#ParrotInspires: How to pick the best referral marketing software

Are you about to start referral marketing? It is a very good choice, since providing a referral program allows you to incorporate satisfied customers into your marketing strategy. There is a reason why referrals are often called word of mouth marketing: people talk, and you gain potential customers. Essentially, it helps to increase conversions, revenue, customer retention rates, and many other business-related metrics, making it a helpful tool for any successful business.

The decision to choose the best referral marketing software at the start of your referral marketing journey is essential, as you may struggle without the proper tools. In order to make the best decision, you should consider all the pros and cons of each available option. Ultimately, every business decision must be supported by adequate research and analysis. 

Below you will find a few tips that will certainly help you select the right tool. What features should a good referral software have? Let’s find out!

Referral and affiliate marketing – what is the difference?

Many people get confused when it comes to these two types of marketing, so here is a quick comparison between referral and affiliate marketing to be sure that we are on the same page. It is important to understand the difference, since using affiliate program software for tracking referrals might not be the best idea.

To help clear it up in your head, below you can find the major differences between affiliate marketing and referral marking:

  • Referral marketing relies on happy customers and their relationships, while affiliate programs involve people with significant reach across the internet.
  • Affiliates are usually paid commission, whereas a free product that is typically gifted through a referral program would not be ideal for everyone.
  • An affiliate program is a business arrangement, so you usually need to provide a contract and both sides have to agree on the terms. With a marketing program for referrals, you only have to provide the terms of use and the client should always be able to unsubscribe from it at any time.
  • An affiliate marketing program is more product-oriented. In most cases, affiliates provide a product review or present a service, so affiliate links mostly lead to product pages. Referral marketing can be related to many activities, such as registering on a website or signing up for a newsletter.

There are a lot of similarities between the two types of marketing as well, but let’s focus on the differences for the moment in order to cover the referral marketing topic without any confusion. First, we’ll talk about referral software.

What is referral marketing software?

A referral marketing platform allows you to create a campaign, name it as you wish, and choose your goals for starters. Then you can establish the incentives, their targets for earning them, and design the communication through the channels you prefer. Finally, you can create referral links and invite your customers to join the program. That is how any referral program software works in a nutshell.

Referral campaigns should be analyzed, and there is no need for additional marketing tools if you can monitor performance and referral traffic constantly using referral marketing software. All of the best providers offer such options, so their tools are essential not only for the creation of referral marketing programs but also for monitoring them and optimizing their performance on the go.

Who would benefit from referral marketing?

There is no set list of industries that may profit more or less than others from a referral program. This solution is for everyone – eCommerce platforms, SaaS businesses, and many more. There are also no limits when it comes to market sectors – clothing, households products, car accessories, or computer software, etc. – anything can be recommended through referrals. The only common theme that applies is a desire to have a successful business and gain more customers. 

Referral marketing is an excellent option for starters, since programs can be implemented very cost-effectively. There is no need for a separate marketing team to implement the strategy nor for IT staff to install the software, so they can be done inexpensively by the business itself. The user base does not have to be huge, it will grow by people referring to others. With a successful referral program you can drive more traffic and increase customer lifetime value by up to 25%.

How to choose the best referral marketing software?

Let’s be honest; there is no ready-made checklist for every business. Each company has different needs, audiences, and preferences. However, there are some common points that will help you choose the best option from the wide range of referral marketing tools available today.

Easy integration

Referral marketing solutions should be easy to implement and integrate with all of the apps you already use on a daily basis, like your CRM and email marketing provider. Moreover, the referral platform should be compliant with your landing page, so keep this in mind when searching for your solution. For example, EarlyParrot can be integrated with most of the popular programs and platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and MailChimp. It’s important to remember that the more seamless experience you provide your users, the more likely they are to make successful referrals. Connecting your apps allows you to do this and help your business run like a well-oiled machine.

It would also be a nice bonus if your chosen referral marketing software supported email list building. That way, you would be able to take care of your communication with new and loyal customers. EarlyParrot can do this, of course. 

