The Most Effective Email Marketing Strategies for SaaS

Kate Parish
October 10, 2022

Like any other business, SaaS projects can benefit significantly from email marketing. However, even experienced marketing specialists may find launching SaaS email marketing campaigns pretty complicated. 

Most companies have a single email marketing list with leads on it. To encourage these leads to make purchases, they send sales campaigns including special offers, news, etc. In most cases, the active interaction ends after the purchase.

But for a SaaS company, the work only starts when a lead converts to a client. The next step is to introduce them to a product, support them in achieving their objectives, keep in touch throughout the journey, and retain their custom.

Overall, any SaaS email marketing campaign should include three types of content:

  • Lifecycle content which is delivered to users after their signup for your product. This includes emails dedicated to user onboarding, upgrades, unsubscription, etc.;
  • Marketing content which is sent to potential customers. This includes sales efforts, lead nurturing and lead magnet programs;
  • Transactional emails such as password resets, product alerts, or billing notifications.

Setting it up requires advanced knowledge of client data, computer engineering, and email marketing. In this article, you’ll find the best email marketing strategies for SaaS that can make your work easier and provide better results.

1. Determine the Lifecycle Segments

As soon as the user starts the trial, you get customer information that can, and should, be used for audience segmentation. With backend data you'll be able to monitor how the user interacts with the product, and consequently, you'll know what information will be relevant and helpful for them. For example, if your product is an online store constructor, you could send valuable information on the product page design, checkout UX ideas, after the client buys a subscription or upgrades to premium.

Your lifecycle segmentation can look something like this:

  • Trial period
  • Trial is expiring
  • Expired trial, no further actions
  • Paying users
  • The most active paying users
  • Cancelled users

2. Find Proper Email Marketing Tools

It’s worth doing your due diligence before selecting an email marketing tool. Are there any specific features you need? Does your company have certain security protocols?  Among the most popular ones are Mailchimp, ZohoMail, and ProtonMail. For transactional emails, you will need a service for instant mail delivery, like SendGrid or Postmark.

3. Start Simple

Complex campaigns require solid experience and will be hard to handle at first. Even if you’ve managed marketing campaigns for projects in other branches like eCommerce marketing campaigns, it’s still necessary to analyse how your audience reacts to different kinds of content. Start with straightforward campaigns that concentrate on clear goals:

  • Create an onboarding campaign to introduce new users with the product (check out the Grammarly newsletter below)
  • Use simple email automation for lead magnets
  • Prepare evergreen content

You'll eventually feel secure enough to add more layers to your email automation.

Screenshots taken from the newsletter from the official Grammarly website

4. Personalise Emails

First of all, take into account the customer’s language and timezone. Pay attention to what company they work for and their position. If some users can benefit from specific features of your product, you could create a newsletter describing their capabilities. Such an approach will make your content more individualised and valuable. 

For instance, Slack has a SlackAPI tool, allowing you to build apps inside the platform according to the company’s needs. That’s why Slack generates a lot of content for developers.

Screenshot taken on the official Slack website

Another step to better personalisation is letting subscribers choose what kind of content they do and don’t want to receive from you. It’ll not only show them that you care about their experience but also help prevent unsubscriptions.

5. Re-engage Inactive Subscribers

People who subscribe to your email list are demonstrating their interest in the product. But along the way, some subscribers can stop participating for a variety of reasons. 

In this scenario, you may want to provide rewards or give your followers the motivation to make a return. For instance, you could send your inactive audience an email reminding that you have improved your services or implemented a new feature.

You may even send them a request for feedback, asking why they no longer use your SaaS product. It'll give you valuable insights and provide hints about the product's weak points.

Screenshots taken from the newsletters from the official Grammarly, Leesa, and Virtue Map websites

6. Take Care of the Design

All emails should have a unified style, with well-readable text and good quality images.

It’s vital to ensure that your newsletters are adapted for mobile devices, as according to Emailmonday, 85% of users access email through their smartphones. Otherwise, the newsletter will instantly go to the spam folder.

7. Employ Micro-Conversions to Keep Users Engaged

You may use emails to persuade the receiver to make a significant decision, like upgrading their account or signing up for a trial. However, you can't count on someone always acting that way. Many people who receive your emails might not be prepared for a big step like an account upgrade or upsell.

It is preferable to aim for micro-conversions to retain their interest. These are quick activities that a person may perform to get more involved with your service or content, like following a link, reading news, etc.

Screenshots taken from the newsletters from the official Vimeo, Emplifi, and Fiverr websites

8. Perform A/B Testing

Planning is good, but testing reveals the actual situation, highlighting your work's strengths and weaknesses. In A/B testing, you compare the performance of different email options to find the one that shows better results.

You might, for instance, create two newsletters and send each to a different part of your email list. Throughout the testing phase, monitor the email's open rates and the number of clicks on the links to find the most effective options. 

Final Word

Email marketing is one of few opportunities to stay in touch with SaaS customers throughout their journey with your product. This is why it is a must-have tool for your business.  

Indeed, creating an efficient and engaging email marketing campaign is tough. Yet proper audience segmentation, email testing, regular performance reviews, as well as adhering to the practices described above ensure a smooth process and high rates as a result.

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