Conversion rate optimization strategy is the cornerstone of any SaaS website and the chance to increase their revenue over time. At the same time, websites are tricky things to get right, especially now, at the age of super high competition in the SaaS world.
What’s more, there’s no silver bullet or ‘perfect’ plan when it comes to optimizing your SaaS website conversion rate. Nevertheless, there are plenty of best practices every SaaS company should test out when building a website for high conversions.
Conversion Rate Optimization in SaaS Businesses
SaaS companies like any subscription business have a more complicated purchase cycle.
Here you have to worry about generating new leads, making sure that your offer is appropriate and well-communicated, measuring and optimizing in-product activity, reducing churn rate, and so on. In other words, running a SaaS company, you have a lot to think about.
As a result, SaaS businesses now start moving to be more customer-centric and aim at making their customer experience as seamless as possible to increase conversions. The conversion rate optimization process spans across the whole customer journey, from the first time they see your page in Google search results to when they decide to extend their subscription.
You have to optimize every angle of your marketing strategy, including your website, to achieve higher conversion metrics. So, let’s dive into six sure-fire methods you should steal to boost conversion and revenue!
1. SaaS-Like Marketing
Start from discovering who your prospective customers are. That will help make your overall marketing strategy extremely focused and keep your target audiences differentiated. You should analyze their behavior and challenges, find out where they hang out online and bring them to your website. If traffic consists of your ideal customer persona, it will bring you more conversions. Bringing the wrong people to the website, you won’t get conversions, no matter how optimized everything else is. This type of marketing research is called customer segmentation.
Detailed customer segmentation will help you develop a targeted SEO strategy. The thing is, different customer segments are looking for your product using specific keywords. Finding these keywords ensures the success of your marketing strategy.
One of the powerful SEO tactics SaaS companies use is targeting competitors’ keywords. When an unsatisfied competitor’s user is looking for an alternative tool, your time is up. Don’t miss out on this high-value traffic. ere are a few tips on how to find keywords that can potentially bring you revenue:
- Find the keywords like ‘Your competitor + alternatives’.
- Check user intent, search volume, and difficulty of chosen keywords.
Now let’s move forward to producing first-rate content related to these keywords. Why should you choose content marketing and inbound marketing to promote your SaaS? Take a look at your business rivals. They all make use of content that attracts organic traffic and converts website visitors into paying customers. That includes guest-blogging activities (just check competitors’ backlinks in Ahrefs), corporate blog and everything in between.
Considering that, you’ll probably want to follow this bullet-proof marketing strategy and start your own blog. If you don’t know what to write about, start with your experience: how to launch a SaaS startup, what challenges you have faced, difficult business decisions you have made, etc. You definitely have a few valuable lessons to share with prospects. There are a few ground rules when it comes to blogging:
- Avoid wordy sentences and long paragraphs. Shorten your articles like there’s no tomorrow. Stick to the basic SEO principles.
- Add eye-catching and engaging images and videos to your blog articles.
- Attract backlinks to your blog.
2. Lead Nurturing
How can content be useful for your SaaS business in terms of conversion rate optimization? SaaS blogs are full of pop-ups, sign up forms and call-to-actions that invite users to download an ebook, guide, white paper or free tool in exchange for emails. For example, Neil Patel offers a free-of-charge SEO audit tool:
Note that your content provides prospects with value and convince them to test out or buy your product. Also, you should offer prospects to sign up for the newsletter for exclusive content they may be interested in.
What’s more, once prospects sign up, you can send them automated email marketing campaigns and establish relationships. In SaaS, it starts when a lead comes in. Ultimately, lead nurturing will lead to inactive, cold leads to become warm over time and convert eventually.
Remember one thing: you should resist the urge to send prospects daily emails and constantly display them remarketing ads that are featuring the paid version of your product. Don’t scare them away with a quick proposal. Instead, research their interests and pain points so that you can communicate how the paid version will solve their challenges.
3. Pricing Strategy
There are many pricing strategies that SaaS companies use, and that potentially can increase conversion rates. Based on the features you offer and challenges you solve, choose the best option that will work for your business. Some of the most popular SaaS pricing models include:
- Free trial implies access to all features for a limited time with a purchase after the trial period.
- The freemium model provides access to limited functionalities for free as long as users want and paying for more advanced features.
- ‘Pay As You Use’ model is used when the product has a single feature or a limited number of them. Its variation sounds ‘Pay for the Scale’ and means that a user will pay if they want additional benefits (like an extended number of leads or pages).
- Custom plans cover custom pricing models based on the individual needs of users.
The most interesting pricing strategies which dramatically influence conversion rates are the first two models: free trial and the freemium model. Let’s dive a little bit deeper into each one.
Free-trial subscription is a common sales tactic for SaaS businesses. Its benefits are that the potential customer experiences your product first and only then make a decision if it’s a tool that works for them.
At first glance, this model is a total win — you constantly get opportunities to convert leads into paying customers. But on the other hand, the truth is that prospective customers don’t hurry up to move from the free version. Here comes the need to adopt some CRO tactics.
