B2B SaaS Marketing Re-Acceleration Strategies to Hit Your H2 2023 Goals
Last updated: July 27th, 2023
At the time of publishing this, half of 2023 has already passed us by. Many B2B SaaS marketers we’ve talked to recently are reflecting on the struggle of hitting H1’s targets, and are now faced with a tall order to catch up in the second half of the year to still confidently achieve their annual goals.
The entire B2B SaaS industry has experienced challenges like budget cuts, layoffs, poor market sentiment, and factors outside of the marketing team’s control.
Your prospects have been facing the same challenges, making it difficult for B2B SaaS companies to acquire new customers.
Here are just a few challenges we’ve heard from other B2B SaaS marketers:
- Marketing investments are under tight scrutiny. As B2B companies are more budget conscious in 2023, your marketing team is expected to continue to drive results with more constraints on investments and resourcing. Not only do marketing teams have to be more selective in the campaigns they deploy, it has to be done with minimal margin for error to drive efficient and profitable results.
- Fewer prospects in the pipeline. Many right-fit prospects are interested but aren’t converting due to budget constraints. This has disrupted MQL & SQL growth, and Closed Won deal flow has become more unpredictable.
- Customer acquisition costs are increasing. New constraints on your ideal customer’s team are also causing them to consider purchase decisions more carefully. This has increased the number of high-quality touches required across the buying journey. As a result, there’s a real risk of your customer acquisition costs spiking while also extending the length of buying cycles to dampen revenue growth.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that while H1 2023 was a challenging time, there are bright signs that H2 2023 will be an upswing.
The bet you should consider is that H2 will be a period of re-acceleration. As your customers are also ramping up again to hit their own 2023 goals and establish a growth trajectory for 2024, they’ll need a SaaS solution like yours to be able to accomplish it.
You have a clear opportunity to get in front of this re-acceleration right now so that you’re not struggling to catch up on increasing demand in Q4 or early 2024.
However, you can’t do it with the same marketing strategies from H1, or from prior years for that matter. You still have to work within the constraints of 2023, and in this post, we’ll show you how to do that.
In fact, we’ve already started to deploy these strategies for our B2B SaaS clients, and they’re seeing promising results like:
- Achieved 116% of attributed pipeline revenue target in Q2 2023 for a data governance SaaS with Paid Media and SEO.
- 21% increase in pipeline in Q2 2023 compared to Q1 2023 while also reducing paid media spend by 8% for an accessibility SaaS
- 98% increase in leads over a 90 day period through Q2 and early Q3 2023 for a cybersecurity SaaS through content marketing, paid media, and nurture campaigns.
Why H1’s Marketing Strategy Won’t Work in H2
If your marketing team was working with smaller budgets, reduced campaigns, and potentially a smaller team in the first half of 2023, you were probably doing everything you could to find wins in an environment of scarcity.
You did what you had to do, and that’s ok!
Demand likely scaled back as well as your ideal customers were going through similar exercises, so overall, your marketing KPIs and pipeline performance were a stronger reflection of that despite your team’s hard-won efforts.
Going into H2, as demand reaccelerates, you’ll first need to update your marketing strategy and campaigns to anticipate growth rather than scarcity. If not, (or if you wait too long to ramp up again), your competitors will grab the new opportunities.
Within that, you’ll also need to design your H2 marketing strategy to fit within the budget and resourcing constraints of 2023.
That may sound impossible at first, but the reality is that we’re still not in a time of market budget abundance where you can simply throttle up spend and volume to capture demand and hit targets.
Instead, look at how you can increase the effectiveness and ROI of your marketing in H2 by staying top-of-mind with your ideal customer through paid media, organic, and nurture campaigns.
- Fine tuning your top performing bottom-funnel and high intent channels
- Maximizing your SEO and content marketing equity
- Nurturing & reactivating dormant prospects
Fine Tune Paid Media Campaigns
Many B2B marketers had their paid media budgets slashed in early 2023, with many campaigns simply being switched off until demand picks up again.
