SaaS Demand Generation: Building a Customer Acquisition Engine

SaaS Marketing
Last Updated: November 12, 2023 14 min
Justin Berg
Justin Berg

Founder of Rock The Rankings

The inability to manage demand-generation campaigns can lead to wasted resources and missed growth opportunities.

If you’ve struggled in the past with demand generation, you’re likely missing out on the execution front when it comes to the three core pillars of SaaS demand generation:

  • Discoverability: Ensuring that the brand is visible and discoverable across digital channels, search engines, and marketplaces.
  • Activation: Consistently engaging with target buyers through a combination of content, online presence, events, webinars, and social media to keep them interested.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): Enhancing user experience on the website and other platforms in order to convert visitors into customers.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the demand generation topic, and how you can set up your own demand engine using a simple framework and by understanding the three core pillars.

Pillar #1: Discoverability

Organic Search

Organic search plays a crucial role in demand generation for SaaS companies.

Implementing effective SEO strategies helps businesses become more visible for the right keywords at each level of the marketing funnel.

This subsequently maximizes awareness and drives organic traffic.

Owning bottom-funnel search terms where searchers are looking for your solution is only part of the journey.

Various content and link-building strategies are essential for achieving visibility across different stages of the funnel:

  • Content with high monthly search volume for relevant top-of-the-funnel keywords
  • Thought leadership content across the marketing funnel to establish subject matter expertise
  • Gated or semi-gated content enticing user interaction
  • Performance-focused content such as case studies addressing target audience pain points

Being discoverable is the first core pillar, and organic search is a good starting point for building out content and pages built for your target audience.

Paid Search

When it comes to paid search, demand generation necessitates effectiveness and efficiency.

Factors such as keyword targeting, messaging, and ad copy, all influence click-through rates.

After a successful click, an optimized landing page is vital for showcasing brand credibility and nurturing users into providing their information.

Paid search typically operates on a predetermined budget, and it’s essential to maximize returns over the allocated spend. Defining specific goals for MQLs, SQLs, and customer acquisition plays a crucial role in monitoring progress and adjusting strategies as needed.

Further Reading: PPC for SaaS Framework

Effective and efficient paid search highly depends on precise and creative targeting.

Pillar #2: Activation

Email Drip Campaigns

It it is essential to maintain continuous engagement with potential customers.

This is particularly important when the target audience is not yet ready to purchase the software, which is going to be the case for most visitors that are hitting your website during their first initial visitrs.

One highly effective way to keep the audience engaged and activate them when the time is right is through email drip campaigns.

Email marketing has proven to be a powerful tool in generating significant returns on investment and outperforming social media in customer acquisition.

The primary objective of lead activation is to initiate and facilitate conversations about the topics relevant to the SaaS product. This can be achieved through impactful email marketing, offering regular reminders of the software’s benefits, and building trust.

Email drip campaigns should provide valuable and meaningful content for the readers, preferably without requiring them to click a link.

By sharing content directly within the email, the interaction between the reader and the brand can be increased, and the value of the content can be demonstrated. High-quality content such as blog posts, video demonstrations, and personal copy should be included to offer genuine value to the user.

An essential factor in successful drip campaigns is aligning the content with the interests of the target audience and enhancing the overall lead-nurturing process.

Email campaigns can also be used to promote free webinars, whitepapers, and other valuable resources to help nurture leads.

The ultimate goal of email marketing is to prompt qualified leads to take action and capitalize on the opportunities presented by email drip campaigns.

Pillar #3: CRO & User Experience Optimization

Engaging potential customers and converting them into buyers are crucial elements of an effective sales strategy for SaaS companies.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and user experience optimization play vital roles in this process, ensuring smooth interactions with customers and enhancing the functionality of the platform.

To optimize user experience, it is imperative to follow essential CRO best practices:

  • Focus on impactful experiments that can drive conversions
  • Test one element at a time to avoid data contamination
  • Base experimentation and decisions on data, rather than opinions
  • Craft clear and goal-oriented copy that aligns with the company’s objectives

Pillar 1 is all about being found, and getting right-fit traffic to the website, whereas Pillar #3 is focusing in on actually converting those visitors to take a desired action.

Positioning Your B2B SaaS Company

To effectively position your B2B SaaS company, it is crucial to understand the process and create clear messaging that differentiates your business. Start by answering these four questions:

  1. Who do you help?
  2. How do you differ from your competition?
  3. What problems do you solve?
  4. How does your product work?

Make sure that customers are the focus of your positioning strategy, considering their problems and challenges.

Remember, focusing on positioning first is vital, as it sets the foundation for your value proposition and overall growth strategy.

Structuring Your Website for SaaS Demand Generation Success

1. Homepage

Crafting engaging homepages is crucial for SaaS companies.

Focus on creating headlines that speak directly to a specific audience and ask a question or present a unique selling proposition.

Further Reading: SaaS Website Best Practices

Subheadlines should clearly convey your product’s value proposition.

2. Product and Feature Pages

Effective product and feature pages require attention to structure, imagery, and copy.

