Posts Tagged ‘Customers’

How SaaS Can Harness Influencer Marketing

Monday, January 9th, 2017

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You’re marketing your business, but you’ve become stuck. Maybe you’re trying to break into the scene and don’t have any fans. Maybe you’ve hit a wall and can’t seem to raise your profile.

In either case, you need a boost. You’re already using email marketing or social media marketing. You need something to accelerate your growth and capture more fans and customers.

Influencer marketing is the strategy you need.

Get the bonus content:Use our free pitch template to reach out to potential influencers.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is pretty simple. You’re exposed to it countless times a day in one form or another.

There’s a reason Nike’s Air Jordan is one of the best selling sneakers of all time – it’s been closely linked to basketball legend Michael Jordan (so close it’s named after him). It comes with his endorsement.

And endorsements are a big deal. Kristen Matthews, Director of Marketing at influencer intelligence app GroupHigh says “People are wired to trust a third party recommendation more than someone talking about themselves. Whether it’s a guy at a cocktail party trying to promote himself for a date or a brand trying to convince a consumer that they are the best—it’s all the same.”

According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, we’re far more likely to trust recommendations than any other form of advertising, even if we know the recommendations are part of a marketing program.
influencer-recommendations

Image: marketingcharts.com

Basically, influencer marketing is the leveraging of key leaders to promote your brand. It means using someone else’s audience to grow your own by having the influencer share your content to their fans or make an outright recommendation of your business.

Influencer marketing is leveraging other people’s audiences to help grow your own.

An influencer is someone with an audience that’s similar to your own. If you don’t have much of an audience yet, target influencers who have audiences similar to who you think your audience should be.

How do you find influencers?

You don’t need a giant list of influencers. In fact, due to the majority illusion, you only need a few. Research from the USC Information Sciences Institute found that it only takes a few influential people to create an appearance that everyone is talking about your brand.

This means you don’t have to build a giant list of potential influencers. You should target a small list of people who would make the best symbiotic relationships (part of working with an influencer is providing value to them as well, but more on that in a minute).

Finding influencers isn’t an easy task. 75% of marketers say identifying influential people is the hardest part of performing outreach.
influencer-marketing-challenges

Image: emarketer.com

  1. They’re active – Don’t waste your time on anyone who hasn’t blogged or Tweeted in more than two months. They might be influential, but they aren’t useful if they aren’t engaging with other people.
  1. They aren’t too big – Sorry, Bill Gates isn’t going to plug your B2B SaaS. He won’t respond because you don’t offer anything substantial in return for his time. Instead of going after the biggest fish, approach smaller influencers who are willing to partner for your level of reciprocity. As your audience grows, approach more influential people.
  1. They’re relevant – Sharing a similar audience isn’t enough. An influencer’s brand needs to relate to your brand. For example, a social media scheduling tool would have the same audience as social media manager, but the manager isn’t likely to plug your product because he wants to steer people to his services.
  1. They must have an engaged audience – Potential influencers need to have an audience that actually pays attention to them. There are plenty of “influential” people with thousands of followers (some of which may be fake, purchased accounts), but they never get any likes, comments, shares or retweets. These people aren’t any use to you. Engagement is tough to measure. All you can do is look through the influencers feed to see if fans are active.

Now that you know what makes a good influencer, let’s find some.

Step 1: Start your list with people you already know

There’s a chance you already know of several influential people in your industry who share the same audience. Put them on the list right away. Pitching them will be easier than pitching unknown people because you’re familiar with their work. Add their names, URLs, and Twitter handles to a spreadsheet.

Step 2: Use an influencer scoring index

An influencer scoring index is an application that runs algorithms on different online personas to determine their influence on the web. They aren’t perfect, but they’re good for inspiration. Check out PeerIndex, Followerwonk, Klout and Kred.

Step 3: Search for relevant topics in BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a tool that shows you the most shared pages on the web. Search for a basic topic that an influential person in your niche is sure to have covered. For example, a sales expert must have written something about setting up a sales funnel. You would search for “sales funnel” and see who wrote the most shared articles.

