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Facebook Marketing For SaaS: 27 Rules For
Magical Results

Johnathan Dane
Johnathan Dane
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Facebook marketing for SaaS requires a solid understanding of your Facebook marketing funnel and being familiar with the top Facebook ad strategies.
Moreover, Facebook marketing for SaaS can be just as rewarding as any other type of advertising.

SaaS marketer celebrating a new lead
SaaS marketer celebrating a new lead – image source

The main difference between marketing SaaS products and physical products is that the former only exists on your computer screen.
This means that the SaaS marketers (who, by the way, aren’t all weird computer geeks) must tackle a new kind of problem – they don’t have a physical product.
On the other hand, SaaS marketers have a load of other types of advantages when it comes to introducing their product.

Jump to:

The Differences Between SaaS and Traditional Marketing

One thing’s for sure: SaaS marketing is a craft on its own with its peculiarities, best practices, and white hat hacks.
Let’s see what makes SaaS marketer’s work different for, say, a retail marketer’s job.

  1. SaaS marketing is mainly digital – As SaaS products exist online, their entire marketing strategy is primarily focused on digital marketing activities (minus the occasional trade show demonstrations).
  2. SaaS products are “endless” – Once you’ve built it, there’s no limit to the number of licenses you can hand out. This makes free sampling a low-cost strategy.
  3. Sales happen fast – All it takes to buy a SaaS product is a few clicks. Of course, there might follow an onboarding process to get used to the new tool.

Here’s how Peter Cohen, the managing partner of SaaS Marketing Strategy Advisors, put it:

“When [SaaS customers] need a solution, they do some online research, maybe ask a colleague, try the solution or watch a demo, and then buy. The whole process might take a few days, maybe a few hours. There’s no long, drawn out sales engagements, RFIs and RFPs, head-to-head “bake-offs,” contract negotiations, blah, blah, blah. Customers find it, they see it, they like it, they buy it. Done.”

  1. Everything happens online – This means you’ll be able to track every click, action, and conversion throughout your Facebook marketing funnel.
  2. Online marketing channels – If your product is online, so are your target customers. This means you can reach them via digital marketing channels.

However, there are also multiple problems that you might encounter as a SaaS marketer.
Even though Peter Cohen sees the sales cycle as being shorter, it really depends on your product. If you’re selling B2B software, the sales cycle can be long and you need to put a lot of effort into convincing the prospects your product is the best option.
Moreover, it may be difficult to explain your product to new users without getting overly technical.

Prospects be like...
Prospects be like... – image source

So, how can you master the Facebook marketing for SaaS, uncover all the secret ad hacks and double your CTRs?
By learning from the best.
Up next, you’ll find 27 SaaS Facebook ad examples and hacks that each follows a near-magic set of rules to convert more leads into customers.
Even if you’re not in the SaaS business, don’t close this browser window just yet.
Many of these hacks can also be applied to the marketing strategy of other types of products. The SaaS marketers are a smart bunch, often working with tight budgets.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #1: Get to Know Your Audience

When selling a SaaS product (or any kind of product), knowing your buyer personas is critical to success.
Researchers surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults to find out how they feel about their relationships with brands. 34% said they had ‘broken up’ with a brand after receiving poor, disruptive or irrelevant marketing messages.
However, there are also positive examples.
Moz – a leading SaaS product in the SEO space – was able to make $1 million thanks to the process of interviewing their customers and improving their product accordingly.
Once you find out your potential customer’s pain points and learn how your product could solve these, you’ll be able to craft more relevant Facebook ads.
And that’s where the marketing magic happens.

Understanding your customers feels like magic.
Understanding your customers feels like magic.  – image source

So, how can you get started with developing your SaaS buyer personas?
In her article for the ConversionXL blog, Jennifer Havice suggested that marketers focus on:

  • Behavioral drivers – These encompass your customers’ goals, what they want to accomplish, their journey to finding your business.
  • Obstacles to purchasing – Take into consideration the hesitations and concerns of your customers. How do they view your product or service, and how does that impact how much information they need to make a decision?
  • Mindset – Your customers come to the buying experience with expectations and preconceived notions. Are they shoppers who want the thrill of the bargain or expect a more refined experience? Selling a weight loss program will be more emotionally charged than, say, selling routers.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS #2: Create Several Audiences

Once you’re aware of an audience group’s place in your Facebook marketing funnel and know what they’re interested in, you can combine these two insights to create superstar ad campaigns.
One option to reach people interested in your product is to create a Facebook Saved Audience that’s interested in products and brands similar to yours.
For example, if you were selling social media marketing software, you could target other big vendors like HootSuite and HubSpot and combine these with additional interests like content and digital marketing.

