10 Best B2B SaaS Marketing Strategies

B2B SaaS Marketing Strategies

The VC world is obsessed with B2B SaaS marketing but it’s not all smoke and mirrors. When done right, B2B SaaS marketing can catapult a startup to viral growth, distinguishing it from traditional long-term marketing strategies.  This type of digital marketing capitalizes on the power of instant virality across all departments, resulting in a surge of customer acquisition in the early days of a business. 

HubSpot serves as an exemplary model of effective B2B SaaS marketing strategies. Since 2008, it has been a free website grader tool that shows your website’s health and the changes you can make. While the initial service is free, the proposed enhancements are part of HubSpot’s paid features. HubSpot took an in-demand service (website health check) and scaled its possibility by acquiring new customers from it. 

Tailoring SaaS marketing strategies to the unique characteristics of a business feels natural in the age of social media. From HubSpot and Buffer to Unsplash, Slack, and Dropbox—a lot of B2B SaaS companies used this mindset to convert opportunities into growth. They’ve created efficient, targeted, and scalable SaaS marketing strategies, resulting in impressive success in their respective niches.

In this article, I’ll discuss the 10 best B2B SaaS marketing strategies and how you can implement them to improve the KPIs of your SaaS:

1. Cold Emails 

Cold emailing is a cornerstone of B2B SaaS marketing strategies, particularly for three reasons: its scalability is unmatched, it’s highly targeted, and it is incredibly cost-effective. These factors open up a pool of prospects that can be turned into customers, affiliates, and brand champions through effective SaaS marketing. 

A cold email is the first email you send to a prospect without any prior contact or consent. Since the recipient does not expect your email, it needs to be personalized and contextualized. This protects your spam score and saves you from GDPR’s wrath. 

But before you send someone a cold email, you have to find their email address. For this, you can spend hours sifting through social media pages and blogs or you can use Hunter’s email finder tool to quickly get the IDs. 

email finder find the verified email address of any professional

Once you get hold of the addresses, you can send cold emails and grow rapidly. Be it networking with industry insiders, collaborating with thought leaders, or pitching your services to prospective customers—well-written cold emails can offer you unbelievable ROI. 3600% to be exact. 

Having said that, it’s notoriously hard to make recipients open cold emails. After all, they don’t know you. Here are the ways you can compel people to reply to your emails:

  • Have an offer ready. Give people a reason to open your email
  • Use short and personalized subject lines, preferably with questions, to draw their attention
  • The email body should be short, straightforward, and broken into multiple paragraphs
  • Your focus should be on how you can help them instead of simply promoting your SaaS
  • The email should end with a simple call to action that’s easy to follow

After knowing whether recipients read your email, you can schedule follow-up campaigns and automate most of the outreach process. 

Here’s how Sam Halgren of ProsperStack uses cold email to acquire new customers. It’s short, it offers free value and it has a clear CTA:

example of how Sam Halgren of ProsperStack uses cold email to acquire new customers

Apart from using cold emails, you should also focus on growing your email list. People might stop using Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and they might even change email addresses, but they will never stop checking emails. Plus your email list is owned media—the subscribers have shown interest in your business and they’re more likely to buy from you.

Link building is another highly scalable marketing strategy SaaS companies must use today. It’s the process of getting other sources to link back to your website, enhancing your online presence and authority in the field of SaaS marketing. 

Link building for SaaS works because

  • Backlinks from popular publications help you rank better on Google
  • You get access to new groups of readers who might be interested in your service
  • Link building improves your overall domain authority and brand awareness

For link building, you can try two ways. You can reach out to publications for guest posting, link insertion, and podcast interviews. For this, you have to refer back to the cold email steps I mentioned earlier. But if you’re a new SaaS your mileage may vary. Here’s a good example of link-building outreach done right: 

example of link building outreach done right

Secondly, you can create a great linkable asset and let links come to you. It can be an original study, infographic, end-of-the-year roundups, or any kind of seminal piece that others might refer to in their posts. This is how you cut through the noise and grow rapidly.

However, putting in all of this extra work is often easier said than done. Unless you’ve already got a dedicated marketing team of your own (or the extra time necessary to to create these assets in-house), it’s quite a tall order. Consequently, many companies enlist the expertise of marketing agencies that specialize in SEO content. By outsourcing these marketing tasks to an agency like Seeker, you’re free to focus on running your business while they develop a customized SEO plan that aligns with your business goals, driving relevant traffic and improving your online presence

In 2019, SparkToro CEO Rand Fishkin carried out an iconic study where he found that less than 50% of Google searches get clicks. It shook the SEO industry and gathered close to 4000 backlinks from 1,700 domains, including Forbes, The Next Web, Moz, HubSpot, and Semrush. In 2021 he followed up with another post that collected 2,300 backlinks from 995 domains. If you look closely, I linked back to Fishkin’s original piece, without him even asking for a backlink. Such is the power of data-driven original content!