Step 4: Join LinkedIn and Facebook groups

Groups on these two social networks are often run influential people. Even if their creators are not especially influential, they are definitely trying to be influential, which means they’ll be willing to work with you. Search for your niche, join as many groups as you can and poke around.

Step 5: Scour Twitter and follow accounts

Finding influential people on Twitter is simple. First, search for a keyword in the search box. You can use a hashtag if you’re sure an influencer in your niche would have used it. Second, click the “People” filter. This will bring up a list of account. Start investigating and following each.

Step 6: Look at the retweets/shares

Follow people in your industry, even if you don’t think they are influential. Watch who they retweet and share. Do you notice any trends or patterns? Whose name pops up in conversations?

At this point you should have at least five or 10 names on your list. It’s alright if you have a lot more than that, too. All niches are different; some are more popular than others. If you have a lot, pick out the top 10 that are most likely to work with you.

How can you partner with influencers?

Working with influencers is about building a relationship. They’ll expect you to give just as much as you take. The key is to become a valuable person to them.

The best way to open a dialogue with potential influencers is to give them something without asking for any compensation. You could offer free exposure by asking for a quote to fit into your next article. Or you could start with a simple, “Hey I loved your post on [topic], I shared it wherever I could.”

Make sure to find other ways to pop up on your influencer’s radar. For instance, you could go through some of their Twitter history and retweet whatever’s relevant to your audience. You could link to the influencer a few times from your website (then send a quick “Hey, just to let you know” email).

Any correspondence with the influencer should be personal. It’s OK to use a template email to reach out to new people, but customize it considerably for the receiver. Make sure you’re familiar with their work and their brand so you can say meaningful things.

You should be focusing on the top 10 people who can make a difference to your brand, not hundreds of people. So invest time and effort into building new relationships.

Finally, be open with the influencer about your goals. They know how the world works too. They want to grow their brand as well. Tell them that you’re looking to partner with influential people and you’re happy to reciprocate wherever you can.

This free pitch template will help you contact influencers and build relationships.

The Result

Over time, you’ll build a network of VIPs who mean a lot to your brand. You’ll notify them of content before you tell your email list or social fans.

You’ll give them opportunities to comment on your content. You’ll give them chances to test your new features and give feedback before anyone else. You might even give them discounts on your service or commissions on affiliate sales.
In time, your influencers will become partners who genuinely want to grow your brand.

How to Deal With Negative Feedback in Your SaaS

Monday, November 14th, 2016

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You can’t be friends with everyone.

Some people aren’t going to like you. Some customers will walk away disappointed.

These are the realities of running a business. It doesn’t matter how strongly you prioritize customer service and customer success, some customers are going to complain.

Young startups feel this the most. They only have a handful of customers, so a few complaints are a blow to their egos. They can’t turn to a user base of thousands for assurances. Plus, resources are tight. They can’t provide as much of their attention as they would like.

But that doesn’t mean that negative feedback should be ignored.

Your customer service policy should be a carefully designed plan. Download our free guide to learn how to create yours.

All Feedback Is Useful

Anytime a customer or user takes the time to send you feedback, you should rejoice.

Sure, sometimes the customer will be upset. They might even be angry or use unconstructive language.

Just keep in mind that the customer is giving you an opportunity to learn; an opportunity to improve your product. If you can set your ego aside and critically look at your product and business, any bit of feedback can be used to strengthen your SaaS.  

Positive feedback is encouraging, but it rarely helps. You already know what you’re good at. Negative feedback, however, points you at the areas you can improve. A complaint is a big neon sign that says “FIX THIS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.”

You’re likely familiar with the Lean Startup methodology. The build-measure-learn feedback is an exercise most SaaS businesses use to improve their product. User feedback is a big part of the “learn” phase of product iteration.

build-measure-learn-loop

Source: theleanstartup.com

The beauty of software is that you can change the product in response to complaints. So unlike physical products where negative feedback is best minimized and handled quietly, SaaS complaints are a chance to make your product and service better.

Understand the Complaint

Before you can take steps to respond to negative feedback, you have to understand why the customer is complaining. Something made them upset. What triggered the behavior?

In many cases, the original complaint will tell you everything you need.

