Marketing & SEO

How to Build a SaaS Marketing Funnel – Informative Guide

Angela White 1 July, 2020

If you want to attract the right leads that you will easily convert, you need to have an effective SaaS marketing funnel. You could do without one, especially if you employ good SEO strategies, but the results wouldn’t always be as effective and fast.

Software as a Solution

With a strong funnel, you’ll also build credibility and trust, since you’ll provide your leads and prospects with valuable content.

Let’s dive deeper into why you need an effective funnel, funnel stages, and essential types of content that bring qualified leads.

Why Do You Need SaaS Marketing Funnel?

According to Marketo, about 96% of your first-time website visitors aren’t ready to buy immediately. However, they may entrust you with their contact information if you provide them with some kind of value.

Sales statistics show that at least 50% of your prospects aren’t a good fit for what you sell.

That’s why you need to build a good marketing funnel. You need to understand all its stages and use them to address the needs of your target audience.

Consumers have different needs in different stages of their buyer’s journey. You can’t market your products to existing users the same way you do to new or potential users.

Also, marketing for SaaS products is different from marketing for physical goods. When you sell physical products, your goal is to acquire more customers and, ideally, compel them to keep purchasing from you.

With SaaS products, it’s all about retention, because you rely on subscriptions. That’s why marketing for SaaS companies needs a different approach that ensures converting new and retaining existing customers.

A SaaS Clickfunnels consist of five stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Retention
  • Advocacy

Here’s how to make the most of each and build a B2B SaaS marketing funnel that continually generates qualified leads and conversions.

Stage 1: Awareness of SaaS Marketing Funnel

The awareness stage involves marketing to people who have never heard about you or been to your website but have a problem that you can solve. You need to capture their attention and entice them to check out what you have to offer. Here are the four ways to do it.

SaaS marketing guide

Provide Compelling Content Building SaaS Marketing Funnel

You know that high-quality content is vital for attracting customers, so make sure you regularly create it.

Hire top-notch content writers who will know how to address the needs of your target audience. But don’t just publish content on your blog. Look for guest-blogging opportunities as well to extend your reach and get quality backlinks.

Apart from articles and blog posts, you need to create infographics, whitepapers, reports, eBooks, and videos. Brand, educational, and how-to videos are the best types of video content for this funnel stage.

Quizzes are also perfect for the awareness stage.

Let’s say you offer software for employee training. You could create a quiz, “Are you an employee training expert?”

The key is to use an intuitive quiz builder and create questions that address your audience’s key pain points.

Step up Your SEO Game

SEO plays a big role in everything you do, especially when trying to generate more leads. Develop an effective SaaS SEO strategy to boost your online visibility and help people find you much easier.

The most important factors are the keywords. Conduct keyword research to determine what terms and phrases people use to search for the SaaS products you offer. Implement them into your content to let Google and other search engines know that your website is relevant to all those searches.

Your site will start appearing higher in SERPs, and you’ll start getting more traffic.

Be Active on Social Media

You can extend your reach globally with social media, so don’t miss your chance to create a strong presence on various platforms. Be where your target customers are and engage with them daily.

That’s one of the fastest ways to spread awareness these days, especially because people will share your content, as long as it provides value.

Invest in Paid Ads To Build SaaS Marketing Funnel

Paid ads will spread the word about your business even faster. You can invest in advertising, social media ads, display ads, and any other paid media that works well for your business.

paid ads

Ads can be expensive, but they can pay off incredibly well if you do it right.

Stage 2: Consideration

If done properly, these previous steps should get you more traffic, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate more sales. Most of the people coming to your site aren’t ready to buy right away, remember?

You need to give them a reason to come back and, preferably, to give you their contact information. Here’s what you can do at the consideration stage of your SaaS marketing funnel to keep them coming back.

Keep Providing Valuable Content

This isn’t the time for a sales pitch. It’s time to showcase your SaaS products’ ways to improve your target audience’s lives.

Keep providing educational blog posts, videos showcasing the benefits of your products, eBooks that people can download, testimonials, case studies, reviews, etc.

Quizzes can also play a role here, although they’re much more effective in the awareness stage. Still, get your quiz generator running and create something like “What is the right __ tool for you?”, depending on the software you offer.

Use Email to Nurture Leads

Harness the power of email to nurture your leads, the contacts who have subscribed to your newsletter. With relevant and high-quality content, you can easily turn them into qualified leads.

Just make sure you don’t spam your contacts. Simply keep educating them to carefully guide them to the next stage of your SaaS marketing funnel.

Invest in Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads, or remarketing ads, will help your first-time website visitors remember you. They’ll compel them to come back and boost your chances of converting them into qualified leads.

Stage 3: SaaS Marketing Funnel Decision

Here’s where the magic happens. At this stage of your SaaS marketing funnel, your qualified leads are making a purchasing decision.

It’s the most important stage because they’re choosing between you and your competition. So, you need to show them why they should choose you.

SaaS Marketing Funnel guide

Don’t keep highlighting your products’ features here. Your leads already know all about your products. They need to know why you’re better than the other brands. Here are the best ways to stand out.