Use Facebook Saved Audiences to reach potential buyers.
Use Facebook Saved Audiences to reach potential buyers.

Mostly, you should use the Saved Audiences to reach the TOFU (top of the funnel) audience who’s unfamiliar with your product.
Once a person has visited your website, you can use the Facebook Custom Audiences to create a new target audience of warm leads.
You can also create Custom Audiences of the people in your email lists to reach both leads and existing customers.

Create Facebook Custom Audiences.
Create Facebook Custom Audiences.

Read more about Facebook audiences in this article about all the targeting options in the Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #3: Match Ads with Audiences

When marketing your SaaS product on Facebook, there are appropriate offers for every stage of your marketing funnel.
In the Awareness stage, share blog articles, cases studies, and other content with the goal of increasing brand awareness and building thought leadership.
In the Prospecting stage, turn on the heat on your offers and promote gated content, free trials, product demos, and customer testimonials to convince people to give your SaaS product a try.
In the Lead stage, your ultimate goal should be turning the free trial users into paying customers. You can use Facebook advertising to support your other lead nurturing tactics.
In the Purchasing stage of your funnel, offer content that helps to better understand your product and make relevant discount offers to get people signing up for the paid version of your product.
The goal throughout your marketing funnel should be making people feel empowered by your product.

Show how your product will empower potential buyers. – GIF source
Show how your product will empower potential buyers. – image source

Tip: When remarketing to a warm audience, segment people based on the landing pages they visited and create hyper-targeted offers, focusing on the top benefits for every specific use case.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #4: Understand the Funnel

As you read all the SaaS Facebook marketing ideas above, you may have felt the urge to get started with new campaigns right away.
Not so fast!
Each of the Facebook ads above only delivers results when targeted at the right Facebook audience.
For example, you shouldn’t ask a total stranger to buy your product right away. You should set up a Facebook marketing funnel that will support the conversions at every stage of the customer journey.

Don't forget the marketing funnel.
Don't forget the marketing funnel.

A comprehensive conversion funnel can significantly enhance your campaign results:

  • You can create several Facebook audiences targeting various funnel stages.
  • It’s a lot easier to develop the right offers and campaigns once you’re aware of the funnel stages.
  • You could develop cross-channel SaaS marketing strategies to move people through your conversion funnel.
  • You’ll be able to set different campaign goals depending on the current audience’s relationship with your brand.

After you’ve realized how people move between the different funnel stages and how their interests change, you’ll also see your Facebook campaigns’ Relevance Score increase.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #5: Find Perfect Ad Placement

In a Facebook experiment, marketers at SaaS company Scoro discovered that desktop ads had a 534% higher cost-per-click than ads placed on Mobile + Audience Network.
However, they also discovered that desktop ads performed a lot better in terms of conversions.

Desktop ads outperformed mobile ads
Desktop ads outperformed mobile ads – image source

Facebook’s ad placements include:

  • Facebook feeds (mobile and desktop)
  • Facebook right-hand column
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network
  • Instant Articles
  • In-Stream Video

When marketing a SaaS product, the choice of ad placement can play a tremendous role in your Facebook ad results.
Not only should you track the cost-per-acquisition of your Facebook campaigns, you should also measure whether your mobile or desktop product experiences convert leads into paying customers at the same rates.
For example, Buffer’s product experience is great both on the desktop platform...

Buffer on desktop looks nice
Buffer on desktop looks nice.

And also on their mobile app.

Buffer’s mobile app interface looks great too.
Buffer’s mobile app interface looks great too.

However, if your SaaS product doesn’t have a mobile app or it’s difficult to use, you may want to only use the desktop Facebook ad placement when promoting  free trial and sales offers.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #6: Track All Conversions

One of the most awesome things about Facebook marketing for SaaS is that almost everything happens online: the ads, conversions, purchases…
Which means that you can track literally every sweet point of data.