A wide range of referral rewards

Since incentives are your choice, you can decide whether your customers receive gift cards, free products, or discount coupons, just to name a few possibilities. 

However, there cannot be any limitations in your referral program. An important factor in determining the successfulness of a referral is the type of incentive

Users should be encouraged and intrigued enough to share links. It is your job to pick the best possible reward for your target audience. This aspect should offer as much variety as you can so that everyone will find something for themselves. This will support not only your marketing efforts but also improve the sales cycle

The types and amounts of referrals are crucial, so your referral software should allow you to set up various kinds. For example, a welcome gift for new clients should be different from a successful referral gift for current customers. Although a referral campaign is very similar to a loyalty program, they are not the same. Offering one type of reward, as loyalty programs do, will not work with customer referrals. You need to vary the types of your referrals and the corresponding rewards otherwise you may not run the most effective marketing campaign.

Time to try 

Most marketing tools offer free trials, and this is the case with referral marketing software as well. You need to try out any tool before you commit to purchasing it. For example, EarlyParrot offers a free demo that you can use as many times as you wish, with the number of campaigns being the only limitation. 

So, when searching for referral tools, you may want to focus on free trials. There are often catchy headlines like 14-day free trial! or first week for free on providers’ websites. Check out their offers and evaluate them. Based on your testing, you will be able to choose which one will be the best match for your referral marketing strategy.

Remember that during such a free trial, you need to test the tool inside out. Take advantage of the trial period! Use a referral widget and try its integrations, for instance, all to make the most of that referral marketing software solution. After you have completed your test, you will be able to choose the one that best suits your business needs, and this will result in greater profits in the future. 

Data safety

There is no need to mention that the security of data is a priority for any online activity. In order to provide an effective referral program, you need to take care of safety first. When choosing software, you have to be sure that all user data is protected. Moreover, referral marketing software should provide you with fraud detection to block suspicious emails or traffic on your marketing channels. If you operate on the EU market then your referral tool must be GDPR compliant too. 

The whole process has to be secure – from clicking a referral link to joining the program. Putting clients’ privacy and security first helps to build up trust and in your business. Nobody will recommend a company to a friend or family member if it is not regarded as being reliable.

Intuitive to use 

Sometimes providers overdo with business language and their design to seem professional, but that may not actually be the case for their service. From your point of view as a user, it is very important to see the next steps clearly and know what you should type into a given text box. 

Using an intuitive tool can help save time by eliminating the need for constant rechecking. 

EarlyParrot is one such tool that provides you with support and suggestions step by step as you develop your program. Additionally, this platform will not let you click the next button until you have entered all the necessary information. Besides that, branding is another one of its great features. All your communication pages and links can be easily customized, and EarlyParrot does not display its own logo anywhere so people will know that your brand is running the referral program. Additionally, you have the opportunity to import your existing customers to the client base and invite them to join your campaign very quickly and easily. You can do this by importing them via CSV and start the marketing process immediately!

EarlyParrot ticks all the boxes! 

This tool may have the solutions to all of your problems. It covers all of the aspects mentioned above and even more below:

  • seamless integration with most popular platforms and programs 
  • a free demo
  • fraud detection and GDPR compliance
  • intuitive and user-friendly dashboard
  • a wide range of referral options
  • support and tips throughout the program creation process
  • …and many more!

Maybe this tool is the one for you?

Choose your referral software!

We hope that by following this short yet comprehensive guide, you will be able to choose the best tool and create a campaign that caters to your customers’ needs. 

No matter if you run an eCommerce business, SaaS enterprise, or you are another service provider, a referral marketing campaign could be a gamechanger for you. But only with the right tools and some knowledge, of course. Our blog has many excellent articles, so take a look if you want to broaden your horizons on this topic!

ParrotInsider #5: How Early Parrot can boost your brand awareness?

Building brand awareness is imperative for your business in order for you to reach more potential clients. High brand recognition contributes to building a community and keeping customers loyal. It is important to stay active in the minds of your consumers to keep them coming back to you.