Let’s say a customer signed up for your payroll software, but didn’t realize that you specialize in helping small businesses. His company is too large and requires elaborate features that you don’t provide. He may label you “ineffective” and “unfinished.”

It’s obvious from his complaint that his challenges are real. He is frustrated because he purchased a product that doesn’t help him. You could dismiss the customer as a poor fit, but that doesn’t help anyone. Instead, use his feedback to improve your marketing (perhaps your website copy) to make your product’s intended use more clear.

In other cases, customers won’t be as clear. They’ll fail to provide details and use general words like “disappointed,” “unprofessional,” and “dissatisfied.” These complaints don’t help you solve the customer’s problem or improve your product.

If you don’t feel that the customer has provided enough information, ask for more. Don’t be condescending or overly suspicious, but don’t admit fault or apologize until you know the full story.

Respond Respectfully

When we’re emotionally investing in something, we have a tendency to take negative feedback to heart. Resist this urge at all costs. Respond to the feedback quickly, but not immediately. Give yourself and the complainer at least two hours to cool off. (Exceptions apply here. If the customer is experiencing severe hardships – like revenue loss – get on the phone.)

Always respond in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. You care what they have to say, so make sure the sentiment comes across.

If you are replying publicly, be especially cautious (email is considered public; it’s easy to forward around). Speak in terms of solutions, not problems. Make sure to thank the customer for the feedback, no matter how much that sentence hurts to write/say. All feedback is a gift.

Sometimes a customer will be wrong. They’ll misremember, misread, or insist that you help them in a ludicrous manner. If you assessed the situation objectively, it’s alright to correct the customer. Don’t feel the need to apologize for everything, but recognize that sometimes it’s smart to rectify a problem that isn’t your fault. In many cases, solving unrelated problems is a big part of customer success.

A few days after you have proposed a solution, follow up with the dissatisfied customer so they understand that you genuinely want to solve their problem. Ask if they have taken your advice or used your solution. Offer further help. If they don’t reply, don’t harass them.

Even if you can’t provide a solution, respond anyway. The service recovery paradox is when a customer thinks better of a company after the company has apologized for a mistake than if the company had never made the mistake in the first place. It doesn’t work for big failures and it doesn’t work repeatedly for the same customer, but a failure on your end does not instantly end a relationship.

service-recovery-paradox

A Harris Poll survey found that responding to negative feedback online is a smart tactic. 33% of people who leave negative reviews online will post a positive review if a company responds, and 34% will delete their original review. The key is to respond quickly, accurately, thoughtfully, and address their complaints.

Improve Your Business

Once you have handled a complaint, your work isn’t finished. You need to catalog them so you can identify patterns.

Complaints will rarely be uniform, but they can often be solved with similar solutions. Let’s return to our example from before – the customer who wasn’t a fit for your payroll software. Perhaps you had another customer who misunderstood your product for accounting software, or a customer who wasn’t aware she could only list 15 employees.

In our example, each complaint is different, but they share a commonality: The customers purchased your software without understanding it. You should adjust your marketing to better educate your customers. This solution won’t help the complainants, but you’ll prevent future problems.

Keep in mind that anytime a customer sends negative feedback, there are several more who choose to say nothing. According to Help Scout, “a typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers.” They’ll think it. They’ll tell their friends. But they won’t come to you. The smart solution is to fix whatever triggered the poor feedback so it stops happening.

Create a Feedback Process

Smart businesses use processes so they don’t solve the same problems over and over.

Create, document and implement a system to deal with negative feedback, especially if you have a large team. The process should tackle negative feedback immediately in a consistent manner.

As CSM Wire suggests, this feedback process should integrate with your customer success team. “The customer success team should also develop a library of standard messaging that can be quickly accessed during an urgent situation. Standard update and maintenance communications can be customized as necessary.”

Feedback is so important, in fact, that seeking feedback should be a part of your process. Social media is a good tool for this, but it’s also smart to build features into your app for immediate communication, like live chat, review prompts, and popup surveys.

You can build a customer service policy that deftly handles negative feedback and turns those customers into loyal fans. Download our guide to learn how.

