Today’s SaaS business has two options: cower at the competition or leverage SaaS marketing tools to supercharge growth.
Here, you’ll find:
- Why companies invest money into the SaaS side of IT
- A roundup of the best SaaS marketing tools
- Determining which SaaS products are worth investing in
- How ConversionIQ gels your entire SaaS marketing tech stack into comprehensive, strategic insights
Companies spend almost 20% of their IT budget on software as a service (SaaS) — but how can you ensure your SaaS business gets a piece of the pie? After all, customers have over 17,000 SaaS companies to choose from in the U.S.
This means SaaS companies face more customer retention and competition challenges each year.
At HawkSEM, we support SaaS companies with their marketing strategies, including Google Ads campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media campaigns.
Just check out our results: from skyrocketed conversions to thousand-percent returns on investment (ROI).
Our SaaS success comes down to work ethic and expertise, but that’s not all. Along with our pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO experts, we harness SaaS tools for marketing, too.
That’s because today’s SaaS business needs to leverage the very technology that brought them into business in the first place — only in the marketing realm.
Our CEO, Sam Yadegar, sees serious scaling and growth for clients that embrace SaaS marketing tools.
“There are so many variations and scenarios to research and plan for, that the use of marketing tools is quite necessary,” says Yadegar. “Being that our SaaS clients are in the software space themselves, using tools is almost second nature to them.”
So, what are the best tools for SaaS marketing? Don’t go in blind, or you’ll be exhausted with subscription fatigue in no time.
Keep reading as we roundup the most essential SaaS marketing tools for driving conversions and reducing cost-per-click (CPC).
10 SaaS marketing automation tools to optimize your SaaS business
Let’s say you use Google Ads for PPC campaigns and HubSpot for email marketing campaigns.
Each platform produces a ton of data for you to sift through later. Keeping them in separate places makes it more likely that you’ll miss something.
Silos like this separate key data points and stop you from accessing valuable insights. At least, that was a problem for many of our clients. The best software tools on our list might have perfect functionality but limited value if you can’t connect the dots with each one.
For example, this might include special keywords across email templates and ad copy.
That’s why we created ConversionIQ, our proprietary tech that manages every piece of data across your marketing stack in one place. Google Analytics data appears next to your HubSpot campaign results in one dashboard.
But the real magic happens when our AI analyzes that data faster than even SEO and PPC experts can. Plus, that efficiency frees up so much time for our staff to work on perfecting the strategy and supporting our clients. It gives us an edge in cultivating valuable insights to inform your strategy, especially when identifying your most profitable customers. You’ll zero in on new customers more primed for conversion, too.
Every single conversion is tracked in real-time, and you can rest easy knowing our cross-channel insights will keep your digital marketing strategy sharp even when you experience new trends and changes.
Want to get the SaaS metrics for all your digital and content marketing efforts? It starts with a consultation.
- Cost: Free for HawkSEM clients
- Perks: Lower cost per acquisition, better lead quality and PPC optimization
When it comes to lead generation you’re probably used to doing 5-10 tasks for onboarding and nurturing just one lead.
Maybe it’s cold outreach, then sharing a follow-up email to a new prospect, and customizing messages based on their stage in the customer journey.
Of course, you have a different path or process for nurturing the stuck-in-the-free-trial customers, too.
That’s right — Zapier just automated those three tasks and saved you a boatload of time.
This marketing automation tool creates workflows between two or more apps for a total of 5,000+ apps.
“[We use Zapier] a ton,” says Yadegar. “One of our favorite things to do is to automate the lead flow and sales funnel. For example, when a new lead comes in, we use a zap to write the lead to a Google Sheet, along with the lead’s UTM parameters (so we can track the source and leads into ConversionIQ).”
And that’s not all we use it for — Yadegar elaborates:
“From there, we also post new leads in real-time to Slack channels for the sales team. We can also use it to nurture leads and send surveys depending on the stage of the marketing funnel they are in.”
Another great pro of this SaaS product is its data accuracy. Automation removes the element of human error that could risk you losing new customers. Or worse, a negative customer experience with an existing customer.
- Cost: $0-$799/month
- Perks: Time savings, user-friendly, efficient lead gen, free trial
CallRail is a call-tracking software that tells you exactly which marketing campaigns, keywords, and ads bring you call leads. Because let’s face it, we don’t always know how well a customer call went. That’s why 200,000 businesses use CallRail.
