In addition to being intangible, Software as a Service (SaaS) products are being updated by the provider frequently. Also, potential buyers perform elaborate research by analyzing the information gathered from diverse online sources. Leading businesses these days promote their cloud-based software solutions by sending quality and targeted content to leads throughout the buying cycle.
In addition to answering questions asked by leads, the targeted content influences their purchase decision gradually during the decision-making process. Leading cloud service providers these days deliver the right content to the lead at the right time through multiple SaaS marketing channels. Also, they drive customer acquisition and retention by launching various SaaS marketing campaigns.
Hence, entrepreneurs, managers, and other decision-makers need to measure the performance of their marketing campaigns and activities using a slew of SaaS marketing metrics. The widely used SaaS marketing metrics can be divided into three broad categories – acquisition metrics, funnel metrics, and monetization metrics.
Decision-makers can measure the performance of SaaS marketing campaigns and activities only by combining the appropriate acquisition, funnel, and monetization metrics. The combination of varying metrics helps them boost SaaS marketing campaigns by taking informed decisions by analyzing real-time data collected from various channels.
Here are the most important acquisition metrics, funnel metrics, and monetization metrics for SaaS marketers.
The success and performance of SaaS marketing campaigns directly depend on the number of website visitors or the size of website traffic. A SaaS provider can generate more leads and increase the conversion rate only more and more people visit the website. This acquisition metric helps an entrepreneur know how many visitors or how much traffic the website gets over a certain period. Most entrepreneurs use the metric to measure an increase or decrease in monthly website traffic.
As mentioned earlier, marketers these days divert traffic to the SaaS product website through various marketing channels – organic search, paid search, social media, emails, and website referral. But the number of website visitors varies across the source or medium of website traffic. Marketers can make informed decisions only by knowing the amount of traffic diverted to the website by each source. This acquisition metric helps them to compare various web traffic sources based on the amount of traffic driven by them.
Most SaaS marketing campaigns influence the target audience by posting and sending relevant and informative content. SaaS marketers must know if the content is effective in driving lead generation and lead conversion by keeping the readers engaged. This acquisition metric helps marketers to assess the effectiveness of the content based on the amount of time visitors spend on the website. Visitors spend more time on the website when the content keeps them engaged by providing actionable and insightful information.
This SaaS marketing metric helps marketers to calculate the percentage of visitors that leave the website or bounce back to the referral website without taking any action – clicking on a link, filling in forms, or visiting other web pages. No business can run successful SaaS marketing campaigns without reducing the bounce rate. Marketers have to implement specific strategies to maintain a low bounce rate. They also need to revamp the landing page to ensure that every visitor gets the expected value.
This acquisition metric helps SaaS marketers to understand the behavior of website visitors based on the way they interact with the website. Widely used web analytics services like Google Analytics helps marketers to calculate this SaaS marketing metric by generating behavior flow reports.
According to Google Analytics Help,
“The Behavior Flow report visualizes the paths users traveled from one screen, page or event to the next. This report can help you discover what content keeps users engaged with your site. The Behavior Flow report can also help identify potential content or usability issues.”
SaaS businesses embed a slew of options in their product website to convert website visitors into leads. Some businesses request visitors to become newsletter subscribers by sharing their email ids. At the same time, many businesses require website visitors to share their contact information to download digital content like ebooks. That is why; SaaS marketers need to measure the percentage of website visitors that become leads using this acquisition metric.
As the name suggests, this metric measures the percentage of leads who become customers by making payments after using the SaaS product on a trial basis or receiving a demo. A high trial/demo-to-customer conversion rate depicts that the SaaS products meet both needs and expectations of free trial users. On the other hand, a lower percentage makes it essential for the business to optimize the cloud-based software and ensure that marketing messages are aligned with the SaaS product.
Many people these days access the website with the sole intention to gather information. They are not interested in buying a SaaS product. But they want to access information shared by the business through newsletters and emails. They share their email ids with the intention to receive informative emails and newsletters. The decision-makers can use this funnel metric to differentiate email subscribers from leads or potential customers.
This SaaS metric helps marketers to identify the website visitors who are interested in the SaaS product offered by the business. In addition to becoming email subscribers, this category of website visitors shows their interest in the SaaS product by filling in the form posted on the website’s product or Contact Us page. Marketers can convert the leads into customers by implementing lead nurturing strategies.