First, adjust the length of your trial period. Numerous studies point to a winning length of 14 days. At the same time, prospects who are engaged within the first three days of the trial are much more likely to convert into paying customers. So, it’s crucial to reach out to them right after they have signed up with the right content.
Second, decide if your free trial will require a credit card. What is the difference? The free trial, which does not require a credit card, generally ensures a higher number of sign-ups due to less friction. A required credit card may be a major consumers’ obstacle from evaluating and purchasing SaaS products. So, you will choose this option, make sure to emphasize that you don’t require a credit card during the sign-up flow. That will definitely increase your conversion rate.
Alternatively, free trial with required credit still offers prospects to ‘try before you buy’ but only after entering credit card information. Although the number of sign-ups will decrease, this pricing model helps you qualify users way better. Using this model, remember about several points you should emphasize during the sign-up flow. For instance, highlight the fact that users can self-cancel at any time and reassure users that their card will not be charged until the end of the trial.
Let’s move to the freemium pricing option. In the freemium model, users can use your SaaS product for free for life. But here’s the funny thing: advanced features will cost money. This is a great method to increase conversion rates and get the maximum amount of sign-ups, but there’s no guarantee you’ll ever make money. Chanty Team Chat, Spotify, and Dropbox use the freemium acquisition model.
4. Onboarding Process
Onboarding is a big factor in conversion rate optimization. Once a prospect has signed up to your product, the interactions they have here influence all their decisions in the future. Successful interactions are a complex of things, from seamless UX design to timely communication. When their experience exceeds expectations, prospects tend to pay more easily.
Considering that, every SaaS company should invest in customer support that directly impacts the customer experience. Having someone available to assist your prospects with any challenges they have with your product is an expensive but very effective way to improve conversion rates. There are a few ground rules when adjusting your onboarding process:
- Develop a customer communication plan to share new features or ‘how-to’ instructions on how to use existing ones
- Conduct a survey to find out which issues your prospects expect to solve with your product
- Reach out to users with a personal email or phone call to help them get the most out of your product.
5. Build Credibility
Building a trustworthy website is a powerful way to increase conversions and, as a result, revenue. The fact is, we’ll never buy from a website that looks suspicious. On the contrary, if the company website looks credible and trustworthy, prospects are more likely to become paying customers. Considering that, if you want to gain more closed deals, you should build user trust. Let’s walk through some ways to achieve that.
First, don’t use free subdomains like “yourcompany.tilda.com” and spend some money to acquire a white-label website without the following branding elements of different providers:
Speaking of other formal, yet important elements that build credibility around your SaaS company, you have to show prospects that your website is secure by getting an SSL certificate. By the way, if you don’t have an IT administrator, check your website provider: almost all of them offer this feature.
Second, don’t hesitate to feature the number of successfully served customers. For example, here’s a small vanity corner on the HubSpot landing page. They let prospects know that more than 73 thousand customers have already benefited from their products. Impressive numbers, don’t you think? That’s exactly how social proof works: we can’t fail to trust.
Press mentions and recognitions from influencers are other avenues to build trust around your company. They prove the fact that you are recognized enough to receive attention from industry leaders journalists:
Next, start featuring your satisfied customers’ reviews and success stories. Personal, inspiring, and relevant feedback about your products should resonate with the prospective user’s business objectives and challenges and promotes the feeling of confidence. For example, here’s a HotJar’s webpage designed for featuring customers’ reviews:
6. Turn Your Website Pages into a Conversion Machine
There are a few sure-fire conversion rate optimization elements to add to your SaaS website. First, make use of pop-ups, especially exit-intent ones. Exit pop-up appears once the visitor is about to leave the site. Here you can encourage visitors to sign up with an email, introduce a special offer, or motivate visitors to stay in some other fashion.
But there should be quite a compelling reason for users to stop and consider your offer before hitting exit. That said, consider adding to your pop-up valuable downloadable content (ebook, checklist, cheat sheet, etc.), truly interesting special deal (discount, coupon), contest, or giveaway entrance or pre-launch opt-in. The more attractive the offer, the more likely prospects will convert.
High-conversion exit intent pop-up is all about experimenting and testing, from different pop-up sizes to design, copies, and engaging call-to-action (CTA) messages. While coming up with CTA, choose the one that triggers emotions and addresses the pain point of your prospects. Here’s an excellent example from Neil Patel. The exit pop-up on his website envokes the feeling of losing something and offers the solution at the same time:
The other conversion rate trick is sign-up forms. Put different variations of them into the test. You never know what will work out. Just like with the pop-ups, it’s always better to have several options to choose from. And when you design your sign up form, minimize the form fields make it as easy as possible to fill out.
Conversion rate optimization for SaaS can be tricky as there is an ocean of things you have to keep in your head. What’s more, every SaaS business is unique. Considering that, the effectiveness of your CRO activities is best achieved through constant A/B testing, analysis, and optimization over time. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned conversion rate optimization tricks are a good start for every SaaS.
About the Author: Julia Samoilenko is a marketing specialist who writes about digital marketing trends for the Chanty blog. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.
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