Panic flushes through your arms.
Your heart is pounding.
No matter which way you turn, strangers. Towering over you.
The raucous din of stall owners. The sizzle of freshly cooked food.
Where is mum?!
Your four-year-old eyes flood with tears and then-
“THERE you are!”
And everything is ok.
We grow up afraid of getting lost. Whether it’s the terror of abandonment in a busy market, your first sleepover away from home, or the ‘shortcut’ that turns out not to be.
And as a canny SaaS marketer, you know how businesses can get lost in the crowd, as well as people.
So how do we make sure we’re easy to find?
Sticking a neon yellow hat on a four-year-old prone to roaming is the work of a moment. But in the ever-growing SaaS marketplace, it’s not so simple.
Gartner predicts that the market is growing by a massive 16% year-on-year, so there’s an unsurprising glut of businesses either launching or converting to SaaS models.
Such a boom spells great opportunity.
As founders of the SaaS Engine, we surveyed 1397 customers and marketers and found that quality leads were up by a reported 59% in 2020. We also found investment in SaaS platforms to be riding high on the back of the remote working revolution.
But for many SaaS platforms, unclear and ineffective copy are letting the side down.
So how can you stick a luminous hat on your company’s head? What do SaaS consumers expect to see from your copy and content, and how can you surprise and engage them?
The answer is through a well-researched, powerful SaaS copywriting strategy. One that will have your customers not just coming back for more, but bringing all their friends along too.
In this blog post, I’m going to share some of my greatest copywriting secrets. Fuelling you up for your journey into SaaS marketing mythology.
Ready to get started?
First up, build your goalposts
Believe it or not, there’s plenty of work to be done before you even set a finger to your keyboard.
Like an athlete in the velodrome, it’s crucial to chart a course before you unleash all that creative energy.
So before you delve into your copy, let’s get your strategy sorted.
Ask yourself “What do I want?”
And “How will I measure success?”
This can be as simple as doubled conversions, reduced mid-funnel exits, or a growing mailing list.
But it’s important to set a clear target before you draw back the bowstring.
And this doesn’t just apply to the big picture. As you know, once we dig into the detail, you’ll need a laser-focused eye on what you want your prospects to do at every stage.
What conversation you want to have, and how you can move them closer to making a purchase.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
No more silent movies
Remember the Talkies?
Me neither, they were almost 100 years ago.
But you might have heard of them. A technological leap in the 1920s and 30s when silent film gave way to synchronised sound.
That’s right, television was revolutionised by something as unassuming as dialogue. As conversation.
And people were swept away by the magic of previously silent figures reaching through the screen and speaking right to them.
In many ways, nothing has changed. Audiences still want to feel part of a conversation. Which is why for SaaS marketing – for any marketing in fact – conversational copy is always the way to go.
And it’s a secret that a surprising number of companies still don’t understand.
They think you have to speak like the technical manual for a dehumidifier.
(Dry squared… I’ll show myself out.)
But the truth is even technicians don’t want to talk like that. People want a conversation.
- So that rather than: “Our product draws moisture from the air at a rate of 16 litres a day.”
- You’ll say: “Fed up of that damp patch? Wish there was an easy way to sort it?”
You can be professional and human. And maybe even just a little bit charming.
After all, SaaS is all about bringing teams, and people, together. Right?
Do you know what they know? Be specific and targeted
As a SaaS marketer with your finger on the pulse, you’ve been segmenting your audience for years. Breaking them down into identifiable groups you can reach in different places on and offline.
So I’m not about to teach grandma how to suck eggs.
But it’s important to consider your audience’s stage of awareness when crafting tailor-made copy.
After all, if you had a spare room to rent, you wouldn’t just approach a stranger in the street, would you? You’d understand there’s an appropriate context for that conversation.
And that your conversation will be different with someone on a forum as opposed to a friend-of-a-friend who’s already seen photos.
