I started this project early last year when I first deconstructed the website traffic of the 50 biggest public SaaS companies.
I recently refreshed my data with the most recent numbers to see what's changed over the last year.
So, what should SaaS marketers trying to drive more leads take away from these findings?
The data indicate that there are a few channels of traffic every SaaS startup should be cultivating:
Organic search: It’s a highly scalable driver of SaaS traffic and leads, but takes some time to work. The sooner you start, the better.
Referrals: Earning mentions and backlinks not only improves your brand awareness and traffic, but also your website’s authority--which makes it easier to rank for important keywords in organic search results. (Conversely, more of your content ranking in search results leads to more links and traffic from other sites. It’s a symbiotic relationship.)
Email: Warm emails have incredible ROI; methodically work your way through the customer journey and figure out how to add value with automated emails at every stage.
Not all SaaS companies conduct cold email outreach, but more probably should. Outbound marketing works, and email makes outbound scalable.
Meanwhile, paid channels can be a very effective growth accelerator, especially when you’re just getting started with the “bigger” channels like organic search and referrals. Just don’t expect paid channels to form the long-term foundation of your marketing strategy.
If you're interested, you can check out the detailed results of my findings: https://www.mikesonders.com/traffic-sources-saas/
I hope this is helpful! Were there any surprises in the data for you?