NUOPTIMA > Insights > PPC for SaaS: Win New Customers Before Your Competitors  (Free Calculator)

PPC for SaaS: Win New Customers Before Your Competitors  (Free Calculator)

May 19, 2023 18 minutes

During a conversation with the main partner of a 50-employee SaaS company, we discussed three main problems stopping their business from growing:

  1. Constantly competing with rival software solutions. 
  2. Sales process may be complex and require multiple touchpoints.
  3. The market can be limited, making it hard to reach new customers.

To solve these problems, the SaaS company needed to invest in marketing to attract valuable customers. Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the best ways to do this because it helps:

  1. Get in front of potential customers when they are ready to subscribe.
  2. Generates a predictable flow of new customers.
  3. Ensures affordability if you use the right strategies (read below). 

Using our PPC strategies with 200+ businesses, we’ve generated 1000s of new customers for our clients. Read this article to learn how to find new and valuable clients through PPC, and book a call if you’d like an honest digital marketing agency to run your PPC campaign for you.

How much profit can PPC make your SaaS business?

It’s very likely one of your competitors is growing rapidly as a result of a well-executed PPC strategy. 

But every SaaS brand is different. Your company will have different positioning, brand awareness, service offering, and costs compared to a local competitor. That is why you need to have a strategy that is suitable for your SaaS offer. 

Therefore, before you read our winning strategy, it is essential that, with our interactive calculator, you should first work out if PPC will be a profitable method to acquire new customers. 

But first, read these three definitions to understand how the calculator works!

How PPC Works

When you run a PPC campaign, you will pay to appear on a search engine every time a potential customer searches a specific keyword (which we will define later). Every time a potential customer clicks on your ad, you will pay money to the ad platform. This is called the Cost Per Click (CPC). For the SaaS industry, CPCs typically range from $3 and $20

Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost per click is the amount of money you pay to an advertising platform, like Google, to have a user click on your ad.

Of the people who click on your ad, some will convert into becoming a customer. This is your Conversion Rate (CVR). For the SaaS industry, CVR typically range from 1% and 10%

Conversion Rate (CVR)
Conversion rate is the percentage of users that convert into becoming a customer after clicking your ad.

We can use this to determine the cost of acquiring a single customer. Typically, this is called the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For the SaaS industry, CACs typically range from $0.3 and $20.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is the cost of acquiring a single customer or client. 
Customer Acquisition Cost = Cost Per Click / Conversion Rate
CAC = CPC / CVR

Interactive PPC Profit Calculator 

Use this interactive calculator to work out how much profit you will receive from each customer acquired through PPC.

We’ve built this calculator using typical CPC and CVR across the SaaS industry. All you need to do is enter the amount of revenue a single customer generates for you. The calculator then subtracts the marketing costs from the revenue to give you a profit per customer. Hence, by using this calculator, you can develop an understanding of the potential profits PPC could generate for your business. 

It is important to note that PPC is not 100% predictable, so we have created three unique cases which represent how well your PPC campaign could perform. 

Step 1

Enter how much a single client
generates you in revenue

best average worst
CPC
CVR
CAC
Profit
Step 2

Visualise how much profit you could make with PPC

Overview of our PPC strategy

There are three steps to running a profitable PPC strategy.
 

  1. Set up PPC campaigns correctly to target the right audience and keywords.
  2. Design high-converting landing pages. These are the pages that your potential customers will visit. 
  3. Optimise your ads and landing pages to get the maximum profit. 

Paid Search + Paid Social

We create and manage ad campaigns on all search and social platforms.

Landing Page Design

We design and implement landing pages that are made to convert.

Conversion Optimization

We perform ongoing analysis and experimentation to optimize performance.

Without experience, a lot can go wrong. Doing even one of the steps incorrectly can result in losing money for every single customer you acquire. 

That’s because choosing the wrong keywords can result in paying a massive $200 per click, not a mere $20. It can result in your page converting at a lowly 2%, not an optimised 20%. It’s the difference between you paying $100 for every new customer or an unprofitable $10,000. 

To not lose money and grow your business profitably, it is important to get each step right. The rest of the article will shed light on how to achieve a profitable PPC campaign.

Should you run ads on paid search or paid social?

There are two ways to advertise your SaaS online:

  1. Paid Search (Google Ads, Bing Ads)
  2. Paid Social (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)

What’s the difference? Paid Search is when your ad appears on a search engine, like Google, after you’ve searched a term. This is a very powerful advertising method because you can choose what keywords your service appears for. 

We know which keywords potential customers use when looking for a SaaS. So, we can specifically choose to show your business at the top of Google for those keywords. But because of this amazing feature, your competitors will try a similar strategy and make it expensive. You’ll need to optimise all parts of your PPC strategy to ensure costs don’t spiral upwards!

On the other hand, if you use Paid Social, you appear ‘in-feed’. When someone is scrolling on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ads appear. These ads interrupt the scrolling process. The person scrolling has not said they’re interested in your software, but you’re hoping your ad will attract a customer. The disadvantage of this technique is your ad is also shown to people who don’t need your services. On the other hand, this advertising method is cheaper. 

