When you are starting out in the world of SaaS products, you may be feeling pretty confident, and you should. After all, your product is good, your advertising is good, your team is good — it is only a matter of time before customers start rolling in, right? Not always.
You are still missing one crucial ingredient — trust. That comes over time and is contingent on more than just how many features you offer. According to Failory, failure is most common for 70% of startups who have been in the business for 2-5 years.
If you want to rise above, you have to come across as a credible brand. But trust is one of the hardest things to build and relatively easy to lose. No worries, we have you covered.
Here are some simple yet effective ways for you to boost your credibility and win over your customers:
1. Use trust seals
This is pretty much a necessity for SaaS companies, but you will be surprised how many businesses still overlook it — regardless of niche. Trust seals are a sign of reliability.
When customers see a seal from McAfee or Norton, they can feel safe about sharing their personal data with you because they know all data is encrypted and all payments are secure.
In fact, research shows that 76% of consumers do not purchase anything from a website if they do not recognize the security badge or trust seal. Most trusted logos are from BBB, McAfee, TRUSTe, and PayPal.
Therefore, be sure to display your trust seals in prominent places like your lead capture form, site footer, and your payment gateway page so that customers can feel reassured every time.
2. Collect third-party product reviews
It is not enough for you to load up your website with descriptions of how great you are — your customers need to say it too. Nothing builds credibility quite like positive comments from past and current customers.
Therefore, be sure to have a system by which people who have worked with you can leave a review on your website or on pages like G2, Capterra, TrustPilot, or GetApp.
A BrightLocal research says that 57% of customers will only purchase from a business that is rated four stars or higher in reviews. And 90% of them will read 5-to-10 product reviews online before placing their trust in a brand.
Clearly, it is imperative for you to have as many user-generated reviews as possible on your site to build credibility.
Reach out individually with requests for detailed reviews about the things they liked, and perhaps even offer a discount coupon in return for their time. You can also reach out to bloggers and industry influencers that do SaaS product roundups and ask to be featured.
Many SaaS companies also add plugins of the review platforms such as TrustPilot to their website so that the reviews seem more genuine. Plus, those customers who are interested in reviewing your product know which platforms to go to.
3. Promote testimonials
These are reviews that come from large companies, experts, or major influencers in your field. Testimonials are instant credibility boosts, as the expert’s following will see their review of your product and likely want to try it out for themselves.
Make sure your testimonials prominently feature a headshot of the influencer so people can recognize them and that the review itself goes into relevant detail without being long-winded.
You can even consider having video testimonials rather than text ones — they may even work better, as viewers can see the enthusiasm in the influencer’s face and voice and trust you more.
4. Do guest blogging
As a new SaaS brand, you are likely eager to have a wider audience know your name. Since building an enormous audience of your own takes time, you can piggyback off others’ audiences by guest blogging for their websites.
There are plenty of places that accept thoughtfully written guest posts, so go ahead and reach out to them with a pitch. Run a Google search on any of the following or similar search strings to identify publications in your niche.
Your Keyword “guest posting SaaS”
Your Keyword “write for us SaaS startup”
Your Keyword “guest writer SaaS startup”
You can even use a content discovery platform like BuzzSumo for coming up with fresh topics. Be sure to craft something that showcases your expertise and is relevant for your audience without overtly selling your product.
Include a CTA in your author bio to drive traffic to your SaaS website. Start with posting at least one high-DA guest post and slowly increase the frequency.
5. Run free trials or give away premiums
Understandably, many customers will be reluctant to put their faith in something that is not established yet. Moreover, 92% of consumers only trust recommendations from reliable sources. To welcome them into your fold and show them how great you are, offer them a free trial so that they can explore all your features.
This way, they will be more ready and confident to purchase it once you start charging. Salesforce offers a rather simple Free Trial for 30 days to customers without asking for their credit card details or any software to install.
Salesforce also gives users access to pre-configured reports, processes, and dashboards along with live onboarding webinars.
You can also entice them in further with premium versions of your product that can unlock special features once they pay extra. Dropbox, for instance, increased its customer base from 100,000 to 400,000 by giving away 16GB of storage space for free in its referral program.
6. Create a company email signature
Email signatures are often overlooked. But what most businesses do not realize is that they are a fantastic tool for building credibility.
Your prospects, especially, want to know that the people they receive emails from are trustworthy and have an email signature with all the appropriate elements to verify it.
Use something like WiseStamp Email Signature Manager for G Suite and Office 365 if you are looking to have one place for every single employee signature.
Regardless of your email service provider, you can create signatures that feature contact information, official social profiles, company registration number, affiliations or accreditations, a CTA, and so on.
7. Build high-quality external links
This is one of those old-school SEO tips that still matter a great deal regarding your online reputation. Obtaining high-quality links shows customers that reputed sources trust you.
Therefore, make it a point to add links to your content from relevant and authoritative websites. Although it has no direct effect on search ranking, it will boost the trustworthiness of your content.
But if you add poor-quality, spammy links to your content, that will hurt your site SEO and demote it on search engines. Moreover, try not to opt for tactics like enrolling your site in irrelevant directories or exchanging in dofollow link exchange schemes, which could hurt your SEO.
The best way to get high-quality links, of course, is through writing high-quality content that offers real value to readers. Fetching links from large link aggregators such as .gov, .edu, and .org sites can enhance your site authority.
8. Get active on social media
You have probably heard this one a bunch of times, but having an active social media presence is crucial to winning over customers. You need to be where your prospective buyers are hanging out, which is usually on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Make sure you have a consistent posting schedule and engage with your audience when they comment or ask questions. Plus, make sure your content is the kind that your target audience wants to consume, from product demos to FAQs.
In addition, optimize your social media profiles —write a compelling bio, add your corporate logo and cover photo, update your office timings on Facebook and LinkedIn, share contact details, and add a CTA button.
9. Leave blog comments
Another underrated SEO tip is commenting on other blog posts and subtly introducing your brand name into the comment. It’s a great way to attract more visitors to your website and boost your SERP score.
Of course, it is essential not to spam random blog posts with your brand name, as Google can flag you for that. Make sure the comment itself engages thoughtfully with what the blog is saying. Do not copy-paste generic comments such as “Great post” or “Keep it up.”
Remember to always use your full name while commenting; use your official email address to create a profile on Gravatar or Disqus (if required). Ask questions to the blog writer, if possible, to start a conversation. You are commenting as a real person. Why not have a chat?
10. Promote press mentions and awards
Let your customers know if your SaaS startup has been recognized at an award ceremony or received good press for a recent event! Highlight your media mentions and accolades on your website, either on a separate page or in your footer.
These serve to boost credibility. If the media has portrayed you in a good light, your product is likely worth trusting.
A great way to improve your media presence is through free online services such as SourceBottle and HARO to identify press opportunities for your agency and also share tips with journalists to increase your chances of getting featured in press pieces.
Over to you
Trust is perhaps the most valuable asset you can have as a startup, and it is essential to establish yourself as a credible and trustworthy brand from day one. Therefore use the tried-and-tested tips above to spruce up your online presence and bring more customers knocking. With consistency, you will get there soon enough. Good luck!