SaaS

Email Marketing

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According to the SaaS Sales Statistics from 99Firms, software companies with an annual growth rate of 20% have only an 8% chance of surviving.

And while offering a freemium version is great for drawing interest in your product, a strong SaaS email marketing strategy may be the best tool for boosting your growth rate.

Especially when it comes to SaaS, email marketing supersedes other channels because it enables you to educate users so they get more value from your product, send targeted messages at the right time to increase conversions, and reduce churn with retention strategies.

We’ve developed a framework for creating email marketing campaigns that:

  • Convert freemium users into premium customers
  • Foster long-term relationships with your customers
  • Reduce your churn rate

While most other content about this topic only provides email marketing tips or examples of emails to send, we’ll provide you with:

  • A framework to create your own email marketing strategy
  • 18 proven email templates that you can send
  • A process to test and optimize your campaigns

Use this method and you will convert more freemium leads into premium customers, upsell to higher tiers, and increase customer retention.

At InboxArmy, we guide SaaS companies in creating email marketing campaigns that convert customers and reduce churn. Talk with a member of our team to see how we can improve your email marketing results. Get in touch now.

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Email Marketing Strategy

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Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all drip campaigns and autoresponders.

To convert and retain customers, you’ll need a targeted email marketing strategy that nurtures users from the very first interaction and never stops providing value.

A Proper Saas Email Marketing Strategy Comes in 4 Stages:

Onboard Freemium Users

First impressions are everything. Start your relationship with each customer right by helping them get up and running smoothly, collecting info that will help you deliver the best experience, and helping them get immediate value from your product.

Nurture Relationships & Boost Value

Before they convert into paying customers, freemium users must see the value in your product and develop a good working relationship with your organization. You can assist this process with your email nurturing campaigns.

The goal of nurturing is to make users fall in love with your product and prime them for your conversion campaigns.

Convert To Premium Users

Once you’ve buttered them up, it’s time to hit users with your conversion campaigns. Make it easy for them to convert by removing friction and sending them offers they can’t refuse.

Retain & Upgrade Users

It’s easier and cheaper to retain and upgrade paying customers than it is to get new ones. In Stage 4, you’ll keep your existing customers happy by continuing to provide value through your emails, reduce your churn rate with a few email marketing tricks used by the best in the industry, and create upsell offers that convince users to upgrade their accounts.

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Email Marketing Prep Work

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Before you create your email marketing strategy, there are a few key steps you must take to ensure your campaigns are successful.

Identify And Track KPIs

Obviously, since the ultimate goal is to increase conversions and reduce churn, you’ll need to know what your current conversion and churn rates are, and track them over the course of your campaign.

But there are also important saas and email marketing metrics to track that’ll tell you how well your strategy is working at each stage of the campaign.

Your organization may also have KPIs that are important to you or specific to your product.

Regardless, the point is to identify the key metrics that you can use to gauge how well you’re doing and whether or not a specific email, sequence, or strategy had the intended effect.

For example, to learn whether your customer retention campaign is working, you’ll need to measure whether your Churn Rate is decreasing and your Average Customer Lifetime is increasing.

Or to see if you want to A/B test two different offers, you’ll want to check which has the higher Click To Open Rate.

Some metrics you may want to track include:

SaaS KPIs

  1. Churn Rate: The rate at which you’re losing customers over a given period of time (number of churned customers/total number of customers).
  2. Revenue Churn: The rate at which you’re losing revenue over a given period of time (important for helping you identify your most valuable market segments).
  3. Freemium To Premium Conversion Rate: The rate at which freemium users are converting to premium plans.
  4. Average Customer Lifetime: How long the average customer stays with your business.
  5. Customer Retention Rate: The percentage of customers your company has retained over a given period.

Email Marketing KPIs

  1. Open Rate: The percentage of the total number of subscribers who open a given email.
  2. Click-Through Rate: The percentage of subscribers who click on a link in your email.
  3. Click To Open Rate: The percentage of people who clicked a link in your email out of the total number of people who opened the email (important for determining how effective the content was).
  4. Unsubscribe Rate: The percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe from your mailing list.
  5. Goal Completions: The number of customers who take a desired action (measure total and rate).

Understand Your Market Segments

If you’re still sending the same emails to all of your customers, you might as well stop doing email marketing altogether.

To bring more value to your users and increase conversions, you’ll need to send targeted emails that address their specific needs and pain points.

Some customers may be more price-conscious. In which case, you should send them discounted memberships to get them to upgrade or renew their subscription.

Or you can create action-triggered emails that are sent to users depending on how they use your product. When they use a certain feature, they’ll receive an email that teaches them how to use the feature even more effectively.

How Will You Segment Your Audience

First, you’ll need to determine how to segment your audiences.

While this guide segments email campaigns by the user’s stage in the sales funnel, you should also segment your customers even further to make your campaigns more effective.

The best way to determine how to segment is to take a look at your customer data, brainstorm segmentation strategies, then test them.

