Who wins at native integration promotion – EU vs US SaaS Companies | Blog

SaaS Integration, Embedded iPaaS and API news for SaaS teams.

22nd July 2020

In our first blog about US vs EU SaaS companies and integration strategies we discovered that:

  • US SaaS companies are more likely to offer integrations than those in the EU
  • US SaaS companies that offer integrations tend to have more integrations on offer than their EU counterparts

In short the US SaaS co.s had a slight, but important, edge over their EU peers.

We also discovered that, somewhat surprisingly, 33.3% of SaaS companies researched promoted no integrations at all.

Drilling-down into the 66.7% of SaaS companies who do feature native integrations on their website, we now want to find out how and where they are promoting them.

Integration can be a key value-add feature for SaaS apps, providing positive buying signals to prospective customers. Where and how these are featured varies from company to company; so let’s take a look at some of the approaches and their popularity.

Dedicated Integration Marketplace Pages

Having a dedicated page outlining SaaS connectivity options is a great way to provide more detail to prospective customers. As the number of integrations available in an app grows it makes more and more sense to have a logical centralised place to promote them, demonstrating breadth and depth of interoperability.

These can be single pages to show off a range of integrations (often in an integration marketplace fashion), or individual dedicated pages for each of their integrations. We’ve focused on pages within each company’s website, not including their blog or documentation. 

90% of SaaS companies who provide native integrations have their own dedicated page publicly available on their website. 90%! There is little variation between the EU and USA companies. The key question is more ‘what are the 10% thinking?’. 

Total SaaS surveyed who promote native integrationsDedicated Integration Page% of companies offering with dedicated pages
US SaaS Companies18016391.06%
EU SaaS Companies12210788.43%
Total30227090.00%

So next step was to analyse those that have a dedicated integrations page (the 270) and, in particular, how easy did they make it to find the integrations page in question?

Locations of Integration Promotion

With a website being the main shop front for potential customers, differentiated features, such as connectivity options, should be obvious to those who are quickly browsing. 

This is why we focussed down on whether integrations are featured by SaaS companies in their:

  • Homepage content
  • Navigation bar
  • Footer links

Or…

  • Hard to find

Integrations in Homepage Content

The homepage is where the majority of natural search traffic lands. It should give a good first impression of brand and application features. Companies wanting to promote their platform’s connectivity options will feature integrations here.

We were looking for a dedicated content block, providing a sample of what’s available, or a call to action taking the user to a more indepth integration page.

Of those who offer native integrations…

53.3% of EU SaaS publicized their integrations on their home page

40.5% of US SaaS publicized their integrations on their home page

Integrations featured on homepage % Integrations featured on homepage
EU SaaS Companies57/10753.3%
US SaaS Companies66/16340.5%
Overall123/27045.6%

Hands-down a win for EU SaaS companies, choosing to feature their interoperability more prominently by promoting their integrations front and centre. 

This contrasts with our finding that US companies are more likely to have integrations and more likely to have more integrations than their EU peers.

So less EU companies have integrations but appear more likely to feature them front and centre when they do.

Integrations in Navigation Bar

A website’s navigation bar is arguably a toss-up with the Homepage as the first port of call for any user looking to find out more about a SaaS application. Here we were looking to see whether integrations were displayed within a primary menu item or as a sub-menu item. 

While this should be a key area to promote connectivity options, it is not as fully capitalised on as perhaps it should be:

Number of Companies who Promote Integrations in Nav Bar% of Companies who Promote Integrations in Nav Bar
EU SaaS Companies60/10756.1%
US SaaS Companies95/16358.3%
Overall155/27057.4%

Of the companies who publicly provide native integrations:

56.1% of EU SaaS promoted their integrations in their navigation bar

58.3% of US SaaS promoted their integrations in their navigation bar

Overall a tie.

Integrations on Website Footer

Website footers are also a navigation hub. Footers can be scanned to get a quick overview of the relevant elements of a SaaS application. 

