Posts Tagged ‘saas’

SaaS Pricing: When Is The Price Right?

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

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There is a lot to consider when it comes to pricing your SaaS. You need to figure out what the optimum pricing will be to attract the right customers and, of course, keep your business afloat!

The short answer to the question “when is the price right?” is; when you are able to bring on board your ideal customers and sustainably grow your business.

Unfortunately, while the answer sounds simple, the practice of getting there is far from it. There is no universal “formula”, nor is their any rule saying that once you’ve priced “right” the first time, you’re safe from having to re-evaluate your pricing.

Is your SaaS underpriced? Grab our quick questionnaire to find out:

Let’s take a look at considerations for your SaaS pricing:

Charge Early?

There are so many SaaS startups out there that do not charge their customers from the get-go. Sure, you’re looking to generate buzz, gather feedback and just get some users on board, but you’re opening yourself up to possible problems by not charging. For example…

How do you know that you’ve nailed product/market fit until people actually pay you for it?

We suggest that you charge early and ensure you have a product people will hand over money for. As SaaS founder and entrepreneur Jason Lemkin states: “if you don’t charge, you have no idea what people will actually pay for.”

He also points out that if you’re not charging, that early feedback you get may be entirely useless to you. How do you know those people are really “customers” until they’re willing to pay? Plenty of people sign up to something that’s free just because “free” is the right price to them.  You might have impressive-looking numbers signed on, but those really are just vanity metrics if those people aren’t handing over cash.

If you’re going to need to experiment with pricing (as many SaaS do), early on is the best time to do so. Steli Efti suggests being bold with price experiments early on. Most SaaS are their own worst “complainer” when it comes to pricing, often envisaging that “no one will want to pay that much.” What if they do?

The other thing about free is the perception it can create. Without a price tag, there’s a good chance people won’t see value in your product – a point which leads us nicely into a look at value-based pricing.

Value-Based Pricing

Value-based pricing is about coming up with a price that your customer is willing to pay. As Marketing Donut discuss, there’s no right or wrong answer and it’s a lot to do with the perception of the customer. Why do we pay more for a brand name over a home brand?

While you’re not selling groceries, your SaaS has to figure out what “value” means to your target customers too. As Lincoln Murphy says, your SaaS pricing model should be built around what the customer values which means staying away from any “commodity” metrics like storage.

Your customers only care about what’s in it for them, not considerations like how much it cost you to develop certain features. This means that the place to start with any SaaS pricing is always going to be your market, that “what’s in it for the customer.” Murphy further states: “if you base your pricing on something people find no value in, your value proposition will not be aligned with their value perception.”

Here are a few considerations that should go into value-based pricing:

  • What customer do you want to attract?
  • Where do you want to position yourself in the market?
  • Are you priced to achieve goals for the long-term value/retention of the customer?
  • What unique value do you provide that customers are willing to pay for?
  • How do you differentiate any tiers? Are those things perceived to be valuable by customers?

As we indicated earlier, you might find you need to experiment early on to find your sweet spot with pricing. The key to making it work and retaining paying customers for the long-term is to really be delivering value as it is perceived by the customer. People will pay for something which they comprehend unique value from, but will easily switch to a competitor if that is no longer the case.

What About My Competitors?

The temptation can often be for SaaS to put a lot of focus on what their competitors are doing when it comes to deciding on pricing. If you’re simply matching competitors, you’re looking at a market-based pricing model and this is often unsustainable.

How do you differentiate yourself from the rest? If it’s not based on value, you’re another “me too” SaaS and you may find this doesn’t bode well for your longevity.

What About Pricing Structure?

Good question, and this is something you may need to experiment with before you find the pricing which is “right.” Usually, SaaS are working off some kind of tier-based pricing structure, so you need to determine what those tiers look like and how they are valuable to the customer.

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Here are some common strategies and thoughts on them:

User-based – Increasing the number of users allowed per tier is a frequent tactic of SaaS. This can work well for getting into companies, but Lincoln Murphy pointed out a flaw where it can lead to the old-fashioned view of “shelfware”, where a company has too much software sitting on a shelf. For example, if the company needs 3 users instead of the 2 users available on their current tier, they might go to the next tier which allows 7 users. They only need 3 so those extra 4 might be seen as “shelfware.”

Storage space – Apps with storage associated often offer extra for higher tiers. Again, this is very much going to depend on how valuable that is to users. You could end up with another case of perceived “shelfware” if there is a big leap in storage space that isn’t really needed, for example.

