Running a SaaS company differs from running a regular B2C or B2B brand. So, you can’t apply the same marketing strategies and expect them to work. One primary example of this is email marketing, which looks far different for a SaaS company than other types of businesses.
It’s much more complex to run a successful email marketing campaign with a SaaS product, which is why so few brands rely on it. However, if you can unlock the potential of email, you’ll find it an invaluable tool to close more deals and strengthen your bottom line.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at how to master SaaS email marketing.
Decoding SaaS Email Marketing Strategies
SaaS email marketing is so challenging because email is a big part of the customer experience. So, whereas a single email can lead to a one-time purchase with a standard B2C company, it may trigger an entire lifecycle in a SaaS environment. The emails begin once a user signs up for a free trial or buys your product.
So, if you’re used to traditional email marketing strategies, you may find yourself floundering and trying to get traction with a single user. So, let’s break down some of the core elements of SaaS email marketing to see what makes it work (or not).
Selling to individuals vs. teams
When running a B2C business, your target user is often the final decision-maker. So, if you can convince them to buy your product, you’re golden. However, with SaaS, you often sell to an entire business or a team within a specific company. You will likely have to convince multiple people to sign off on the product and get everyone on board once they commit.
In this case, a single sale could lead to multiple email lifecycles among team members. Because everyone on the team needs to know how to work the product effectively, you must treat each person as an individual user, even though they’re not paying for the service.
Lengthy customer lifecycles
One of the primary strategies for building a SaaS user base is to offer either a free trial or a freemium product. This way, individuals can sample the software and see how well it works for their needs before committing. While this process can be hugely helpful (we’ll discuss customer data later), it’s also more complicated.
For example, if someone is currently using a free trial, your email marketing thread needs to inspire them to switch to a paid model. If they’re using a freemium version, your goal is to get them to upgrade to a better (paid) version. These emails will differ greatly from those you create for single-use products or deals.
Targeting churn points
Churn describes how many users stop using your product after signing up, either for a free or paid software version. Ideally, your churn rate will be relatively low, but that’s not always the case.
So, when developing an email marketing campaign, you want to focus on the triggers of customer churn. For example, do most people leave the service once they become paid users? Or do they leave just before the free trial ends? Knowing this information helps you pinpoint the problem, address it, and market your services accordingly.
SaaS email marketing requires much more data analysis and rarely leads to instant results. Sometimes, you can run a campaign for weeks before you see positive returns, and until then, you may wonder if your efforts are worthwhile or a waste of time. With the right preparation and tools, you can boost your email ROI significantly and set your marketing on autopilot.
Crafting a Robust Email Marketing Strategy for SaaS
Knowing the basics of marketing your SaaS product is one thing, but how can you put that knowledge into a single marketing campaign? Here are some tips on how to craft a strategy that works, even if you’re new to the world of software as a service.
Know your audience
This mantra is true for all types of marketing but is especially critical for SaaS brands. As we mentioned, there’s a big difference between selling to an individual or a team, so you must know everyone involved in the purchase decision.
So, instead of focusing on one person, you may have to create user profiles for multiple people within the same company. These profiles aim to anticipate and address objections before they happen. This way, you can create a seamless marketing and sales experience.
Get feedback whenever possible
Typically, it’s easy to tell when new users churn from your software, but it’s not always apparent why. While you could solicit feedback from users who’ve left your service, they may not be willing to provide insightful answers. Instead, you may want to rely on your existing customers and see whether there was a point where they thought about leaving but didn’t.
Understanding these churn points will allow you to address specific issues within your email marketing campaign. By mitigating those problems upfront, you can likely retain more new users and turn them into paying customers.
Deliver personalized attention
For standard email marketing campaigns, personalization means little more than putting someone’s name in the body of the message. With SaaS marketing, you must dig deeper and connect with your audience as much as possible. The more you know about each user, the easier it is to get them to convert to a paid customer.
Fortunately, with SaaS, freemium models, and free trials, you can gather data about your users immediately. You can see how they use the product and which components they like best. From there, you can craft a more compelling email campaign that addresses their pain points and individual needs.
While this process takes much longer and requires more diligence from the marketing team, the results (i.e., higher sales) can speak for themselves.
Optimizing Delivery: the Best Time to Send an Email
Sometimes, a low email open rate is simply because you sent it at the wrong time of day. Remember, the average user receives over 100 emails every day, so it’s easy for your content to get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes, your email gets buried because the user is busy with other activities. In other instances, it may look like a generic sales pitch, so your audience deleted it without reading the content.
Unfortunately, there is no “correct” time to send an email within a campaign. Time can change from person to person and even daily for the same individual. So, there’s a lot of trial and error involved. Thankfully, AI programs can “learn” about your users’ habits and determine the best email time. While this isn’t an exact science, it allows your team to focus on other tasks.
Data-Driven Segmentation: A Pillar for Success
One of the best things you have going for you in a SaaS email marketing campaign is the ability to capture and analyze user data. By leaning into free trials and freemium versions, you can access far more information than you would from a traditional B2C campaign.
Even better, automation tools allow you to segment your audience immediately with minimal oversight. While someone still needs to be in charge of your content creation and curation, a program can filter users based on their activities within the program and how they respond to emails within a specific campaign.
It’s hard to overstate how valuable this information is when used correctly. You can calculate your marketing ROI based on this data if you know how to analyze it. Analysis can tell you factors like:
- Which features are most valuable to your user?
- When do they use the tool the most? When are they least active in the software?
- Which features are they maximizing? This means the elements that would expand with a paid version (i.e., data storage).
- Have they asked questions about the software or experienced any technical issues?
Overall, you can leverage this data and customize your email marketing accordingly. When you can address specific pain points or offer features and benefits you know your users will enjoy, they’re far more likely to upgrade to a paid version.
Mastering SaaS Email Marketing: Key Takeaways and Next Steps
As you can see, developing a comprehensive SaaS email marketing strategy takes time and effort, but the results can help strengthen your bottom line. Not only can automation tools help streamline the process, but you can also outsource content creation to WriterAccess. By connecting with experienced writers worldwide, you can craft more compelling emails that drive conversions and improve customer satisfaction.
Try WriterAccess for free for two weeks and see how it can supercharge your email marketing goals in 2024 and beyond.