Marketing a SaaS product is a tough job. Most of the small SaaS companies rely on building a great product to get word of mouth recommendations. Traditional marketing channels like PPCs, PR or social simply don’t cut it for them. Keyword auditions are overpopulated with advertisers, article placements cost thousands of dollars, decision makers don’t use Snapchat. If it was the other way around, wouldn’t it be too easy and boring though?
The marketing game is constantly changing. Just opt in to growthhackers and get daily growth tips for your business. Follow industry experts like Brian Dean (SEO), Steli Efti (Sales) or SaaStr. What I am trying to say is that it’s not all grey. There is a ton of inspiration, and it’s just up to you to pick and try what might work for your company.
One of those inspirations was an article I read about the impact of customer reviews. Our marketing team focused their energy to increase revenue by gathering reviews and it has led to a stable 10% monthly increase in recurring revenue. Over the past 12 months, we have managed to triple our monthly recurring revenue. Here’s a short guide on how we did it.
1. Create profiles on software review websites
We started with selecting software review websites and creating product profiles there. Most of them let you do that for free or you can opt in for a premium profile or a sponsored listing as well. Once you have your product page ready, it’s crucial to start gathering reviews. I will go over the best strategies at the end of the article.
My personal list of the best review websites (The best means they bring in the most relevant traffic)
G2 Crowd – provides a free listing with the option purchase leads based on your filters. The price is flat – $40/lead. Reviews must be submitted by a verified user through LinkedIn authorizations.
Capterra – free profile, easy to submit a review by a customer. You can be listed in multiple categories and bid for a specific position. Some of the categories are way too expensive. You can also purchase leads at various prices.
GetApp – nice, user friendly interface. Reviews are submitted through LinkedIn authorization. They create lots of content and various quarterly rankings. Bidding system is similar to Capterra’s.
SoftwareAdvice – submitting a profile there is a little more complicated and takes some time. Possibility to purchase leads.
Other: Pandia, Crozdesk, Crowdreviews, Cloudswave, Financesonline, Discovercloud, Trustradius,Hotscripts
Does your product integrate with others (Shopify, WordPress, Magento, …)? Don’t forget that your customers can submit reviews there as well.
Try submitting your profile to as many websites as possible. Having your brand name mentioned on highly ranked websites can’t hurt, heh? Especially when it’s totally free. Also, make sure your product descriptions are unique for each profile. Don’t forget to say thank you and reply to customer reviews where it’s possible for additional brand mentions.
2. Create a profile on Trustpilot and Alternativeto
There’s a reason I didn’t mention Trustpilot in the first section. It’s slightly different – Trustpilot offers simple reviews on a product or service and review submission is much easier. The one big advantage of Trustpilot is that they are a Google seller rating partner and once you get your first 100 verified reviews, they will automatically start showing on your PPC ads in Google AdWords.
I’ve mentioned that advertising software on PPC channels can be extremely competitive. Adding Google Seller Rating can boost up your CTR rapidly, according to PPC Hero, most of their clients received a 14% CTR lift and 25% conversion increase after implementing GSR.
Alternativeto is also a great way to gain free exposure. Just try googling your favorite software and add “alternative” to your search. Chances are, Alternativeto is going to pop up as #1 in SERP. Submitting a profile is free.
3. Start gathering reviews
Don’t skip this step. Handpick your most active and most satisfied customers – if you don’t know who they are, ask your support team. These customers are most likely to give you extensive and positive reviews. Reciprocity works. Once you get about 20-30 reviews, you are off to a great start. Here are some additional strategies on getting reviews:
- Add a “Review us on XY” link to your email signature or help desk email template.
- Automatically send out review invitations to customers who purchase your product (optionally, wait 2-3 weeks so they get to use it properly).
- Exchange product features for reviews – do you have a new feature coming out and need customers to test it? Exchange it for a review from the customer.
- Offer incentives for customer reviews. Partner up with a specific review website, sometimes they offer the incentives themselves.
- Don’t forget that there’s multiple users in one company who can review the product
- Just a reminder – one customer can submit reviews on multiple websites.
4. Promote your reviews
Reviews are the perfect marketing material. Don’t forget to use it. According to research conducted by Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. Here are some ways of review utilization for marketing purposes:
- Use the reviews as testimonials on your website.
- Share them on your social networks.
- Add review score widgets on your landing pages.
- Increase your CTR by adding review score to your banner ads
Customer reviews = Social proof. Go for it!
Social proof is definitely a game changer. You show customers the social proof, and they’ll show you the money. It has been a significant revenue source for us as well. Do you want to know more? Come for a coffee in Bratislava or email me. I’ll be happy to help – that is what we do at LiveAgent 🙂
Author: David Cacik | Head of Marketing @ LiveAgent
Photo: LiveAgent / Cover photo: Luis Llerena – unsplash.com