Published by Calendly - August 3, 2017

4 ways to use customer data to drive SaaS sales and marketing

Create a seamless and user-friendly customer experience by gaining a core understanding of who your customers are and what they are looking for in your service.

Taking the time to get to know core clientele provides your team the opportunity to create a better product and grow your business using a targeted marketing strategy. At the startup stage, it might seem easy to connect with new subscribers on a more personal level. As your company grows, data is your best friend in order to streamline research and maintain high rates of customer success and satisfaction. With the right tools in place, your team will easily be able to track customer data to inform the marketing strategy you employ on your website, and in your social and email marketing. Keep customers at the heart of your marketing by leveraging data in these four ways:

Discover Ideal Customer Profiles

Marketing effectively to customers involves knowing your customers. While consumers have become increasingly individualistic, that doesn’t mean that marketing should be scattered to account for any type of potential buyer.

Instead, start by examining demographic data to determine the basic characteristics of your core customer base. For example, geographic location, industry and company size are excellent data points to start with. With demographic information, your company can then begin to humanize customer profiles with expanded buyer personas that take into account age, income, goals and other identifying factors of market segments.

With ideal customer profiles established, you can develop focused marketing campaigns that target specific personas within your community. Based on data collected, you can adjust which digital platforms to focus on and what content messaging should look like. Each marketing activity should have a persona in mind.

Examine How Customers Use Your Tool

Once you have both your SaaS up and running and a clean, user-friendly website to represent it, it’s time to leverage that data to inform your marketing. Your strategy should highlight where your service is providing quality and unique value to customers. While you might have initially done this by comparing what you offer to competitors, once you have a client base, you can use this user data to see where your service is standing out and meeting their needs. By analyzing how customers use your tool, you’ll be able to speak to specific advantages and highlight them in your marketing.

To collect this information, have a system like Mixpanel or Kissmetrics in place for tracking user data when building your specific SaaS product. You can also use surveys or in-service messaging to gauge customer health and satisfaction. Maintaining data on customer usage is both a great way to confidently market your service to new contacts, as well as delight your current community of users.

Inbound Marketing Agency, Growth Labs, explains how they used data to improve website performance for their client, Grandma’s Jars, a budgeting app:

By diving deeper into analytics we uncovered how users were engaging with our client’s website. We understood the main navigation was full and busy. With so many options it would be difficult for the user to know where to go and perhaps even cause information overload. The first thing we did was reduce the main navigation from eight pages, to four, by bucketing the pages into categories. All other pages then got nestled within those categories. This change, combined with a few other factors, helped reduce the bounce rate by 27 percent in just two months.

Speak to and Solve Common Pain Points

What problems is your SaaS attempting to solve for customers? Looking at user data leads to another way of crafting marketing campaigns, with the purpose of addressing customer pain points. Sometimes, even when you think you’re communicating a pain point, data can show otherwise. In the case of Growth Labs, they recognized the bounce rate of Grandma’s Jars’ website could likely be reduced if they streamlined the imagery and copy on the homepage to better reflect user pain points in a more clear and concise way. They replaced a formerly passive headline to speak more directly to their consumer audience with “Eliminate debt, save more money and say goodbye to financial stress!” to overcome this issue.   

Nothing is a stronger motivator than the opportunity to make life easier. Use data to create marketing campaigns that sympathize with customer woes and present them with your service as the magical solution.

By determining what features are most frequently used by customers, you can then work backward to highlight problems that these features specifically solve. Another way to determine which pain points are most frequently leading visitors to your website is by asking about pain points on sign-up forms or in polls across the website and other marketing materials.

For example, when new contacts subscribe to your newsletter, ask a question like, “What is the biggest problem with your current scheduling tool?” Then, have multiple choice options that correlate to each buyer persona so you can qualify leads into the different persona categories. The more detailed data you can collect about what problems your customers are trying to solve, the higher the quality of marketing materials you can present to them.

Create a Dialogue for Feedback

SaaS companies rely on a customer base of subscribers in order to create a sustainable revenue stream. This requires building trust through marketing to both attract new customers and maintain those that you already have within your community. Creating space for feedback within your platform, website or social media channels is an important way to engage customers and, additionally, to collect data and more qualitative feedback that can ultimately improve their experience.

There are several ways to provide space for this form of feedback, such as a website forum or a customer service platform, like Zendesk. Engaging with customers over the phone or through web conferencing is another great way to draw insight and dive deeper into pain points. By asking open-ended questions and using a format that allows you to respond to customers’ feedback, you can uncover new use cases, areas for improvement and underlying customer desires, in addition to wins and testimonials.

Most importantly, make sure that your team is prepared for this endeavor by strengthening your customer success team and creating a clear integration with your marketing team. The feedback you collect from customers should not be silo-ed, but rather should inform both product development and marketing.

At Calendly, there’s a strong cross-departmental effort to interview our customers to learn more about how they use our product. This helps marketing and sales teams identify the needs and pain points of our customers to refine our messaging and determine the best way to communicate to prospects and customers. In addition, the product team aligns their roadmap with recommendations for improvements and customer needs, and the customer success team understands the key problems and comes up with proactive solutions for other customers.

Those who engage with your marketing will be able to tell that your company has expertise in the way your product both addresses the problems they are facing and predicts the solutions they need now and in the future.

Don’t miss the opportunity to capture and analyze user data for sales and marketing purposes. As a result, you’ll begin to create a strong community of qualified leads and loyal customers that will stick with your SaaS company in the long term.

This post comes from a collaboration with GrowthLabs, a marketing and design firm that works with businesses to grow through their online presence. Their team presently brings expertise in website hosting, development, growth driven design, SEO and inbound marketing from 5 time zones to SaaS clients and small businesses located on 3 continents. 

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