Truth be told, your potential customers have several options to choose their products from. So, to convince them about your SaaS product, you must highlight a few things about it.
✅ How your product can address their issues like no other,
✅ How your product can make their jobs easier, and
✅ How it best suits your target audience’s needs.
And to do so, you need a SaaS marketing funnel.
Marketing funnels give insights into your customer’s journey – from an opportunity to first interaction to a paid subscription.
So, the clearer the marketing funnel for SaaS, the better your results.
In this post, we’ll guide you through understanding the SaaS marketing funnel and how you can build one successfully.
What is a SaaS Marketing Funnel?
A SaaS marketing funnel refers to attracting and converting potential customers for a SaaS product. It is a marketing framework that outlines a customer's different stages, from initial product awareness to becoming a paying customer.
How is B2B SaaS Marketing Funnel Different from Traditional Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel for SaaS is different from a traditional funnel. Here are a few points of difference between the two.
Building and nurturing customer relationships is crucial in the SaaS marketing funnel. In other words, SaaS marketing funnel is customer relationship-centric. It's not just about making a one-time sale but fostering ongoing engagement and loyalty. This involves personalized communication, customer support, and a focus on customer success to ensure customers achieve their desired outcomes with the software.
Metrics and analytics
Compared to traditional marketing, SaaS marketing relies heavily on data and analytics to measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts and optimize the funnel. The key metrics include customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLTV), churn rate, conversion rates, etc. at each funnel stage. This data-driven approach helps identify areas for improvement and refine marketing strategies.
Unlike in traditional marketing, the marketing funnel in SaaS has the retention stage after conversion. Retaining customers is a top priority in the SaaS marketing funnel. Instead of focusing only on conversions, SaaS funnels focus on what happens after conversions. Are customers renewing subscriptions? Are they recommending the product to others? Is the CLTV metric doing well?
Customer success teams play a significant role in onboarding, providing support, and proactively addressing customer needs to retain them and prevent churn.
Importance of Marketing Funnel for SaaS
The marketing funnel for SaaS covers the different stages of the customer’s buying journey – from awareness to retention. It helps you identify the aspects working well and the touchpoints needing improvement.
Here are a few reasons why SaaS marketing funnel is crucial.
The SaaS marketing funnel helps you generate a steady flow of leads. It allows you to create awareness and attracts potential customers, filling the top of the funnel with interested prospects. This ensures quality SaaS lead generation and a consistent pipeline of potential customers to engage and convert.
The marketing funnel for SaaS allows businesses to optimize their conversion rates at each stage. By analyzing and optimizing the funnel, you can identify bottlenecks, improve messaging and offers, and enhance the user experience.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Management
The SaaS marketing funnel helps manage and optimize the customer acquisition cost, which is crucial for SaaS businesses. By understanding the cost of acquiring customers at each stage, you can allocate resources effectively and make data-driven decisions to improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts.
Customer onboarding and retention
The marketing funnel In SaaS extends beyond initial conversions. It focuses on customer onboarding and retention. By nurturing customers and providing support during onboarding, you increase their likelihood of success with the product. This leads to higher customer satisfaction, reduced churn, and increased lifetime value (CLTV).
Now that you know the importance of a SaaS marketing funnel, let’s look at its stages👇
The Stages of SaaS Marketing Funnel
Each stage of the SaaS marketing funnel is crucial to drive conversions and you must understand your customer’s journey well to build an effective marketing funnel. So, research and tailor your strategy and funnel to fit your customer journey best.
Here’s a detailed explanation of the five SaaS marketing funnel stages and the top metrics to track in each stage.
Stage 1: Awareness
The awareness stage is about capturing potential customers' attention and making them aware of your SaaS product. Your goal here is to generate brand visibility and drive initial interest.
The awareness stage is all about building your brand and here, the first touchpoint is typically a social post or search engine result. So, the most effective strategies you can implement at this stage include,
- SaaS Inbound marketing strategy like SEO and content marketing
- Social media engagement
- Targeted advertising.