Among other segmentation strategies, Vero segments their users based on how the user first signed-up with the company.

Some of their users first joined Vero via a discounted membership promotion. To get these users to renew their accounts, Groove sends them an email offering another membership discount. These price-conscious users are more likely to renew when offered another discount.

Some Possible Ways to Segment Include:

  1. Behavioral: How your customers use your product.
  2. Demographic: The demographic makeup of your customers, including age, gender, income, education, etc.
  3. Psychographic: The psychology of your customers, including, interests, opinions, values, motivations, attitudes, etc.
  4. Company Size: The size of the companies who buy your product. Bigger companies have different needs than smaller ones.
  5. Goals: What do customers want to achieve with your product?
  6. Pain Points: What roadblocks or challenges do your customers want to overcome using your product?

There is no universal best way to segment. It depends on a combination of your product, customers, data available, and actions you want users to take.

Identify The Actions You Want Users To Take At Each Stage

Now that you’ve segmented your customers, it’s time to figure out how to guide them through the stages of the sales cycle with your email marketing campaigns.

For each stage in the email marketing funnel, you should identify an action that you want customers to take that will move them to the next stage (aka Goal Completions).

During the Onboarding stage, the goal is to get the user set up and ready to use your product.

What actions do users need to take during onboarding so that they’re ready to rock? Do they need to create a profile? Do they need to upload their email list? Do they need to add a tracking code to their website?

Before you move them into the next stage of your email marketing funnel, they’ll need to complete those actions.

You should measure how effective your emails are at getting users to take the desired actions, and test different actions for each stage to see which are most effective at moving users through the funnel.

Again, this is all specific to your product and customers. But the best way to identify these actions is by using customer data.

For example, you should look through your customer behavior data to find any behavioral correlations among freemium users who convert to a premium plan. Then contrast that to freemium users who churn.

What actions do users who convert take (or take more often) that churners don’t? This is sometimes referred to as the “Aha” Moment (more about this later).

Strategize Emails & Sequences To Test

You’re not going to come up with the perfect email marketing strategy right out the gate.

The path to success lays through trial, error, and optimization.

You’ll need to use the data you’ve collected about your customer segments to create targeted emails and strategies that move them through the funnel.

Then turn those strategies into automated email sequences that users receive depending on where users are in the funnel.

Email sequences can be time-based or trigger-based.

Time-based emails get sent at different time intervals after a user signs up.

Trigger-based emails get sent when a user takes a certain action.

The email templates shared below contain both time-based and trigger-based email examples. They’ve all been used by real SaaS companies to successfully move users through the sales funnel.

Use them as a starting point to brainstorm your own email sequences. Then test out different emails and sequencing strategies, and optimize what works.

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Email Templates

Email-template.
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Stage 1: Onboarding Freemium Users

The goal of your onboarding email sequence is to get your relationship with the user off to a good start.

A strong introduction will make converting and retaining users much easier later on.

With your onboarding sequence, you should:

  • Make getting started as easy as possible.
  • Leave the user with no questions about how to get started or what to do if they experience any issues.
  • Help the user get value from your product as quickly as possible.
  • Learn more about the user so you can personalize your marketing messages and strategy.

Start Things Off Right With A "Welcome Email"

The Welcome Email is an absolute necessity for any users who’ve started a free trial, freemium account, or purchased your product.

Remember, the goal of onboarding is to build a relationship with users and help them get value from your product immediately. A Welcome Email helps you accomplish that.

The Welcome Email is one of the most important messages you’ll send because:

  • It starts the relationship off on the right foot and tells them what to expect from you.
  • It helps get the user up and running with your product so they can get value from it as soon as possible.
  • If the user finds the first email valuable, they’re much more likely to read subsequent emails.
  • It can (and should) be used to help you determine how to segment each user.

Groove’s Welcome Email accomplishes all of these goals. It establishes a connection with the user by addressing them by their name and explaining the value they’ll get from using the product.

It asks the user a question that Groove can use to segment them and deliver the best possible experience.

It tells the user to expect more emails over the next couple of weeks.

And it includes a link to a video tour of Groove that helps the user get started and get results quickly.

One of my favorite things about this email, though, is how customer-centric it is. It grounds every section of the email in how it will help the user.

And even where it asks the user to answer a question, it explains that the answer will help Groove deliver the best experience to the user.

While I don’t have access to their data, I’m sure doing so increases their response rate.

Tips
  • Start Strong : Start by thanking the user for joining you and telling them the primary benefit of using your product. Get them excited for what the future holds.
  • Begin Collecting Data : Ask users a question that’ll help you determine which marketing segment to add them to and how to tailor your email marketing to their needs.
  • Set Expectations : Tell them what to expect from you in terms of email messages. Describe what the content of the emails will be and how they will help the user. And consider telling them how many emails to expect and when to expect them.
  • Incorporate Introductory Content : If you have a video or guide that introduces new users to your product (and you should), add it to the email so users can get started quickly and get value from your product as early as possible.
  • Be Friendly : Use warm language, and ground every aspect of your email in how it will benefit the user.

