5 Factors to Consider While Choosing a SaaS Performance Marketing Agency
Nov 17, 2023
12 min read
Are you looking to boost the performance of your PPC ads?
Or gain more organic traffic and leads?
Is it challenging to bring potential customers to your SaaS website and then nudge them to sign up for a free trial/book a demo?
If you’re dealing with these problems for your SaaS business or product, it is time to hire a performance marketing agency to help your marketing team with the ideation, preparation, and execution of campaigns to generate desired results.
The question at this stage is, how do you choose the right B2B performance marketing agency? There are two ways this could go: if they’re great, you’ll start getting an ROI: in the form of leads, sign-ups, or organic traffic.
On the flip side, you end up sharing confidential data with an external service provider, and if they are unreliable, you risk your entire business foundation.
We’ve done the groundwork for you. Here’s what you should look for in a SaaS performance marketing agency to evaluate their expertise and reliability before signing the legal contract.
Table of content
When you are confident that performance marketing is the way forward to meet your business goals, and your internal team requires expert assistance, it is time to start searching and assessing the best agency.
Start the evaluation process with the following steps:
Most agencies have a work portfolio with their previous clients, detailed case studies on the performance marketing approach they followed, and the results achieved.
By assessing the portfolios of different agencies, you will get a solid idea of which performance marketing agency has experience handling cases closest to your brand.
Established agencies would have a portfolio/case study section on their website. They help you understand how the agency approaches a project, what kind of support they provide, and their level of expertise.
In addition to this, a marketing budget estimate gives you a fair idea of what to expect in terms of metrics to measure and the average costs. While this would vary depending on the industry, it sets a benchmark for what to expect.
While you may not settle for the cheapest agency in the market, what’s more important to know is if their pricing matches industry standards.
Pricing for performance marketing varies based on several factors such as your stage of business, short-term goals, and your marketing budget and spending ability, and it is often customized.
The case in point: Inbound marketing agency WebFX gives an estimate of what the average charges are for different marketing services.
Another essential factor here is the SLA. If a B2B performance marketing agency charges you $10,000 per month, see how they break down the pricing in terms of activities and budget allocation for each.
At this stage, be clear about your marketing goals.
For example, are you looking for help in designing the UX/UI of your product?
More leads from Google ads?
Or help with product positioning?
Or looking for SaaS content to attract your ideal buyers?
Look for a performance marketing agency with proven expertise to align their activities with your goals.
An SLA typically includes the following details:
Cost vs. service trade-offs
Specific services provided
Terms and conditions for each service element
Expected duration of completing each service
Accountabilities for both parties
Escalation terms and process
Performance measurement of each service
Process of resolving disputes
By assessing an agency’s portfolio, you will get a rough idea of its expertise. To get a better understanding of the agency’s approach, request a formal proposal that outlines your project, goals, and how they would approach it.
Far from being complicated, this proposal ensures you don’t share a lot of internal data with the potential agency before signing a contract.
The idea is to assess their perspective when dealing with real-life scenarios.
An exercise idea to evaluate a performance marketing agency is:
Creating a 30/60/90-day plan - The purpose of this assignment is to observe if the agency correctly uses available data across different channels to develop a unique performance marketing plan. While sharing real-time data is not recommended, you can always share last year’s data. Some assessment criteria are:
Do they simply share a spreadsheet or create a detailed dashboard?
Do they present their plan effectively so your marketing team understands it, or do they just share a self-explanatory presentation?
How detailed is their plan?
Make sure to give the agency a proper runaway to complete the assignment. Developing a data-backed performance marketing plan takes time, and rushing them to complete it early will result in a half-baked strategy. You won’t be able to assess their expertise correctly.
Performance marketing is a mix of paid ads, content marketing, account-based marketing, and SEO among many other activities. Without efficient reporting, the agency cannot communicate its findings and actions to a SaaS brand.
Ask them to share a mock report or previous report to assess the format and depth of the dashboard.
Different agencies use different reporting dashboards, but typically, a performance marketing report should include the following sections:
A summary of different marketing initiatives performed over a period
The results achieved within the same period
Decoding the insights from those results
Summary and next steps
Graphs and charts to support your findings
Below is a sample performance marketing report from Funnel.io:
Once you receive the reporting structure from an agency, assess what type of data they are using, the depth of insights, and types of data sources and their authenticity.
The cornerstone of any agency-brand collaboration is comfort level. If your internal team is unfamiliar with the tools and technologies an agency uses (and vice versa), the engagement will take time to manifest as there will be a learning curve.
Some of the critical tools SaaS marketing agencies use are:
Website collaboration tool - Superflow
Communication platform - Slack/Notion
Marketing automation platform and CRM platform - Hubspot/Zoho CRM
Project management platform - ClickUp/Asana/Monday.com
Analytics and website performance - Google Analytics
Keyword and SEO research - SEMrush/Ahrefs/Surfer SEO
When you’re designing new landing pages or redesigning your SaaS website, after designers finish working on prototypes they start collaborating on the website. This happens either in a live or staging phase and further edits from the client’s end go mostly through Google Docs, phone, or email.
This process becomes fragmented and inefficient. Superflow was created to answer this pain point. It helps the designers and performance-based marketing agencies collaborate with clients to solicit design feedback across teams.
Picking the right performance-based marketing agency requires much effort from your end. The best marketing agency for your SaaS business would be the one that has expertise in your industry, a proven track record to achieve goals like yours, and matches your budget, and has a working style that aligns with yours.
When you know what to look for in the B2B performance marketing agency, it becomes easier to look for the one that fits your requirements.
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