You’ve probably heard the myth that email marketing is dead. With the increasing popularity of social media marketing, SEO, mobile analytics, sales enablement, video marketing and chatbots, it appears like email has become obsolete.
However, metrics show that email marketing is still a very effective strategy for boosting engagement rates and generating more sales. In 2019, it was said that there were 3.9 billion email users, with this number expected to rise to 4.48 billion users in 2024. In 2018, about 281 billion emails were sent daily globally, with the figure projected to rise to more than 347 billion in 2023.
In terms of engagement, a study showed that the average email open rate in the software industry is 21.29 %. Another study revealed that email marketing generates a return on investment (ROI) of 4400%. This means that for every $1 spent, you can get $44 in return. All these statistics show that email marketing is far from dead.‘In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users, with this number expected to rise to 4.48 billion users in 2024’ Click To Tweet
In this article, I will cover several SaaS email marketing tips that will help maximize your return on investment. I will also look at some real-life examples of excellent SaaS email marketing strategies.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing refers to the process of sending commercial email messages to customers or prospects. This marketing strategy is used to inform, build a community around your brand and drive sales.
Types of marketing emails
To keep your audience engaged, you need to use different types of emails in your SaaS email marketing strategy. Some of the messages should sell or generate interest in your product, while others should offer an exceptional user experience.
Here are different types of marketing emails to use based on the buyer’s journey of your subscribers:
- Welcome email – This kind of email is the ideal option for appreciating and providing more information to those who have signed up for your product trial, newsletter or other offer. If you are introducing a product or service to new users, use the welcome email to explain how everything works
Here is a warm and informative welcome email from Wistia:
- Subscription confirmation email – After signing up, a subscriber should receive a subscription confirmation email. Companies use such messages to get rid of addresses entered by mistake or incorrect email addresses. Sending such emails will help you reduce spam complaints and maintain a clean mailing list.
Keep your subscription confirmation emails as short and concise as possible. Individuals can confirm their subscription by entering a code from the email on your site, or simply clicking on a button or link.
Here is a subscription confirmation email from Stripo:
- Announcement email – These emails tell customers about upcoming events, or introduce a company’s new products and services. The aim of the announcement is to get your audience interested in something new from your company.
To create an effective announcement email, be sure to state clearly what it is about at the top of the email and in the subject line. Describe the benefits of whatever you are announcing, and end your message with a clear call to action. Finally, be sure to select recipients that would be interested in your message. Otherwise you will end up with numerous unsubscribe requests instead of new clients.
An email from Zapier announcing new integrations to their software:
- Newsletters – Email newsletters are very effective tools for educating prospects and customers about your business and promoting your products or services. You can nurture existing customers with product announcements, company news and feedback requests.
CHECK THIS TOO: 15 Tips For Crafting An Engaging Email Newsletter
Like newspapers, newsletters create a sense of expectation in your readers. The main aim of a monthly, bi-weekly, weekly or daily newsletter is to maintain regular connection with your audience, as well as boost blog or website traffic. To achieve these objectives, make sure your newsletter is well-structured, interesting, personalized and visually appealing.
Monthly newsletter from Zapier featuring blog articles:
- Lead nurturing email – These kinds of emails target people that are yet to make a decision to buy. The main aim of lead nurturing campaigns is to stay connected with subscribers and encourage them to purchase by highlighting the benefits of your goods or services.
To succeed with this kind of email, be sure to consider the recipients’ pains, needs and interests first. This way, you can offer valuable content and enjoy a high ROI from your campaign. The content of your emails should be tailored based on where the recipient is in the buyer’s journey. Start by acknowledging their needs, and then explain how your product or service can solve their problem.‘To succeed with lead nurturing emails, consider the recipients’ pains, needs and interests’ Click To Tweet
A lead nurturing email from Square:
- Special offer email – This is an email that comes with the promise of a gift or a discount. Such campaigns are designed to motivate subscribers to buy as soon as possible.
To encourage readers to take action, place a time limitation on your offer. Keep your copy short and powerful. Segment your audience and personalize the emails.
Here is a brief and simple special offer email from Uber:
- Re-engagement email – If several months have passed and your subscribers haven’t read your message, consider sending a re-engagement email. This kind of email prompts your subscribers to re-engage with your brand and helps weed out passive subscribers from your list.
Find out why your audience has not been reading your emails. Provide the option to adjust the frequency of emails they receive in case they are not happy with the current frequency. Remember to add social media buttons for individuals who would like to communicate via this channel. Use visual or text elements to demonstrate the importance of your relationships with customers.
CHECK THIS TOO: 10 Effective Email Marketing Tips Small Businesses Can Use
Here is an email sent by Dropbox to remind the user that the service is still available and why it would be helpful.
- Order confirmation email – After making a purchase, the customer will want to be assured that everything is going well. Be sure to send them an automated order conformation email right away. Besides including the tracking code, order number and details about each item, the confirmation email should also mention discounts or recommendations for future purchases.
