If you’re struggling with growth and looking for quick ideas that are relatively easy to implement, this is the place to get inspiration. I personally prefer quick, actionable growth hacks that are easy to try and analyze, ideally with huge potential in increasing your leads and MRR.
Welcome to the Most comprehensive free SaaS growth hacks collection online. For it to become The Best SaaS growth hack collection, I need your help - leave your thoughts in the comments below and let's improve it together!
1. Improve your onboarding experience with In-app help
“But that will involve our programmers to make edits in the app which will take a lot of time!” What if I told you that there are tools like Appcues, InlineManual or Walkme, that are super easy to implement so you can see the results almost immediately. What we’re targeting here is your conversion rate from Trial signup to Paid accounts.
2. Create an “In-app” Upgrade bar
Most of SaaS companies use the “Time limited trial” business model. Remind your trial leads about the remaining time in their trial account with an embedded bar in the app so they can constantly see how much time is remaining.
3. Offer personalized Demo
Getting a customer on a 1on1 demo leads to almost a 100% sale. You get to show them your product, handcrafted to their use case scenario, show them the aha moment and answer questions in real time. If you have the capacity, definitely do it. If you don’t try doing at least a couple demos per month to have a hands on feedback on what your customers need and want.
4. Gather Reviews & Build Social Proof
If you know me, you probably already know that this is my personal favorite. Signup your SaaS to every single SaaS directory and gather reviews. You will get free exposure on well ranked websites and social proof in form of embeddable testimonial widgets that you can use on your landing pages. Learn how to utilize social proof and increase your MRR.
5. Build More Social Proof With “Google Stars”
Utilize Google’s Trusted Seller Ratings extension and get neat “stars” along your Paid search results. Studies show they can increase CTR and conversions up to 50%.
6. Incentivize Customers to Leave a Review
Provide incentives in a high liquidity form (like $10-$30 Amazon coupons) and superboost your profiles on review portals. This will help you rank even higher.
7. Use Social Proof on Your Website
Integrate a tool like Fomo for website popups that advertise whatever’s happening on your website so you can use it as social proof. Typical use case is showing your visitors data on how many other similar visitors are browsing the sites or when they signed up
8. Organic Real Estate Space
Utilize some of the free SERP features that Google offers by simply implementing SearchAction markup on your website. Get more real estate space on Google’s results page by signing up for Google My Business, and let your results show neatly in Carousels, Extended previews or other SERP options.
9. Alternative/Competitor listings
I’ve noticed this strategy is especially popular in the help desk software industry. Zendesk has done a great job protecting their brand by creating www.zendeskalternative.com. Almost all products in this niche have landing pages like Helpscout or Groove They all have very little competitiveness and can rank well and get indexed pretty fast in Google. Also they bring in highly targeted traffic. But be careful and don’t badmouth your competitor! The content must be unbiased.
10. Try Live Chat for your website
25% Increase in conversions by simply talking to your customers? Yep. Live chat is so easy to embed and it brings tremendous results. “But I can’t wait for chats at my computer all day!” Don’t worry. We are not in 2014. We now have intelligent live chat software options with native iOS or Android apps, autoresponders and lead capturing systems. At $29/month it will pay back with the first deal you make.
11. Initiate conversations with visitors
Talk to your website visitors proactively by chat invitations that are condition based. Personalize invitation messages based on websites they’re browsing.
12. Try Good Old Cold Outreach
Create your user personas based on company type and position and scrape their email addresses with a tool like Hunter.io Reach out via personalized emails and the worst that can happen is you will get feedback about your product. Best case scenario, you can close new deals and hire a new sales person to repeat what you’ve shown as a working sales strategy.
13. See what type of companies use your competitor’s product
Yes, with tools like BuiltWith or Similar Tech, you can see the technology stacks of specific companies. It will help you target your audience better - watch for patterns, if they use product A and product B and your competitor’s product, target more companies that use products A and B and don’t have a solution like yours yet.
If you’re feeling confident, you can also try to onboard customers directly from your competitors. But again, be very careful as such tactic might seem a little aggressive.
14. Attend a targeted conference
If it’s your first conference, purchase the cheapest possible ticket or try to get it for free and hustle your way around. Get 1on1 team with execs at other startups. Let them explain, listen and then pitch your product. Exchange contacts and follow up later. Websummit, Slush, SaaStr
15. Powered by in your widgets
Brand up. Referrals from branded widgets or just seeing your product being used on a website can bring as much as 30% of new leads. Again, very easy to implement and brings tremendous results
16. Add a little incentive for branded widgets
Some companies want to opt out of branded widgets and want to have theirs white labeled. Others don’t mind. Either way, you can incentivize them by providing affiliate commissions for leads coming from branded links on their websites. Analyze customers whose widgets bring in the most traffic and try to create closer relationships and partnerships.
