Subscriber numbers are the name of the game for SaaS companies. The more subscribers you can pull in, the higher your profits will soar. So it’s no surprise that customer acquisition is one of the most important factors in SaaS growth.
There are plenty of ways to attract new subscribers, but businesses need to be smart about their acquisition strategies. You need to make sure your acquisition rate is high while your acquisition costs stay low. It’s a tricky balancing act, but by looking at how some of the most successful SaaS companies on the planet do it, you can learn how to achieve the perfect balance.
Here's how these 3 companies are acquiring new SaaS subscribers
Adobe offers a suite of industry-standard programs for creatives across many areas. They switched to SaaS in 2013, and in just 2.5 years, Adobe had acquired 4 million new subscribers. Granted, they had the advantage of being a well-established company with great products from the get-go, but that’s still an incredible achievement.
So, how did they do it? It starts with the customer.
Take a customer-centric approach
Keeping customers happy is key. High customer satisfaction levels convert into high retention levels and word-of-mouth marketing. Adobe understands this on another level, and every decision, new feature, and new product are undertaken with the customer front and centre.
Great, clean design
There’s no way Adobe would be taken seriously as a creative platform if its design efforts missed the mark. Adobe’s clean, minimalistic designs speak to their experience within the creative field, cementing them as a solid choice for people who want great tools to create great-looking work.
Prioritise user experience
Creatives have little patience for complex workflows. Adobe has kept this in mind to create simple yet effective workflows. The gateway to a subscription is clear and concise. All information anyone could need is available without looking cluttered.
Smart choices when acquiring products or other companies
Adobe has been great when acquiring other products and companies to expand its product selection. The company has thought outside of the box with more recent acquisitions, allowing them to expand its operations. Acquisitions such as Behance, a portfolio website for creatives, and CMO, a website for Chief Marketing Officers, and recently Figma, have diversified their revenue streams and formed a unique ecosystem few companies can compete with.
Salesforce has been the go-to CRM software company for decades and maintains a strong customer base. The company has adapted quickly to its customers' needs to stay ahead of the curve. Despite competitors coming and going, Salesforce remains one of the number one choices for CRM software.
Built on relationships with existing customers
Many companies will go all out with discounts and shiny marketing campaigns for new customers. Naturally, this leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of loyal customers.
Salesforce has been careful to build real, lasting relationships with their existing customers. The company continuously looks for opportunities to deepen customer relationships through real conversations with users rather than just assuming their pain points. This makes cross-selling and upselling much easier because Salesforce can offer something they genuinely need.
Targets customers in new regions
Not one to rest on their laurels, Salesforce is committed to expanding their go-to-market capabilities on a global scale. They hope to grow the business by selling to new customers in new regions through their direct sales force.
Expand into new areas
Alongside their global expansion efforts, the company is also looking to expand into new categories and verticals. All of this should translate nicely into huge boosts in subscriber numbers.
Slack’s meteoric rise caught many off guard. Yet, for the company, it was simply the product of an incredibly well-planned growth strategy and smart marketing.
As a communication platform, Slack has a secret weapon when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. There’s no need to try and run a campaign, and there’s not even a reason to make people talk to others about the platform. The simple fact is every time someone uses Slack, it promotes the product.
Word-of-mouth also played a massive part in getting the platform off the ground. Founder Stewart Butterfield used his existing connections from his previous venture, Flickr, and convinced them to try the platform. Within the first day of launching, Slack had 8000 sign-ups.
Whenever you launch a new SaaS platform, it’s crucial to offer a wide range of integrations. Adopting new software as a business can be a difficult and expensive process. Slotting new tools into existing workflows is crucial if you want businesses to adopt your software.
Integrations are just as important for B2C SaaS platforms. Everyone has their preferred platforms and their own way of doing things. So if a new product wants to disrupt that, customers will be reluctant to stick with it. That’s why Slack has over 1,000 integrations that help them gain referral traffic from other services and seamlessly fit in with users’ workflows.
Implement customer feedback
User feedback has shaped Slack into what it is today. Every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity. Slack knew early on that if they can go above and beyond for their customers, they are more likely to recommend it to their friends and family. Building on this belief, Slack has always sought continuous feedback from its users to ensure all their customer needs are met.
Their ‘Fair Billing Policy’
Slack’s free plan is already packed full of features for the average user, but they go one step further with their ‘fair billing policy’. The policy states that you will only be charged for actual users. If a user is inactive for an extended period, your bill will be reduced to reflect this inactive user. This kind of customer-first approach is just one of the many ways Slack has won over so many subscribers.