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What Is SaaS Marketing? Everything You Should Know

Free Content

Get ready SaaS marketers. 

Software as a Service (SaaS) is set to establish itself as a 702.19 billion dollar market by 2030. 

Just look at OpenAI’s ChatGPT. 

They smashed the record for the fastest-growing user base, according to Thomson Reuters. But remember, records are made to be broken.

Embrace the growth mindset. Things are just getting started in the world of AI and SaaS marketing.

The sheer number of new AI SaaS service products aiming to follow in the footsteps of ChatGPT speaks volumes:

Seem like a lot?

Well, expect this number to double soon as ChatGPT just lowered the price of access to their API. It opens the door to any talented team with a knack for product-market fit.

So, how do you make your SaaS company stand out in such a crowded market?

The answer is SaaS marketing. 

For SaaS marketers, the goals go beyond the typical expectations of a traditional marketing manager. A SaaS marketing team manages strategies, metrics, and the challenges that come with a global consumer base.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about SaaS marketing, including the SaaS marketing funnel, the most effective strategies, and the metrics you should track.

You’ll gain a clear understanding of what SaaS marketing is and how to do it successfully. 

So, let’s dive in!

But first… A few thoughts on the power of SaaS marketing for early-stage companies:

Definition of SaaS Marketing

SaaS Marketing Types

SaaS is an acronym coined by Dries Buytaert of Drupal in 2011.

It stands for Software as a Service. SaaS marketing involves marketing a SaaS business over the internet or through a traditional marketing avenue, like television. 

A SaaS marketer creates various strategies for content creation, SEO, email outreach, and social media campaigns. SaaS marketing is also unique because you don’t need to create physical products or services to promote.

Instead, you must focus on showing customers the value they get from constantly updated, cloud-hosted apps and platforms. 

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, led with value (consumer access to cutting-edge tech) and launched their SaaS through a free trial. That value-first approach helped flood the internet with word-of-mouth endorsements. 

They leveraged user value as a strategy and did so again by reducing the price to access their API. Just check out this response to their recent launch:

Listen, word-of-mouth isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

Luckily, there are different tactics to target different market niches, and we’ll get into that soon.

The short is that SaaS companies need to tailor their SaaS marketing strategy to a niche audience in order to maximize success.

By understanding how best to leverage SaaS technology and appealing to potential customers’ wants and needs, businesses can use powerful tools to increase profits.

Why is SaaS Marketing Important?

Winning in SaaS often comes down to who has the better story and brand distribution. 


Well, for starters, there are hundreds of CRM software tools on the market, and many of them have similar features and benefits. Do you use Spotify or Apple Music?

 Perhaps Tidel won you over with their branding efforts and celebrity endorsements.

The example above is just one that shows the key differentiator is often the ways in which companies market themselves or position their product as they look to capture share and growth. 

So let me say this again. SaaS marketing is essential. 

Any business that wants to capture a share of the rapidly growing SaaS market can benefit from studying the SaaS greats.

If you’re stuck on where to start, study how different SaaS companies use niches to establish product market fit. 

Marketing specifically to a certain niche can be a cheat code to win in SaaS marketing. As discussed, there are hundreds of CRM companies; but, the CRM companies that prioritize specific niches have the ability to increase their win percentage. 

It’s because of their focus, their personalized messaging, and their prioritization of marketing efforts to one audience, that they carve out a space in crowded markets. 

To bring things back to the example of CRM tools, it’s clear that CRM niches present various opportunities for riches.

CRM Niche Market Opportunities

Looking at the chart above it’s clear that SaaS marketing has numerous benefits including increased visibility, customer engagement, and customer retention

Achieving success from your marketing initiatives can be a huge win for your SaaS business.

Here are several benefits of SaaS Marketing:

Benefit 1: Improved ROI

SaaS marketing is a relatively low-cost way to market your software, as it does not require a large upfront investment. Thus, generating a higher volume of leads, eventually increasing sales and revenue. 

According to CMI, 67% of marketers report that content marketing generated demand and/or leads for their business in 2022. On top of that, 72% of marketers say that content marketing has allowed them to educate their audience, which in turn helps build loyalty with existing customers.

The ROI of SaaS marketing is often underrated because, in some cases, it can be a long-term game. You have to create assets that resonate with an audience and then distribute them on the channels where they’re spending time. 

This is why research is so valuable for ROI in marketing.

Benefit 2: Greater Engagement

SaaS marketing can also help to create greater engagement with your software and community. 