For SaaS copywriting, it’s just the same.
So what exactly are those stages of awareness?
- Unaware – people who don’t even know they have a problem.
- Problem aware – people who have clocked the issue, but don’t know what solutions might help.
- Solution aware – people who know solutions exist, but haven’t come across yours. Yet.
- Product aware – people who know your product, but haven’t made their decision.
- Most aware – people who know and trust your brand, likely as an existing or previous customer.
If you can identify which stage your prospects are at, you can craft copy that speaks directly to their situation. And that is clearly targeted at moving them to the next stage of awareness.
I’ll say it again – if you’re talking to an unaware customer it’s foolhardy to try to sell. Your aim is simply to make them aware of the problem.
For more on how to take advantage of each stage of awareness, check out this Hubspot blog post.
Remember that most customers don’t know you.
So watch out that your vision isn’t being distorted by being too close to your own service. Read our blog post for the most common mistakes caused by ‘the curse of knowledge’.
And if you can speak to your prospect’s precise stage of awareness, they’re far more likely to listen. And ultimately convert.
Now, you can even speak like them
With that clearly in mind, you can supercharge your language by using Voice of Customer data.
That is, delving into what customers are saying about you across social media and review sites, and through surveys and direct research. Then sorting through that data and picking out trends.
It will tell you which messages are landing and which aren’t. Why customers are choosing you and why they’re leaving.
And then you can directly incorporate phrases or even full quotes into your copy.
Literally speaking your customers’ language is a sure-fire way to get closer to their needs.
Become a Grade A Jargon-Hunter
One of the SaaS Engine’s biggest findings was that customers want clarity from software providers. Above anything else.
For your copy, that means killing the jargon.
- Clearly define your UVP in a way that speaks to your target audience. Identify their stage of awareness and work to bring them to the next one.
- Use an instant clarity headline on your homepage and every landing page. If a prospect can’t understand it within six seconds, they’re gone.
- Focus on tangible benefits over technical features. This doesn’t mean dumbing down, it means hitting the reader with powerful and specific reasons why your service will make their life easier.
Write for humans, not SERPs
When did you last read a webpage, word-for-word, from top to bottom, the first time you came across it?
If this sounds familiar, all power to you. But the majority of readers skim, skip, jump up and down the page, scroll to the end and start there… you name it, someone’s doing it.
So your copy needs to be friendly to all kinds of readers.
Not just the bots that define search rankings.
- Keep your paragraphs short and staggered in length. Chunky ones are much harder for the eye to digest quickly.
- Keep your page width to between 50 and 70 characters for optimal readability.
- Use mostly short sentences. Include only one thought per sentence. Like this.
- Use subheaders and bullet points to make it skimmable and scannable.
- And of course, don’t keyword stuff.
The party’s already started!
No one wants to turn up to a party first. With the awkward hour that follows as things slowly get going.
You want a buzz. To have been there when Greg did that crazy thing.
Exactly the same is true for SaaS copywriting. Our research with the SaaS Engine found that social proof continues to reign supreme, with customer reviews selected as the most trusted source influencing buyer decision-making.
So get busy with your customer feedback.
- Feature testimonials at every opportunity.
- Include case studies for each different buyer type or use case.
- Weave customer quotes into your copy wherever it appears. Header? Subheader? PPC or social ad? Get it in there.
- Share how many people just like them are using your platform. Be ultra-specific with numbers, it’s incredibly powerful.
- Get industry endorsements and boast about them.
Get all the tricks and tips you can, and apply them
Whilst it’s a great place to start, this blog post was never going to be enough. Our research as founders of the SaaS Engine uncovered a whole load of tools SaaS marketers can use to boost their returns in 2021.
Take a look, and you’ll learn how to get the choir to do the preaching, how to zig when the industry zags, and how to implement advanced remarketing strategies throughout your funnel.
We’ll also share which areas of SaaS marketing 57% of users want to see improvements in.