SaaS marketing is a data party
SaaS marketing is a data party – image source

It takes some extra work to set up proper Facebook ad conversion tracking. But believe, you do not want to miss this!
After you’ve set up the Facebook Pixel on your website, you could track conversions and actions such as:

  • Cost per free trial sign-up
  • Cost per mobile app install
  • Cost per click to your landing page
  • Cost per a new lead
  • The options are nearly endless

P.S. See our 125-point guide to Facebook Ads Manager to get all the best reporting tips and hacks in one comprehensive post.
To set up the basic Facebook Pixel code, follow these guidelines:

  1. Go to the Pixels Page in Ads Manager
  2. Click Actions > View Code

Every Facebook ad account gets only one Pixel code. Use the Pixel code on every page of your website (or websites).

Here’s what Facebook Pixel code looks like.
Here’s what Facebook Pixel code looks like. – image source
  1. Copy the code and paste it between the <head> tags on your each web page, or in your website template to install it on your entire website – you can also use Google Tag Manager to do it.

If you want to track specific conversions such as purchases or lead conversions, you also need to add conversion tracking code you’re seeing below:

Include conversion tracking code in the base Pixel code.
Include conversion tracking code in the base Pixel code. – image source

You can track nine different custom events with Facebook Pixel (which is super helpful when marketing a SaaS product):

Use the custom conversion tracking for extra insights.
Use the custom conversion tracking for extra insights.

For a helpful guide on installing Facebook Pixel to your website, see this: Facebook’s Pixel implementation guidelines.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #7: Start With a Soft Sell

The problem with many SaaS (and all other kinds of) products is that people have never heard about them. Timblee, Clanbeat, Benchmark, Smartb…Ever heard of these SaaS solutions?
So, if a person saw a Facebook ad that said “The Best Software for X” with a call to action “Buy Now,” they would likely consider the ad irrelevant and maybe even intrusive. Perhaps, you didn’t even know you had a need for “X” yet. Is a potential buyer supposed to trust you’re “the best” when they know you just want to take their money?
You can’t expect your target audience to love your SaaS product from the moment they see it.

Facebook advertising doesn’t work that way.
Facebook advertising doesn’t work that way. – image source

Instead, you could try to focus your Facebook marketing for SaaS products on increasing brand awareness and educating your audience about the need for your product by sharing helpful content to earn their trust.
B2B marketers consider content marketing to be a great way to increase brand awareness, engage with the target audience, and even drive more sales.

Content marketing has many benefits.
Content marketing has many benefits. – image source

Many SaaS brands are using content marketing as well and making sure it reaches their Facebook audience.
For example, Shopify is sharing a blog article on building a side business without quitting the day job.
This is highly relevant to their target audience – small business owners and people looking to build an online store.

Shopify’s Facebook ad is sharing helpful content.
Shopify’s Facebook ad is sharing helpful content.

By sharing helpful content with your potential future customers, you can build brand recognition early on. In the later phases of your marketing funnel, you can target your blog readers with more sales-oriented offers.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #8: Offer High-Value Content

Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Survey found that 88% of B2B companies are using content marketing.

Marketers feel positive about content marketing.
Marketers feel positive about content marketing. – image source

There are many benefits to content marketing, one of them establishing your brand as an industry expert.
This is especially important in the SaaS business where new tools are frequently released. It might be difficult to explain the differences of your product from the one of your competitor.
However, you can differentiate your SaaS brand as an industry expert by creating and promoting high-value content on a specific topic (that’s also relevant to your target audience).
And Facebook is the perfect platform for amplifying your content reach.
Sprinklr, for instance, is using Facebook to promote their eBook on marketing strategies.
Note: Some of the ad examples here were collected using the AdEspresso Facebook Ads Gallery and thereby do not have the “Sponsored” sign attached.

Sprinklr uses Facebook to promote their content.
Sprinklr uses Facebook to promote their content.

Studies show that 82% of consumers feel more positive about brands after reading customized content.
Here’s another example by Ahrefs, where the marketing team has run an original case study to help their target audience – digital marketers.

Ahrefs shares an original case study.
Ahrefs shares an original case study.

