Written by Sam Yadegar on Sep 29 , 2022

Get inspiration from these SaaS brands to create your own high-converting Facebook ads.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why Facebook ads are an ideal channel for SaaS companies
  • Best practices for creating winning SaaS Facebook ads
  • How to trigger ad clicks from targeted audiences
  • Examples of real-world SaaS Facebook ads that get it right

“Build it and they will come.” If only it were as easy as that — it’d make your role as a SaaS marketer a lot easier. 

In reality, you know it takes time, effort, and thoughtful strategy to attract quality leads to your SaaS product. This leaves you with two options:

  • Build an audience or community (e.g., SEO, word of mouth, engaging on forums) 
  • Pay for visibility and reach (e.g., Google ads, sponsored social media posts)

Many B2B SaaS companies choose the latter because it drives traffic and leads faster. One platform they use to achieve this is Facebook (aka Meta). But to get the most out of paid ads, you’ve got to target the right people with the right message.

This is where things can get tricky. 

If you’re curious about building a Facebook ad campaign to promote your SaaS product, keep reading to learn what makes a SaaS Facebook ad effective. 

Do Facebook ads work for SaaS?

This is a valid question, given that ads require spending hundreds (or even thousands) monthly. 

Some may argue that LinkedIn ads are better for SaaS. And sure, it’s another useful platform for advertising, but it’s costlier than Facebook. Whether Facebook ads work for your SaaS company depends on how you structure your campaigns and develop your ads. 

The good news: With a solid digital marketing strategy, you can build Facebook ads for SaaS that not only drive traffic, but convert them into customers. 

Take SEOJet for example. This is a seven-figure SaaS tool geared towards search engine optimization (SEO) experts and teams. It initially used SEO (no surprise) to drive traffic, but needed more reliable growth. So Adam White, the previous owner of SEOJet and current Founder of SquidVision, turned to Facebook ads. 

“I have a background in filmmaking, so I wrote and directed two commercials that focused on the pain points SEOJet solved,” says White. “I used these videos as our main Facebook ads. Within six months of running them, revenue had doubled. I think the key was using humor to make our brand relatable and then really driving home, in a ridiculous way, the problems we all deal with when doing SEO, and how SEOJet solves them.”

Here’s an example of one of his video ads:

Here at HawkSEM, we also saw success using paid ads to promote SaaS businesses. AppDynamics came to us looking for a better, data-driven approach to market its services, so it partnered with us to manage its global PPC campaigns. This consisted of optimized text ads and other assets (like landing pages) to drive growth.

Long story short, we increased their conversions by 20% and doubled their traffic.

But to get results like these, it’s crucial to understand what it takes to build effective online ads. Let’s delve into that next. 

12 best practices to create lead-generating Facebook SaaS ads

Designing Facebook ads for your SaaS company is easy. It’s getting your target audience to see and click on them that can be challenging. 

With these tips, you can put the odds in your favor and build visibility for your SaaS brand:

1. Research your target audience

Extend beyond your current buyer personas by conducting interviews and surveys to capture insights straight from the source. From there, you can use tools that capture behind-the-scenes data to see who’s visiting your landing pages and converting. Use all of this info to create narrower segments that are more likely to convert. The info you gather at this stage will help you with the following best practices.

2. Create multiple target audiences

If you create too broad of a segment, your offer could be irrelevant to the majority who see the ad. It’s better to have multiple segments with personalized ads. Consider grouping by industry, job role, or lifestyle choices. 

3. Zoom in on key pain points

Drive interest by composing ad copy that speaks to a specific pain point. For example, if you’re targeting CFOs with your payroll software, highlight how it eases or eliminates a common issue (e.g., tracking employee timesheets). 

4. Highlight your SaaS product’s benefits

This is a big one: Avoid talking about what your product has (features), and instead, show what it can do (benefits). Be explicit. For instance, your tool can slash time spent on project management tasks by 60% or 10 hours per week.

5. Use social proof

Showing customer experiences and successes with your SaaS platform builds trust faster than any promise you can make. Choose case studies, public reviews, or customer testimonials that relate to the target audience’s pain points. 

6. Promote educational content

Selling to your audience is one way to use ads, but don’t overlook the power of teaching. Design a piece of content marketing like an e-book, research study, or survey with actionable insights that can improve their business or roles in the company.

7. A/B test everything

Know what makes your audience click by experimenting with various headlines, calls to action (CTAs), content formats, ad copy, and offers. But only change one element at a time to identify what improved (or tanked) your ad results. 

8. Offer free demos

Catch the interest of your audience with a free trial to try before they buy. Make it worthwhile, such as a 30-day test run, so they see its impact on their lives. This way, they’ll be more reluctant to continue on without it. 

