(2023) Actionable SaaS growth hacking Tips to Scale Growth

Denis Shatalin
Founder of SaaS Camp
Do social media, pump out content (aka tweet a lot), and uh, stay positive ;).

How many times have SaaS founders heard that kind of advice?

It's always the same old thing when it comes to marketing your SaaS business. But are there any more cool and effective growth hacks out there? There are.

Don't worry, you're not alone. Growth is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses of all sizes. In this blog post, we'll explore seven different ways to grow your SaaS business. So whether you're just starting out or you've been in business for a while, read on for some valuable insights into growing your SaaS company.

What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is all about finding creative and effective ways to grow your business. It's not about doing the same old things that everyone else is doing. It's about trying new things and seeing what works – thinking outside the box and being creative.

How is it different from traditional forms of B2B marketing?

When there's talk about growing your SaaS business – you'll either hear about traditional B2B marketing or growth hacking. But it can be hard to decipher what means what. Growth hacking is different in a few defining ways:

  • Growth hacking doesn't have to rely on traditional marketing channels like LinkedIn or Google ads. It can really be anything.
  • It's more about achieving marketing goals on a leaner budget – whereas traditional strategies take up a considerable portion of a brand's budget.
  • Doesn't rely on a set of formulas or repetition but rather on new, unconventional methods of business growth.

Important reminders before you start growth hacking

  1. Define your ideal customer: consider demographics, psychographics, and firmographics to narrow down on your ideal customer so you know who to target when launching your growth hacking campaign.
  2. Target KPIs and set up a tracking system: track progress and performance by identifying what metric you want to grow (new users, engagement, conversion rate, etc.) and setting up a system to track it.
  3. Experiment: the best way to find out what works is to experiment. Try different things and see what works for your business specifically. Also study what has worked for others in the past and see if you can adapt those methods to your business.
  4. Make sure your website and presentables are tip-top: the last thing you want is a lot of traffic leading to mediocre, ineffective content. Optimize your copy and media elements for maximum engagement and conversion.

1. Make a free version that's hot n' ready for customers

When it comes to growth hacking, one of the most tried and true methods is creating a free version of your product. It's a great way to attract new customers, get them hooked on the service by allowing them to use it to grow their business (again, for free), and ultimately convert them into paying customers when it's time to upgrade to more capabilities.

You could offer a limited amount of features for free, or you could make the entire product available for free but include ads or upsells. No matter which route you choose, make sure that the free version is high quality and attractive to customers. They need to be wowed by what your product can do for them, even in its limited form.

Pro tip: When onboarding users, make the adoption process as easy and straightforward as possible with walk-throughs (through apps like Nickelled) and help forums so users know how to make the most out of your SaaS tool. For example, you can observe Slack do it below:
Slack (A messaging app for teams) welcome Screen
Let’s say they offer a free version for a growing startup team. As the business gets bigger, the now Slack-dependent company will need to upgrade to a paid plan for more message storage, integrations, and data exports.

2. Ride off other free marketing platforms

When you're first starting out, there's only so much you can do with a limited budget. That's why it's important to take advantage of free marketing platforms and resources whenever possible.

One great way to do this is by guest blogging on popular industry sites to widen exposure and build up your thought leadership. Or get your product featured on the front page of Product Hunt, for example, you're sure to see a surge in traffic and interest.
ProductHunt (marketing platforms) Landing Page of a SaaS product "aiden.ai"
A unique way that Airbnb followed this strategy was by targeting Craigslist. They knew that people searching for housing on Craigslist were also likely in the market for short-term rentals – the perfect customer for Airbnb.
Screenshot of a mail from Airbnb to a potential customer to get feature in Airbnb
So they created a simple tool that allowed users to post their Airbnb listings on Craigslist with just a few clicks. Not only did this help them reach a whole new audience, but it also made it easy for users to convert from Craigslist to Airbnb. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

3. Get your referral program to spread like wildfire

Referral programs are a fantastic way to get new customers, and if done right, they can help you grow your business exponentially.

The key is to make sure that your referral program is easy to understand and use, and that it offers a great incentive for customers to refer their friends. A common referral program mistake is offering too small of a reward, or making the process too complicated.

Dropbox is a perfect example of a referral program done right. For every friend that a user refers to, they both get an extra 500 MB of storage space. And there's no limit to how many people a user can refer to, so the potential for growth is huge.
A great example of referral program from Dropbox to get more customer
What's more, the referral program is prominently featured on the Dropbox homepage, making it hard to miss. And the company makes it easy to share your referral link via email, social media, or even by printed business cards.

