B2B SaaS Marketing: 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Inbox
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that inboxes are overflowing across organizations. Within the past month alone, I’ve gotten dozens of sales pitches and marketing emails—from brands I’ve engaged with and many I’ve never heard of. When an email provides useful information, I might save it to a “resources” folder in my inbox or explore the company further.
But when an email doesn’t grab my attention, it goes straight to the trash.
It probably also won’t surprise you to hear that most of these emails are from SaaS companies. Let’s face it—the market is a bit oversaturated right now. Your technology has unique capabilities and features, but there are many companies out there offering to solve the same types of problems.
When companies are bombarded with emails, ads, sales pitches, and content from B2B SaaS brands every day, how can you stand out?
#1: Focus on pain points, not benefits
A lot of SaaS sales and marketing strategies focus on unique product features and benefits. But before they become aware of your product, your audience simply is not interested in the minutia of your technology.
First, identify with their pain points. Establish that there is a problem, and prove that you are the right resource to solve it later on. Identifying pain points, rather than focusing on the benefits of your product…
- Gives your brand credibility.
- Makes people more likely to engage or interact.
- Accelerates the sales process.
That means adapting the language you use to talk about your product when interacting with customers at the early stages of marketing. Would your audience say this?
“I wish I had a best-in-breed technology that automated this process and integrated with many of the leading tools in my industry.”
Or are they more likely to speak this way?
“I’m so tired of having to enter this data manually across so many different tools.”
Unless they’ve specifically requested more information about your product (by clicking on a free demo or filling out a contact form to request information), your first email should engage with your audience, taking a step back from the benefits of using your tools or platform.
#2: Reach out to the right people with the right message at the right time
Beyond the initial touchpoint, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to highlight your product and features. But make sure your message reaches the right people at the right time.
If a lead has only begun to identify a challenge, they may still require helpful resources that address their issue, rather than a hard sales pitch. These leads are in the “awareness stage” as demonstrated by the marketing funnel below.
As a lead becomes more and more engaged with your brand, they move further down the funnel and into the interest and consideration stages, where they are more willing and ready to hear about your product.
Ideally, you should have marketing automation in place that makes it easy to identify your target audience, using lead scoring to send qualified leads more high-level product information while nurturing others with useful, relevant content to ease them into your brand.
#3: Share exclusive data
If you’ve already got a handful of customers using your software, you may have access to data that would be useful for plenty of businesses in your target demographic. Businesses are often searching for a benchmark, something they can use to measure themselves against the competition.
One way to get decision-makers to open your emails and engage with your brand is to offer exclusive data they won’t find anywhere else. One of our B2B SaaS marketing consulting clients recently released data showing how much time it takes hundreds of their customers to generate a certain type of report so that target businesses could compare their own processes.
If you have this type of information available in-house, use it! If not, try conducting market research to gather new data from your target industry.
#4: Offer something for free
Who doesn’t like free things? A great way to increase open email open rates is to provide something of value to the reader. (Be sure to use the words “free,” “complimentary,” or “exclusive” in the subject line to entice the recipient to click!)
What can you offer your audience that no one else can?
- A free resource. This may include a guide, eBook, or whitepaper that addresses common challenges in your industry—especially if it includes exclusive, never-before-seen data. (See tip #3 above.)
- A free tool like a checklist, template, or survey. The more interactive, the better! Try offering businesses access to something free that can help them plan to address an obstacle in their business (preferably one your product can resolve).
- A free trial/demo. If you believe strongly in your product, why not prove it? Entice email recipients by working with your product team to set up a free trial offer on your website (or a customized demo).
#5: Be authentic
I’ve always been told that the best way to make friends is to just be yourself. In business, it’s not any different—except that “yourself” becomes an entire brand. Your audience can detect phoniness. Find out what’s at the heart of your brand and communicate with the right tone of voice in every communication you deliver.
Here’s an example of a unique brand voice I saw in an email recently and really loved.
This brand has likely defined itself internally as humorous, direct, and engaging. What are your brand’s unique personality traits?
#6: Personalize it
If you have an email address in your marketing automation or email marketing system, you’ve likely got a bit more information on the contact as well. According to Quick Sprout, 75% of experts say personalized messages drive higher click-through rates.
Something as simple as including a person’s first name in a subject line can entice a recipient to open an email. This is easy to do with marketing automation technologies like Hubspot.
In the body of your email, you can further personalize emails with company names, industries, job titles, or any other information you may know about the contact. You can also make it personal by asking a direct question of the recipient and prompting them to respond directly to your email.
#7: Develop a complete B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy
Your audience is bombarded with email messages day in and day out. Some of these are highly effective. But many will escape notice or reach your audience at the wrong time. Email is only one way to prove your value proposition, provide helpful resources, and drive brand awareness. A complete B2B SaaS marketing plan gives your audience multiple touchpoints to ensure they will think of you when ready to buy. Contact Marketri to get started on yours.