However, it can be difficult to build a brand that stands out in a crowded market. To achieve that, you will need a solid digital marketing strategy and the right focus on your target audience. We have some ideas about how to accomplish this. Below are some marketing tips you may find helpful for achieving the goal of increasing the recognition of your company.

Nonetheless, it is best to take one step at a time and begin with the concept of brand awareness. What does it mean, and why is it important?

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is crucial, no matter which industry your company operates in. In a nutshell, it stands for people’s ability to recognize your brand. The higher your brand awareness, the better results advertising and campaigns will achieve. Knowing your brand may encourage a lot of consumers to choose your company to fulfill their needs as the go-to option. As such, there is a great need to build a strong brand identity and become a top name in your industry.

This is also an essential aspect for both B2C and  B2B companies. More than 75% of B2B leaders admit that a strong brand is crucial for their growth plans. So no matter who your target is, it would be nice to stay in their minds for longer. 

Why is brand awareness important?

Reaching potential customers is not a piece of cake; countless businesses are fighting to reach a similar target audience. Keeping your brand at the forefront of people’s minds is the first and one of the most important stages of the marketing funnel. It is crucial for acquiring more clients and building a community.

Brand awareness campaigns support expanding your audience and help to search for the best strategies. There are plenty of digital marketing tactics that may come in handy with this matter. For starters, it would be good to focus on the type of content you publish and how you encourage people to visit your website. In such terms, referrals can be a huge support. They will help you to reach a broad audience and increase your engagement rate

How can a referral program boost brand awareness?

What can you do to use referral marketing for a brand engagement campaign? We are here to show you. But first things first, before you use a referral program to boost brand awareness, you should choose the best tool to do so. In our opinion, it is EarlyParrot, and we will explain to you why.

Making noise about your brand

Once you have created your campaign (with EarlyParrot, this can happen in the blink of an eye), you will be able to reach new customers. Thanks to offering incentives, your regular customers will be more willing to spread the word about your business and invite their friends or family to join your community. By using referral links, you will be able to track who is the best brand ambassador and maybe reward them even more than usual. 

Your customers can share their recommendations and links across social platforms and become part of your content marketing strategy. What you need to do is to design the messages for them to share. With EarlyParrot, you can create the content of each sharing page and message that your customers will publish. Think about valuable content that will have a major impact on the recipients and boost social engagement. You will see that social media users appreciate such content and visit your website as a result. 

Branding your communication

Speaking of communication, it should be clear as day which brand is behind this content. You need to focus on your visual brand identity. About 3/4 of customers recognize a brand via its logo. So put it in a visible place when creating a communication widget. Moreover, it is also important to brand your rewards. Once a new customer earns a gift for, e.g., registering to receive your newsletter, it should be clear who will send it. This will stick in their mind and place you one step closer to your ultimate goal, which is remaining in their memory. With EarlyParrot, you can add an image to each incentive, no matter if it is a welcome gift or a referral reward. Keep in mind the above and add your logo to the pictures of them. Visual content has a significant impact on increasing visual brand identity, so remember to brand all graphics or videos that you post too.

Taking care of your SEO efforts

One of the most crucial aspects of any content marketing strategy is SEO. It supports boosting conversion rate and keeping your position in search engine results high. When you hear SEO, the first thing that comes to mind is probably keywords. This is the right association, but it is also crucial when making blog posts or other pieces of content. When it comes to referral marketing, links matter the most. Add the name of your brand to referral links in order to boost brand awareness and support your SEO effort at the same time. If you take care of your SEO comprehensively, you will see the results – a high position in search engine results and branded referral links that are a claim to fame. 

Staying in touch with your clients

Keeping your customers in the loop allows them to feel a sense of community, and thus brand awareness to increase. Inform them about each change in the program or other general ones. It would also be great to provide customers with some valuable content like whitepapers, ebooks, or infographics. Help them expand their horizons. 

In this regard, list building is a crucial aspect to keep everything in order. EarlyParrot supports this process too. Once a given client registers on your site, they will receive an email with an invitation to join your referral program. By inviting each of your customers and informing them about upcoming or earned rewards you will keep them in the loop and expand your brand community, which is the main point of referrals. Plus, you can add some extras to these emails too. 

