SaaS providers face unique marketing challenges that other types of companies don’t have to worry about. Since SaaS services rely on monthly or yearly fees, these companies rely on lifecycle email campaigns that keep their customers engaged and that provide constant value. If you’re a SaaS provider, your email list is one of your most valuable commodities.
If you’re wondering how an email campaign can help your business, read on. We’re going to discuss the benefits of these campaigns and provide you with some tips to maximize effectiveness. We’ll talk about different types of lifecycle emails for SaaS customers, but before we get into too many details, we need to talk about segmentation.
Email marketing for software companies should have five goals:
- Get your messages delivered
- Make sure they show up in someone’s inbox and not in spam
- Convince the recipient to open the email
- Engage the viewer so that they keep reading
- Get them to follow your call to action
The best way to make sure your email meets these five criteria is to personalize them, and the best way to do this is through email segmentation.
Almost everyone in the industry knows what email segmentation is, but a surprising number of companies aren’t using it effectively. In essence, it’s organizing your contacts into different categories so that you can send them targeted messages.
Most people have heard about the generic segments that companies should place their customers in, but there’s a problem with this one size fits all mentality. You might place customers in prospects, active customers, at-risk clients, and other general segments, but you’re not going deep enough. You have to think like your customers and stop assuming that they’re defined by where they are in your sales funnel.
For example, let’s look at a common segment: prospects.
Depending on the type of software you provide, you’re going to need a different sales pitch for someone that’s 30 vs. someone that’s 55. If you operate in several countries, you’ll need to alter your marketing plans for each country as well. You might also need to change your messaging based on gender, income, purchase history, and more.
In short, if you’re grouping people into five segments, you aren’t maximizing your marketing campaign.
You’re probably thinking that this sounds complicated, and it is. Most businesses use a professional company to handle this for them because they don’t have the time or resources to segment their email list and plan a marketing strategy for each group.
The benefit of segmentation, though, is that you’ll experience higher open rates and conversions. Tailoring messages for smaller groups will help you connect with your audience and improve the chance that they’ll take a preferred action.
It’s important to remember that even as we talk about the five stages of a customer lifecycle, you should tailor each message towards smaller groups that suit your business.
Benefits of Lifecycle Email Campaigns And The Types Of Emails To Send
Most people think that social media is the best form of marketing, but that isn’t true. Email marketing has a median ROI of 122%, which is four times higher than other types of campaigns, including Twitter and Facebook. For SaaS companies, running effective lifecycle email campaigns will provide greater value. Let’s look at some of the ways these campaigns can help you.
Educate Customers To Drive Conversions
Every website you visit has a signup form that asks for your email. The problem that many websites face is that visitors tend to ignore these forms. They don’t see the value in signing up and giving out their personal information.
Take a look at your website’s form. Is it asking for too much information? Is it providing customers value? Then think of yourself. Would you give someone the information you’re asking for without having a good reason to do so?
There are two things that companies can do to improve their signups. First, only get the information you need RIGHT NOW. Unless someone is signing up for your service, you don’t need their city, state, gender, or anything else. If you’re asking them to sign up for a newsletter, you need a first name and email address, and you might ask them what services they’re interested in. Anything more than that could scare customers off.
Second, you need to provide your potential subscribers with value. Instead of asking them to sign up, give them a reason. Produce a series of emails or an e-book to give clients when they sign up. This will help increase the number of people that sign up to receive emails while also establishing your authority on a subject.
Everyone’s favorite internet marketer (or at the least the most well known), Neil Patel, is a master of the educational email. He gets people to sign up for emails to receive a guide using well-placed pop-ups asking for email addresses. Here’s a simple plain text email that is super effective.
He then provides the guide or a link to an informational article. The article or guide contains the sales pitch at the end, not the email. You can do the same with your business. If you offer software, give new email subscribers information that leads to a transactional email later in the lifecycle.
Appeal to Trust in Authority Using CEO/Founder Emails
There’s a good chance you get an authority email daily. These emails play into two basic human emotions: ego and an inclination to trust authority.
People trust authority figures, and they also feel special when authority figures recognize them. You can see this in everyday life as well as marketing. Anytime you go to a website and see reviews from people with titles under their name, that company is using this principle. Pick up a book and you’ll see other authors telling you how great the book is. These small blurbs are in the front of books because publishing companies know that you’re more willing to trust the word of someone you view as an authoritative figure in writing.
These emails seek to establish trust and authority with the reader.
When your client gets an email “from the CEO,” they’re more likely to believe the information that’s inside. You can use this type of email at any stage of the lifecycle, from the initial email introducing your company to the email you send to lapsed customers.