Features-based – Usually, this means customers get more features available in return for upgrading. For example, an invoice app might offer customization instead of standard, software-branded invoices. Getting this right involves a lot of research. What features do your customers care enough about to upgrade for? What do they see as valuable?

Freemium – Plenty of SaaS offer a certain set of features free, but more to customers who upgrade. This could even take the form of more storage space or users allowed to collaborate. The key to this working lies in delivering enough value at the freemium level that your customers are hooked, however, not so many features for free that they don’t upgrade.

Hubstaff illustrated this point well when they discussed their own mistake in offering a free plan. They found that free users simply brought more free users, then collectively they took up a lot of support time. One of their major conclusions? If someone values a product, they’ll pay for it. When they changed their freemium plan to $15/month, they didn’t lose all their users, they now have people happy to pay for the value they provide.

Could your SaaS be underpriced? Find out with our quick questionnaire:

Final Thoughts

There is no set “rule” or formula to follow when pricing your SaaS, however determining what value looks like to your customers and pricing based on that value is a better bet when it comes to a sustainable strategy.

If you use market-based values to come to your pricing decisions, the chances are you aren’t differentiating what you offer based on value to the customer at all. Also, you might find yourself dragged into a price war which is only heading in one direction…

Consider who your target customer is and what will really mean value to them long term. Finally, don’t be afraid to charge early and experiment with your pricing to find what works.

SaaS Insights: Honing the Close

Monday, September 19th, 2016

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It seems everywhere you look now there is a tale of a SaaS startup absolutely crushing it with remarkable growth and impressive numbers all over the board. Sometimes it seems that they’ve made these achievements with ease, but usually, there is far more to the story.

Anyone who has been in the SaaS business for a while will tell you that it’s simply not easy achieving the growth required to render your SaaS viable — even if you really do have the best product invented since sliced bread.

Zig Ziglar got it right years prior to the SaaS phenomena when he said: “Every sale has 5 basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, or no trust.”

Depending on your pricing, you might not be able to do much about the money objection, but those other four are well within your control. Let’s look at a few insights for honing the close in your SaaS:

Building Trust

Building trust is really something which begins long before you’re asking for the close. It’s not like potential customers are likely to say “sign me up” as soon as they find you — there’s a period of investigation first where they are deciding whether a) you can meet a need they have and b) whether you are trustworthy.

A mistake that many SaaS make at this point is to put too much focus on features and perhaps talking up how great their company is. These do not build trust with the customer — oftentimes, a focus on features is confusing or not understood by the customer, leading to any talk of how great you are being completely negated.

On the other hand, if you want to start building trust well, here are a few things you should be doing from the beginning:

  • Focus on value to the customer. They may not understand all of your features, but that crucial “what’s in it for me” piece, when stated in their own language, can be a powerful trust builder.
  • No obligation free trials. Very few customers want to commit to purchasing a software untested. To further up the trust factor, consider whether allowing the trial without collecting credit card information will work for you.
  • Give them something of value. Besides your free trial, where else can you offer value? This may even be through the content you create to support your SaaS and provide ideas for common problems your customers have.
  • Make packaging and pricing transparent and easy for customers to understand.
  • Know and address the common reasons for mistrust. According to Visual.ly security of information and ongoing access to the product remain big concerns.

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Why Your SaaS?

The SaaS market is very competitive; in most verticals, customers have options and they’re probably not overly precious about who they decide to go with as long as they appear to be getting the best value. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, the prospect will still need a compelling reason to choose you over others.

When you think about a company which has “raving” fans (Apple comes to mind!), one of the big draws tends to be an emotional resonance with the company. You may not have thought of it in these terms when it comes to growing a SaaS, but Fast Company refers to it as “building a movement.” This goes a long way toward creating that trust you need, too.

Whatever you do, whether it is telling your story, marketing, a sales conversation or the branding elements of your SaaS, you need to be reflecting that emotional dynamic you want to create for customers.

When should SaaS offer discounts? Grab our guide here:

The Case for Change

This is really addressing those “need” and “desire” problems. Sometimes SaaS are so new that the concept of what they’re offering hasn’t even been recognized as a problem yet by the prospect.

Sometimes it’s just that humans have a natural inertia and resistance to change.

The logical first step is to really get an understanding of the needs of the customer. If you work off the lower priced/ higher number of subscribers SaaS model, you’re probably not going for one-on-one sales with each customer, but some variance from the self-service model can actually help you out.

