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How to Turn More of Your SaaS Leads Into Trials & Demos

By William Steward on Wed, Oct 22, 2014

saas-free-trialA primary purpose of most SaaS company marketing is generating more trial or demo requests. 

If you've got a great product, then once you can get the right person to see the power of it, it's only a matter of time until the sale slips into place. 

That means a key question SaaS marketers are always asking is: how can we turn more of our SaaS leads into trials and demos?

In today's post I offer some helpful advice.

1) Nurture Your Leads

When someone downloads an eGuide, attends a webinar, or otherwise becomes a lead in your database -- don't just leave them there rotting, or send a generic monthly newsletter. 

The most effective SaaS companies develop automated lead nurturing campaigns, which have the objective of converting leads into trials or demos. Lead nurturing involves sending out highly targeted emails to your leads, which are customised based on the information you have collected about them to date, and any prior engagements with your company. 

For example, you might send different nurturing emails to a lead in the finance sector, to one in the manufacturing sector. 

2) Mix Up Your Content

Different leads like to consume content in different ways. By just sticking to one medium, you won't maximise the value of your leads. There is a large selection of content you can use to re-capture the attention of your leads, and move them through to requesting a trial/demo:

  • Webinars
  • eGuides
  • Whitepapers
  • Research Reports
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Emails
  • Blog Posts
  • Case Studies

The list goes on and on. 

Why not ask your best customers what types of content they prefer to consume when making a purchasing decision? That could help guide you toward the content that will be most effective in your own marketing efforts. 

3) Stop Spamming

Too many SaaS companies spam their leads. 

You know the companies I'm talking about. You put your details in to download an eGuide, and 24 hours later you've got 5 voicemails on your phone from a sales rep, an email thanking you for downloading the guide, another introducing you to the same sales rep that called you, and more telling you about other content you might want to consume. 

If you overload your leads with too much information too fast, they'll immediately put their defences up, and never give your company a chance. 

Try not to send an email more than once every couple of days when someone first becomes a lead, and more than weekly when it's been a while since they've taken any action. Design your lead nurturing campaigns to minimise the risk of exceeding these guidelines. If your sales team are going to manually engage a lead themselves, make sure that they can also see what emails marketing are sending them, and unenroll them from campaigns if they think they'll be overloading them. 

Your leads want to work through the buying process in their own time, not be sent sales pitch after sales pitch as soon as they've indicated the slightest bit of interest. 

4) Use Call-To-Action's

It's important that you make the next step clear to your leads when they visit your website, engage with your emails or consume your content. 

A call-to-action is a button, image, or even text link that stands out from the rest of your content, and clearly demonstrates that it's the next action the lead should be taking. In many cases, it's a free trial or demo you'll be trying to encourage your visitors to take up. 

Very early in the buying process, however, you may want to use call-to-action's to promote content which indicates that a lead is further through the buying process. For example, if a lead has only read an eGuide, you might ensure that content they consume has a call-to-action recommending a case study next. 

If they've read a case study, or looked at your pricing page, that might be when you start trying to encourage them to take on a free trial or demo. 

5) Attract The Right People

Lastly, and most importantly (because if you ignore this, nothing will help you) -- you need to ensure that you're generating the right leads in the first place. 

If you're converting the wrong people into leads, they're never going to be interested in signing up for a free trial or demo. This is one of the reasons why it's so important for SaaS companies to develop buyer personas

If you're struggling to attract the right traffic to your website, take a look at our previous post: How to Increase Your SaaS Company's Website Traffic.

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