When creating custom content to market your SaaS product on Facebook, ask yourself two questions:

  • Is the topic of the content relevant to my target audience?
  • Is the eBook/blog article/guide high in quality and establishing us as industry experts?

If the answer to both is positive, you’ll know you’re on the right path.
Tip: If people read your content from a boosted Facebook post and don't convert right away, you can remarket to them via Google Analytics on the AdWords Display Network by tracking these exact visitors with UTM parameters.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #9: Build Trust in Your Product

Catching people’s attention with high-quality content is only one way to increase brand awareness.
You could also dedicate some budget to running a Facebook ads awareness campaign to make sure a large proportion of your potential customers knows about your product.
When using this type of Facebook advertising strategy, your goal should be presenting your product in the best light possible.
In the competitive SaaS landscape, the number of your product’s users may be a good indicator of its quality.
For example, Dropbox’s Facebook ad says that more than 90,000 businesses are using their product.

Dropbox says it has more than 90k customers.
Dropbox says it has more than 90k customers.

Did you notice that Dropbox has placed the impressive number right in the Facebook ad image?
That’s because your ad image is the first thing people will see and read.
Consumer Acquisition found that the images are responsible for 75%-90% of ad performance.
Tip: When marketing your SaaS product on Facebook, include the number of your users and other impressive data points in the ad copy to increase trust in your product.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #10: Share Case Studies

This time, the case study we’re talking about isn’t an experiment.
Rather, it’s a story of how your SaaS product has helped some of your clients.
Sharing your product case studies is beneficial for several reasons:

  • It helps to explain your product and its features via a story. According to Psychology Today, emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on a consumer’s reported intent to buy a product.
  • People are likely to trust product reviews. According to an article by Influitive84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
  • You can use a soft sell instead of a straightforward sales offer.

For example, Pipedrive’s sharing a case study of how an online retailer used their SaaS product.

Pipedrive is promoting a case study.
Pipedrive is promoting a case study.

After you’ve already spent time on creating high-quality case studies, it would only make sense to also promote these to the right Facebook audience.
Tip: Promote your case studies for SaaS products to people who are already familiar with your product, but need an additional nudge to start a free trial or complete their purchase.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #11: Embrace Testimonials

Similarly to case studies, your customer testimonials hold power to make people feel more enthusiastic about your product.
The common line of thinking goes like this: “If others are benefitting from this product, I might be able to benefit as well.”

Once a prospect reads your testimonials…
Once a prospect reads your testimonials… – GIF source

You’re likely to have noticed dozens of client testimonials on SaaS landing pages.

Here’s an example from Basecamp’s website.
Here’s an example from Basecamp’s website.

However, you can take it one step further and include testimonials in your Facebook ads.
Here’s an example by AdEspresso – a Facebook carousel as that’s showcasing positive feedback from multiple users.

AdEspresso included testimonials in a Facebook ad.
AdEspresso included testimonials in a Facebook ad.

A 2014 survey from the Demand Gen Report found that 97% of B2B buyers believe that user-generated content, like user reviews, is more credible than other types of content.
If you haven’t yet applied testimonials to your Facebook marketing strategy, now might be a good time to get started.
Tip: You can run a Facebook ads A/B test to see which types of ads bring the best results. For example, you could experiment with a Facebook ad including testimonials vs. a list of your product’s benefits.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #12: Explain Product Benefits

When it comes to Facebook ad copywriting and increasing the CTR, you should think about what’s most relevant and compelling for your target audience.
Facebook also recommends to follow three copywriting best practices:

  • Find the right tone of voice
  • Stick to what’s important
  • Write with the customer in mind

Explaining your SaaS product’s benefits does not necessarily mean listing all of its features. Although, as you’ll see in the next point, it might work out as well.
Especially when working with technically complex tools, using the industry jargon isn’t the best way to introduce your product to a cold Facebook audience.
Instead, you should aim to communicate the value and benefits a user gets when using your software.
Heap, for example, is explaining their product by creating a comparison with Google Analytics – a tool for which most marketers are familiar.

Heap is explaining its tool via another tool.
Heap is explaining its tool via another tool.