Spend some time talking to those whom you have identified as “ideal” customers for your SaaS. Pick up the phone and call them. If you want to better hone your close, then you need to have an intimate understanding of what makes them tick and what needs will really drive them to change. This can then be reflected in your copy and provide answers to questions such as “why do I need this?”

Enterprise sales work on this kind of basis constantly, needing to learn the specific needs of the company to which they are trying to sell, though of course, this is not always done very well. You can’t very well tell them what you think they need when you haven’t spent the time learning and understanding what they think they need.

The saying “always be closing” is appropriate here too. If you regularly measure data and seek feedback from current users, you get the opportunity to address their needs and encourage them to stay with you, while improving your value proposition to new clients. Kissmetrics points out that building in feedback loops provides you with more ways to demonstrate value and to continue with that building of trust.

Why Right Now?

The laid-back, “we’re in no hurry” approach doesn’t help your SaaS to reach those vital growth milestones you’re probably needing to hit in a relatively short period of time. This is a crucial objection to overcome in any kind of sales.

If your answer is something like “because right now we’re offering this huge discount”, you’re probably not on the right track. As Lincoln Murphy points out, the way SaaS pricing discounts are done most of the time will devalue your offering in the eyes of the customer. He further comments that “pricing objections are usually value objections.” If the customer is saying not right now because of the price, either they genuinely can’t afford the expense or they just can’t see the value in it.

If you’re using discounts at all, make them scarce so that they actually help create a sense of urgency. This could take the form of a limited period of time over which you’re offering a discounted rate for annual subscriptions, for example.

Besides that, “why right now?” involves being able to present a relevant business case to your prospects. With the incredible value you can bring them and the way you can help them save time/ streamline processes/ save money/ take a vacation, how does it not make sense to take advantage of these benefits as soon as possible?

Is it ok for SaaS to offer discounts? Check out our guide:

Final Thoughts

Any SaaS wanting to close more sales immediately has objections and obstacles before them to overcome with their prospects.

Zig Ziglar summed these up quite neatly with “no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, or no trust.”

Logically, trust is the first objection SaaS need to overcome, starting long before attempting to close the sale. Be seen delivering value, providing transparency and addressing common trust issues such as security and accessibility.

From there, your close will be many times improved if you have a good understanding of the customer, what they think they need and any needs they may not have identified themselves yet. What will your answers be to “why you, why do I need this and why right now?”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Why Integrated Marketing Is Important for SaaS

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

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Multi-channel marketing methods are really becoming the norm for any company wanting to promote themselves today.

For SaaS, it’s about encouraging people through the lifecycle; from trial to paid to a paid upgrade. If you’re not making use of multiple channels to reach your customers, there’s a high chance you are missing out somewhere.

This is where an integrated marketing approach with a modern perspective is important. What does that look like for SaaS? Let’s check it out:

Where can SaaS be marketing? Grab our checklist here!

What Is “Integrated Marketing?”

The term integrated marketing has been around at least since the 1980s. It originally referred to achieving marketing objectives by coordinating use of different promotional methods, with the idea being that they reinforce each other.

This is still true, but as Don Peppers proposes, this definition really needs expanding to better account for the twenty-first century environment. Technology is melding functions like customer service, marketing and sales together like never before, so Peppers argues the true unifying view is that of the customer.

Here is his updated definition of integrated marketing:

“Integrated marketing incorporates an individual customer’s own perspective into all customer-facing functions at a company, including marketing, sales, and service.”

What might integrated marketing look like?

A SaaS-related example might be a lead who responds to a specific campaign you are running, where you are aiming to generate more sign-ups. Rather than that lead being sent to a one-size-fits-all sales approach, they are presented with a specific selling strategy which has been tailored to preferences they have expressed or actions they have taken which have helped you to segment them and create a profile.

So, Just Do More Stuff?

Well no, not really. You’ve got to have decent strategy behind using the channels you do. John Jantsch wrote a piece for Duct Tape Marketing where he discusses the general lack of understanding around integrated marketing. It’s one of those terms that is elevated to “buzzword” status, which as a result, means there are some common misconceptions.

For example, the basic interpretation which many consider is “we need to do more kinds of stuff.” As Jantsch points out: “The problem with more stuff is that stuff without a central strategy can actually cause one stuff to combat and conflict with some other stuff.”