The Takeaway

The key to handling negative feedback is to not sit idle.

If you receive feedback and fail to address it, the likelihood of churn skyrockets. Even if the problem wasn’t a big deal to the customer, your unwillingness to address it exacerbates the problem. Suddenly the customer feels unappreciated and unvalued. Instead of a polite “I need help” email, the customer publically criticizes your company on social media. Not good.

If you respond to your upset users and continually refine your process for handling feedback, you’ll retain users and squash your churn.

How to Build a Better Knowledge Base

Monday, October 31st, 2016

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How close to 24/7 does your SaaS have team members available to answer queries or support tickets? If you’re like most, the answer is nowhere near 24/7 which means you better have a viable alternative to actual humans for answering important customer questions.

Your customer support can make or break a SaaS as far as encouraging retention of customers so it’s important you’ve put the effort into making their lives as easy as possible. They don’t want to search for how to get help; they want easy options which allow them to find answers quickly themselves.

A good knowledge base can provide a solution that both you and your customers can live with. The key though is that it must actually be useful and it must be easy to use.

Customers who click around forever or who come up with too many irrelevant hits for their typed searches will probably give up in frustration. How can you build a better knowledge base?

Which tools help create a good knowledge base? Check out our quick guide:

Assign an Owner

Let’s face it, some website knowledge bases you come across are a complete mess, rendering them ineffective to users. Some companies have taken a kind of scattered approach where they try to have their knowledge base come together “organically”, meaning no one takes real ownership of getting it together.

You’ll find that assigning one owner, even if the knowledge base is just one aspect of their job, will help to create a better experience. Having that one person as an owner can have advantages because:

  • They are familiar with the knowledge base and can ensure there is a cohesive system without any double-ups.
  • They can uphold standards for the content of the knowledge base.
  • They can monitor for issues and ensure that any new information is added to the knowledge base.
  • They can prioritize and assign content (there’s nothing to say they have to do it all themselves!).

The aim is that you create a resource that is actually useful, rather than a “we did it because we thought we should” kind of approach. That one person can be your gatekeeper.

Include the Right Content

Documenting your processes and best practices can seem like a real drag, but it’s one of those things that if you put the time in upfront, you can save a lot of time later on. Let’s say you have a particular “how to” question which is always coming up as a support ticket or customer service request; how much simpler would it be if you documented a clear, step-by-step answer to that question which you could direct people to in your knowledge base?

You’re busy with a million things running your business, but don’t underestimate the power of good documentation to take a load off your plate in the long run. Good knowledge bases have been shown to reduce support tickets and (as this Zendesk infographic shows), customers actually prefer self-service options over contacting a support agent.

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It’s not just customers who will find your knowledge base documentation helpful, it’s employees too. If you’re growing your team, a lot of your time can be taken up with answering questions or training people on your product. Creating good knowledge base information will help new employees to learn on their own.

You might wonder where to start and which content you should be creating. The simple answer is to start with the basics. Go through your software and explain each little piece and how it works. Keep track by having a master list of topics which need content created and assign to others where you can. You should also keep a list of customer support questions that come up — these may be prime candidates for new content or to update what you already have.

Structure Documentation Well

If you want your knowledge base to really be effective for users, you need to uphold standards for how you structure documentation. Everyone has had that experience where they need to follow instructions or learn about something through reading, but find that the formatting of the document or instructions are so bad that it’s a chore to get through. (Instructions for putting together furniture rate highly up there! Some are very illogical and certainly not user-friendly).

Your documentation for each item on your list should be logical and start with the natural starting point for the user. For most software examples, that would involve an instruction such as “from the home screen click on the X tab.” Never assume that someone will know — you need to write as though they are a brand new user and structure in logical steps.

Format and language should also be considered. Large, wordy paragraphs may put people off or lose them. Use formatting such as headers, bullet points and numbered lists to help break content up. With regard to language, be as plain as possible and use a consistent tone across your content.