SparkToro backlink profile

3. Retargeting 

Retargeting is an oft-overlooked SaaS marketing strategy because SaaS companies always run after new customers. They see one sign of disinterest and drop a prospect in a heartbeat. But by doing so they leave potential revenue opportunities on the table. 

You can prevent falling into the trap by retargeting them with social media ads. In the spirit of effective SaaS marketing, you can identify acquisition opportunities where others might not. Retargeting works because not every prospect has the same customer journey and they rarely convert at the first touchpoint. This approach recognizes and leverages this variation, making it a critical aspect of B2B SaaS marketing strategies.

You can start by retargeting four types of prospects:

  • Website visitors who didn’t convert: It’s important to segment prospects based on where they came from. A visitor who clicked on an affiliate link will require different ads than a visitor who read a couple of blogs and dropped off
  • Retarget free trial and gated content users: Try re-engaging users with added value who have accessed free trials and gated content because they’ve clearly shown interest
  • Remarket to paying customers: Current customers can also be targeted by serving upsells and helping them discover features they’re missing out 
  • Retarget churned customers: With retargeted ads based on new features and discounts, you can have another shot at winning over ex-customers and reducing the churn rate

Here’s a Trello ad that targets people who’ve interacted with the platform but left before getting to know all the features:

Trello retargeting ads

4. Content Marketing 

Content marketing is the process of using content (blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc) to engage people, attract more visitors, and nurture brand awareness. 

It’s definitely a process for the long haul, but it doesn’t work in isolation. Rand Fishkin’s one blog may have brought him overnight success in backlinks, but make no mistake, it’s still part of the larger content strategy. That one article fuelled multiple Twitter threads, a couple of LinkedIn posts, and one follow-up article. This is a good example of content distribution and repurposing, which are part of the content marketing strategy.

When you’re starting with content marketing, here are some steps you need to follow:

  • Clearly define your goals. No two companies can have identical content strategies and succeed equally. Use SMART goals
  • Decide the type of content you want to use and identify the marketing channels
  • Define your KPIs so it becomes easier to measure the impact
  • Stick to your budget and scale
  • Distribute and repurpose content in different mediums. Refresh old content with updated information
  • Conduct content testing, analyze, rinse, and repeat.

One of the earliest and most successful uses of inbound content marketing is HubSpot. It prioritized addressing user needs with blogs and let them figure out products on their own. Recently Aura, a cybersecurity startup started focusing on keywords its users search online and writing blogs to answer the same question. They have articles titled “I Replied to a Spam Text: What Should I Do Now?”, “Have I Been Hacked? How To Recognize & Recover From a Hack”, and “My Mother Stole My Identity”. In about one year, it has gone from 15,000 organic sessions to 500,000 sessions with this strategy. Groove built a $5 million/year business in 3 years by prioritizing content topics and targeting content gatekeepers in the early days. Monday.com has near about perfected growth by content:

monday content marketing example

5. Referral Marketing 

If there’s one tactic that encapsulates B2B SaaS marketing strategies, it has to be referral marketing for new SaaS tools. What used to be an easy way to share products with friends and families, has now evolved into a powerful and monetized strategy for business growth in the realm of SaaS marketing. 

Referral marketing is the process of creating and implementing referral networks to acquire new customers and retain old ones. Here’s why you should try it out for your SaaS:

  • Referrals bring down customer acquisition costs by a huge margin
  • It pushes current users deeper into the cycle and makes them brand champions
  • It raises brand awareness quickly

Since you’re essentially offering rewards for sign-ups, you have to get your referral strategy right. Here are some methods you must try:

  • Use the right referral marketing tools to help advocates manage their referrals and rewards in one place.
  • Find your most desirable offer and integrate a section of it. For example, if you’re a travel company like Airbnb,  you can offer a free travel credit to encourage people to sign-up. 
  • Define the ways customers can share referrals. Referral journeys differ between emails, shareable links, and promo codes. Make sure the process is simple, straightforward, and requires only a couple of clicks
  • Understand your customer acquisition cost (CAC) and customer lifetime value (CLV) to figure out the ROI of the program. Focus on whether you want to reward only the referrer or share the same reward with the new customer
  • Keep measuring the performance to improve over time.

Flowrite used a strategic approach, typical of successful B2B SaaS marketing, turning its beta waitlist into a potent driver of business expansion. Each new user was presented with a list of users ahead of them and the only way to move ahead was to refer the app to friends. This way, Flowrite not only got new sign-ups for free but also identified the potential loyal users in their ranks. Dropbox is one of the best brands that use referral marketing to the fullest. It offers up to 16GB of free space to the referrers and 500MB of free space to each new user. 

6. A/B Testing 

A/B testing (or split testing) is an essential part of marketing, and in many ways fuels the entire concept behind B2B SaaS marketing strategies. When the budget is tight and resources are scarce, marketing professionals run extensive testing to identify new opportunities to achieve more with less. 