You can create a more personal connection with your audience by creating targeted content and engaging with your customers through social media accounts. Doing so eventually leads to increased brand loyalty and customer retention.

An example of an organization doing this well is Hubspot. In the post below, you can see them share a visual that sparks engagement on social media:
Facebook Post For SaaS Company Hubspot

The post shared by Hubspot showcases how powerful Instagram is as a channel and sparks dialog amongst their followers to discuss this topic. This is how you drive engagement through marketing. 

You tell stories worth telling. 

Benefit 3: Enhanced Branding

In addition to increased reach and engagement, SaaS marketing can also help to enhance your branding

By creating high-quality content and using effective digital marketing strategies, you can create a strong online presence for your software company. 

Here are a few questions to ask when it comes to SaaS branding: 

  • What is your brand’s look and feel?
  • What is your brand’s tone?
  • What is your brand’s ideal customer?
  • How does your brand differentiate? 
  • What is the best thing about your brand?

In competitive markets, having a well-defined branding strategy is essential to keeping ahead of the game. With an effective branding strategy, companies can make sure that their target audience is aware of their product or service. 

This means that they can reach potential customers who may never have heard of them before and provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase their product. 

Additionally, successful marketing campaigns can help boost a company’s reputation, as customers become more aware of the quality of their products and services.

Companies can use various tactics to keep their name in front of current customers, such as email campaigns or social media posts. 

It all elevates your brand. 

Great examples of SaaS brands in the wild include organizations like Salesforce, Hubspot, Mailchimp, Canva and so many more. Each of these brands likely sparked a different feeling when you thought about them – that is the power of branding. 

Benefit 4: Competitive Advantage

Finally, SaaS marketing can give you a competitive advantage over other software companies in your industry. With so many software companies competing for attention, it is important to have a well-executed marketing strategy that sets you apart from the rest.

By investing in a quality SaaS marketing plan, you can give yourself an edge over the competition and eventually achieve your goals.One of the key ways that SaaS marketing can give you an advantage is in building a content moat. An SEO moat or content moat is when a brand is ranking for so many keywords in the SERP that it is difficult to replace them. 

Here’s a snapshot of some great content moats that exist today: 

Content Moat From Top Media & SaaS Companies

You would have to spend $47M to capture the amount of traffic that these brands do every single month. It’s a competitive advantage that’s not easy to acquire.

SaaS Marketing VS. Traditional Marketing

SaaS Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

A SaaS marketing team and a traditional marketing team may take different approaches to the promotion and sale of products or services. Their goals share some similarities, but there are also some key differences.

Similarities of SaaS & Traditional Marketing

The aim of both Saas and traditional marketing is to build brand awareness that creates demand for a service or product.

Both traditional and SaaS marketing require a deep understanding of a target audience. There is also some intersection between them when you break down inbound marketing and outbound marketing

For your unique SaaS business, your style of marketing will depend on the audience for your product. 

Some SaaS companies will invest in traditional advertising and marketing efforts but for the most part, the primary investment exists online. 

The primary reason for this is the SaaS buyer’s journey. 

Here’s a sample of what that looks like from Segment:

Customer Journey (Source - Segment)

Differences Of SaaS & Traditional Marketing

One of the biggest differences between SaaS and traditional marketing is how they measure success. SaaS marketing is heavily reliant on data and metrics.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), and Lifetime Value (LTV) all play a part.

On the other hand, traditional marketing often relies on more subjective measures, such as brand awareness and recall. 

One key difference is that SaaS marketing is focused on a specific target audience, mainly businesses and individuals who use the software in their daily operations.

SaaS marketing is specifically designed for promoting and selling software products or services through the internet. 

This includes creating valuable content, SEO, paid advertising, and referral marketing. SaaS marketing is also focused on generating leads, converting them into paying customers, and retaining those customers over time.

On the other hand, traditional marketing is a more general approach to promoting and selling products or services. This includes things like print advertising, billboards, and TV commercials. 

Traditional marketing is often focused on a broader audience, and the message is not always as targeted.

Challenges of SaaS Marketing

Every SaaS company faces the challenge of standing out from its competitors and getting potential customers to notice its brands.

Here are some of the challenges you might face during a SaaS marketing campaign:

Customer Service Expectations 

For SaaS companies, customer service is one of the most important aspects of marketing.

Customers expect high levels of support for any service or product they purchase. This expectation is even higher for SaaS products due to the ever-present threat of technical issues or bugs.

