Paid Ads For SaaS Companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram… Are They Worth It?

We ask 14 SaaS Founders how paid ads have performed for them.


Written by Sterling Sweeney: Published Sept 13th, 2019 | Updated Sept 13th, 2019.

Sterling Sweeney is a growth hacker and the driving force behind WhalePages, a SaaS marketing agency. Today he asks SaaS founders how paid ads have performed for a sales tool. 


4 Minute Read

We Asked 14 SaaS Companies How Their Paid Ad Campaigns Have Panned Out. 

Over the next couple of days WhalePages will have some very special posts being published on our SaaS marketing blog. We’ve interviewed dozens of SaaS founders and entrepreneurs and asked them intimate questions about the inner workings of their SaaS companies. Previously, we asked them what their best marketing strategies and sales channels have been.

Today, we round up the SaaS founders again in order to ask them the following question:

“How have paid advertising channels like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram worked out for you?”

1. Karsten Madsen, CEO of morningscore | SEO Platform

Lately we’ve had very little success. Some paid placements were just horribly underperforming. It hurts to think about it. We joke at the office that every time we pay there is zero effect and the opposite is true with organic placements. Of course this is not always true, and I hope we will get some strong results soon. It has happened in the past.

But we should be more critical towards paid channels. Growth hacking is a big thing for a reason.

2. Team From ReputationStacker | Reputation Management Platform

It took us a few months to figure out a profitable approach to PPC ads. That can be a money hole if you don’t have a very firm grasp on it. It can easily sink your business before you’ve really even started. Once PPC was humming along we started producing great content and sharing it. It’s not the most groundbreaking story, but if you work hard and consistently, care about your work, and talk about it in an interesting way then customers will come.

3. Mike Myer, CEO of Quiq | Business Messaging Platform

One of our VCs said “paid is the road to hell”. It makes me laugh because it is such a tough channel. I would say that we are happy to have paid as our organic has been maturing and we look to hopefully reduce paid in the future. The quality of leads through paid is definitely lower than most other channels. You have to sort through a lot of chaff to get the wheat, but here are some grains in there.

4. Emad From CyberStockroom | Inventory Management Platform

Paid ads have always underperformed organic/referral/social traffic. We’ve only resorted to them when those avenues dried up.

5. Henry Joyce From Align | Growth Management Platform

Paid ads have had mixed performance. We play in the B2B space and typically work with the C-suite, so LinkedIn targeting has been valuable. In search, we learned quickly that bidding on more popular key words was expensive and didn’t necessarily bring in prospects ready to invest in their strategic planning. We have refined our strategy to ensure our product is solving the keywords searchers are bidding on. 

6. Team at | Media Asset Management Platform

They fit perfectly we are able to get low UA cost but still, we are working on making it profitable,
as we offer a free plan and it takes 6 months for them to convert to paid users.

7. Faik From dbBee | Spreadsheet Publishing Platform

Poorly. Really poorly. We were spending an average of 55$-80$ advertisement budget for each 4.95$ client

8. Michael Payne From Intervals | Time Tracking & Task Management 

It is a big part of our growth program. There aren’t really a lot of new channels but more competition in existing channels. You have to find a way to compete in your space that makes sense from a spend perspective. 

9. Kaushal Sutaria From MyEasyISO | Compliance Platform

We tried paid ads in the initial days to get traction but later we stopped and rely on organic search results.

10. Casey Sullivan, Founder of Bookafy | Appointment Booking Platform 

They have been good, but not great. If we were funded vs bootstrapped I think this would be even better… but it’s a bit more complicated as a bootstrapper trying to get quicker returns.

11. Kyle Racki, CoFounder From Proposify | Sales Platform

Paid ads have historically performed very well as a nurturing tactic for retargeting qualified leads. Prospecting cold traffic is also becoming a scalable tactic for us.

12. Piotr Łapiński, Marketing Manager From Konfeo | Event Registration Platform

Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads have performed poorly for us. 

13. Amrish From Pixpa | Portfolio Platform 

We have generally avoided paid ads. However, we are investing in paid placements in blogs etc. So, the focus is to pay for a longer term exposure.

14. Richard From HelpSite | Support Center Platform

We tried Google Ads once but we didn’t invest enough into tracking and attribution to confidently know if the ROI was worth it, so nearly almost all of our growth has come ad-free. We may explore ads again in the future but our primary focus is on word of mouth and SEO growth.



We hope you’ve found this list helpful. If you’d like to learn more about growing your SaaS company we suggest you head over to our SaaS marketing homepage. Alternatively, if you’d like to take a sneak peak at some of the scaling strategies we use to scale our customer’s SaaS websites, head over to our SaaS growth TV channel to learn more.


Written by Sterling Sweeney: Published Sept 13th, 2019 | Updated Sept 13th, 2019.

Sterling Sweeney is a growth hacker and the driving force behind WhalePages, a company that grows SaaS websites. So, if you have a SaaS company and you’re kinda into things like website traffic and increasing your MRR, then our SaaS growth boxes are probably for you.



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