While B2B SaaS businesses mostly generate profit on Paid Search, there are some cases when Paid Social can work very well. Alternatively, those in the B2C SaaS industry typically see more profit on Paid Social. That said, you can definitely make a profit through Paid Search too.

Hence, it’s not completely black and white which way of advertising will work best for your business. It depends on the following:

  1. What exact SaaS are you selling?
  2. Who are your target customers?
  3. Where do your customers spend their time online?
  4. How much money do you make per customer?

We will discuss Paid Search in this article as it is the most profitable PPC strategy when starting off. Also, sometimes a hybrid strategy using Paid Social can improve effectiveness — if this is something you’d like to discuss, you can book a call.

Running PPC paid search ads  

The most common paid search ads are keyword based. When a keyword is searched, ads appear at the top of Google. 

For example, here’s a generic keyword ‘Credit Score’. Notice how the PPC ads appear first, and then the organic results (from SEO) appear second.

By paying for this ad, you can appear above SEO results (which takes longer to achieve). But, there are some pros and cons to this.

Pros of PPC:

  1. You can get in front of your potential customers quickly.
  2. You can win valuable leads.
  3. You can test which keywords bring in qualified customers.

Cons of PPC: 

  1. It can be expensive if you don’t set it up right.
  2. Most people scroll straight past your ads. They prefer to look at SEO/organic results (however, we can help you counter this by running a hybrid strategy so you appear for both).

Up till now, you’ve learnt and understood: 

  • How PPC works
  • If PPC will generate profitable customers
  • What paid search is
  • The pros and cons of a PPC strategy

However, we mentioned that PPC could sometimes be expensive if you go for the wrong keyword. How do you know which keywords will make you money? Let’s explore this further. 

Which PPC keywords should you target to get new customers?

Most inexperienced PPC managers will make the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. That mistake alone can be the difference between swimming in 100 new customers or drowning in $1000s of debt. 

Here’s what wrong keywords look like:

Firstly, the wrong keywords are based exactly on the service you offer. Initially, it may seem perfect, but it can have an adverse impact.

Let’s take the example of the keyword, ‘credit score’. There are many competitors bidding for the exact keyword. This means the CPC is higher than is profitable for you to pay for, and results in you losing money. Remember, PPC operates on an auction-based bidding model. That means the more competitors that want to appear for the keyword, the more you pay.

Secondly, the wrong keywords have low intent. 

For example, ‘what is a credit score’. The person Googling that keyword is not ready to subscribe to credit checker software. They’re in education mode. Typically, these keywords have a very low CPC because no one wants that traffic. 

But what do the right keywords look like? 

Firstly, the right keywords that have a high intent to purchase services or trial your software. For example, these could be branded, product, or pain point keywords.

Secondly, the right keywords have reasonable CPCs, which make sense for the services you sell. You can look back at our interactive calculator to figure that out.

We’re going to show you all the types of keywords that can result in a lot of profit for your SaaS offer.

Type of keywordExamples of keywordProsCons
BrandedExperian Credit Checker
Bumble Networking App
Shopify
Dropbox
Cost-effective strategy to win new clients when your competitors may not be the best servicer.The competition usually bids on their own branded keyword to protect against it.
Product and or ServiceCloud Storage 
Project Management Software
Ecommerce Hosting Platforms
High intent keywords for purchase or solving pain point and can be very profitable.Service-level keywords are usually competitive, and services need bespoke landing pages.
LocationUK Credit Score Check
Meet new people near me 
EV car charging points in West London
High intent and very cost-effective. 
The big competitors usually avoid these keywords.
You’ll be competing with local providers. 
You’ll need to be locally present or have easy ‘contact us’ information.
Pain pointHow to streamline task management?
How to check credit scores?
How to network with people in my local area?
It is possible to capture this lead before they go to competitors. 
You’ll be able to close this client without competition.
Slightly lower buying intent as the user is in education mode. 
Will need a well-designed landing page.

Excellent PPC ad creative and copywriting examples 

Your ads appear next to your competitors, so you have to find a way to stand out. That is why we first analyse the competitive landscape before bidding on a keyword for a client.

Here are some examples of SaaS-related ads and what we think of them.

Ad 1: Match appearing for ‘Dating Apps’

Keyword: ‘Dating Apps’

Verdict: ⅖ 

Good areas: The use of the word ‘free’ in the headline is good. There is a CTA in the description. 

Bad areas: Inconsistent capitalisation. Would have preferred to see unique features or social proof, like the number of users.

Ad 2: isme&co appearing for ‘Networking for Small Business Owners’

Keyword: ‘Networking for Small Business Owners’


Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Great headline. It includes words from the search query and an inviting CTA to join the ‘Community.’

Bad areas: It could provide social proof and clearer benefits of joining. 

Ad 3: monday.com appearing for ‘Productivity Tools’

Keyword: ‘Productivity Tools’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: The headline captures the search intent for a ‘Simple & Easy’ tool. Also includes a great CTA in the description. 

