SaaS Conversion Funnel: Acquisition Stage

In my previous essay, I provided an overview of the SaaS Conversion Funnel. But now, we’re taking things to the next level by delving into each stage of the funnel with absolute precision and detail. 

Each stage of the funnel is crucial and must be optimized for maximum performance. That’s why, in this essay, we’re going to focus on the Acquisition stage and dissect it to the core. 

But we’re not stopping there – we’re going to review the other stages of the funnel too, to help you gain a complete understanding of how to streamline your funnel and maximize your conversions like a pro. So, buckle up and get ready to learn how to take your Acquisition to the next level!

How can we break down the Acquisition stage?

Customer acquisition is the process of attracting and converting potential buyers into loyal customers. It is one of the most important goals for any business, as it directly affects revenue and growth. 

However, customer acquisition is not a one-time event, but a continuous journey that requires a strategic approach. This strategic approach means determining the stages the clients go through to become your clients. 

The customer acquisition can be split into the following two primary stages: awareness and consideration. 

Step 1: “Awareness” stage

The awareness stage is the first phase of the buyer’s journey, where potential customers become aware of their problem and your solution. This stage aims to attract and educate your audience with relevant and valuable content. 

Because not all prospects in the awareness stage are at the same level of readiness to move forward. Some may be just starting to realize they have a problem, while others may be actively looking for solutions. Therefore, it makes sense to split the awareness stage into two sub-stages: discover and interest.

The discover sub-stage is where prospects first encounter your brand, product, or service. They may not even know they have a problem yet, or they may have a vague idea of their pain points. They are not looking for a specific solution, but rather for information and education.

The goal of this sub-stage is to capture the attention of your audience and make them aware of their problem and your solution. You want to generate curiosity and intrigue, and position yourself as a credible and trustworthy source of information.

The interest sub-stage is where prospects have identified their problem and are actively looking for solutions. They have a clear idea of their pain points and goals, and they are ready to learn more about your product or service. They are not yet committed to buying from you, but they are open to considering your offer.

The goal of this sub-stage is to nurture your leads and persuade them that your product or service is the best solution for their problem. You want to provide them with more in-depth and personalized information, and show them how your product or service can benefit them and meet their needs.

Step 2: “Consideration” stage

The second step of the customer acquisition funnel is consideration. This is where you nurture your leads and persuade them to consider your solution as the best option for their needs. The goal of this step is to create a desire for your solution and to overcome any objections or doubts that your leads may have.

The same way as “Awareness” stage has sub-stages, “Consideration” is also usually split into two sub-stages: research and intent

The consideration sub-stage is where prospects are evaluating the various approaches or methods to solving their problem. They are comparing the pros and cons of each option, and looking for more information and evidence to support their choice. They are not yet committed to a particular solution, but they are open to learning more about it.

The goal of this sub-stage is to provide your prospects with relevant and valuable content that showcases your product or service as the best solution for their problem. You want to highlight your unique value proposition, features, benefits, and differentiators, and address any objections or concerns they may have.

The intent sub-stage is where prospects have narrowed down their options and are ready to make a conversion decision. They have a clear idea of what they want and need, and they are looking for the final push to buy from you. They are not yet customers, but they are very close to becoming one.

The goal of this sub-stage is to provide your prospects with compelling and urgent content that convinces them to buy from you as soon as possible. You want to create a sense of scarcity, exclusivity, and FOMO (fear of missing out), and overcome any remaining barriers or hesitations they may have.

The consideration stage is the last step in the acquisition funnel before a customer makes a conversion action. In our case, the conversion action can be creating a free trial account or buying a subscription. 

In the SaaS business, the acquisition funnel cannot stop at creating the free trial account because the user is still deciding whether to stick with your product or not. Therefore, it makes sense to create content and update marketing materials that focus on each step of the acquisition funnel to improve the trial-to-paid ratio. Let’s take a look at how we can use these new insights in marketing.

Strategies to improve your marketing

It is important to promote different types of content to customers who may be at different stages of the sales funnel. This not only applies to acquisition channels like paid and organic marketing, but also the content that is available on your website.

If the client is at the awareness stage, it is not logical to display content about why your product is superior to your competitors’ products. Instead, you should focus on promoting content that discusses the problem and how the client can resolve it. You can briefly mention that your product can address the issue as well.

And when a potential client has reached the consideration stage, which can be indicated by them reading some of your general-related topic articles, it’s appropriate to begin demonstrating how paid solutions can address their issue. You can start to mention your product and explain why it’s superior to your competitors’ products, as well as, show your product case-studies.

As someone who has been involved in SEO for a while, I can confidently give you an example of how it can work in the acquisition of organic traffic.

To acquire organic traffic, we create articles using organic keywords – basically, the phrases that people type into Google. These keywords can be split into two types: “awareness” and “consideration”. The much more famous approach is TOFU and BOFU. TOFU stands for top of the funnel, where potential customers become aware of their problem and your solution. BOFU stands for the bottom of the funnel, where potential customers are ready to make a purchase decision and choose your solution. 

Therefore, if someone searches for “What’s Google Analytics 4?” on Google, it wouldn’t make sense to show them case-studies about why our services are better than our competitors. Instead, we direct them to read more articles about Google Analytics 4 on our website (awareness, TOFU) and only after that, in the middle and at the bottom of the pages, we show them additional articles about our services and how many satisfied clients we have (consideration, BOFU). 

This approach can also be applied to pay-per-click marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Takeaway: Customer Acquisition in SaaS Conversion Funnel

In this essay, I showed you how to break down the customer acquisition funnel into two main stages: awareness and consideration. Each stage has two sub-stages: discover and interest for awareness, and research and intent for consideration. 

Apart from that, we also covered how you can use this approach to boost customer acquisition in your paid and organic marketing channels.

Let’s start a conversation in the comments below about the content of this article or about the marketing approach you use, share your learnings, don’t be shy. 😉 We all can learn from each other.

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