7 Customer Acquisition Strategies for SaaS Companies

Learn everything you need to know about customer acquisition for SaaS companies, including 7 effective strategies for attracting (and keeping) new clients.

A well-thought-out customer acquisition strategy is essential for any business looking to attract qualified leads and turn them into loyal paying customers. This is especially true in the SaaS industry. When it comes to attracting new business, failing to plan is – as the saying goes – planning to fail.

We’ve drawn up 7 customer acquisition strategies that will help you to achieve your business growth goals and ensure the longevity of your enterprise. To ensure you’re able to make the most of these techniques, we’ll give you a crash course in exactly what customer acquisition is, why it’s important, and the challenges that you may face when trying to attract new clients.


What Is a Customer Acquisition Strategy?

As the name suggests, a customer acquisition strategy is the blueprint a business uses to attract new customers. Your business’s customer acquisition strategy is a roadmap that helps you to take individuals from your target audience and lead them to becoming actual paying customers.

Creating a strong customer acquisition strategy will help to ensure that you have a continual flow of new customers so that you can grow your business and profits.

Every worthwhile customer acquisition strategy has three main pillars around which the overall strategy is built: 

  • Attracting: Sparking the interest of your target audience to turn individuals in that group into leads.
  • Nurturing: Communicating with leads to develop and maintain a relationship with them to drive sales readiness.
  • Converting: Driving the customer to purchase your goods or services once they’ve been primed during the nurturing stage.

For SaaS businesses, which generally operate using a subscription model, it’s also important to nurture relationships with existing customers to ensure that they continue to use your product.

What Are the Challenges of Customer Acquisition in SaaS?

The nature of the SaaS industry and products means that encouraging new buyers to come on board can be a challenge. Let’s explore some of the main challenges of customer acquisition for SaaS businesses.


Recent research shows that there are more than 30,000 SaaS companies worldwide. Of that number, one company accounts for 10% of the total market share. This distribution of customers as well as the similarity between products and services provided by SaaS businesses make for an extremely competitive market.

With thousands of companies vying for the attention of potential customers – and new competitors entering the market all the time – it can be challenging for SaaS entities to differentiate themselves. To maintain a competitive edge, companies must continually innovate to stay relevant and set themselves apart from the rest of the market.

High Costs

Attracting and retaining customers for your SaaS business can be expensive. The competition within the market means that paid advertising expenses are generally quite high. Plus, the number of alternate solutions available to your target audience tends to drive churn and reduce customers’ overall lifetime value (LTV).

With an increased customer acquisition cost (CAC) and a reduction in the expected LTV, the ratio between these two values is likely to be skewed. This is a sign that your business is not earning a satisfactory return on investment (ROI) and may run into issues with profitability further down the line.


There are loads of software solutions on the market all seemingly solving the same user problems. This can make it incredibly challenging to stand out from the crowd in the SaaS market and encourage customers to pick your product over a competitor’s.

The key here is to focus on that final ‘S’ in the SaaS acronym. Offering your customers exceptional service over and above the actual programs you provide – and clearly demonstrating those services on your website – will help you to set your business apart from other SaaS entities.

Knowledge Gaps

Many customers look for SaaS tools that solve a specific problem. On the flip side of the coin, most SaaS products have a plethora of features and use cases. This mismatch between customers’ perceived needs and the complexity of programs can make it difficult for you to convince buyers that your solution is right for them.

Privacy is another area where a shortfall in customer’s knowledge can affect their uptake of a particular product. As SaaS solutions are generally cloud-based, some customers may be hesitant to sign up and allow an unfamiliar program to process their information on external servers.

How to Develop a Customer Acquisition Strategy for SaaS

As we mentioned earlier, your customer acquisition strategy should be built around attracting, nurturing, and converting leads. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

Attracting Leads

The first stage of your customer acquisition strategy revolves around building awareness. If your target audience isn’t aware that your business exists or what SaaS tools you provide, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sell anything to them.

Potential customers will probably start their search by trying to better understand the problem that they’re trying to solve. To start, they’re likely using a search engine to do some research. You can use marketing strategies to build awareness and trust in your brand by establishing your authority in your niche.

Knowledge-sharing is important here. Creating SEO blog posts that answer user questions and contributing to other relevant articles will help to boost your online presence. Endorsements from satisfied customers and paid promotions will also help to position you as the go-to provider in your space.

Nurturing Leads

Now that you have your prospects’ attention, you’ll need to get them to interact with your business. This is by far the most lengthy – and important – part of your customer acquisition strategy.

