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An essential guide for SaaS startups to get their first customers

3 Mins read
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The SaaS industry is gaining traction in recent years, with a lot of software moving towards cloud-based services. The primary reason for this shift is due to the subscription-based service models, hassle-free setup and maintenance, and constant upgrades. Due to this, a new SaaS organization starts every day, but as the result of a competitive market and already well-known SaaS companies, the newcomers have to make sure they stand out to get their first customers. Here’s how

Nominal Pricing

Pricing is crucial for any product, but it needs much more attention when it comes to a SaaS product. You shouldn’t let the price be so low that your potential customers conclude that because it’s cheap, it won’t be useful, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be unreasonably steep too. Instead of reducing the price, giving free trails will help your customers understand why your product costs what it costs and why it is better than other products in the market. The more value your free trials add, the more chance that your customer will be willing to pay for your premium service. And when a customer decides to purchase your product, make it seamless with no re-installation, authentication, or data migration.

Beta User Community

There are a lot of beta testing communities all over the internet. These communities like UserTesting, Betalist, LaunchFeed, and even some subreddits are the best ways to make an early launch of your product. These beta testers will offer honest, valuable feedback as they are not biased, and as they share an interest in these products, if they like it, they will go on and become brand advocates of your products. Some people might even be interested in working in your company, and if they are well-known in their community, they can help get people to talk about your product. 

A beta should be dry-running a launch, as if the product is about to go live. One way that we made it real for our employees is that we asked them to call in or email the support team if they had an issue with their eero, not just walk over to the support desk. They sampled the experience that our beta testers would. Betas takes this type of nuanced planning and rollout

Paul Nangeroni, Head of Product, eero 

Setting up Blogs

As long as SEO exists, blogs are crucial for any online business. Any business that has an online presence should have a blog, and as a SaaS company, you should have a formidable presence. Blogs are not just for churning out keywords and search visibility. You must use your blog to improve your reach, position your brand as an authority, and to show your customers what your products are capable of, and this will help them understand what your product is all about and will assist them in making a choice.

It is also a good idea to get featured in other blogs and to highlight other people in yours. Interviewing a CEO or an authoritative figure from other sectors and getting interviewed by others will help to expand your reach and contacts.What matters is understanding the hows and whys of trends’ emergence and adoption.

Referral Programs

Referral programs can be beneficial for startups. There are different programs than the most commonly used paid affiliate program. You can turn pages and your first customers into your brand advocates by rewarding them for every successful referring. The simplest of rewards like a few months of free service and temporary or permanent upgrades based on the referrals can be a significant boost.

It should also be kept in mind that when a deal is done through referrals, both the referrer and the referred should be getting some bonus.

Other than just software boosts, you can also use references to let customers earn money, merchandise, or even earn achievements and placement on a leader board, depending on how your company atmosphere is.

The most important thing when you are starting up is to make your first customers an absolute priority. You must follow up and individually talk to your first users. Ask feedback from them, make improvements based on that. Take surveys. Make them feel like they are a part of your ambitious project. You should divert your attention towards your paid users as they are most likely to use most of your premium features, get upgrades.

In essence

The key to being a successful startup is to be responsive, and the willingness to take criticism and improve. Find out what your users want and make improvements to suit their needs and don’t put off any complaints to be petty. Even though there are a lot of SaaS startups, the industry is thriving, and you can make it to the top if you are willing to put in the effort.

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