It is important to note that EarlyParrot supports most of the commonly used email marketing providers like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and AWeber, so it won’t be a problem to integrate this tool with your apps. 

What else can you do to build brand awareness? 

There are plenty of digital marketing strategies for boosting your company’s recognizability. But none of them will bring outstanding results by themself. To support your referral efforts, you need to use the synergy effect and choose which ones would work best together. We have some propositions.

Social media marketing 

Being present on social media allows you to stay in customers’ minds for longer. Let’s consider a situation when a client receives a referral link from a friend and visits your site, but isn’t convinced. As they scroll through Instagram, they notice your advertisement and are encouraged by quality content on your profile. Acquisition of a new lead would be the cherry on top if you handle it properly. Inspired by your Instagram content, the potential client may return to your site, use a referral link, and join your program. Doesn’t that sound promising?

Guest posting 

Be present on many channels and… websites. Make the most of the possibilities offered by guest posting. Promote your business on different sites and industry platforms by writing informative and interesting texts that refer to your business. Remember, however, that this should not be an intrusive promotion – you should gently suggest checking out your company or its products. Thanks to such occasional guest posts, you will have the opportunity to reach a larger group and acquire new customers. You can capitalize on the reach of the pages your posts are published on and catch their audiences’ attention. It’s a perfect solution.

There is one catch – the content must be valuable and high quality. It should be insightful and full of interesting facts or stats. Otherwise, hardly anyone will want to collaborate with you. It is also crucial to offer something in exchange, such as a post on your blog or backlink. The conditions depend on both parties, but do not forget that no business activity is one-sided. Ask and receive, that is the main rule. 

Affiliate marketing 

This kind of marketing is often confused with referral marketing, and although they act on similar principles they differ from each other quite significantly. Both are about recommendations, which in the case of affiliate marketing are made by affiliates, i.e. people who have gathered a large audience on social media. They recommend your product and provide affiliate links to followers, allowing them to purchase with, e.g., a 10% discount. The combination of these two recommendation channels may turn out to be very effective. For example, a customer sees a video on YouTube about your product but is not fully convinced. If a friend also makes the same recommendation, though, success is guaranteed.

It is worth using omnichannel marketing to increase brand awareness – you can increase revenue by as much as 23% by presenting your brand consistently across all platforms. In addition, too many channels and advertisements can cause readers to become overwhelmed, which is the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish. Therefore take care when deciding which channels and ads to ignore.

Over to you

Increasing brand awareness is a significant step towards building the appearance of your business. Remaining at the forefront of people’s minds by gaining their recommendations is a good way to stay relevant. But to have everything under control, you need a good strategy and  tools. One of them is EarlyParrot, and it will assist you from the first minutes of the installation process. 

Thanks to EarlyParrot, you will be able to use the full power of referrals and plan an entire omnichannel strategy too. Once you launch your referral program, this tool will handle the communication on your behalf and automate every process. Moreover, you will be able to track the performance of your program at any time. 

Thanks to such support, you will have more time to take care of other strategic aspects and plan, e.g., collaboration with affiliates or social media posts.

Ready to boost your brand awareness?

Referral program 101

It is common for people to recommend things to each other. It is good to hear a bit of advice from a reliable friend, especially if there is a serious dilemma. Why not make the most of this habit?

Referral marketing is a solution where you take advantage of people’s tendency to share their experiences or opinions with others. Customer referrals can bring many new clients and expand your customer base. Moreover, referral marketing campaigns are very easy to create and relatively low-cost. Below you can find out about the basics of referral marketing – what it is, how it works, and how to create a referral marketing program. You will also find here some examples of industries where the power of referral has the most potential. Shall we start?

What is referral marketing?

Some people call referral marketing word-of-mouth marketing since people are encouraged to spread the word about your product or service. A good referral marketing strategy is fundamental to make the most of your campaign. 