Engaging with your audience will solidify your relationship with them and help to encourage them to choose your product over competitors'. The only way to engage, though, is by having your customers’ contact information on hand. For SaaS businesses, the best ways to do this are by collecting email addresses through:

  • Promoting newsletter signups
  • Offering gated content and resources
  • Adding calls-to-action to key pages of your website

When audience members opt in to receiving communications from your business, it’s a great sign that they’re interested in the products you offer and want to learn more. At this stage, it’s time to move them towards exploring more about your offering.

Targeted email campaigns are an invaluable tool for encouraging exploration. Segmenting subscribers, sending them case studies, communicating product features, and highlighting other selling points will help customers to better understand how your tool can help them solve their problem.

Once you’ve piqued their interest, it’s time to get your leads to explore your products. How you do this will vary depending on your business model, but the most common approaches are by offering a free trial or a freemium version of your software.

Converting (and Retaining) Leads

Finally, it’s time to seal the deal. Targeted messaging and calls-to-action are useful tools to encourage your lead to take the final step and convert. 

Sending emails to free-trial users reminding them that their trial period is about to expire and providing them with a sign-up link is one option. Adding a call-to-action to the dashboard of freemium software and showing features only available on paid versions is another tactic. A good old-fashioned sales pitch from someone on your team can help, too. 

However, the work doesn’t end when you have your new client on board. The nature of SaaS businesses means that retaining customers is just as important as converting leads for sustained growth.

An effective customer retention strategy is one of the best ways to get more value out of your clients. Maintaining the relationship you’ve built as you attracted and nurtured leads starts with providing an effective welcome email and onboarding resources that will help customers to make the most of your product. 

You’ll also want to ensure that your infrastructure – like your online payments system – provides a seamless, secure experience. Pay.com’s full-service payment infrastructure allows you to accept a variety of payment methods and reduces friction during the checkout process. 

Our developer-friendly API means that you can create a custom checkout page tailored to your business’s unique needs. What’s more, our best-in-class security features (like 3D Secure 2.0) ensure that your enterprise is protected from fraudulent transactions.

From there on, it’s a matter of pursuing regular interactions with your users. Sharing updates about your company and products, providing early or free access to new features, and asking for feedback about your tools and service are all great ways to keep users engaged.

7 Customer Acquisition Strategies for SaaS Companies

We’ve identified 7 customer acquisition strategies that SaaS companies can use to bring in new clients. Many of these methods can be used in conjunction with one another to maximize their efficacy. 

1. Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (or SEO) is one of the most powerful tools in your customer acquisition toolbox. Ensuring that your content is optimized for search engines will help to ensure that it ranks on results pages. This will ultimately drive more organic traffic to your website.

Here are three areas where your can implement SEO:

  • Keywords: Find relevant keywords using tools like Answer The Public or Ahrefs and incorporate these into your page and blog post titles.
  • Links: Build a network of internal links to help guide users and search engines around your website’s content.
  • Images: Optimize your images to load quickly and add alt text to improve the user experience on your pages.

There are plenty more ways that you can improve your SEO, but these are a great place to start.

2. Content Marketing

Content is king when it comes to building your brand’s authority with your target audience. Creating relevant, educational blog posts, videos, news articles, and other pieces of content can help you to be recognized as an expert in your field.

The easiest way to take advantage of content marketing is to set up a blog. This platform will allow you to explore a range of topics that your intended customers care about. You can share a variety of types of content (think videos, how-tos, or FAQs) to show your knowledge while also taking advantage of SEO.

Start by identifying three core pillars that you want to build content around and get creating from there. This will ensure that you can build an internal linking strategy within your content. Plus, it can prevent you from spending time producing irrelevant material.

3. Social Media Marketing

A tried and true method for acquiring customers is to meet your potential clients where they are. In the digital age, that place is social media. 

To increase your chances of success with social media marketing, you’ll want to ensure that you have a good idea of who your target audience is, which social networks they use, and the types of content they prefer (e.g. video, images, or short-form copy).

Strike a balance between organic posts and paid content. Although organic posts might not garner the most attention, potential customers are unlikely to trust a brand that has loads of paid promotions but whose profile is empty.

4. Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Customers who are referred to a business by someone in their network are four times more likely to buy that business’s product. Plus, 93% of customers online read reviews and 79% put as much importance on these reviews as referrals.

All of that to say: Word-of-mouth marketing is a fantastic way to generate highly qualified leads. 

Taking satisfied customers and turning them into promoters will bring big rewards. A simple way to do this to ask your customers to share their experience with your brand. However, you’ll want to ensure that this process is as easy as possible for those customers so that you don’t negatively affect your good impression.