9. Build a complete funnel

Tunneling customers to your landing page is only one part of the customer’s journey. What do you have in place to take them from a free trial or download to a paying customer? Create content for each stage (such as through an ad > landing page > demo/download > nurturing emails with helpful content > end of campaign with a special offer to convert).

10. Create lookalike audiences

Reach more qualified leads by targeting audiences similar to those who engage with your ads (download, click, buy). Build campaigns for each type to see which performs the best. 

11. Retarget your traffic

Many will engage with your ads but won’t convert. Retarget your ads to them to encourage them to return and complete their download, sign-up, or purchase. 

12. Remarket to your leads

Turning traffic into leads is the first step. Now, you’ve got to nudge them towards the sale. Create email campaigns to nurture them into becoming a customer. 

More SaaS ad best practices to consider

Most ad campaigns focus on macro conversions, like a sales call, sign-up, or purchase. But don’t overlook micro conversion opportunities such as downloads, webinar views, and podcast listens. Each touchpoint is a chance to drive leads closer to the sale. 

By leveraging CRM tools like HubSpot and Salesforce, it’s easier to track leads throughout the funnel. But if you want to increase MQLs, high quality SQLs, and revenue, then you need a platform like HawkSEM’s ConversionIQ. It syncs with your CRM and measures lead quality of your Facebook campaigns. 

With this data, you can design highly-targeted campaigns and personalized ads that trigger top customers to convert. 

When designing CTAs, be specific about your offer. Here are several great examples from Chase Dimond, a copywriter for major e-commerce brands.

saas ads facebook - twitter

(Image source: Twitter)

Interested in learning more? Check out these PPC ad tips

Real-world examples of the best SaaS Facebook ads that work (and why)

Tips are great, but seeing them in action paints a clear picture of how to apply them. So let’s review the best SaaS ads from leading companies in SaaS. 

1. Sleeknote: Makes a bold promise

Showcasing the benefits of a SaaS tool is an excellent way to entice people to click your ad. But if you want them to convert, then you need to make a promise. 

That’s what Sleeknote did in its Facebook ad, which promises major gains when using its product:

Sleeknote ad

To make the deal more appealing, Sleeknote offers a free trial and highlights its simple five-minute setup.

This ad works because it tells you exactly what to expect if you sign up (400-600% increase in email subscribers), and makes it simple to create your first pop-up within minutes. It eases any concerns a customer may have, especially since it’s free to try for a week.

2. Drift: Offers a demo to remove a concerning pain point

Drift is a SaaS platform targeting marketers. And two things marketers love are data and insights. In its ad, it includes a stat that reveals a major pain point in the marketing community: high costs for digital ads with low return rates.

Drift ad

Then the ad offers a solution to the problem using its chatbot tool to engage site visitors and increase conversions. As a bonus, Drift points out no coding knowledge is necessary to install it, which is critical because most marketers aren’t programmers.

This ad works because it offers a simple solution to a pressing problem many of its marketing customers face. It also eases any concerns about the tool being too difficult for non-techies.

3. Kissmetrics: Uses carousel ad showing multiple features for a single pain point

Sometimes, you have multiple features that can help one major challenge. Kissmetrics homes in on helping marketers gain more customers. It does this by offering powerful analytics tools to better understand your target customer’s behaviors when using your site or product. 

Kissmetrics ad

The ad shows an interactive carousel of features, including its funnel data, identifying drop-off points in the customer journey, along with behavioral insights to see which features power users engage with most. 

Why does this ad work? Because it gets straight to the (pain) point and offers options to overcome it.

4. GitHub: Promotes a conference with thought leaders to inspire you 

Brand awareness is another reason to use Facebook for SaaS marketing. If you have a blog, webinar, podcast, or YouTube channel to promote, then this is the avenue to go down. 

GitHub used Facebook ads to raise awareness of its live conference with expert developers. 

GitHub ad

What makes this ad effective is that it doesn’t focus on selling. Rather, it offers an experience where developers can learn from greats in their industry. It’s an excellent way to build brand awareness, while also converting clickers into qualified leads who may use your platform for future projects. 

5. Proof: Entices audiences with social proof

Nothing speaks to your target audience like the words of a happy customer. Including their testimonials in your ads is a clever way to show your offer and how it can make their lives better. 

That’s what Proof did in its Facebook ad:

Proof ad

Not only does the ad display the vast number of users, but it includes an image of a customer’s dashboard with an impressive conversion rate. 

This works well because potential customers can visualize the results they may get using the tool. Plus, seeing that tens of thousands of others are using it builds trust. 

6. Grow: Uses P.A.S. and a dashboard sneak-peek 

Ever heard of the P.A.S. formula? It’s popularly used in copywriting and stands for pain, agitate, solution. Grow’s ad captures this by starting with a question many marketers ask themselves. Then agitates it by saying it’s a problem that should be simple to figure out, yet scattered data makes it challenging.