Of the SaaS companies who offer native integrations, only 20.4% provided a link to, or mention of, their integration capabilities in their Footer Bar. Overall a less popular option than the navigation bar.

Interestingly, to extrapolate that figure to US vs European companies:

26.4% of US SaaS companies link to integrations in their website footer

11.2% of European companies link to integrations in their website footer 

Number of Companies who Promote Integrations in Footer% of Companies who Promote Integrations in Footer
EU SaaS Companies12/10711.2%
US SaaS Companies43/16326.4%
Overall55/27020.4%

The win for the US here may be related to the lack of emphasis on their Homepage. 

Overall, however, the footer looks to be an easy win for companies to link to potentially key differentiating features.

Integrations page Hard to Find

Even with a dedicated integration page we found that some SaaS companies made you work to find it. In other words no clear linkage from homepage, nav bar, footer or a combination of the three.

Number of Companies who made you work to find the page% of Companies who made you work to find the page
EU SaaS Companies16/107
15.0%
US SaaS Companies24/16314.7%
Overall40/27014.8%

Once more a draw. Roughly 15% of both EU and US companies that have a dedicated integration page confusingly then made it hard to find said page. An unusual promotional strategy and again an easy win for those companies to compete toe to toe with their peers.

Combined Promotion Approaches

So we needed to check all the data above to see if companies were consistently using one, two or all three methods of promoting their integrations pages.

Companies who really want to push their integration connectivity features may opt to seed several links or content blocks around their website.

Interestingly, only one of the companies surveyed included integration content across each of their home page copy, navigation bar and website footer. That was a win for the USA (well done to www.grow.com). 

 

 

SINGLE OPTION

MULTIPLE OPTIONS

 

 

Hard to Find

Homepage Only

Nav Bar Only

Footer Only

Home Page and Nav Bar

Home Page and Footer

Footer and Nav Bar

In all 3

Total

EU

16

24

24

5

31

2

5

0

107

US

24

23

39

13

34

8

21

1

163

Expressed as a Percentage for easier comparability

 

 

SINGLE OPTION

MULTIPLE OPTIONS

 

Hard to Find

Home Page Only

Nav Bar Only

Footer Only

Home Page & Nav

Home Page & Footer

Footer & Nav

In all 3

EU

15.0%

22.4%

22.4%

4.7%

29.0%

1.9%

4.7%

0%

 

15.0%

49.5%

35.6%

US

14.7%

14.1%

23.9%

8.0%

20.9%

4.9%

12.9%

0.6%

 

14.7%

46.0%

39.3%

Overall the balance between single and multiple options of linkage was similar between EU and US at 15:49:36 and 15:46:39 (rounded) respectively. However the bias (highlighted yellow above) for EU companies towards homepage use and the US companies towards footer usage is clear.

We can also clearly see that, from this data, the most popular overall combination to seed your integration content is a combination of your home page and navigation bar (highlighted green above). 

Currently, EU companies are leading the way in this tactic, although US companies are more likely to take a combination of approaches as a whole than their European counterparts..

Conclusions

Overall conclusions across the two reports so far is:

  1. US SaaS companies are more likely to have native integrations on offer than their EU peers
  1. The vast majority of European and American companies with native integrations provide a dedicated integration page on their website
  1. European Companies are more likely to promote their integrations on their home page
  1. US companies are more likely to include links to integration content in their website’s footer
  1. 15% of SaaS companies with dedicated integration pages still make them hard to find
  1. Overall the option to cross promote your connectivity options in multiple area of your website is underexploited and a quick win

All in all an interesting set of results that shows that there is no real ‘common’ way to feature SaaS integrations regardless of your provenance. However there would seem to be best practises in place across many operators and room for SaaS companies to consider how better to promote their integrations. Remember, only one company featured the triple A* approach of a dedicated page with homepage linkage, nav bar linkage and footer linkage.

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Daniel Twigg

With over 10 years experience in the Digital Marketing arena, covering industries including IoT, SaaS, fitness, computer gaming and music, Daniel has been Cyclr's marketing manager from the early days of the platform.