B2B SaaS Marketing: 22 powerful tips to get more qualified leads
Tips to get more qualified leads (MQLs) and grow your SaaS business. Jobs to be done / ICP / Content marketing / Lead magnets / one-click signups / Welcome email sequences / Testimonials & more.
If you want your great product to be used by lots of customers and ultimately grow your business, you need to know how to market your SaaS product.
In this blog, I’ve put together 22 powerful B2B SaaS Marketing tips that will help you to get more leads (signups or MQL) and convert them to more paying customers.
Make sure to also check out 22 powerful B2B SaaS Sales tips to win more deals.
#1 Know your customers! A strong ICP & buyer persona is a gamechanger for your growth
If you really know who your ideal customer profile is, what they care about, what their jobs to be done are, where they hang out, what they read, and what they want to achieve, you will know what kind of product you need to build, how to communicate the values, where to promote it, and how much you can charge for it.
#2 When your copy speaks to everyone, it actually speaks to no one.
Get clear on your ideal customer profile (ICP) and speak specifically to them. What it means is that your copy shouldn’t speak to everyone, actually, it’s great if you exclude 99% of the market. Being relevant to your ICP means that you should address their pain points, challenges, goals as well as objections. Make use of the ‘Jobs to be done’ (see tip #3), talk about how your product solves their pain points (= your value proposition & results), and also speak/write in the language of your customers (they need to understand you, otherwise they don’t signup for your product).
This means all your customer-facing messaging (e.g. website copy, emails, newsletter, whitepaper…) needs to speak to your specific audience.
Write to one person when you are creating your content.
#3 Know the ‘Jobs to be done’ of your ICP
Jobs to be done are what your customer is trying to achieve. And your product (hopefully) helps them to accomplish the jobs (or at least makes it faster, cheaper, better, easier…).
So the Jobs to be done framework consists of 2 parts - the current situation and the desired outcome. Make sure to not only focus on the functional jobs but also on the emotional and social aspects.
Emotional — how do your customers feel when the job is done
Functional — what do your customers actually do when they do the job (actions taken)
Social — how are your customers perceived when they do the job
Learn about what they are trying to achieve in their role. For what are potential customers ‘hiring’ your product for? And what would a dream product allow them to do?
Here are some examples:
CMO = Getting enough leads for the sales team
HR Director = Increase employee satisfaction and hire fast
VP Sales = Meet the sales targets and increase revenue
Customer Success = High customer satisfaction (NPS score)
#4 Test different growth channels & master one at a time
In the early stage, it’s all about testing different growth channels and measuring what works and what does not. Stick to the best converting channels, double down on them and stop with the others. Master one channel at a time before you add more channels.
What are the platforms where your ICP hangs out? Which channels show the best conversions? Not only track conversions but also measure the success of each channel based on CACs and LTV (lifetime value). Maybe some channels are more expensive than others but those customers decide on your premium product and are happier and stay longer?
#5 Start with Content Marketing for traffic closer to purchase decision (bottom of funnel)
Most startups start with content marketing about topics/keywords with huge traffic and are rather far away from making a decision (top of funnel).
If you are an early-stage startup, start with content that is closer to making a decision (bottom of funnel) and outperforms your competition for this traffic. Find keywords with rather low competition and high intent to buy.
Great examples are content around:
“[Competitor name] alternatives”
“[Software category] comparison“ (e.g. CRM tool for freelancer comparison)
“Best [Software category] tool“ (e.g. Best CRM for freelancer tool)
Also success stories, testimonials, and content about specific features are great (e.g. How to automate your social media posts).
#6 Allow Yourself to Fail - Test, Measure, Learn, Iterate
If you don’t fail, you probably didn’t try something new. Growth is about trying new things, measuring, reflecting on them, and learning from them. It’s about iterating and getting better every time.
#7 Create a highly valuable lead magnet
What is valuable for your potential customers? Valuable content can be a great source for lead magnets. Here are some inspirations:
calculators (e.g. revenue calculators)
With a strong lead magnet, you can grow your email list. Now it’s time to nurture them and get them to test your product/book sales calls.