To ensure customer satisfaction, companies should strive to provide quick responses and helpful solutions when customers encounter problems.

Offering live chat support and 24/7 access to technical support staff can help alleviate customer frustrations should an issue arise. Additionally, integrating customer portal solutions into their business can also improve customer experience and enable them to instantly fix any issues customers might face

Unforeseen Technical Issues

Developers of SaaS products must remain vigilant regarding technical issues that arise with their software.

They must conduct thorough testing such as integration, automation, and unit testing, before releasing new versions or updates, so that any bugs can be identified and resolved quickly. 

However, no amount of testing can guarantee that all technical issues have been addressed before launch; developers must be prepared for potential problems that may arise after release and take steps to fix any unexpected bugs quickly.

Getting Prospective Customers To Notice Your Brand

In the competitive SaaS market, it can be difficult for smaller companies to get noticed by prospective customers without spending a fortune on advertising.

To stand out from larger competitors, companies should focus on creating unique content.

With content, you can highlight the features and benefits of your products over others in the market. You can remix that content for social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., which have become invaluable marketing tools in recent years.

The 5 Stages of SaaS Marketing Funnel

Foundation Labs Customer Journey Example

The SaaS marketing funnel is an essential tool for any business that provides software or services in the cloud. With a close examination of your funnel, you’ll gain more insight into the nuances of your ideal customer and sales cycle.

The steps highlighted in the B2B SaaS customer journey visual above can ultimately be summarized with a few key steps: 

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Retention

These five steps are a fundamental part of digital marketing; understanding them can help empower your sales team and maximize your growth potential. Let’s look at the five stages of the SaaS marketing funnel and discuss how each contributes to successful digital marketing.

Stage 1: Awareness

The first stage of the SaaS marketing funnel is awareness. This is when you introduce your service or product to prospective customers through ads, social media accounts, content, etc. 

By getting your message out, you can create excitement and build interest in what you offer.

Stage 2: Interest

Once prospective buyers are aware of your service or product, they will start to show interest.

Interested prospective buyers need sufficient information before they decide to purchase.

They’ll research your offerings, read reviews, and ask questions about your pricing and features. At this stage, it’s important to keep up with trends in your industry so that you can talk intelligently about them during conversations with customers.

Stage 3: Consideration

Once someone has their interest piqued by your offer, they will move on to the consideration stage. 

This is where they decide if your service or product fits into their budget. They want to feel like you’re the right people to get into business with. 

At this stage, SaaS businesses must ensure their website has clear descriptions of their services or products and pricing information so that customers can make informed decisions quickly and easily.

Stage 4: Purchase

After considering all of their options, a member of your audience becomes a customer when they purchase from you at this stage of the SaaS marketing funnel. 

To ensure that customers complete their purchases without any issues, businesses should provide easy-to-navigate checkout processes and helpful customer support staff available via email or phone, if needed.

Stage 5: Retention

After someone has purchased from you at this last stage in the SaaS marketing funnel, it’s important to remember them! 

After all, customer success creates long-term customer relationships.

Retaining customers after they make a purchase is key because happy customers will be more likely to recommend your service or product to others and return for additional purchases down the line. 

Retention drives long-term success for SaaS business!

Different Types of SaaS Marketing Strategies

The different strategies used by SaaS marketing companies involve innovative ways to promote products and services.

Companies can use the SaaS marketing strategies listed below to enhance brand awareness, generate leads, and convert those leads into paying customers. 

Now let’s discuss the type of marketing strategies SaaS businesses typically use:

Content Marketing

SaaS companies can use Content Marketing to educate potential customers about their products and services, establish thought leadership, and generate leads. Let’s look at some common forms of content marketing and how they can help your business succeed.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of the SaaS marketing toolkit. Just understand when you invest in SEO, you’re investing for the long haul.

SEO is used to increase a company’s visibility online by optimizing their website and content for search engines and organic search engine rankings. This helps to ensure that potential customers are able to find the company when they search for keywords related to the company’s products and services. 

This increases traffic to the website, which can lead to increased sales. You start this initiative by understanding the intent behind why your audience is looking for things in search: 

Search Intent

The best way for a SaaS business to leverage search engine optimization is to start with an SEO / Content audit

An audit will give you better results. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the keywords you should be targeting. Once the audit is complete, the types of activities necessary for you to rank in search engines for relevant keywords in your niche will be much clearer. 

