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SaaS customer acquisition strategies: unlocking the secrets to SaaS success

Dive in with us as we unravel the captivating strategies that help these platforms skyrocket to popularity and hold their ground. What's the secret sauce to SaaS success? Let’s figure it out.

17 September, 2023
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Ever stumbled upon a product that seemingly everyone's using, but you'd never heard of it until yesterday? Welcome to the dynamic world of SaaS! These platforms are everywhere, from your work tools to your weekend hobbies.

So, how do they creep into our daily routines with such finesse?

Dive in with us as we unravel the captivating strategies that help these platforms skyrocket to popularity and hold their ground. What's the secret sauce to SaaS success? Is it marketing magic or pure genius at play? Let’s figure it out.

Want your SaaS to attract, engage, and keep users?

Merge is here to help.

Learn more

What is SaaS?

You've likely used one today, but what exactly is SaaS? Let's peel back the layers on these cloud-based services that are becoming household names.

Software-as-a-Service is a cloud-based service where instead of downloading software on your desktop PC or business network to run and update, you use an internet browser to access an application. This software model eliminates the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their data centers.

By using SaaS, the hassle of maintenance and support is outsourced, as updates and patches are managed by the provider. Users can seamlessly access SaaS applications and services from anywhere, provided they have an internet connection.

Popular examples include Google Workspace, Salesforce, Dropbox, and Shopify. By offering scalable usage, data storage flexibility, and automatic updates, SaaS presents a compelling advantage over traditional software installation models.

For those aiming to optimize user experience, a SaaS website design agency can provide specialized design and development solutions tailored for SaaS businesses.



Curious about how SaaS companies reach people? Here's a sneak peek into the tools and tactics you can employ.

Investing in SEO

SEO is the art and science of improving your website's visibility on search engines, primarily Google. By optimizing site structure, content, and backlinks, SaaS companies ensure that they rank high for relevant keywords. This organic visibility draws high-intent visitors who are actively searching for solutions the software provides.

Investing in SEO not only increases website traffic but also enhances the quality of incoming leads. As the saying goes, "The best place to hide a secret is the second page of Google." Investing in SEO ensures you're not that secret.

Add social proof to your site

"People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend."

Mark Zuckerberg

Social proof refers to testimonials, case studies, reviews, and other endorsements from satisfied customers. It's the digital equivalent of a friend recommending their favorite restaurant.

When visitors see that other, often similar businesses, have benefited from the software, it builds trust and credibility, significantly influencing purchasing decisions. Star ratings, user counts, and logos of well-known customers can all boost conversion rates.


In the SaaS world, relationships matter. Networking involves building and nurturing relationships with industry peers, potential customers, and even competitors.

Attending industry conferences, webinars, or joining forums can lead to partnerships, collaborations, or direct sales opportunities. Personal connections can lead to trust, and trust often translates to business.

Content marketing

"Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart."

Joe Chernov

Content marketing revolves around creating valuable, relevant content to attract and engage a target audience. For SaaS, this could mean blog posts explaining industry trends, how-to guides related to their software, or even video tutorials.

This not only drives organic traffic but positions the company as a thought leader in its space. By offering solutions and insights, potential customers are more inclined to trust and eventually invest in the product.

Social media advertising

Through platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, SaaS companies can push targeted ads to a specific audience. These ads can be tailored based on demographics, interests, or even online behaviors.

With trackable ROI and precise targeting, social media advertising can rapidly expand a company's reach and draw in potential leads that are ripe for conversion.

Referral programs

Referral programs incentivize existing customers to recommend the software to others. In a SaaS setup, this could mean offering discounts, extended trials, or additional features in exchange for successful referrals.

Since word-of-mouth is one of the most trusted forms of marketing, leveraging satisfied customers to bring in new ones often yields high-quality leads.

Hosting events

"People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic."

Seth Godin

Whether physical or virtual, events provide a platform for SaaS companies to directly interact with their target audience.

Workshops, webinars, product launches, or conferences can foster community, showcase expertise, and introduce the product to potential customers. They also offer a chance to collect direct feedback, which is gold for product improvement.

Want your SaaS to attract, engage, and keep users?

Merge is here to help.

Learn more

Why is customer acquisition so important?

Why do SaaS companies go to such great lengths to get your attention? Here's why attracting users like you is more than just a numbers game.

Customer acquisition is the lifeblood of any business, particularly in the SaaS industry. At its core, acquiring customers means growing revenues. Without a steady influx of new users, businesses plateau or even decline as natural churn occurs.

In the competitive SaaS landscape, where new entrants emerge frequently, scaling a SaaS company for growth becomes crucial. Maintaining a growth trajectory is pivotal to keep investors interested and operations funded.

Beyond just numbers, here’s more proof of why customer acquisition is so important:

  • Product validation. New customer sign-ups validate genuine demand and trust in your product.
  • Market expansion. Diverse customer acquisition can lead to exploring new market segments, presenting opportunities for product diversification.
  • Brand recognition. More customers mean more word-of-mouth promotion, bolstering brand awareness and reputation.
  • Feedback loop. New customers provide fresh perspectives and feedback, which is vital for continuous product improvement and innovation.
  • Economies of scale. Increased customer acquisition can lead to volume-driven cost efficiencies, driving down operational costs per user.

Customer journey mapping

Ever wondered how SaaS companies guide you from a clueless visitor to a loyal customer?

Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of the steps a customer takes from first becoming aware of a product to making a purchase and beyond, often into loyalty and advocacy. It provides a bird's-eye view of the customer's experience.

Customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping

The process begins by identifying all touchpoints a customer has with the brand, from initial discovery (ads, word of mouth) to post-purchase interactions (support, updates).

Next, these touchpoints are plotted chronologically, detailing the customer's thoughts, feelings, and actions at each stage. Pain points and moments of delight are highlighted to understand areas of friction and success.

By mapping this journey, you can pinpoint where improvements are needed, ensuring a seamless and positive experience for your user from start to finish.


SaaS lead nurturing

Beyond just grabbing their attention, how do SaaS companies ensure users stick around?

SaaS lead nurturing is the methodical process of guiding potential customers from their initial interest to a paying commitment. It begins when a visitor shows interest, maybe by downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a trial.

The process then involves sharing targeted content tailored to their needs and stage in the buying cycle, often via email campaigns. Educative webinars, tailored offers, and personalized demos might be integrated. Tracking tools monitor lead engagement, gauging interest and readiness to buy.

Feedback loops, like surveys, can offer insights into a lead's concerns. By consistently addressing their needs, building trust, and positioning the product as the ideal solution, lead nurturing ultimately aims to transition a tentative prospect into a loyal, paying customer in the SaaS universe.

Want your SaaS to attract, engage, and keep users?

Merge is here to help.

Learn more

Customer acquisition is straightforward but never easy

To wrap up our deep dive into SaaS customer acquisition, think of it like this. It's not just about casting a wide net but ensuring each catch feels valued.

Techniques like social proof, content marketing, and events act as lures, but it's the genuine commitment to customer satisfaction that seals the deal.

Every software might have its unique code, but the universal language in SaaS success? Authentic engagement. And, let's not forget, it's a two-way street.

While businesses strive for growth, customers seek value. Balance both, and the SaaS world becomes less about transactions and more about lasting relationships.

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CEO and Founder of Merge

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

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