SaaS businesses these days distribute informative and promotional content through multiple digital channels. Hence, leads engage with the content through specific communication channels. The SaaS marketing metric helps marketers to understand how leads engage with the content distributed by the business. Also, marketers can use the SaaS marketing metric to identify and differentiate qualified leads based on the pages visited by them and the content downloaded by them.
As the name suggests, this funnel metric helps marketers to identify the leads who want to buy the SaaS product. The sales qualified leads to convey their intention to buy the SaaS product in a variety of ways – requesting a free trial, booking a product demo, and downloading product information. Marketers should focus on converting these sales-qualified leads into subscribers.
The customers do not negotiate with companies offering B2C SaaS products or low-cost B2B SaaS products. But they start conversations and negotiations with the sales team after receiving a quote and before buying a high-value SaaS product. This funnel metric helps SaaS marketers to identify opportunities in the sales funnel to convert sales-qualified leads into customers or subscribers.
Businesses offering premium SaaS products can use this funnel metric to calculate the number or percentage of leads who have subscribed to or signed up for the cloud-based software or service. But businesses offering freemium SaaS products have to use the metric to differentiate customers who have made payments to access premium features from customers who are accessing only complementary features.
The leads become customers at various stages in the sales funnel. This important SaaS marketing metric helps decision-makers to know the number or percentage of leads converting into customers at every stage in the sales funnel. The information helps marketers to identify the factors that drive conversion at various stages in the sales funnel. Also, they can leverage the actionable information to improve conversion rate in every stage of the sales funnel.
Most SaaS companies these days allow leads to use and evaluate the cloud-based software or service by requesting demos or free trials. Seasoned marketers know that most customers these days try and evaluate multiple SaaS products before making a payment. Hence, they need to check if the free trials and demos are effective as a SaaS marketing strategy to drive sales conversion and sustain revenue growth.
SaaS businesses have to spend money on running multiple marketing campaigns. Hence, they calculate the ROI on marketing expenditure based on the cost of generating a lead or the cost of converting a lead. This monetization metric can be calculated for a specific period by dividing the overall marketing expenditure by the number of leads generated/converted.
SaaS businesses can sustain profitable growth only by reducing customer acquisition costs and increasing customer lifetime value (CLV). Marketers determine the lifetime value of a SaaS customer based on the value of her relationship with the company or business. The lifetime value of individual customers differs. But marketers can calculate CLV accurately only after calculating the average revenue per customer and the customer churn rate.
This important SaaS marketing metric helps decision-makers to compare the cost incurred to acquire a customer to the lifetime value of the customer. Entrepreneurs use this single metric to measure and compare the performance of SaaS marketing campaigns based on two important metrics – CAC and CLV. The metrics help them to differentiate high-performing marketing campaigns from poor-performing marketing campaigns. At the same time, marketers can track this metric to identify the marketing campaigns that need to be finetuned or optimized.
Often customers cancel subscriptions and switch SaaS providers due to a variety of reasons. The entrepreneurs can retain customers and drive revenue growth only by tracking the percentage of customers who cancel their subscription to particular SaaS products over a specific period – month, quarter, or year. Entrepreneurs and marketers can boost lead generation and conversion activities consistently only by keeping the customer churn rate low.
The monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of a SaaS provider reduces each time a customer cancels or downgrades her subscription plan. Entrepreneurs can increase recurring revenue by making informed decisions only by keeping the revenue churn rate. Also, they need to divide revenue churn into multiple categories based on specific reasons – cancellation, downgrades, bankruptcy, and competition. But marketers often consider revenue churn rates due to cancellations and downgrades.
Many marketers these days use the net promotion score (NPS) as an additional SaaS marketing metric to measure customer satisfaction rate. They calculate NPS by asking customers a simple question – how likely will you recommend our SaaS product to others? A large percentage of customers are likely to recommend the SaaS product to others if the NPS stands between 9 and 10. On the other hand, marketers have to find answers to the question – of why customers do not recommend the SaaS product to others – if the NPS is between 0 and 6.
Every cloud service provider these days promotes SaaS products by launching multiple digital marketing campaigns and through multiple marketing channels. Hence, the decision-makers can measure and boost marketing activities only by combining three different types of SaaS marketing metrics. However, it is always important for entrepreneurs, managers, and marketers to combine the right metrics to measure all important aspects of SaaS marketing campaigns.
This blog was originally posted on this website and has been re-posted with the Author’s permission.