What does SaaS lead nurturing exactly mean to your SaaS company?
Generally, lead nurturing is building relations with potential clients and preparing them to become your customers. Your aim is to position your company as a reliable partner. So when your leads are ready to subscribe to a similar product like yours, they prefer you over your competitors.
In today’s post, we are going to focus on one main question: how to nurture your leads effectively and prepare them for final conversion – sign up for a free trial, book a demo, request a quote.
We are going to help you nurture your leads that come from pdf downloads, webinar signups or whatever lead generation tactics you follow.
By the way, we have plenty of free resources on SaaS lead generation. Find some of them below:
30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks, & Ideas (FREE DOWNLOAD)
If you already have your lead base and need to work on nurturing them, let’s move straight to the point. We will tell how to combine strategic and psychological approach to be more successful converting your leads into paying users.
I am not the first person to reveal the role of the subconscious in making buying decisions. And regardless of what prospects buy – a software subscription or a physical product – there are certain rules that influence their buying behavior.
Give, then ask
Nurturing is not the same as selling directly. When you immediately ask someone to buy your product, you act like a pushy salesperson. You try to receive without giving. But that’s not the best way to build trust and increase your company’s reputation.
You should give more than you receive. For free. But what you give shouldn’t be a useless and low-quality resource that your lead won’t appreciate. Even free things should bring value and help your lead solve a minor problem.
When you do something for people for free, they want to reciprocate it. They are very likely to follow your CTA after you have given something so valuable for them.
The user visited your website, read your product features, and immediately signed up for a paid plan. That’s not impossible. But most of the buyers need time to evaluate the products in the market before paying for one of them.
So your task is to use that time wisely and keep in touch with your ideal buyers. The more frequently people interact with your company and see your product, the higher your chances of converting them.
People prefer familiar products over those that are completely strange to them. Knowing this, you should create more and more opportunities to appear in front of your prospects.
Enable mini yes-es
Your engagement with your leads should trigger positive answers in their minds. And no matter how small those yes-es are. Even rhetorical and close-ended questions are enough to make your prospects enter into a dialogue with you.
Reason? You train your leads for the final and the biggest yes. As a rule, small actions are extremely likely to be followed by a big action. And small yes-es are extremely likely to be followed by a big yes.
8 SaaS lead nurturing mistakes that may cost you new users
Here you will find the top 8 mistakes that SaaS companies tend to make while trying to nurture their leads:
Need a solid lead nurturing strategy for your SaaS? Schedule a free call now
2) Sending newsletters and considering it lead nurturing
All leads belong to a certain “group” based on their job position, interests, and stage in the buyer’s journey. You can’t treat all leads equally, send them generic emails, and hope for a positive reaction. Your automated flows should be carefully created by professional copywriters who know what content needs to be sent to that particular group.
3) Sending commercial emails immediately
Lead nurturing is not selling, it’s preparing for the sale. If your product was so easy to buy, you wouldn’t need days and weeks to invest in SaaS lead nurturing. Visitors would simply subscribe to your software off the bat.
Since your leads need time to make a decision, you should spend your time educating, engaging, and even entertaining them. Keep selling for the later.
4) Contacting the leads too often or too late
Sending emails or messages multiple times a day is pure spam. Contacting your leads after a month or once a week isn’t a good option either. Keeping consistency means interacting with them every 2-3 days by showing ads, writing an email or whatever you prefer to do.
5) Relying only on one communication channel
Emails don’t work as well as they used to. Open and click rates are continuing to decrease. So if the email is your top communication channel, you are going to face hard times. Try to consider an alternative such as retargeting ads, SMS campaigns, etc.
6) Not diversifying content types
Don’t send only blog posts or only infographics. Monotony will bore your leads and they will probably unsubscribe from your list. Consider sending videos, user reviews, invites to events, etc.
7) Failing to include a proper CTA
All your messages, no matter you send via email, SMS or a paid ad, should ask for an action. You may ask your leads to sign up to your freemium plan, watch a video, read a new report. What you ask for depends on how “mature” your lead is.
8) Not analyzing your conversion metrics and user feedback
You may invest days and hours in reading well-researched guides on nurturing strategy. That’s totally worth your time as best practices save you from costly experiments. But never forget to track analytics and see how you can improve your lead management strategy.
Discover how your leads respond to your messages, which channel is the most rewarding, and try to run some small tests.
The inbound methodology is just perfect for SaaS lead nurturing. That’s how we help our customers here at Incredo. To send your leads relevant pieces of content, you first need to create them. And the whole philosophy behind the inbound methodology is to rely on high-quality, diverse, and engaging content to convert and delight your customers.
Below are 5 channels you can use to distribute your content:
#1 Leverage your thank you pages
Your website is an ideal place for nurturing your SaaS leads. But I am not talking about stuffing your website with tens of CTAs and ask to register, to open, etc. I am talking about leveraging thank you pages that appear after your visitors fill out a form and get access to something.
Once your visitors fill out your forms, you probably tell them: “Thank you for [doing X]. Please check your inbox.” Period. You are just missing the chance to engage with your leads while they are active and you have their attention.
When your leads say yes to one of your offers, they are likely to accept the next one as well. And the next one is usually a bigger request. Don’t wait until your leads become disengaged. Ask them to follow the next CTA right after they follow the first one.
We have a whole blog post dedicated to the power of thank you pages:
#2 Launch email campaigns
I agree with you again. Email marketing is becoming more and more competitive. But putting it aside isn’t a smart decision either. Because your leads might be actively checking their emails every day. So you should be present at wherever your leads tend to hang out. Here are some tips on how to win at email marketing battle:
Segmentation: Segment your leads based on their stage in the buyer’s journey. Of course, you can consider other criteria (job title, for example) and create more advanced lists. But to do that, you need to have huge lead data and huge resources to automate all your flows.
Segmentation based on the buyer’s journey stage is the bare minimum you should take into account.
Let’s say you sell call center software. You won’t send an email with case studies to leads who downloaded a guide on “What is cold calling?”. You first
1) need to educate them about cold calling,
2) tell how salespeople can master cold calling,
3) tell that your software allows making cold calls,
5) ask to check out your software reviews,
5) and finally, ask to try out your software.
Personalization: It’s not only about mentioning your lead’s name in the subject line or in the email copy. Other ways include using conversational tone (I, you, we), including the sender’s name and attaching his/her photo.
Finish your emails with a question to trigger a response. Ask them to contact you if they have questions. Be open to conversation.
Even rhetorical questions in the beginning or in the middle of the message can be helpful. They build a mental connection with you and your reader, making them to say “Yes” in their mind.
#3 Rely on retargeting
The more frequently your leads interact with your company, the more familiar you become to them.
Retargeting ads can work extremely well if SaaS lead nurturing via email campaigns don’t seem to work. You can use both Google and Facebook ads and retarget only qualified leads. Because showing expensive ads to low-quality leads will blow all your money and leave you without tangible results.
We have a special blog post dedicated to SaaS Facebook ads where we also talk about Facebook retargeting strategy:
How to run Facebook ads for SaaS to get new paying customers
#4 Use SMS marketing
SMS marketing is gaining pace and becoming a top channel for many SaaS marketers. Reasons include but are not limited to:
1) Sending a text message doesn’t require much design efforts,
2) Opening a text message doesn’t require an internet connection,
3) Replying to a text message is free.
Annoying people with SMS marketing is easy too. If you send multiple messages a week or wake people up at night with your SMS notification, they won’t appreciate it.
#5 Initiate a phone call
Companies usually don’t require a phone number from a visitor who just wants to download a small resource. But there are also companies who offer their visitors to choose a preferred contact method.
If a certain group of your leads prefers to receive phone calls, don’t forget to get prepared before that big event.
1) Research your leads,
2) Find their website/social networks,
3) Analyze how your software can help them,
4) Try to understand what resources they need to move to the next stage,
5) Prepare your questions in advance not to get stuck during the conversation,
Take into account that most of your leads won’t be willing to share their phone number. But if they do, don’t miss the opportunity to connect with them at a personal level and follow our 6 steps.
Need a solid lead nurturing strategy for your SaaS? Schedule a free discovery call now
Special for Incredo’s readers: 7 SaaS marketers share their SaaS lead nurturing tactics
#1 Craig Hynd
Marketing Executive at Youmanage, HR Software
“We nurture our leads – received via free trial signups, demo requests, and resource downloads – by giving them a call. We find this is the best way to nurture leads as it is much more personal. And the vast majority of our leads respond positively to this method.