Hot tip: Automatically send emails to your happy customers urging them to join your referral program. While only taking minutes to set up, this can be a nifty virality trick to jumpstart your referral campaigns.

4. Repurpose your content into other deliverables

If you're like most SaaS companies, you've probably put a lot of time and effort into creating high-quality blog content. But once that content is published, it can be easy to forget about it and move on to the next project.

One way to get more mileage out of your existing content is to repurpose it into other formats. For example, you can turn a blog post into an infographic (great for backlinks), or create a video series based on your most popular blog posts.

The team at Buffer, for example, created content – and there was a lot of it. But not just any old, useless, and ridiculous content. Buffer created fantastic material. Longer articles, infographics, graphs, studies, data, and so on have all been used to spread information in recent years.

Repurposing your content not only saves you time and effort, but it also allows you to reach a much larger audience. People have diverse tastes in terms of what they want to read, so repackaging your material allows you to appeal to a broader demographic.

5. Tap into Quora & Reddit for targeted traffic

Quora and Reddit are both fantastic platforms for driving targeted traffic to your site. The key is to find relevant questions that you can answer with content from your site, and then post a link or summary of that content in your answer.
Screenshot of a Promoted Quora - Best Example to get targeted traffic for your SaaS
Not only will this help you get more traffic, but it will also help you build relationships with potential customers. And on reddit, you have a couple of options:
  • Create your own subreddit: This is a great way to build up a community of users around your product or service. The Salesforce subreddit for example has almost 50,000 members.

  • Join an existing subreddit: This will depend on the kind of business you're in. For example, the /r/entrepreneur and r/saas subreddits are great places to network and share advice with other founders. Or if you're a SaaS in the health and fitness industry, then you may also push some presence in r/bodybuilding, r/nutrition, and r/jumprope. Engage in natural discussion or provide a lot of value, like this one user who supplies the r/marketing sub with a comprehensive marketing worksheet year over year
Screenshot of Marketing Sub-reddit
  • Use Reddit to get more feedback. Tim Soula from Ahrefs does this every year in r/BigSEO despite any harsh feedback that may be hard to swallow. As a result, he gets some fantastic feedback that the team can implement.
Reddit user provides details feedback on a product.

6. Make sure your SaaS product integrates with the most popular apps

If you want your SaaS product to be successful, it's important to make sure that it integrates with the most popular apps and services. This will make it much easier for users to get started with your product, and it will help improve your chances of getting featured on these platforms.

For example, if you have a productivity app, you should make sure that it integrates with popular email services like Gmail and Outlook. If you have a CRM tool, you should make sure that it integrates with popular accounting software like QuickBooks.

By making it easy for users to connect your SaaS product with the apps they're already using, you'll improve your chances of getting adopted and making it big.

7. Create a competitor comparison page to steal keyword traffic

A great way to get more traffic to your site, especially if you're new to the game, is to create a competitor comparison page. This is a page where you compare your SaaS product with one or more of your competitors who are pulling in more keyword traffic than you, and list the reasons why your product is better.

One of the best things about this strategy is that it allows you to target an interested audience without having to spend any money on advertising. All you need to do is create a well-optimized page, make sure it ranks for the right keywords, and even do some PPC for a boost.

To get started, you may want to target some keywords related to the core features of your product, as well as some general keywords related to your industry. Lusha for example is a sales prospecting tool – and if you type their name in Google, you'll be met with some competitors also fighting for the top.
Screenshot of a Promoted Links at Google - Best Example to get targeted traffic for your SaaS

Talk to a growth hacker for strategies as you go along.

SaaS growth hacking is all about experimenting with different techniques to see what works best for your business. And while we’ve covered a few of the most effective strategies here, it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees in marketing. The key is to experiment, track your results, and course correct as needed.

If you need help implementing any of these strategies – or if you want to chat about SaaS growth hacking in general – be sure to reach out to Denis Shatalin. He’s a SaaS coach who has helped dozens of founders grow their businesses, and he can definitely help you take yours to the next level.

Get in touch now. Thanks for reading!

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✋ Hey, it's Denis! Thanks for reading :) If you want my help with your startup, the quickest way to reach me is at denis@saascamp.com. I upload my best content on YouTube. Let's connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.