Growing a business can be difficult, but growing a software-as-a-service business, or SaaS, can even be more challenging even for experienced entrepreneurs, not just because of increasing market competition but also because of how different the SaaS business model is to traditional ones. Nevertheless, it can be done, and to help set you on the right track, we’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you make a SaaS business achieve the growth it needs.
Use a liberal subscription billing model
E-commerce customers nowadays are always on the lookout for a good deal, no matter if they’re buying physical items off the internet or purchasing software. As such, customers may be put off by hefty yearly software licensing fees, even if the software you’re selling as a service is integral to their own business or a critical component of their problem-solving capabilities. You can mitigate this by adopting a liberal subscription billing system, where your customer has the option to be charged by the month rather than by the year. The lower buy-in price will attract more customers for sure, as well as the freedom of not being ‘locked-in’ to your product for an entire year.
Use a subscription billing service software solution
If you do choose to adopt a subscription billing model, consider using a software solution that automates and streamlines subscription billing for SaaS businesses. By doing so, you improve your subscriber’s customer experience while also minimizing involuntary churn—i.e. what happens when a subscriber drops their subscription not by choice, but because of preventable factors such as failed payment transactions or an unfavorable payment experience. A subscription billing solution not only automates billing, but it also automates failed transaction follow-ups—as well as immediately notifying you and your subscriber of the issue.
Offer a trial of your product, but keep it short
Offering a trial or demo version of your software is key to enticing customers. However, the trial period should never be longer than 14 days at the most. One reason for this is that a long trial period may allow your prospective customers to actually complete their projects, which means that a prospective subscription may be lost. Secondly, a short trial period often impresses urgency to the consumer, encouraging them to not only try your product but also to go for key features that should impress them enough for a subscription.
Offer benefits to subscribers who refer your product to others
Leverage today’s obsession with social media by giving your subscribers incentive to tweet or share links to your product to their followers or friends. Have them get discounts or even free subscriptions whenever they do so. You can even run raffles for your subscribers, where an entry counts as an instance of them sharing your product page or getting their friends to sign up for a trial.
Follow up aggressively
Sometimes, potential customers are lukewarm to a subscription, and that’s fine. That’s the nature of business. However, you shouldn’t take a “maybe” as a no. Always follow up, either with email or a phone call, with a space of two or three days in between so you don’t come off as a bothersome telemarketer. Never stop until either you get a sale or a no. Doing so will not only keep you at the top of their mind when it comes to their buying choices, but also make them consider you as an option each time you follow up.
Don’t forget about your old subscribers while chasing new ones
One big mistake that SaaS businesses make is neglecting their subscribers once they’ve signed on. Never let this happen. Instead, always seek to improve their experience. Give them more and more reasons to keep subscribed, such as providing them exclusive access to new and unreleased content or making sure they have a direct way to give feedback to you or your team.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can set your own SaaS business apart from the rest and achieve growth not just in revenue and earnings, but also in terms of reputation and customer satisfaction.