Bad areas: They could be more specific and highlight benefits such as streamlining workflow or assigning tasks if it suits their offer.

Ad 4: Barracuda Networks appearing for ‘Cloud Backup’

Keyword: ‘Cloud Backup’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Headline includes words from the search term and includes the compelling ‘Unlimited Cloud Storage’ feature. It also includes enticing CTA for a ‘Free Trial.’

Bad areas: The description is repetitive. This is valuable space that could have communicated social proof or further USPs.  

Ad 5: Mailchimp appearing for ‘Email Marketing Templates’

Keyword: ‘Email Marketing Templates’

Verdict: 5/5  

Good areas: Excellent headline, including terms from the keyword. Description is simple. It highlights accessible features such as ‘Drag-And-Drop’ and types of templates on offer.

Bad areas: It could use a strong CTA such as ‘Try for free today’ or ‘Customise Your First Template.’

How to create a high-converting landing page for SaaS PPC?

A high-converting landing page is one of the biggest factors in PPC success. Without it, you’ll be paying for traffic that doesn’t convert into customers. That’s a huge waste of cash! 

We recommend you have a conversion rate expert build out your landing page. Our winning landing page framework is reserved for our clients, but we’ll reveal the most important sections you need.  

Hero Block

The first section of the landing page is called the ‘Hero Block’. You can see the whole section as soon as you open the web page. You need to have three things in this section:

  1. Great headline. For example, ‘The UK’s Most Trusted Credit Score. Free Forever.’
  2. Social proof. For example, 5.8/5 stars, 4,000+ reviews
  3. Call to action. For example, ‘Get Your Free Credit Score’

Your hero block needs to simply call out exactly what you offer, who it is for, and why you are a low-risk solution. 

Product Block

High up the page, probably in the 2nd or 3rd block, you will need to explain your services and/or products. You should explain its features and benefits. For example, if you provide a credit checker tool, you would have features and benefits as follows:

Features:

  • Reliable credit score in under 2 minutes
  • Check it as many times as you want without affecting it
  • Analysis and advice to boost your score

Benefits:

  • Reliable and up to date score
  • Peace of mind using a trusted service 
  • You don’t have to worry about any hidden fees

Call to Action Block

Every PPC landing page needs a highly compelling call to action block. It is solely designed to get the user to purchase your product. 

We highly suggest including several call-to-action blocks throughout your landing page, such as at the top of your page, one in the middle of your page, and one at the end. You’ll be surprised how much it can increase your conversion rates and reduce your customer acquisition costs!

We include 6+ other high-converting blocks in our landing pages. Reach out to learn what they are and how to implement them. 

Engage an agency to run your PPC ads

There are lots of aspects to running a profitable PPC campaign for your SaaS offer. You can attempt it yourself, or you can engage us, NUOPTIMA. We’ve worked with 200+ businesses and run thousands of PPC campaigns profitably. 

A bit about us

We’re an honest growth agency, and our goal is to drive profit for your business. 

We don’t work with everyone. In fact, we actively refuse 50% of all businesses that try to work with us. That’s purely based on if we think we can make your campaign a success. We only grow as an agency if we can get you results and you refer us to your friends and family. 

Before you choose a PPC agency, reach out to our team. We’ll objectively tell you what we think, and if it’s good, we’ll propose a fair price alongside a set of growth expectations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Once you start to work with us, you’ll be in regular contact with our team. You’ll be provided with extensive data tracking and will communicate with us on regular calls.

Our PPC capabilities:

  • We can service budgets from $100+ ad spend per day.
  • Management costs start from $1,000 per month, depending on ad spend, platform, and requirements.
  • Work on all ad platforms: Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
  • We’ve worked with local service providers to public companies.
  • We’ve worked across B2C and B2B, having driven brands to 7 figures in sales, and exceeded B2B SQL quotas.

Next steps:

  • Firstly, you should visit our PPC services page here.
  • Then, you should read through some case studies here.
  • And when you’re ready, send us a message or book a call here.

FAQ

Is PPC faster than SEO?
arrow

Yes, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is quicker than Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). However, both have pros and cons. On one hand PPC is quick, gains valuable leads, and allows you to test keywords. On the other hand, it can be expensive if you don’t use the right strategies and set up. Also, many people will scroll past your ad and prefer looking at organic results. Get in touch to discuss which is best for you or if a hybrid strategy is the way forward. 

What are proven PPC tactics for more effective SaaS marketing?
arrow

A successful PPC campaign is profitable and reaches a qualified audience. Consequently, you must create a high-converting and relevant landing page; select suitable keywords; and use our free PPC profit calculator to ensure you’re not making a loss.

How do I create a SaaS marketing campaign?
arrow

Decide which method will work best for your audience, such as PPC or SEO. If you’re considering advertising, you may choose between Paid Social and Paid Search. However, depending if you’re a B2B or B2C SaaS company may determine which you go for. 

Free Growth Consultation

Get free 20 minute growth consultation for your business with a marketing expert

Growth Strategy Call

Book a call with one of our growth experts to discover the best way to grow your business

Contact Us