Since A/B testing should be a part of your marketing toolkit anyway, you can use the same strategic mindset to get the best out of it. You start with multiple hypotheses; questions that require experiments to find answers. After that, you build your A/B testing toolkit, which at this point can just be Google Analytics 4 and coding to get multiple iterations. After that you run the experiments, record the data, polish the results, and deploy for the world.  

Duolingo combined B2B SaaS marketing with A/B testing and found the red dot on the app’s icon to be an action item. It got 6% more daily active users (DAU) by writing six lines of code in twenty minutes. In hindsight, it feels like Duolingo got lucky there. But it actually tested every part of the user experience over and over again until it found the small changes that would significantly enhance growth. 

7. Viral Marketing 

Viral marketing and SaaS marketing align nicely with new-age SaaS tools. Even though it sounds fun, it’s definitely not easy to go viral. 

Viral posts on social media push you to an exceptional number of eyeballs in a short time. It’s organic, and it’s relatively cheap to get results: ideal for SaaS brands looking to create a differentiated identity.

Here are a few ways you can make it happen:

  • Be a master of social media marketing and analytics. Understand what works for your brand, the latest trends, and what engages your target users
  • Create content that’s bold, extraordinary, and really stands out on its own
  • Make your content shareable. Make it topical, find the right time, and use share buttons and CTAs. A neatly packaged message should have an organic pull among users
  • Use current trends and hashtags to improve your chances
  • Don’t forget to be human

Remember, you cannot predict or control the vitality of your posts. And if it goes beyond your targeted user base, it might attract a lot of faux attention that might not work for you. This is why MailChimp ran a viral ad campaign in 2017 that targeted just the right users. It made a series of ads with words that were easily confused with “MailChimp” and ended up with $3.52 million in earned media value. 

One of the recent brand posts that went viral was a simple tweet from McDonald’s:

viral tweet from McDonald

8. Customer Success 

Growth on its own is not sustainable—you need customer support and success teams to contain the churn and build a predictable MRR/ARR. For that, you’d again have to go back to the drawing board and look at the data at your disposal to find opportunities you can leverage for B2B SaaS marketing.

Customer success includes:

  • Anticipating the challenges of customers at each stage and offering solutions before they reach out to you. For this, you’d need to segment customers based on shared traits and run A/B tests to gather more data. 
  • Finding what success means to each customer and helping them realize it
  • Hiring customer success managers (CSMs) who work with customers to help them maximize their investments and encourage loyalty
  • Collaborating with customer support teams to create email sequences and retargeting content
  • Gathering feedback from customers and addressing grievances. 
  • Understanding and tracking KPIs such as ARR, MRR, churn rate, LTV, and NPS. 

9. Upselling and Cross-selling 

Both upselling and cross-selling are parts of customer success parameters but they deserve a separate look. When it comes to eking out the maximum revenue of a customer, upsells and cross-sells work wonders. They are critical elements of B2B SaaS marketing strategies because you’re using a standard checkout process to promote a larger purchase. 

Cross-selling is the method of recommending additional products that complement the main product and its ultimate experience. These are usually filed under “frequently bought together” and “customers also bought”. Amazon is the king of cross-selling.

Upselling is the method of suggesting a more premium product to buyers. In both cases, you’re increasing the average order value (AOV). Evernote does a solid job at it:

Evernote Upselling example

Here are some ways you can upsell and cross-sell your SaaS:

  • Create a culture within the company where active listening is prioritized so that sales reps can increase AOV in real-time
  • Encourage sales reps to talk to brand champions and derive insights from the data
  • Involve customers in product planning and take notes from anonymized forms
  • Implement customer success steps

10. Social Media Marketing 

If you’ve read this far, you might have already realized that leveraging social media is a superpower for SaaS brands looking to grow rapidly. If you want to crack viral marketing, it helps if you already have an online presence. But to tap into opportunities within B2B SaaS marketing, you have to create a separate niche that brings you more eyeballs. 

Liquid Death Mountain Water does something similar by taking something as generic as canned water and armoring it within a death metal/comically violent campaign that’s nothing short of genius. It has an annual turnover of $120 million, just by selling water in cans. 

Liquid Death Mountain Wate social media marketing example

Here are a few ways you can unlock social media growth:

  • Create a unique brand identity online. Even after being a septuagenarian brand, McDonald’s has created a young and casual social media persona that has helped it stay relevant among Gen Z and Gen Alpha.
  • Invest in quality content and high-quality visuals, especially for short-form content. For a SaaS, short-form content is perfect for delivering bite-size value
  • Don’t shy away from collaborating with industry leaders
  • Follow analytics and improve over time, just like Spotify with their year-end playlists.


To sum it up, B2B SaaS marketing is an approach that turns run-of-the-mill operations into new growth opportunities. Be it marketing, sales, retention, product development, or customer success—you can implement these strategies anywhere. You just have to hold keener eyes over analytics and be bold in experiments. Follow the above strategies and the rest will follow for your business.

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