SAAS marketing has become one of the common strategies which is used by companies now a days. SAAS – ‘Software as a service’ is actually a software licensing model in which software is hosted on subscription basis. Basically, SAAS marketing is a “free trial” strategy for customer attainment i.e. a software product is given away for free as a part of marketing. For such marketing strategy, a SAAS marketing plan is made according to the business model of our choice, your architecture and your product. Usually SAAS marketing is not an easy job to do; it is hard and constantly changing.
SAAS marketing is quite challenging, critical and is different, virtually, from all the other marketing strategies. The term ‘SAAS Marketing’ is closely related to the term “growth hacking”. Growth Hacking is nothing but a simple way of thinking about a group of various techniques that have a changing impact on our business growth. Many start-ups have succeeded with the help of growth hacking.
Drop box is a well-known file hosting service that provides cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, etc. Dropbox basically uses a freemium model of business i.e. users are given a free account with huge storage size as also they can buy subscription to the software where they provide extra features like more space, sharing controls, remote wipe, etc. Drop box also offers various apps that are compatible with many laptops, desktop computers, android mobile phone, IOS, Windows phone, etc.
Following listed are 10 SAAS growth hacking strategies and ideas from Dropbox:
1) Attractive Homepage:
The very first thing a customer or a website user will notice is the homepage of your website. Your website’s first page (or home page) should be eye-catching. It should be designed in such a way that the customer should access you website, navigate through various links provided on you web page and get convinced to use or buy your product online. Also, merely making the website attractive is not enough. You must give the user what he wants. Though it is not possible to put features or products directly on the first page of your website, you can provide a basic introduction using a simple layout. For example, the website of DROPBOX is quite eye-catching as also it provides a demo of their work on the first page itself. Also the front page of DROPBOX’s website is a sign-up driven page, where the customer can first view the services the website offers and then immediately subscribe to access those services. A simply designed website and an attractive interface is one of the best SAAS growth hacking strategy that we can learn from DROPBOX.
2) Refer a friend:
This strategy is one of the latest trends used by companies or websites nowadays. It has become a very common practise to refer services or product to a friend. When you refer a particular product or service to a friend it reaches more and more people in a way. More and more people will be able to check your product, use your service or access your website which will automatically advertise your product. Giving an option to refer a friend is mostly like marketing your SAAS product. Now, only giving an option to refer a friend is not sufficient. The option of referring a friend should be easy to use, easy to refer and must be convenient. Plus it should give them some benefit. If you take a look at DROPBOX website’s ‘refer a friend’ option, you will see that it makes really easy for the user to first sign up and then just share the product by using an ‘refer a friend’ option. After they have signed up and shared link with friends, both the users get benefit in some form.
3) Use your enemies:
When we talk about business strategies, what comes to our mind is our business and its growth and when it comes to business growth you cannot ignore your enemies. Enemy is a very crucial part of your business and it’s in your hand to decide whether to fight the enemy or take some advantage from them. It is not necessary that you steal any idea from your enemy or competitor but the least you can do is take ideas from your rival company and try to implement it in your own way. To implement the ideas in your own way, you have to first study the ideas implemented by your rivals and then try to apply it for your growth. It could be one of the proven strategy for growth hacking.
4) Make a video that will go viral
Everyone is familiar with the concept of making videos and sharing it globally. If you are a big organization and want a plan for growth hacking strategy, then this is one of the best notions you will ever use. In a day, about 1hundreds and thousands of videos on various topics are shared. Every now and then it happens that a video has become viral and that it has been shared or viewed for millions of times. So, if you are willing for growth of your company making a viral video is a sure shot way. It advertises your product, it is shared among thousands of people, it is seen by millions of viewers and ultimately it helps in your business growth. Take for example DROPBOX. The organization used you tube’s idea of memes and lolcats, they created a mixture of the two ideas and then made a wonderful video that went viral and their business grew.