The Top 3 Metrics to Measure:
- Website Traffic: Measure the number of visitors coming to your website. This metric helps you gauge the effectiveness of your awareness campaigns.
- Impressions: Track the number of times your target audience views your content or ads. This metric gives you an idea of your brand’s reach and exposure.
- Social Media Engagement: Track metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and followers across your social media channels. This provides insights into the engagement level and how well your messaging resonates with the target audience.
Stage 2: Engagement
The second stage of the SaaS marketing funnel is engagement, where prospects are aware of your SaaS product and come back to interact with your brand.
At this stage, interested prospects may also sign up to receive promotional messages of extra content like newsletters, whitepapers, and eBooks. This suggests that prospects want to explore and learn more about your brand and products.
One of the most effective strategies at this funnel stage is to use a great CTA. For example, using lead magnets like downloadable guides, eBooks, and case studies with CTAs to book a demo or download content can work effectively at this stage.
The Top 3 Metrics to Measure:
- Content Engagement: Track metrics like time spent on a page, bounce rate, and scroll depth to measure how engaged visitors are with your content. It helps assess the effectiveness of your content in capturing and retaining visitors’ interest.
- Email Open and Click Rates: Measure your email campaigns' open and click-through rates to understand the level of interest and engagement among your email subscribers.
- Lead Generation: Track the number of leads generated through various channels, like newsletter sign-ups, gated content downloads, or contact form submissions. It reflects the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts.
Stage 3: Evaluation
At this stage, you have established a relationship with your potential customers, who are actively considering your SaaS product as a potential solution to their problem.
Here, as potential customers consider you a credible source, your goal is to showcase the value and benefits of your product, addressing their pain points and demonstrating how it solves their problems. This will encourage them to take the next step.
The most effective strategies you can implement at this stage include offering product demos, free trials, and comparison content. For example, several SaaS companies offer freemiums or free trials for customers to test their products before opting for a paid plan. In this case, track the number of users opting for a free trial and monitor the features they use most. With such insights, you can plan your messaging to move the users further down the SaaS marketing funnel.
The Top 3 Metrics to Measure:
- Conversion Rate: Measure the percentage of prospects who convert from the evaluation stage to becoming trial users or paying customers. This metric indicates the effectiveness of your marketing efforts in convincing prospects to take the next step.
- Trial-to-Paid Conversion Rate: If you offer free trials, track the percentage of trial users who convert into paying customers. It will help you track the quality of trial experience and the value customers perceive during the evaluation period.
- Feature Adoption: Monitor the usage and adoption rates of key features within your product. It helps you understand how effectively you communicate the value of specific features and whether customers use them as intended.
Stage 4: Conversion
At this stage of the SaaS marketing funnel, prospects make the decision to become paying customers. For example, a user purchases a paid plan of your product or signs up for a free trial.
In the conversion stage, providing a seamless and frictionless user experience for the purchase process is crucial. So, strategies like clear pricing plans, a streamlined sign-up process, and addressing prospects' objections or concerns work well for conversions.
The Top 3 Metrics to Measure:
- Conversion Rate: Measure the percentage of prospects who convert from the evaluation stage to becoming paying customers. This metric indicates the effectiveness of your pricing, messaging, and user experience in driving conversions.
- Number of purchases: Track the number of customers paying for your product.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Calculate the cost of acquiring each new customer, considering marketing expenses and the total number of new customers. This metric will provide insights into the efficiency and profitability of your customer acquisition efforts.
Stage 5: Retention
The SaaS marketing funnel doesn’t end with conversions. After conversion comes retention which is crucial to SaaS companies as they rely on recurring revenue.
The retention stage focuses on delivering value and ensuring customer satisfaction to promote long-term usage and loyalty. Post-purchase assistance, customer success, ongoing support, and regular product updates play a significant role in this stage as this stage focuses on building strong customer relationships and reducing churn.
The retention stage also offers the opportunity to focus on upselling and cross-selling other products. For instance, a SaaS graphic designing tool may offer an upgraded product version with advanced features.
Use feedback at this stage to improve customer experience. Also, offer incentives to customers for referring your SaaS platform to others.
