Software as a Service (SaaS) companies have seen the promise of inbound marketing for years, and have adopted the tactic en masse.
Widespread embrace of the channel doesn’t mean they’ve had universal success.
Here are 4 reasons SaaS vendors fail at inbound marketing:
- Content does not address the problems that cause customer churn. As a SaaS business this is the first key metric you need to care about after you launch. Churn should not be more than 2% per month. If you can’t get it right no amount of cheap, high quality inbound lead generation campaign is going to matter. Your initial inbound efforts should target existing customers as well as strangers at the top of the funnel. Your first customers MUST succeed for your business to be grow. Create content that helps early adopters of your product succeed and build a support architecture that they can rely on.
- You don’t make the case all the way down the funnel. SaaS firms should be seeing 15-20% conversion rates on bottom of funnel “free trial” offers. If you aren’t it may mean you haven’t done a good enough job defining and hammering away at customer need further up the funnel. Your content needs to make the case for your solution at every stage of the buying cycle. This is especially if your offering solves a “new” problem.
- Impatience due to high customer acquisition costs. SaaS slingers typically face very high customer acquisition costs (CAC) after launching their products. The fact that the initial CAC outlay is not typically recouped until after a year’s worth of billings means that vendors sometimes get impatient for inbound marketing to kick in and deliver. The channel is slow. Bear with it early on when the cash is tight and you’re not seeing rainbows.
- Inadequate segmentation and/or unwillingness to alter the course and content. Pretty much every SaaS provider understands (or will come to understand) that customers are not a monolithic block. Some are much more profitable and worth your time than others. Make sure you track metrics like average revenue per account per month (ARPA), monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and time to recover customer acquisition cost by segment. From there you will get a sense of your best clients and be able to adjust your inbound marketing efforts accordingly. Be ready to switch content up based on the data.