SaaS Inbound Vs. Traditional Inbound – What’s New And What’s The Same?

Published on February 18th, 2022

11 min read


Traditional marketing approaches have historically been successful compared to more modern and digital marketing trends, such as inbound and online consumer engagement. But are they still the way to go? In an increasingly competitive world where consumer expectations are high, it’s more important than ever for marketers to understand the value of both traditional and digital marketing channels.

The marketing world has seen a huge transformation over the years. In a recent decade, we have observed a substantial change in the way businesses market our products and services. Instead of trial and error, shotgun marketing, Inbound Marketing is being used, which is more user-focused and intentional. According to data on inbound marketing, 41% of CMO and CEOs reported that they generated positive ROI [Source]. In addition, suggesting that inbound marketing for each dollar generates three times more leads [Source], and 93% of organizations are implementing it for lead generation [Source].

An inbound marketing strategy for your SaaS product can be your go-to option, but you must be familiar with SaaS inbound marketing and traditional inbound marketing. We’ve taken an unbiased approach, explaining what each type has to offer so that you can make the right choice for your business.

Let’s take an in-depth look!

What Is Inbound Marketing?

In today’s world of mass media and 24/7 online exposure, traditional methods of marketing may be outdated. But that doesn’t mean Inbound Marketing is terrible. On the contrary, it’s become a buzzword in recent months as marketers have recognized the power of social media to brew customer engagement, build community and reach new audiences faster than ever before. So, What is Inbound Marketing exactly?

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that involves receiving leads, sales, and customers from inside your customers’ organizations instead of from the outside. The idea is to bring the customer inside your organization, where they can get more information, answer questions, and become loyal customers. Traditional marketing methods, for instance, direct mail, television, and radio, don’t reach the individual customer as often as possible because the messages are often lost in the shuffle of other customers’ requests.

In these methods of marketing, the focus is on the products and services, not the customers. In contrast, inbound marketing allows you to connect with customers on an individual level, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as personal marketing.

Inbound marketing saas appears to increase your SaaS business growth; there will be less resistance because you’re drawing customers in with appealing items, particularly content. Inbound marketing seeks to build connections, establish trust, and convert audiences into paying subscribers, thereby helping you scale your business.


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What is a SaaS Inbound Marketing Strategy?

A SaaS inbound marketing strategy combines both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. While traditional inbound marketing techniques focus almost exclusively on generating leads and customers, a SaaS inbound marketing strategy focuses on retaining current customers and growing new ones.

In short, with an inbound marketing strategy, you are trying to capture new customers and grow existing ones by delivering value to customers via your software. With an outbound marketing strategy, you are trying to get existing customers to upgrade their software and get new customers to consider switching.

  • SaaS Inbound marketing material is persuasive, well-designed, and appreciated by potential clients. It is possible to make a substantial impact with inbound marketing for SaaS, interrupting prospects rather than inviting them to participate.
  • The fact that customers control the marketing landscape significantly impacts their marketing decisions in the long term and their overall perception of your company. When you have an effective inbound marketing strategy in place, customers can interact with your company at any time. They can get leads at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional lead generation.
  • In order to position your SaaS company effectively towards today’s knowledgeable audience, you should assess your audience and understand their pain points. Knowing the needs & requirements of your target market is crucial to b2b inbound marketing for SaaS companies, as the more you know about them, your strategy will be more successful. SaaS businesses must establish themselves as industry leaders in order to reach their target market. If you know what your target market is seeking, you can provide it to them in various ways.
  • To determine if the marketing efforts are going in the right direction, you must measure the major KPIs, and whenever there are disparities, you must make quick adjustments to keep damage to brand impact minimal; in content delivery, you must set tactics such as infographics, animations, and engage visitors to deliver a compelling message.


[Image Source: Business 2 Community]

What is a Traditional Inbound Marketing Strategy?

A traditional inbound marketing strategy is usually based on advertising and selling to customers. While advertising and selling are important, they are not the only things that make up a marketing strategy. A traditional marketing strategy also includes branding, targeting, and distribution. The way that companies brand themselves and their products can go a long way toward creating a loyal customer base. Targeting a specific audience can reduce conversion rates, leading to a wasted investment in unhelpful collateral.