But one of our favorite features of this SaaS marketing tool is the add-ons, specifically the analytics.
HubSpot says that SaaS businesses are in the business of constant customer support and retention. Most of your clients are on a monthly plan, right? So for them to keep subscribing, you need to keep delivering what they want. It’s vital that you hear your customers when they tell you something during a support, feedback, or inquiry call.
But it’s easy for even the most discerning marketer to miss a few key details.
CallRail records calls and conversations, then uses AI analytics to bring you intelligence you can apply to finely tune your service. One customer might use a keyword that’s irrelevant to your business but signifies customer churn to CallRail’s robots.
Similarly, its analytics detect which leads are ready to convert , making your marketing team more efficient. Later, high CPAs!
- Cost: $45-$145/month
- Perks: Improves company training, customer retention, lower cost per acquisition, has 50+ integrations
CallRail listens to customer keywords, while Hotjar analyzes the silent speaker: clicks and browsing patterns.
Imagine being your customers’ eyes: what do they see? Impossible, right? Not with Hotjar.
Most companies face privacy roadblocks when trying to capture audience browsing behavior on specific sites. Hotjar solves this problem by monitoring user interaction with client websites.
We love the tool’s heatmaps and session recordings, where you can see exactly where your audience hovers their mouse or clicks..
You’ll gain key insights like:
- Pages they spend more time on
- How many actions or clicks they complete
- How their activity changes after you release a web update
- Where they’re located
- How were they referred to your site
You can even tap into Hotjar’s engagement functionality, where you can send out surveys and analyze customer calls.
“It’s an effective tool; we use it ourselves as an agency,” says Yadegar. “It really helps [us] understand more about user behavior above and beyond ad creative.”
So, what do you get out of watching users browse your site? According to many of Hotjar’s clients: more conversion rates and customer insights.
- Cost: $0-$80+/month
- Perks: User website session recordings, heatmap analysis, insights for website optimization and SEO
5. Sprout Social
With various social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube, social media management requires several team members.
Everyone’s spending time on social media. Customers even reach out to brands via DM’s and comments. Meet them on social media with timely responses, engaging social media posts, and engagement.
SaaS customers want timely responses, or else they’ll seek a competitor.
Sprout Social helps you deliver responses on every channel with one unified inbox to see everything. Plus, this social media SaaS product saves you tons of time with publishing and analytics functionalities.
It’s also a superb tool for social listening; catch customer sentiments immediately and stay in the know about the latest chats within your industry.
But here’s the kicker: Sprout Social gets pricey as you move up the tiers. The custom package boasts premier consulting services, while the professional plan offers unlimited social profiles. But you don’t need all those features — especially if you’re working with a digital marketing agency.
If you focus on only a few social channels, you should be covered with the basic plan.
- Cost: $250-$400+/month
- Perks: Social listening, time saver, ideal for brands with a big social media following
Ever tried finding keywords the old-fashioned way? Brainstorming topic keywords and search queries definitely keeps you on your toes, but adding a marketing software SaaS tool saves you precious time.
Move over, Google Keyword Planner.
SpyFu fleshes out the highest CPC and search volume keywords, for starters.
Of course, you might already have Ahrefs or Semrush on your roster. But SpyFu stands out as a keyword research tool that perfects competitor analysis. This marketing SaaS tool leverages data from 7 billion results spanning 109 billion domains.
When you type in a website, it’ll show you all these golden insights on your competitors:
- Organic rankings
- Ad variations
- Google ad keyword bids
- Negative keywords
- PPC keyword performance
Bottom line? It’s like a secret weapon. We love it for that extra edge in our competitive analysis.
- Cost: $39-$299 /month
- Perks: More in-depth competitor analysis than Semrush or Ahrefs’ keyword performance, CPC stats, organic rankings, historical keyword data
Semrush is a keyword wonderland that makes content planning a breeze. You can test endless keywords in its search bar to assess keyword density and performance. It also smooths out your workflows, be it through social media scheduling or automated approvals across or outside your organization.
We also love the keyword bookmarking tool, which helps us save potential content ideas for later.
Some of our clients feel overwhelmed when first signing up for Semrush. It’s a dynamic tool with endless functionality. But the platform offers free training sessions with its helpful staff, a total pro and value point for a software company.
