Grow your SaaS: The 2023 Guide to Scaling Up

Big tech layoffs are all over the news. SaaS market uncertainty is in the air. Negative projections for the industry are floating around. 

In this climate, you’d be forgiven for thinking most B2B SaaS companies are shrinking rather than growing. But in fact, some studies show that the opposite is true. According to a recent survey, more B2B SaaS companies are increasing rather than decreasing their headcounts.

To ensure your business is following the industry trend – you need to build an effective, resilient growth strategy. 

Our guide to scaling up can help. No matter what stage your SaaS business is at (MVP, PMF, T2D3 or $100M ARR) or how much capital you have backing you, we’ll give you the terms, insights, tactics and tools you need to accelerate your growth journey.

SaaS growth: what is it?

Before we dive into our practical tools for shifting the growth dial, it’s probably best that we align on definitions. 

The concept of “SaaS growth” refers to the expansion and scaling of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. It involves implementing strategies and tactics to increase the customer base, revenue, and market share of a SaaS company. 

Growth is crucial to the profitability and long-term success of any SaaS business. 

SaaS growth: how do I measure it?

“Growth” in this context usually refers to revenue growth but can also be reflected in other factors like profitability, total headcount, number of customers, reduction in churn, improvements in ROI etc.

If SaaS growth is on your agenda for 2023, you’ll need to be able to measure it and track your progress. So, how do you measure it?

5 Crucial SaaS growth metrics 

While there’s no single, superior method to measure SaaS growth, there are several common B2B SaaS metrics you can use to gauge it. And show your investors. Let’s run through 5 of what we deem to be the most important.

  1. MRR = Monthly Recurring Revenue 

Due to the subscription model, most SaaS startups use MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)  to measure growth. This metric basically shows how much your business earns each month through its’ customers. 

Using this metric as an indicator of business performance (compared to previous months), you can quickly gauge how fast your business is growing. It also highlights any inefficiencies you may be experiencing whilst scaling.

Formula = Sum of customer’s monthly fee

  1. ARR = Annual Recurring Revenue

ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue or Annualised Run Rate) is another metric used to measure and track SaaS growth via revenue changes. It’s essentially Monthly Recurring Revenue, annualized.

This metric is used less frequently than MRR but can be more helpful in terms of forecasting growth or analyzing trends from a more macro lens. 

Formula = MRR X 12

  1. CAC = Customer Acquisition Cost 

CAC or Customer Acquisition Cost is the average cost of acquiring one customer, taking into account all the expenses e.g. sales and marketing activities. It is important to track because it determines how costly — and profitable — growth is for your company.

The rate at which customer acquisition costs decrease can be used as a complimentary way to measure growth.

Formula = Cost to acquire customers / number of customers acquired

  1. LTV = Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value or LTV is another important metric SaaS businesses need to keep track of in their growth journey. While it’s typically a measure used by businesses who are further down the road, LTV helps SaaS companies gauge an indication of growth longer-term.

Formula = Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan

  1. Customer Churn

Customer churn totals up how many customers your SaaS business is losing per month (through canceled subscriptions). This figure can also be used in combination with the other metrics, to measure the company’s growth from a more holistic standpoint. 

Formula = Formula = (# of cancelled customers in the last 30 days / Active customers 30 days ago) X 100

Get familiar with them all

These are just 5 of the many key SaaS metrics you should be across if you’re serious about improving your SaaS growth rate.

Want to get across them all? Bare Metrics compiles 11 SaaS metrics that you should be paying attention to in their article on the topic. We also have our own helpful infographic you can download if you prefer to have your own copy.

Powerful SaaS growth strategies and tactics 

Now that we’ve looked at what SaaS growth is and how to measure it, it’s time to examine the types of strategies and tactics you’ll need to deploy in order to attain it. 

While each of the strategies mentioned is important in its own right, we encourage you not to look at any of them in a vacuum. The key to skyrocketing growth is to leverage a host of different approaches and execute them strategically, in concert with one another. 

Keep this in mind as you read.

The marketing channels

Scale up with paid search

We strongly believe in a bottom-up approach to SaaS marketing & growth. What we mean by this is, maxing out existing demand at the bottom of the funnel before moving upwards. Paid search is an integral part of this approach. 

If you’re not running one already, our advice is to start with a targeted, bottom-funnel Google Ads search campaign. It’s the best, most precise way to get in front of people currently in the market for your solution. 

To ensure your campaign has legs, you’ll need to do in-depth keyword research (analyzing elements like search intent, volume and competition) to select relevant bottom-funnel keywords. 

Then, your focus should be on driving targeted traffic to relevant and engaging SaaS landing pages that reflect the search intent. 

This approach will give you the best chance to capture any existing demand, and ensure growth potential at this phase is maxed out. 

From here, it’s important that you continuously monitor and optimize. This can mean everything from refining keyword targeting to removing negatives, testing different ad variations, and adjusting bidding strategies to maximize conversions while minimizing costs.

Bonus growth opportunity 

If you’re already running Google Ads and are on the hunt for new growth opportunities, we’d suggest testing out a competitor search campaign. This means bidding on the brand names of your competitors, and creating a landing page that compares your offering to theirs (highlighting your benefits and features).

