The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Copywriting
Got a great SaaS product, but don't know how to talk about it? We'll give you some actionable tips on how to set your copywriting strategy and create landing page copy that works. Plus some examples from the greatest brands!
You’ve got a great SaaS product, but there’s one problem: your audience doesn’t know it.
And when you think about writing, you think about folks with their fingers glued to their laptops, burning the midnight oil. But since you’ve burned that same midnight oil, there’s a common ground.
And in that overlap exists the world of SaaS copywriting, and SaaS content writing.
So today, I’m going to show you how to:
- Launch that lander with confidence
- Make sure your articles pack a punch while educating your audience
- Create a SaaS copywriting strategy that turns window shoppers into happy customers
- Learn from the greats
I’m pumped, are you pumped?
Let’s do this!
1. What is SaaS copywriting?
Look, selling shoes is easy. It’s not nuclear science: you’ve got a pretty shoe, your visitors want a pretty shoe. They don’t have to check with anyone else - it’s their feet! And if the price is right, you’ve got yourself a conversion.
When you’ve got a SaaS product to sell, things get a little tricky:
First, your SaaS customers aren’t just the people looking at your landing page. In most cases, they have a boss or a team who are peeking over their shoulders. You can’t just convince them - you’ve got to convince all those people who have different objections.
Secondly, the pricing is different. It’s a commitment - even if you offer a no-strings attached contract. Every expense has to factor into the budget, and you have to prove how you’re going to make them money (while accepting their money).
Finally, some visitors come because they’re looking for a solution like yours. Others are on the fence - do they really need it? What’s in it for them? You’ve got to cover all of these points of view.
So, what is SaaS copywriting?
SaaS copywriting is a method that helps you explain your product, address your visitors’ objections, and identify the exact benefits your visitors are looking for so that your messaging can convince visitors to become customers.
In short, SaaS copywriting makes your value proposition and your messaging go from this...
SaaS copywriting simplifies, supercharges, and sells your product.
1.2. Why is SaaS copywriting important?
Or: Can’t I just write what I think visitors should know, and call it a day?
Technically, yeah, you can. You built the product, so you know all the ins and outs of it. But that can also become a problem when:
- Your landing page word count starts reaching the in-depth blog post word counts (visitors skim - if they see long-form copy on a landing page, they bounce)
- You start focusing on features you’re proud of building, instead of focusing on benefits visitors care about (you care about the behind-the-scenes work, visitors care about how that helps them)
- You’re not getting the conversions you deserve
In that respect, SaaS copywriting helps you:
- Drive more traffic
- Get more mailing list signups
- Increase your conversion rate
- Lower your CPC and increase your click-through rates
- Turn barely aware visitors into people who are ready to solve their problems with your tool
What you think visitors should know and what they want to know are two wildly different things, and that’s why SaaS copywriting matters.
So let’s get you set up for success!
2. How to create a SaaS copywriting strategy
Step 1. Perform audience research
I’m not saying you haven’t! But when you start thinking about SaaS copywriting, you have to go beyond your product validation stage research. You should:
- Read your reviews
- Get in touch with your customers
- Check out social media discussions
The more feedback you get, the easier it will be to perfect your current messaging.
For example, I’ve worked with a SaaS company that thought their main benefit were powerful features.
It turns out, what customers really cared the most about was how easy it was to get everything set up. They cared about 24/7 customer support and quick start guides. Those two never even made their landing page copy. Their blog didn’t reflect their knowledge.
Other SaaS companies managed to identify high-impact goals their customers were achieving with their product, and they hadn’t thought of that initially.
Find out what really resonates with your audience, and then start speaking their language.
Step 2. Perfect your unique value proposition
Once you know where your product stands, it’ll be much easier to write the perfect copy.
Your unique value proposition describes what you do, and how that helps your customers in a single sentence.
“OurToolTM helps you learn foreign languages by live-chatting with native speakers.”
How to check if your value proposition statement works:
- Does it say what your tool does?
- Does it say how that helps your customers?
- Is this a benefit your customers care about?
Consider these examples:
Slack’s value prop explains what the tool does (“A messaging app for teams”), and hints at the benefits (“Integrating with tools and services you use every day” - stopping the app sprawl).
Netflix’s value prop is again very clear - “Watch TV shows & movies anytime, anywhere.”
But what if your tool is new and you can’t rely on the reputation that Netflix and Slack already have?
We’re not Netflix. But we offer great writing services and work with writers who make it their mission to help you explain what you do so your visitors don’t convert because of sales gimmicks, but because of pure value.