In addition to making the comparison, Heap’s Facebook ad copy also explains that the product will help to track every click that your SaaS users make and spot behavioral patterns.
Similarly to the Dropbox example above, Heap is also sharing the size of its user base and also including the names of a few well-knows companies using its product.
That’s trust-building on steroids.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #13: Introduce Product Features

The product features are every SaaS company’s pride. After all, that’s what makes their product valuable for the users.
That’s why it sometimes pays off to mention your software features in the Facebook ad copy.
For example, here’s a straightforward Facebook ad example by Teamwork.com, listing four of their product features in the main ad copy.

Teamwork.com listed product features in a Facebook ad.
Teamwork.com listed product features in a Facebook ad.

However, you should be careful not to overdo it.
Unless you’re 100% sure that your Facebook target audience knows the terms you’re talking about, don’t mention any complex features in your ads.

Don’t overdo it.
Don’t overdo it. – image source

Here are three best practices for displaying your SaaS product features in a Facebook ad:

  1. Don’t list ALL your features – Only include the features that are most relevant to your potential buyers.
  2. Support the message with the rest of your ad copy – As you mention your features in the main ad copy, use the headline to also explain the benefit and gains they bring to the buyer.

Advertising legend David Ogilvy commissioned research, discovering that first, people look at the ad image. Then, they scan the headline. Tell the same story throughout your Facebook ad.

  1. Include landing page-specific features – If you’re unsure which features to include, target Facebook Custom Audiences that you’ve segmented based on your landing pages they’ve visited.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #14: Use Illustrations to Depict

Another way to ensure people understand your product’s benefits and imagine themselves using it is to create custom illustrations and use these as your Facebook ad images.
There’s another reason to use explanatory images.
According to studies, you only have 50 milliseconds until your ad viewers form their first impression.
If your Facebook ad image is able to instantly explain how your product works, people could be more interested in finding out more.
For example, Favro’s Facebook ad image explains how the product gives a simple overview of all the customer projects on a single dashboard.

Favro’s Facebook ad image explains how the product works.
Favro’s Facebook ad image explains how the product works.

Tip: Use arrows and other types of symbols to make your illustrations more explanatory.
Studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make brand decisions. As you include symbols igniting specific emotions in your Facebook ads, you’ll establish a link in the brain between the (positive) emotion and your brand.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #15: Create Introduction Video

Larry Kim put together a list of visual marketing stats that were definitely impressive.
For example, Larry stated that people are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.
Which should make you think how you could also include the video marketing in your SaaS Facebook ad strategy.
Here’s how Wrike has done it – by including a product video as the second slide of their Facebook carousel ad.

Wrike’s Facebook ad includes a video.
Wrike’s Facebook ad includes a video.

Autopilot’s taken a similar approach, using videos instead of images across their SaaS Facebook ad campaigns.

Autopilot’s video explains it all.
Autopilot’s video explains it all.

When creating an explanatory video of your SaaS product, focus on showing it in action, so that potential buyers can imagine themselves using it.
Tip: Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer videos that last under 60 seconds. Keep your Facebook ad videos short not to lose the right momentum.
You can use tools like Animoto or PowToon to create high-quality product and demo videos  fairly effortlessly.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #16: Showcase in Ad Image

If video marketing seems like too big of a commitment to you, test a simpler approach by including your product’s screenshot in the Facebook ad image.
This is a tactic used by many SaaS brands. If you want to ensure that people won’t confuse your product with another, you can add your logo or slogan to the ad image to accompany the screenshot.
That’s exactly what Podium has done in the Facebook ad image.

Podium’s Facebook ad image displays their product.
Podium’s Facebook ad image displays their product.

Here’s another example by Drift. The company is not just using the product screenshot, but they’ve also enhanced it with some custom design elements.

Enhance your screenshots with some Photoshop.
Enhance your screenshots with some Photoshop.

Best practices for including your SaaS product’s screenshot in Facebook ad images:

  • Use a high-resolution image – Make sure that your product looks good in the ad image
  • Use a computer screen or laptop as the frame – To deliver the message that your product is a software tool, place it inside the frame of a computer.
  • Use contrasting backgrounds – Ensure that your product screenshot is clearly differentiated from the background. In the examples, it tends to blur into the backgrounds a little too much, making it hard for the viewer to see well.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #17: Be Clear on What You Offer

If you’re unsure what to write in your ad copy and headline, test multiple options.
However, you should also try to keep it easily understandable what it is that you’re selling.
Even when remarketing to a warm audience that’s already been to your website, you should still mention what your product is about and how it will help the potential buyer.
For example, Scoro’s Facebook ad headline says exactly what they’re selling: Project Management Software.
As a prospect sees the ad in their Facebook news feed, they can immediately recall why they might have encountered the product in the first place. That’s especially useful if you’re running retargeting campaigns.