- Abandoned cart email – The aim of abandoned cart emails is to remind customers or prospects of a purchase they almost made. To maximize their effectiveness, be sure to send these emails within 24 hours from the time the customer abandoned the cart. If you wait too long, they might actually forget about their order.
The abandoned cart email should include the goods in the user’s cart, show the price of each item and the total price. To encourage readers to take action, throw in a discount.
- Brand story emails – Is there an interesting story behind your brand? Storytelling is a very powerful tool for eliciting an emotional response from your customers and prospects. The unique story should tell your audience who you are, what you can do and how you can help them. Making an emotional connection with readers will boost customer loyalty and drive purchase decisions.
Here is a unique type of brand storytelling where customers talk about their success with the product:
- Free trial expiration email – Informing your customers about a free trial that is ending soon is very important in SaaS email marketing. It is especially essential if the trial does not renew automatically. The email should mention the date of expiration of the trial, discuss what it means and highlight the options for paid plans. Provide a clear explanation on how to shift to a paid plan and continue using your service
Here is an email by QuickBooks seeking to convert prospects from a free trial to a paid plan.
- Unsubscribe emails – When someone cancels their subscription, look for ways to convince them to stay. For instance, you could offer a different pricing plan with a good set of features. Don’t forget to add a prominent and strong call to action.
Here is a good example of an unsubscribe email from BetaList:
Benefits of SaaS email marketing
Here are some of the benefits of including email marketing in your SaaS marketing plan to reach out to your prospects and customers:
- Affordability – One major benefit of SaaS email marketing is its lower cost compared to other marketing channels. There are no postage or print costs involved. Though there might be some overheads for sending hundreds of emails, the costs are much lower than what you would spend to use other channels.
- Personalized and targeted content – With SaaS email marketing, you can segment your audience into different lists in order to send very personalized content. By adjusting your messages for different audiences, your emails will always be engaging.
- Easy to get started – You don’t have to be very tech savvy in order to use email marketing. Most email marketing platforms come with drag and drop editors that allow you to create attractive emails fast and easily.
- Better brand recognition – Since it gives you direct access into the inboxes of prospects and customers, SaaS email marketing is a great tactic for building your brand identity. Creating valuable content for your audience builds credibility and gives you an edge over the competition.
- Easy to measure – Most email marketing software come with the ability to keep track of metrics such as open rate, click-through rate and conversion rate. Open rate refers to the number of times your email was actually opened, while click-through rate (CTR) shows you how many recipients clicked the links in your email. Conversion rate shows the number of people that followed through on your call-to-action.
- Increased traffic to your site – SaaS email marketing is an effective strategy to get customers and prospects to visit your website. All you need to do is include a link to your site within the body of the email. This gives your audience the chance to interact with other relevant pieces of content available in your blog or website.
- Establish authority – As a SaaS business, your objective is to establish yourself as an expert in the industry. Sharing valuable content through SaaS email marketing will keep your audience engaged and position your business as an authority.
- Optimize your time – Unlike other SaaS marketing strategies, email marketing is not time-consuming or complicated. Within minutes, you can create a professional email marketing campaign and send it to multiple subscribers.
‘SaaS email marketing establishes you as an expert in your industry’ Click To Tweet
READ THIS TOO: SaaS Digital Marketing: Get All The Customers You Need To Grow
Maximizing SaaS email marketing ROI
Now that we know what email marketing is and its benefits, let us look at some strategies that will help maximize the ROI for your SaaS email marketing campaigns.
1. Select the right email marketing software
Popular email tools in the market include Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Sendinblue, Mailjet, HubSpot and Get Response. With all the options available, finding the right one for your business can be confusing. Here are some questions that will help you make a decision:
- What is your budget? If you don’t have much money, go for the cheapest email marketing services
- What kind of emails do you intend to send and how frequently?
- When it comes to designing emails, what is your skill level? If you are a total beginner, choose a tool that comes with email templates, as well as a drag and drop email editor
- Do you intend to set up automated email workflows? If so, find out if the software offers email marketing automation
- If your business communicates with different categories of people, what segmentation capabilities are offered?
When choosing an email service provider, you should also think about your future needs. Be sure to choose a software that can provide the necessary features as your business grows. Our recommendation for user-friendly and scalable email marketing software would be HubSpot.
2. Set clear goals for your marketing campaign
Successful email marketing requires setting clear goals from the onset. Here are some examples of common goals:
- Increasing leads
- Retaining customers
- Getting subscribers to sign up for a free trial
- Converting free-trial subscribers into paying customers
- Getting testimonials from satisfied customers
RELATED READ: Why Is Goal Setting Important to Inbound Marketing?
Your goals will determine what kind of content would work best for your audience. For instance, if you want to get people to opt in for a free trial, send copy explaining the benefits they will enjoy at no cost.
