SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins in 2024

Author's avatar Marketing UPDATED Jun 20, 2024 PUBLISHED Jun 20, 2024 20 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    If you’ve ever tried your hand at growth marketing, you know that it takes hard work and experimentation to get consistent results. Plus, you have to constantly adapt your strategy to account for changes in trends, technology, and your audience.

    This principle especially rings true for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, where the market changes quickly. As a SaaS marketer, you might be feeling the pressure of adapting to the latest market trends.

    If you’re feeling lost, we have some data-backed ideas for you to try. In partnership with First Page Strategy by RevenueZen, we asked SaaS marketers about their current challenges and wins in growth marketing. We gathered data from 100 marketers between September 2023 and May 2024 to offer some guidance. The study is ongoing, so you can also join in.

    Here are the insights we have from the survey so far:

    Current Growth Marketing Priorities in SaaS

    We consulted the 100 participating SaaS companies on their priorities in growth marketing.

    Among the survey group, 60% work for product-led growth (PLG) companies. In other words, they let their product take the lead in marketing instead of funneling customers through sales before they use it.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - PLG companies pie chart

    Most participants (69%) perform growth marketing without an agency’s help. 31% answered that they currently work with a growth marketing agency.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - working with growth marketing agency pie chart

    The companies in our survey reported that their most successful channels for acquiring leads or users were SEO and content.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - channels for lead and user acquisition data

    You’ll see a similar trend in which channels these companies plan to invest in. Survey respondents mainly want to invest more resources in SEO and content. Not many companies plan to decrease investments in any channel in general.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - investments in marketing channels data

    The pattern continues in the channels respondents plan to use in the future. More than 40% of participants named SEO and content channels they want to use soon.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - marketing channels usage data

    The marketers in our survey mainly look at leads and customers when considering KPIs. They named marketing qualified leads (MQLs) (65%), sales qualified leads (SQLs) (60%), and new customers (59%) as the top KPIs they want to improve right now.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - KPIs to improve data

    Organic and Paid Growth Marketing Benchmarks for SaaS Companies

    Want to see how your SaaS marketing stacks up against the competition and get more valuable insights into the state of organic and paid marketing in SaaS companies?

    Then we recommend joining First Page Strategy’s Benchmark Group: Organic & Paid Growth Marketing Benchmarks for SaaS Companies. In this Benchmark Group, members can connect their data sources and compare their performance metrics with other similar SaaS companies — anonymously and free of charge.

    According to the Benchmark Group’s data, 1945 contributing members had a median of 4.5K sessions in April 2024. Among those participants, top performers had a four times higher median of 19.25K sessions.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - benchmark groups website sessions

    There’s a similar disparity between average and top performers in first-page keywords. The overall median for the 94 metric contributors was 18.5 in April 2024, but the top performers in the same group had a median of 60 first-page keywords.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - benchmark groups first-page keywords

    5 Top SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges (and Strategies for Tackling Them)

    What are the top growth marketing problems on SaaS companies’ lists in 2024? We asked this question as part of our survey, and the top answer was budget constraints (52%). The next two most common problems were difficulty measuring return on investment (ROI) and market saturation, both at 44%.

    SaaS Growth Marketing Challenges and Wins - growth marketing challenges

    In addition, we asked respondents to tell us about their challenges in the open-ended part of the survey and explain what they’re doing to address those issues. You’ll see many of the same issues mentioned in the closed-ended part of the survey. Let’s dig into each challenge and solution:

    1. Planning Ahead for Consultants
    2. Growing an Audience
    3. Tracking ROI
    4. Differentiating Content
    5. Improving Data

    1. Planning Ahead for Consultants

    At Referral Rock, Josh Ho notices a need for better organization when working with consultants and contractors. Ho named the top problem as “Readiness to use external resources with well-defined project briefs and supporting assets so they can be plug and play.”

    As for the solution, Ho says, “We need to take more time to align ourselves before we engage with consultants and not just rush in because we’re hungry.”

