Is your SaaS marketing hurting you more than it's helping you?
According to Duane Brown, Founder and Head of Strategy of Take Some Risk (a marketing firm that helps eCommerce companies improve CRO and scalability), the answer is probably yes...
Writing Copy that Converts
Don’t Let C3PO Write Your Copy
A lot of brands are guilty of writing copy like a robots. Or they make the mistake of writing copy from a limited perspective (it's easy to assume everyone reading your copy is just like you). But Duane has a better approach: write like a person, and write TO your audience.
“My rule of thumb is, if my mom doesn’t understand it, it’s probably too complicated,” says Brown. “Mom’s 70, a smart woman, but she’s not a marketer.”
Simple Benefit Words Connect To Powerful Emotions
Think about why people want to buy your product What do they get out of it? Not just the features, but what is the outcome?
“People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole,” said economist Theodore Levitt.
Writing copy around that outcome is usually more practical than saying, you can use this SaaS tool to do all these things.
“We tore down a page the other day that mentioned ‘enterprise-class service’ and I asked, what does this really mean?” says Brown. “We try and use language that’s very specific and not too vague. If people can see immediately that the service is for them, that’s a key way to differentiate yourself.”
Don’t Be Afraid of Using a Dirty Word: Money
People don’t necessarily want a tool because it’s going to save them time, they want that tool because it’s going to make them more money. Saving time is a benefit, but it’s not the primary reason to buy the tool.
So if you can figure out what outcome people want, and write your copy in that way, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
Avoid the Discount Death Spiral
Don’t worry if your competition offers discounts. That’s the worst way to try to get ahead because people will always want a discount, but that’s the worst kind of customer.
Let Your Fans Write Your Copy
Check out your company and your competition on review sites to see what customers like about a service, what they hate about it, to understand why people like a service or industry as a whole, and what they get out of it. Take the copy that people wrote in reviews and let that inspire how you talk about your service on the page.
With Leads, Quality Beats Quantity
Everyone talks about the totality of leads.
“Someone will say ‘We had 1,000 leads last year so we need 2,000 this year,’” says Brown. “What I try to tell clients is the total number of leads does not tell us how many people convert or actually become paying customers. And that’s what really matters. If you don’t have any paying customers, all of the leads in the world are not going to matter.”
The best way to pre-qualify prospects is with your copy and by having your price on your page or your form. This gives you a better chance of having a higher lead quality because if you had 1,000 leads last year, but only 400 converted, we can easily give you 1,000 leads this year, but have 600 people convert.
You haven’t spent any more money, you’ve just focused on optimizing the people who are going to be with you the longest. You don’t want the people who want it free or cheap.
Use Analytics to Look At and Listen to Your Customers
All SaaS companies use web marketing, but many of them, for all their technical sophistication, don’t use their analytics correctly.
“You’ll often find brands that don’t have that setup, or don’t have a goal, which is a pretty basic thing,” says Brown.
But assuming you have all that data, the most important factor is where do your prospects spend their time? The home page usually gets the most hits, but sometimes a huge amount of prospects enter the site from a deeper page. What keywords do they use to find the site or get to this deeper page? If a lot of people are spending time on this page, move some of its content to the home page.
Test, Test, Test
If you want to change the copy, headline, photo, or offer on a page, there are many ways to do split A/B testing on your site.
There are many paid split testing options. Google Content Experiments (which is free) will allow you to figure not only which element is best, but which combination of elements leads to the most conversions. (You will need to have goals defined on your site so that the testing software knows what a conversion is for you.)
Segment Your Leads 1: The Landing Page
One important thing to check is the quality of the leads you get from the experimental changes. Create them as a separate segment in your analytics and your CRM to see if they convert more.
Segment Your Leads 2: The Ads
When leads come from a specific ad source (Bing, Google, or whatever) you need to have a way to segment them in your CRM. You can make this as simple as only having one landing page version per ad source (all the Google Ads traffic goes to Landing Page 1, Bing Ads go to Landing Page 2, etc.).
Make sure the leads go into some kind of CRM system. You want to be able to source your leads, so you can say, we may have gotten fewer leads from Bing, but they spent more money or stuck with us longer.
Segment Your Leads 3: The Keywords in the Ads
Some keywords, such as your company, name will convert higher than others.
But sometimes it pays to use a competitor’s name. “That’s a tactic we use for a lot of SaaS clients. If you have dozens of competitors, I would say use another brand name,” says Brown. “Use their brand awareness to let people know you’re an option and they can pick you as a solution.”
Like Vaudeville, Polish Your Act in The Sticks Before You Hit Broadway
Starting with all ad venues is usually a mistake. Sometimes it’s cheaper to be on Bing. So if budget is an issue, it makes sense to start with Bing and see how it does before you go to the more expensive Google, LinkedIn, etc.
A common mistake is to buy ads on three or four channels and try to do a dozen things at once. If you do that, you can spread yourself too thinly and not put as much quality into each thing you do.
By just focusing on one ad channel, it allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. You can test as much as you want. And it allows you to build a foundation and a knowledge library of what’s working and what’s not working. And then you can take the things that worked and test them on the next channel.
“We’ve seen this with clients, if you’re only working on one channel, it’s not exactly automated, but week in and week out you’ll get a certain number of leads,” says Brown. “That gives you the time to test a new channel, and then another. It makes you scale a lot faster. It’s like the tortoise and the hare - that rabbit was wrong!”
To learn more about how to make the most of your SaaS marketing, check out our podcast.