If you work for a SaaS company and are looking for the best ways to generate quality leads, cold emails and untailored ads won’t get you very far. Rather, as Forrester reports, anywhere from 66-90% of a customer’s journey is self-directed. In this case, personalized SaaS lead generation may be your best strategy.

SaaS lead generation (lead generation for software companies) is all about meeting your potential customers where they are and showing how your software satisfies their needs and solves their problems.

As SaaS marketers ourselves, we were curious about the best lead generation strategies for software companies. We wondered which top strategies are used by other SaaS companies and companies migrating to a SaaS business model. So we ran a survey, and 54 SaaS marketing experts responded with their insights!

Read on for the top SaaS lead generation strategies, both from the contributing marketers and from our own experience. While most of these strategies are tailored to B2B SaaS lead generation, many will also still work even for B2C SaaS companies.

First, know who your best-fit leads are

When it comes to generating SaaS leads, it’s all about quality over quantity. Generating and nurturing best-fit leads (who will eventually purchase and stick with your software) is more important than the number of leads you generate.

In fact, your prime potential customers are already intensely researching SaaS solutions online before they even contact you. If you focus on these best-fit leads – give them the information they’re searching for, tailor your marketing, meet their needs, and build their trust – you’re likely to stay at the top of their list.

But who are your best-fit leads? You’ll need to answer this before starting any marketing efforts, so you can personalize your strategies to their needs. Knowing which best-fit leads to target your marketing strategies toward (and conversely, which bad-fit leads aren’t worth your time) helps to create campaigns that naturally end in a successful sale.

Kateryna Myroniuk of Audext shares, “Finding your perfect market fit is vital. Lately, we faced a situation that let us evaluate our business position and work on expanding the business. In order to understand our target audience, we decided to hold a massive task: Do outreach to find our market fit.

“Three of our team members spent most of their time for the past month contacting hundreds of individuals and businesses in different industries to find out who is interested in our product. After hours of intensive and dedicated work, we finally got an understanding of the market to expand and started to implement action points in order to get more representation in those industries. Yes, this strategy may be labor-intense, but having direct interactions with potential customers can give you much more than randomly trying to generate leads.”

Once you’ve found out who your best-fit leads are, the next step is to create detailed buyer personas for these leads. This will help you personalize your SaaS lead generation efforts for their specific needs and pain points. We break down the steps to create a buyer persona in this template.

Set lead generation goals

After you’ve identified your best-fit leads, you’ll need to set measurable goals for your lead generation efforts. This will allow you to track your success. SaaS marketing is data-driven by nature, which means you’ll need to consistently track and learn from KPIs to stay ahead of your competition.

Lead generation KPIs to track include:

  • Website visitors during a given time period
  • Conversion rates of landing pages: How many website visitors actually become new leads? How many people enter their contact information on a landing page or lead form page (out of all visitors to the page)?
  • MQLs (Marketing qualified leads)
  • SQLs (Sales qualified leads)
  • Cost per lead
  • Click-through rate for landing pages and notable content pages
  • Bounce rate: The number of page visitors who immediately leave, without reading through your website content. You want your site’s bounce rate to stay low – the more people stick around, the greater the odds of making a sale.
Use what you learn from these KPI results to keep testing and improving your SaaS lead generation strategies as you go. Consider A/B testing strategies like landing pages and email campaigns.

Top SaaS lead generation strategies: Content and SEO

Now that we’ve laid the foundations of lead generation for SaaS companies, it’s time to look into the most effective  SaaS lead generation strategies. Our survey began with asking marketers to rank their top three lead generation strategies that led to the most SaaS leads for their business.

Two clear winners emerged: Content marketing came in first, ranked by 69% of marketers, with SEO (search engine optimization) placing second, noted by 50% of marketers.

Notably, 39% of marketers named both content marketing and SEO in their top three most effective strategies, which makes sense as the two go hand in hand.

strategies that generate the most saas leads

Well-crafted SEO places your content in a competitive position, enabling leads to find your website before your competitors. It also ensures your relevant content appears when anyone searches for a problem your SaaS can help them solve.