    If this issue resonates with you, you can start managing it by creating templates for the briefs and resources you need to share. For example, if you work with freelance writers often, you can follow these tips to build a clear content brief template.

    2. Growing an Audience

    For growth marketing to work, you need an audience to convert into leads in the first place. Voissee’s Arum Karunianti has this problem in the company’s growth marketing efforts. “Our primary growth marketing challenge is audience expansion,” Karunianti says.

    The Voissee team has a few strategies for resolving this challenge: “To address this, we’re diversifying channels and refining targeting based on data analytics. Implementing personalized marketing campaigns and leveraging social media for brand amplification is part of our strategy. Additionally, optimizing our website’s user experience and incorporating customer feedback aims to enhance conversion rates.”

    3. Tracking ROI

    It’s not always easy to attribute leads and customers to specific SaaS marketing efforts. Simon Bacher and the Ling team want to get better at it. “It’s nearly impossible to do this, especially when customers find us organically,” Bacher explains.

    Ling is starting with new tracking methods. Bacher says, “We’ve begun using UTMs and other tracking methods to link sales to sources. This way we can have a better impression of where to invest further with our marketing efforts.”

    UTM parameters help you attribute traffic to specific URLs. Learn how to use them in our comprehensive guide.

    4. Differentiating Content

    Market saturation is already a problem marketers named in the survey, and that challenge can get even tougher in content’s AI era. NightOwl’s Jayden Ooi calls it “Content Saturation Syndrome.”

    Ooi wants to tackle this challenge with interactive content: “We are taking a different approach by focusing on creating immersive, interactive content experiences in an information-rich world. We hope to produce memorable, captivating material that breaks through the noise by utilizing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies.”

    Ooi adds, “This innovative strategy not only engages our audience but also yields insightful data that helps us to continuously improve our messaging. By utilizing experience marketing to its full potential, we can make sure that our brand is unique and develops a closer bond with customers. This tactic not only deals with content saturation but also accelerates our expansion by turning inactive customers into engaged players in our brand’s story.”

    Alex Boyd, Founder & Chairman of RevenueZen, also highlights the importance of balancing AI integration with maintaining content authenticity:

    “One of the biggest challenges SaaS marketers are facing is the dual challenge of AI: the challenge of wanting to use it for efficiency, without their content losing its soul. And on the other hand, the challenge of their CEO and CFO pushing them to use it more and more, to cut costs.

    The insight that has emerged lately from our work with SaaS VPs of Marketing is that AI is a fantastic tool for the “content operations” side of the workflow: gathering insights from SMEs, editing video, helping manage projects, gathering research, tabulating raw data into new formats. But the best marketing leaders are ruthlessly relying on insight-driven content, to win the hearts and minds of their buyers — and they’re focusing on the distribution of those insights, whether that’s through SEO or paid or organic social or any other channel.”

    Alex Boyd

    Alex Boyd

    Founder & Chairman at RevenueZen

    Want to get highlighted in our next report? Become a contributor now

    5. Improving Data

    Sean Lauer at Instruqt has a straightforward but crucial challenge and solution: “Our biggest challenge is a lack of data to show us what’s really working to drive qualified leads. We need to clean up our data and simplify our strategy so we can better track progress and measure ROI.”

    A data analytics tool like Databox can help with this process by automatically organizing your data once you set up dashboards. From there, you can follow the basics of analyzing data to understand your progress in your growth marketing endeavors.

    6 Growth Marketing Success Stories in SaaS

    In addition to marketers’ current challenges, we can also learn from the success stories they have to share. If a certain tactic succeeds for another marketer, it could also work for you, or you might have a lesson to learn related to its approach.

    Let’s look at six success stories shared in our survey:

    1. An Iconic Event Strategy
    2. Spacelift: More Effective Marketing Spend
    3. Content Whale: A 16-Point Increase in DR
    4. JetDocs: Cold Emails, Hot Results
    5. Gotomyerp: Conversion Boosting Through Social Proof
    6. Grazitti Interactive: Targeted Emails for Rich Engagement

    1. An Iconic Event Strategy

    According to our survey, SaaS marketers have SEO and content on their radars. But less common channels like event marketing can also spark success, as’s Allie Smith shares.