This approach is bold, but can be an incredibly effective growth tactic to add to your roster. You’ll have the chance to be in front of prospects in the market, and your competitor’s existing customers! Plus, brand names are relatively low competition. 

PS – you can temper the level of directness and aggression depending on what your team is comfortable with. Though we have seen that the more obvious, hard-hitting approaches tend to perform better. 

Boost search efforts with Bing 

Google Ads is not the only paid search channel you can leverage to grow your SaaS business. If you find Google is already chugging along well and there’s not heaps of room for optimisation, or it’s not generating the results you want, Bing Ads is another viable growth avenue for you to explore. 

By tapping into paid Bing, you’ll have access to a whole new subset of searchers who might also be in the market for your solution. Studies say up to 63 million people currently use Bing as their preferred search engine. 

By supplementing your Google Ads activity, you’re just expanding your audience & diversifying your mix. And bolstering your growth opportunity. Plus, Microsoft’s ad platform works pretty similarly to Google’s, so you won’t need too much additional collateral to get a campaign up and running.

Capitalize on Capterra

Capterra is another paid channel you could expand out to if you’re looking to enhance your SaaS revenue growth rate. As the world’s leading software and reviews selection platform with 5 million software buyers, Capterra is a uniquely powerful growth channel for SaaS companies specifically. 

Simply create a pay-for-click listing highlighting the key features and benefits of your product, put it live and you can get in front of people researching precisely the type of software you offer. 

Using Capterra, you can drive qualified prospects to your website that are 3x more likely to convert. If growth is on your agenda, we’d highly recommend dipping your toe in Capterra’s PPC program.

Maximize social media marketing

Short spurts of growth are great. But if you’re looking to achieve sustainable, long-term growth, you need to focus on the needs of your prospects at every stage of the funnel. 

And this means dedicating budget and resources to generating top and mid-funnel leads. Even though they take much longer to convert. 

Social media marketing is key for engaging prospects from the very top to the very bottom of the funnel. While there’s no hidden formula to getting the most out of social media for your, there are some general principles we tend to stick to:

At the top of the funnel, we’d recommend focusing on awareness by promoting ungated videos, short blog posts and other stackable content types. 

At the midpoint, we’d recommend gating longer-form, higher-value content like eBooks, guides and white papers as a lead magnet. 

At the bottom, we’d recommend retargeting to people who have engaged at the other stages with case studies, demos and free trials.


The big players in this space are LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads. LinkedIn Ads is our preferred platform, mainly because the options for B2B SaaS businesses from a targeting perspective are far more advanced and robust. 

You can set up an audience based on specific, up-to-date demographic criteria e.g. job title, seniority, location (city, country, continent), company name, skills and more. Alternatively, you can choose a list, a lookalike or build a retargeting audience based on behavior. The options are endless! 

Our main piece of advice is to take advantage of this precision and make it work for you!


Facebook Ads is not for every SaaS business. But if it’s executed well, it can be a helpful supplementary channel. Particularly if your target audience are SMBs. We’ve seen positive results with this audience from all stages of the funnel – cold, warm and hot.

The key to success? Configuring your audience carefully. Instead of starting with a filter-based approach, we’d recommend testing list-based, remarketing or lookalike audiences. This is because the native targeting capabilities are not as sophisticated as LinkedIn and you want to make sure you aren’t wasting money on irrelevant prospects. 

For both channels, we have found that a lot hinges on the sales reps being ready to act on and nurture warm leads, as well as a well-defined sales process to convert them into customers. A symbiosis between sales and marketing is critical when it comes to success with social.

Grow with SEO

SEO should be a non-negotiable component for any SaaS growth strategy. To ramp up your annual revenue, you need to be visible online and feature high on the organic search results. The method you adopt to achieve this is crucial.

Before you even start looking at growth opportunities, you need to ensure you’ve nailed things from the technical front. In our technical SEO checklist, we break down the formula into 5 main steps:

  1. Do an SEO Audit
  2. Optimise for Accessibility – Robots.txt, metatarsi, HTTP status codes, XML site map, Site architecture, HTTP vs HTTPs, Site performance
  3. Optimise for Indexability – Search result appearance, Brand searches, Search engine penalises 
  4. Optimise Off-Page SEO – Duplicate content, Deadweight pages, Content length, Frequency, Mobile-friendliness, Jump links, Images, Outlinks, H1 Tags
  5. Optimise On-Page SEO – Organic growth, Competitor Analysis, Backlink profile, Authority 

After you’ve perfected everything from a technical front, you can look more broadly at ways to improve your organic performance. 

Before we look at specific SEO strategies you can adopt to help you scale, it’s crucial to understand that every stage of the funnel needs to be accounted for. 

If you’ve already got some activity underway, double check that you have specific tactics and initiatives set out for top, middle and bottom funnel. And that each of them have their own clear objective, that together contribute to your ultimate goal. 

If you’re not thinking about your growth strategy through the lens of the entire customer journey, it will be very difficult to find success and cut through.

