SaaS marketing campaigns are short-lived processes meant to achieve various company goals. We can use them to increase overall brand awareness, increase demand for a product or service, reduce negative publicity, increase website visitors, etc.
Just about any promotional activity can be classified as a marketing campaign. For example, putting leaflets in neighbor’s mail was an approach that was extremely popular among local handymen. Spending money on billboards or TV ads is another example of traditional marketing.
We can use different marketing channels to execute these campaigns. However, as technology changes, companies are nowadays much more focused on digital marketing channels than traditional ones. In the end, there’s no point spending all this money on pamphlets and brochures if no one’s going to read them.
This tech shift is especially noticeable among SaaS companies. Given that they’re selling a digital product, which works exclusively on the internet, it makes more sense to advertise online. In this article, we’ll share some examples of the best SaaS marketing campaigns and how they helped brands dominate the market.
But before we do so, we’d like to explain a few key terms, such as SaaS marketing, SaaS strategy, and SaaS campaign.
What is SaaS Marketing?
Basically, SaaS marketing is marketing tailor-made for SaaS brands. It’s a set of processes that helps software companies sell their products and increase brand awareness.
Unlike some other products, Software as a Service is usually promoted online. In fact, most customers look for these programs by browsing Google.
Like in other businesses, SaaS brands need to cater to a particular user persona. They should also have great customer service and a solid understanding of digital marketing strategies. SaaS companies rely on specific business models that would help them attract a wider audience.
What Are the Best Methods To Promote a SaaS Product?
Truth be told, B2B marketers can sell SaaS with traditional marketing methods or through digital channels. These products have become necessary in the business world, no matter what industry you’re in. So, whether you decide to promote them via radio, Facebook, Google ad, or local TV, you’ll probably get great results.
However, given that SaaS isn’t a physical product, most companies opt to market them exclusively online. Through digital inbound marketing, brands can reduce costs, shorten the customer’s journey, and simplify their overall marketing plan.
Having all that in mind, here are the best methods for promoting a SaaS:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Optimization has lots of advantages. First off, when you drive people directly to your site, you can immediately execute a sale. While on the platform, a person can watch instructional videos, read testimonials, and gain other insights that would help them make a decision. Furthermore, SEO is a fantastic choice for long-term brand building.
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
Ads are awesome for generating lots of traffic quickly. Furthermore, we might argue they’re the easiest approach to implement. Even if you’re an absolute newbie, you can get fantastic results with minimal preparation.
PPC is popular among brands that want to make money asap. Often, SaaS brands mix and mash paid search with other digital channels.
- SMM – (Social Media Marketing)
If you’re struggling to connect with the target audience in a casual way, you should put more emphasis on SMM. The method is excellent for the quick back-and-forth with the leads, allowing you to close potential customers on the spot.
The best yet, you can run the same marketing campaigns on different platforms by using a SaaS marketing automation tool.
- Affiliate Marketing
In many ways, affiliate marketing is a “lazy” way to promote your SaaS brand. Instead of investing countless hours in SEO and SMM, you can simply pay other people a percentage of their sales.
The main benefit of this approach is that it eliminates numerous business risks for your organization. You don’t have to invest money in developing a new marketing channel that may or may not provide results sometime in the future.
- Email Outreach
Email outreach isn’t necessarily a separate digital marketing approach, although often categorized as such. Instead, it’s a method we often use in conjunction with other channels.
While not as popular as the other methods, it can provide lots of cool benefits for your growing organization. Many business owners consider this marketing effort a bit too pushy, so you need to be careful when executing campaigns. However, you might still get solid results with a good SaaS content marketing team.
- Podcasts and YouTube
Podcasts and videos usually go hand in hand. You can place podcasts on Spotify and videos on YouTube, thus harnessing audiences from both platforms. Although this approach isn’t ideal for SaaS, it might still help increase brand awareness and increase your authority within the industry.
If you’re a SaaS marketer, you probably use a combination of the best practices and optimal marketing channels. Aside from these methods, there’s a good chance you create an awesome blog post just about every day and generally dabble in content marketing.
How Do We Measure the Success of SaaS Marketing?
Although digital entrepreneurs have a lot of leeway for experimenting, they’re still forced to fulfil certain quotas. So, SaaS brands use various types of marketing metrics to analyze their performance:
- Customer acquisition cost
- Customer lifetime value
- Customer churn rate
- Recurring revenue
- Net Promoter Score or NPS
- Signups to paid conversions
- Customer engagement score, etc.
Be warned; these are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more an average Joe should consider when promoting their cool, new tool. We’ve used specific examples of SaaS metrics that focus on profitability, the number of qualified leads, conversion rate, bounce rate, etc.