#8 Clear and powerful Call to Actions on your Website
Be intentional about the call to action buttons on your website.
Normally if you’re following a sales-led growth strategy you want potential customers to talk to your sales team (’Talk to sales’ & ‘Book a call’). Following a product-led growth, you want them to get started and test the product (“Free trial” & “Signup for free”).
If you target different segments of the market (e.g. prosumers and mid-market), segment the signups during the onboarding flow and offer different customized experiences for them.
Some important things to remember for strong CTAs:
Make it clear what you want them to do and what they can expect doing so
Optimize the process ‘after’ the CTA (e.g. Calendly for Sales Demo Booking, Round Robin in CRM, Automated Email Follow-Up...)
Consistency in all your communication (Website, Email, Ads...) - of course, you should test different versions to see what’s working best
Also, remember to always add a clear CTA in all your outbound communication (e.g. cold emails).
#9 Make signing up easy
A frictionless signup process increases your conversion rates. It’s a lot about great user experience and making it easy. If it’s complicated to get started with your product, people drop out and barely come back. Things to consider are:
Strong Call to Action on every page of your website
Collect only minimum data of information during signup (and collect contextual information later)
Split long signup forms into multiple steps (with the option to skip specific steps)
Add product tours & checklists to increase the activation rate
add social proof and a reminder of the value proposition on the signup page (to encourage them to really signup)
offer one-click signup via a third party (with Google or Microsoft account)
Have a lock at the signup process of successful SaaS companies like Hubspot, Canva, Stripe, or Notion.
#10 Add progress bars or checklists (for product-led growth)
Add visual progress cues like progress bars, checklists, or even time indicators to your onboarding flow. You will see that your activation rate increases because new users want to know what they need to do next and how much progress they already made.
#11 Welcome Email sequences are powerful to activate more signups
Welcome email sequences are automated email marketing campaigns with the only goal to get new signups to the next stage of your funnel (active users for product-led or sales demos for sales-led growth), triggered automatically when a new sign-up happens.
Draft the right emails based on your customer journey, but most successful welcome email sequences are based on 5-10 emails. Keep the following in mind:
Personalize your welcome email (with information about the next steps, maybe even sent from the founder)
Always add a clear call-to-action to your emails
Compelling Subject Lines (no generic email subject lines)
Test simple plain email vs. fancy nice designed emails
Offer the option to reply to the email (or to make sure to also check them)
When writing the sequence, have a clear intention in mind for every email (based on your customer journey)
Think about the right triggers for the emails (what emails should be triggered based on user behavior (e.g. haven’t added specific information to the product after x days) vs. time-based (e.g. haven’t upgraded to paid plan 1 day before the end of free trial period).
Always restate your value proposition
#12 Personalized Emails from the Founder (Welcome Email + Trials expire + Churn)
If you are an early-stage startup, add some personalized emails sent by the founder to your email sequences. The first email after signup (welcome email #1), your trials expire (one of the last emails of your welcome email sequence) and when someone churns, are great reasons why you as a founder should reach out to your customers/prospects.
Some more inspirations:
Add a personal video message to your emails
Offer churned customers the option to give feedback about churn reasons (e.g. survey or even the option to book a feedback call with you)
Ask users that didn’t convert what’s missing/the reason for not converting
#13 Embed viral features into your product (& maybe switch to a product-led growth or hybrid strategy)
If you are selling to small and medium-sized businesses and have a rather easy-to-understand product, think about a product-led growth strategy.
Great examples of viral features are:
Peer-to-peer payments (Paypal)
Emails (Mailchimp, Superhuman)
Education badges (Hubspot Academy)
Referral Codes (Uber, Dropbox)
#14 Embed your testimonials and reviews in the customer journey
Social proof is really powerful and great for trust-building. Show them how successful they can get using your product (what results can they expect) and underline them with social proof of existing customers. You can use testimonials, e.g. quotes, testimonial videos, or success stories.
