8 growth tactics to hit 5 million in ARR from top SaaS founders

Marketing

There is a lot of fluff out there regarding finding new acquisition channels for growing your MRR rate. If you are in the SaaS space, MRR is the lifeline of your company. Still, growing your monthly recurring revenue, it’s not an easy task. You are in an oversaturated market, your competitors have more money and can execute faster, and your offering is unclear. Obviously, a lot of things can go wrong. 

In a scenario like this, you might wonder how someone actually managed to succeed.

So did I. To solve this dilemma, I researched growth tactics from founders that did it, and I’m listing them in this article. The good news is that they don’t cost a fortune.

Let’s dive in. 

 

Breaking 1 million in ARR


Twitter advanced search 

This is an interesting one. Twitter advanced search. Missive CEO Rafael Masson, alongside his co-founder, has used this tactic to grow to 1 million in ARR, and yes, they are bootstrapped. This shows that you don’t need VC money to grow fast if you leverage these small hacks.

The funny part is that they don’t even have a marketing team; their product grows mainly from word of mouth and tactics to find people in their niche. 

How can you do it? 

Filter Twitter data by the number of retweets or likes (aka favorites)

#Yourkeyword min_retweets:100

#Yourkeyword min_faves:100

This way, you are going to find the right people, now the other part is that you have to join their conversation, bring some value to the table and solve their problems.

 

Product Hunt 

Okay, this is a no-brainer regarding SaaS, right? Claap CEO Pierre Touzeau talks about hitting #1 on Product Hunt with 1434 upvotes, which brought them around 1k signups. Product Hunt is a great place to get exposure when you are in the early stage of your startup.  

How can you do it? 

Everyone can launch on Product Hunt, but having a strategy is crucial if you want your launch to be successful. There are plenty of excellent guides on launching right on Phunt, so I’m not going to dive deep into that. One piece of advice from someone who has launched multiple startups on Product hunt is to have a plan in place after the launch.

Make sure you answer these questions:

What does the funnel look like? How are you going to keep them engaged after the launch? How are you going to convert them to paying users?

 

App exchanges

Before I watched BlogVault CEO Akshat Choudhary talk about this, I’d never really thought of it as a great acquisition channel. It turns out they got 20,000 signups through different app exchanges. Now the secret is you can’t go for the big ones like Salesforce. Focus on smaller ones. Look for emerging marketplaces and try to list your product there. It will be a never-ending traffic source and leads if it picks momentum. 

How can you do it? 

Find marketplaces in your niche, focus on smaller ones, and list your product there. Alternatively, create some buzz on social media. 

 

Affiliates

Imagine 70% of your total sales coming from affiliates. That’s what Systeme.io founder Aurelian Amacker is doing. They pay their affiliates over 100,000$ per month in commission. At the moment, they are sitting around 600 affiliates. 

How can you do it? 

First of all, make sure you have a good referral program in place. Something that makes sense for you but leaves meat on the bone for the affiliates. The hard part is finding good affiliates, and you can always turn to your customers. Ask them to refer your product to their friends who might need it, and they can earn some money from it. There are also a lot of marketplaces like Refersion, Shareasale, and Rakuten, depending on which niche you are in. 

 

An extra tip and insights from 100 SaaS founders

The most common problem I’ve observed among founders attempting to reach $1 million in ARR is trying to automate things. From my experience, I recommend first doing things that don’t scale. As soon as you notice that they are working, start automating them and put more of your attention on them. to prove this point, my colleagues interviewed 100 SaaS founders about their growth strategies and how they prioritize their launch actions. You can find out what they said here.

Breaking 5 million in ARR 

SEO keywords 

Small phoenix startup outranks 10 billion dollar Gong for the word Conversational intelligence software. Sound impossible, right? Well, it has happened. Abstrakt CEO Greg Reffner managed to outrank its biggest competitors for 3 keywords that are money-making machines for them. 

They didn’t go big; they don’t have 100 blogs on their site. They just focused on intention keywords. 

arr

How can you do it? 

Their secret was hiring a team that lives and breaths Google algorithms. Assuming you make 1 million in ARR, you will have the funds to do the same. Here is their exact blog structure. Not a long blog post, with great images, smart h1 tags, a video build in the middle, and some useful stuff at the bottom. That’s it.


Compare pages 

In the decision phase of conversion, prospects will often compare to competing products or services. Fortunately, this provides an opportunity for both organic and paid media campaigns. This is what ClickUp has done.

How you can do it?

  • Find out what/who you are compared to
  • Build a comparison page
  • Optimize for SEO
  • Build a paid campaign 


Free reports

Everyone wants to see value before spending money. This is why the freemium model has been really popular among SaaS companies. This is the approach SecurityScorecard took to break 5 million in ARR. They believe every company in the world should have a free scorecard. This scorecard “calculator” brought in 25,000 signups, and 1700 of them converted into paid users. That’s around a 6,5% conversion rate. Amazing, right?

How you can do it? 

Survey your customers and find out which feature brings in the most value for them. Create something around that feature into a smaller free product. And launch it. 


Add a new $ model

The example that I have is not a traditional SaaS model type of business, but it was really interesting to me. GetSpiffy, an on-demand car care company, is represented in 17 markets with 150 drivers and 50 mechanics. The way they expanded their business was by adding new revenue models. They saw a need for exchanging tires, they added that as a service. Another one that they are experiencing is adding services for big trucks. 

How you can do it? 

Think long-term and focus on the bigger picture. See how to expand your product to add value to your customers and more money into your business. 

 

Conclusion

It’s not going to happen overnight, so make sure to focus on building long-lasting growth engines rather than getting short-term wins. These growth tactics can help you get there. If you want to learn more about what we do, email us at info@solveo.co.

aleksandar micev