Nowadays, we have access to software that helps us analyze just about any type of behavior. When a person sneezes while using our platform, we’ll get notified in a dashboard.
The Main Differences Between Marketing Program vs. Campaign?
Before we get into some trickier stuff, let’s explain the differences between a marketing program (also referred to as strategy) and a marketing campaign.
A SaaS marketing strategy represents a set of marketing goals we’re trying to achieve over a longer period. Companies use this concept to create a brand image and send a message to their target audience. A marketing program is implemented on all levels of a company and on all processes.
For a SaaS marketing strategy to be effective, all employees must be on the same page. The concept refers to how we promote products and services but also have we conduct daily operations.
SaaS marketing campaigns are much shorter and have specific goals. For example, you can use them to promote the newest service or increase followers on social media. Unlike a marketing strategy, which can last for several years, a marketing campaign is executed over a shorter time span.
Although you have more leeway with SaaS marketing campaigns, they must align with the company’s marketing program.
SaaS Marketing Strategy Example – SaaS Marketing Campaign Example
Just so you understand what we’re referring to, let’s use MailChimp as an example.
This popular email platform is recognized for its jovial visuals, provocative video content, and other funky solutions. Over time, it has become one of the most recognizable SaaS brands, partially because of its unique marketing strategy.
However, there’s much more to their marketing approach than just vivid colors and design. We should also consider their choices of promotional channels, how much they’re willing to invest in ads, and how they coordinate between the teams. Basically, the term “marketing strategy” shows us how a company goes about things when promoting its products and services.
Now, let’s turn our attention to a specific marketing campaign.
In 2017, MailChimp integrated Facebook and Instagram ad features into its platform. To promote these features, they’ve launched a wide-scale marketing campaign.
As a part of the SaaS product launch, they started sending promotional emails to their subscribers. The message was rather straightforward, telling users how the company introduced new functionality to its tool.
As you can see, this was a much simpler activity compared to any marketing strategy. This particular example shows that you can create an awesome campaign in just a few weeks.
15 Best SaaS Marketing Campaigns
Now that you understand the difference between the two let’s share some examples of popular SaaS marketing campaigns:
A few years ago, Wistia launched a promotional campaign called “One, Ten, One Hundred.” The video marketing company made a series of documentaries showing the process of making a $1,000 video, $10,000 video, and $100,000 video.
The production of the cheapest videos was hilarious. The SaaS brand did its best with limited resources, barely finishing the project. On the other hand, the $100,000 video looked spectacular. As you can presume, Wistia used its SaaS throughout the series, showing its full potential to viewers.
Due to its unique nature, the campaign quickly caught fire. As of this moment, the documentary’s trailer has more than 600,000 views on YouTube and has garnered massive attention online. Wistia was lauded for its innovative approach, both in terms of content medium and the actual message.
If you’re interested, you can check all the episodes on the company’s site. In our opinion, this was one of the best examples of growth marketing ever made.
When talking about project management tools, most entrepreneurs think of Trello or Asana. However, we also shouldn’t neglect Monday.com, one of the niche’s heavy hitters. The company partially owes its success to the marketing team and its innovative marketing strategy.
During the peak days of the COVID pandemic, the company created an awesome campaign turning office supplies into living creatures. It reminds us a bit of the cartoon “The Brave Little Toaster,” where all these inanimate objects start moving when there are no people around.
With this promotional video, the company wanted to show the public they were no longer needed in physical offices. By using their platform, employees can do all the work from home without jeopardizing their colleagues. During the campaign, Monday also changed its pricing plans allowing single-person purchases. That way, anyone could use the marketing tool with minimal investment.
Let’s get back to the previously mentioned MailChimp. A few years back, the SaaS company launched 9 marketing campaigns where they slightly changed the brand name to hilarious effect. For example, instead of “MailChimp,” they used “JailBlimp” or “MailShrimp” for their promotional messaging.
The entire campaign was silly and nonsensical, and we loved it! The critics loved it as well, which is why MailChimp was awarded a Grand Prix at Cannes Lions. According to the company data, they generated more than 67 million organic clicks during these campaigns alone.
Although email marketing software was a popular solution even before that, this campaign propelled it to new heights. Nowadays, MailChimp is the first tool people think of when we talk about email outreach but also digital marketing campaigns.
Referral marketing isn’t anything new within the SaaS field. Like in all other industries and niches, companies give free accounts/samples/products to users who refer friends and family. In return, they can increase their brand awareness. Zoho tried something similar, leading to the company’s most successful marketing campaign.
Basically, the brand gave each user five accounts (one for the person and four for friends). Then, each of the friends was able to invite additional five friends or family members. In total, you would get 25 free accounts with this method.