So make sure to add them at the relevant steps in the customer journey. Examples where to add them:
Website section with quotes, testimonials, or reviews
Signup page/ Signup flow
Welcome email sequence
P.S. Giving early customers a discount in exchange for a testimonial and case study is super valuable for your growth.
#15 Simplicity is King & become ‘peers’ with your customers
Use easy language and the language of your customers to sell your product. Avoid too technical terms and complicated acronyms, unless your ICP speaks this language.
You don’t need to become an expert in the industry/field of your customers, even though it for sure doesn’t hurt :) But at least you need to speak their language, understand the basics, and know their terminology. Being aware of industry-specific terminology increases your credibility.
All your content (e.g. website copy, help center articles, emails…) should be written in the language your customers speak and should be easy to understand.
#16 Conversational tone
A conversational tone means you try to write the way you would normally talk to your customer. You’re not trying to impress your customers with your vocabulary (not too technical or industry jargon). Talk directly to the visitor of your landing page, speak to one person and ask questions. Make sure the language you choose fits your target customer persona. A conversational tone works better for products targeting consumers, prosumers, and SMBs, not perfect for enterprise customers.
#17 Consistent wording on all your customer-facing communication
Once you defined a strong value proposition and key sales messaging, make sure your communication on every channel is consistent. It’s so much more convincing if the communication in your marketing ad, your sales demo, your product onboarding video, etc. are all aligned and sell the same outcomes and results (functional results vs. social results vs. emotional results).
#18 Headline matters - only 20% read the rest
80% of the visitors only read the headlines, and only 20% read the rest of your landing page. So make sure you nailed your headlines. The headline captures the attention of the visitors.
Here are some tips for headlines:
aim for 6 words headlines - keep them short
use dark (contrast) colors to make them easy to read
include strong words and adjectives
include (odd) numbers (e.g. 105% increase of revenue)
use action headlines (e.g. Get Free Access today)
add pain points and jobs to be done in the headline (your ICP will relate to it)
#19 Don’t underestimate the power of referrals - but you need to ask them of course
The advantage of referrals is, that it’s cheaper (lower CACs) and more effective than acquiring new customers (higher conversion rates). Why? Because happy customers refer others to you (for free or for a small referral bonus) and they mostly refer peers to you (which is more likely your ICP).
But of course, you need to frequently ask your customers for referrals (plus incentivize them to do so) to get the most out of this growth channel. Asking for referrals works best:
if you ask your customers in a moment when they are positive about your product (e.g. high NPS score; positive customer success call; release of high requested feature…)
at the end of a (successful) sales call (but even if the product is not right for them, ask for referrals that would fit your product)
Important about a referral marketing program are customer segmentation, timing & frequency, referral incentive, communication & messaging, and technical implementation & tools. Learn more about effective referral marketing programs in this article.
#20 Align your marketing & sales team for shared growth goals
Together both teams are responsible for the growth of the company - they just focus on different parts of the funnel. But they rely on each other, so make sure that they have a bigger, shared, and aligned objective that they work towards together.
Otherwise, you will end up will lots of MQLs, but low conversion to SQLs and Sales blaming marketing for unqualified leads and Marketing blaming Sales for being bad in closing deals.
#21 Educate the market, if you have a completely new product in a blue ocean
If you’re competing in a red ocean, you’re fighting to exploit existing demand and be better than your competitors. It’s all about beating the competition and harvesting the demand.
In a blue ocean, you’re creating demand. That means that you need to educate the market first in order to create awareness and ultimately demand your solution.
#22 Functional, social & emotional results are KING for your B2B sales & marketing
In B2B SaaS Tomasz Tunguz says
“There are three kinds of software value propositions. Software that increases revenue, software that reduces cost, and software that promises improved productivity.”
A strong sales message is when you add on top of the main value proposition the results your product delivers. There are 3 types of results:
Functional results. Things or task your products make easier, faster, and better (nice designs, better reporting, more leads, faster copywriting…).
Emotional results. How do your customers feel as a result of the functional result (feeling professional, feeling smart, feeling well informed, feeling relaxed…).
Social results. How your customers are perceived by others or how they see themself compared to others (professional, smart, relevant…).
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