17. Run a crazy One-in-a-Lifetime Deal
Get a spike in your customers count with a crazy one in a lifetime deal. Do heavy promo on social networks as well to get the most out of it!
Content & Community
18. Quora FTW
Quora is one of the best ROI positive growth hacks you can do with very little time invested. Simply create a trusted profile and answer questions relevant to your knowledge and business. At LiveAgent, leads from Quora still make up for about 5% of total MRR. I went into detail on how to promote your SaaS on Quora in my recent post.
19. Reddit, Stackoverflow, ..
Similar to Quora, Reddit is a community based website. They have a pretty active Business and Startups subreddits where you can become a valuable member of the community. Stackoverflow is more focused on development and helping other developers, but similar principles apply.
20. Get Interviewed
Pitch your SaaS to websites like Indiehackers, Failory, or other blogs that do interviews with founders and other fellow growth hackers.
21. Send Physical Gifts for Milestones
Ever seen the silver play YouTube button for 100k subscribers? Copy, Improve, Implement.
22. Write a blog on Medium
If you’re considering content marketing, which everyone else is doing, start as easy as possible. Go with Medium, they have great design, rank well and have a huge audience so distribution of your content will be easier.
23. ProductHunt listing + Community Answers
ProductHunt has changed quite a lot since it was originally started in 2013. You can now get listed even if you “only” publish a bigger upgrade or something new to your product. Join the product hunt community in the “Ask” section and answer topics related to your product.
24. Best of roundups
Create a round up blog post featuring best blog posts about specific topic or niche, reach out to the authors, tell them that you’ve included them in your round up and get exposure from their social media shares and mentions.
25. Offer a useful extra product, tool or resource
Think of something that your audience might find really helpful. Examples: SendX put together the Biggest Collection of Free Responsive Email Templates. Neil Patel runs a free keyword suggestion tool amongst others.
26. Join a Slack group
Create a reputable profile, answer questions with valuable answers and promote your brand “natively” in a Slack community. Here’s a website that gathers 2000 Slack groups
27. Create a Support Portal
Setup a customer support portal to increase customer retention. 9 out of 10 customers prefer to look for an answer online before reaching out to customer service. Provide useful information about your SaaS and save time.
28. Run a community forum and engage with your customers online
Google, Facebook, and most of other tech giants run online communities where customers can help themselves along with a little help from official moderators. Listen to customers’ feedback, watch their suggestions and improvement ideas.
29. Be a Podcast guest in a similar or same industry
Similar to being interviewed on a blog, you can be a guest on a podcast. Describe what you do, how you came up with the idea and who you can help with your SaaS product. Get your brand name in front of a new audience.
30. Monitor brand with Google Alerts and Mention
Listen to who’s talking online about your brand with free tools like Google Alerts or paid tools like Mention.
31. Leave comments on blog posts
Provide your 2 cents in blog post comments and include your brand/domain in your bio. If possible, link your page directly in the comment - but don’t be spammy.
32. Startup submissions: Betalist, HackerNews, Erlibird
Free directories to get traffic in your early stages. Try websites like Betalist, Erlibird or Hackernews.
33. Create SlideShare presentations
SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn which is owned by Microsoft. Get your marketing materials listed to one of the most juicy domains out there, for free. Don’t have content ideas? Simply create a slide out of your website using free website to pdf tools online.
34. Sell a book related to your niche on Amazon for $0
Do you feel confident in writing good content but struggling with getting it in front of a broader audience? Launch your content in form of an official publication on Amazon and “sell” it for $0.
35. Record your blog posts & upload them to SoundCloud
Similar strategy to posting your content on SlideShare, but in voice format.
36. Record in-app videos about features
Open up Camtasia and record an overview of your app or single functionality. Get a professional voiceover on Fiverr, put the recordings together and upload them to YouTube. Valuable content for very little $.
37. Find a YouTuber to review your product
Are you in SEO tools market? Try to look for a YouTube covering affiliate tools - every affiliate needs a seo tool, right? Try to look for complementary niches.