Most importantly, content and SEO are both free, effective, and long-term strategies that deliver on both a quantity and quality of leads. The foundations you build with authoritative, tailored content will help you generate and convert leads for years to come. And no matter your circumstances or business size, this strategic combo is viable. Just be prepared to continually invest your time and energy, because building strong SEO takes time and continued maintenance.

Content marketing: SaaS lead generation tactics

As a follow-up to the statistical question above, we asked marketers to select their most effective strategy and explain why it’s so powerful. We also invited them to share any tips they’ve picked up for how to best apply the strategy.

A clear majority shared tips on content marketing. We share their content insights below, as well as how they best pair with SEO strategies.

Create content for your audience’s needs

Anu Ramani of Isoline Communications shares, “Tech B2B decision-makers spend more than two-thirds of their purchase cycle engaging with content. The best part is they are spending more time than before, and willing to spend as much time as it takes, to read the content and information essential to make informed decisions. Content marketing has proved our most effective strategy in terms of traffic, visibility and lead gen.”

Nikola Baldikov of Brosix shares, “Working on building strong content marketing is the most worthy strategy. You can find problems that people struggle with and provide them with use cases on how your software helps solve this particular problem. If you create outstanding content which starts ranking, you will get passive traffic and bring leads for a long period of time.”

Eden Chai of Generation Marketing tells us, “Content marketing is effective in generating SaaS leads because it builds trust in your prospects that is necessary to close new customers. To make a buying decision, your prospect needs to be convinced that you’re an expert in your field. Content marketing gives them valuable knowledge about a problem that you solve. Once they’ve benefitted from your content they subconsciously feel that you’re an expert in what you do and that you can be trusted. Prospects choose when to engage with companies, and if you can provide valuable resources when they need it, you will win.”

Write content that’s relevant – not salesy

Create content that’s relevant and speaks to the needs of buyers in your audience, to build their trust. Don’t simply sing praises about your business.

Adam Smartschan of Altitude Marketing says, “There is absolutely no substitute for good content. Critically, that doesn’t mean ‘what you want to say to the market.’ That inevitably ends up sales-y, and it neither ranks nor gets conversions. Instead, think about the day-to-day problems your potential customers have. Nobody cares why you developed your solution. If they have a problem, tell them how to solve it. And again, don’t make it sales-y! Give good information, and users will learn to trust you – and convert. Making this effective is the cost – outside of time and IP, it’s zero. If you can write (or you have a team member who can write), you’re close to good content. If you can talk, you can buy a cheap mic and produce audio content. If you can run through a screenflow, you can use Loom to create videos.”

Add visuals to emphasize important points

Readers may not read every word of your blog posts. Frequently, they scan an article before deciding to allocate their time to reading it. Jeff Solomon from Markup Hero says, “using visuals in your blog posts can help visitors understand essential takeaways in a split second, which can make the difference between a bounced user and an engaged user. Images and pictures are easy enough to add to your post, but they leave a lot to the imagination. One easy and effective way to illustrate key ideas of your content is to use screenshots with annotations. Take a few screenshots of product pages, infographics, help documents, or other imagery, then add arrows, callouts, highlights and more to tell a story in seconds.”

Use case studies showing how you’ve helped customers

Don’t neglect case studies. Case studies prove your previous success with other customers in your niche, and show how you actively helped them solve specific problems. Afton Brazzoni of Scribe National says, “Content marketing is a fantastic way to generate leads as a SaaS company. Case studies, ebooks, white papers, and blogs should all be a part of your SaaS marketing strategy. These tools are extremely valuable in helping prospects understand how you’ve helped other organizations be successful, and serve as strong social proof, especially compared to traditional advertising.”

Combine content with skillful SEO

Give potential buyers the answers to questions they’re actively seeking by creating posts optimized for the keywords included in their search. This strategy is known as matching search intent.

Adriana Tica of Copywritech says, “Coupled with SEO, content marketing is a powerhouse SaaS lead generation tool. When you know how to answer your buyer persona’s need for information and tie that to your business goals, even a single piece of content can generate hundreds of leads. We focus mainly on user intent in our SaaS content. Instead of high-volume, general keywords, and headlines, we zero in on the intent behind any search. For instance, instead of ‘social media marketing SaaS,’ we would create a piece optimized/titled for ‘How to choose the best social media SaaS for your marketing agency.’ This answers a specific user problem (choice paralysis between so many tools) and is linked directly to an important business goal for any company in this field: generating valuable leads.”