As you prepare to reaccelerate, it’s important to revisit your campaign structure, tracking/attribution methods, identifying wasted ad spend, and budget pacing. You’ll also want to re-evaluate the performance of your old campaigns and identify improvement opportunities.
Whether you’re already working with a Paid Media agency or managing your campaigns in-house, those steps should already be in progress. However, that’s just table stakes.
The ad copy and messaging from your earlier campaigns is now outdated as your clients face new challenges, so you can’t expect to attract, engage, or convert customers in H2 with H1’s messaging.
The pain points your customers felt at the beginning of 2023 are different from the pain points they’re currently experiencing.
Many marketers still create ads highlighting product features and ignore the customer’s pain points. So instead, adjust your ad messaging to show prospects how your product is the solution that will help them solve their most pressing pain points.
For example, here are a few pain-pint ad creative examples that we created for our clients:
Another mistake many marketers make is focusing exclusively on bottom-funnel, high purchase intent channels like Google Ads.
This is not an issue in itself, though tighter budgets require customers to make more diligent purchase decisions, which ultimately lengthens the average buying cycle.
This extended buying cycle means that ads at the consideration and awareness stages (paid social, remarketing, and display) are more important than ever. Without these channels to bring customers back to your brand, you’ll see fewer conversions from your bottom of funnel ad spend, which increases average customer acquisition costs and reduces total customer acquisition volume.
Many marketers turned off ads at the consideration and awareness stages, so you may find these ads are cheaper than they were at the beginning of 2023 if you get ahead of this before your competitors do.
Maximize Your SEO & Content Marketing Equity
Even in abundant times, we’re strong advocates against creating more content for the sake of more content. With SaaS teams facing tight content marketing budgets and limited time and resources for production, scaling volume to boost organic performance hasn’t been very realistic in H1 2023 anyways.
For reaccelerating your SEO and content performance in H2, you’re probably not in a position to do ‘more for more,’ but the good news is that you don’t have to. Instead, we recommend you take a highly focused approach to maximizing the equity of your existing SEO and content assets.
Review your existing content and update the blog posts that drive high engagement and conversion, but tend to reside in positions 3-10 of organic search results. Boosting these ‘striking distance’ posts a few positions is usually much less resource intensive and generates results more quickly than creating and ranking net-new content.
Plus, it shortens the time to value as net-new pieces of content take some time to be indexed and interpreted by search engines.
You need to also optimize your highest value content for conversions by testing different CTAs, adding case studies and examples to support your product’s positioning, and cutting fluff.
In addition to updating high value content, you can also improve performance by pruning and consolidating old and irrelevant content.
While most B2B SaaS marketers believe that more content is better, this is only true if that content ranks well and generates positive user engagement signals (e.g., long time on site, high traffic, plenty of links, etc.).
If search engines notice that your average blog post receives only a handful of visits and low user engagement, they’ll assume your website isn’t very authoritative. As a result, having a lot of content with poor user engagement signals drags down your website’s authority, which ultimately negatively impacts the rankings of your critical blog posts.
Therefore, we recommend pruning or redirecting irrelevant blog posts with low engagement.
By reducing the number of posts on your website with low engagement, search engines will view you as a more authoritative figure within your industry, and you’ll likely see your organic performance rise without any additional effort.
In addition, if your old blog posts with low engagement have some backlinks, redirecting those pages to more relevant content will give the higher value content more authority.
Finally, we also help companies redesign their blog architecture to improve conversions. Here are the five components of our blog design strategy:
- Header Menu
- Blog Post Date
- Sidebar Menu
- Blog Content
- Footer Menu
You can read more about how we optimize each of these aspects in our B2B SaaS blog architecture.
We executed this strategy for a publicly traded cybersecurity company, and it drove 160 form submissions, and 52 net-new qualified leads in the first 3 months.
Nurture & Re-Activate Prospects
Email marketing can be an untapped gold mine because the contacts in your list have already shown interest in your SaaS and given you permission to market to them.
