Here are the easiest and most important SaaS marketing metrics that should form your first SaaS Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
These SaaS KPIs are relatively easy to track, and will provide a great foundation as you grow and add more detailed metrics.
Growth unique visitors is a proxy for being found, being viewed and your reach. You can use simple tools like Google Analytics to get accurate data.
These are also called "subscribers". This is the so-called "follow me home" metric. This includes everyone who starts to follow you. This includes people who give you their email as a newsletter subscription, or who follow your RSS feed, podcast or Video Channel.
SaaS leads are the same as "contacts" or email addresses. When you get started, it's sufficient to define these as "hand-raisers". Hand raisers are people who have shown interest in an actual outreach by your team. Examples are people who have filled out an explicit "Contact me" form, or a product demo request. So subscribers to your newsletter or people who signed up to get a free gift don't count as leads.
When you get bigger, you should start differentiating your SaaS KPIs as follows:
Try to measure conversions through the funnel as granular as possible, as long as your data is accurate and meaningful. Here is a typical prioritized list of conversions to measure as your SaaS dashboard gets more granular
The most important SaaS KPI of all is customer retention, or the opposite, churn. Churn levels not only predict your future ability to grow revenue and profitability, but they also tell you if your product has reached Product-Market Fit (PMF) with your audience, and are a good indicator for the quality of your customer onboarding and support performance (Customer Success).
Initially, I recommend measuring real customer churn (# of customers churned as % of all paying customers). Don't get confused with concepts like "negative churn" where ARPU and revenue growth per customer are being mixed in. These are great KPIs to worry about later.
Ideally, the CAC includes all your sales and marketing cost, including people. Just divide your all up marketing and sales spend by the total number of paying customers for a given period of time. Don't overcomplicate this. Be generous and include all costs that you should allocate to your sales and marketing functions.
Using, for example, the LTV: CAC ratio to show the ROI on getting new customers is key to determining marketing investments.
As you start understanding the all-up cost to service your paying customers, it's time to add this to the dashboard. Include the cost of your Customer Success team (onboarding, support), infrastructure and product (cloud capacity, engineering investments into the service) and the cost of retaining your customers with special programs (loyalty campaigns, incentives, promotions).
For a SaaS company, the ongoing cost of running a service is the key to profitability. As you get insights into your CTS you can start targeting the customers who are the ideal customers for your bottom line.
With these KPIs on your SaaS dashboard, you can manage your SaaS marketing function responsibly.