Offer Freebies Creating SaaS Marketing Funnel

Who doesn’t like getting something for free? When it comes to SaaS products, free trials and demos are a must if you want to get more users. They simply give people a chance to explore the features and see if a product is the right fit for their needs.

You can also offer discounts to new users. For instance, they can try the basic pricing plan for a fracture of the cost to see how it works, before upgrading to a full-feature plan that’s more expensive.

Convert Leads with Email Marketing

As you can see, email works great at every stage of the SaaS marketing funnel. But how to convert your SaaS leads with email?

You can inform them about discounts and promotions, invite them to webinars, and send any other time-limited offer. You should send anything that will show your brand in the best light and help you build trust with your leads.

Stage 4: Retention

As already mentioned, marketing for SaaS products is different in that you need to retain all your customers.

You need to make sure they’re satisfied with your brand and don’t think about switching to your competition. Here are some ways to achieve that.

Regularly Offer Compelling Benefits

Discounts aren’t just for new users – at least, they shouldn’t be. You can offer your existing customers discounts for long-term subscriptions and renew subscriptions before the expiry date.

Whenever you’re launching new features, provide your existing customers with early access. Use email to let them know in advance.

Keep Educating Your Customers to Build SaaS Marketing Funnel

Even if your SaaS products are very easy to use, that doesn’t mean that every user will get the hang of them quickly. You need to make sure all the users, especially those who are not very tech-savvy, can get the most out of your products.

You should regularly provide tutorials, videos, webinars, case studies, how-to articles, informational blog posts, and even podcasts. Help your customers get the most value out of your tools.

Always Provide Outstanding Customer Service

Getting people to use your software isn’t always enough to retain them. What if they encounter a technical issue? You need to be there to resolve the problem quickly.

Nothing can beat customer service, so make sure yours is truly outstanding.

Enable customers to contact you via email, phone, live chat, social media, and any other channel that they prefer. Ensure your customer service representatives are highly-trained, friendly, empathetic, and can clearly communicate and quickly solve problems.

Stage 5: Advocacy of SaaS Marketing Funnel

The advocacy stage of the SaaS marketing funnel isn’t as important as all the others, but you shouldn’t overlook it. It’s the stage that can bring you even more customers.

When people love your products so much that they recommend them to friends and family, you can get lots of referrals.

public relations SaaS marketing funnel

More often than not, those referrals are leads of the highest quality. Converting them is much easier and faster because their buyer’s journey is shorter.

You should consider setting up a SaaS referral program to offer benefits (e.g., discounts) to customers who refer new leads and those they refer to.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your SaaS Marketing Funnel

There are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that you need to measure regularly to make sure your SaaS marketing funnel is effective.

The most crucial KPIs include:

  • Customer acquisition cost(CAC)
  • Customer lifetime value(CLV)
  • Monthly recurring revenue(MRR)
  • Customer retention rate(CRR)

Customer Acquisition Cost

Pretty self-explanatory, this KPI shows you how much is getting a new customer costs your business. Ideally, the cost should be lower than the revenue you’ll get from that customer in the long run (CLV). Otherwise, you would be losing money.

Here’s how you can calculate your CAC.
A Customer Acquisition cost = Cost of Sales + Marketing Costs / Number of Acquired Customers

Customer Lifetime Value

A customer lifetime value is a metric that shows how much revenue you will get from a customer for your relationships. It’s the amount of money they will spend with your company while being your customer.

If your CLV is low, that means your customer churn is high, so it’s vital to keep an eye on this metric. As you’ve just seen above, it also comes in handy when looking at your CAC.

The formula for calculating your CLV is as follows:

Customer Lifetime Value = Annual Customer Revenue-Customer Acquisition Value

Monthly Recurring Revenue

Monthly recurring revenue represents the revenue that you get each month. It’s the revenue that you can predict and rely on.

As a SaaS company, it’s typically simple to calculate your MRR, since your customers pay for your software monthly or annually.

To calculate your MRR, use this simple formula:

Monthly Recurring Revenue = Number of Customers*Average Revenue per Account

If you don’t see a regular spike in your MRR, your efforts may not pay off. An effective SaaS marketing funnel should bring you regular MRR boosts.

Customer Retention Rate

Your customer retention rate shows the number of subscribers you’ve managed to retain over a particular period.

If it keeps going up, the more subscribers you get, the more effective your retention strategies are. If not, you need to pinpoint why your customers are leaving.

Here’s a formula for measuring your CRR:

Customer Retention Rate = E – N / S*100

“E” stands for the number of subscribers at the end of the measured period, “N” represents the number of subscribers you acquired over that period, and “S” stands for the number of subscribers at the start of the measured period.

Regularly keeping track of all these metrics will help you continually optimize your efforts, making the most of your SaaS marketing funnel.

SaaS Marketing Funnel – In Nutshell

Building a SaaS marketing funnel may seem complicated at first, but it’s not if you know who your target audience is and what their needs are. By properly segmenting your audience and following all these tips, you’ll start generating quality leads and conversions round the clock.

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Tags: digital marketing marketing strategies marketing tools online marketing
Author: Angela White
Angela White is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, she is an expert researcher at a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as ProProfs Quiz Maker.