Although this isn’t the best approach if you’re looking to make quick money, it had a major impact on the company’s long-term development. Today, Zoho is considered one of the best email tools within its respective niche, just because they’re prepared to give stuff for free.
Zendesk has shown us how easily you can turn a negative into a positive.
Like many other SaaS out there, this company has fierce competition within its niche. Potential customers often browse keywords such as “Zendesk Alternatives” before committing to one of the tools. They browse similar programs, comparing their prices and features.
The SaaS company has lost a lot of money due to this practice. So, as a way of rerouting all the organic searches, they decided to create a spoof alternative rock band called “Zendesk Alternative.” They even registered a domain and posted a funny video on the homepage.
Although this practice doesn’t prevent potential users from browsing the web for other solutions, it still leaves an impression. The campaign garnered massive attention within the SaaS and B2B marketing circles. According to the company, they increased site conversion by 95% following this promotional activity.
Web users are often bombarded by ads from video chats and similar communication SaaS. Aside from Zoom, Skype, and Telegram, there are numerous other platforms trying to make a name for themselves. One of these (until recently) no-name companies is HipChat.
As a small Californian startup, the brand didn’t have money for a full-blown marketing campaign. Instead, they just rented a cheap billboard on the highway. They used a cartoonish meme with the Y U NO character. The sheer absurdity of the message started generating interest among drivers, and it didn’t take long for news outlets to pick up on the billboard.
It turns out that the idea was sensational, increasing the number of monthly visitors by 300%. They received incredible customer feedback, followed by a sharp increase in the number of active users. Their sales cycle was also significantly shortened.
In a short amount of time, the business managed to increase its user base and was subsequently bought out. This is another example of how you can differentiate yourself within a crowded marketing space.
One of the best SaaS tools for social media, HootSuite was always admired for its branding vision. From the silly bird logo to its marketing campaign, this SaaS company is known for pushing the envelope and providing the best customer journey possible.
A few years ago, the business organized a massive marketing campaign trying to cash in on “Game of Thrones” popularity. They created a video that resembled the show’s intro. However, instead of the usual imagery, they added various social media logos. It was a funky, interesting, and visually appealing solution.
As you would expect, the video went viral almost immediately, getting thousands of shares across the web and social media. Up to this day, it remains the best piece of content that the company has ever made. Even better, the SaaS business made it almost entirely in-house without having to hire a B2B SaaS marketing agency.
Slack did a very similar thing as Monday. They created a promotional ad showing empty offices during COVID. Meanwhile, all the employees were at their homes using the program to communicate with each other. Some of them were making pastries while the others were sunbathing at the poolside.
Promotional campaigns such as this had a two-fold impact. First, they’ve shown how brands can conduct business while their employees are at home. The ad also demonstrates how people can stay productive while simultaneously enjoying themselves.
Most importantly, Slack wanted to send a positive message not only to potential leads but to the community as a whole. And while this campaign wasn’t as successful as that of Monday, it still became popular within the SaaS community.
Companies have always tried to leverage customer testimonials to their advantage. Although the marketing landscape has significantly changed in 2023, word-of-mouth remains the easiest way to sell a product or a service.
Square, a payment processing platform, used this premise to its advantage. They created a series of simple yet effective marketing campaigns featuring small business owners from various industries. The entrepreneurs talk about their real-world payment processing issues in their own voice, something that most viewers can relate to.
Although not the most creative solution, the campaign resonated within the community. Each of the videos was really short, lasting about 30 seconds. Following the marketing campaign’s success, the company experienced a significant increase in its SaaS sales, conversion, and brand awareness.
Nowadays, global sales teams use this SaaS platform to help current customers while simultaneously boosting other marketing efforts.
Adobe is such an old and reputable brand, which is why people often put it in a category of its own. In fact, their software products dominated the market even before SaaS became a common buzzword.
One of their most popular marketing campaigns shows astronauts just as they’re getting ready to be sent into outer space. Mission control is constantly interrupting the launch, making unnecessary changes based on marketing insights. At the end of the video, you can see the message, “Do you know what your marketing is doing?”
Basically, the video tries to show the discrepancy between marketing data and how it pertains to day-to-day business operations. As we get lost in all this information, it becomes increasingly harder to focus on the real goals, which is why you should use Adobe Marketing Cloud.
Like most things that Adobe does, the campaign was widely popular. Although Adobe Marketing Cloud never achieved the success of some other marketing tools, we can’t say anything bad about the overall marketing strategy.
TypeForm is a SaaS that helps companies make surveys and various other forms. A few years back, they created a marketing campaign called “Locked In” that tries to replicate the suspense of a thriller movie. In their promotional video, a stranger knocks on the protagonist’s door, and he has to choose between two text options.
