The Best Apps for Getting Your First Customers

The following post is a guest contribution by Stuart Goulden with Surges, the author’s views may not be the same as our own.

Build it, and they will come. Once possible, but now a miracle. It’s harder than ever for your startup to stand out from the crowd with so much competition. Thankfully, help is on hand.

Marketing SaaS has exploded in recent years, with a wealth of tools for every marketing challenge and stage in the customer lifecycle.

Today, we look at some of the best customer acquisition SaaS out there, as recommended by the marketing tools directory, Surges.

Attention-worthy Content

Let’s start with attention, a.k.a. getting a potential customer’s attention, so they are aware of your product and brand.

Having strong online visibility is vital to businesses today because so many buying journeys start on the internet. Traditionally, you’d rely on TV, newspaper, or radio advertising, but with the entire planet now your potential customer base, you’ll want to turn to search engines, social media, content, and paid digital advertising. A combination of both pull and push marketing.

Let’s look at pull (or inbound) marketing.

Creating relevant, value-rich content is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your audience’s attention and attract them to your website. All-rounder tools such as HubSpot have most of what you need to publish better content more frequently.

Research and plan with features such as topic suggestions, on-the-go SEO advice, and social scheduling to get your content found on search engines and social media. You can even use their blogging templates to use the same article formatting and collaboration tools HubSpot uses for their award-winning blog.

Be Seen by Humans and Robots

Of course, great content deserves to be read. SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs are all excellent keyword research tools to help you rise to the top of search engines. Special mention goes to the Moz On-page Grader here – a simple checklist for improving your content’s visibility for specific keywords and topics.

Now you’ll want to shout about your great content. Social media posting doesn’t have to be a manual juggling act with schedulers such as Buffer and Revive Social.

Publish to all the main social networks and compare which ones drive the best ROI. You can even use Quuu Promote to feed your blog posts to other social users who are looking for exciting content to share – win/win!

Tap Into the Power of Referrals

Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing.

An affiliate scheme can multiply your sales many times over. Tools such as Rewardful,  First Promoter, and ShareASale are a one-stop-shop to set up an affiliate scheme and put it on autopilot. You can even run influencer campaigns through them.

Each can work with all the leading eCommerce platforms, meaning they can automatically track referrals, discounts, and commissions and get you up and running in just a few minutes.

It’s never been easier to leverage the goodwill others have built up in their brands for your own.

Empower Your Sales Team

Sales outreach used to be scary. Not anymore!

Tools such as Woodpecker warm up cold emails by scaling up one-to-one conversations with prospects, complete with automated follow-ups and drip campaigns.

Others, such as Prospect, take this even further. They can find anyone’s email address in seconds with their powerful Email Finder and can organize your Sales Team with detailed tasks and correspondence tracking.

Long gone are the days of relying on big contact books and expensive sales teams.

Launch a Giveaway

Viral contests are a stable of many growth hacker’s marketing arsenals, tapping into entrants’ competitive nature as they supercharge your subscriber numbers, social followings, and exposure by referring your company to their circles of contacts.

Tools such as VYPER are an unusual take on traditional competitions with leaderboards that entrants can climb by undertaking a bonus “refer-a-friend” type actions.

In gamifying the process, the competition fuels itself and attracts entirely new audiences to your marketing. As such, it’s a fun yet highly effective way to launch your product or service or to get your customers to refer new ones.

Landing Pages

You’ve worked so hard to get your brand in front of the right people, don’t be let down by your landing page. Even worse, don’t send visitors to a generic, one-size-fits-all page with bland messaging.

Unbounce to the rescue. This visual landing page builder has hundreds of high-performing templates for every type of campaign imaginable. Many popular all-in-one digital marketing tools, such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, and HubSpot, now include landing page builders. Turn more browsers into buyers with sales pages, product launches, eBooks and Webinars, event registration, and so much more.

Using a drag and drop interface is a breeze, so there is no excuse not to improve your conversion rate and squeeze every last sale you can. What’s more, Unbounce has in-built AI to keep optimizing the page and ensure you find a winning formula.

Launchrock does a similar thing but for “Launching Soon” pages. It has the added benefit of generating excitement about your new project and (hopefully) going viral with built-in sharing tools.

Time to Advertise

Now you’ve got the basics in place; you’re ready to use paid adverts to boost your reach and traction.

Facebook advertising allows you to grow your business on two of the world’s largest social networks, Facebook, and Instagram. The granularity of targeting and retargeting it offers is second to none, meaning you needn’t spend a lot to reach the right people.

Google Ads is also an obvious place to turn, pairing search intent with your solution at the top of search results. Play around with all of Google’s keyword planning tools, and you can uncover low cost, high reward terms, and dip your toe in the water without making a dent in your marketing budget.

Use Google Ads to appear on the shopping tab on Google searches and in-display ads in relevant sites where your potential customers hang out.

So, there you have it.

As the new kid on the block, you have your work cut out to punch above your weight and get your first customers through the door. These tools give a snapshot of the help that’s on offer to do so resourcefully and form long-term, profitable relationships. For hundreds more, check out Surges, a curated directory of SaaS tools, including interviews with the inspiring people behind them. Use it to discover the best tools for your business and great offers on subscriptions.

About the author: Every recommendation has been made by Stuart Goulden, who runs the marketing agency Like No Other in the UK. His new side-project, Surges, reviews, and recommends top marketing tools to help other marketers do more with less.