Getting more leads is essential for all SaaS businesses, and no one will turn them away—but how do you actually get them?
In most cases, creating enticing lead magnets that woo customers is the way to go. This gives them something of value, and you’ll get their contact information in exchange. This lets you send email drip campaigns and personalized messages to nurture leads and convert them into customers.
There is an abundance of different types of lead offers, and some definitely work better than others. We’re going to look at the most popular and effective types of lead magnets for SaaS companies and how to use them.
1. Free Trials
Free trials are one of the best types of lead magnets for SaaS out there, and the reason is simple: users get to try out the product risk free, giving them the chance to see how valuable the software is. Once they’ve gotten used to your system, they likely won’t want to learn another one, and won’t want to go back to not having it.
Free trials may be most effective when no credit cards are required to try the software. You’ll also want to offer enough features that users can truly test out the software and see the value; some SaaS companies make the mistake of offering trial plans so stripped of features that potential customers can’t actually try it out.
You also want to make sure that users can see the value of the software in the allotted time for the free trial; if that takes a week, you can give a week-long trial, but if it takes a month, make sure they have that full time period to see that. If they need training, demos, or tutorials to see that value, you’ll want to ensure that they have access to that.
Free trials are one of the most effective lead magnets to win over SaaS companies. One case study found that free trials combined with email campaigns saw a 200% increase in sign-ups. Since then? one study found that 71% of SaaS companies offered free trials, and 56% offered extremely limited free plans designed to eventually increase conversions to paid plans.
2. Live Demo
In a live demo, similar to free trials, you’ll get to show users the value of your product. Since demos are scheduled with members of your team, they can really sell the product and answer user questions right there.
When you’re offering a live demo, offer to include multiple people on the customer’s side if necessary. As Salesforce’s blog mentions, demos aren’t just a listing of product features. Instead, you want to show how the software will provide long-term value. Reiterate that with statements like, “This software will simplify communications, guaranteeing no more missed messages and increasing productivity by 15%.”
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Non-live demos are also an option, which allows users to click through your software and see what it can do on a demo account, getting a feel for the software and its capabilities. If you make this available online, you don’t need to have any representatives or salespeople handling live demos. While more value is in a live demo, non-live demos can still be effective, too.
A free consulting session as a lead magnet for SaaS companies can demonstrate your expertise while giving you the opportunity to build that valuable one-on-one relationship. You can also plug your software a few times in the process.
Consulting does have a huge disadvantage if you’re offering it for free: people may want to benefit from your expertise and take up your time, without the intention of converting outside of it. To prevent this, you can establish boundaries and set clear time limits for the consulting session, or limit the session to only a single subject. You can discuss, as Salesforce and NetSuite do in the example above, only how the software can help their business.
Even offering paid consulting is a great way to entice users to convert. Infusionsoft, for example, has a fee for new users that includes four consulting sessions.
Webinars provide valuable information to multiple members of your audience at once. You can engage with them, giving you the chance for powerful relationship building and answering their questions one on one. This gives you the chance to address key challenges that users have with your software. When you combine this ability to overcome objections and resolve problems with an enticing offer that is presented to webinar-only attendees, you could see a huge increase in conversions. This exclusive offer can even provide incentive for them to stay all the way until the end.
Unlike consulting, you can provide incredible information live and directly, but at a much smaller risk of being taken advantage of. The webinar is more expensive to host, but you’ll stay on track with a pre-determined subject, and then you can answer questions at the end. You can then share the recording of the webinar later, for additional leads, for purchase, or for free.
Whitepapers and case studies can help you establish yourselves as industry experts, especially since your peers may find this information useful, too. Whitepapers and case studies are information-dense and research-heavy guides to approaching a specific problem, making them a great lead magnet that most audiences are interested in.
Even though it’s a few years old, this whitepaper from Cloud Computing (pictured, in part, above) is a great example of what to strive for. It’s dense, formal, and full of information. It explains things technically and completely.
E-books often take longer to make, but their value is permanent and you can use them long term. An e-book provides value in the form of information, and it can stay on a user’s device, which is a huge advantage.
To be of immense value, e-books (in my experience) are most effective as lead magnets when they point out a problem and offer a solution in the form of information. The information can include your software as part of the solution, painting it as integral to success. A great example is the e-book from Kilometer.io, titled “The Complete Guide to SaaS Metrics.” Since Kilometer offers data enrichments and analytics services, this e-book will be useful to their audience and can actually make their tool more helpful for customers.
7. Templates, Swipe Files, or Checklists
Templates, swipe files, and checklists provide value by being actionable. These are resources that simplify your customer’s day, and it’s a resource that leads can continue to use. These are typically relatively easy (and affordable) to put together, but still offer immense value.
These types of content should complement and integrate with your software; invoicing software, for example, could offer free invoice templates users can plug into their system, and project management software could offer a checklist for project organization that coincides with its tools and features.
8. Microservices & Tools
Many SaaS apps and softwares are built with microservices software, with individual services and tools existing separately from the others. Microservices and micro-tools can capture user interest, getting them familiar with your brand and your software.
Social media curation software Pixlee, for example, has plenty of paid tools like Shoppable Instagram and ecommerce software. These are all paid tools, but they offer a free, easy-to-use Instagram gallery so users can see how simple and valuable the platform is.
Lead Magnets for SaaS Companies: Final Thoughts
So there you have it—8 different lead magnets for SaaS companies that are high-converting and engaging. Remember that the goal of lead magnets is to capture a user’s email information; each of these lead magnets gives you the chance to do just that. Once users sign-up, you can use automated email campaigns to nudge them towards becoming paid subscribers.
You’ll likely have to test different offers to see what works best for your individual business and advertise them on as many different platforms as possible, including on your site and ad platforms. The more visible the lead magnet is, after all, the more chances it has at driving conversions.
What do you think? Which lead magnets work best for you? Which are you most likely to sign up for? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!