Are you finding it difficult to tap into multiple, successful sources of lead generation for your SaaS?


Trust me, I can relate to what you’re going through.

We live in a data-heavy, research-driven, overcrowded online marketplace.

And too often, we come up with some good lead generation ideas that get traction and bear fruit… but then we get turned away from the “old reliable” strategy that works to tap into the next new pipeline.

Why do we get turned away? Well, for a few reasons:

  1. The pipeline we initially built has a long buying cycle. Because of that, extended time is needed to propose, close, and fulfill.
  2. Our time gets shifted away from lead gen to oversight of new product development or service implementation
  3. Interest in building a second channel from the ground up as a means to diversify lead gen resources

Listen, the reasons for why we get turned away may sound like great problems to have.

Unfortunately, each reason can also cause you to turn away from quality lead generation.

Turning away from a high performing pipeline can quickly result in it drying up, though.

And that, my friend, is the archnemesis of a marketing manager trying to grow a SaaS.

To avoid leaving behind a dried up pipeline, you need to constantly stay focused on your lead gen goals, while finding complementary sources to your main pipeline for driving MQLs and SQLs.

In an effort to help inspire your next great pipeline, I’ve compiled 7 of my most successful lead generation ideas below that are both actionable…

and highly effective.

Which one(s) will you choose as your next tools to build a pipeline?

1. Chatbots

At Direct Online Marketing, we use a chat feature on our website to help generate more leads. We have a strict “no jerks” policy here, so it’s okay – you can talk to my main man Luke!

There once was a time I installed a chat plugin on a website and generated a lead for a tech company the very first night! While this can definitely work to generate more leads for your business, consider having an established policy for how to handle support requests that come in through online chat.

When it comes to utilizing chatbots, there are a ton of options and things to consider. For instance, if you already have a customer support platform, there are multiple integration options for Zendesk chatbots and the like. If you don’t want to muddy the waters between your sales team and support team, then limit the use of your chat application on certain pages that existing customers are less likely to visit.

There’s a lot of content out there on the different types of chatbots and the many benefits they can bring to your company. Before making a decision on the best chatbot solution for your company, we suggest you check out some of the following resources:

Added bonus: Some chat apps can even force popup on pages that you specify, like service landing pages, FAQ, or pricing pages. While this may turn away some visitors, interesting prospects are likely to engage you if they are that far along in their process.

2. Checklists, Worksheets, And Templates

Resources like this are comparable to best practice guides and tutorials, with the difference that they should be living, breathing resources that a prospective lead can interact with to chart their progress or repurpose in their daily work routines. If interactivity is not an option on your website, at least make this resource downloadable as a spreadsheet or text file.

Added bonus: If an interactive document is not possible on your own website, consider hosting a spreadsheet in Google Drive for users to copy to their own Drive folders. If you allow this, however, try to find a way to brand the file to avoid having another company re-brand a resource you created.

3. Custom Option Contact Us

If you target customers are medium-sized businesses or larger, then your SaaS is likely going to be implemented within the framework of a legacy system. If your SaaS isn’t going to be implemented as a solution, it will still likely require some amount of customization in order to be a viable solution. Make sure you give potential customers like these the opportunity to contact you directly with an RFP or fill out a quick form to discuss their needs. Otherwise, you may miss out on a game-changing opportunity.

Added bonus: Businesses of all sizes will review your pricing pages. Make sure you give clients that don’t fit one of your primary pricing models the opportunity to contact you with a clear call-to-action for custom projects on these pages.

4. Gated Resources

Yes, it is 2020… and yes, gated content still absolutely works if your company needs SaaS marketing ideas that need to improve the quality of your lead generation!

I know gating content is generally considered to be a no-no – especially in the tech world. But no matter what Spiceworks tells you in their reports, my own lead generation testing (and success) indicates that tech professionals will not only provide you the information in exchange for gated content – they will even do so for your own sales literature!

The process is pretty simple – do a survey of something, develop a whitepaper or case study, create an infographic that relates to the challenges of your target customers… and then put it behind a form in exchange for a newsletter signup or basic contact information.

This strategy works well because providing content as a download in exchange for contact information can be leveraged on multiple advertising platforms. In addition to generating organic traffic from search and social media, putting a few dollars behind these pieces of content on AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help turn those platforms into lead generation opportunities, also.

Added bonus: The less “valuable” the information you are providing to your target customer, the fewer form fields you should require them to fill out to receive the information. For an ebook or whitepaper, asking them to fill out detailed company information should be okay. For your sales brochure? Limit it to no more than first name and email.

5. Product Comparison vs. Top Competitors

Product comparison content is a great way to show how your SaaS is different (and in most cases, better!) than your competition. Depending on how you choose to present your product comparison content, this can be done in a way that potential customers should easily be able to evaluate. If SEO strategies are a top driver of leads for your company, then product comparisons should be an essential part of your digital marketing plan if you are looking to expand your opportunities.

Has a company in your niche leveraged this strategy against your brand? Take action with this post breaking down PPC and SEO ideas to use when you find a competitor using your company name as a keyword.

Added bonus: Having pages like this built on your site will also allow you to rank and run advertising campaigns for keywords centered around alternatives to your competitor (like “Hotjar alternatives” and “alternatives to Salesforce”) and take top positions for searches that include the word “versus” in their query (like “apache vs cloudera” or “WooCommerce vs Magento”).

6. Resource Guides And Roundups

There’s a lot of content that can be bundled under this category – everything from a roundup of industry experts offering tips on a topic, to listicles that rank, rate, or review the best/worst of anything that is important to your audience.

Added bonus: We do this very well on our own site. Please check out my company’s International SEO Tips blog post with over 20 industry experts for examples of this marketing strategy at work.

7. Site Retargeting

In today’s world of search engine optimization, comprehensive content is the king of ranking at the top of the results pages for short tail/high search volume keyword phrases.

So often times, you will find blog or article content on websites that answer questions you suspect everyone researching a company would already know, like “what is VOIP?” or “what is training data?

Why do other SaaS companies do this? We can think of a few reasons:

  1. For the brand awareness and exposure of ranking on the first page for a keyword potential leads search for at the very beginning of their information gathering process.
  2. To have content considered linkworthy to nearly any website owner around the web.
  3. So that they can leverage site retargeting strategies through the entire buyer’s journey of a potential lead

Option 3 is the key strategy for publishing top of the funnel content for lead generation – you get the added bonus of adding retargeting to the page and building a list of visitors at the beginning of their search for a solution provider.

It doesn’t matter what you call this 1-2 lead generation punch, it’s going to have crawesome (creepy + awesome) results.

Stalk the 99% of visitors to your website that read an informational article they found from keyword search, but are no where near ready to become a lead, by retargeting them with display ads. You can use this strategy in search engines, display ads, social networks, and mobile apps.

Bonus tip: If your SaaS solution requires a long sales cycle, make sure you have your audience list set in retargeting to the longest time period possible.

Final Thoughts On How To Generate Leads For Your SaaS

As documented above, there are a lot of ways your SaaS can generate leads online. No matter what tactics you choose, each strategy requires testing, a varying degree of manpower to get implemented, and a few tweaks or customizations to fit the needs of your customers and help you achieve your goals.

No matter what tactics you try to help your pipeline grow, always be testing and regularly evaluate the results to maximize performance.

Portions of this article were originally published on the digital marketing blog from Direct Online Marketing.