However, many email marketing campaigns make the mistake of reading as generic emails discussing features. So the first opportunity to improve email marketing ROI is to update your messaging to address their current pain points around how your solution will help them make up for lost ground in H1 during H2 to hit annual goals.
It’s likely that a considerable share of your lost prospects and churned customers from early 2023 were still fans of your solution, but they had to back out or delay due to budget constraints. Now that they’re trying to make up for lost ground in H2, you have a timely opportunity to re-engage them if you can show how your SaaS will help them achieve those goals better, cheaper, and/or faster.
Here are a few email marketing strategies we recommend implementing as you head into H2:
Nurturing your marketing pipeline: The purpose of your nurture emails should be to re-engage and educate customers who have shown some interest in your product but haven’t yet purchased. Leads that fall into this category include resource downloaders, demo no-shows, and closed-lost opportunities. Your messaging needs to remind them of why they engaged with your SaaS in the first place – what is that pain point, and has it changed?
Reactivate Lost Prospects: Leads that fall into this bucket took a high-intent action at some point but didn’t become a committed customer. People who fall into this bucket include closed lost leads from the last 12 months, right-fit churned customers, and trial non-conversions (those who signed up for the trial but never converted into paying customers). The opportunity here is to understand if their circumstances have changed in H2. For example, did they not convert in H1 or churn because of budget cuts? Did their ‘maybe later’ time frame turn into ‘I need a solution asap?’
Engage Existing Customers: This is one of the most underrated segments. It may ultimately be the responsibility of your customer success team, but I challenge you to break down any silos to focus on maximizing customer value. If you focus on building relationships with existing customers, you can increase the average customer’s LTV, lowering your customer acquisition costs. You can also offer upgrades, upsells, and cross-sells to right-fit, happy customers. Happy customers also lead to more testimonials, referrals, and case studies which you can tap into for success stories and marketing material.
Here’s an example of a 21 day email nurture sequence we’ve implemented for an eLearning SaaS.
We follow a framework where we immediately aim to add value after the prospect has requested a downloadable asset:
As the sequence continues, the next three emails are designed to specifically tap into the ‘hot button’ pain points that we understand the prospect is feeling, thanks to a positioning exercise we conducted with the client earlier.
In this case, the Hot Button emails focus on:
- Slow, ineffective, or costly onboarding
- Content consistency, accessibility and security
- Poor training leading to turnover and service delivery inconsistencies
If the prospect hasn’t re-engaged from those Hot Button emails, we move to the Probing Question. This is a more direct email where we’re simply asking, ‘Would you like our help creating a knowledge ecosystem?’
Lastly, if there has been no engagement by the 21 day mark, we send a ‘Breakup’ email that gives the prospect one last chance to respond, otherwise, we move them to another workflow for re-activation at a later time.
As an additional example, if you acquire customers through trials, we’ve crafted a few templates that you can use to guide your email marketing efforts.
Take Action Now To Hit Your H2 2023 Goals with Confidence
Hitting your 2023 goals is still possible, despite the constraints that your marketing team is feeling. You just can’t do it by relying on H1’s marketing strategy or strategies from years prior.
If you don’t have the resources to implement these solutions yourself, we can provide and implement a personalized strategy so that you still reach your goals.
You’ll need every week left in this year to re-accelerate, so reach out to us for your free marketing plan today.
What you should do now
Whenever you’re ready…here are 4 ways we can help you grow your B2B software or technology business:
- Claim your Free SaaS Scale Session. If you’d like to work with us to turn your website into your best demo and trial acquisition platform, claim your FREE SaaS Scale Session. One of our growth experts will understand your current demand generation situation, and then suggest practical digital marketing strategies to double your demo and trial traffic and conversion fast.
- If you’d like to learn the exact demand strategies we use for free, go to our blog or visit our resources section, where you can download guides, calculators, and templates we use for our most successful clients.
- If you’d like to work with other experts on our team or learn why we have off the charts team member satisfaction score, then see our Careers page.
- If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.