    “We’ve really doubled down on our event strategies – in-person and virtual,” Smith says. “Our weekly webinar series has grown from a mere experiment to a fully-fledged conversion engine, fueling 80% of our pipeline. It’s become so well-recognized that people come to us asking to be on the series.”

    Smith continues, “We’ve also turned our strategy into a playbook that anyone can leverage to create a scaleable webinar series after getting so many requests. This virtual series has gotten to a point where it’s so well recognized and has even taken an in-person form to create even more valuable content for our audience and build lasting relationships with customers, partners, and thought leaders in our space.”

    You don’t necessarily have to try event marketing to try this strategy. Consider what skills and resources you have that others in your niche don’t, and build a highly targeted marketing channel based on those strengths. 

    2. Spacelift: More Effective Marketing Spend

    The top challenge mentioned in the closed-ended section of our survey was budget constraints, and we can look to Spacelift as a company that overcame it.

    Let Kate Wojewoda-Celinska explain: “Our most recent win in growth marketing was carefully optimizing our marketing spending. By testing and adopting data-driven strategies and adjusting our marketing campaigns based on real-time analytics, we were able to relocate our budget more effectively towards the best-performing ads. This approach led to a significant reduction in cost per acquisition and an increase in conversion rates.”

    Another strategy for managing spend is cutting costs in other areas, and businesses can try one or both tactics. We examined how small businesses use both methods in this guide.

    3. Content Whale: A 16-Point Increase in DR

    Domain ranking, the metric search engines use to measure your website’s authority, has become incredibly influential to SEO results in recent years. The Content Whale team recently increased their score through an intensive process. Bhavik Sarkhedi says, “One of our most significant recent achievements in the realm of growth marketing has been the remarkable improvement in our website’s Domain Rating (DR) from 26 to an impressive 42. This achievement is the result of a comprehensive initiative that focused on strengthening our SEO, blog content, and link-building efforts.”

    According to Sarkhedi, “The initiative began by identifying areas for improvement in our existing content and website structure. We conducted a thorough SEO audit to pinpoint opportunities for optimizing on-page elements, enhancing meta tags, and improving keyword targeting. Concurrently, our content team worked diligently to produce high-quality, informative blog content that addressed the pain points and interests of our target audience. This content was not only optimized for SEO but also designed to provide genuine value to our readers.”

    Link building also played a key role in this growth. “We actively sought opportunities to secure high-quality backlinks from reputable websites within our industry. These backlinks not only bolstered our website’s authority but also increased our visibility in search engine results,” Sarkhedi says.

    All of these efforts led to impressive results: “The combined efforts of our SEO, content, and link-building teams resulted in a substantial boost in our website’s DR. As a result, our website’s impressions doubled, and we witnessed an impressive 10% increase in clicks for our target keywords. This success validates the effectiveness of our growth marketing strategy, emphasizing the importance of holistic and data-driven approaches in achieving our goals. Moving forward, we plan to build upon this achievement and continue refining our strategies to drive even more significant growth for Content Whale.”

    Your ability to pull off this strategy will depend on the time and resources you have at hand. Out of the many tactics you have to improve your domain authority, you can try some of the top ways to get referring domains first. The number of referring domains you have affects your DR, and there are many angles you can take to earn them.

    4. JetDocs: Cold Emails, Hot Results

    Cold emails can be a polarizing topic in SaaS marketing and sales. Some folks swear off of them, while others find a lot of success with this tactic. But Sajwal Pageni and the Jetdocs team discovered they could fit into the latter group by targeting an audience they know needs their product.

    Pageni says, “We recently started cold email campaigns where we started emailing around 1000 leads a day that fit our ideal customer profile. It was successful because the profile we have are facing the problems we are solving, but whenever they look online for solutions, they get generic search results that aren’t niched down to their industry. So, when [we] email them offering help in front of them, it’s usually a eureka moment for them.”