To achieve higher conversions, consider dividing these pages into five sections:

  1. The Above the Fold Experience: Upon arrival, address four essential questions for visitors: Does the product match their needs? Can it solve their problems? Is it a worthwhile investment? And, what should they do next?
  2. Social Proof: Display well-known company logos to signal legitimacy and build trust with prospective customers.
  3. Detailed Feature Expansion: Provide in-depth context about your features, arranged in the order in which they’re used, using the pros-without-cons format.
  4. The Second Call to Action: Offer visual separation between features and benefits, while presenting a clear next step for prospects.
  5. Testimonials: Add social proof from satisfied clients, instilling confidence in your product’s effectiveness.

3. Blog Pages

Blog pages are an often overlooked yet crucial aspect of the SaaS website experience.

Optimize your blog pages and posts to generate demand and maximize engagement.

Keep the following framework in mind for blog pages and posts:

  1. Header Links: Limit the number of dropdown menu options, focusing on the most relevant links for visitors.
  2. Blog Post Date: Display original publication and update dates for posts, signaling the freshness of the content for search engines.
  3. Sidebar: Declutter sidebars and use them for displaying a table of contents for straightforward blog post navigation.
  4. Blog Content: Incorporate calls to action within article content for higher visibility as readers skim through the text.
  5. Final Calls to Action: Between the conclusion of an article and the footer, present options for readers to take further action, such as exploring related content or engaging with your SaaS product.

By addressing these three areas and focusing on clear organization, engaging copy, and strategic calls to action, you can optimize your SaaS website for demand generation success.

Executing SEO for SaaS Demand Generation

We cover SEO for SaaS in-depth in some of our other deep dives, but at the high-level there are 3 core pillars to SEO:

  • Technical SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • On-page SEO

Building into those three pillars, yous should be keeping the following in mind:

1. Enhancing Technical SEO

  1. Boost page topical relevance: Focus on creating content that is highly relevant to the user’s search query, rather than simply repeating keywords or increasing word count.
  2. Minimize website and crawl errors: Regularly inspect and resolve website errors and crawl issues to improve search engine discoverability.
  3. Allocate more resources for quicker deployment: Break down larger technical SEO tasks and allocate the necessary resources to accomplish them swiftly.
  4. Reduce response time for content changes: Quickly implement content recommendations and changes, as they are only beneficial when put into action.
  5. Augment content and context: Produce contextually relevant content that search engines favor.

2. Strengthening Content Marketing

  1. Consolidate existing pages: Merge pages and posts covering the same topics to establish authority and improve search engine rankings.
  2. Create fewer pages: After consolidating pages, avoid adding more unless necessary, and incorporate new product details on existing pages when possible.
  3. Improve the user experience: Prioritize ease of navigation and ensure a positive user experience to potentially enhance search engine rankings.
  4. Regularly update content: Keep content fresh by consistently updating and refining it, staying ahead of the competition.
  5. Remove stale content: Eliminate underperforming pages, maintaining a lean website focused on relevant content.

3. Focusing on SEO Outreach

  1. Establish relationships with relevant publishers: Network with influential publishers and influencers who can promote your brand to their audience.
  2. Develop link-worthy content: Generate high-quality content that others will want to share and link back to.
  3. Send personalized 2-step outreach emails: Craft tailored emails for individual influencers, mentioning their work or activities to increase personal connection.
  4. Avoid transactional follow-ups: Instead of sending generic follow-up messages, remind influencers of the mutual benefits of collaboration.
  5. Reclaim unlinked brand mentions: Monitor the web for brand mentions without backlinks using a tool like Ahrefs, and request that those mentions be linked back to your website.

Further Reading: SaaS SEO 101

Driving PPC Traffic That Fits Your Business Needs


Allocate a larger budget for LinkedIn ads as they generally produce fewer, but higher-quality leads.

Be less specific in your audience targeting, providing LinkedIn with broad job titles of your ideal prospects.

Design your ad creative to suit LinkedIn users, who usually browse content and network with professionals, rather than being in purchasing mode.

Effective offers on LinkedIn are often lead magnet downloads rather than trial or demo signups.


For Facebook Ads, be specific with your targeting using these three main options:

  • Retarget users with existing pixel data
  • Create lookalike audiences based on existing customer and prospect data
  • Use account-based marketing and narrow targeting to a specific list of ideal customers

Don’t rely on custom audiences based on interests and behaviors as this approach tends to work better for eCommerce companies.

Google Ads

For B2B SaaS companies, implement five tactics in their Google Ads campaigns:

  • Target In-Market and Custom Intent Segments
  • Focus on Brand Consideration Intent by targeting keywords like brand name + reviews or brand name + discount
  • Target Brand vs. Competitor Intent by creating comparison landing pages and driving traffic using comparison-intent keywords
  • Leverage Google Display Network with Managed Placements
  • Utilize target account lists with keyword targeting for precise audience reach

Crafting Landing Pages That Convert

Design landing pages based on customers’ awareness:

  • Problem unaware: Prospects aren’t aware they have an issue
  • Problem aware: They realize there’s a problem and are seeking solutions
  • Solution aware: They’re aware of potential solutions and are evaluating options

With these categories in mind, create two distinct landing page flows: one for problem-unaware and problem-aware users, and another for solution-aware prospects.