The referral mechanism is about building a network of loyal customers and encouraging them to share good reviews about you with their friends and referral links at the same time. What is a referral link? It could be a unique URL or code that every current customer who has joined your program has. They can share it with their friends or family, and once those potential customers use the referral links both parties can earn rewards. These may be discount coupons or free products, for example. The referral terms are up to the business provider. 

How does this form of marketing help your business? A successful referral can bring you many new customers, lower customer acquisition costs, and expand brand awareness. Referrals can bring a 30% higher conversion rate than other marketing channels. They can also increase customer loyalty, since participating in such a program gives a sense of belonging.

It is important to add that a referral marketing program is a great option for both B2C and B2B companies.

What does a successful referral mean?

To perceive a given client as a successful referral, there are a few rules to follow. First, your regular customer has to share a link; otherwise, there is no proof of them making a recommendation. The referral marketing software needs to follow this link and monitor its performance. Secondly, the link has to be used, which means a potential customer has to visit your website via it and take the desired action, e.g., make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. Your referral link may be a direct link to the registered site or the shopping cart, it is up to you. Wherever the link leads, it should be clearly stated in the communication, since nobody wants to click on a link with no clear destination.

Also, it is essential to mention that a successful referral does not always mean a reward for both sides or either. There are various types of referral marketing programs and incentives models. You can choose:

  • One-sided –  one person is rewarded. The gifted side could be either your existing client or the new one who came via link. Rewarding the former will make them more motivated and possibly result in more referrals. Rewarding the new customer will increase the chance that they finish the transaction and come back for more in the future. Nevertheless, such customers might not generate as many referrals as loyal ones.
  • Two-sided – both sides are rewarded. Since you reward both the referrer and the new client, this type of incentive will undoubtedly attract the most customers. You can choose the same type of referral reward for both parties or vary this aspect as well, it is all up to you. Needless to say that motivating your clients in this way will earn you more recommendations and solidify your bonds with clients, as well as increase their loyalty.
  • There is also the option of no reward, but its effectiveness is doubtful. Though people rarely devote their time completely unselfishly, this does not mean it will not happen every now and then. You can also set a target of, for example, three successful referrals to earn the reward, but it is hard to predict whether people would be willing to participate this way. As you might assume, this model will not drastically increase your brand awareness or gain you many new customers.

What is a referral program?

Loyalty programs and referral programs are similar in many ways. Every user of your website can join them. In the case of referrals, you should establish incentives and highlight a signup option on your site or send it via email to encourage them. 

Suppose you run an eCommerce business. Once your happy customers do some shopping, they will receive a link to share with others. If they share it with friends who use the link, both your customers and friends can receive gifts. To create such a campaign, you would need a referral marketing software solution. For this we have a recommendation – EarlyParrot!

How to create a referral program – a step by step guide

Once you choose the referral program software, there are few things to do next. Before you click to create a new program, you need to think about a few aspects. First, establish who your target audience is. Then consider what type of incentive you want to offer, whether it should be a discount for your services or maybe a free product?

After such preparation, you can get down to business and start building your referral campaign. We will guide you through the process using EarlyParrot as an example.

Step one: the goal and incentives

So first you need to establish your goal. There are various options depending on the industry you operate in. Then you should focus on your referral incentives system and decide the type of them – whether they will be referral or welcome ones. You can set as many as you need. What you should do next is describe the incentive in detail and you even add an image. 

Step two: invitations

To let people know about your program you need to tell them about it. How to do so? Using social media sites would be the best option. You customers can share the news with their friends and build a social network. What is your role here? To make this social share positive, type the message they can publish. It would be easier for your users to just click a share button than design their own messages. EarlyParrot offers most of the popular options such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Step three: communication

Referral campaigns should start with your loyal clients, so make an email list and tell them the news. What about email campaigns? They can be useful for making some noise about your program. You may want to create one campaign to invite guests and another one as a reaction to their participation. EarlyParrot allows you to design the messages from scratch with templates that vary depending on the email types. It is also a good idea to spread the word about your customer referral program by adding some positive reviews from your clients. This would be an additional incentive and make you seem more reliable.