Scoro’s ad headline cuts straight to the point.
Scoro’s ad headline cuts straight to the point.

Tip: As you use your Facebook ad headline to tell the ad viewers what it is you’re selling, make sure to mention your product’s benefits in the other parts of your ad copy.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #18: Offer a Free Trial

Totango ran a study around Free Trial, Freemium and Pricing of SaaS products. Out of 550 vendors …

  • 44% offer a Free Online Trial
  • 41% offer a 30-day free trial
  • 18% offer a 2-week free trial

Offering a free trial period can reduce the perceived risk of purchasing a new product without having a chance to test it first.
Prezi, for instance, has included the free trial offer in their Facebook ad’s link description.

Prezi offers a free trial period.
Prezi offers a free trial period.

Sprout Social’s Facebook ad includes the free trial offer in two text placements: in the ad image and in the headline, ensuring it’s highly visible.

Make you free trial offer visible.
Make you free trial offer visible.

So, what’s the perfect length for a SaaS trial period?
The blog article Why Your Free Trials Are Way Too Long by Close.io gives some strong arguments for having a short trial:

  • People don’t really try something for a full month.
  • Keeping your trial short increase the odds that customers will try the product.
  • The shorter the trial, the shorter the sales cycle.

You could also put it on a test by creating two Facebook ads: one that offers a 14-day free trial and another that provides a 30-day trial period.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #19: Offer a Free Demo

Product demos are especially relevant for the companies selling the more complex type of SaaS solutions.
If you’ve got multiple product features that may not be instantly graspable as a person starts their free product trial, it may be a good idea to offer a sales demo instead.
There are multiple forms of SaaS demos that companies can use:

  • One-one-one demos via an online call
  • Live meeting with the potential customer
  • A PowerPoint presentation
  • Pre-recorded demo videos

For example, AppExchange’s Facebook ad offers a free demo for a product called GetFeedback.

AppExchange offers a free product demo.
AppExchange offers a free product demo.

Tip: You could use the Facebook Lead Ads to let people sign up for free demos without leaving the social media platform.
As you decide to offer a product demo, make sure it’s focused on the customer.
Here’s a piece of advice from Mike Piersa, the Director of Sales at WhatCounts:

“Too many sales reps simply read the demo script and cover the “key” features. If you do this you will sound like your competitors. Explain to the customer how a specific feature or service will help them solve their problems. Don’t expect them to make this connection. Get confirmations from the customer along the way.”

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #20: Remarket to Free Trial Users

After a person has signed up for a free trial of your product, they’re only halfway on their path to the final conversion – becoming a paying customer.
In the free trial phase, you should do everything in your power to make the new user like your product and feel excited about the prospect of using it in long term.
However, you may not want to ask people to enter their credit card details during the initial sign up.
Research by Totango shows that asking credit card information during the sign up leads to the avg. of 0.6% of leads becoming paying customers compared to 1.2% for leads that are not asked to enter payment details early in the process.

Don’t ask for credit card details right away.
Don’t ask for credit card details right away. – image source

So, if you can’t get people to enter their payment methods during the initial sign up, how can you achieve this micro-conversion later?
One way to accelerate the process is targeting your free trial users with Facebook ads that prompt them to become a paying customer sooner.
For example, you could offer a limited-time discount for anyone entering their payment details ASAP. Salesforce is using a similar approach to promote their product:

Salesforce offers a discount.
Salesforce offers a discount.

According to an article in ConversionXL’s blog, these are the main reasons why your leads never turn into paying clients:

  • Prospects don’t understand how to use the product
  • They have a false impression of what the product actually does
  • Prospects aren’t brought into the product quickly or frequently enough
  • They don’t understand the value

To overcome some of these challenges, you could provide free products guides, demos or webinars during the free trial period and amplify their reach by promoting them on Facebook.
Clio, for instance, is organizing a free webinar to explain how legal service companies could bill extra hours every week.