38. Run a Workshop or Speak at a conference
Try to get a gig at a conference with relevant audience. Speak about your expertise and mention your product. Work with a closed group at a workshop.
39. Don’t have time to write blogs? Invite guest bloggers instead
If you already have a high ranking domain, guest bloggers are going to reach out on their own. If you don’t try a reach out campaign and get free outsourced content for your blog.
Integrations & Partnerships
40. Add your SaaS to Google Chrome Store
I haven’t tried this one myself but it’s been on my to-do list. Given the nature of Chrome’s position within Google’s product range, it’s definitely an added value for your seo rankings as well as usability of your app.
41. Create a Zapier Integration
If you don’t have the in-house resources, outsource a Zapier developer to create a Zapier integrator for your app. Not only it adds tremendous value to your product, but you might get featured on Zapier’s blog.
42. Cross-promo with a partner with same target audience
Find a SaaS that might target the same audience as you, reach out and do a cross promo on your products. Explain how the audience can benefit from using your tools
43. Run an affiliate program
Create a simple affiliate program with 20% commissions for all referred sales (this is a recommended and most popular setup for SaaS businesses) with partner software like Partnerstack
44. Remove navigation menu from your landing page
Shift focus of your visitors to finish the signup form on your landing page and prevent them from navigating on other websites from the menu. Increase your visitor to signup conversion rate with this easy trick. Make sure your landing page is intuitive and has a good user experience by testing it with your end-users with a website usability testing tool.
45. Delete unnecessary fields in your trial signup page
Delete fields like company size, field or number of users (you can load these with API or services like Fullcontact anyways). Stick to name, email, phone number or the absolute essentials. Alternatively, ask for email first and then get the rest of the contact information later.
46. Redirect your trial signups directly to your app
One of my favorite growth hacks. It may seem as a no brainer but how many of you are doing it? Reduce bounce rate and make the whole signup process smooth like butter. Keep your customers engaged by creating an interesting loading screen while their account is being created and redirect them in the account immediately.
47. Get rid of the confirmation email
Do you know the exact cost in your acquisition funnel phases? How much does it cost to get a customer visit your website and signup for a trial? Putting more barriers in front of them means throwing money out of the window. Try to simplify your signup process and get rid of the unnecessary steps like confirming your email.
48. Localize prices on your website
A study of 50 successful SaaS companies found that those with localized pricing outgrew their competitors by 30% or more. Localize your pricing page/checkout page with the most common currencies your customers use. USD and EUR will be a good start!
49. Localize your website
72% of customers are more likely to buy products or services if the information is in their language. If you have a lot of content, try translating the pages which get 90% of the traffic first. Your whole website doesn’t have to be translated 100%.
50. Create video testimonials
Reach out to your most loyal customers, pay them a visit and record a video testimonial. Make sure your customers are comfortable with you using it in your PPC display ads on Google and Facebook - testimonial ads will get the best CTR.
51. Track your Visitor - Lead - Customer Funnel
Make sure your analytics are on point and you know exactly where your visitors are coming from and which traffic sources convert the best.
52. Send SMS notifications about expiring trials
Have you ever received an SMS from a SaaS company? Me neither, become a pioneer in SMS marketing for SaaS :)
53. Offer free setups - no strings attached
This is the best strategy to get your first customers onboard. Simply do a 1on1 personal setup of your SaaS and get 100% trial to paid conversion ratio. Easy, right?
54. Good old “Money back guarantee”
Another Conversion Rate Optimization strategy for your SaaS. Even if it sounds like a marketing strategy from the 2000s, it still works.
55. Reactivate churned users
So your customer decided to no longer use your SaaS app and you let them go. If they didn’t opt out from your newsletter list, send a reactivation email every now and then. Don’t be too salesy - try to inform them about new features or planned improvements instead.
56. Reactivate suspended trials
If you are in B2B, chances are that the standard “14 day trial” won’t be enough and you might actually suspend trials with potential to upgrade. Try to automatically reactivate inactive trials with free extra days and a notification.
57. Upsell your current customer base
The best way to upsell is to educate your customers about your products capabilities. Teach them “what more they could be achieving” by upgrading to a higher plan.
58. Grab the opportunity when extending trial accounts
When your customer comes asking for a trial extension, try to close them right away. Typically, they would need an “extra 14 day extension” - offer them the extension, or a 10% lifetime discount instead if they upgrade within their current trial period.