Jane Kovalkova of Chanty explains, “Content marketing has been our number one weapon of choice for getting new leads to our SaaS. We’ve had the biggest success with our “Slack alternatives” article. We picked the keyword because it was something that our target audience was interested in, and it had good volume and low difficulty. We wrote an article for this keyword and slowly started building links to it. The difference between ours and all others on the first page of search engine results was that we based it on our own experience and research. Over time, this article became the most read resource on our website and it made for 20% of our total leads. This is when we realized that we cracked the code of content marketing and we started writing more content that specifically answers our customers’ questions.”

Similarly, Seema Nayak of AdChina advises, “Content marketing and SEO has been a highly effective channel at AdChina.io for generating leads. We use a combination of these two strategies to create content around low competition keywords. Our focus has been writing about customer pain point topics. As a business that is just getting started with content marketing and SEO initiatives, this has helped us drive quality leads that convert to customers rather than focusing on generating top of funnel traffic.”

Charlène Guicheron of Kreezalid says, “We work extensively with optimizing our SEO. Thanks to getting consistent monthly traffic to our website, we get 25–30 leads on a daily basis (a 7–8% conversion rate) who sign up for our trial signups. The reason this is such an effective strategy is that all our traffic is targeted. Kreezalid offers a marketplace website builder to entrepreneurs and our content is written for that audience specifically. So we answer our audience’s most burning questions and objections and educate them on how to start and grow a marketplace website. Besides converting into leads, this is a great way to convert them into customers, too. After all, leads who come through your SEO and content see you as the ‘go-to’ expert in your niche.”

Create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey

Carefully create content that speaks to leads at each stage of their journey as a way to continuously build their trust. Malte Scholz of Airfocus says, “Content marketing is one of the most effective methods of lead generation for SaaS companies because you can provide people with exactly the kind of content they need in order to make a decision. You first start out with keyword research and you can see which kind of content to create for different stages of the buyer journey. That way, you can be there for them when they’re just looking for a solution to their problem, all the way to the point where they are researching competitors in your SaaS niche to choose from. SEO can be one of the most powerful ways to generate leads because you’re providing help instead of pushing ads to buyers’ faces. Moreover, great SEO work can have effects for months, while PPC ads stop bringing in new customers as soon as you stop paying.”

Cassandra Polzin of Accelity agrees: “We utilize a holistic marketing strategy that is tied directly to the sales cycle. By creating educational content that answers our audience’s questions and overcomes sales barriers early on, we can get prospects into the funnel. With each piece of content they download or interact with, we learn more about them, their business, their interests, and their needs. This allows us to market more effectively to our audience by sharing content we know they’re interested in that will move them through the funnel. By educating early and often, we’re able to eliminate a lot of the common sales barriers we would typically come up against in the final stages of a deal. This enables a more efficient, frictionless sales cycle overall.”

Repurpose content beyond blogs to target relevant leads

Don’t forget about creating free ebooks and whitepapers, which can be offered for free or given in exchange for a lead’s contact information. These resources are the perfect way to show professional expertise, especially if you’ve collected unique data or gathered other industry insights. And if you already have a lot of content around a particular topic, compiling these resources is often less complicated than you think it will be.

Sunny Ashley of Autoshopinvoice explains, “Content can be expensive if you hire an outside firm, but it can also be created relatively cheaply in-house for just the cost of time and labor. Also, the dividends are long-lasting. Besides SEO benefits, a repository of content can be recycled and repurposed for use in multiple ways. For example, snippets from a blog post could be shared in social media posts in the future. Or alternatively, we have the option to aggregate multiple blog posts to create a whitepaper, or bundle white papers to create an ebook.”

Create content outside of your website

Look beyond your own site. Writing guest posts for other websites with a similar audience (that link to your site, of course) can ramp up your SaaS lead generation efforts.

