The Software As A Service or SaaS business model is here to stay. With an ever-growing 15k companies serving over 15 billion customers globally, the SaaS sector is booming. Email is a crucial marketing and sales channel for SaaS brands.
From sales prospecting to customer support, from lead nurturing to onboarding, and more, SaaS email marketing is a powerful growth lever. Smart companies use the latest email techniques to grow their businesses rapidly.
This guide will give you seven SaaS email marketing tips you can leverage to drive growth.
1. Get Your Emails Opened And Read.
No matter which industry you serve, your email marketing strategy won’t produce results if people don’t open and read your emails.
SaaS is no different.
Headlines are the first port of call when your emails hit people’s inboxes. For subscribers to open your emails, make sure your headline is:
- Clear, not clever: It’s tempting to dazzle people with clever wordplay. Don’t do it because they’ll get confused and won’t click your headline. Instead, people understand a clear headline straight away and are more likely to click it.
- Specific, not generic: People ignore generic stuff because they consider it irrelevant. But a specific headline tells them exactly what to expect. Because they know what to look forward to, they’ll click to get it.
- Benefit-driven, not feature-centred: SaaS brands love showcasing their product features on marketing materials. But your headline isn’t the right place for it. Going into how these features will benefit people is the better option. People respond better to sizzling benefits than to dry features.
Here’s a simple yet effective subject line case in point from Monday.com.
The message is straightforward: resume free trial sign-up.
After the subject line work on the body. Here are some best practices for writing tight email copy:
- Hook readers in with a strong opening.
- Use a simple conversational style.
- Embrace short sentences and paragraphs.
- Include a CTA to drive action.
- Lead with the most important information.
- Keep your message brief.
2. Segment Users For Personalized Content.
People consume and respond to relevant messages.
That’s why segmenting users is one of the best things you can do to make your emails hyper-relevant.
You’ll have engaged subscribers who click on your offers and generate more income for your SaaS business. Below are four typical segments you can use to maximize income.
- Free Trial Users.
Free trials are the gateway to a profitable SaaS business. More free trials mean more chances to turn trialists into paid users. Grouping people who are trying out your software allows you to send laser-focused emails to persuade them to upgrade to a paid subscription.
- New Users
SaaS tools can be complex and a tad overwhelming. That’s why it’s vital to pay special attention to new users and help them come to grips with your software quickly. Once new users get comfortable navigating a tool, they stay on as happy paying customers.
- Loyal Users
Another important group of users to target is loyalists. These are customers who’ve stuck with your brand for years, giving you money month after month. SaaS customer loyalty programs ensure this important group gets rewarded and stays motivated to continue supporting the brand. Also, happy loyal customers become brand ambassadors and introduce more people to your brand.
- Inactive Users
Churn is an inevitable part of SaaS. No matter how brilliant your tool and customers support is, some users stop using your software. A smart SaaS email strategy triggers a series of emails whose goal is to win back inactive users. Offering them incentives goes a long way in helping them come fall in love with your tool again.
3. Include Smart User Onboarding Email Sequences.
In SaaS, the more customers you keep, the more money you make.
Customer churn rate is a vital metric in the software industry.
A smart way to keep your sales high is by crafting a solid onboarding email sequence.
Here are a few tips on how to nail your SaaS email onboarding sequence to keep customers happy so they stay on and/or upgrade to higher plans.
- Confirmation Email: Kick things off with a confirmation email to make sure your subscribers are real people with real emails.
- Welcome Email: Roll out the red carpet to users through a welcome email so they feel they are a part of something bigger, not just customers.
- New Features Email: Inform users promptly about new features and give step-by-step guidance on how to use them.
- Account Details Email: Include username and log-in details for easy access and safekeeping.
- Tool Usage Email: Give users in-depth guidance on how to use your software to get the best out of it.
- Support Email: Let users know where, how, and when they can reach you for support whenever they need help with specific issues.
Not all these should be a separate email sequence. They are relevant themes you have to touch on when onboarding new users. So you can combine some of them.
Remember to personalize the email sequences. For instance, you can have a sequence for those who didn’t complete a free trial sign-up, and another for disengaged users.
An excellent case in point of an effective welcome email is the one below from Postmark.
The welcome email touches all the key matters a new user may be concerned about:
- Warm welcome.
- Login details.
- Account terms.
- Customer support.
4. Craft Red-hot Cold Emails Prospects Can’t Say No To.
Love or hate them, cold emails work.
For early stage SaaS startups, they are a must as they help a completely unknown brand get its first crucial customers. But with 80% of SaaS emails getting ignored, you’ve got to work twice as hard for yours to get noticed and opened. We’ve already covered how to nail your subject line in point #1.