Step four: the referral widget

The referral process should include designing referral widgets. A widget can be designed according to the type of share page. EarlyParrot offers many sharing options, so you are obliged to develop sections like reward widgets or activity widgets. Through these share pages, your customers will be able to spread a positive experience about your business, so each referral widget should be designed carefully.

Step five: integrations

It is a crucial aspect of making your word of mouth marketing useful. You need to integrate the software with your landing page and the platforms you use daily. Early Parrot has a wide range of available integrations, so we are almost sure you will be able to find yours here. It does not require a huge effort, just find the program and EarlyParrot will guide you through the process. It won’t take you longer than 15 minutes.

Step six: campaign monitoring

Tracking your program’s key metrics is crucial for making it successful. You have to know what’s working and what’s not. By having such information, you will be able to adjust the campaign accordingly. 

As a recap of this short guide, it is worth mentioning that the whole referral process is automated. EarlyParrot automatically detects whether new customers buy your products via recommendations from friends or if they come from organic traffic. You can make any adjustments as you need, since thanks to the dashboard you have access to each of your campaigns at any time.

Which industries can make the most of referrals?

Referral marketing is a form of marketing that can be very effective for basically any industry. Additionally, many B2B tech companies admit that referrals from their loyal customers have been one of the most effective tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Few industries benefit more from referrals than others, but it is all determined by their types of consumers.

  • For example, it is relatively easy for eCommerce sites to encourage people to be active participants in a referral program, especially if they sell FMCGs, clothes, or accessories. Rewards like discount codes from such industries are more likely to be used and redeemed by clients who often shop for those kinds of goods.   
  • But on the other hand, when it comes to more significant expenses, people like to ask for advice and buy from a reliable source. When a discount comes along with that recommendation, it is even better. Such industries like SaaS or tech services can also benefit from referral marketing programs.
  • Niche industries can profit a little more than others. Such businesses do not experience huge popularity, at least at the very beginning, which is why referral marketing comes in handy. No matter how many clients a company has, they can all recommend it to their friends. This is exactly how referral marketing works. The word is spread, and the popularity increases.

It is important to say that referral strategies work not only for products but services as well. There is plenty of proof of this, including the following examples of companies. So what are the most popular referral program examples?

  1. Clubhouse, the latest flavor of the month. Its popularity grew beyond anybody’s expectations. All thanks to a sense of inclusivity and referrals!
  2. Uber, one of the most popular referral programs. It operates in many countries, and referrals allow the app to expand its reach.  
  3. Credit Agricole is just one example of how the banking industry uses referral channels to say thank you to devoted customers and reach new ones.
  4. PayPal runs a referral campaign, too. This is another example of a financial app using the power of recommendation.s 
  5. …and many more. Here is an article about referral programs provided by some key players, feel free to dive in.

From a customer’s perspective, a well-designed program may be a great opportunity to find new providers and save some money. According to MediaVenue, such recommendations work better than TV advertising for almost half of all Millenials. This means that referral channels really work!

How to provide a successful referral program

There is no ready-made recipe for running an effective referral program. Each business manages these issues differently, but we can provide some guidelines that may become handy.

  • Focus on the user – they should be your reference point. Step into the customer’s shoes for a minute and consider which type of reward would be the best for increasing their satisfaction. A deep understanding of your target market would make your sales efforts efficient and allow you to see all the benefits of referral marketing at its finest. What else should you do to keep your happy customers around and willing to share links?
  • Keep your online reviews visible. They are a powerful form of social proof, which makes your brand seem more reliable. Even if one negative review appears, do not worry. This indicates that real people use your products; you can’t please everyone no matter how much you want to. Highlight positive reviews on your website, and present some comments from social media platforms. This will encourage potential customers to purchase or do another desired action. The more social proof, the better.
  • Use referral marketing as part of your whole digital marketing strategy. Create a synergy effect with social media marketing or email campaigns to make a buzz about the entire business. Compare your referral program with a loyalty program and send invitations to the whole user base. Make your strategy a comprehensive whole.

If you are interested in more pieces of advice, feel free to read this article. You will find more ways to make the most of referrals with almost minimal effort here.

Ready, set, refer!