So we found a really clear and simple way to explain it.
Our hero section UVP covers:
- The problem - You need content for your business?
- Our solution - We’re an online, on-demand content writing platform.
If you’re still in doubt, grab coffee with a friend. Then tell them what you do. Rinse and repeat until you can explain what you do, and how it helps your audience solve a problem.
That’s the simplest UVP you can use to write darn good SaaS copy.
Step 3. Identify your SaaS copywriting needs
The third part is identifying all the places that you’ll need to write SaaS copy for:
- Your landing page(s)
- Your product page(s)
- Blog content
- Social media
And so on!
I’ll cover these later in the text, so if you’re very eager, head on down and we’ll meet in ‘SaaS landing page copywriting.’
Step 4. Align your copywriting with your goals
Every page on your website has a specific goal.
For example, blog posts are usually there to educate top and middle of the funnel prospects who find you through Google search.
Landing pages are your sales reps - they convince your visitors that your product is worth investing in.
So as you get ready to write copy (or prepare your brief for our copywriting team), make sure you list the following:
- Audience for this page
- Key information that needs to be conveyed
It also really helps if you rally your analytics tools around your goals. I absolutely swear by HotJar and heat map software. They provide the information for those Google Analytics gaps:
HotJar will show you where visitors drop off, and which parts of the page they spend a lot of time on. This alerts you to problems, as well as information that they highly value.
For example, you might see that your visitors linger on the use cases section of your landing page. This might mean that you need to improve your hero section and tell your audience how they can use your software right away.
Step 5. Figure out your brand voice
Do you want to be formal, or friendly? Do you want to pose as a friend to your customer, or as a super-knowledgeable adviser? Do you want to gently guide them towards picking your solution, or do you want to make them feel so enthusiastic that they’ll be whipping out their credit cards by the time they’ve scrolled to the ‘Social proof’ section?
That is what I mean when I say: figure out your brand voice.
When you’ve decided on a brand voice, you’ll keep your copy consistent. Otherwise, it’ll be subject to fluctuations in your mood. One day you’ll feel like a PhD candidate, and the other you’ll go with a chill voice.
Now, before you ask me: “But Lana, can’t I just amp them up so they’re ready to buy, buy, buy?” let me clear up something:
Your brand voice depends on your audience.
If your audience wants you to lay a metaphorical pitch deck on their table and convince them with stats, then that’s just the approach and the voice you’ll need to use.
On the other hand, if you’re talking to performance-driven marketers who love posting broetry on LinkedIn, by all means - amp them up.
Just know who you’re talking to.
(P. S. Competitor research can help, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Focus on the data you currently have, check out online communities, and talk to your customers.)
3. How to write SaaS landing page copy [Template]
Step 1. Understanding the thought flow and structure
Have you noticed that plenty of SaaS landing pages follow a similar flow?
First, the hero section. Then, benefits, followed by features. Some social proof added into the mix. FAQ section or pricing plans. Et voila! You've got yourself a high-performing SaaS landing page!
There's a very good reason for this. Most people have gotten accustomed to the flow of landing pages. Additionally, that flow follows the logical thought flow of visitors:
- What is this? [Hero section]
- Why should I care about this? [Benefits]
- How are they doing that? [Features]
- Has someone else tried this, or am I going to get scammed? [Social proof]
Obviously, there are some deviations. But the majority of companies use this structure:
Hero, benefits, features.
Hero, features as benefits.
Hero, benefits, features.
Step 2. What should your SaaS hero section contain?
Your hero section has to introduce the problem your visitors can relate to, and then explain how your product helps them solve it.
The perfect hero section is born at the intersection of the problem your customers have, the benefits they want, and the solutions your SaaS can provide:
1. What problem do your customers have?
2. Which benefits is that problem stopping them from achieving?
3. How does your tool eliminate the problem, and bring them closer to their goals?
You have a convincing argument, and a convincing hero section.
Pro tip: avoid vague business talk. Talking about "supercharging your business objectives" or "introducing innovative technology that fosters client-centered experiences" means very little. Talk about actionable, tangible results.
Step 3. Describe features as benefits
If your benefits are simple and clear right from the hero section, you might not need a special benefits section. In any case, I’m a big believer in describing your features as benefits.
Asana also does it:
Again, the flow is very simple:
You state a benefit, and then prove how your features accomplish it. Rinse and repeat. It doesn't get simpler (or more convincing) than that.
