6 Effective Ways to Win at SaaS Email Marketing

Marketing SaaS products can be challenging, especially since they have no physical presence. However, there are plenty of marketing channels to attract your target audience. Email marketing is a notable mention employed by marketers, far and wide. After all, there are 3.9 billion active email users around the world, which accounts for nearly 50% of the world’s population. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? And, interesting enough, with the booming SaaS industry, a large chunk of these emailees might be keen on your niche market. 

As for marketers working for SaaS businesses, notably the startups who don’t send emails routinely, one of the biggest mistakes they can commit is to have an email list and do nothing with it. As a startup SaaS business, if you aren’t sending enough emails, you are willingly letting go of your subscribers. 

Let’s quickly go through some effective tips to help you ace SaaS email marketing. 

1. Timing is key

When I say SaaS businesses shouldn’t shy away from emailing your subscribers, I do not intend them to bombard their email lists with the same boring emails, over and over. 69 percent of users unsubscribe because they receive “too many emails.”

Way too often, companies storm their client’s inbox with ten emails in one month only to send them just one the following month. If you are on the hunt for the ideal marketing email-send frequency, you might need to consider several factors, including:

  1. Industry stats
  2. Nature of the email (i.e., updates, promotions, newsletter, etc.)
  3. Nature of the product or service 

So, there isn’t a single answer to the complex question that is “How often can marketing emails be sent?” but you could resolve to tests to see what works and what doesn’t work for you. 

2. Segmentation that’s smart

Many MarTech gurus claim segmentation is an indispensable accomplice to various marketing strategies. It’s been this way since the early 20th century. Flash forward to today, email marketers around the world strive to target different audiences with personalized email campaigns through email segmentation.

In a survey by Clearbit, the top parameters companies use to perform email segmentation were determined, and they are depicted below:

A graph of parameters used for email segmentation

(Link)

Email engagement behavior tops the list, and this comes by no surprise since this type of segmentation can be achieved in all conventional email marketing tools available in the market today.

If your company is a multi-product business or offers several plans for the same product, another great way to send personalized email campaigns is to segment your email list by firmographic data like employee count and revenue. Company-level information like this can be used to devise sales-driven emails in a B2B atmosphere. Here’s a great example by Segment.

An email which includes firmographic data

3. Send SaaSsy emails

We understand that SaaS marketing can be quite a task. Nonetheless, one of the best ways to stay in touch with your users is through product emails. 

Let’s go through a few SaaS product emails you SHOULD send your subscribers.

a.  Welcome emails

Sending welcome emails is not only the first step you take to build a lasting relationship with your subscribers but also, it’s one of the few emails that your user is psychologically ready to open and read. When someone visits your website, it is because they have high intent to use/purchase your product/service that they end up submitting their email id at your disposal.

74% of subscribers expect to receive a welcome email. –(Source)

A welcome email by Shopify

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while creating your welcome email:

  1. Include a summary of your software and its capabilities.
  2. Avoid overloading the email with too much information.
  3. Keep it short and precise.
  4. Try to adhere to the recommended 50-150 word limit.
  5. Provide links to the right resources.
  6. Deliver relevant emails through personalized content.
  7. Make your text appealing, so your readers engage better.
  8. Pairing text with images makes your email a visual treat.

“Welcome emails generate 4x more opens and 5x more clicks than regular email marketing campaigns”. – (Source)

b. Product updates

One of the biggest SaaS email marketing lessons I have learned is from a podcast where Hiten Shah speaks about product updates and how to do it right. ( The Startup Chat). Have you ever come across a situation when one of your customers churned because they believed your tool doesn’t have a specific feature or integration? But, in reality, your tool does have it, and the only hurdle between them and that feature is a single click of a button. Your customer was, unfortunately, *sigh*, merely unaware of it. 

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, here’s some saving grace. Firstly, Hiten advises SaaS marketers NOT to send product update emails for every tiny fix. You only want your customers to take notice when you have an update that’s useful to them. 

Alongside publishing these big announcements as in-app notifications, sending weekly or monthly product update emails not only keeps your customers informed but also gives them a sense of how your business is driven to solve their problems.