Creating a referral program is not rocket science, but it remains some effort. Hopefully, with our guidelines, you now know what it is, how to use this tactic wisely, and what to do to benefit from this strategy.

We have shown you referral marketing in a nutshell, and it should be a good place to start with a referral campaign. Feel free to share this piece with your marketer friends and come back any time you have any doubts about your campaign!

How to promote your SaaS business in 2021?

Over the past few years, the SaaS industry has experienced massive growth. This sector is predicted to reach a total value of $623 billion by 2023, which is a huge increase compared to its 2018 total value of $270 billion. 

As a matter of fact, the market is getting a little bit crowded, so it is becoming harder to reach your target audience and make a successful sales pitch. Moreover, it is more challenging to present SaaS products than physical ones, which is why it can sometimes be tough to find the right way to promote them properly.

No worries though, as we have come up with some ideas for marketing strategies that will help you improve conversion rates, drive traffic to your website, and simply make your potential customers more curious about your brand.

What is SaaS?

To design a proper strategy, it is a good idea to first step back and think about the core of your products. SaaS stands for software as a service. In this distribution model, a cloud provider hosts apps on their systems and makes them accessible over the Internet to end-users. Under this model, a third-party cloud provider will host an application on behalf of an independent software vendor (ISV). Cloud providers are often also software vendors in large companies.

It is also wise to take a closer look at giants in your industry and how they cope with promotion. Some SaaS kings are Microsoft, Salesforce, Dropbox, and Slack. 

Now you have gone back to your roots, it is time to focus on those marketing tactics that might be very useful when promoting your SaaS solutions to your existing and potential customers.

Top SaaS marketing strategies for 2021

It is high time to get to the point: how to promote your SaaS effectively in 2021.

Let’s collaborate

Co-marketing could hit the bull’s eye. This iis when two or more brands cooperate with each other to promote an event, special offer, or other type of content. Such cooperation allows you to expand horizons and reach a larger group of recipients. You can work with other SaaS companies, stores, service providers, or non-profit organizations. If the cooperation has a coherent overtone and makes perfect sense in the eyes of recipients, there are no limits to who you should work with. A contradictory example would be the case of cooperation between athletes and sweets manufacturers, as the images of these entities are not consistent and so they make such collaborations unreliable. Ensure yours are the opposite. By combining strength with a company that works in a similar area, you can profit not only from reach but also  knowledge and market experience.

Make your customers your partners 

Once you have a happy customer, go with the flow and encourage them to share a good opinion about your product. To persuade them to do so, you need to design a referral program for your users. Moreover, this will also support customer retention and speed up the growth of your customer base. But enough theory, let’s make it happen.

First, choose a referral marketing software solution. EarlyParrot is a very handy, powerful, and user-friendly tool that supports all communication with your clients. First choose the goal of your program, focus on the right incentives, and create your communication – share pages and emails, etc. After launching your program, you can follow its performance from the tool’s dashboard.

Referral marketing is about sharing. Your happy customers will spread the word about your brand by recommending you to people they know and sharing referral links at the same time. The use of these links or codes can be profitable for both sides of a referral – the referee and the referrer – the terms are up to you.

EarlyParrot automatically detects which new users came via referral links and sends rewards accordingly. Such automation makes this type of marketing strategy effortless.

Use the power of video marketing 

Video marketing is the next solution that could turn your advertising into special. But before you launch your short film clip, you need to take care of the following aspects and questions:

  • What type of video content should it be – for example, product demos, customer reviews, or educational content?
  • Should it be a series of short clips or one long video?
  • You need to write (or employ someone to do it) a proper script.
  • It’s essential to hire professionals for your video production – video crew, actors, makeup artists, etc. Only this way can you be sure of decent results.

Video marketing can make up a significant part of your whole content marketing strategy. It should go hand in hand with email marketing, blog posts, or social media marketing efforts as part of a coherent overall strategy that provides a great customer experience for each of your customers.

Focus on your pricing strategy

Price matters no matter on which market you operate. This means that you need to be extremely detailed about what your customers are paying for. However, it is a little bit harder to explain the price of a digital solution than a physical one.