Here’s a great case study breaking down how Canva used SEO to drive growth. You can also read about how Adobe and Docusign are competing for market share in this space.


Not only does blogging help you build relationships with customers by providing valuable information, but it also helps increase search engine rankings through SEO tactics such as keyword targeting and link building.

When you create blog posts and educational content on topics related to your product or industry, you are positioning yourself as an expert in the field. You also provide potential customers with useful information they can use to make informed decisions about their purchases.


E-books are typically longer than blog posts and white papers.

Creating an E-book allows you to go more in-depth into the subject matter related to your service or product offering. 

They are also great for lead generation since readers often have to provide contact information before downloading an E-book. This is powerful because it arms you with new leads and potential prospects. 


Webinars are live events where attendees can watch presentations from experts on topics related to their industry or product offering while having the opportunity to ask questions and get answers in real-time.

If someone has gone as far as to sign-up for your webinar, there’s a good chance they’re the right people for your product. It’s important to respect their time and lead with value during the presentation.

This interactive approach allows participants to gain valuable insight into specific topics while they connect directly with those who know that subject best. Acquiring sign-ups for the webinar prior to going live is also a great way to ensure that you have leads and prospects in the pipeline. 

Paid Advertising

List Of Paid Advertising Types

Paid ads can be placed through social media, on web pages (SERPs), and on other websites targeted to your potential customers. 

Paid advertising allows you to get your message in front of potential customers precisely and at scale. This provides a great way to build brand recognition and generate leads. 

A quality metric to track when you invest in this strategy is conversion rate. 

When you analyze your conversion rate, you’ll gain an understanding of how effective your ad is at turning clicks into customers. 

Social Media Marketing

By creating engaging content on social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, you’ll be one step closer to a successful marketing campaign for your SaaS products.

Creating valuable content that resonates with your target audience is essential for successful social media marketing. By crafting content tailored to the individual needs of your audience, you can create meaningful relationships with customers and increase conversions.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with potential and existing customers.

Sending informative newsletters, promotional offers, or other content related to your service or product offering helps you stay top-of-mind with customers while encouraging them to take action. 

You can also use automated email marketing sequences to nurture leads and guide prospects through sales. Just don’t go overboard. Sending emails too often risks your brand’s reputation. Know your audience and always lead with value.

These are just a few ways that SaaS companies can use content marketing to engage with customers and build relationships.

Before we wrap things up, let’s take a look at the common metrics SaaS marketers use.

Important Metrics to Discuss In Measurement of SaaS Marketing Campaign Success

Measuring the success of SaaS marketing campaigns is essential for any SaaS company.

The entire SaaS industry aims to understand what’s working and what’s not. This helps Saas businesses make data-driven decisions for future campaigns.

Regardless of your business model, there are several basic elements that SaaS companies should track to measure the success of their marketing campaigns.

Let’s take a closer look at the jargon and define each term:

Metric Definition
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) Recurring revenue generated by a SaaS company every month
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Cost of acquiring a new customer
Lifetime Value (LTV) Total revenue generated by a customer over their lifetime
Churn Rate Rate at which customers cancel subscription
Net Promoter Score (NPS) Customer satisfaction and loyalty. Are you meeting customer needs?
Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate Percentage of leads that convert into paying customers
User Engagement Metrics How engaged customers are with a SaaS service or product 
Retention Rate Percentage of customers who continue to use a SaaS service or product 
Funnel Metrics Effectiveness of a SaaS company’s marketing and sales team funnel
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) Return on investment (ROI) of a SaaS company’s advertising campaigns

Let’s wrap this up…

Thanks for learning with us today. 

By now, you should understand that SaaS marketing requires a different approach. The road ahead of you is long, but Foundation is here to help on your journey!

With all of the unique considerations, such as monetization strategies, end-user lifetime value, and software-as-a-service pricing models, marketers need to be aware of these elements when targeting new customers.

The right approach can maximize results and give a company a customer base that can provide stable revenue for years.

So, take the time to invest in your marketing strategy and measure its success with the right metrics. 

This will help you create a successful SaaS company that stands out from the competition. This will help you capture a competitive edge. This will help you unlock new opportunities. 

And, hopefully, this… will help you create content that shapes culture. 

Want more? 

Be sure to subscribe to Foundation’s newsletter dedicated to SaaS marketing, or get in touch if you’re looking for a partner to help your SaaS marketing engine run as smoothly as butter.

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