When Forbes drops the Cloud 100 list, B2B marketers take note.

What are these hyper-fast growing, high-scale SaaS companies doing??

After all, the Cloud 100 is a list of the fastest growing, most recognized private SaaS companies. They must be doing something right on the marketing side.

The list itself is a great resource.

And, knowing there is deeper curiosity about HOW these companies do marketing, we embarked on a study of the Cloud 100 and the marketing tactics they use.

We did deep dives on the different tactics they use to collect leads, analyzed their websites, and subscribed to email communication so we could see the nitty gritty about how they engage leads.


Or, for those of you more inclined toward stats and skimming, we've summarized the learnings here.

Highlights & Summary Stats:


  • Cloud 100 have over 64K employees and have raised over $20B in capital.
  • 60% of the Cloud 100 have a sales-driven model, meaning that visitors will have to interact with a sales rep before using or trying the software. The other 40% allow self-service into their product or a free trial.
  • 60% do not share pricing information on their website. In 1/3 of these cases, they provide information about their pricing structure & tiers without sharing actual amounts.

Lead Collection Tactics:

  • Webinars are the most common demand gen tactic, used by 77% of the Cloud 100. Of those companies with a sales-driven model, the use of webinars is even higher at 85%.
  • The majority of Cloud 100 companies have downloadable content and 67% have gated content.
  • However, the use of gated content is less common with self-service models where 43% use gates. These companies primarily focus on driving visitors into their free trials or product sign-up flow.
  • Live chat is gaining ground. 23% of the Cloud 100 now have live chat on their website.
  • "Request a Demo" is the most common product-related CTA amongst the Cloud 100 at 35%, this represents more than 1/2 of the sales-driven companies. The other sales-driven customers ask visitors to "Contact Us" or "Request a Trial."
  • Amongst self-service companies, "Sign-up" or "Create Account" are the more common than "Start a Trial" at 25% vs 15% respectively.

Lead Nurturing and Email Tactics:

  • Nearly all of the Cloud 100 use marketing automation in some form. Marketo is the most used platform with 51% share. HubSpot and Oracle Eloqua are the next most common with 9% and 8% respectively.
  • Cloud 100 companies engage leads quickly via email. 54% of the time companies send a nurture email within 3 days of the content download, and 36% send within 24 hours. 58% of companies will send a second nurture email within 7 days and 41% will send the second message 7-14 days out.
  • Email is getting more personalized. 35% of Cloud 100 send from a "human" alias (eg. a sales rep or spokesperson), 60% come from a marketing alias (eg. marketing@ or info@), and only 6% came from a no-reply alias.
  • 22% of emails were plain text formatted email that had the look and feel of a personal email. 78% of email received, were the more traditional "glossy" HTML formatted marketing emails.

Wrap Up

Looking at the marketing tactics used by the Cloud 100 gives a lot of clues about the way B2B marketing is evolving and what works to drive grow and scale. We will continue to watch these companies closely and look for ways to apply these learnings.

Want more analysis of the Cloud 100 marketing tactics?

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Adam Schoenfeld
Adam Schoenfeld
Adam is CEO and Co-Founder at Siftrock, data geek, golfer, and breakfast enthusiast. He is passionate about data, marketing, and creating simple solutions to big business problems.
Published Tuesday, September 26th 2017