Momchil Koychev of Codegiant tells us, “The best tip for getting more SaaS leads for us is guest blogging: getting featured in popular magazines and on well-known blogs relevant to your niche. I was featured on Hackernoon and DZone. Hackernoon has 1.4M visitors a month, whereas Dzone has around 650K. I was able to grow Codegiant’s monthly traffic from 800 to 2,900 visitors (and grow our leads by 5–6X) with this strategy. So, find a relevant blog in your niche that is quite popular and try to create a compelling article. Most of these blogs have guest blog forms you can fill to be considered. Otherwise, you can send an email pitch to the editor.”

Using posts in online communities like Quora and LinkedIn to promote problem-solving articles is another effective strategy. But make sure your post clearly answers the question, and doesn’t just contain a link to your relevant blog article. Michael Mazurek of Syften says,  “First, I picked an online community where my perfect audience hangs around on. Then I did a little browsing through the posts and comments, identified a few recurring problems and biggest pains. Next I wrote articles solving those problems (the best problems are the ones that my product solves). I listened in on new conversations, and when a problem comes up again, I’m ready to answer with a detailed response. The response needs to be detailed and self-sufficient, only then will a link to my blog be accepted by the moderators. A comment like that gets me 30–200 website visits.”

SaaS lead generation strategies beyond content

Of course, there are plenty of tailored SaaS lead generation strategies that don’t involve content and SEO. From targeted email marketing to optimizing your free trials, the following are some more strategies that SaaS marketers use for lead generation and lead nurturing, along with a few tips of our own.

Don’t underestimate email marketing

Email marketing can be a valuable tool for generating leads, as long as the emails you send are personalized. The more targeted your email, the more likely it will be opened and read.

Justina Bakutyte of Yieldify tells us, “At Yieldify, we’ve effectively used email marketing to push leads down the funnel. There are many reasons why email is an effective strategy, starting with the fact that it’s an owned media channel and the people who are in your mailing list have already shown some intent, either around the content you share, your solution, or your brand in general. The most powerful factor of all, however, is the segmentation and personalization that you are able to do with email. We are able to behaviorally segment our leads, enroll them in highly personalized nurture sequences, and pass on rich data to our SDRs, which makes their sales process so much more effective.”

Mony Gueorgueiv of Maidily says, “In my opinion, the best lead generator is extremely personalized marketing emails. I research everything I can about the company – website, social media, owners, etc. – and incorporate those details in my emails, as well as how I can add value to them. How can I solve a problem for them that they don’t even know they have (specific to their business)? In a time where we all get so much templated junk, companies like to know that someone put in the extra effort to get to know them. It takes time. And then – you get a reply back.”

Use a chatbot

Chatbots are here to stay. Since they let you instantly engage with website visitors and answer their questions, you can quickly capture valuable leads when it counts. Michael Keenan shares, “One of my clients gets over one million pageviews per year. However, they were struggling with blog conversions to newsletter and free account sign-ups. Organic traffic was increasing month over month, the content program was moving. But the traditional blog CTA wasn’t driving enough conversions to their quarterly OKRs.

“We set up a ManyChat bot on the blog to start a conversation with visitors when they land on the page. When a user clicked the chat window, they entered a Messenger chat that highlights the email newsletter. After someone signs up, they are sent a follow-up message with the option to check out case studies or sign up for a free account. In three weeks, we collected over 1,000 emails and boosted free account sign-ups by 17.32%.”

Carefully use SEO to generate traffic (beyond content)

Besides optimizing pages for keywords that answer questions, you should also optimize your entire website for keywords people use when they directly search for a SaaS like yours. In addition, optimize for keywords related to problems your software directly solves. When done right, organic SEO freely opens up opportunities that paid search ads can’t match.

According to Mike Sonders’ detailed analysis of SaaS lead channels, “On average, the [top 50] SaaS companies get over 26% of their traffic from search engines… organic traffic from Google can be an incredible source of qualified leads for SaaS.”

Sophie Conner of Halo Service Solutions attests, “HaloITSM has seen great traction by optimizing SEO. Organic search is the largest driver of traffic and therefore critical for revenue. It’s a cost-effective strategy, meaning any smaller SaaS company can compete, unlike with other channels such as PPC. Additionally, it’s thought that SEO has 20 times more traffic opportunities than PPC (Moz, 2020). One of the most important functions of SEO is increasing visibility. If you can get to that first page on Google (the higher the better) you are going to gain more website traffic. By implementing strong SEO practices and building a trustworthy and authoritative website, your ranking should start to rise.”