In addition, personalize your cold emails. The key to personalization is understanding your target audience deeply. Piece together a data-driven buyer persona so your cold emails resonate instantly with users and elicit a positive response.
Besides surface-level facts like demographics, dive deeper into psychographics. Uncover deeper issues like:
- Pain Points: what are their biggest struggles they need deliverance from?
- Motivations: what drives them to do the things they do?
- Aspirations: where do they want to end up—what are their biggest dreams?
If you wrap your cold email pitch around deep psychological drivers, your message will hit home. When you connect with people at such a deep level, it’s hard for them to say no to whatever you are asking them to do. Your yeses skyrocket.
5. Provoke A Response From Subscribers.
Every email you write must have a goal.
Your email’s call to action (CTA) embodies that goal.
Why is having a goal for each email you write vital for your campaigns?
The answer is simple.
You produce laser-focused messages that drive action. Everything in the message ties up nicely with your actionable goal. This improves conversions significantly.
To get the best results from your CTA, establish your overarching goal. Do you want users to:
- Schedule a call to discuss key product features?
- Click through to a specific landing page?
- Sign up for a 15-minute demo of your software?
- Read a pillar page that highlights your unique positioning?
- Buy your tool right away?
After identifying your intention, come up with the CTA that inspires subscribers to act. First, be clear. Say what you want people to do plainly. Ambiguity confuses users and kills conversions. Clarity enlightens and attracts them, which hikes conversions.
Next, make your CTA actionable. Use direct verb-driven language. It’s more convincing than an indirect third-person style. Also, repeat your CTA, but state it differently each time so you don’t sound monotonous.
Finally, your call to action must be prominent. Whether you use a call now button or hyperlink CTA, make sure it’s notable. More people click an unmissable CTA than one they have to search for. MacPaw used a button CTA excellently in their email campaign.
It’s a powerful call to action because it’s:
6. Leverage Your Free Trial Offer.
Free trials are a vital aspect of the SaaS marketing strategy.
In your emails, maximize the selling power of free trials to boost sign-ups and eventually paid subscriptions.
First, dangle a sweet free trial offer in your subject to tease readers. This will lure more people to open your email. Here’s a good example from Pluto TV.
The subject line works because it’s clear and short. Importantly, it emphasizes that users can start watching TV for free on their smartphones.
In the body of your email, pile up the benefits of taking your software product for a spin. Don’t just provide a bare list of features. Show users how they’ll benefit from your tool. Include typical use cases so users see themselves in your copy.
Once they identify with your message, it becomes easier for them to take up your free trial offer.
Free trial offers convert differently at different stages of an email series.
So do split tests to see whether your subscribers convert better:
- At the start of an email sequence.
- In the middle of the sequence.
- At the end of your email series.
Once you find the sweet spot, stick to it for maximum conversions.
7. Address Your Prospects Pain Points.
You know what?
Humans are self-centered by nature.
Whenever they have to make a choice, the first question they ask is: What’s In It For Me or WIIFM in short. Not only that. People can’t stand pain and will do everything in their power to escape it and move from pain to delight.
So if you show them how your tool will scratch their nagging itch, they’ll eat from the palm of your hands. From the subject line to the preheader, from the opening lines to the hero image, from the bullet points in the body to the conclusion, hit on their pain points.
Describe their pain to show them you understand their struggles. Then give them your software as the answer to their pain. Convince them that your SaaS product will deliver them from unbearable hell and transport them to delightful heaven.
Below are some proven copywriting formulas you can use to probe users’ pain points so they take action and buy your tool.
- Are you struggling with [pain point]? We’ve got some good news…[explain how your product fixes the problem]
- With [specific feature], you won’t struggle with [pain point] anymore.
- You don’t have to grapple with [pain point] because [product feature] can help you [benefit 1], [benefit 2], and [benefit 3].
SaaS Email Marketing: Reap The Rewards
No doubt, email is an indispensable part of high-growth SaaS brands.
That’s why you must craft each email you send with utmost care.
Whether you are an early stage SaaS startup seeking its first few customers or a mature company that wants to reduce churn, email is your friend. Use these proven email strategies to attract and keep customers.
It’s time to win with email.
Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy is an irresistibly handsome (wife’s baseless claims) pillar content strategist and writer for SaaS, Marketing, and e-Commerce brands. He helps B2B brands drive measurable ROI through actionable pillar posts that build authority, drive traffic, hike leads/sign-ups, and boost sales. He’s been featured on top sites like Search Engine Watch, Crazy Egg, Get Response, and The Drum.