Marketing your SaaS company: 3 effective promotions to gain users

Ryan GallantSeptember 9, 2016

You've invested time and money in developing a great SaaS product. You know your product takes a new approach to solving users' pain points. Now you've just got to convince others to try it.

So how can you boost your user numbers and make your software profitable? Learn what works to promote SaaS software, and why it works, to market your product effectively.

Get Beta Users to Refer Friends

When you are trying to build a user base, new signups are key. Send beta users a promo code that they can give to friends for a free trial. New users can sign up for a free week or free month, getting you the signups you need to present impressive numbers.

Why does this work? Two reasons: Exclusivity and $0 price point. A promo code for a free signup reduces the financial risk associated with trying a new service. By letting beta users refer friends, you'll make people feel like they're early adopters. If they don't try your software, they could miss out on the next big thing.

Set up a promo code >>

Reward Subscription Signups With a Gift Card

When you use a promo code to increase your user base, you run the risk that users won't sign up for a paid plan. Lower this barrier by giving a gift card to users who decide to subscribe after their trial runs out. The application monitoring app New Relic tried this by offering a special referral link. When a new user signed up and deployed New Relic, both they and their referring friend received a $25 gift card.

A gift card can help someone who is on the fence decide in favor of subscribing. This works because it feels like the new subscriber is getting something they want, in addition to getting something they need. 

Get going with gift cards >>

Do a Social Media Contest or Giveaway

Social media contests are popular for all types of companies because they are easy for users to participate in and highly effective at building buzz. While you might think of social media giveaways for products, they can also be effective for software. They're easy to get off the ground and they don't require a large investment from you, two variables that are crucial when you are trying to launch your SaaS company. 

To get started with a giveaway:

  1. Create a simple landing page for your giveaway that explains what you're giving away (say, a year's subscription) and how to enter.
  2. Set up a branded hashtag for entrants to use, or require them to follow your social channels.
  3. Capture email addresses as part of the signup to continue marketing to everyone who enters.

This way, you can continue the conversation around your software during the contest and even encourage users who don't win to subscribe.

Start promoting your SaaS company while you are in beta phase to increase your odds of success out of the gate. You'll boost awareness of your company and build buzz around your offering. Already launched? Promotions will help you continue to grow and thrive over time.

Want to try gift cards and promo codes? Giftbit does that.

Photo: Luis Llerena