Keiran Griffiths advises, “People are actively searching for solutions to their problems. For instance, if someone is looking for marketing software to help streamline their workflow, they might search key phrases like ‘how to schedule posts to social channels.’ If your SaaS solves that problem you should do everything you can to be the #1 result for that query. If your company is able to solve an issue for your customer, that customer will stick around forever.”

Optimize your landing pages

Many of your SaaS lead generation strategies will center around lead capture forms and the landing pages that contain them. After all, these forms and pages are where the majority of visitors will officially become leads. These lead generation software programs may help you with your lead capture process.

Here’s a brief overview of landing page best practices:

  • Don’t just design one landing page. Create multiple landing pages that address specific goals and needs of different buyer personas, at multiple stages of the sales funnel. If you market your software to several types of businesses, consider creating a landing page for each business type.
  • Design your landing page with one goal in mind. For example, do you want leads to download a whitepaper? Sign up for a free trial? Fill out a detailed lead form? Use all the elements in your page to drive visitors toward this main goal.
  • Keep your landing page uncluttered. The benefits of your software should be stated quickly and clearly. The faster your market understands and sees the benefits of your offering, the faster they will move along the purchase funnel.
  • Use relevant articles from your content library, or a free ebook/whitepaper offer, to direct people to a landing page.
  • Create an effective lead form. Ask for key information that will indicate if a lead is a good fit for your software. At the same time, ask only for the information you really need. A good lead form allows you to effectively screen leads, but isn’t so lengthy that it scares away potential leads from filling out the form.

For more best practices for landing pages and lead forms, head over to our B2B lead generation article.

Hold webinars

Webinars are an opportunity for direct interaction with potential leads, allowing you to answer leads’ questions in real-time. This helps you build relationships, show your niche authority, and nurture leads who are already interested in your software.

Tim Denman of ServGrow shares, “Webinars are an excellent tool for both lead acquisition and conversion. It’s the platform where you can genuinely demonstrate your attitude to your clients and let the non-verbal communication do its magic. We all know the power of the subconscious in making any decision. During a webinar, your potential customer will not only assess your software UI and UX. They will also see if they are comfortable working with your team. Moreover, they will subconsciously determine if they trust your team and your organization in general.”

Webinars also create content that you can repurpose for other SaaS lead generation efforts. Spencer Grover of LevelJump says, “Webinars have always been a great way to drive MQLs for us. Aside from the value of the webinar itself, the real value comes from the long term content production. Content costs time, and time is expensive. So the faster you can produce something, the lower your customer acquisition cost is going to be. If you start with a webinar, you can spin that one webinar into blog posts, ebooks, infographics, video ads, short 2-4 minute videos. That’s a month of content for the eight hours it takes to build a webinar! It lowers your aggregate content cost dramatically, and provides huge value across all of your lead driving channels.”

Use free trials to your advantage

Remember that your product itself is the best lead nurturer. If your trial and demo experiences are smooth, your leads will stick around and convert. Garrett Sussman of Grade.us shares, “The B2B journey has become incredibly self-service. When businesses are evaluating a SaaS vendor, they’re consuming your content, engaging on social, and reading your reviews. They’re less interested in engaging with a sales representative (or any person for that matter). The real magic happens when potential customers take your software for a test drive. If it works and delivers on the promise, then you’ve likely earned yourself a customer. If it’s hard to use, confusing, or doesn’t function as intended, you’re going to lose your prospect. Ultimately, the product itself will always be the most impactful lead gen, bottom of the funnel strategy for SaaS businesses.”

Josh Brown of Helpjuice says, “Free trials are a great way to entice people to try your product as the barrier entry is minimal. However, if you want these users to actually convert into paying customers, you need the users to see the full value of your product (the ‘aha moment’). This means that once a user is in your funnel, you want to create a customer onboarding process to effectively market your product and demonstrate its full value throughout the customer’s trial. A good onboarding process should send the right message to the right user at the right time. You can use marketing automation, email marketing, and in-app messaging to create various workflows that are triggered by user behavior. This will help overcome the paradox of an active user, as well as those who are stuck with using a particular feature.”

