The 4 Steps for Killer SaaS Marketing Lead Generation: Part 1, Content Offers

How’s your SaaS marketing lead generation game?

Because here’s the deal…

Leads are good. Leads mean more sales. Which means more money for your business.

Which is the whole point of marketing. So, if your marketing isn’t directly boosting your bottom line, then it’s not doing its job.

In this four-part series, I’ll lay out the 4 steps to getting your lead-gen campaigns planned, built, streamlined, and running.

Before we get into the first step, let’s take a look at how the mechanics of lead generation work. It consists of four steps that work together to draw people back to you and all the great SaaS products you offer.

Those steps are:

1. Offer

An offer is something you are going to give away that’s perceived as high-quality and high-value. Ebooks, White Papers, Checklists, Free Consultations, etc. You’re not giving away the farm here, but you also want the prospect to feel like they’re getting something good. An email address is a valuable commodity these days, so the content offer has to feel like it’s worth it.

2. Call to Action (CTA)

This is a button or a link that is clearly visible. It serves to both tell the prospect what you want them to do, and give them a way to do it. The CTA will link back to…

3. Landing Page

A landing page is a stripped down, laser-focused webpage that offers information on the offer and a form to download that file. No header, no footer, no fluff, no distractions. Just a sweet, sweet offer and instructions on how to get it.

4. Form

This is where the prospect will give you their email address (and other info, if it makes sense.) You can’t capture leads without forms.

We’ll take a look at Offers first.


How to create offers that convert.

Marketing, at its core, is simply an effort to get someone to do what you want them to do. And what you want them to do, every time, is to raise their hand. To say “yes.”

So, here are three ways to position your offers in a way that actually works.

1. The Element of Scarcity

What’s the first thing you learned in high school econ? Supply and demand, right? When something is scarce, demand for it goes up. Why? Because we humans are hardwired to perceive that rarity as a signal that that thing is valuable.

SaaS marketing lead generationScarcity in your content offers creates an instant sense of urgency. People don’t want to be left out in the cold. They don’t want to miss out.

Here are three kinds of scarcity that work well within the SaaS space:

Limited Time Offers
Car commercials do this constantly… “Get 0% interest before time runs out!”

Limited Quantity Offers
Perhaps even more effective than time-based offers (which clearly state the deadline), Limited Quantity Offers put the fear of not knowing when the offer will end into the mix. The offer could be gone at any moment.

Within the SaaS space, this could look like a free trial or coupon. You just have to make sure it makes sense. There’s no logical limit for the number of, say, ebooks you can offer. So, make sure you’re not losing trust with the prospect from the word go.

The Combo
This method employs both time and availability limits. Groupon, for instance, does this. A Groupon is available for purchase only within a set timeframe, and only a certain amount can be purchased.

2. The Bandwagon Effect

People like belonging to groups. We also tend to imitate each other.

Both of these things can work wonders for the efficacy of your content offers.

So, if you’ve got great numbers, use them. For example:

  • Webinars: “40,000 people have signed up.”
  • Blog Subscribers: “120,000 people have subscribed.”
  • Ebooks: “50,000 people have downloaded this ebook.”

Obviously, don’t fudge these numbers. But if you have them, definitely use them.


3. Create Fantastic Titles

Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO and co-founder, once said,“You can have a great offer with a bad title and no one will download it. But if you have an amazing title, suddenly everyone wants it.”

SaaS marketing lead generationThat’s how important a title is. It has to catch the prospect’s attention, intrigue them, and give them no other choice but to click.

Here are some ideas for crafting titles that convert for your SaaS marketing lead generation efforts.


4. Different Strokes, er…. Content… for Different Folks (at Different Stages in the Buyer’s Journey)

Most SaaS marketing lead generation strategies tend to focus down toward the bottom of the sales funnels. Offering a “free trial” for someone who knows they have a need you might be able to fill, has done her own research on your competitors, and is finally at the point of making a decision? That makes sense.

SaaS marketing lead generation

Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis?

Offering that to someone who doesn’t even know what you do? Far less effective.

An ebook or guide would be a much better choice up there at the tippy top of the funnel.

So keep this in mind when you’re creating your offers: Where are they in the Buyer’s Journey?


5. Speak Their Language

Avoid using buzzy or industry-specific words in your offer. It’s been done, and only the eye-rolling is left.

Be a human being. That’s decent advice in most situations. It’s vital in this one.


6. Make the Format Valuable

Some formats are good for content offers. Others, not so much. For example, trying to get someone to give you their email address in exchange for, say, reading a single blog probably isn’t going to work. It has to be bigger than something they can get totally free a million other places online.

Here’s a list from Hubspot about the best converting content offer formats:

  • Ebooks or Guides
  • Templates or Presentations
  • Research & Reports (ex: State of Inbound Marketing)
  • Whitepapers
  • Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
  • Live Webinars
  • On-demand Videos
  • Middle-of-the-funnel offers: Demo Requests, Contact Sales, RFP, etc (more sales-ready offers).

So, I hope you’ll take this information and use it as you go create your content!

In Part 2, we’ll take a look at crafting effective Calls to Action.

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