PPCs and Paid Ads
59. AdWords optimized for long tail keywords
If you’re running PPCs in the google ad network, chances are that your cost per clicks are astronomical. Try to focus on long tail keywords that include 5+ words and target a specific use case, type of business or type of problem your customers might be looking for. Example: “customer service software for saas”; “how to solve customer queries faster”; “best customer service software in 2018”; ...
60. Pimp AdWords to get more real estate space in paid results
Use all the possible extensions and features that Google AdWords offer like Site links, Callouts, Structure snippets, Call extension, Message or Location
61. Bid on competitor’s Brand
This should not be your main campaign nor should take the majority of budget spend, but bidding on competitor’s branded keywords is much less expensive and brings in quality traffic. Watch for trademarked terms and always follow Google’s guidelines.
62. Try Advertising on Yahoo, Bing & DuckDuckGo
Because Google takes up only 80% of the search engine market share.
63. Run a Webinar
Webinars are especially helpful when you have a complex SaaS product that is better explained verbally than on a landing page. Help your customers understand your product better and show them added value in features they might not know about. It’s the best, non-invasive way to retain and upsell your current customer base. Go lean and try Google Hangouts, or try an advanced option like Clicktomeeting or Gotowebinar.
64. Offer more payment options
Integrating a payment gateway like Braintree or Stripe is not that difficult. Accepting VISA and MasterCard is a good start but try adding more options like AMEX, PayPal or even cryptocurrency.
65. Lock in customers with Annual plans
Extend your average retention and improve your cashflow by offering annual payments. Customers are going to expect a discount when subscribing for 12 months or more.
66. Try auto-extending expired credit cards
If anyone’s asking if it’s legal, yes it is. All four major credit card companies can give away cc numbers and expiration dates to vendors for recurring charges.
67. Create a reversed getting started for Account Cancellation
You know how much time and effort you put into your onboarding process, especially within the app. And then you let your customers cancel their accounts with a click of a button. Add more steps for account cancellation and gather valuable feedback. Incentivize customers who provide detailed feedback.
68. Localize your SaaS app
Improved user experience means higher retention. Provide localizations in languages your customers use the most. Offer self-translations and manage them with platforms like Localazy
69. Call users by their names
Avoid sounding like a robot and personalize your communication completely. Apply these principles in product development as well.
70. The Welcome Email
Make it personal, creative and attach your picture. There are hundreds of great examples, namely Buffer and Mangools. Here are 9 more great welcome email templates.
GiveAways and Discounts
71. Give away your product to selected 10 companies for free
We did this with LiveAgent and it has proved as on of the best investments ever. One of the companies was a local webhosting leader, within days the remaining top players in web hosting started using LiveAgent as well.
72. Run a contest
Offer bundles in exchange for contact information. No rocket science there, but if you hit the spot, you might actually gather some good quality leads.
73. Do time sensitive discounts
The trick here is to offer a time sensitive discount. Something like “You’ve got only 48 hours to upgrade with a limited 25% lifetime discount” and “We only have 7 slots”. Test the discount value and see how your leads might react.
74. Run a Quick Website SEO Audit
Small changes on your website can bring great results. Run your website through a simple website audit tool and optimize things like titles, keywords, meta descriptions, images and scripts so they play along well with Google
75. Find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty
Use a free tool like KWFinder to find long tail keywords opportunities that have high SEO rankings and low difficulty. Publish content like blogpost or landing page that includes these keywords. Run ads to get even more traffic.
76. "Best xy software" landing page
If you’re too lazy to do a keyword research, here’s a good example of a long tail keyword that always works great. Try creating a landing page like www.mysaastool.com/best-typeoftool-software. Lot’s of “Ready-to-purchase” leads use terms like “top rated”, or “best”, or “top 10” when researching software.
77. Pitch your product to blogposts “Top 10 tools for xy”
Based on your previous research for the type of SaaS you offer, see the best ranked websites on Google SERP and pitch them your product if they haven’t included you in their “Top 7 list” before.
78. Grey Hat SEO: Donate for a link
Find charities, open source projects or NGOs that rank well and accept donations. Make sure they list their donors online with a do-follow link.
79. Skyscraper method
You’ve probably already heard about this one, but one can never be so sure. There’s 3 steps involved. Firstly, find good quality content. Secondly, publish an extended, more valuable, detailed and data backed content on the same topic. At last, pitch your updated version to everyone, who linked to the old post. Here’s the complete guide to skyscraper technique.
