+16 Revenue Tactics: Grow your SaaS using the Pirate Framework (AARRR)

Are you on a hunt for insightful tactics to scale your SaaS revenue? πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ Interested in proven methods to maximize your profits and ROI?

Welcome aboard! Through this comprehensive guide, we are unveiling the powerful revenue tactics leveraging the Pirate Framework (AARRR)! This article turns the spotlight on 16 transformative tactics that promise to boost your SaaS business’s revenue trajectory.

Revenue growth, the lifeline of any business, is within your grasp as we present well-researched insights, actionable advice, and growth hacks πŸ’‘. Full of real-world successful instances, this guide specifically aims to help you in optimizing your practices for a robust bottom line.

Join us as we step-by-step paint a holistic picture of each revenue-maximizing tactic. Brace yourselves to make your SaaS business the benchmark for revenue efficiency! πŸš€

#1 Add/Invest in product-led growth

1. Can you offer a self-service onboarding?
2. Decrease the time-to-value (aha-moment)
3. Measure product usage and offer product-enabled sales activities
4. Optimize conversion from active users to paying customers (e.g. opt-in, checkout, pricing, etc.)
5. Retention Strategy
5.1. How do you decrease churn (Customer Success, Training, Customer touchpoints, etc)
5.2. How do increase revenue over time (upsell/cross-selling strategy, Pricing) 6. What viral features can you add to your product to create a growth flywheel?

πŸ‘‰  Learn more about the SaaS Growth Flywheel (AARRR Funnel)

#2 Charge for Priority customer support

Offer premium product support to your high-value customers. Prioritizing support for these customers ensures their satisfaction and promotes positive word-of-mouth.

πŸ‘‰ Consider implementing dedicated support channels or faster response times for these customers.
πŸ‘‰Regularly review feedback from these customers to further enhance their experience and address any recurring issues. Image credits: myintervals.com

#3 Create a Sales Forecast / Activities needed (reverse engineering)

Align your team with specific growth activities they need to deliver every week. Discuss those activities in your weekly (or monthly) meetings.

Growth goals can be for example:

  • 3000 website traffic per week
  • 30 new sign-ups every week
  • 20% conversion to active user/ sales-demos
  • 1 new paying customer every week

Reverse engineer what you need to do (input: Growth activities) to achieve the goals, for example:

  • 2 blog posts every week
  • 100 cold emails every week
  • 1 webinar every month

#4 Do founder feedback calls

Founder Calls are direct interactions between the company’s founder or co-founder and the customers, aiming to gather feedback and insights.
This strategy fosters deeper relationships, enhances customer engagement, and refines the product/service based on genuine feedback. Such calls demonstrate to customers that their opinions are valued, reinforcing their loyalty and connection to the brand.

πŸ’‘Break your call-structure by sections: product usability, feature requests, and potential improvements.

#5 Experiment on your own: 7-days free trials increase sales and retention

πŸ“ˆ Scientific research: 7 days free trials (vs 30 days), led to: β†’ 5.6% more conversions β†’ 6.4% better retention (over 2 years) β†’ 7.9% higher revenue

🧠 Why? β†’ Trials work best if people use them intensively.
β†’ Shorter trials create an urgency effect.
β†’ So people use them more.
β†’ And are more likely to learn about the product and buy.

Data: Thomas Mckinlay, who shares mind-blowing marketing recommendations based on scientific research

#6 Identify Red Flags for Customer Churn

Identify customers likely to churn by analyzing their behavior and engagement patterns. β€’ Successful customers often exhibit specific actions within your app that keep them engaged. Monitor these actions as indicators of customer satisfaction. Key metrics to consider:
πŸ“Š Number of sessions in the app during the initial weeks or month.
πŸ“Š Essential actions completed within the app during the early stages.
πŸ“Š Frequency of logins over a specific period.

πŸ‘‰ Use product analytics tools like Mixpanel and Heap to track and compare user activity.
πŸ‘‰Engage power users by giving them early access to new features. This not only garners valuable feedback but also fosters a sense of involvement and loyalty.
πŸ‘‰ Use in-app surveys, emails, or community forums to invite power users for beta testing and gather their insights.

Credits: Vishal Rewari from Optiblack

#7 Implement an Expansion/Upselling strategy

The key role of customer success is to drive expansion revenue (and reduce churn).

Create a strategy around how you can increase the revenue with your existing customers. This includes:

  • Upselling strategy
  • Cross-selling strategy
  • Pricing Strategy

This also includes product optimizations: How to streamline the process and make expansion (especially upgrading) frictionless (no additional checkouts or payment steps).

#8 Implement strategies to recover failed payments.

πŸ“… Send automated reminders to customers about upcoming payments or when a payment fails.
πŸ’³ Offer multiple payment options and gateways to address diverse customer preferences.
🏷 Provide incentives or discounts for immediate payment or for updating payment information.
🧐 Monitor and analyze failed payment reasons to refine and improve the dunning process.
πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Consider integrating with specialized software to optimize the process.

