Saas startups continue to struggle with low product adoption rates through their early days. They have high signup rates but these customers eventually wane away and cancel their subscriptions when they are done with their initial goal of signing up.
For most Saas companies, strategic marketing can help them increase their numbers. However, the point at which a customer discovers how this product could help them achieve their goals daily — usually referred to as the “aha” moment — is a near struggle to discover. This is why it is important to closely take a look at your company, discover the stages that are important along the customer’s life, and use these stages to introduce “aha” features that stem the customers in the service at particular points in time.
Having said that, we had a look at some strategies to accelerate product adoption for Saas startups below:
The first time a customer signs up to your company will be to achieve a very specific goal. For saas companies, there is every likelihood that the customer will achieve that specific goal within a day or two of signing up. It is highly possible that after the customer achieves said goal, you will probably never see them logging into your service again.
Additionally, the users who have continued to use your platform will probably get bored after some time and only log in whenever they want to achieve something in particular every once in a while.
To redeem your startup from both of these happenings, use in-app tips and walkthroughs to acquaint your new users with what the service has to offer aside from the feature for which they signed up.
Most saas businesses have several helpful features. It is important to ensure that through in-app guides and walkthroughs, your customers — both new and old — have a knowledge of the features of the whole application. They will get more engaged with the service as they learn what more they can do aside from their initial signup goal.
Gladly, you don’t need a development team to set this up for your Saas product. Platforms like Appcues and Whatfix have made it easier to do this by just logging in, dragging and dropping buttons and adding in your content.
Email marketing is still very alive because there is still nothing to replace email all over the world. Using proper email segmentation will help you divide your customers into various sets of groups.
Using this groups you can set up email campaigns to provide guidance or just communicate with your customers. As you communicate with them, they get engaged and even more psyched up to keep using the platform.
After the user has completed the signup process, they need to be on-boarded, nurtured, and taken through a series of emails that can help them discover your product’s hidden gems. By taking them through these initial steps, you greatly increase the engagement, increase your conversions at each stage of the campaign, and help them adopt your product as a whole.
At Pressfarm, we use Intercom to segment our users according to the plans they sign up for. We then take them through a series of emails from their initial days to show them how they can utilize our service to get their startups published in various publications around the world.
We introduce upsells and call to actions along the way to different segments of our customers. We have greatly increased our adoption by sending the right emails to the right segment of users at any stage in time.
The bottom-line is, do not just send mass emails to your customers expecting they will get engaged. Instead, identify the segments you need to differentiate your customers and send relevant emails to these segments.
The best place to continuously pitch and market your product is your company’s blog. Take advantage of the readership you have to keep training your customers on how to achieve their goals using your product.
You can out-rightly write articles about your company’s offerings as part of documentation and occasionally refer your customers to them. However, we prefer to use articles not as a means towards an end but as an opportunity to help customers achieve their goals around a topic they are interested in.
Your content marketing process should always educate. Provide useful guides and information. Tell the customers how to do, what to do, where to do, and how to execute in all practicality anything they need.
A clever way to teach about your product is occasionally writing about the strategies that customers can use towards a certain end goal, then lightly mentioning how your product helps them achieve one of the strategies as a tip in the article.
The best piece of advice is to develop a content marketing strategy. Understand the topics around your startup’s niche, write useful content on them and test the response from users. Learn from the data, make the necessary changes, and grow. A sound content strategy has helped Saas companies like Buffer, Kissmetrics, and Hubspot to grow their daily users. Tools like Pressfarm can also get your startup heard by getting it featured on their blog and going even further to craft your content marketing strategy too.
It is crucial to make use of the stages along your customers’ usage when you can prompt them with CTAs, an announcement, an action-based tip, and element proposals that move them to the next stage of the service.
Some Saas companies do not provide any sort of engagement to their users when they are logged on. However, if you investigate a little you will see that from platforms like Facebook, Gmail, Airbnb, Dropbox, and Slack attempt to re-engage users and increase product adoption through website and in-app cues that keep the customers engaged.
Identify important spots in your service where you think customers will benefit from a tip, CTA, or an announcement. Add those prompts to guide your customers into the next level of your service.
Your customers can benefit a lot from subtle and unobtrusive email prompts like having your team place an announcement, CTA, tip, or element prompts in their signatures. As they send out emails, they help onboard customers and increase product adoption. They also attract new customers and increase signups.
One platform that can help you achieve this is Sigstr. Implement a company-wide signature that turns each of your employees into a powerful marketing tool or product adoption ambassador. You can include a CTA asking customers to upgrade their plans to get an important feature or suggest a blog post they could benefit from.
Repetition has seen some companies grow to their fills. It is a marketing strategy that is proven to work and it is also very simple. Just show your ad to people who have shown interest in your offerings in the past. Keep repeating this like a psychological trick of some sort and eventually you will convert.
For instance, let’s say you had an ad leading customers to your landing page at a particular point in the recent past. Some of the prospective leads that showed interest but did not execute the call-to-action on the landing page are a great opportunity to market another product or additional features. You can set your ad to show to these leads again. That is the whole concept of ad retargeting.
The more they see your ad, the higher their chances of signing up or taking you serious on that CTA.
Utilise ad retargeting for your customers so that you can stay on top of their minds. Propose upsells, CTAs, product features and upgrades, or prompt them to take a particular training that will eventually lead to higher product adoption rates.
Webinars and live demos cannot be underestimated. They have become popular over the years for one main reason: they provide a live or visual video content in an interactive manner that can sometimes not be achieved through all the above methods.
Through webinars, an actual person interacts with customers to teach them about the product, features that they are using, those they might not be using, and how to quickly achieve what they want. The viewers get to participate in the conversation and ask questions.
Two most important aspects about webinars and live demos are:
a). You get customers visually engaged, in a participatory manner. It changes your product demonstrations from telling to showing.
b). It becomes easier to upsell customers on various points or additional products and increase your conversion rates.
A PR roadmap is a PR calendar that helps you stay in touch of what news to send to the press, when, where, and how to go about it. Startups that want to keep their users informed on the latest product changes and features can implement a year-round roadmap to help them stay in the news all year long.
This helps in terms of new user acquisition as well as helping your current users know that there are more features to use on your platform to achieve their bottomline. When your users are seeing your company in the news on features and benefits, they begin to ask themselves how they can utilise these aspects to stay ahead of their competition in business. To know how to develop your startup’s PR roadmap, check out this guide that we did a while back: Best Tips for Creating a Startup PR Road Map (Free Template Included)
In conclusion, the issue of product adoption is a very pressing concern among Saas startups. While for some platforms it can be very straight forward, for others it might appear impossible to get your daily user numbers to make sense. Higher signup rates and lower numbers of daily users continue to press even some of the most accomplished startups in the market. Using the strategies above, you can turn it around for your Saas service and accelerate your product adoption. For companies struggling to convert trial users to paying customers this post will help in addition to the tips above.
Do you have anything to add to this story? Leave a comment below and we shall get in touch.
Originally published at press.farm on December 8, 2017.