80. Purchase posts on sites like Forbes, Xerox or Inc.com
Ever seen the “Mentioned on” with fancy logos section on a SaaS website? Yep, you can get mentioned organically or simply purchase promoted content. Most of the links are going to be “nofollow” so don’t expect much link juice.
81. Ready for Wikipedia?
If you’re an established company with mentions on reputable news/press websites, your company profile on Wikipedia might get published. To submit a Wikipedia article, I suggest to outsource and hire a writer with previous credibility and experience. After your profile is live, don’t forget to look for list articles or comparison tables on Wikipedia where you could include your company.
82. Create a niche related Glossary on your website
Gather most searched terms and keywords relevant to your topic or niche and create a glossary. Don’t forget to include call to action buttons or links to signup for your product.
83. Broken link building
So much has been written online about broken link building. I think Ahrefs has the most comprehensive guide.
84. Google My Business
Google has been pushing the My Business product quite hard lately and it has been getting a lot of traction. Try to list your SaaS company’s physical location, get some reviews and release updates in statuses. Get free real estate space in Google’s SERPs.
XML Sitemaps are important for SEO because they make it a lot easier for Google to crawl your website — this is important because Google ranks specific pages not just whole websites.
Inform web robots about which areas of your website should not be processed or scanned.
87. 404s and 301s
Small technicalities can have big impact on your SEO rankings. Make sure you use 301 redirects properly and that your 404 page is in place.
88. Invite Facebook Friends to Your Page
Automatically invite all your facebook friends to Events or Pages with just one click.
89. Start a Community Facebook Group
Try to gather your most active customers in a Facebook group related to your topic. Invite others and share knowledge.
90. Join a Relevant Facebook Community
Over the time I’ve been active on Social networks, I’ve joined and left tens or even hundreds of marketing, job, growth, startup, business and god knows what related groups. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple I really like and where I’m active. My most favorite one is Saas Growth Hacking
91. Facebook Retargeting
Place a facebook pixel and smartly utilize retargeting. B2B SaaS marketing on social media is a tough one to crack, but retargeting is one of the less invasive, more targeted practices. Get creative and segment your retargeted visitors and trial signups with specific messages.
92. Create a lookalike audience
Export your customers’ email addresses and import them into facebook to create a lookalike audience. Run ads for the new lookalikes and get new leads.
93. Try Linkedin Sponsored InMail Ads
Reach your target audiences right in the LinkedIn inbox. Deliver personalized messages that drive more conversions than email.
94. Double your price
B2B products are not as price sensitive as B2C. Especially in SaaS, when you’re sure about the value your product brings, it’s easily justifiable to bill more. Don’t focus on your competitors, focus on your product instead and try to present its value the best way possible. Try to put it in perspective, something like: “By using MySaaS, which is only $99/month, you can bring in additional $1999 of revenue every month”. Pricing strategies and designing your pricing pages is a whole another topic, but I’ve also read and tested a great hack to better put price in perspective - compare it to things, you buy every day. Example: “Our lowest plan costs as much as your Triple Latte Frappucino Grande that you buy everyday”
Back to the idea of increasing your price. A simple hack, that does not take much time (we’ve changed pricing at least 15 times over the last 3 years) and it can be literally done in less than a couple of hours. Depending on your time to upgrade or trial periods, you will see results almost instantly. Also, the calculations will be exact so you won’t have to guesstimate the results.
Important note: I’m a big advocate of grandfathering your customers with old prices. If you feel like your old clients can handle the price increase, go for it, but I would not recommend it. When increasing your price, do it only for the new customers.
95. Outdoor Billboard
DuckDuckGo’s billboard placed at San Francisco’s SOMA disctrict fulll of techies has become a legend already.
96. App Marketplace
Add new “Extra” features to your app marketplace. If you run a SaaS you probably know that 1000 customers equials 1000 new feature requests. Slowly add these features as extra apps, plugins or extensions in your own marketplace and upsell your current user base.
97. Offer iOS and Android native apps
I know this is not a trivial task and may be irrelevant for robust SaaS apps that can’t deliver their features in limited space but think of your apps as a bonus which your competitors may not offer.
98. Social selling
Ever head of the term social selling? Use tools like Orca to get 30+ qualified weeks every day by “looking at their linkedin profiles” :) It’s actually a well thought strategy best explained by the image below
99. Reward your customer success team
Growth doesn’t have to come from hacking SEO or running super automated campaigns. It can come from simple interactions between your customer success team and customers.
What did you think? Share your growth hacking tips and I'll be happy to update the guide!
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