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3 SaaS marketing plans you can copy for your launch

To get your product in front of the right users, you need a SaaS marketing plan that fits your audience, your product, and your capital.

To get your product in front of the right users, you need a SaaS marketing plan that fits your audience, your product, and your capital (or lack thereof).

As a new entrepreneur who isn’t a marketer, you could spend months researching how to market your SaaS business, and still feel conflicted about what to do. Or you could implement one of these three plans and take action right away.

Here’s the thing about marketing… while some channels won’t work for any B2B SaaS company (as of yet, TikTok is totally unproven), the fact is that often the channel that works is the one you work on. It’s the one you invest resources into.

We’ve done the channel-picking for you. Each plan has just a couple of marketing channels that go well together.

Without further ado, here are 3 SaaS marketing plans you can swipe.

Check out our Early Stage plan for SaaS companies that want to automate their marketing based on real user behaviour.

SaaS Marketing Plan #1: The Budgeter

Do you lack the capital to invest in marketing? Perhaps the development of your SaaS product has eaten into your funds, or you have more time than money. This plan requires a lot of elbow grease, but absolutely no paid ads. In fact, we’ve seen this plan work well for countless new SaaS entrepreneurs who are building their dream business.

Best for

Our first plan is a great fit for bootstrapped SaaS companies with a low budget for marketing until MRR increases.

Not a fit for

This plan is not a fit for SaaS products that target B2C customers, as it’s nearly impossible to reach consumers via cold email and LinkedIn.

Plan details

  • Cold email: Sending cold email to potential clients is an effective way to launch a SaaS business, despite what some naysayers might say. To win at cold email, make sure that you’re manually building your list of prospects based on very specific targeting criteria. Never buy a list, which might be low quality or outdated. You should also keep your message short and sweet. Don’t end by requesting to book a demo call. No one wants to award you 30 minutes of their time. Instead, end your email with a simple question such as “Can I send you over a case study?” or “Can I send you a link to our 2-minute demo video?”
  • LinkedIn organic marketing: LinkedIn is another smart way to launch a SaaS business. While cold LinkedIn messages can work well for service providers, very few SaaS companies seem to have any success with this strategy. Instead, you should use organic methods. Send connection requests to your target customers. Post content that is relevant to their needs. Comment on their posts so that you build a relationship with them. Make sure that your profile sells your product instead of showcases your work history.
  • Thought leadership: When you’re marketing your SaaS business with cold email and LinkedIn, it’s smart to build up organic assets like blog posts and ebooks simultaneously. When highly useful to your target audience, these can be used in sales nurturing conversations with leads over email, and they can also be used to give you something to share on LinkedIn.

Check out our Early Stage plan for SaaS companies that want to automate their marketing based on real user behaviour.

SaaS Marketing Plan #2: The Media Star

Do you have something new and different? Maybe there’s a sea of indirect competitors, but few or even no direct ones. Go for media gold.

Best for

This plan can work well for bootstrapped SaaS businesses or companies with low amounts of investor or personal funding. What matters with this plan is that you have something noteworthy. Are you disrupting an industry that hasn’t been disrupted in a decade or more? Do you have very few direct competitors? If so, you might be able to get some traction with digital PR. This plan is a great fit for category creators.

You need to deeply know who your customers are to pull off this strategy. So if you think this might be for you, dig deep into your user analytics and behavioural analytics data.

Not a fit for

If your SaaS product is not drastically different than what 90% of your target audience is currently using to tackle the problem your product solves, then this plan is not for you. Your target audience should largely be using outdated or bad software or should be using manual methods.

If your product is too similar to competitors, then you can still use digital PR at some point, but it’s not right for the core strategy of your initial launch.

Plan details

  • Podcast tourGetting on industry podcasts is a smart way to build up organic traffic to your website. Remember, the point is not to get on SaaS podcasts to spill your secrets (you can do that later if you want), but rather to get booked on podcasts that your target audience listens to. While top 10 podcasts can be hard to get featured on, there are ample opportunities with top 100 lists. They still have lots of listeners, but not as much competition for spots.
  • Media coverage: Aside from podcasts, you can get covered in other outlets that your target audience cares about as well. These can be large sites like Entrepreneur and Forbes, as well as ones that are more specific to your target user. For example, being featured in OfficeNinjas is a smart move if your SaaS product is for office managers while getting an article in CopyHackers would be a better fit if your target users are copywriters and content marketers.
  • Paid search ads: With all of that press, target customers will be searching for you. It’s smart to run search ads on your brand name, so your competitors don’t do the same and snatch up all your traffic. When you’re ready financially, you should also run search ads on non-branded keywords that are relevant to your product and your target audience.
  • Email marketing: The audiences that you’re reaching won’t always be ready to buy. That’s why you should have really incredible lead magnets that you can offer on podcasts and feature front and centre in your website. These could be ebooks or something more usable like calculators and templates. Make sure to nurture the relationship with your email subscribers with weekly or monthly emails that are both informative and entertaining.

SaaS Marketing Plan #3: The Rocket

Got a bit more fuel in the tank? Great! If your product has potential for virality and product marketing, then you need to make sure as many people hear about it as possible, so they can just keep sharing it.

Best for

This plan is a great fit for freemium products with a sharing element (like how Canva users share in-progress designs for feedback or Loom users share video links). If you don’t have a potentially viral freemium product, this plan can still work for you, but you’ll need a free side offer and a hefty advertising budget.

Not a fit for

If you don’t have the budget to offer a free-forever product or to create a side project and market either with ads, then this plan isn’t a fit for you. After you build MRR using other strategies, you can always circle back to this plan and give it a go.

Plan details

  • Product marketing or side project marketing: Build a feature in your product that either necessitates or encourages sharing, and make sure to include that feature in your free plan. If this isn’t a fit for you, you could also make a side project, like CoSchedule’s headline analyzer. Your side project needs to be a web app that your target audience will share and re-use.
  • Paid social ads: Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even Pinterest ads (depending on your target audience) to drive traffic to your free plan signup or to your side project web-based app.
  • Affiliate program: With this strategy, it’s also smart to have an affiliate program. You can share revenue with influencers and non-competitor companies who share your free plan or side project with their audience. Make sure to set up accurate tracking. Also, hire a freelance or in-house affiliate program manager who can build relationships with your affiliates and provide the resources they need to be successful.

Marketing a SaaS business is complicated and challenging. Make your life a lot easier by picking one go-to-market plan and sticking to it for at least three months to assess results accurately. Stay focused, and don’t give up.

Check out our Early Stage plan for SaaS companies that want to automate their marketing based on real user behaviour.

Written by
Dayana is a B2B SaaS copywriter and content marketer who lives in Northern California. She loves messaging and storytelling alike.

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