The Top 3 Metrics to Measure:
- Churn Rate: Measure the percentage of customers who cancel their subscriptions or stop using your product within a given time period. This metric reflects customer satisfaction and loyalty. Lower churn rates indicate higher customer retention and long-term revenue.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Calculate the total revenue a customer generates throughout their relationship with your SaaS business. It helps to assess the profitability and value of your customer base. Increasing CLTV often involves upselling, cross-selling, and reducing churn.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Collect customer feedback by asking them to rate, on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely they are to recommend your product to others. This metric provides insights into customers’ likelihood of advocating for your brand.
Knowing the stages of a SaaS marketing funnel isn’t enough. You must know how to build a solid funnel for your SaaS business. Take a look at the steps to building a SaaS marketing funnel.
How to Build a SaaS Marketing Funnel?
Now that you’re all set to build a SaaS marketing funnel, here’s a series of steps to attract, engage and convert potential customers.
Step 1: Get the Stages Right
Identify the right stages for your marketing funnel for SaaS. To do so, lay out a clear direction to conversion for your potential customers and understand the customer’s journey. Since the stages of a funnel may vary by company, you can implement the stages that best fit your SaaS company and product.
Step 2: Choose the right CRM
Tracking your leads is a must and mostly a task for the sales team, especially when the marketing team is busy acquiring and directing new potential customers to the sales team.
In such cases, your sales team has to identify the potential customers who have (and haven’t) reached out to them. With the right CRM tools, the sales team can efficiently use their time to focus on the priority users who want to continue with your SaaS product instead of the users who do not.
Step 3: Track KPIs and Metrics
You cannot understand how well your business is performing without tracking KPIs and metrics. Also, by measuring the right KPIs, you can understand your customers better and how they feel about your product.
Step 4: Set Funnel Goals
Once you start tracking the KPIs and metrics, you can see how your business performs – what metrics it achieves and doesn’t. Based on these insights, you can see how well your sales team performs – the number of target sales, demo requests, and free trials they must initiate to achieve specific goals.
In this way, creating a SaaS marketing funnel with goals helps you comprehend how it works, identify the areas for improvement, and ensure that the funnel efficiently converts potential customers at each stage.
Step 5: Align Sales and Marketing
Building and implementing a SaaS marketing funnel is a job both marketing and sales teams must look after. This means that the teams should track their metrics and monitor how they impact other departments. Hence, aligning both teams is crucial.
For instance, if the sales team has a conversion target or goal, the marketing team must be aligned with the sales team to carry out specific tasks to support them in achieving their goal. Working in collaboration will help both teams improve the funnel's functioning.
Without a doubt, you can now say that SaaS marketing funnel is a vital framework for driving growth and success in the SaaS landscape. It enables you to navigate potential customers through a carefully crafted journey, from awareness to conversion.
TripleDart with its team expertise and cutting-edge solutions, can supercharge your SaaS marketing efforts. We understand the unique challenges, needs, and opportunities of SaaS businesses face and tailor strategies that drive results.
Check out how we helped Multiplier scale their conversion volume by 50% with our unique and innovative strategies.
So, if you’re just starting out with your SaaS marketing funnel or want to revamp your existing strategies, feel free to contact us.
Book an intro call and tell us your requirements!
How do I create a SaaS marketing funnel?
Remember that the focus of a SaaS marketing funnel is retention. Then, create a SaaS funnel by identifying and implementing the right stages, choosing the right CRM tools for your business, identifying the right metrics, setting funnel goals, and aligning the marketing and sales teams.
How do you structure a B2B SaaS marketing team?
The basic structure of a B2B SaaS marketing team involves a content marketing manager, an SEO strategist/analyst, a web designer, a product marketing manager, and a conversion rate specialist. However, the structure of the SaaS marketing team may vary depending on the size of the business.
How do I generate B2B SaaS leads?
There are several strategies to generate B2B SaaS leads. Here are a few of them:
- Implement a robust SEO strategy
- Ask for referrals
- Create lead magnets and offer them to potential users
- Highlight case studies to establish trust
- Build authority with data-driven content