Multimedia is a great idea to spice up your documentation and acknowledge that there are different learning styles among your users. For example, visual learners will appreciate images, gifs, video walkthroughs and screen shares. Having these different types of media will help reinforce the learning and reduce support questions later on.

zendesk-knowledge-base

Source: Zendesk

Make the System Simple

The structure of your knowledge base plays a big role in whether your customers will actually use it. There are a number of tools out there to help you build a good knowledge base system, but here are a few pointers as to what that actually means:

  • It should be easy to find and use language a user would expect. For example, via a “help” tab, “support center” or even simply “knowledge base.”
  • It should be well-organized. Users should find it is logical to search for what they need, such as by looking under categories for related topics.
  • Have a “getting started” section (or similar) near the top so that people can clearly see where to start with the basics and won’t be put off by your advanced content.
  • Make common questions prominent. You probably already know what those are, so highlight those with something like a “most popular” list.
  • It should have a good search function. We’ve all seen websites with terrible search functions. No matter what you type, you get two dozen unrelated hits, none of which answer what you were looking for. Test out your search function and make sure it comes up with logical responses, including related keywords where possible.

Promote Your Knowledge Base

Tell your users that your knowledge base is there! As part of onboarding, you should make it very clear to customers how and where they can get help, which should include directing them to your knowledge base.

As a bonus for creating all of that content, why not use some of it in “weekly tip” newsletters or even as quick tip social media posts? It’s a good way to maximize use of your content investment and remind customers about your knowledge base at the same time.

Need a good knowledge base tool? Check out some of our favorites:

Final Thoughts

As SaaS we often have limited time and resources, yet we need to ensure that we’re keeping our customers engaged and providing the support they need.

A big part of the customer experience is how well they feel supported and how easy you make it for them to get that support. Rather than waiting to get in touch with a representative or hear back from a support ticket, customers want self-service options and an effective knowledge base will serve that purpose.

Have a good plan and assign someone to be in charge of looking after your knowledge base. Create good, logical content using different mediums and promote its availability to your users. An effective knowledge base might take work, but it will save you even more in the long run.

Engaging SaaS Customers with Targeted Content

Monday, September 5th, 2016

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When you consider content marketing for your SaaS, what immediately springs to mind?

For many SaaS, content marketing is seen as a lead generation strategy, a way to generate interest and effectively “prove” their expertise to potential customers. This is a great idea, but if you’re not looking at content with a view over your entire customer lifecycle, you’re possibly missing out.

When you think about it, at any given time you have customers who are at various stages of their journey with your SaaS and these customers have different needs and desires when it comes to content.

If your view of content is more of a “one-size-fits-all” approach, you risk becoming irrelevant to those who are at different stages. This is where targeted content comes in…

Need content ideas for your SaaS? Grab our ideas list.

Why Targeted Content?

Targeted content means that you deliver relevant content to the right people at the right time. For example, if account records show a customer just took a certain action with you or reached a particular milestone, you might send them content which pertains to taking the next step.

To get an idea of what content and when, you’ll usually need to create content which falls under each of the phases of a typical SaaS marketing funnel:

Awareness Stage

Awareness or “top of funnel” is the stage where prospects have some kind of problem or need they’re searching for a solution for. They’ve come across your solution either via search or because they’ve heard through the grapevine that you can take care of their problem.

The usual content strategy at this stage is to provide them with a broader view of information that is relevant to their problem, or possibly to help them discover a need they didn’t realize they had (this stage may also be referred to as “discovery”). This is not usually the stage to share deep, analytical information about your solution because the prospect isn’t ready for that yet.

Middle of Funnel

At this point, the prospect is familiar with the problem and probably aware of multiple possible solutions besides yours. They’re in the “consideration” phase, looking into deeper research to determine which solution is going to be the best fit for them.

Middle of funnel content should establish you as an authority within your industry and help guide the prospect through their research. You want to establish trust and provide information specific to your solution, such as what makes you unique.

Content here may also include knowledge base topics or how-to videos; your prospect wants to know how your product works and preferably be able to see it in action to determine whether it is easy to use and has an attractive interface.

Bottom of Funnel

This is the stage where prospects are ready to make their final decision to purchase—the “conversion” stage. They will be looking for evidence that solidifies their decision to go with your SaaS such as social proof, free trials or guided demonstrations.