Clio promotes a free webinar.
Clio promotes a free webinar.

The webinar’s sign up page reveals that most of the talk will be around Clio’s product features and its benefits to the user. That’s a smart to introduce a SaaS product.

Clio’s webinar landing page
Clio’s webinar landing page

You can create remarketing audiences of your free trial users with Facebook Custom Audiences.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #21: Activity-Based Campaigns

Triggered email marketing campaigns are a way of sending emails to your SaaS product users based on the actions they take inside the product.
According to Wishpond, when compared to a plain email drip campaign, triggered email marketing can mean:

  • Higher engagement
  • Higher click through rates
  • Increased customer retention
  • Increased overall customer and lead satisfaction

However, there’s no reason why you should limit yourself to triggered email campaigns. You could also support these campaigns with a correlating Facebook ad strategy.
For example, Twillio could be promoting their webinar to free trial users who still need to be convinced about the product’s benefits.

This ad could be targeted at free trial users.
This ad could be targeted at free trial users.

You could also target your free trial users that have tested a specific product feature for over 2 hours with a relevant discount offer to make them sign up to a paid version of your product.
Another option is to send the fresh users some onboarding guides, especially if they haven’t yet explored your product as much as you’d like them to. The options are wide open.
Tip: To set up activity-based SaaS Facebook ad campaigns, create a Facebook Custom Audience by using your software users’ email addresses. Although people are often using their work emails when testing software, Facebook can often reach the right target audience.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #22: Make Product Market Itself

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get people super hyped about your product, creating a viral loop of fame and sales?
What if you could get people excited to be testing your SaaS solution…

While we can’t give you a 100% guarantee it will work, you could try referral marketing to increase your sales.
The nice thing about SaaS tools is that they’re unlimited. Of course, there are the hidden costs of maintaining the product and servers, and expanding your customer support team.
However, you may want to try giving your product away for free to small teams.
Why would you do that?
Well, there are a couple of reasons for that:

  • As you give your product away for free, you increase the likelihood of getting more happy customers who will also refer your brand to their friends and colleagues.
  • A Nielsen study found that people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.
  • According to the Wharton School of Business, the Lifetime Value for new referral customer is 16% higher than non-referrals.
  • Moreover, 92% of people tend to trust the referrals from people they know.

Suddenly, the free giveaway idea starts to seem pretty cool.
Asana’s been offering their product for free to teams of up to 15 people for quite some time. And it seems to work out really well – they’re still doing it.

Asana gives their product away for free.
Asana gives their product away for free.

Of course, you could find new ways to sell product updates or develop a Freemium model where more advanced tools are only included in the paid versions of your SaaS product.
In fact, the team at KlientBoost has been utilizing Asana internally, so we can speak to the value of this Freemium model for them directly.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #23: Share Good News & Awards

Once in awhile, your SaaS product might get mentioned by a third-party publisher.
You may want to look at it as an opportunity to increase brand awareness and ensure your existing customers that you’re the best solution in the market.
For example, Zendesk’s sharing a Facebook post that says they’ve been mentioned in a well-known industry report.

Zendesk is not shy about their new awards.
Zendesk is not shy about their new awards.

Here’s another example by Pipedrive, celebrating an impressive milestone while also delivering the message that they’ve got more than 50,000 customers.

Pipedrive is sharing the good news.
Pipedrive is sharing the good news.

Tip: You can also include the rewards and media publications’ logos in your Facebook ad image to use the halo effect and make people value your product more highly.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #24: Combine With Email

When it comes to SaaS marketing channels, what I’ve seen working over and over again is a mixture of paid and organic reach.
In his article about the best SaaS growth hacks, Matthew Barby suggests that you set up an automated email marketing funnel that leads people towards the final purchase. I was speaking at the GrowthHacker’s Conference with Matthew and loved his ideas.
Here’s an email flow he brings as an example:

SaaS email marketing funnel
SaaS email marketing funnel – image source

But the questions remains: How can your get people to your email marketing funnel in the first place?
One of the easiest ways is to share gated content. And to make the sign-up even easier for your prospects, you can use the Facebook Lead Ads.
For example, AdEspresso ran a Facebook Lead Ads campaign, offering a free eBook bundle.

