11 Key growth metrics for SaaS businesses

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Dec 8, 2023

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7 min read

Sustainable growth for SaaS companies depends on mastering the art of understanding the SaaS key metrics. Identifying and utilizing these indicators are most important for success.

This blog will look at the most important SaaS performance metrics, including Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Activation Rate, Retention Rate, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). These metrics are interconnected with each other and are very useful when evaluating the health and progress of a SaaS business. How can you calculate each metric? What are their significance, and how do they influence one another?

Recognizing the impact of these metrics is a basic but crucial step. In this discussion, we’ll navigate the key metrics for SaaS companies that shape their growth trajectory.

What are Saas metrics?

SaaS or Software as a Service metrics refers to key performance indicators (KPIs) and measurements used to evaluate the performance, efficiency, and success of a SaaS (Software as a Service) business performance model. These key SaaS metrics help measure various aspects of a saas marketing in a startup, providing valuable insights into its growth, user satisfaction, and overall health.

11 SaaS Growth Metrics to Measure Your Success

In the current state of the market, there are several metrics that analyze your SaaS business. Still, it’s essential to understand that not every metric is a good indicator of the growth of the SaaS.

While it’s important to understand and utilize some of the best metrics to help you analyze and track your growth. Here are some of the most important key metrics you need for your SaaS growth:

1. Activation Rate

The activation rate is a super significant number for businesses in a b2b saas marketing strategy– it helps us determine how many people use our product. It shows the percentage of users who start using the product as intended, not just signing up and forgetting about it.

To calculate the activation rate, we look at how many people signed up and how many of them started using the product. The formula is:

Activation_rate

So, it’s not just about getting people to sign up; it’s about getting them to use and engage with the product. One way to increase the activation rate is by giving new users a personalized introduction to the product. This helps turn signups into active users who stick around.

2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

When a business has to acquire Customer, the cost is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the expense of acquiring a single customer. It serves as a valuable metric for measuring the success of marketing strategies and determining the return on investment (ROI).

To calculate CAC, you need to keep tabs on the number of new customers acquired over a specific period and ensure accurate sales and marketing expenditures tracking. Else we will lose the customers which we have gained. The formula is straightforward:

CAC

For emerging businesses, CAC is an important factor in assessing the acquisition’s value and making informed adjustments for the future.

When considering the total amount spent on sales and marketing, various components need to be considered, including:

  • PPC or Social Media Ads
  • Salaries of team members
  • Subscription costs for marketing tools
  • Costs associated with content creation, such as blogs, design, and video
  • Expenses related to agencies

3. Customer lifecycle value

Customer Lifecycle Value (CLV) is like figuring out how much each customer is worth to your business over time. It lets you calculate the average amount a customer spends on your product during your relationship.

To find CLV, you take how much money a customer gives you in a year, on average, and divide it by how long they usually stick around. The formula is:

CLV

If you are just starting your business, CLV helps you with calculations and see if your plan will make money. It’s a tool for established businesses to tweak their strategies, finding ways to get more from each customer while spending less to bring them in.

4. Average revenue per user

The average revenue per user (ARPU) signifies the average revenue generated from each customer. This metric indicates a product’s profitability and is calculated as:

ARPU

Calculating and understanding ARPU is fundamental for gaining insights into how well a product is performing in generating revenue from its user base.

5. Monthly recurring revenue

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is like the money a SaaS business can rely on getting every month because they usually get paid through subscriptions. To find MRR, you just multiply the total number of paying customers by how much each customer brings in on average (ARPU).

MRR

For businesses with subscriptions, keeping a close eye on the money coming in each month is super important. MRR helps them see how much income they can expect regularly. It is an easy way to track and compare revenues month after month and encourage subscription upgrades by highlighting advanced features, identify cross-selling opportunities for additional value, introduce customizable add-ons to meet specific user needs, implement referral programs for client advocacy and revenue growth, and prioritize customer success to enhance satisfaction, reduce churn, and expansion revenue

6. Annual recurring revenue

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) builds upon the Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) concept and assesses year-over-year growth. While MRR is great for understanding monthly fluctuations, ARR provides a broader view, allowing you to evaluate your entire year.

It can be calculated as:

ARR

Comparing ARR from one year to the next gives you insights into your business’s stability and overall performance. Since MRR can vary month by month, relying solely on it might not capture the whole picture. ARR offers a more comprehensive understanding of how your business is doing over the long term. It is a valuable tool for measuring performance.

7. Customer churn

Churned customers can be calculated by the percentage of customers who discontinue their association with your company within a specified timeframe. While it’s not the most enjoyable metric, businesses must address it especially using the saas marketing playbook. The churn rate can be calculated using the formula:

CCR

The goal is to keep this rate as low as possible by consistently engaging users and delivering ongoing value. For instance, companies like Loom proactively manage churn by sending email tutorials showcasing new features to keep existing users involved and satisfied.

8. Revenue churn

Revenue churn measures the reduction in revenue stemming from the loss of existing customers. It’s calculated as:

RC

Many experts consider revenue churn a more updated metric than customer churn as it directly reflects the financial impact. To gain a comprehensive understanding of business churn, evaluating revenue churn and customer churn together is recommended. This dual analysis provides a broader view of how customer departures impact the customer base and the overall revenue.

9. Active trials

Active trials are a valuable metric, especially for businesses employing a freemium business model. This metric is a solid indicator of the effectiveness of your marketing spend strategies, mainly when experimenting with different messages.

The calculation for active trials is as follows:

Active Trials = Sum of all active subscriptions during a period

This increase in this number from one period to another suggests that your efforts yield positive results. Identifying what precisely contributes to this growth is crucial for ongoing business development. Not monitoring your active trials leaves you wondering about the success of your client acquisition venture.

However, it’s important to interpret active trials with caution. It’s not just about creating accounts; you want to ensure that users actively engage with your product. Simply having an account doesn’t necessarily equate to genuine product usage.

10. Customer Engagement Score

A customer engagement score is a measure that shows how much a customer interacts with a business’s product or events. The score depends on what actions count as engagement, which can vary.

To figure out the score, you assign weights (how important an action is) to different engagement actions and multiply them by how often those actions happen:

Customer Engagement Score = (w1*n1) + (w2 * n2) + … + (w# + n#)

Here, ‘w’ is how much an action matters, and ‘n’ is how often it happens.

For example, some businesses try to bring back users who could be more active by reaching out through emails. Pitch does this well with its email marketing strategy. A higher engagement score usually means customers are more involved and interested in what the business offers.

11. Trial conversion rate

Converting free trials into paying subscriptions is a challenging task for SaaS marketing. To understand what is saas marketing, you need to monitor the conversion rate is a valuable strategy to stay proactive and work towards improvement.

A target conversion rate of 25% is advisable for long-term success, and exceeding 30% is commendable; consider it a perfect job. Keeping a close eye on how many users transition from free trials to paid subscriptions provides insights that can guide efforts to enhance this crucial aspect of the business.

Conclusion

The list of SaaS growth metrics is vast and they align to the saas marketing funnel, but it’s wise to look for the best key metrics to lead your SaaS business to the top. The metrics we’ve discussed are like your guide, helping you track and take your business in the right direction.

If you want more help figuring out which growth metrics are perfect for your business, connect with Saffron Edge. At Saffron Edge, a Saas website design agency, we can guide you in customizing a strategy that perfectly fits your needs and also on the development end, we can help you in providing the best website designs for your Saas business.

Connect with us today; let us do the work!

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