Remarketing and Optimization Strategies

Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach for remarketing. Instead, use the Boomerang Method:

  • Step 1: Segment audiences based on actions and pages browsed
  • Step 2: Amplify ads through omnichannel remarketing, serving ads across various channels to those who have engaged with your brand

For PPC optimization, avoid making campaign changes too soon.

Establish a baseline for measuring performance by waiting at least a month.

Educating and Motivating Prospects

Bottom-of-Funnel Content

Bottom-of-funnel content targets prospects who are actively searching for a solution to their problem and have a higher conversion rate, despite showing little to no search volume.

Examples of effective bottom-of-funnel content include:

  • Comparison pages: Show how your software compares to competitors, highlighting your advantages.
  • Alternative to pages: Present your product as another option for your competitors’ customers to consider.
  • Product pages: Describe the categories and solutions your product provides, targeting your ideal prospects.
  • Use cases: Detail specific actions taken by ideal customers using your product.
  • Case studies: Share stories of successful customer results, reassuring prospects about the effectiveness of your offering.

Middle-of-Funnel Content

Middle-of-funnel content has a medium search volume and conversion rate, demonstrating some level of prospect interest.

Common types of middle-of-funnel content include:

  • Interactive tools: Provide previews of your offerings without requiring a full commitment, such as questionnaires or calculators.
  • Marketing intelligence pieces: Establish the business case for your product, helping prospects gather information for decision-makers.
  • Product tour pages: Offer insights into your product, especially useful if your company provides multiple offerings.

Top-of-Funnel Content

Top-of-funnel content, while having the highest search volume, has the lowest buying intent and typically results in fewer conversions.

Examples of top-of-funnel content include:

  • Expanded list posts and expert roundups: Introduce prospects to the problems your product solves and gather insights from industry experts.
  • Ultimate guides: Provide in-depth information on topics related to your product’s core use cases.
  • ‘How to’ narrative content: Explain how to perform specific tasks, showcasing your product’s features.
  • Opinion and thought leadership pieces: Grab your target audience’s attention with unique, contrarian perspectives that generate engagement and discussion.

Why Efficiency is Crucial in Demand Generation

Efficiency is a critical aspect in demand generation because it directly affects the effectiveness of marketing strategies, allocation of resources, and business growth.

By analyzing the customer acquisition cost (CAC) and customer lifetime value (LTV), marketers can identify the most effective channels that require prioritization for budget allocation.

This approach ensures that resources are optimally distributed across different marketing campaigns, maximizing the value derived.

Throughout different channels – such as SEO, paid search, LinkedIn, email marketing, event marketing, and media relations – the CAC-LTV model helps establish performance benchmarks.

Further Reading: SaaS SEO ROI Calculator

This helps to pinpoint underperforming channels and reallocate resources to those that deliver better results.

Some key benefits of focusing on efficiency in demand generation include:

  • Optimized resource allocation: By identifying the most effective strategies and tools, marketers can allocate their budgets and efforts more efficiently.
  • Data-driven decisions: Using data from the CAC-LTV analysis, companies can make informed decisions on where to focus their marketing efforts.
  • Reduced churn rate: Efficient demand generation efforts help identify pain points and target accounts, enabling a tailor-made marketing approach to improve customer satisfaction and reduce churn.
  • Growth and expansion: By investing in efficient marketing strategies, businesses can enhance brand awareness and generate demand, paving the way for growth and expansion.
  • Value for money: Ensuring the efficacy of the chosen marketing strategies reduces the chances of wasting budgets on campaigns that don’t yield results.

Efficient demand generation also benefits from the incorporation of best practices like:

  1. Thought leadership: Creating valuable thought-leadership content that addresses target audience pain points enhances brand credibility and generates demand.
  2. Account-based marketing: A targeted approach to marketing allows for personalized communication with potential clients, catering to their specific needs and driving demand generation.
  3. Promotion through multiple channels: Engaging in multichannel marketing helps reach a broader target audience and increases the chances of generating demand.
  4. Social proof: Utilizing testimonials, reviews, and interviews from industry leaders, satisfied customers, and influencers provides validation and encourages potential clients to trust the brand.
  5. Value proposition: Clearly communicating the unique benefits of a product or service adds value to marketing efforts and leads to higher demand.

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling to build a demand engine, you’re likely missing one of the key ingredients from the three core pillars.

Discoverability plays a crucial role in guiding customers through the buyer’s journey and improving brand awareness.

Consistent brand activation helps maintain visibility and engagement with buyers, even when they are not ready to purchase the product or service.

By executing on the three collar pillars of SaaS demand generation, you can begin to build a customer acquisition engine that continues to run itself, and properly feed your pipeline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Recent

Ready to build your SEO customer acquisition engine?

Book a 1-on-1 intro call with our founder that includes a FREE custom marketing plan. Start growing faster, today.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap