All growing SaaS businesses have one thing in common; they have a steady flow of leads, allowing their sales team to predict and optimize revenue and growth.
The best way to achieve this is by implementing proven SaaS lead generation strategies. In 2023, marketing teams must adapt to more sophisticated lead-generation methods as people increasingly become wary of spam and unsolicited calls.
As a SaaS SEO agency, we are constantly looking for strategies that help improve lead generation. Here are 12 proven strategies (along with real-life examples) that will elevate your lead generation game to the next level.
What We'll Cover:
What is a Lead?
A lead is a person or a company that has shown interest in your products/services. This interest can be defined in many ways, like when someone clicks on your online ad or signs up for your weekly blog updates.
While leads are potential customers, most of them aren’t ready to make a purchase right away. It's a relationship that takes work, and you must educate and nurture them to turn them into paying customers.
Here are some common types of leads:
What is Lead Generation in SaaS?
Lead generation in SaaS is somewhat different than for other domains. SaaS products generally require considerable investment, and once you select a product for your team, it’s challenging to shift to another tool.
This is a major reason why SaaS lead generation depends greatly on educating and informing customers through different channels like blogs, social media, webinars, ebooks and email campaigns.
You can combine inbound and outbound marketing strategies to boost awareness and draw more leads for your business.
Why Does SaaS Lead Generation Matter?
There are several reasons why SaaS lead generation is important:
- Enables you to know more about your market. While you may have a target audience in mind, lead generation helps you learn more about your potential customer and even identify segments you might be missing out on.
- Helps predict revenue and growth. Once you know the number of new leads each strategy brings and the close rate for different leads, you can predict your revenue more accurately.
- Improves lead quality. Lead generation focuses on creating targeted strategies to get results. This means you’ll likely get higher-quality marketing-qualified leads that convert.
- Boosts brand visibility and awareness. You can impact your brand visibility by understanding your target audience and creating content they like.
12 Proven SaaS Lead Generation Strategies
Now that we understand the importance of leads for your SaaS business, here are twelve powerful lead-generation strategies you can implement immediately.
1. Craft Engaging and Compelling Content
We have all heard of Groove, the sales engagement tool. But did you know that the startup was close to dying?
That was until content marketing turned its fortunes around.
With a clear and data-backed content strategy, their traffic rose to 250,000 readers per month, and their revenue shot up to $5 million per year in 3 years.
Here are some tips they used:
- Find out the kind of content your target audience wants to read about.
- Bring transparency to your content. For example, Groove used to share their own numbers in their blogs as examples. Backlinko does the same by sharing how they implement the strategies they recommend.
- They worked on their backlink strategy by creating genuine content that interests readers.
- Create gated content. Instead of giving away all the information for free, ask readers to share their email addresses to get access to exclusive content.
2. Maximize Online Visibility With SEO
If you think writing great content is enough, it’s not.
You need to supplement content with SEO to rank higher on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
To do this, you can work on three areas of SEO:
- On-page SEO: This involves everything you do on your website to influence rankings. It covers inculcating keywords in your content, optimizing title tags, providing a proper structure to the page, etc.
- Off-page SEO: This covers everything you do outside your website to influence rankings. It includes earning backlinks, focusing on branded searches and social signals, getting positive reviews, etc.
- Technical SEO: It is the process of optimizing your website for search engines. It covers improving page speed, ensuring the website is mobile-friendly, fixing broken pages, etc.
Here’s how you can get started with SEO.
3. Discover the Platforms Your Target Audience Uses
Would you set up a toy shop near a children’s playground or a salon?
You would choose the first one, right?
Why? Because you want to be where your audience is.
Similarly, you must find the platforms where your audience is most active. Again, this will help you define the direction your marketing strategies must take.
For example, while a design tool’s target audience may be more active on visual platforms like Instagram and Dribble, a B2B tool’s target audience may be on LinkedIn majorly. Here’s how Adobe Photoshop makes the best use of Instagram, where they showcase how people are using their platform.