Product update email by Help Scout

Take a look at the sample product update email above. Instead of merely listing feature/product updates, Help Scout addressed the problems users can solve with the recent releases. Organize them under categories and add in a bunch of supporting images, and there you have it, the ideal product update email!

Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Decide on a product update email send frequency and adhere to the schedule.
  2. Make sure you follow-up with users who personally requested the feature update.
  3. List the benefits, not just the features.
  4. Make it visually easy to process the information.

c. Newsletters

Ah, Newsletters– the easiest email marketing hack in the book! They work just as well for SaaS as they do for any other B2B business. Once you identify your target audience, craft elegant newsletters with a collection of share-worthy content.

SaaS email marketing example- newsletter

Here are some tips for creating a compelling newsletter email:

  1. Follow a standard format for all your newsletters.
  2. Maintain a minimalistic design.
  3. Ensure you do not include too many advertisements.
  4. Balance educational content with promotional content.
  5. Do not distract the reader with too many CTAs.
  6. Think of a killer subject line for the email.

d. Promotional emails

This kind of marketing email needs no explanation. They are no different from the promotional emails you receive from B2C companies. It’s just the incentive that varies. You could be offering reduced pricing, extended free trial, discounted add-ons, and much more.

Grammarly;s promotional email

While sending promotional emails, you should be aware of the following:

  1. Too many promotional emails may annoy subscribers and lead them to unsubscribe.
  2. Use design-rich templates to achieve higher click-through rates.
  3. Ensure your SaaS promotional emails are time-sensitive offers.

f. Feedback emails

Nobody, I say nobody can judge your services better than your customers. Set your user expectations straight and understand the problems your customers face by sending a straightforward feedback request email. Apart from identifying pain-points and user-experience issues, customers feel valued and appreciated when they receive an email asking them for their feedback.

feedback emails

Make sure the email is crisp and short and includes the following details:

  1. Your expectation as a business from the survey. 
  2. How much time it will take for them to complete the survey.
  3. If you want more responses, toss in an incentive too. 😉

Apart from the emails discussed above, you’d have to send onboarding emails, transactional emails, amongst others.

4. Build your brand

Irrespective of whether your brand is active on social media or other channels, being a part of the SaaS environment, there’s no easier way to building brand awareness than sending emails. 

Freshmarketer email templates

  1. Standardized email templates: Standardizing email marketing templates is one of the easiest ways to reinforce brand recognition. Ensure all your emails follow a common theme or template to make it instantly recognizable. It means getting your company logo, the essential communication details, and also the fonts and colors right.
  2. Setting the tone right: Being a SaaS marketer can be demanding, especially since your service or product is on the cloud. There is a branding tip; marketing gurus swear by. It’s to decide on a personality for your brand. It could be professional, friendly, colloquial, or even just plain right neutral. Once you decide on it, make sure you stick to it across all communication channels and marketing resources. As for your emails, write persuasive, relevant copies that speak your customers’ language, and that’s what makes a successful email campaign.

5. Leave the rest to A/B tests

If you are new to email marketing to a SaaS clientele, you might find it challenging to devise the perfect copy, graphics, subject line, and other design elements. To achieve impactful results, you’d have to decipher the right combination of elements that make up your email campaign. And, there isn’t an easier way to achieve this than A/B testing.

Before you begin A/B testing, kindly erase the presumption that running A/B tests is a singular task. It isn’t a one-time thing. It demands your patience and discipline to deliver effective results. For starters, you may A/B test the email with a shorter subject line versus a longer one. Next, the winning variation is tested for two different email copies. Likewise, the winning variation is then tested for different versions until you see an apparent crowd favorite.

6. Use email automation to save time and money

From all the tips, tricks, and suggestions I have bestowed upon you throughout this article, you may have noticed that a considerable chunk of them would require the assistance of a handy-dandy email marketing automation tool. To acquire leads, market, and eventually sell your product to them, unleash the power of email marketing automation, that is, if you aren’t one of the 49% of businesses using some form of email automation already.

Benefits of freshmarketer

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Freshmarketer now, and we’ll see you on the other side!

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I guess I’ve run out of tips, but if you feel like there’s a tip I missed that’s worth sharing, feel free to comment below!