The era of quick-fix SaaS growth hacks is over. Those so-called growth hacks (aka weird tricks) have always fallen under a grey area. They might promise some gains, but ultimately end up falling short.

What can you do instead?

There are plenty of other sustainable strategies or SaaS growth hacks that provide long-term growth and positive results. These tried and true methods are your unfair advantages to rise above the competition and accelerate the growth of your SaaS business.

In this blog, I’ll walk you through the top three SaaS growth hacks that you can use today:

  • Community and Mailing Lists
  • Manifesto
  • Referral Marketing

SaaS Growth Hacks

When I started in SaaS 10 to 15 years ago, a bunch of new distribution platforms that helped you gain customer attention emerged: Reddit, Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Along with these platforms came ways to hack them.

Growth hackers were finding ways to get data out of these platforms and push through more engagement so they could rise above and get attention. Over time, these platforms matured and there are now less ways to exploit and hack them. Now many of them are a “pay to play.”

That’s why I think growth hacking is dying.

So, if growth hacking is no longer available, how do you get an unfair advantage to grow? What are the cost-effective ways to achieve rapid and sustainable growth?

As a SaaS startup, you’re probably trying to stand out and grow on a low budget. Here are my top three SaaS growth hack strategies that continue to work.

1. Community and Mailing Lists

One of the smartest ways to grow is to focus on value. Leveraging communities and mailing lists can be a powerful growth hack for SaaS companies looking to build customer engagement.

Actively participating in relevant online communities such as forums, social media groups, or industry specific platforms can help you tap into your targeted ideal customers. When you engage with them, address their pain points, and subtly promote your SaaS solution, you can really gain some quality organic pipeline.

Providing a safe environment where your ideal customers can discuss what they care about is a great way to enter the conversation and earn their trust to eventually sell them your software.

Additionally, building and nurturing a mailing list can be super powerful. It’s one of the greatest SaaS growth hacks that exist today. Offering valuable content, exclusive insights, and personalized updates through a newsletter will keep your ideal customers and existing customers informed and engaged. This helps with user retention and also facilitates a loyal user base.

When you have a community and mailing list that provides true value, people will share. Your value will facilitate word-of-mouth referrals from existing members because they want to tell others about your great community.

2. Publish a Manifesto

Publishing a manifesto is one of the biggest ways for you and your SaaS business to be heard. It’s easy to publish a social post, but rare when someone sits down and writes out their point of view on a certain topic. Very few people think about this and do it.

Sure, they will put out blog posts here and there, but rarely a whole manifesto. So, what exactly goes into a manifesto?

A well-crafted manifesto outlines the SaaS company’s core principles, mission, and unique value proposition. You’ll need to create a narrative that resonates with your ideal customers. This will not only establish your brand, but also position your SaaS product as THE solution to your ideal customer’s pain points.

This is a growth hack I am constantly vouching for. So much that I teach it inside of my SaaS GTM program. If you want to get started on your own, then check out the video below.

3. Referral Marketing

Referral marketing remains a cutting edge marketing strategy and strong SaaS growth hack. When you harness the power of word-of-mouth and incentive existing users to refer, you tap into a trustworthy channel for acquiring new customers.

Referral programs, offering rewards or discounts for successful conversions, motivate your existing customers to actively promote your SaaS solution with their professional and social circles. This organic and targeted approach generates high-quality leads and capitalizes on trust.

As your existing users bring in new ones, and those new users become advocates themselves, a self-sustaining cycle of growth occurs. Referral marketing is a scalable and cost-effective strategy. It fosters a loyal user base and drives sustained expansion for SaaS companies in competitive markets. If you would like to learn more about Referral Programs, watch the video below.

In Conclusion

Distribution platforms on the internet are maturing. In order to break through, you have to find advantages elsewhere. The biggest takeaway is to get off the platforms and create your own ways of distribution. Build your own community, email lists, manifesto, and referral programs.

But, what’s the biggest sustainable strategy to grow and scale your business? Your Go-To-Market strategy. 

If you’re a SaaS Founder looking to unlock hidden value and set your business up for success, I invite you to check out my 5-Point SaaS Growth Strategy Guide below. Inside this guide, I help you clarify your ICP, craft a Strategic Narrative and Manifesto, and mobilize a consistent set of GTM activities across key channels to drive organic pipeline.