You might use case studies and testimonials, webinars or “master classes”, all designed to demonstrate the value of your SaaS and how customers can get the best from it. If your SaaS uses a customer success or sales team, you need to be looking at how your content at this stage supports their efforts too.

Retention

This is the next part — the “flask” into which your marketing funnel flows. We like this example as demonstrated by Moz because it is one of the few funnel examples which emphasizes the importance of not forgetting about the next stage of content.

marketing-funnel-2

For SaaS, keeping churn numbers low is a critical metric, so it’s important to make a plan which includes content for retention of current customers. The aim is to keep the customer engaged and continue to deliver something that is of value to them.

Content at this stage might include tips for getting the most of your software, how-tos, user case studies and email newsletters for subscribers.

Start by Tracking

If you want to get better at providing targeted content, you need to begin tracking usage data and segmenting customers based upon activity.

You need to understand your customer behaviors and preferences so that you can create content which is useful and relevant to them. For example, if you notice that current customers reach a certain milestone then tend to go quiet, you can focus on “next-level” content which will help them realize new heights of value.

Of course, this works when you have registered users to track. For prospects who are not yet registered, monitor the analytics for the content you are putting out and figure out what is working for getting people into your free trial. If you’re not sure what content to start with, ask people! You can only track if you’ve started with something…

Some Examples

It’s all very well talking about targeted content marketing in theory, but what does it look like when done well in practice? “Done well” is the caveat to success for any content marketing strategy; with the amount of content already being put out there, yours needs to stand up and count among the noise.

Here are some SaaS-based examples of content at different stages:

CrazyEgg

CrazyEgg uses strategies so simple, they’re genius. If you’re a newb arriving on their website for the first time, this is how you’re greeted:

crazyegg-heatmap

Easy, intriguing and immediately relevant content. Who doesn’t want to know precisely how users are interacting with their website and what they might be able to improve?

This kind of gateway content provides value to the individual immediately and helps to drive awareness of the problems they should be monitoring for. It helps to endear CrazyEgg to prospective customers because they’ve already received something useful which helps to highlight the expertise CrazyEgg can offer.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a regular purveyor of multiple types of content. When it comes to middle-of-funnel, they have got some simple solutions for prospects. Take their marketing automation solutions as an example; if you’ve reached the consideration stage there, you might be offered a quick tour to see what makes it tick. As an aside, they also offer live chat as you go through that process so prospects are able to ask any questions immediately.

hubspot-tour

Netsuite

Do you have some good customer stories to tell? Netsuite makes the most of these to produce some “conversion” content that is relatable to prospects and sells their product well.

netsuite-testimonial

Moz

Moz are another example who are content machines at all levels of the funnel. Their content is a huge asset to them because they continue to deliver valuable insights, including those aimed at people who are at a more advanced stage in their customer lifecycle.

If you’re looking for the next strategy to spice up your results, Moz probably has it either in their blog or included in their in-depth beginner’s guides.

moz-seo

What types of content should your SaaS produce? Check out our list:

Final Thoughts

If you want to make content marketing really work for your SaaS, then taking a targeted approach is a good strategy. While you might get some good hits by blanketing content and aiming at all levels of the funnel, it is much more powerful when you are able to be relevant to the stage the individual customer is at.

Start by knowing the different stages of the marketing funnel and what types of content work for each. Track user activity and content analytics, ask customers what they’re looking for and create more content to suit the stage of the user.

Targeted content is an opportunity which many are now grabbing. Get your SaaS onto it and boost your chances of getting and retaining the right customers.

8 Barriers to SaaS Customer Engagement

Monday, August 8th, 2016

FEATURED_Barriers-To-SaaS-Customer-Engagement

What stops customers from engaging with your SaaS?

If you have potential customers who come to your website and show interest in your product but don’t actually make the leap from prospect to full-fledged customer, it may be due to one of the following reasons:

Here’s a list of best practices for crafting a strong call to action. Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

They Don’t Have the Financial Resources

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One of the main reasons people do not purchase from you is because they simply don’t have the money to do so.

Is your product priced out of their budget?