Step 4. Not all social proof is social proof
My dear SaaS friends, we have a problem.
Your testimonials might be vague.
(You should get that checked out.)
One of the key goals of a SaaS landing page is addressing your visitors’ objections. And one of the main objections, across industries and niches, is:
“Is this product really going to help me, a [insert common denominator like small business owner]?”
This happens without fail. So you can’t just go with a vague testimonial saying: “I love using this tool!”
No, you need a testimonial saying:
“This tool helped me increase my conversion rate by 50% in just three months.”
- Jack, the founder of WeGetMarketingDone
The anatomy of a perfect testimonial looks like this:
1. Testimonial body that speaks to a specific situation, specific problem, and specific benefits that have been realized with the help of your SaaS
2. Name and title that identifies which audience persona the client fits
This is especially important if you’re offering a product for different audiences. For example, developers, dev agencies, and enterprises. Every single one of these customers is going to be looking for proof that your tool can help them with their specific needs.
If a dev only sees a testimonial from an enterprise, they’ll think your tool is too complex and irrelevant to their needs. And vice versa.
Step 5. Two CTAs
Yes, I know you want to convert. But here’s the thing: not all visitors are in the same stage.
Some will take a look at your landing page and say: perfect! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
But there will be others - others who are still sipping coffee on the proverbial fence.
They’re not there yet, and it’s not your fault. They might get there in a while. They might have other questions. They might need to clear their decision with top management.
And that’s why you give them options.
The first CTA - “Start my free trial” - is for the people who are ready to convert on sight. The second CTA is for those who need more reasons.
The first CTA - “Start free trial” - is for visitors who need content, and they need it like yesterday. The second is for those who want to double-check the pricing to find the perfect plan for their needs (we offer multiple options).
Other SaaS companies experiment with CTA combinations like:
- Sign up | Learn more
- Sign up | Check case studies
And so on!
A great alternative is also capturing your visitors’ email addresses with an exit intent pop-up or a similar method. This way, you can introduce them to your funnel and keep nurturing them.
Step 6. The first rule of SaaS Copywriting Club is...
... you absolutely talk about objections.
Human brains are weird, you guys. We could be looking straight at something that can help us and yet, our weird little neurons would be looking for reasons not to go proceed with the purchase.
This is where good SaaS landing page copywriting jumps in: it addresses objections, and gives visitors all the reasons they need to convert.
Sometimes, a FAQ section will do.
Other times, you have to subtly overcome objections.
For example, if you have a B2B product, you need to understand that your visitors will be thinking about their manager’s approval. So give them ways to convince their manager (budget optimization, better reporting, etc.).
Get feedback from your target audience:
- Ask them to list every question that pops up
- Ask them why they wouldn’t sign up
- Ask them if they have any concerns
Then, address them with your landing page copy.
4. SaaS Content Writing
If you’re only blogging about your progress and new features, stop.
(I'm not really sure why you do that. I get that it might be for investors - but you can always create a separate blog category to avoid confusing your potential paying customers.)
Unless your audience are techies and people in the same sector as you, you need to write a blog that helps your audience achieve their goals.
Vidyard’s blog is full of video-related “How-to”s because that’s what their audience cares about. That’s what makes contextual sense, and it also ranks pretty well in search engine results pages.
Buffer does the same thing, but they also focus on specific platforms their customers are using. They create in-depth content that ranks well, and converts often. They’re providing value to their customers free of charge, and that’s what builds the trust necessary to convert.
Here are a few easy ways to get started with an awesome SaaS blog:
Create evergreen content
I cannot overstate the importance of evergreen content like step-by-step guides and how-to tutorials.
People don’t want to go through dozens of articles they found on Google. They want one piece that covers all their questions. In return, they dwell on those pages longer, which sends signals to Google that it should rank your content higher.
Use social media, forums, and tools like AnswerThePublic to find the most common questions in your niche.
Then, create in-depth content that answers all of them, and does them one better: be that with a template, an infographic, case studies, or something else.
You can check out our content creation blog here for more tips.
Respond to trends and changing needs
Keep a finger on your niche’s pulse point so you can be among the first to cover a new and trending topic. This is especially important for SaaS companies - you’re innovative, so show that by covering new topics, as well.
You can set up Google Alerts to spot any new trends, or simply participate in online communities your audience frequents.
Convert vs nurture
Your blog posts will certainly drive visitors to check out the rest of your website.
If the audience is a good fit, they’ll likely convert. However, if they’re not ready to convert, you should have a fail-safe: a mailing list.