    Keep these two factors behind the strategy in mind: the Jetdocs team targeted a niche audience, and they sent emails at a large volume. This method takes a lot of careful research and effort to pull off.

    5. Gotomyerp: Conversion Boosting Through Social Proof

    Social proof such as customer feedback on rating and referral platforms is another underrated avenue for lead conversion. Gotomyerp used it to greatly increase its lead conversion rate. Tom Vota shares:

    “One recent win our company got from growth marketing was converting 40% of leads into customers. It was one of our best accomplishments in the past few years.”

    Tom Vota

    Tom Vota

    Marketing Director at Gotomyerp

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    Here’s how the team executed this strategy: “We were able to achieve this through referral marketing. We have an extensive base of old and loyal clients. We requested them to recommend our service on social media. We also asked them to share their reviews and experiences on our website. As existing clients recommended our service, new clients could trust our brand.”

    If your business has a base of loyal existing customers, try asking them to review and recommend your software on platforms like social media, Google, G2, and Trustpilot.

    6. Grazitti Interactive: Targeted Emails for Rich Engagement

    Some companies find better success with targeted warm emails over cold emails, and Grazitti Interactive is one of those businesses. Raja Setia says, “Our most recent significant win in growth marketing came from a targeted email marketing campaign. We initiated a personalized email series for existing customers, with the goal of re-engaging them and encouraging repeat purchases.”

    Setia chalks up this success to multiple factors:

    • Segmentation: We meticulously segmented our customer database based on their past purchase history, preferences, and behaviors. This allowed us to send highly relevant and personalized emails to each group, increasing the chances of conversion.
    • Engaging Content: The email series consisted of well-crafted, value-driven content. We offered exclusive discounts, provided helpful product tips, and shared success stories from other customers, creating a strong incentive for customers to return and make additional purchases.
    • Timing and Automation: We used marketing automation tools to send emails at the right time, based on the customer’s interaction with our website or previous emails. This ensured that our emails reached customers when they were most likely to convert.
    • Performance Tracking: We closely monitored the campaign’s performance, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This allowed us to make data-driven adjustments in real time, optimizing the campaign for better results.”

    According to Setia, Grazitti Interactive had a “significant increase” in customer loyalty and purchases from existing customers. You could see a boost, too, if you take the time to personalize and monitor your email campaign.

    4 New Growth Marketing Strategies for SaaS Businesses to Try

    Now that we know what is and isn’t working for growth marketing in SaaS right now, let’s look to the future. We asked survey participants about the SaaS growth strategies, channels, and tactics they’re excited to try, and they had four to share:

    1. In-Depth SEO Strategies
    2. Content Partnerships
    3. Content Libraries
    4. Targeted Link Building

    1. In-Depth SEO Strategies

    With so many respondents naming SEO as a channel they currently use or plan to use, it’s no surprise that it came up in the open-ended section of the survey. Two respondents elaborated on why they plan on investing in SEO soon.

    At Rally UXR, Lauren Gibson wants to expand the brand’s SEO content with the help of freelancers. Gibson says, “We’re not very intentional about SEO, but we are trying to increase our blog content by adding a few more freelancers. (We’re a marketing team of 2 and only recently grew from a marketing team of 1 – we’re also only a 13-person startup that was founded about 2.5 years ago). We’re excited to explore SEO more and utilize these freelancers to really build up our content and start ranking more for keywords.”

    BuddyCRM’s Milo Cruz has a broader approach in mind: “We’re excited to dive into SEO. We’ve only been doing the bare minimum so far, but we see that there’s a lot of untapped potential there. We’re hiring more experts to help with link-building, conversion optimization, and technical SEO to really give our online presence a boost and get more leads coming in.”

    Whichever angle you come from, make sure to familiarize yourself with the most important SEO KPIs to track and which ones are the most relevant to your business.