This short content shows you how the tool actually works. It’s a unique and fresh take on a topic that is otherwise dull (form creation). The company used this video for all its promotional activities, and the message quickly spread across different platforms.
Although not the most successful SaaS marketing campaign, the brand still uses it to entice potential customers.
While many users might not realize this, Spotify is actually classified as SaaS. It’s one of the most popular music platforms in the world, used by more than 180 million people.
Over the years, the company used different B2C and B2B SaaS marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness. At one point, they even teamed up with Starbucks. During this short promotion, the clients were able to choose their favorite music from Spotify while visiting the coffee shops.
Still, when talking about the company’s most popular ads, people usually mention the “Thanks” campaign in 2016. The brand utilized user data to share some funny insights. For example, they listed the most popular artists in 2016 and what people listened to during the Brexit vote while also mentioning funny playlist names.
Some critics argued that the company took advantage of potentially sensitive user data. However, given that no one was mentioned by their name, it was just a bunch of funny insights to laugh at.
Contently is a platform that connects companies and content writers. Unlike similar sites, such as Upwork, this SaaS offers higher rates and faster payments to freelancers. There’s no negotiation or renegotiation, which makes it a perfect solution for guys who want to make money quickly.
The reason why Contently is so efficient is that it sells to companies, not freelancers. When a manager or business owner starts the program, they can choose between vetted. This makes it much easier to find the right people for the job. On the other hand, freelancers can make more money as they don’t have to pay fees.
So, when creating their marketing campaign, the SaaS brand had to attract both companies and freelancers. In their promotional video, they’re showing how the general public perceives freelancing and how these professionals actually work. This approach was excellent for building awareness and creating a bridge of trust.
The company obviously knew its ideal buyer persona and used existing customer data to improve its branding!
When Dropbox first appeared, it quickly sent shockwaves throughout the internet community. This was a program that allowed you to transfer large files across the web, something that wasn’t previously possible.
Despite having a dominant product, the SaaS brand still had to find the right promotional method. So, they created a marketing referral campaign that lasts to this day. Dropbox increases basic users’ available space by 500MB for each referral and advanced users’ space by 1GB per referral.
Aside from the fact this is a great incentive, it doesn’t take too many steps to execute. All you need to do is go to the referrals page, and once your friends create their accounts, you’ll get an extra 500MB for each one. In total, users are eligible for an extra 32GB of space!
Creating an online shop seems daunting. Besides the fact you need to register a domain, you also need to learn how to use a sales platform and payment processing. This whole process is so tricky that most people never realize their dreams.
Luckily, Shopify decided to bring eCommerce closer to its lead with a massive ad campaign. In 2019, the company started promoting its platform on radio, TV, social media, and other channels throughout Canada and the US. In a way, they tried to show potential clients that starting an online business is much easier than they might think.
To this day, the brand does its best to help small entrepreneurs by providing various instructions offline and in their blog posts. This mindset has exponentially increased its customer base in the last few years and has solidified the company as the niche leader.
Marketing Strategies for SaaS Companies: Last Thoughts
Whether we’re talking about the overall SaaS strategy or individual SaaS campaigns, it’s very important for a brand to maintain its messaging. One of the most harmful practices is losing track of your vision midway through the company’s existence. And while you can always rebrand, it’s much better to get things right from the get-go.
For a SaaS to become successful, a business needs to do a good job explaining the platform and focusing on specific buyer personas. This is especially true for trailblazing products, in which cases people don’t understand the software’s basic functionality.
As you can see in these campaigns, companies not only tried to be funny or provocative, but they also wanted to explain the potential benefits. This is especially crucial for expensive suites, on which an average potential customer is generally reluctant to spend money.
After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of what a successful marketing campaign looks like. Hopefully, you’ll be able to draw ideas from some of these examples and create a SaaS product marketing campaign befitting your platform.
What is a SaaS marketing campaign?
A SaaS marketing campaign is a business process meant to fulfil certain marketing goals. Companies use campaigns when launching new products and services, trying to boost website performance or brand awareness.
How do I market my new SaaS?
Companies usually promote their SaaS through a digital marketing channel. They use search engine optimization, social media marketing, paid ads, email outreach, and a few other methods.
What are examples of good marketing campaigns?
When talking about the SaaS field, MailChimp had one of the most impactful marketing campaigns in recent memory. They created a series of promotional videos where they slightly altered the brand’s name and played around with the new concepts.
How do SaaS attract customers?
SaaS companies attract potential customers using various promotional methods. Perhaps the most popular approach is giving all-access free trials or using the freemium model.