Bonus growth opportunity 

One of the specific SEO growth strategies we’d recommend you deploy is doing a keyword gap analysis. Using a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush you can do a content gap analysis and see the keywords competitors are ranking for that you aren’t. If you see any relevant opportunities, collect them, create or optimize your own website pages and work towards ranking them. This is essentially the skyscraper technique.

Bonus growth opportunity.2

Another effective tactic we’d strongly suggest you consider, is taking the learnings from any paid activity you’re running, and using them to inform the rollout of your SEO approach. 

For example, if there are 30 keywords you are targeting on Google Ads, and 10 do very well, 10 do ok and 10 perform poorly, then the first batch should be the first priority to rank for, second batch should be next priority, and third batch should be low/no priority. 

These are just two of the hundred of different SEO tactics that you can test out and try to grow your SaaS business. 

Leverage email for growth

Many marketers feel skeptical about the value of email. With so many sent daily, the question is: how do you create emails that are opened, let alone clicked on? How do you stand out in such a saturated space? 

We understand how difficult this can be (and have experienced the frustration first-hand). But have also seen the immense value email can provide if done well. Everything really depends on the quality and specificity of your send list, the frequency of your sending schedule and the nature of your offers.

As a first piece of advice, we’d recommend segmenting your database by differentiators. For example, funnel stage or specific attributes (job title, industry). Once you’ve done this, focus on only sending specific messages to relevant people in a compelling, warm and non-pushy manner. 

Mistargeting or oversaturating your audience with email can lead to your content being marked as spam. It can also lead to poor brand reputation, and brand enemies who spread negative sentiment about your brand. Be careful! A light touch is key.

Ramp up value with video

Video marketing is the language of the modern marketer. And if you want to grow, it must be a pivotal part of your approach. Unless your company is opting for a super lean go-to-market strategy, we’d recommend you create at least one video for each funnel stage.

For the top, we’d recommend creating a short, memorable brand video. Ideally, something that encapsulates the essence of your brand and finds a way to connect with your target audience. Length between 15-30 seconds is preferable.

For the middle, we’d suggest creating a video that focuses on solving a specific problem your audience is facing. Ideally, you’ll find an opportunity to weave in your solution as one potential option without being pushy.

Finally, for the bottom, we think you should focus on building an explainer video, comparison video or case study video.

You can distribute your videos on video-based platforms e.g. Youtube and Tiktok, but also through your social media ads on LinkedIn and Facebook and on organic service pages and blogs.

Constant optimization

Optimization of all your channels is essential if growth is in your sights. Set and forget is simply not going to cut. You need to be closely monitoring campaign performance across all your channels as soon as your campaigns are live, and be perennially on the lookout for opportunities to tweak and level up. 

You don’t want to act too quickly – data needs to accumulate before you can pull valuable insights or make definitive conclusions. 

However, you want to make sure you have the eye to catch trends and when something emerges, you move on this data to adapt and iterate constantly. If you’re not tweaking and shaking things up now and again, your efforts will go stale. And any results you’ve seen are likely to drop off.

Product-based growth strategies 

Beyond specific marketing channels, there area number of product-based levers you can pull to level up from a growth perspective. If you have any flexibility here, we strongly recommend you shake things up.

Adopt a product-led growth model

Adopting a product-led growth model seems like a simple, traditional growth avenue. But it’s actually an entirely new way of growing a SaaS business. 

In a conventional sales-led approach – the marketing team brings leads to the sales team, and it’s on them to engage and convert prospects. 

However, with a product-led model, prospects are encouraged to engage with the product before monetisation. Trust is put in the product to convert on its own merit. With this approach, every department leverages product as the primary lever to achieve their goals. 

Shifting your company to a product-led growth model is a big shift in psychology for SaaS businesses, however, it can significantly lower your CAC and enable you to access a dominant growth engine. 

Play with your pricing strategies

Another product-based lever you can influence to grow your company’s growth rate is your pricing. 

Ask yourself: Is my pricing strategy optimised? Has it evolved over time to suit changing conditions? Will my average revenue be where it needs to be in X years? 

And then get more specific: Are there various pricing tiers? Is there a pricing strategy fit for each persona or for different customer segments? Is your paid subscription model where it should be? Are you utilising a free trial or freemium model

There’s pros and cons of every approach to pricing and other SaaS companies will likely do something different to you. The only rule here is to make discussions about pricing a priority, review your strategy regularly and ensure it’s up-to-date, intentional and aligned to your growth goals.

This is one of the most influential levers and one you simply shouldn’t look beyond.

It’s time to scale

Now you have the growth terminology, metrics, framework and strategies for scaling up your SaaS business – it’s time to combine your knowledge and get implementing.

We’ve given you everything you need to amplify your marketing efforts, connect with your target market, influence your key business metrics and accelerate your growth journey. 

You just need to go out there and get started!

Grow your SaaS with Digital Rhinos

Need a helping hand? Digital Rhinos are a full-funnel B2B SaaS Marketing agency who specialize in helping startups, bootstrapped or funded, scale in a sustainable way. Get in touch today to book a quick 15 minute call and we can discuss the path forward for your company.

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