5) Find out what people like and give it to them
When you have a startup and you are trying to find a growth hacking strategy, you always have to consider your customers and when it comes to SAAS, it is necessary that you consider your audience. Customer is an important part of business and website is viewed by audience. If you want to hack the growth of your company, give people what they want in a way they like. If you target more and more audience, you will be able to reach to more and more people. Also, if you give them something striking, you will be able to attract them. Check what latest trend is and prepare your advertisement or video or your website according to today’s need. Whether it is sharing a video, or a gif or an image of a message that can be shared through Whatsapp or any other medium, find out what customer likes and wants to see and show them your creativity.
6) Social Media
Who doesn’t uses social media? There are millions of people that uses social media on a regular basis. It is like it has become the basic need of a human being. Facebook, twitter, instagram, Pininterest, Google plus, etc. websites are that social media platform on which we can reach millions of people on a single click. There are many business organizations that use Facebook, instagram or twitter for sharing their product details and their services. One can also buy or sell product using social media, then why not marketing. You can not only sell or buy something on social media but also help to grow your business by connecting to more and more people through various platforms. Using social media as a growth hacking strategy is one of the ideas used by DROPBOX. What they did is they used a traditional method of sharing their services on social media as also they provided an additional service (a benefit) to all the followers or subscribers on their page or channel on social networking sites. This also led them to grow their business.
7) Use people habit to your advantage
As much important it is to consider your audience for a business strategy, at the same time it is necessary to observe customer’s habit. What is the customer looking for, what does he want, how he wants it as well as the behaviour of customer towards your organization. Also, studying only the behaviour towards your organization and needs of customer is not sufficient. You will also have to observe what searching habit one has how the website user is navigating, what he is searching for commonly, etc. If you come to know about the habits of your customer or audience, you will be able to advertise your SAAS product in a manner that will reach maximum of your customers. If you want to see and example you will see that a company used the ‘name searching’ habit of people and gave users to create a public profile through a website because of which the organization grew. For such kind of example you can check any SAAS service like Hotmail, Quora, etc. who were benefited from every success. So basically, they hacked the growth using a strategy which benefits both users as well as organization.
8) Sharing with simplicity
It is very important that you share your product or service with your customers and further they should be able to do the same. If your interface or website is complicated or if the user is not able to navigate through your website, then it may cause them a problem and they might lose interest in your product. So in this growth hacking technology, care must be taken to make sure that what you share is understandable by everyone and what you are sharing can be easily shared further by your website users. If you consider the example of DROPBOX website, they have designed a very simple and easy interface for their users to share links and data. In DROPBOX, you can share any data you want on any platform. There is no restriction, no limit and no problems as the website is user friendly. This is also one of the best SAAS growth hacking strategy from DROPBOX.
9) Availability on multiple devices and platforms:
Nowadays people use various electronic devices at once. It can be Laptop, desktop computer, smart phone, tablets, etc. So, when they want to access your product online or check your services they must be able to view your product on any platform. Also, they must be able to share it on any platform and there should not be any limitations. So make sure that you provide a service in such a way that it the user will be able to access it on any device they are using, be it a smart phone, laptop or desktop computer or anything else. This growth hacking strategy is a sure shot way of success because there are no limitations or dependencies in this method. If you understand your customers and their needs you will be able to create a service for them. Take for example DROPBOX. This website provides services or access to service on all type of electronic devices and understands the need of customer or audience and that’s why it has become so popular
10) Attractive contests:
Nowadays many companies use this strategy to gain the attention of customers as well as the people who are not aware about the organization. Attractive contests and attractive prizes for the winner is a sure shot strategy used by different organizations. It not only boosts the energy of the company employees but also attracts the outsider i.e. your organization’s audience and customers. Contests have a power to generate buzz about a particular brand and it spreads like a wildfire. Because of contest various users may also get enthused about your product or service. If you are a star up and if you haven’t yet started any contest or quiz then it is the right time to attract more and more customers for your startup. Quiz competitions and contest will benefit the user (customer) as well as the organization. If you consider the example of DROPBUZZ, they have created a contest named as ‘Dropquest’ where hundreds of people participate. The participants are given various puzzles and hunts and then the winners are provided with free SAAS or some amount of free space in their profile.