SaaS Inbound Vs. Traditional Inbound

Let’s run through the facts to assess the difference and similarities between traditional inbound and inbound marketing for SaaS:

#1 The upside of Inbound vs Traditional Marketing

In both inbound and traditional marketing, your primary goal is to generate leads and sales. Inbound marketing, you must create a value proposition for potential customers to make the sale. With traditional marketing, you simply try to meet the customer’s needs, hoping that they will become a long-term customer.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you must develop a value proposition or plan that answers the questions your potential customer might have. With the ideal SaaS inbound marketing plan, the customer journey begins with a lead magnet, like a free trial or a free ebook, and ends with a purchase, like a paid subscription or a product upgrade. With lead magnets, you have the opportunity to build anticipation and impress potential customers before they make the purchase.

#2 The Downside of SaaS Inbound and Traditional Inbound Marketing

Both inbound and traditional marketing have their advantages, which is why it’s important to carefully balance them in your SaaS product marketing strategy. In both inbound and traditional marketing, you want to ensure that your marketing strategy is realistic and balanced.

It’s important to remember that an inbound marketing strategy will always be more expensive than a traditional marketing strategy. A traditional marketing plan that includes costly radio and newspaper ads will never generate the number of leads that an inbound marketing plan will result in. The key is to find a top-notch balance that works best for your business and your goals.

Now let’s see if we can compare traditional inbound marketing with modern inbound marketing for SaaS:

Table Name: Saas Inbound Vs Traditional Inbound: Comparison

CriteriaTraditional InboundSaaS Inbound


Traditional marketing focuses on meeting your target demographic throughout their day via television watch, news read, or radio.

Traditional marketing involves making customers remember the brand when they want or need it.

An essential part of Saas Inbound marketing is meeting customers when they first recognize they need your product or service.

It’s about knowing the target customers and answering the early inquiries to help them through the process if they decide to buy.



A traditional inbound marketing campaign is more concerned with generating interest through mass medium messages.

The messages are distributed to wide demographic groupings that may or may not be your target market.

You must first create a target persona to garner interest for your SaaS offering.

SaaS customer leads can be nurtured into profitable customers through user persona in inbound marketing for SaaS.



Traditional marketing and advertising involve reaching as many prospects as possible to succeed.

You may achieve a high number of prospective customers; however, conversion rates are typically low, and the per-lead cost is exceptionally high.

Inbound marketing for SaaS is all about giving visitors valuable information in exchange for their data to acquire leads.

SaaS inbound strategies can quickly judge whether a visitor is a quality lead by assessing the insight or assistance in exchange for their data.




Traditional inbound marketing has the power to stop it or change its direction in one shot.

Though testing methods are used, they are costly and rarely as accurate here; slight errors can create a negative brand impact.

New inbound marketing for SaaS allows you to change in real-time.

We test and monitor frequently; the more we adapt, the more successful our marketing activities become.



Traditional marketing approaches results are inexact. Often, a projection of prior acts’ perceptions.

Results are derived at the end of the campaign, and it limits the number of adjustments or alterations to make as the campaign progresses to get success.

The plethora of tools businesses can use to measure the performance of a campaign in inbound marketing methodology.

Tools like Google Analytics, CrazyEgg, and HubSpot quickly and precisely assess what is working and where you need to hold on with the trend, allowing you to make adjustments and modifications during the campaign.

The Bottom Line: SaaS Inbound Or Traditional Inbound: Which Is Better?

At the end of the day, marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Each business is unique & has its own mix of needs and wants. That being said, a few general concepts apply to all forms of marketing, whether traditional or inbound. As businesses become more data-driven, they are also becoming more customer-focused. Consumers expect more from brands and companies now than ever before. Consumers want personal service, quality products, and great deals.

It is undeniable that inbound marketing is the future. It will revolutionize our marketing efforts, no doubt. However, without our old, traditional competitor inbound marketing, it would not be what it is today. SaaS inbound marketing can potentially expand the market and position yourself as an industry leader radically.

It is important to note that the approach’s success is oriented towards marketing strategies; constant data analysis based on precise metrics, optimization, testing, and consistent data management is critical to measurable success. You should keep abreast of competitive insights and adjust your inbound marketing saas, accordingly to achieve a more significant ROI.

FirstPrinciple can be your dependable guide if you are unsure how to proceed with your SaaS marketing blueprint. To learn more about FirstPrinciples Growth Advisory For SaaS, contact us today!

About the Author

Rajashree Goswami

I tweak my imaginations and thoughts to create creative & narrative content. At FirstPrinciples, as Content Writer Lead, I underpin solutions into words, put the assessments into threaded paragraphs to solve the readers' pain points. When not on my table, you can find me roaming around nature with the shutter on or having an insightful conversation over a cup of Latte!!


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