Remember, your free trial should give users a good look at your service, but still keep them wanting more access to premium features. In this case, content (again!) can help.

Muhammad Mateen Khan of PureVPN shares, “Free trials are one of the most effective ways to convert hesitant SaaS customers, but drawing free trial users in (and facilitating the final push to conversion) can still be difficult. Content marketing can aid you in developing a rapport with your consumers and in increasing the visibility of your free trial offers. A free trial is about proving your product, and that can put you in a vulnerable situation. Your customers need to both see the value of your product and keenly feel its absence once their trial period runs out. For that, you need to build not only an excellent product, but also an excellent conversation. Through content marketing, a brand is able to maintain a point of contact and establishes itself as a useful resource.”

Optimize and personalize demos

In a similar vein, make sure your demos are easy to access and tailored to each lead. Daniel Threlfall of Chili Piper says, “One of the reasons why our demos are so effective is because we’ve slashed speed to lead down to mere seconds. From the moment an MQL clicks the ‘get a demo’ button on our website, they can be on a call with a sales development representative within 10–12 seconds. It’s insanely effective for not just generating leads, but closing them, too.”

Demos are your chance to spend some one-on-one time with a nurtured lead. Charlie Patel of Triberr shares, “When your SaaS provides a high-ticket service that requires knowing more about your potential customer to ensure they have the best first impression and experience, it’s best to restrict access so that you can offer a personalized demo of your app. Try to extract their use case and priorities. The more information you can gather upfront, the higher likelihood of converting a sale. Lastly, during your demo, ensure you can walk them through the initial onboarding steps and how your app helps achieve their goals. The most personalized, the better.”

Work with relevant partners

You don’t have to go about SaaS lead generation on your own. Agnieszka Kasperek of Taskeo tells us, “When it comes to SaaS promotion, you can either try to generate a buzz about your app all on your own or get someone to help you with it. For Taskeo, partnerships of all kinds were always one of the most successful ways to get the attention of potential users. Guest posting or co-marketing campaigns with deal platforms are a good way to build valuable relationships. The internet has plenty of communities where you can find people willing to partner up. This way, you can either tap into their own audience or have them attract more leads to you. How you capture and manage those leads is then up to you, but working towards your goal with someone else will give you the initial boost you need.”

Lars Iversen of Umbraco says, “Partnerships are by far the best lead channel for our business. We have over 500,000 users worldwide, but the majority of these choose our free open source version instead of our SaaS solution. So how do we change that dynamic? Handling each user on a one-to-one basis is not a scalable solution. Instead we’ve looked at scalable solutions. We’ve chosen to go with a partnership program for web agencies. They build many websites each year for end-clients, so if we convince them to use our SaaS product, they’ll pass that recommendation on to their clients. That way we can have a one-to-one relationship with our partners that scales into one-to-many lead generation for our business.”

Bruce Hogan shares, “Partnerships are an effective method for generating SaaS leads. In particular, SaaS companies can partner with review websites like SoftwarePundit that educate customers about SaaS tools and send them leads. Other large software review websites to partner with include Capterra, G2, and Software Advice. This strategy is effective because it’s a guaranteed stream of leads, and you typically only pay for leads or customers that you acquire – there’s no upfront cost. It’s also a competitive advantage to be featured on review websites where your competitors are not.”

Work with SaaS influencers

Another key partnership for your SaaS is with influencers. Flynn Zaiger of Online Optimism says, “Many people don’t think of influencers as a top tactic of SaaS, but they’re often wrong. A SaaS influencer definitely looks different from your usual influencer – there’s no fancy photography, or flat lay photos involved. A SaaS influencer is more likely to have LinkedIn connections than Instagram followers. That being said, getting your SaaS platform featured by someone with a large audience and significant clout in your industry can be a moment of exponential growth for any SaaS company. Not only do you have the initial boost to your installs from a recommendation from a SaaS leader, but if they create any sort of content around it, that’s the perfect content marketing and SEO boost that can deliver you leads for years to come.”

Focus on referrals and other word of mouth

We can’t say this enough – lead quality is far more important than lead quantity. After all, if you generate a large amount of leads who don’t purchase, or customers who purchase but quickly abandon your software, your SaaS won’t sustain true growth.