This way, you’ll be able to nurture them until they’re ready to convert. It’s much cheaper than setting new ad campaigns. You get a whole pool of people who just need a little push to convert. A whole pool of people who you just have to retarget.
5. Documentation and knowledge base copywriting
Wait, but isn’t a knowledge base just a... knowledge base?
I hear ya, I hear ya, but your knowledge base and your documentation is so much more than that. It’s proof that your tool will be simple to use, your features powerful enough to help your customers achieve their goals, and more.
So as you contemplate landing page and blog copywriting, make sure you pay attention to your knowledge base, as well. Think of it as your personal how-to blog posts.
Asana has one of the best knowledge bases out there. Yes, it’s very flashy, and running a course might be out of your budget. So I want you to pay attention to their presentation:
Their content is very readable, actionable, and they even use gifs.
All of this makes it really easy for customers to get the most out of their accounts.
A good knowledge base also prevents churn.
Once you’re done explaining how to use your software, start talking about goals.
For example, if you offer an email marketing service, create a step-by-step knowledge base article explaining how your audience can segment their mailing list subscribers with your tools. Don't make them click on dozens of links to go through specific steps. Put everything in one place.
Help them integrate your tool with other tools in their stack.
In short: don’t just focus on helping your customers use your tool. Focus on helping them achieve their goals with your tool.
5. SaaS email copywriting
There are four types of SaaS email copywriting you should think about:
- Onboarding emails
- Nurture leads
- Prevent churn
- Increase LTV
How to write SaaS onboarding emails
The average open rate for a welcome email is 50%, which makes it 86% more effective than standard emails. It’s also an excellent way to prevent churn in the long term, and start off your new relationship on the right note.
First, think about friction.
Your visitors signed up, effectively becoming customers. So what’s stopping them from getting started right away?
Your welcome email should fix that:
- Remind them of the goals they’ll achieve
- State the first step they need to take
- Provide them with a step-by-step guide
Give them the option to contact support, as well.
Then, schedule the second email a few days later, reminding them to start using your software, or giving them extra tips to make the most of it.
How to nurture SaaS leads with email marketing
Lead nurturing is all about value and trust:
- Give your leads reasons to trust you so they can trust you with their money
- Educate them and give them value for free
I like Framebridge’s email example. The most important aspect of it is that content is right there in the email.
No links. Just Framebridge, their lead, and their value.
Every time you ask a lead to click a link in your email body, it creates friction. Not a lot of people will be willing to take extra steps just to be convinced, so you’re reducing the number of leads you could turn into paying customers.
Of course, discounts can be a good idea. Just make sure you’re not devaluing your product. It’s best to offer a discount during at a contextually appropriate time (e.g. Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the holidays).
Otherwise, your leads might think your product is normally overpriced which could make them start doubting your credibility.
Alternatively, down-sell your leads. Help them get started with freemium, or with the least expensive plan. Offer them a no-strings attached trial. Do like Netflix does, and offer them a second trial to reactivate them.
How to prevent churn with SaaS email marketing
If you’ve been in business for a while and you still don’t have a customer success email sequence, you’re doing it wrong.
Always be on the lookout for more ways to provide value to your customers. AKA: give them so much bang for their buck that they’ll forget about objections, problems, or shifting priorities.
This ties into what I told you about knowledge bases. Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to talk about helping your customers achieve their goals, step by step.
Increase your customers’ LTV with SaaS copywriting
First, segment your audience according to interests and behavior. This will allow you to personalize at scale.
Secondly, start surveying your customers. Ask them what they want to achieve in the next five years. Ask them about their goals and pain points, beyond what your tool can provide.
Send them relevant email content; be that links to your blog posts, or a roundup of posts from the web that might be helpful to them. You don’t have to do everything yourself, nor do you have to solely send promotional emails.
Just start building relationships with your customers’ goals in mind. And once they start growing, you’ll have a much easier time upselling them to a better plan.
By then, they’ll trust you enough to take that deal.
6. Outsource SaaS copywriting
You really, really don’t have to do everything yourself.
(Even if that’s what you’ve been doing for a long time.)
As a founder, you’re the expert on your product. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you know what your audience needs to hear to convert.
That’s what we’re here for.
Our team at ContentFly specializes in working with SaaS companies that want to 10x their copy and content. With flexible plans starting from $250/month, ContentFly is your one-stop content & copy shop.
So, what do you say?
Let’s show more folks what makes your product awesome!