While I’m not a big fan of competing with other businesses on price, I do think that you should understand who your target customer is and know exactly how much they’re willing to spend. That way you can create a price list that makes sense for your market.

This is the reason multiple tiers are such a popular payment model for Saas.

Without a doubt, you should offer different prices to the different groups of customers you have. If you haven’t already, look for ways to do just that.

But please remember that price automatically communicates value. The higher the price, the more value people will associate with it. While you should always make your price fit within your target customer’s budget, don’t strive to be the lowest offer.

They Don’t Have the Time

Is your SaaS complicated to learn or in some way time consuming?

While your customers may be excited to use your product initially, they can quickly become overwhelmed if there are a lot of moving parts. Plus there’s simply not enough time to learn. Your customers—just like you—are strapped for time. For this reason, many a free trial goes wasted.

The best way to combat this is by making an onboarding process that guides the user at a steady pace. It may make sense to automatically involve the user in an email series that is dispensed over the course of the trial and shows how to use your product.

They Don’t Trust You

I hate to break it to you but sometimes people stop engaging because they just don’t trust you.

The good news is that you can use basic visual elements to develop trust.

For example let’s take a look at your website design:

  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Does it look good on mobile screens? (Most people are searching the Internet from their smartphones these days.)
  • Do you have social proof in the form of customer testimonials or logos of businesses that use your service?
  • Do you have easy access to frequently asked questions or a knowledge base?
  • Do you offer security certificates for credit card logos or even a 100% money back guarantee?

All of these things will help your customer trust you with their credit card.

Transparency also makes a difference. Some customers are interested to know where exactly the money goes when they pay you. The folks at Buffer have a completely transparent payment model. Buffer customers get to see exactly where their $10 per month goes. Check it out here: Buffer’s transparent pricing.

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Image Courtesy of Buffer

They Don’t Understand Your Product

Sometimes people simply do not understand how to use your product. They may think they know but once they get into the dashboard, they find themselves confused, bewildered, and maybe a little scared.

You don’t want that, they don’t want that, and luckily, there’s an easy solution out of that.

It’s called an email course.

I’m really surprised at the number of SaaS that do not offer an onboarding process via email.

I mentioned earlier that an onboarding email series can save time for your user. That’s the side benefit, but the main benefit is that it helps your user understand how to use your product to the fullest.

Don’t skip this step. It will help your customers feel empowered. It will also make them more likely to use your product when they know what the heck they’re actually doing.

They Don’t Know How You’re Different From Your Competition

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Maybe your customer gets your service, but what they don’t get is how you’re different or better than your chief competitor, Widgets R Us.

It’s your job to educate them.

Many smart SaaS create comparison pages right on their website. They may even create a separate mini site, such as www.comparingwidgets.com (I made that up just for this discussion) where they highlight the top brands, obviously skewing to their own brand as the best choice.

Of course you don’t want to do a hatchet job on your competition. It’s not about tearing down the competition, it’s explaining how you are unique and what you offer that your competitors may not.

They Don’t Know if Your Product Is Customizable

A lot of new customers want the option to customize your SaaS for their own business or purposes.

Adaptability is huge. Do you offer the ability to customize your service? If you do, make it a clear selling proposition on your landing page. Also make it a part of your onboarding process.

They Need to Test You Out

If you have a SaaS and you don’t offer a free trial you may be losing out. Come on, offer a free trial—all the cool kids are doing it.

Free trials help you introduce your service without risk. That lowers the barrier of entry for your customers.

Plus, it gives you something extra special: it gets people on your mailing list which you can then use to sell to them.

Demos are extremely important for any SaaS.

However, don’t let your trial linger too long. Depending on your service, 15 days offers enough time for your customers to sample your service.

They Don’t Know What to Do Next

If you have followed my advice, you’ve already inserted the trial user into an automated email course. When the trial is almost over, it’s time to show the users how to transition from trial to premium.

This is where a strong call to action makes the dream work. Be sure you that you guide them to their next step—don’t assume they’ll know what to do.

Speaking of which, don’t miss our downloadable resource on how to craft a compelling call to action that you can find below:

Here’s a list of best practices for crafting a strong call to action. Subscribe to receive this extra resource.