4. Leverage Social Media
Most of the world is on social media today, and so is your audience.
With brands like Shopify making it big on TikTok, one thing is certain: SaaS can no longer think social media is only meant for fashion or retail companies.
Once you find out where your audience is most active, you can search for the best practices for each social platform.
You can even experiment with different formats to find the ones that work for you. For example, ClickUp’s been using the reel format several times.
5. Use Paid Advertising Campaigns
While content marketing and SEO can take some time to yield results, you can start generating leads quicker with paid advertising campaigns (PPC).
It’s important to note that PPC isn’t an alternative to SEO or organic marketing efforts. But when used strategically, it can complement other initiatives.
Here are two ways you can use PPC:
- Bid on competitor keywords: Bidding on competitor names with more search volume than your brand can be an effective tactic to reach your target audience. Instead of doing it directly, here’s how Monday portrays its USP compared to the competitor’s tool.
- Perform cross-channel retargeting: You can maximize your reach to the right people by using PPC to retarget potential customers across channels.
6. Host Webinars or Live Events
Webinars and live events can be a great way to generate leads and encourage prospects to know more about your brand, and the statistics back this up.
One major challenge is that the average attendance rate of these webinars roughly turns out to be 40%. Here are three tips to increase the effectiveness of your webinars:
- Choose the right topic: The topic should be educational and interesting for the viewers. At the same time, the topic should allow you to portray your tool’s effectiveness.
- Send reminders: People are busy, and some might forget about the webinar they signed up for. Sending them a reminder may increase the attendance rate.
- Offer something at the end: Attendees will be willing to stay till the end if they know they will get something valuable.
7. Establish an Effective Referral Program
Your users can be your biggest promoters. If you have a great tool and provide the best experience possible, your users will inevitably recommend your tool to others.
But to incentivize them further, you can implement a referral program that rewards recommendations with discounts, credit points, or plan upgrades.
Here’s how Airtable provides $10 in credit against each person invited to Airtable.
Making this referral process quick and easy to share will help you get more people on the program.
8. Engage With Online Communities
Online communities can be a powerful way to reach out to your target audience and introduce them to your tool strategically.
These communities may involve Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, Twitter threads, or Quora questions.
ClickUp is one SaaS company that is great at social listening and engaging with tweets that mention their brand. Here’s one example where they did a great job replying to a customer's concern.
You can even find tweets or Quora questions with topics on your niche. You can provide an insightful answer to these questions and suggest how your tool can help them solve their problems.
9. Experiment With Click Pop-Ups
Pop-ups can be an effective lead-generation strategy, but they could also feel intrusive to readers.
That’s why many companies now include click pop-ups in their marketing strategy. Click pop-ups get activated only when a reader clicks on your campaign text or image. These work well because visitors are not forced to enter their information.
When Wishpond implemented click pop-ups on its website, it was discovered that these pop-ups yielded an average conversion rate of 54.54% after four months compared to their landing page’s rate of 27.47%.
Here’s one example from their blog
Once the reader clicked on this, they were led to a pop-up shown below.
10. Use Case Studies or Testimonials
What do you do before buying a product or subscribing to a tool?
Read the reviews?
Ever wondered why?
Because we want to see how the product has helped someone like us. That’s why providing your audience with case studies and testimonials is important.
Look at how Hootsuite provides their readers an option to see customer stories about their industry so they can get immediate answers to their questions and get a first-hand feeling of what it would be like using their solution.
You can even add testimonials to your website to build trust with potential customers and increase their chances of becoming leads.
11. Offer a Free Trial
Free trial is one of the best ways to turn a “Maybe” into a “Yes.”
Many SaaS customers use free trials to understand whether the product would work for them.
It’s also a great strategy to get relevant information from your prospects, like contact information, company name, size, etc. These details can be used further to re-engage or turn them into paying customers.
One great way to turn these leads into paying customers is by helping them succeed with your product. This could mean sending them relevant tutorials and guides or even hopping on a call with them, depending on the company size and resources you have at hand.