#9 Increase your ARPA

ARPA is the average revenue per account.
10 ways to increase your ARPA:

  1. Price increases
  2. Nudge to higher pricing plans
  3. Scalable pricing model (with the right value metric)
  4. Restructure your pricing packages
  5. Expansion revenue with an upselling strategy
  6. Invest in activation (in combination with scalable pricing)
  7. Expansion revenue by cross-selling complimentary products/services
  8. Reduce churn by implementing churn alerts
  9. Always remind of value (e.g. on every invoice) to reduce churn
  10. Establish Account Manager / Customer Success (for mid-market)

P.S. Know the difference between ARPA and ARPU (average revenue per user).

#10 Offer an Email Drip Course

Offer an email course to educate potential customers, culminating in a product upsell.

  • Provide high-quality content over a series of days, with each email serving as a separate lesson.
  • Focus on teaching best practices and showcasing your expertise in the relevant domain.
  • As the course progresses, subtly introduce and highlight the benefits of your product.
  • Conclude the course with a strong call-to-action, offering an upsell or special deal for your product to the engaged audience.

#11 Optimize Pricing for Retention

Avoid offering heavy discounts. While they might boost initial sales, they can reduce the lifetime value of a SaaS customer by over 30%. Moreover, discounted customers tend to have a churn rate double that of full-price customers.

βœ… Discounts don’t foster loyalty. True loyalty is cultivated by delivering an unmatched product and service.
βœ… Consider raising your prices. A higher price point can elevate the perceived value of your product, enhancing customer loyalty.
βœ… With increased pricing, you can allocate more resources to customer success, ensuring a superior experience and increasing the chances of long-term customer retention.

#12 Protect your brand name on Google (PPC)

Protect your brand’s online presence by using its name as a keyword in search advertising campaigns. This strategy ensures that when users search for your brand, your official ads are the primary results they see, minimizing the visibility of competitors or unrelated content.
βœ… Bidding on your own brand name is typically cost-effective, ensuring your ad’s prominence in search results without a significant expense.
βœ… This approach also helps suppress any negative feedback or undesirable search results associated with your brand.
For example, if your SaaS brand is “trello”, by bidding on this term, you guarantee that users searching for “trello” encounter your official ads first, reinforcing brand recognition and trust.

#13 Set a North Star Metric

Try to focus on what really matters. A great tool is to make use of a North star metric and to set goals (e.g. with the OKR framework).

πŸ‘‰ Check Alex’s examples of north star metrics.
πŸ‘‰ Check Mariano’s examples of north star metrics.

#14 Shadow/listen to a prospective sales call

Gain direct insights into customer needs, objections, and feedback by actively listening to prospective sales calls.

βœ… Firsthand exposure to the questions, concerns, and feedback of potential customers provides invaluable market understanding.
βœ… Common objections or concerns raised during calls can be used to adjust sales strategies for future pitches.
βœ… Understanding customer pain points and needs can lead to more personalized follow-ups, strengthening relationships and increasing conversion chances. Coordinate with the sales team for suitable calls, ensure customer consent for an additional listener, actively listen without interrupting, and discuss insights post-call with the sales representative.
β†’ What problem can you solve for your target customers? 
β†’ What are your customers’ day-to-day life’s primary and adjacent pain points? 
β†’ Which concerns of potential buyers’ can you eliminate through your content?

#15 Try offering Annual Payments

Encourage long-term commitment by offering discounted annual payment plans. For instance, if a monthly subscription is $20, offer an annual plan at a rate equivalent to $15 per month, totaling $180 for the year.
πŸ’° Annual plans can enhance customer retention and ensure a steady cash flow.

#16 Understand why yours users stop using your SaaS

Prioritize understanding why users stop using your SaaS product or cancel their subscriptions Key strategies to consider:
βœ… Provide timely and personalized support responses.
βœ… Offer proactive support by anticipating common user issues.
βœ… Use feedback loops to understand user pain points and address them.
βœ… Train your support team to empathize with users and offer solutions tailored to their needs.
βœ… Consider implementing a dedicated customer success team to guide users through onboarding and regular usage.
βœ… Regularly review and analyze support tickets to identify trends and areas for product improvement.

Top reasons for customer churn:
1. Frequency of Usage — what is the frequency of product usage?
2. Breadth of Usage — are customers using your full breadth of solutions?
3. NPS Results — how happy are your customers?
4. Changes to Key Staff — what happens when a product evangelist leaves the company?
5. Tool Limits — are customers hitting their usage limits?
6. Engagement — are there long delays in product engagement?


We’ve reached the finale of our journey through 16 revenue tactics, and it’s time to consolidate our learnings.

Revenue growth is the touchstone of a thriving SaaS business. Leveraging the tactics mentioned in this article can result in sustainable revenue growth, exponential ROI, and inevitably, a successful business.

Why pause? Start employing these time-tested tactics today and witness the dramatic shift in your SaaS revenue.

To fuel your quest for growth, we’re excited to share this exclusive resource: “30 Days of Growth” . Take full advantage of this bundle for an unbounded growth journey!🎯

Article by

Mariano Martene

I do growth & marketing ops for B2B SaaS. I've worked for over ten years on marketing and have done a lot! In my last job as Head of Growth, I helped the founders of a SaaS company go from €1M to $2.2M. I’m now working on a marketplace for B2B experts and run a newsletter where, every week, I share resources and bite-sized case studies to grow your SaaS. I’m also the city leader for SaaStock Local chapters in Lisbon, Portugal! πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Drop me a message if you’re around!