaaS apps like Robinhood, Front, Shyp & Gimlet media launched on Product Hunt with thousands of upvotes. And, the rest, as we say, is history.
If your product has a great value proposition & you think the same can excite the Product Hunt community, then go & talk about it there.
The process is simpler than you think.
Step 1: Create a personal account on Product Hunt. And, wait for at least 7 days. Product hunt will only allow you to post a product after those 7 days.
Step 2: Click on "+" button on the top right corner & submit your product URL. You also need to add details like product name, tagline, thumbnail, videos, etc.
Step 3: Launch your product right away or schedule your launch at a future date.
Following are the advantages of marketing on product hunt:
- Your product can become viral overnight
- A great way to collect user feedback & opinion
- Upvotes can also help you raise funds from VCs & investors.
Following are the disadvantages of relying on product hunt:
- Your SaaS product needs to be valuable enough to attract attention of the product hunt community.
Following are the best practices you need to follow on Product Hunt:
- Complete all aspects on your profile
- Follow the Product Hunt community guidelines
- Reply to users' comments & feedback promptly
- Promote the product's product hunt link among your social circles
16. Publish Case Studies & White Papers
A case study is an in-depth analysis, thoughts & opinion on a particular business scenario. That scenario can either be a success story, failure story or simply a strategic decision.
These case studies can help you build a credibility in your industry. Or even your own personal brand. And, this (credibility) is the secret sauce of most successful B2B companies.
Don't believe me?. OK, then checkout the websites of a few popular B2B consultancies like McKinsey, Deloitte, KPMG, etc. You should find case studies there.
Yes, case studies will work in B2B SaaS industries as well. In fact, Salesforce regularly publishes case studies to demonstrate its authority in the CRM space.
So, get started with case studies with the following steps:
Step 1: List down names of the clients you've worked for in the past.
Step 2: Study about how you helped those clients solve their problems with your SaaS app.
Step 3: Outline & prepare case studies. You can use services like CaseStudyBuddy if you aren't confident with your writing skills.
Following are the advantages of publishing case studies:
- Instant authority in any niche
- Enhances your credibility
- Adds an element of authencity (if you pitch your product in the case study)
Following are the disadvantages of using this tactic for generating leads:
- Not a short-term solution
- Requires some client experience to publish case studies
17. Offer Referral Rewards To Your Leads/Customers
Referral means your existing customers will be referring new customers to your SaaS business. And, offering rewards for such referrals is called referral rewards.
Offering referral rewards to your customers is one of easiest ways to spread awareness about your product. The referral reward can either be in form of instant payouts or discounts in future billings or even premium features of your product.
Example: Dropbox grew 3900% by a simple referral program where it used to reward it's existing customers with more storage space if they referred their friends to use Dropbox.
Referral rewards are powerful because they create a "chain effect". 1 customers refers 5 customers and those 5 in turn refer another 25 & so on..
To get started with referral rewards, follow these steps:
Step 1: Coin a referral reward for your existing users. It can either be cash or in-kind. Make sure that the rewards excite your users.
Step 2: Sign up on Referral Candy & integrate the same with your website. It's a referral reward software used by online stores & SaaS companies.
Following are the advantages of running a referral system:
- Easy way to spread a word about your SaaS app
- High conversions because users generally refer their friends & families
However, following are the disadvantages of generating leads via a referral system;
- Your product & the reward should be top-notch or else the referral system will fall flat on its face
Following are some of best practices you should follow while running a referral system:
- Make it easy for users to share your app with their friends & family. A simple & quick link sharing option will work well.
- Test out the reward structure with a few beta users before launching the same. See if it excites your users. If not, then try some other structure. Stop not till you've found a winning reward structure.
- Try rewarding the referees as well. That'll amplify the "chain effect" that I just talked about.
18. Create eTools That Solve Pain-Points
eTools means simple & light online tools that solve specific user problems.
Example: If yours is a photography SaaS app then try making a cool little eTool which helps users compress their images. Those using your eTool will be required to enter their email addresses to download their compressed images. That's a lead!
Make sure that the eTool is aimed at your target audience.
An awesome real-life example is Neil Patel's Ubersuggest. It's a simple & FREE keyword tool that helps you generate SEO keywords. Every day Neil gets hundreds of targeted leads from that simple eTool. Once Neil has a lead, he can sell his SaaS premium products like Kissmetrics to that lead (through email marketing).
This tactic is also a brilliant form of indirect advertising. Instead of pitching your main SaaS product, you create a simple eTool, generate leads & then channel those leads to your SaaS app.
Follow these steps to get started with this B2B lead tactic:
Step 1: List down the pain-points of your audience. What're their problems that aren't being solved by any eTool?
Step 2: Pick a problem & create a simple eTool around it. You don't need to make it complex. A simple spreadsheet tool will also work.
Step 3: Publish the tool & market it.
Following are the advantages of this strategy:
- Best way to provide value to your target audience & gain their confidence
- Instant authority & credibility in any niche
Following are the disadvantages of this strategy:
- It takes time & resource to build even a simple eTool
- Marketing eTools can at times be challenging
19. Integrate With Other SaaS Products
What if your product integrates with other (& top) SaaS products?. Yes, first of all, your users will love it. Second, you'll generate more leads.
Example: Imagine yours is a business document maker SaaS app. Wouldn't it be great if you integrate with Microsoft Word or Google Docs?.
Once you're integrated with other SaaS products, you can request those SaaS companies to feature your product on their integration page. That simple featuring will help you poach users & generate leads for years to come.
Follow these steps to get started with this strategy:
Step 1: Create in-app integrations with a popular SaaS product like Mailchimp, Shopify, Gmail etc. (depending on your niche)
Here's an example from SendOwl, a SaaS company helping anyone sell digital products.
Step 2: Email the aforesaid companies saying that your product integrates with their's & request them to feature your app on their integrations page.
Following are the advantages of this integration strategy:
- Top SaaS products have a ready base of audience & featuring on their website can be a huge win.
- Chances of getting viral are high.
- It's difficult to convince big companies to feature your app on integration page unless your app is decently popular
- Integrations aren't easy to do. It takes time & resource.
20. Keep Upgrading Your Product Features
Word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing. It's free & doesn't require planning, testing or monitoring. From that sense, it's also passive.
If you don't know then, word-of-mouth marketing happens when your existing delighted users promote your products for FREE. Yes, it's different from referral because this doesn't require rewards. If your customers are delighted with your SaaS app, they'll spread the word even without a monetary reward.
That's how Slack became a popular B2B SaaS app. When your product itself does the marketing, you don't need to worry about leads.
So, how do you delight your users?. Simple. Always take customer feedback & keep improving your SaaS app.
A bright real-life example is Google. They always keep improving their products as per their users' requirements. I'm sure you must be using one of Google's products. Mark the way they iterate that product. And, that's why they're one of most valuable companies in the World.
To upgrade your product features & gather leads as a result, follow these steps:
Step 1: Email feedback forms to all of your present users. A simple Google form will work.
Step 2: Pick the requested features & start working on them.
Step 3: Once new features are released, request your present users to tell about it to their friends.
Upgrading product features is a long-term game. Eventually, it'll pay off handsomely.
I understand. Generating quality leads for a B2B SaaS product is a daunting task. Especially when you're new & not that good with marketing stuff & all.
But trust me, no one is born as a marketer. Every successful startup once struggled to get customers. You're no different. It's normal. Relax.
Start with one of the aforesaid 20 strategies. Start with just one. And, you'll be surprised how things take off from there. Start now.
After implementing these lead generating ideas, I'm sure you'll have a few hundred clients in no time.
Hustle. Sell. Grow.