4 Tips for Creating a Successful SaaS Application
The SaaS space is already pretty crowded, but as demand shows no signs of slowing, here are the hallmarks of successful SaaS products.
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Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, is quickly becoming a premier way for business owners to launch new products and services, with the ability to scale up as the customer base increases. The main appeal to this business model is that it allows the team behind the product to deliver an instant, consistent, and cloud-based solution to people with a wide range of problems.
Some of the most common SaaS applications include products like Netflix, Uber, and Office 365. Each software solves a specific problem. In the case of Netflix, it helps provide the customer with entertainment, which addresses boredom. Uber, as a whole, solves the problem of transportation. Office 365 helps with productivity and provides a convenience factor for people on the go.
If you’re thinking about starting your first SaaS application, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to be successful. These general rules apply to virtually every single popular SaaS on the market today.
Let’s dive in.
Market the Purpose, Not the Price
One of the most common mistakes new SaaS business owners make is they market the price of their product instead of the purpose of their software. SaaS usually costs much less to get up and running and maintain as opposed to a traditional eCommerce or brick and mortar store. Because the price is so affordable, you’ll likely be able to give your customers a great deal on your product.
But here’s the thing, the price of your product doesn’t mean much of anything if the consumer doesn’t understand the problem you hope to solve with your technology. On the other hand, if you’re offering something that solves a significant problem faced by a large chunk of your potential audience, the price will be an afterthought as well as a pleasant surprise when they make it to the checkout page.
When you’re marketing your product, always focus on the purpose, not the price.
Create Content that Informs and Provides Value
You would likely have a hard time finding any successful company that doesn’t feature a blog. A stunning 77 percent of people who use the internet enjoy reading blog content. When you’re creating your SaaS application, jot down some notes and research content based around your niche.
When you’ve gathered enough data, compile some content ideas, and prepare the content for your audience. The most crucial factor here is that you’re creating content that provides value and enhances the core experience of your service.
For instance, Uber has a blog that features content that provides travel advice, shows off some remarkable sights from around the country, and tells stories about famous people who travel. This is all content that someone on Uber may find valuable for several reasons. If you’re thinking about traveling, you'll likely need an Uber when you land. The assumption is consumers will look for their ride before they board their flight. The next logical step is that consumer will look at their blog and see tips for flying, which starts building a relationship based on providing value before a single dollar exchanges hands.
Offer a Free Trial
Free trials are another feature found in most successful SaaS applications. This feature allows you to show your customers how your service is going to improve their lives at no cost. If they like your product, they will happily stick around and become return customers.
Since you’re giving consumers a chance to see how your product will help them, you can increase your conversion rates and sales by simply offering a timed test run. Another great feature of providing a free trial is that it helps encourages people to tell their friends and family about your platform because they can say to them that they have nothing to lose because it’s free to start.
Use Customer Data and Surveys for Product Development
Finally, you should always try to expand on your existing service at regular intervals. The best way to find new ways to innovate is through looking at your Google Analytics data and customer surveys. It’s essential that you blend the data from both sources so you can better gauge your audience and compare the survey results to your total audience.
For example, if you look at your customer satisfaction surveys, which should have pointed questions that you can use for analysis, you may notice trends throughout the responses. When a questionnaire comes back, and 80 percent of respondents requested a specific feature, it’s a safe bet that this feature is an excellent direction for your product.
Compare the results of your surveys with your analytics data and determine if the proportion of people who responded make up a fair percentage of your overall customer base. If 80 percent of survey respondents requested a feature, but only 2 percent of your customers took the survey, you may want to think twice before making a massive change to your service. On the other hand, if the survey results consisted of 60 percent of your base, this represents a feature that is desired by a majority of your audience.
SaaS applications are here to stay. As technology grows in the coming years, and business owners merge with developers to create innovative products, we expect to see a sharp rise in these types of business models in the coming years. If you’re considering creating this type of application, keep these four tips in mind so you can create a service that your customers can’t live without.
Published at DZone with permission of Thomas Griffin. See the original article here.
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