Here’s the ideal free trial period:
12. Partner With Other Businesses
Partnership marketing can be a great way to generate leads if you help solve multiple problems.
You can even reach a wider audience and further boost your brand awareness.
One way to do this is by creating a content piece that is helpful to both SaaS companies’ target audiences.
Moz talked about its free keyword explorer tool and how to create topic clusters, pillar pages, and perform keyword research.
This video garnered 8000 views and 6000 clicks to Moz in four months. Moz even earned 1460 new contacts because of this.
Lead Generation Platforms for SaaS Companies
To streamline your lead generation SaaS process and get the most out of your campaigns, you can utilize one of the several lead generation platforms listed below.
We have all heard of HubSpot as a CRM and marketing automation tool. But it also has many lead generation and qualification features that SaaS businesses can use.
HubSpot’s lead capture tool makes capturing, storing, and nurturing leads easy with forms, chatbot, live chat, popup forms, etc.
You can even create automated email sequences to engage with your leads and move them through your sales funnel.
All these tools plug naturally with HubSpot’s CRM, so you can easily integrate everything and manage data seamlessly.
Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that can help you create email sequences to engage and convert your leads into customers for your brand.
The platform has an easy and intuitive drag-and-drop email builder that helps you create aesthetically pleasing emails. Many automation tools also help your team eliminate manual processes and check-ins.
You can personalize your emails by creating lists and targeting specific behaviors, activities, and traits, and analyze and gather data from your email campaigns to optimize them in the future.
GetResponse is a platform that can help you generate qualified leads easily.
It has a lot of tools you can use, like an email marketing tool, live chat tool, landing page builders, popups and forms builder, and so on.
You can even automate your workflows, track website visitors, manage lists, send bulk emails, hold webinars, use paid ads with social media integrations, and access SMS marketing.
The best part is all of these tools also provide in-built analytics and data so you can customize your strategies to garner better results.
Adobe’s Marketo Engage is a marketing automation platform that can help you generate and convert leads.
The five main pillars it offers are social media marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, digital advertising, and dynamic chat.
The major features of these tools are personalizing social ads, reaching your audience on different platforms, setting real-time trigger emails, personalizing emails, viewing key email performance metrics, tracking mobile app activity, and retargeting prospects.
The platform also provides helpful content you can use to guide your strategies.
Sendinblue can be your all-in-one marketing tool that takes care of everything from lead generation to marketing automation.
The most notable features of the platform are advanced email personalization options, a targeted approach to segmenting, A/B email testing, workflow automation options, lead scoring, CRM to manage sales pipeline and track deals, a multi-channel live chat app, etc.
These features aim to help you build strong relationships with your existing customers and prospects, an important part of lead generation.
Leadformly helps you create lead capture forms with pre-tested templates and multi-step forms that better segment your audience.
You can simply build these forms without any knowledge of coding. These forms can also be refined to maintain company branding across landing pages.
Apart from this, Leadformly also offers you a complete sales and marketing platform that involves email marketing, marketing automation, social management, campaign tracking, landing page design builder, etc.
Their marketing automation system is designed in such a way that it can detect key leads and further engage them.
Your landing pages and websites most often form the first interaction the visitor has with your brand.
To make this interaction as powerful and engaging as possible, Leadpages helps you create no-code, power-packed, and aesthetically pleasing sites and pages in no time.
Lead generation is an integral part of their tool as they help you collect quality leads with instant digital file delivery, opt-in offers, and conversion-optimized content.
You can even check your performance with real-time tracking and unlimited split tests.
Generating leads is all about finding those strategies that work for your business and combining them to create an integrated approach to lead generation and conversion.
It might take some time and experimentation to find out those strategies. If you want to fasten this process, you can do competitor research or use tools that can help you back your strategies with proven data.
You can even head over to MADX experts to understand how SEO and content marketing can help you increase organic traffic and generate leads for your business.
Here are some results we have achieved for our clients: