When you’re first starting a SaaS, if you don’t have an audience initially, you are probably wondering where all these paying customers are going to come from. Right away, you probably did some simple math and realized that if you just had 200 or 300 users you’d be doing fine.
Well, if you are solving a problem worth solving (validation) and pricing the system at prices where your different groups of users are willing to pay (appraisement) and you can make money, then it’s just a matter of informing people why your system is available and better than the competition or whatever system they are already using.
Actually, it is. Like anything else, it's easy if you know how to do it!
As we discussed at the very beginning and throughout this book, when you run a SaaS business, you are running a sales and marketing company. That means that, if your SaaS is to succeed, you are either very well-versed in digital marketing and sales or that you are about to be.
Since the advantage of a SaaS system is the scalability and growth via the internet, I am assuming you are not growing this business by door-to-door sales. Thus, you are planning on marketing on the internet, known as digital marketing, to grow your business.
Organic search marketing refers to the process of people searching for a problem, solution, business, or search term and finding your business.
Marketing Automation is the strategic automation of repetitive tasks in digital communications to produce new leads or upsells from existing users from platforms and systems including nurture emails, social media posts, direct emails, and even texts. These systems grow usership and keep current users engaged.
Aspects of automated marketing often include:
Teaching users as to how to use the system
Educating users on how to grow their businesses with or without your system
Educating your user base about industry trends that apply to them.
Improving user engagement with your company
Supporting users by answering questions and responding to their issues
A one time or limited offer deal where you provide a certain level of access, generally unlimited, to your SaaS system to users for a one-time flat fee. This kind of marketing system is most often used to get the system started and gain initial users.
Community building is the act of growing online communities that come together to support one-another or who have a common issue or set of issues. This engagement involves active and non-invasive communication.
This is a method of sales by which other people sell your products for a commission.
Just like building a house, you need a solid foundation before you start putting up your frame or laying bricks, or the whole thing is going to fall apart and you’re going to have to start over anyway. So let’s recap before we jump in head first!
By now you should in the very least have:
An understanding of what you’re getting into.
An idea that is validated.
A specified market that you know how to reach.
A SaaS system that is basically working.
A few key users who are giving you feedback and paying.
An onboarding system that makes it easy and intuitive to use the system.
Emails ready to go for new users coming into the system to explain to them how to use the system.
A tagging system, or at least the start of it, and triggers in your system that enable you to understand who is doing what and what level they are at.
Some of your users’ initial requests for changes and upgrades to the system.
A system that is starting to come together.
The problem that most businesses have at this point is that they don’t have the list of things above, especially the first items, so they are stuck as to where to go next.
But not you! You read this book before you started and are all planned up and ready to rock!
So now, it’s time to grow this user base and add some revenue to your system! If you’ve got everything you need, just jump on down to the next chapter.
If you already built your system and are thinking to yourself, “Well crud. I don’t have all that stuff. Where the heck was this book when I was just getting started? Why didn’t anyone tell me this stuff before I poured all this time and money into my SaaS? Jason, what do I do now!?”
I had a feeling you’d be getting to this point and asking those questions. I asked similar questions when I got to this point the first time. Don’t worry, it’s going to work out alright. Take a look at SaaS Lesson #2 and remember this happens to lots and lots of people.
Also, keep on reading, you might be sitting on a goldmine and just not realize it yet. :-)