Lead Nurturing in SaaS Marketing: 3 Steps to Customer Acquisition

Looking for ways to rapidly increase your free trial conversion rates? Follow these lead nurturing steps for effective SaaS marketing.

Picture of George Linley George Linley

Published: 30 Sep 2015

5 minutes read

Lead Nurturing in SaaS Marketing: 3 Steps to Customer Acquisition

The main goal for (almost) every SaaS marketing strategy is to get prospects to sign up for free trials and convert into long-term customers. However, it is during a free trial that prospect interest can dwindle away. While free trials are used by almost half (44%) of SaaS companies as a marketing tactic, they need to be used in conjunction with lead nurturing in order to see results. A successful lead nurturing strategy helps keep prospects engaged during and after your free trial, ensuring that they get the most out your software. 

So what lead nurturing tactics should you be using? Instigate these steps below to rapidly improve your customer acquisition.

1. Ignite your free trial with nurturing emails 

You’ll be all too aware of how busy your prospects are. Therefore, don’t leave it to them to follow through with a free trial. Automated nurturing emails are essential for helping prospects progress through the sales cycle. According to HubSpot, a nurturing email generates an 8% click-through rate, compared to a standard email which only gains around 3%. Remember, once a prospect has signed up to your free trial, you have their email address and the gates to communication are open. 

When a prospect doesn’t act on a free trial they’ve signed up for, send a simple reminder email to stress the time limit of the free trial and remind prospects of your existence. To help prospects get up and running, use bullet point instructions highlighting what they need to do to begin their free trial – i.e. create an account by clicking here, assign a username etc. 

To remove any reservations, use nurturing emails soon after a prospect has signed up to supply them with useful resources such as links to educational guides and blogs focused on using your software. Encourage communication by actively asking prospects for feedback or questions and make it possible for them to directly reply to your emails. 

A small note to consider: don’t focus on too much, too soon. The aim of the game is to simplify your software and present its value to prospects partaking in free trials. Focus on one topic per email, such as using a specific element in your software.

2. Educate prospects with blogging

Unless your software is extremely user-friendly and simple to use, prospects are bound to run into problems during the duration of their free trial. In some instances, this is where a sales cycle can run cold. Stop this from happening by implementing a consistent and educational blogging strategy. 

Blogs should always be focused on solving prospects' pains, while presenting your software as a solution. This is important to bear in mind, considering the majority of prospects who have signed up to a free trial will not be quite ready to buy. 

When creating your blogging plan, think about your current customers, as well as prospects you’ve failed to convert in their past. What were their main business goals? What were they looking to get out of your software? What aspects of your software did they struggle to use? Use the answers to these questions to help shape blog content that effectively engages with prospects and is relevant to their problems and needs.

A successful SaaS blog will achieve two things during the free trial stage:

  • Make a direct connection between common business problems expressed by your prospects and your software
  • Help prospects to get more out of your software and resolve any issues they may be having

3. Close after the free trial 

The time period that follows shortly after a free trial has finished is critical for converting prospects into customers. Once a free trial has ended, prospects should be greeted with an automated thank you email. However, you don’t want to end communication there. Most importantly, make it easy for prospects to become customers. If they have already supplied their credit card details during the free trial, offer the option to simply upgrade with the touch of a button. At the end of the day, prospects are looking for ways to make their lives easier. Simple implementation can set you apart from a competitor. 

If you’ve found this SaaS marketing blog helpful, you may also wish to read our step-by-step guide to an effective inbound strategy. Download your copy for free by clicking below. 

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