Dreaming of turning your tiny SaaS startup into a mega-company with millions of users? Sometimes that goal might seem impossible to attain unless you spend a ton of money and grind away for years. But, take heart: By experimenting a bit with growth hacks, you’ll likely reach goals faster than you ever imagined.
Growth-hacking has allowed a ton of founders and developers to achieve crazy growth. That’s how you can emulate Airbnb, Hubspot, PayPal and Quora and boost your customer base quickly and effectively.
Take a look “outside the box” at some of these creative, low-cost ways to get your product in front of users. Here are five growth hacks for SaaS businesses.
1. Implement a referral program.
What do you trust more, an ad or a recommendation from a friend? For the majority of consumers, a recommendation from a friend is more convincing and meaningful. That’s why implementing a referral program for your SaaS business is one of the most effective growth hacks for increasing the number of signups on your platform.
Uber famously handed out $20 for customers who referred their friends to the service. But if you’re a startup and don’t have money to spare, you can offer something else of value like DropBox did. Dropbox saw a tremendous amount of growth by giving away free storage for referring friends.
Image Credit: Dropbox Referral Program
Not only will implementing a referral program get your SaaS company more signups, but it also encourages your current customers to be more engaged and keeps them coming back to your platform again and again.
2. Develop a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing has always been essential for driving organic traffic but it can also lower your user acquisition cost. Creating educational, engaging content for your target audience is a low-cost way to build brand trust and easily convert readers into customers.
Buffer App came out at a time when there were a ton of other social media tools on the market but they set themselves apart by creating lots of stellar content. Now Buffer App is known as much for its blog as it is for its software.
Image Credit: BufferApp
Remember to optimize your blog posts for buyer keywords. Developing a content marketing strategy that will allow your content to guide consumers through each stage of the buyer’s journey will prove to be a continuous source of leads and conversions for your SaaS company.
3. Join an affiliate marketing site.
Wouldn’t you love it if a top influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers endorsed your SaaS company? That can happen if you join an affiliate marketing site. Affiliate marketing is a great growth hack for your business to grow your customer base and increase brand trust. It’s also low-risk; you only have to pay your affiliate partners when they make a sale for you.
Bluehost has many top bloggers as affiliate partners. For instance, Elna Cain, a popular blogger, writer, and coach, recommends Bluehost to her many readers and offers them an exclusive offer for signing up with the service.
Image Credit: Affiliate Marketing
You can join a third-party affiliate site like ShareASale, which is one of the largest affiliate platforms out there with a giant network of affiliate partners. By joining a popular affiliate site, your company will get more exposure and be able to connect with more top affiliates in the SaaS industries. Having an army of online influencers endorsing your business will boost brand awareness and drive high-quality traffic to your site.
4. Implement a retargeting pixel.
Users who check out your site and leave without purchasing or signing up are probably gone forever and you’ve missed out on the opportunity to convert them. But if you implement a retargeting pixel, you can convince those abandoning visitors to return to your site and buy.
After a user has left your site without taking your desired action, a retargeting pixel will “follow” him or her around the web, on Facebook and Google, and offer targeted ads to gently push this person back to you.
App Annie uses a retargeting ad that offers a free signup to tempt consumers to return to its website and sign up.
Image Credit: Facebook Retargeting
By showing retargeting ads to users who have already expressed interest in your website and company, you have a high chance of changing their minds and turning undecided users into loyal customers.
5. Let users try before they buy.
With so many SaaS products vying for the attention of consumers, you need to offer more in order to entice people to buy. People want to know what they’re going to get before they reach for their wallets so offer a limited-day free trial to users.
Rafflecopter even lets users test drive its giveaway software right on its website; you don’t even need to sign up to play around with the features it offers.
Image Credit: Rafflecopter Test Drive
Once users get a taste of what your product can do and how it will help them, it will be easier to turn them into paying customers.
Combining your hustle with an effective growth-hacking strategy will bring your SaaS startup big rewards. So, don’t wait any longer; jump-start the success of your SaaS business today by experimenting with these simple growth hacks.