Your call to action button will also be determined by the goals you want to achieve. For example, if you want to inform subscribers about a new product feature, ‘learn how it works’ would be an appropriate CTA.
Finally, your goals will dictate what metrics you need to track to see if your efforts are yielding the desired results. If you want to lower the churn rate, monitor the retention rate. But if you want to boost sales, keep track of the email conversion rate.
RELATED READ: 15 Email Marketing Checklists: Grow Your Sales By 114%
3. Understand your subscribers
To meet the needs of your subscribers, take time to know them beyond their names and email addresses. Here are some questions to help better understand the buyer persona of your subscribers:
- Where did they arrive from? Did they sign up for your newsletter from a lead magnet or a blog post?
- Why did they subscribe to your emails?
- What are their basic demographics? (age, company details, job title, location etc.)
- What is their biggest pain point?
The best way to get these details about your subscribers is by sending surveys.
4. Tailor content based on where people are in the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is the process customers go through before they decide to purchase a service or product. It is made up of three main stages:
- Awareness stage: The prospect comes to the realization that they have a problem
- Consideration stage: The prospect defines their problem and begins to research on the options for solving it
- Decision stage: The prospect chooses the best approach, method or strategy for solving their problem
When you know where each of your subscribers is in the buyer’s journey, you will be able to customize your emails to suit them. Here are the types of emails you should send to subscribers at various stages in the buyer’s journey:
- Welcome emails
- Getting started emails
- New user offers
- Informational emails
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Free trial invitations
- Educational emails offering free eBooks, white papers, blog posts etc.
- Trial ending reminders
- Abandoned cart reminders
- Customer success stories
- Thank you emails
5. Personalize your emails
Want to make your customers feel understood and valued? Then be sure to add a personal touch in your email marketing. Personalizing emails is a very effective strategy for building trusting relationships with customers and prospects.‘Personalizing emails makes customers feel understood and valued’ Click To Tweet
Here are some personalization tips that will have a positive impact on your clicks, opens and conversion rate:
- Address the subscriber by their first name in the email content and subject line (Hey Jane!)
- When scheduling campaigns, consider the time zones of your subscribers. Sending your email at the right time will maximize the chances of it being read
- Segment your audience to ensure that the messages are relevant and targeted
6. Optimize your emails for mobile
A recent study revealed that 41.9% of emails are opened on a mobile device. To engage your subscribers and boost your sales, you must ensure that your emails are mobile friendly.
‘41.9% of emails are opened on a mobile device’
Here are some tips that you can use to optimize your emails for mobile:
- Check the subject line length – Your subscribers should be able to read the entire subject line on a mobile device without scrolling. Research has shown that the ideal subject line length for mobile is 25-30 characters
- Keep your copy short – A mobile-friendly email should be short and concise. Use headers, short paragraphs and bulleted points to make your content scannable
- Make CTAs prominent – Your call to action button should be large enough so your subscribers can easily click on it. Ideally, it should be at least 44 x 44 pixels. To maximize visibility, be sure to place the CTA near the top of your email
- Leave clicking room – To make your email click-friendly, be sure to leave lots of white space around the CTAs. This will make it easy for readers to click on the CTA button without clicking something else by mistake
- Optimize images – Mobile devices can be selective with displaying graphics. To optimize your images, reduce the size of the image as well as the file size. You should also add alt text so that, in case the image is not displayed, readers will have a clue of what should be there
- Test your emails on multiple devices – Before sending out your email, take time to test it across multiple devices
7. Use power words and videos
Including power words in your email will elicit an emotional response from your audience and encourage them to take action. Here are some of the words you could use to improve your email marketing campaigns:
Embedding videos in your emails is another great strategy for grabbing your subscribers’ attention and boosting engagement. These could be brand videos, animated videos, demo videos, educational videos, industry updates, tutorials or product updates.
Research has shown that video can increase click rates by 65% and open rates by 19%.
8. Optimize email deliverability
Email deliverability is simply the ability to deliver an email to a recipient’s inbox. When deliverability is compromised for any reason, your email will end up in the spam folder. In the worst case scenario, you might find yourself blocked by the internet service provider.
Here are some strategies you can use to enhance email deliverability:
- Avoid phrases and words that could trigger spam filters. Spammy words to avoid include instant, guarantee, extra, promise, unlimited, urgent and make money
- Update your subscriber database by getting rid of inactive addresses and unengaged users
- Always include an unsubscribe link
- Only send emails to people that have opted in
Final Words on SaaS Email Marketing
When done properly, SaaS email marketing can help your business retain existing customers, find new ones and build a loyal following. Applying the strategies listed above will enhance your chances of success with email marketing.
Other Related Articles:
- What are the Benefits of Email Marketing?
- 10 Effective Email Marketing Tips Small Businesses Can Use
- The Role of Email Marketing in Sales (Then, Today and Tomorrow)
- 5 Types of Effective B2B Marketing Emails
- Helpful Tips for Creating an Effective SaaS Marketing Strategy