When it comes to providing your pricing, first you need to put it in a highly visible place on your website. Then you need to give your customers the ability to choose. Suppose you offer three paid plans, then be very conscientious. Present the prices, included features, and durations. Providing details of all plans comparatively lets your prospective customers choose the best option for them with clarity. If you offer free trials, do not forget to mention it next to each plan.

You should also strive to offer tailored plans for each client. You should be able to understand their specific needs and cater to them, so be sure to allow potential customers to set up a meeting with you and develop a personalized strategy.

Moreover, remember that the prices include not only features, but also post-purchase services such as 24/7 customer service, guarantees, and product-related webinars, etc. Highlight this in your communication.

Provide some data-driven actions

The information your current customers share with you has a significant impact on your business. By having this data, you can organize all of your SaaS marketing activities better, which in turn allows you to lower customer churn, increase the average customer lifespan, and engage clients more in the sales cycle.

If you have email addresses, use them to send relevant content like white papers or online event invitations. Your loyal customers will also appreciate receiving notifications about upcoming product premieres or sales. This also applies to B2B companies. If you have worked with them for a while, you should know what they are up to and what types of solutions they may need. So prepare them a special offer with your new offerings and provide a great user experience!

Use the power of Google

Organic traffic is important for your business. You need to make yourself visible on search engines and let people find out about you for themselves.

Organic search traffic can make the customer acquisition process less expensive and more efficient. To use the full power of Google, focus on the content you share – social media posts included. It is also crucial to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to online reviews. When people type a brand into the Google search engine, 57% of them read the reviews that appear. Take a closer look at all SEO rules. Apply them, and get a rank tracking software to measure the impact. If you do not feel comfortable with this topic, there are a lot of marketing tools to help with this matter.

Implement native advertising

Nowadays, it is hard to make use of digital ads. Most Internet users have ad-blocking plugins or simply close them as soon as they pop up. And here, native advertising comes in handy.

How does it work? A native ad is a kind of marketing that is an integral part of the website’s style. The promotion is integrated so perfectly into the layout that, at first glance, users may not even realize that it is an advertisement. Examples of native ads are, for example, sponsored posts on blogs or social media platforms.

Do native ads work? Here is some evidence:

  • Trust in native recommendations is 27% higher than in social advertising.
  • By the end of this year, spending on native advertising in the US is projected to reach $57 billion, which means an annual increase of 21%.
  • Native ads engage consumers 20-60% more than banner ads.

Sometimes less is more, which is why promoting is often better when it is done in a subtle way, especially in the case of the customer experience.

Take care of the mobile experience

The average Millennial spends about 3.7 hours per day on their mobile, and generation X only a little bit shorter time of 3 hours. These numbers demonstrate that mobiles are a big part of our lives. So if you have not already done so, it would be wise for you to make your website mobile friendly. Although you don’t need to redesign your SaaS solution to be a mobile app right now, it might be a good idea to do so for future products.

Even if customers do not purchase your products often via mobiles, they may still use them to take a look at your offer and check the features or pricing. If your site is unresponsive, they will probably give up and continue to search for other providers. Additionally, a poor mobile experience might be interpreted as unprofessional – since your site does not work, why should users trust you that your product will? It will not encourage people to explore your brand or pay for your products, and, consequently, it will increase your bounce rate.

Focus on creating a responsive design, simple navigation, and site architecture. It should be easy to find whatever the client is looking for. Additionally, search engines on your webpage should work seamlessly and show appropriate results.

The site must also respond quickly and without any lags. Its capacity must be tested, especially before sales seasons like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

To recap

SaaS marketing isn’t a piece of cake. It can be hard to promote your products effectively enough and provide a high-quality customer experience in order to improve client retention. Above, you can find some marketing trends that may be helpful for working on your advertising strategies. They are not rocket science, and you won’t need separate marketing teams to manage these tasks.

Focus on providing high-quality content and general customer relationship management. Rethink your marketing funnel and maybe choose a few of the ideas above to design a unique, comprehensive solution to make your SaaS grow.