As one commentator on Jantsch’s article points out, while customers might get slightly different messages from different channels back in the day, social media is now here shining a light on any disparities in strategy. Consistency across tactics is the key to ensure your messaging is not confusing to customers.

Get Selective

So as a SaaS, there are some common issues which you may be able to relate to:

  • You want to keep acquisition costs down.
  • You want to attract more of the “right customer”, the one who your product is really suited to and who is likely to hang around.
  • You want to reduce churn.

First of all, many newer SaaS look at the array of possible marketing channels available with a sense of bewilderment. Is that print ad worth it? Should we be on X, Y and Z social media channels?

A truly effective integrated marketing approach begins with a strong central strategy, just as John Jantsch stated. Where does that central strategy start? Always, it should begin and end with your target customer.

To pull this off, you need to be very clear on who that target customer is and where to find them. How will you speak to them directly and make them feel that your product is definitely for them?

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Source: HubSpot

It seems like such an elementary concept, yet one reason many businesses (including SaaS) are no longer around is because they were afraid to narrow down their audience. They think they may be “missing opportunities” if they don’t cast a wide net.

The thing is, if you try to be all things to everyone you risk confusing people and limiting the number you actually bring onboard.

Targeting the channels where your ideal customer is likely to be found helps you to reduce acquisition costs by focusing your spend. You can stay on-message and clearly communicate with those who need your product the most. (Hey, you’re a cloud-based solution, we suggest those appropriate channels are found online too. Here’s an article we wrote on channels SaaS are using to get found).

We’ll show you which marketing channels to use for your SaaS in this free resource.

Your Messaging

A key part of integrated marketing is consistency. The mode of delivery may look different, but the key overall message has been consciously decided and deliberately applied across channels.

One strategy which can help you to deliver consistent messaging is to develop a unique brand story which is central to your communications. Your story helps you cement a unique position and build a real connection with customers.

If you look at a SaaS such as HubSpot as an example, you can find them across multiple channels, and promoting more than one product. However, their messaging remains consistent no matter where you see them. It’s clear who they are there for, what their values are and what they deliver for customers. Their vision of an “inbound world” is the consistent story wherever you find them online.

hubspot-story

Setting Expectations

Another reason integrated marketing strategy is important for SaaS is because you need to clearly set expectations with your customers. Lincoln Murphy points out that many SaaS fail miserably at managing customer expectations, yet this seems to be such a simple idea.

Whether those expectations involve limits to free trials or even simply explaining that they will be offered an upgrade for which they’ll need to pay if they’d like to take it, make sure those expectations are managed and that there is a consistent approach across all marketing channels.

Look at things from the point of view of that customer you want to sign up with you. As Lincoln Murphy says, if everything appears to be self-service to sign up but they then receive a sales call from your team out of the blue, they may not be too happy about that. If you’re going to do or require anything else, be upfront about that from the beginning.

Get Contextual

While your marketing messages should be consistent and align with your overall goals, that doesn’t mean all your messaging should be exactly the same.

Contextual marketing means delivering the right message to the right person in the right moment. You can use marketing software (such as Hubspot) which helps you to do that quite effectively, or you can go relatively low-tech by triggering emails based on certain activities.

Most SaaS will have more than one segment and often each segment has slightly different priorities and reasons why they need the software. The beauty of a multi-channel environment is that you can use those to provide the best messaging, timed to be relevant to the customer and on a channel of their preference. Driving engagement in this way is an important strategy for reducing churn.

Need an example? Google Adwords is one of the most obvious, delivering up advertisements to people depending on the keywords they have searched. With mobile technology, apps with enabled push notifications which can be activated depending on customer location are another example. Dunkin Donuts has used this to let users know when a nearby fresh donut batch is coming out of the oven.

What could your SaaS do? Messaging based on milestones reached or usage might be a good place to start…

Final Thoughts

Integrated marketing for SaaS is about presenting the customer with consistent messaging across the multiple channels which you may choose to use.

The customer is at the center for every marketing call you make and their perspective should be the lens through which your messaging is viewed.

Start by having a very good description of what your target customers look like and where to find them. Be choosy about the channels you use so that you are more likely to reach the right people and reduce that marketing spend.
Lastly, don’t leave retention to chance once you have onboarded the customer. Use your marketing channels to deliver contextual messages which keep your customers engaged.

8 Barriers to SaaS Customer Engagement

Monday, August 8th, 2016

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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.