How To Create A SaaS Business Model That Works

The evolution of the internet and technology, has allowed and even dictated various new types of businesses and companies to develop. One of these is the SaaS business model which caters for companies by providing them with essential services that they can use online.

SaaS stands for Software as a Service and is a business model that creates online solutions for brands to conduct their business online. The model is subscription based and most companies offer either monthly or annual subscription options, with incentive discounts for long-term subscriptions.

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SaaS has become a popular business solution for various software requirements such as HR functions, customer relationship services, office software, digital marketing solutions, analytical solutions, content management, accounting and enterprise resource planning, to name but a few. Popular examples include the mailing solution, Mailchimp, or the time tracking solution, Hubstaff.

We chatted to a SaaS brand to find out what makes their business a success and thought we would share their top key tips for a successful SaaS brand.

Develop A Solid Online Platform

The first thing is to develop a user-friendly, fast and simple website. Your site is going to be you sales tool, your communication platform as well as your online office. Your site therefore needs to be optimized to cater for online traffic as well as the solutions you offer. The company that we spoke to interestingly bought their website and converted it into what they required. They approached a website broker with their requirements and purchased a site that they could custom to fit their needs.

There are various advantages for buying a website, which worked well for the site. They didn’t need to spend too much time developing a site from scratch, and rather made a few changes to the existing. They could also make use of the organic traffic and simply build the SEO ranking on the site. They did, however, take some time in ensuring that they chose an appealing name for the site. They say that it is all in the name, and the company used resources to ensure that the website name was not only easily searchable, but was also memorable to the visitors.

If this is not the route you want to go, and you are wanting to create your own website, take time regularly to optimize your site. Stats prove that if a web page takes more than three seconds to load, the visitor loses interest. Once you have created your site, go through it page by page as if you were the customer. This is the first step of the customer journey and allows you to have a view of your brand from the customers perspective. From there, you can optimize slow pages, create appealing product pages and simplify the purchasing process. 

Know Your Audience

The company that we spoke to had an interesting case study to share. The owners had created a successful B2C e-commerce site a few years prior, and based on the success of this, had created the SaaS brand. They had found a gap in the market for the service and had launched the site. What they didn’t consider at first, was the fact that the target audience for the SaaS would be totally different to that of the ecommerce site.

Marketing and targeting turned out to be completely different to that of the ecommerce and they had to make rapid changes to their targeting tactics after a few months to reach their desired audience. Knowing who your audience is key in being able to target them through effective content and heightened SEO. As a company starting out, they needed to track their organic visitors constantly and refine keywords and content to maintain top SEO rankings.

The company took some time to conduct market research after their launch to establish the profile of their ideal customer profile, and once they had established that, evolved their marketing techniques. Not only did they have to constantly keep an eye on the analytics to watch the evolving demographics of the audience, but they had to monitor the top ranking keywords to ensure that the site maintained its ranking in search.

Optimize Your Mailers And Mailing Process

Right, now with your content, keywords and SEO rankings are being constantly refined, you can start looking reaching out to customers. The next thing is to look at your actual customers and subscribers to your site. The company took time in building a mailing database, and curating educational content to be sent in weekly mass emails to the mailing list subscribers.

These mailers were an important medium to convert website visitors to subscribers. They settled on an email marketing service that not only was affordable for them, but was easy to use. It also provided attractive and interesting templates to encourage readers to click through to the site. Educational and useful content was developed on the blog with, and sent in the mailers to subscribers. Mailers were sent weekly and included the eye-catching, useful content, calls-to-actions, as well as savvy product placement.

In order to grow their customer and mailer database, the company prompted site visitors to subscribe to the weekly mailers with smart pop-ups on the site. From there they offered them free trial period memberships within the mailers. The trial periods were usually a month long and allowed the customer the opportunity to test out the full range of the service. The process turned out to be very successful with around 46% of the free trial subscribers converting to customers, as soon as the trial ended in the first batch.

If the customer churned, or cancelled the service, the company reached out to find out why they were no longer interested and offered them several alternatives to carry on with the service. This included discounts and offers of heightened support with the service or even an  extended trial. It was an interesting exercise for the brand to start reaching out to the customers who churned to find out exactly why they had.

Around 15% indicated that they were confused about the product and had not been able to utilize the service due to uncertainty. The site decided to make use of knowledge base software and create helpful documents to guide the customer to effectively use their service. Online, instant chat was also integrated and allowed for subscribers to reach out when they needed assistance. These two additions alone reduced churn by 35% for the site.

Wrapping Up

The site started seeing immense growth after about two years and has established themselves as one of the top brands in their category. Their key was to not only know who their customer was, but to know what they wanted and their interests. They knew that reaching out to them took various different platforms, but each platform needed useful, educational content to empower the customer. Their final learning was that the customer needed to feel like they were part of a family who were there and ready to help at any given moment.

If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.

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