George Terry
By George Terry on February 16, 2021

SaaS Conversion Funnel: Here's One That Actually Works

Most marketers know what a sales funnel is - and there are a ton of tutorials out there already if you don’t. So let’s skip the basics and jump straight into the good stuff.

How can you build a pipeline of qualified leads that are a good fit for your B2B SaaS?

This funnel isn’t rocket science. But it does work and it’s pretty easy to execute.

Here’s a quick overview:

  1. Identify a genuine pain point that you solve
  2. Create SEO content sharing solutions to that problem or examples of others who have overcome it
  3. Link to content showing how your product solves that same problem 
  4. Link to a landing page that doubles down on that same pain point and push for conversion

Basically, we’re going to zero in on a single problem that your customers have and use it to drive them through the SaaS conversion funnel stages. 

chart showing saas conversion funnel

Sound good? Let’s do it.

 

#1 - Identify a genuine pain point

The success of your funnel depends on how well you know your existing customers.

It doesn’t matter how flash your content marketing is, if you’re not talking about things that matter to your potential customers, it will get ignored.

Most SaaS marketers already know their pain points. If you don’t, schedule time with your sales and marketing team - or even better, a few paying customers - to understand what people are struggling with before they buy.

Once you have a list of potential pain points, go through them and look for one that...

  • Is closely related to your core use cases
  • Has a case study or testimonial you can use as proof
  • Can be traced back to a keyword with a reasonable search volume (100+ monthly searchers isn’t a bad starting point, although the exact number will depend on other factors like your domain authority)

overlapping venn diagram of customer pain points

A handful of pain points that satisfy all three criteria will give you a great foundation for your SaaS content marketing.

The next step is to take one of these pain points and build a funnel around it. 

 

#2 - Create SEO content targeting that pain point

SEO is the most reliable and scalable source of traffic there is. If you target the right keywords with the right content and keep that content up to date, your funnel will have a solid source of traffic for years to come.

I could write multiple blog posts about how to write good SEO content and still not cover everything there is to say. But since we're talking about SaaS conversion funnels and not SEO, I'm going to focus on the most important bit, which is intent.

The key with SEO content is to understand the intent of the person searching and create content that meets their needs better than anyone else.

If you understand what people want and give it to them in a format they want, Google's users and algorithms will forgive you a lot of other stuff. 

So what are the types of questions that people ask when they're trying to solve problems? And what's the best way to give them that information?

Here are are a few of the most common...

Specific question

Appropriate format: shortform explainer.

General question

Appropriate format: longform guide.

Advice

Appropriate format: step-by-step / how to / list.

Examples

Appropriate format: list.

Comparison

Appropriate format: comparison.

seo queries and formats

You should also check out the SERPs for your search term. If a particular format is already doing well, that’s a good indicator that that format matches the searchers’ intent.

However, if every link on the front page is the same format, think about bucking the trend and doing something different. As we wrote about in a recent newsletter, there are SEO benefits to not following the crowd.

 

#3 - Show how your product solves the same problem

The next step is to demonstrate that your product solves the problem they’re reading about. You do this by linking from your SEO content to other posts that are focused on your product.

There are two types of content that work well here.

 

Product-led content

Product-led content focuses on showing your product in action. It usually takes the form of detailed step-by-step explainers with plenty of annotated screenshots.

Product-led content is great for SaaS businesses because it makes the product feel tangible. Once you can see a product and understand how it works, it’s easier to imagine yourself using it.

Ahrefs has driven massive growth through its product-led content strategy. As their CMO, Tim Suolo, has said: “My theory is that customers first learn how to use your product. And they sign up because they know how to use your tool.”

If you’re going to create product-led content, make sure you stay focused on showing you solve real problems for customers and don’t get too bogged down in the minutiae. 

Detailed click-by-click tutorials for a product you don’t own will get pretty boring.

If you’re not familiar with product-led content, here are a few different examples from SaaS companies:

 

Case study

Most customers will look for some kind of proof that you can deliver before they commit, especially if you don’t offer a free trial. This is why good case studies are important.

Unfortunately, most case studies are super boring. They’re usually a lot longer than they need to be and they focus on the wrong stuff. 

Here are a couple of quick tips that will help.

 

Lead with your stats

Don’t put your results at the end, put them in the title. If your stats are impressive, potential customers will want to read to find out how you did it.

Here's an example from us. 

 

Show, don't tell

Use stats, screenshots and testimonials to make it feel real. Avoid telling people that you did something great. Tell them what you did and let your stats and testimonials show people how awesome it was.

 

#4 - Drive them to a targeted landing page

You’ve targeted genuine pain points and showed how your product solves them. The final step of your sales funnel is to push for a conversion.

You do this by driving your website visitor to a sales landing page that (you guessed it) targets the exact same pain point as the previous two pages. Not just in the headline but throughout the whole page. 

Let’s run through a quick example. For the sake of illustration, we’ll imagine our product analyses user behaviour and emails you quick optimisation recommendations once a week.

The pain point is that customers would love more leads from their website but they don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Headline

Show that you solve the customer's problem. 

Example: ‘More conversions - no extra work.’

 

Subtitle

Tell them how you do it.

Example: ‘Get personalised recommendations in your inbox once a week’.

 

Testimonial

Show that you’ve solved this problem for other customers.

Example: ‘Within two weeks we saw a massive increase in conversions from our website.'

 

Visual

Visual of the product in action solving that exact issue.

Example: A screenshot of a real (and useful) recommendation in someone’s inbox.

 

CTA

Restate the value that you add on the button.

Example: ‘Convert more visitors’

Every landing page is different, but hopefully this gives you a sense of how you can tailor each aspect of your landing page to focus on your customer's specific pain point.

 

Recap

There you have it. A simple SaaS funnel that will work for most businesses. 

Just in case you need a reminder, all you have to do is:

  1. Identify a genuine customer pain point that you solve (your sales team should be able to help with this if you’re unsure)
  2. Create SEO content targeting that customer pain point
  3. Show how your product solves that same problem
  4. Link to a landing page that doubles down on that pain point and push for conversion

chart showing saas conversion funnel

If you have questions or want to discuss anything in this piece in more detail, drop me a line on LinkedIn or Twitter. I’m always up for a chat. 

Thanks for reading.

Improve Your Content ROI 🚀

Links and tips to help you get more traffic and leads from your SaaS content.

Published by George Terry February 16, 2021
George Terry