Plus, the highest quality leads don’t just remain loyal to your business – they also recommend your SaaS to their friends and help generate new leads for free!

Word-of-mouth is an extremely powerful tool. People trust and listen to peers who have already had a positive experience with you, far more than they trust ads and other messages that come straight from your business. Stacilee Whiting of Branding Watch affirms, “Word of mouth is one of the strongest sources of leads. It’s free, it’s natural, and it’s easy (if your service is excellent). In addition, customers who find you via word-of-mouth are easier to convert. The power of trust is indispensable, and  word of mouth signifies trust.”

Oren Greenberg of Kurve advises, “Word-of-mouth is the most common way people find our agency. It is effective because businesses searching for an agency find it safer and faster. Using a trusted network when picking an agency mitigates risk, and it is faster than going through a long selection process without any personal guidance.”

Customer retention strategies are crucial to satisfying your existing customers and getting them to recommend your SaaS to their peers.

Harness reviews and testimonials

Karol Nowacki of Zety shares, “Reviews and testimonials are vital, especially when they’re published on websites as AlternativeTo or Capterra. A lot of folks know what they need regarding the functionality of a SaaS, but are not happy with a solution they tried out or are currently using. That’s when those aggregators come in. They allow potential customers to cross-match between different solutions and products, so the potential user might see our product as an alternative to some other well known SaaS, and might find a better fit in us.”

Jeremy Lessaris of Designed.co tells us, “Reviews have been the single most effective, lowest-cost, highest ROI lead source for Designed.co. However, getting the most out of reviews requires much more than just getting reviews and leaving them to sit passively on the review site. We utilize reviews and ratings across multiple marketing channels, including the use of the review metadata on our PPC ads, creating images of the review to use on our social media posts, and including reviews as quotes from our customers in our content marketing strategy for use on LinkedIn and other channels. The review channels alone drive solid, highly-converting traffic, but remarketing display ads showcasing a review has helped us capture an even larger percentage of those visitors.”

Tap into the power of referral marketing

Referral marketing is one of the most powerful forms of word-of-mouth marketing. Referral programs use the direct recommendations of your existing clients to generate new leads. And because they trust their peers, these referred leads are much more likely to purchase from you than from other leads.

Thomas Wittig of Wittigonia attests, “Word-of-mouth can unleash powerful and highly efficient feedback loops. In our client projects, a two-sided referral bonus is a key tactic. This creates a win-win-win situation and resolves “cognitive dissonances” the referrer and the prospect might have. We also tested different tactics and a highly effective landing page is crucial to convert. For companies who have a Customer Success team, the pre-purchase contact could be a key experience for conversion.”

Khris Steven of Khrisdigital affirms, “Referral marketing has been proven to be one of the greatest forms of growth-hacking any type of business, including SaaS businesses. People are four times more likely to listen to a product or service recommendation from those they already know and familiar with, like friends, colleagues, or family members, and buy those products without further research, unlike other marketing and lead generation strategies. We humans in general are easily influenced by what our loved ones approve and endorse. And according to statistics, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. In addition, referred customers are less likely to leave, making them more loyal to your brand.”

Referral Rock software can help your SaaS harness the power of referral marketing to generate leads. Learn more, schedule a demo with us, or sign up for a free trial.

Wrapping things up

When it comes to lead generation for software companies, your SaaS should prioritize high-quality leads – leads who are more likely to become and remain your customers. Start by identifying best-fit leads, setting goals to track success, and creating a buyer persona so you know what messaging best resonates with these prime leads.

Once you’ve identified your best-fit leads, these SaaS lead generation strategies will help to best capture and nurture them:

  • Targeted content marketing and SEO (based on keywords your audience searches for)
  • Guest posting
  • Personalized email marketing
  • Chat engagement
  • Optimized landing pages/lead forms
  • Webinars
  • Free trials
  • Tailored demos
  • Partnerships with other companies and SaaS influencers
  • Word-of-mouth marketing, including reviews and referrals

Looking for more lead generation strategies for software companies? We asked 29 other marketers about the best ways to capture leads across different industries. Find out what they told us.