Of course, the solution is its tool, which creates visually appealing dashboards with all the information marketers need to make tough decisions. 

GROW ad

 What makes this impactful is that it speaks on a common pain point and offers a solution. Then it uses images to display how the tool works, making the conversion more attractive. 

7. CoSchedule: Plays on simplicity to build desire

You don’t always need to say a lot to convince an audience to convert. If you can present a pain point and resolution in one or two sentences, it increases the odds of prospects reading the entire ad and deciding to click or not. 

CoSchedule used this method in its ad, which clearly states what it helps (resharing social content) with and how (automation):

CoSchedule ad

8. Autopilot: Offers to teach you to overcome a major challenge

Here’s another example of how valuable company assets can convert prospects into leads. Autopilot completed a study to identify the formula for a common marketing problem: creating high-performing free trial experiences (so leads are more likely to convert into paying customers). 

Autopilot ad 

 The reason this ad works is that it offers to educate its audience on a major pain point for free. And all those sign-ups will become leads in an email nurturing funnel that convinces some to become paid subscribers. 

9. Asana: Magnifies a specific pain point 

It’s vital to create ads with a specific audience and pain point in mind. 

In Asana’s ad, you see it talks about tracking teams, then presents its app as a way to simplify the process. 

Asana ad

 Why this works: there’s a clear proposition that speaks to the target customer, increasing the odds of a conversion.

 10. Heap: Compares itself to a known SaaS giant

If you’re just starting out with a new SaaS tool, how can you make your ads stand out? How about comparing your product to a known competitor so prospects can visualize why it’s a better option?

That’s what Heap did in its SaaS Facebook ad:

Heap ad

 Based on the ad, you know it’s an analytics tool for SaaS apps and can assume it’s more modern because of its statement: “if Google Analytics were built in 2017” (instead of decades ago). 

This works because it shows what the tool’s capable of. And if you’re a SaaS owner, then having these insights is critical to improving your product and retention rates, you’ll be curious to check it out. Pointing out Zendesk and thousands of other users also solidifies its credibility. 

11. Miro: Highlights a familiar use case

When building a new SaaS product, it’s critical for prospects to visualize how they can use it in their everyday lives. Miro expresses in its ad how it replaces whiteboards – a familiar tool in many offices. 

Miro ad

 Miro offers to replace whiteboards with a tool that’s shareable and accessible from anywhere, unlike the physical version. 

This works because it takes a common use case and shows a better way to achieve the same (teamwork) or better results (accessible anywhere). 

12. Dropbox: Offers a free trial with an easy sign-up

Free trials and SaaS tools are practically synonymous today. The question now is, how long should it be? Simple answer: however long it takes for subscribers to see the value in your platform. 

For example, if your tools offer monthly insights, then having a 30-day trial is the minimum. 

Dropbox offered a 14-day trial because that’s all the time a user needs to see how it works. Then as a cherry on top, it highlights its fast two-minute setup to combat worries of it having an extensive process. 

Dropbox ad

 13. Hootsuite: Creates FOMO with a little-known secret

If there’s one thing consumers dislike, it’s being the last to learn about something awesome. Hootsuite’s ad pushes the envelope further by presenting a secret few know, but need to know to achieve a goal. 

In this case, it’s how to become a verified Instagram user (in only three steps):  

Hootsuite ad

Why it works: It doesn’t just provide a solution, it presents it as a simple process, making it a no-brainer click for folks who aren’t “in the know.” 

14. Kinsta: Plays on customers’ worst fear

Missing out isn’t the only fear people have. If your research reveals your customers are afraid of a certain outcome or threat, use it to gain their trust. 

Kinsta understands its customers need security from cyber threats. So it created a downloadable cheat sheet to protect against website attacks. 

Kinsta ad

 This ad offers to help prospects overcome safety fears for free. 

But you don’t have to be a security SaaS tool to ease fears. For instance, you can highlight other anxieties your product resolves, such as reducing churn, preventing financial loss, or speeding up manual processes. 

The takeaway

Facebook marketing for SaaS doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you learn about your audience and their biggest challenges, the ads will practically write themselves. 

Just make sure to:

  • Target a specific audience
  • Home in on key pain points
  • Show the benefits of using your tool (e.g., social proof and free trials)
  • Use eye-catching ad creatives (images and videos)

Use the best practices in this guide to ensure your ads are relevant and click-worthy. And if you ever need inspiration, reexamine our ad examples to see how SaaS businesses are achieving more clicks. 

This entry was posted in Blog, Paid Social and tagged , , on by .
Sam Yadegar

About Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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