Other useful features include link-building analysis, competitor and competition SEO analysis, and rank tracking.
- Cost: $120-$450/month, depending on tier
- Perks: Free training sessions, backlink strategies, PPC & SEO keyword analysis, competition monitoring
Instapage helps perfect one of the most important components of your Google Ads strategy: the landing page.
Ever seen high-ranking ads for eBay, Hello Fresh, or Skyscanner? These famous brands all use Instapage to optimize their landing pages. Quick refresher: the landing page is where a searcher lands after clicking on your ad.
Instapage is a valuable resource for SaaS startups who might not have the budget to hire a web developer to create landing pages.
This digital marketing SaaS platform has tried and tested over 500 landing page layouts for optimal conversions. Branding and personalization features help you make your mark while retaining ad relevance and pumping Quality Score. Finally, we love Instapage’s real-time collaboration features, which help your team work together on designs.
- Cost: Starts at $199/month
- Perks: Landing page creation and optimization without a developer, improved conversions
Google is the search engine king. But if you’re in a privacy or cybersecurity niche, your clients might prefer a more private browsing experience. Meaning you won’t catch them all on Google.
That’s where Semrush falls short, as it only analyzes SEO metrics for Google, no other search engine. On the other hand, Ahrefs analyzes data from 10 search engines, including DuckDuckGo and Bing, for Microsoft enthusiasts.
Plus, Ahrefs created their own search engine called Yep, which doesn’t collect any user data.
We also love Ahrefs’ site audits. It scans your entire website and notes any potential SEO issues with content quality, broken links, missing headings or HTML tags, and more.
Apart from more search engine analysis, Ahrefs is a robust SEO tool that covers keyword research, competitor analysis, SERP history, backlink analysis, and click data. We also love using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer to find backlink opportunities to build authority and SERP cred.
- Cost: $99-$999
- Perks: Multiple search engine analyses, backlink strategy, site audits
10. The Ad Library
Meta’s Ad Library is a cost-effective, quick way to see what’s advertised across social media in your industry. You can search businesses in your niche and see a list of advertisers, along with their ads. What’s great about the library is just how much data it shows you, all for free.
Curious about who’s funding which ads? Or how far and to which demographics an ad reaches? The Ad Library tells you all that and more, offering inspiration for future ad campaigns or competitor research from up to seven years of data history! Just to put things in perspective, you only get two years of data history with Ahrefs, unless you spend $1,000 on their enterprise plan.
We’re not discounting A/B testing, but why not explore ad spend for already existing campaigns? The Ad Library shows you the ad spend for each ad and campaign, so you can plan your budget without actually spending money.
- Cost: Free
- Perks: Competitor analysis, ad spend research, helps with budgeting strategies
Which SaaS marketing tools are right for you?
Even if every tool on our list offers a great user experience and efficiency, you can still squander your marketing budget if you’re not careful. So how do you choose the right tools for your business?
“We like to pick tools that are directly correlated with driving meaningful conversions and revenue,” says Yadegar. “If it makes a strong business case to save time, increase efficiencies, or lift conversion rates, then we are all ears.”
The goal is for SaaS marketing tools to make your life easier.
“If it’s confusing you, not connecting all the data points, and it’s just another login among hundreds of others, then it’s time to ditch it,” says Yadegar. “Some of the most effective marketing tools integrate with each other, connect data, and help create a brand lift by communicating together via API.”
SaaS tools are like mini marketing teams that help your existing marketing team. They handle the tedious work and accomplish it ten times faster, so you have more time to focus on the human elements of your business.
Trust us; we’ve seen digital marketing results across SaaS companies that use and don’t use marketing tools. The verdict? The right tools accelerate your SEO, conversion, and growth goals.
Yadegar concludes by saying that SaaS companies “should be looking at how these tools help increase conversion volume, reduce cost per acquisition (CPA), help save time, and discover new growth opportunities.”
What’s the best place to start? With our proprietary tech, ConversionIQ, offering you wildly accurate and lightning-fast data analysis across different marketing campaigns. It connects all your existing marketing channels into one hub with endless value.
It’s time to use SaaS to your advantage. We’ll help you get started with expert PPC management and SEO tactics to keep new customers flowing and existing ones renewing their subscriptions. Let’s talk.