4 Customer Acquisition Channels For Saas Businesses

minute/s reading time

Pouring resources into customer acquisition is a necessary evil for growing your SAAS business. It ensures customer retention, lowers expensive marketing costs, and helps you build a solid company and brand identity. Let’s talk in-depth about three of the best customer acquisition methods for SAAS businesses.

Four customer acquisition channels for SAAS businesses are:

  1. Content marketing for customer-friendly content & trust-building
  2. Product-Led Growth (PLG) for reduced costs and customer feedback
  3. Word-of-mouth and referrals to leverage credibility
  4. Partnerships for new skills & resources

Each of the above acquisition channels is a highly-valued proposition, boasting a successful track record of success across multiple SAAS giants. We’ll explore statistics and how they benefit your company and use practical examples from companies like Dropbox, Slack, and Google. Let’s get started!

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is an omnipotent tool that allows you to forge engaging and practical content for customers through Online platforms like blogs, webinars, videos, and podcasts. The content is precious for purchasing customers and does a fantastic job of building trust and brand identity. 

It has an overwhelmingly positive effect on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking, driving profits and customer engagement.   

Research statistics from Aberdeen Group revealed that SAAS businesses prioritizing content marketing have 7.8 times more web traffic and a 6.4 times better conversion rate than those who brush it aside. 

Content marketing allows you to discuss, share, and listen to customer feedback. As you nurture this relationship, information will travel across multiple channels, sculpting a positive image for your company and increasing visibility. 

Word-of-mouth, in particular, is a potent customer acquisition channel, proven to be five times more effective than paid media impressions. It’s the ideal tool for educating new users on the features of your product and answering frequently asked questions. 

Did you know that 68% of customers leave a brand because they believe businesses don’t value them? Content marketing can help you avoid this catastrophe by showing customers you are willing to invest in their well-being. 

2. Product-Led Growth (PLG)

Product-led growth is a strategy where you set up your product to do most of the work of acquiring and retaining customers instead of employing marketing. The idea involves designing an intuitive and user-friendly product that new users can pick up and benefit from without needing support.  

One of the most exciting parts of PLG is when popular features spread like wildfire and create a frenzy among users. Dropbox – a file-sharing & cloud storage service – is an excellent example of this phenomenon.  

They employed a referral program that caused their user base to explode from 100,000 to 4 million in only 15 months. It gave the referrer and referred storage space privileges, motivating both parties to get involved with the program. 

Since the program was part of the program, it was easy to access and made sending referral emails a breeze. Tutorial videos made the process engaging, and Dropbox rewarded users for installing the software and sharing files and folders. These actions significantly improved their customer retention. 

The ability to collect direct feedback from customers is another significant advantage of PLG. With the help of surveys, reviews, and ratings, you get a better idea of how customers actually use your product. You’ll know what they like and dislike about it and what they wish were different. 

3. Word-Of-Mouth And Referrals

Word-of-mouth and referrals stand the test of time as some of the best customer acquisition tools. It’s the same reason why a brilliant talk by your favorite inspirational speaker feels more intimate than reading their words from a paper or digital screen. 

Their strength lies in their ability to leverage credibility and trust from customers or reliable sources beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, a study by the global measurement and data analytics company Nielson reveals that 92% of customers place their trust in the recommendations of people they know. 

When you combine the effects of word-of-mouth and referrals, you eliminate a lot of unnecessary customer acquisition costs while improving lifetime value. Referral programs, affiliates, and influencers encourage customers to share stories of how your product benefits them. 

The more noise around your product or service, the more likely you will grab the attention of new or interested customers. It also garners the attention of industry experts, stakeholders, and media outlets. 

The result is you establish yourself as an authority and leader in your niche and a cut above the rest of your competitors. 

4. Partnerships

Partnerships can go a long way in the expansion and exposure of your business. You’ll have access to new markets and customers, gain access to new resources, and add value to your product.  

Partnerships Expand Your Business 

A new partnership opens up doors for fresh audiences and inaccessible markets. A partnership might possess complementary services that drastically improve the value of your product and cross-promote their recognition. 

A great example is the partnership between Shopify and Facebook. Facebook’s social media reach extended Shopify’s reach tenfold, allowing it to sell directly on Facebook and Instagram.  

Acquire Access To New Skills & Resources

A valuable partnership will greatly enhance your product by introducing additional features and benefits. Other businesses may have skills and expertise that you lack, or you may have precisely what they need. The perfect synergy can often last for decades and be lucrative for all parties involved. 

Slack is a communication platform that partnered with Google Cloud to enhance its product by allowing users a place for storing things. They worked together to integrate Google Drive into Slack, which made it possible to edit and share files effortlessly in Slack. 

Build Feature-Rich Products Through Bundles & Offers

People enjoy getting value for their time and money, most of all customers. Partnerships allow you to garner loyalty by introducing more value to your product or service. 

By offering bundles or value-added offers, your audience can enjoy the convenience of better prices and quality service. When you partner with businesses that have similar products, it makes it possible for freebies, discounted packages, and incentives. 

When the movie and series giant Netflix partnered with T-Mobile, T-Mobile users could enjoy a free Netflix subscription with their plan. 

For example, Netflix, a SAAS platform for streaming movies and shows, partnered with T-Mobile, a mobile network operator, to offer T-Mobile customers a free Netflix subscription as part of their plan.

On That Note;

The most successful customer acquisition channels are those that appeal to your customers while focusing on business development. Content marketing and word-of-mouth are brilliant at building customer relations, while PLG and partnerships offer endless opportunities to expand your business. Put in the effort because the small things always make the most significant impact. 

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!