The CEO of Monday.com, Roy Man, uses this format to welcome those that signup for his website. He starts by letting the customer know who he is, welcomes the customer by name, and then has a quick line that shows the value of the product. He then provides a video to the customer before signing off with his title and name again. It’s a short but powerful email that welcomes the customer in a way that makes them feel unique.
Walk Customers Through Your Sales Funnel Using Email Guides
Some new customers that sign up for a SaaS feel like the process might be too complicated. People aren’t fans of the unknown, especially when signing up for a service that costs them money. One way to help push them towards signing up and alleviate any reservations they may have is through an email guide.
There are a few ways that you can do this. The first is by sending emails to someone who started the process and then backed out. Shoot them a quick email reminding them about the value of your service and showing them step by step how to finish the signup process. Including pictures and videos will help you drive conversions.
You can also use these emails as a way to show what your service provides. Before someone signs up, send them a guide on using your product that shows the features of your service. This allows you to give the customers a preview of your product and show them the value you provide.
Olark sends these emails to customers that walk them through the entire onboarding experience. These emails have pictures and also give the viewer contact information to reach out to someone if they’re having problems. They show readers exactly which button to press and takes them through each step.
Video marketing inside of your email is another powerful way to reach customers. A tour using Youtube or Loom videos will allow you to interact with your clients and possibly reach new clients.
Show Customers Value And Increase SaaS MRR With Feature Emails
One of the biggest challenges that face SaaS companies is that they rely on customers renewing their service. For customer retention, it’s important to provide your customers with ongoing value that convinces them to remain loyal to your brand.
One of the best ways to increase SaaS MRR is through feature emails that either remind your customers of features that they aren’t using or that introduces them to new features your service offers. You can follow the same method that you use for the email guides we talked about above, and you can also schedule online conferences to discuss those features.
One great example of using this method is Amazon. Over 100 million people have Amazon Prime, but most of them only use a small number of services provided. As a way to keep its members engaged and improve customer retention, Amazon frequently sends out emails that remind users about services that they aren’t using, such as Prime Video or Prime Music.
These emails serve as friendly reminders to their customers that they aren’t even scratching the surface of the value they’re getting from their Prime membership. Amazon hopes that by reminding customers of the services they have, they can convince them to become brand ambassadors.
Create Brand Ambassadors Through Call To Actions
The best way to grow your SaaS business is by convincing your current users to spread the word. Customer lifecycle marketing allows you to do so by reminding your email recipients to leave reviews of your product across the web.
You should add a call to action at the end of every email, but there are some ways that you can improve the chances of receiving positive reviews and growing your brand awareness. Once a customer has had the chance to use your service, send them an email (preferably an authority email like the one mentioned above) that asks them for their thoughts on your product.
Ask them to fill out a quick online form that you link to in your email. Once they go to the survey page, have them rank your service on a scale from 1-5. You can also ask about individual things, such as user experience, customer service, etc.
If they rate your business a 4 or 5, thank them for their ranking and ask them to spread the word. If they rank you a 1-3, invite them to email you personally with any issues that you can address.
This type of email and survey do two things. First, it lets your customers know that you value their opinion. If they believe they are emailing the CEO personally (you can either set up the email address to go to the CEO or another account) it will make them feel even more valued.
Second, it helps you get positive reviews while getting ahead of negative reviews. If people believe that you’re addressing their complaints, they’re less likely to leave you bad reviews on industry sites.
Bring Customers Back With In-App Triggered Email Notifications
There are times when customers will forget things. Sometimes, they’ll get ready to check-out online but something comes up and they forget. They may decide that they don’t like the price of your product so they go somewhere else to shop around. Other times, they may forget to renew their services. In both of these cases, they may need a subtle push to get them to sign up for your service.
With in-app triggered email notifications, you can design an email that goes out to customers that leave something inside of their shopping cart or don’t renew their service.
Best buy performs excellent triggered lifecycle email campaigns. If you leave items in your cart, you’ll receive an image-rich email that shows you the item that you left, reminds you that it’s still there, gives you a price match guarantee, shows reviews and similar products, and that gives the reader social proof through reviews of the item.
You can also offer the customer a small discount in your email or offer them a free trial of the service if they come back. The goal is to engage the customer and convince them to come back to your website. Whatever it takes to get them there, do it.
Are You Ready To Improve Your Lifecycle Email Campaigns?
No matter what your needs are, we’re here to help you succeed with your lifecycle email campaigns. Our team of experts can manage all aspects of your customer lifecycle marketing emails. Our goal is to scale your channel’s revenue output by helping you make data-driven decisions that produce measurable results.
Ready to get started and take your email game to the next level? Get in touch with us today!