This works well for us as our sales team is incredibly knowledgeable about the Youmanage product. It means they can work through our prospects’ requirements quickly, professionally, and with a personal touch. You don’t get that by email.”
#2 Caterina Bassano
Marketing Executive at Ibby, Messaging Platform
“We put messaging at the center of our lead nurturing strategy. We rely on live chat to capture leads for us while we are offline. And have noticed that this works much better than email forms.
Once the lead’s details have been captured, we follow up with automated emails or SMS (depending on their registered preferences). Then we invite them to re-connect via live chat to respond to any questions, offer a demo or free trial.
Our target is mostly millennial consumers, who prefer messaging and live chat as customer interaction channel – so we never call them, unless they request it.”
#3 Oksana Chyketa
Marketing Specialist at Albacross, Lead Generation Platform
“One of the most effective methods to nurture your leads into customers is using retargeting ads. Well, it’s an undeniable fact that retargeting ads are a tried-and-tested strategy, and they deliver great results.
It’s a tough task to predict customer behavior. And even when you offer a free product/service (ebook, checklist, etc.), most of your website visitors don’t act as you’d expect. And this is where retargeting comes into play.
For example, if people from our remarketing list are not keen on our product demo, we still have a chance to entice them with a free trial. This strategy helped us not only to increase conversion rates but also establish closer relationships with our prospective customers.”
#4 Ugi Djuric
Head of Content Marketing at Lemlist, Email outreach platform
“At Lemlist, our main goldmine of leads is content marketing and SEO. We’re doing extensive keyword research, finding the best high-intent topics and writing in-depth articles. Once we boost our rankings, we’re collecting emails on our blog posts. New subscribers immediately get the offer to join our exclusive community about Sales Automation.
Once the lead is inside the community, he’ll start seeing our educational materials where we speak about email outreach and personalization. Soon after he’ll realize that he can implement our strategies only with our tool. Because we’re the only tool on the market with personalized images.
After that, he becomes a trial customer. We have a dedicated Customer Champion that’s taking care of all our trial and paying customers. He’s regularly talking with all users and making sure that everything is great.
Besides that, we also have transactional emails that are triggered by the user’s behavior. In this way, we’re able to activate trial users, convert them into paying customers, and later upsell them.”
#5 Marina Pilipenko
Marketing Manager at actiTIME, Time Tracking Software
“We get leads with free trial signups. We start by profiling our leads and identifying the most qualified ones based on general info about their company, industry, background.
Then we reach out to the qualified leads via phone and offer them our assistance. We also nurture them with a series of customized follow-up emails, trying to be most helpful at each stage of their evaluation process.
For us, the best way to convert leads into paying subscribers is to be there when they need help and offer assistance or advice proactively.”
#6 Stefano Pisoni
CGO at JotURL, Link Tracker and Branded Link Management Platform
“We nurture our leads on 3 channels
1) Our Facebook group “JotURL – King of Links”. It’s our most important channel rich in interviews with top experts in the digital marketing world (like Depesh Mandalia, Gerard Compte)
2) Emails with improvements, info, free webinar, and free certifications
3) Chatbot for live info.”
#7 Joris Brabants
Head of Marketing at Apicbase, Restaurant Management Software
“Visitors that download a TOFU resource are nurtured through storytelling emails. The TOFU resources are usually templates or guides.
The stories follow a certain pattern that takes people from being problem aware all the way to solution aware. And eventually, they become aware of the outcomes that our solutions bring.
Our emails don’t look like anything commercial. Just plain text and include some links to relevant blog posts.
The goals of these nurturing emails are twofold:
1) build a relation by telling stories they can relate to,
2) make them solution aware so they want to explore more on how to solve their problem.
When visitors download a MOFU or BOFU content piece like a checklist, they get nurtured with more product and/or solution-focused emails. They do look a little bit more commercial but are mixed with plain text emails on behalf of a salesperson.
The goal here is to get them on a demo call. Once they have a user account, the nurturing is behavior-based. We take action depending on what they do or don’t do in order to help them use our app effectively.”
How do you nurture your prospective customers?
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