    2. Content Partnerships

    Some respondents named a technique that overlaps with SEO – content partnerships. One of the main draws of collaborating with other companies on content is the backlinks you’ll receive, but you’ll also get more brand exposure overall.

    Garden already had success with sponsored content in the past, so Valerie Slaughter hopes to nurture its content partnerships even more moving forward. Slaughter says:

    “Our most successful initiative has been with a sponsored content placement in a reputable third-party website. I think it was so successful because our articles were educational and didn’t feel like marketing copy, which helped make our audience feel comfortable enough to learn more. This initiative increased leads by 40% QoQ. Moving into this quarter, I’m excited to try more content partnerships as this is a channel that we’ve historically underutilized and I think shows big opportunities for growth.”

    Valerie Slaughter

    Valerie Slaughter

    Creative Content Strategist at Garden

    Want to get highlighted in our next report? Become a contributor now

    At AlphaSense, Kevin Lissandrello also wants to collaborate with more content partners. Lissandrello says, “I’m excited to partner with tier 1 publications across the industry, for our unique audiences, to push our brand, to drive awareness, and [to] drive leads. We have partners that are great, and we are doing okay getting our brand out there…I want to be partnered with the best outlets in the market to let our audience know we are a trusted source.”

    3. Content Libraries

    It’s one thing to invest in content, but once you have a large body of articles, you may have to think about how you present it. Boast AI’s Paul Davenport wants to repackage the company’s content for better reading.

    Davenport says, “We’re embarking on a complete website overhaul that will house our robust resource library, including our 40+ episode podcast, extensive blog, and thought leadership guides. This will make it easier for our customers and the general public to leverage our expertise as R&D and tax credit leaders, while hopefully speeding up the time it takes for decision makers to navigate key areas of our website.”

    4. Targeted Link Building

    Link building appears again as a SaaS growth strategy to try, but this time with a targeted approach. “We’re particularly excited about diving deeper into high-quality link building as a new growth marketing strategy,” says Kamil Rejent from Survicate. “Now, I know link building isn’t exactly a ‘new’ tactic, but the way we’re approaching it is unique and tailored to the SaaS industry’s nuances.”

    Here’s how Rejent explains the tactic: “ We’re not just looking for any links; we’re targeting high-authority domains within the customer feedback and user research sectors. The aim is to not only improve our SEO rankings but also to establish Survicate as a thought leader in these spaces.”

    Rejent says, “What excites me about this strategy is its potential for a dual impact: boosting organic reach while simultaneously enhancing brand credibility. In the SaaS world, trust is currency, and having your content linked by reputable sources can significantly elevate your brand’s authority. It’s a long-term play that aligns perfectly with our focus on building lasting relationships with our customers. We’re leveraging our existing content — like in-depth guides, case studies, and research reports — as linkable assets. We’re also using our existing partnerships as grounds for potential link building.”

    Rejent concludes, “I think the key to successful link building, especially in a saturated market, is to offer genuine value. It’s not about gaming the system; it’s about contributing meaningful insights and solutions that others find worthy of sharing. And given our expertise in customer feedback and user research, we’re in a prime position to do just that. So, in a nutshell, high-quality link building is our next big bet in growth marketing. It’s a strategy that promises not just quick wins but sustainable growth, and that’s why it’s so exciting for us.”

    Track and Improve Your Growth With Databox and Benchmark Groups

    One common question that comes up when you’re working on your growth marketing strategy is, “Am I growing at the same pace as my competitors?” It took heavy research to answer this question in the past, but now you have a convenient resource available: Databox Benchmark Groups. In exchange for anonymously sharing your Databox metrics, you get to see the median of everyone else’s metrics in the group.

    Best of all, as part of our research with First Page Strategy by RevenueZen, we have a Benchmark Group made just for SaaS growth marketing. Join the Organic & Paid Growth Marketing Benchmarks for SaaS Companies group to see how you compare to other SaaS companies.

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    Melissa King

    Melissa King is a freelance writer who helps B2B SaaS companies spread the word about their products through engaging content. Outside of the content marketing world, she writes about video games. Check out her work at

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