In this post, SaaStr Founder and CEO Jason Lemkin shared five super simple ways to generate more leads and grow your company that always work.
Now, he has five more marketing strategies that are sure to generate more leads if done right. If you aren’t spending money on marketing, it’s time to step it up. Most SaaS companies don’t spend enough on marketing, and that’s a mistake best avoided.
Most of these SaaS marketing strategies require little money, which is great for those lean, mean teams looking to get the most bang for their buck.
As you decide which ideas to implement, remember you don’t have to do all of them. Pick one or two and do them well.
Tip #1: Outbound Done Well Works
A lot of founders say outbound doesn’t work for them. Lemkin says, “If it doesn’t work for you, you didn’t do it right.”
In 2023, highly personalized outbound to the right buyers always generates conversations, and mediocre outbound with trite cadences often gets you nowhere.
Take your top 10 biggest, most engaged customers who derive the most value from your company and love you.
Now, go find 30 other prospects exactly like them. Every customer has a clone.
What do you do once you’ve found your clones of happy customers?
Write a personalized email to them saying, “Dear [insert name], Google or Facebook or whoever uses us here, and you can repeat their success by using us too.”
You don’t want to reach out to those happy customer clones and say, “Let’s grab a coffee,” or “Can I pick your brain?” Be direct and tell them why their number one competitor is using your product and how it’s disruptive and can help them too.
You’ll likely get an email back and a double-digit connect rate.
Of course, not all will buy, but at least 10% of the happy customer clones who receive highly targeted outbound will connect with you.
If you outsource a firm or agency and dump cloned content on them and destroy your list, outbound won’t work for you.
You have to do the research. It’s better to find 30 or even 3 highly targeted customers than to spam 3000 people who likely aren’t interested.
How do you know if you’re doing mediocre or amazing outbound?
In the early days, if anything works, it’s working. You have so much competition, and no one has heard of you, so if you get some traction with a strategy, it’s working. Keep doing it.
A 10% connect rate is a sign you have a solid pitch and that your offering resonates with people. Be heartened by the fact that you’re getting on the phone with people when they have a zillion SaaS apps to choose from out there.
Tip #2: Attend Top Industry Events
Is it worth dropping a load of cash to attend the top industry events? When Lemkin started SaaStr, he was never sure if it was worth it.
Yes, it’s expensive — a booth, flying SDRs out, buying swag. It’s too much. But as you get bigger and more well-funded, participate in traditional field marketing strategies because they account for 40% of revenue at scale.
You can run your own conference, but third-party events like AWS, Dreamforce, SaaStr, and others allow you to get 40% of your pipe from their ability to draw in the best in the industry.
But make sure you’re good at it! If you aren’t, you could end up with a $0 ROI.
If you’re going to go after events, do the biggest ones in your industry that you can afford. Customers and prospects will come.
Why are top industry events so great?
People are coming to do careful discovery, meet with vendors in person, and look at everything in the space before bringing budgeted and unbudgeted products into their company each year.
You might only be included in that line-up if you are there.
What is the best strategy for events? Be everywhere, and at minimum, show up at the biggest events, even if it means putting stickers in the restroom.
Tip #3: Partner Marketing Can Grow Your Base
We see partner marketing done often, but it usually looks like people spamming each other’s base. Of course, that’s not going to work.
But if you find someone who sells to the same customers as you, you can pull your marketing efforts if you do it well.
As with webinars, blog posts, and everything else, this requires consistency.
If you do a webinar, swap with your partner every 3-4 weeks and bring them real value.
Don’t throw a crummy off-site party and throw 3000 “leads” into a pot. That’s not how it works because those aren’t leads. They’re names on a list.
You need a sustained effort of partner marketing, and when done right, it should develop 10% or more of your revenue.
Going to market with someone with an overlapping base can be a tremendous force multiplier.
You’ll also need a designated person to work on this. Founders are good at getting partner marketing going but don’t have 50 hours to manage partner and business development teams.
Find someone to run partner marketing and make it their only job, and you’ll see results.
Tip #4: Make Your Website Better Than Your Product
Your marketing site needs to be better than your product. It’s that simple. Most founders create a really slick, straightforward website when they launch and never touch it again.
The problem with this?
It becomes dated. A year goes by, 18 months, and since it was last touched, you’ve got tons more case studies and new integrations. You’ve closed with Google or Facebook or have this cool Shopify integration and 20 weekly webinars.
But nobody knows about it, and they leave. You lose the customer because they didn’t realize what you were offering.
When hiring a new Head of Marketing, they first want to redesign the website messaging. If this is suggested, do it.
An outdated website can be a huge time sink with low ROI. When you make your website better than the product, more folks will inbound, attend webinars, and close.
Tip #5: A+ Podcasts or Videos are Magical
Everyone has a podcast today, not just customers but also the individuals behind the brands. Everyone wants to be a thought leader and replicates the 7000 others trying to do the same thing. Don’t do that.
Instead, to become a true thought leader, you speak to your expertise instead of trying to replicate other successful podcasters and Youtuber’s content.
You want to avoid 2000 people listening who will never buy. You want 20 prospects falling in love with what you’re saying.
Build amazing content just for prospects and customers and push that out to your list.
The one thing you can replicate from successful podcasts is consistency.
Show up and add incredible value to your industry once a week. Everything else is burning time and effort and getting no leads.
Just 20 prospects or customers listening to your A+ podcast can move the needle. So create the best podcast in your niche for 52 weeks straight and see what magic happens.
While these 10 marketing strategies might sound basic or simplistic, they almost always work and require very little to no money (except for the top industry events). Adopting and mastering just one or two of them will likely see enormous benefits for your company and growth.
Published on April 21, 2023