5. Email Marketing

As we’ve already mentioned, email is an extremely useful customer acquisition strategy. Despite the fact that many experts believed that social media would eradicate email, it remains one of the most effective marketing tools overall and boasts a whopping 4,200% ROI.

Sending regular emails, performing A/B tests, and monitoring readers’ interactions with your content will help you to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Understanding which emails your readers are opening and where they’re clicking is useful for retargeting emails to help you better serve your subscriber base. Plus, segmenting your audience will reduce the chances that readers receive irrelevant emails and unsubscribe.

6. Gated Content

Generating gated – or, more aptly, lead-gen – content is another important customer acquisition strategy. Here, you’ll offer users access to resources like ebooks, templates, guides, and white papers in exchange for their personal information (e.g. names and email addresses).

This type of content will help you to identify more qualified leads. As the information you’re providing is highly valuable and requires more resources to create, more interested users are generally willing to supply their details. 

Another benefit is the fact that this content can be used to enhance other customer acquisition strategies. For example, you can create a search engine optimized landing page, promote it via social media, or create an email campaign around it.

7. Product Pricing

In a highly competitive market like the SaaS arena, your product pricing strategy can make all the difference in customer acquisition. This is especially true if you offer particularly good prices or your model is unique among your competitors.

Naturally, offering something for nothing is bound to attract a lot of interest. Free trials and tools might not make you any money immediately, but they do open the door for later purchases and upselling. What’s more, customers who have the opportunity to try before they buy are more receptive to subsequent marketing strategies.

In addition to free trials and freemium pricing, you could provide discounted pricing or promotional pricing (think buy one, get one free or ‘25% off if you purchase a full year upfront’, respectively).

The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider

There’s plenty to think about when creating a customer acquisition strategy that will help your business to flourish in the long term. Pay.com lightens your load when it comes to encouraging qualified leads to purchase your products and retaining that valuable business.

Our developer-friendly API allows you to pick and choose the resources you add to your website to ensure optimal performance. 

It’s also embedded with top-notch security features to protect your business and your customers. Credit card details are tokenized in transit to protect them from potential data breaches, while 3D Secure 2.0 authentication reduces the likelihood of your business falling prey to fraudsters.

What’s more, we’ve designed our infrastructure to provide a frictionless checkout process. With a wide variety of payment methods on offer and painless global payment processing, customers from around the world will be happy to transact with your business.

Click here to get started with Pay.com now!

The Bottom Line

It can be challenging to create an effective customer acquisition strategy. The process not only requires that you have a deep understanding of the customers you’re serving, but also that you are aware of the challenges in your industry – and the ways they consume content.

The most important factor here is putting your customers’ needs first. Whether you’re creating content to attract leads, developing communications that will encourage them to explore your solutions, or finding ways to nurture the relationship after they’ve converted, you should always aim to provide value for your clients.

There are a variety of ways that you can put customers first, but one of the most effective is to provide a seamless customer experience from start to finish.

At Pay.com, we’ve developed our full-service payment infrastructure with customers in mind. Our easy-to-use platform is completely customizable and adheres to stringent global security standards. Plus, you can accept all of your clients’ favorite payment methods in just a few clicks. 

These features help to ensure that you can delight your leads with the service you offer. This, in turn, will encourage them to choose your SaaS products over competitors’ and build a relationship with your business. 

Click here to create your Pay.com account now.


What's the best way for a SaaS company to accept payments?

Pay.com is the best way for a SaaS company to accept payments. Our full-service payment infrastructure offers global payment processing so that you can receive payments from customers all over the world. Plus, you can allow your customers to pay using all of their favorite payment methods, from credit and debit cards to ACH transfers, digital wallets, and more.

What are the stages of customer acquisition?

There are four stages of customer acquisition. During the awareness stage, potential customers become aware that your business exists. They then move to consuming your content and learning more about your specific offering. These are the engagement and exploration stages, respectively. Finally, when a lead becomes a customer, they move to the conversion stage.

How do you keep SaaS customers engaged?

Once a lead has been converted into a paying customer, you will need to concentrate on nurturing the relationship with them to ensure you retain their business. You can do this by sending regular emails to provide company and product updates, as well as to ask for their feedback on your performance.

How do you calculate customer acquisition cost for SaaS?

Calculating the customer acquisition cost for a SaaS business is just the same as for any other entity. You must take the sum of all sales- and marketing-related expenses for a given period, and divide this by the number of new customers you attracted during the same period.

Meet the author
Nicole Forrest
Nicole Forrest is a writer and editor who has been using storytelling to help build brands for more than a decade. With a special interest in fintech and a passion for creating compelling content, she focuses on making complex topics easy to understand.
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