AdEspresso’s Facebook Lead Ad
AdEspresso’s Facebook Lead Ad – image source

As a person clicked on their ad, a popup window appeared where they had to fill in the name and email address in exchange for the eBook.

Facebook Lead Ad form
Facebook Lead Ad form – image source

After a person had downloaded the eBook and given the SaaS company their contact information, they entered into an automated email marketing flow and started to receive emails with additional helpful content.

AdEspresso’s marketing email
AdEspresso’s marketing email

Tip: You can use popular email marketing tools like MailChimp to set up the automated email flow in a couple of hours. This way, you’ll be supporting your Facebook marketing for SaaS products.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #25: Educate for Retention

Many SaaS founders struggle with the question: “What is an acceptable churn rate?”
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the churn rate is the annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service.
According to an article by SaaS growth expert Lincoln Murphy,  the 5% – 7% annual churn – the good churn rate – translates to 0.42 – 0.58% monthly churn.
As Lincoln put it: “You want a churn rate that is as low as possible.”
And when it comes to customer retention, Facebook ads can help you succeed.
For example, MailChimp’s sharing on Facebook helpful guides to marketing automation to help their new customers succeed when using the SaaS product.

MailChimp is keeping their customers happy.
MailChimp is keeping their customers happy.

There’s another hidden benefit to occasionally delivering Facebook ads to your existing customer base – they keep perceiving you as an industry expert.
Tip: You can also use this advanced retention tactic: Create a Facebook Custom Audience of paying users who haven’t used your product for a while and run an ad campaign to remind them of all the possible benefits they’re missing out on.

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #26: Initiate Referral Programs

If you’re interested in keeping your customers happy, you can track the NPS (Net Promoter Score) to evaluate the current results.
The Net Promoter Score was first developed by Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company and it’s used by many SaaS companies to track the customer satisfaction.
You can use online tools like Ask Nicely to collect real-time user feedback and track your NPS.

NPS works on the scale 0-10
NPS works on the scale 0-10 – image source

When it comes to Facebook marketing, you can use NPS tracking to identify your promoters and create referral programs for them to invite others to use your SaaS tool through Facebook ads.

Booking.com invites people to refer a friend.
Booking.com invites people to refer a friend.

Moreover, you can offer your users a small incentive to be referring more friends. For example, MOO offers a £10 discount in exchange for referring a friend who will make a purchase.

Moo offers a small incentive to get more referrals.
Moo offers a small incentive to get more referrals.

In an interview on Pipedrive blog, the salesperson Adam Buchbinder suggests that you make the referral process as painless as possible for your customers.
Here’s Adam:
“First, define for them exactly whom you’re trying to meet. Next, give customers a template they can use to make the connection. This template should include an explanation of who you are, how your client knows you, the product and why your client is introducing you to this third party.”

Facebook Marketing for SaaS Tip #27: Play the Long Game

While acquiring new customers is the top priority for SaaS businesses, there’s always room for renewals and upselling.
Totango’s report on SaaS businesses revealed that 89% of companies questioned rated new customer acquisition as a top priority.
However, 59% of the respondents also mentioned the existing customer renewals as an important part of their sales strategy.

SaaS companies’ priorities
SaaS companies’ priorities – image source

As you’re setting up your SaaS Facebook marketing funnel, try to find the balance between getting new leads into your sales cycle and keeping your current customers happy.
Remember that you’re in it for the long term and keep A/B testing new ways to improve your conversion rates and lower the CPA.

Recap on Facebook Marketing for SaaS

Once you dig into the SaaS marketing, you’ll discover a fascinating world with its challenges and gains.
It’s also an industry with specific hacks and best practices. However, it might be worth testing some of the SaaS marketing strategies, even if you’re not specifically selling software.
And who knows… Maybe you’ll be able to beat your competition exactly because you were the first to test an innovative marketing strategy.
By the way…What are the most awesome SaaS marketing growth hacks you’ve seen and applied? Leave us a comment below.

Chapter 8:
Facebook Ads Tips

What You’ll Learn: Find unknown Facebook ad tips and tricks your competitors don’t know about yet, but wish they did.

Chapter 9:
Facebook Ads Optimization & Reporting

What You’ll Learn: Master optimization routines so that you can continuously improve the performance of your Facebook ads.