Start Generating Value With A "First Step Email"

The First Step Email is another type of Welcome Email.

But instead of focusing on establishing a relationship, the focus is on getting the user to start using your product as soon as possible.

In this email, you’ll outline the first steps the user should take. To make things easier and reduce friction, you should include links directly to the section of your product where users can take those first steps.

So what are the first steps you should direct users to? There are three types:

  1. Finish Setting Up: When a user first signs up for your product (whether through a demo or premium purchase), some parts of their account may be incomplete.Perhaps they need to finish setting up their profile. Or perhaps they need to download your app.Obviously, getting set up is an important part of getting users to use and obtain value from your product. Sending an email with clear instructions on how to do it is a good idea.
  2. Tailored Demo : While new users may be generally aware of the features and value of your product, they may not know how to use your product to achieve their specific goals. At least, not all the ways they can use your product for their goals.When it comes to new users and freemium users, you want them to see the value of your product ASAP. Offering a free demo may be the best way to do so.Giving a free demo also comes with the added benefit of giving you more info on how they’re using your product which you can use to tailor your marketing campaigns.
  3. The “Aha” Moment : The “Aha” Moment is the moment a new user first realizes the value of your product. Usually, it occurs when they use a specific feature or use a feature a certain number of times.Users who reach the “Aha” Moment are much more likely to convert to a premium plan.For Facebook, the “Aha” Moment occurs when a new user connects with 7 friends in 10 days. For Slack, it’s when 2000 messages are sent between a team.To find your “Aha’ Moment, you’ll need to use customer data to create and test hypotheses about what your “Aha” Moment is until you find it.Once you do, the primary focus of your onboarding email sequence should be to guide new users to reaching the “Aha” Moment as quickly as possible.In the Groove email example above, they offer the user a quick, free demo to show them how to use the product for the user’s specific goals.They reduce friction and make things easier by keeping the demo brief (5-10 minutes) and giving the user options for how to schedule it (email, phone, or skype).

iDoneThis keeps it even simpler. They send the user emails each day that allows them to use their product right from the email itself.

Box helps users get set up with their product by giving them directions on the steps involved in getting started (with links), and including a CTA to visit their Admin Console.

Tips
  • Define Your Onboarding Steps : Figure out what steps users need to get set up and experience the value of your product.
  • Reduce Friction : Create an email that clearly outlines the onboarding actions and invites users to take those actions. Be sure to include links to those features or sections of your product in the email to make it as easy as possible.
  • Guide Them To Your “Aha” Moment : Use this guide to discover your product’s “Aha” Moment. Then create an email campaign that leads users to it.

Head Off Problems With A "We're Here To Help Email"

Users are going to experience problems when using your product. There’s no avoiding it.

When it happens, you need to be there to help them solve it.

If they get stuck, they’ll get annoyed and will be much more likely to churn. If they have to work too hard to find a solution, they’ll get annoyed and be more likely to churn.

But if a user experiences a problem and your team quickly helps them resolve it, they’ll be grateful and have more trust in your company and product.

With a We’re Here To Help Email, you’ll show users exactly how they can connect with your support team to troubleshoot issues. When a problem arises, they’ll immediately know how to get help to resolve it.

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Wistia sends this email to let customers know how to contact them if they have any questions or need help.

They share the best way to connect with their support team (via email), and link to more resources in their learning center.

It’s important to give users options for how to contact you so they can do so in the way they most prefer.

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Vero sends this We’re Here To Help Email to their customers. They make contacting them super easy by allowing customers to reply to the email itself.

They explain what kinds of support issues customers can reach out about. They even tell customers to contact them with “anything at all”, and do so in a funny way (“ask us for a word that rhymes with wolf”).

They tell customers how important support is to their company. And they promise to respond quickly. If they deliver on that promise, customers will be very happy.

Tips
  • Proactivity Pays : Be proactive about helping your customers. Send them an email that asks them to contact support with any issues and describe the types of issues they can bring up.
  • Give Customers Options : Make getting help as easy as possible for users. Give customers options when it comes to contacting support.
  • Include Any Extra Resources : If you have any other resources that customers can use to learn more or resolve issues, link to them in your email. Some people prefer to resolve issues on their own and exhaust every other option before hopping on a support call or creating a support ticket.

Onboarding Recon Email

In each stage of your email marketing strategy, you need to identify what factors contribute to moving users to the next stage and what factors prevent them from doing so.

You must eliminate the road blocks and create campaigns that encourage conversion.

Some of your freemium users will elect not to upgrade their accounts. It’s unavoidable. Your job is to figure out why so you can increase the number of users who do upgrade.

The best way to do this is to simply ask them.

Groove accomplishes this with a very concise email that asks users why they didn’t upgrade after their free trial expires. And they make responding easy by allowing users to reply by email.

While most users won’t respond, some will. Look for commonalities among their answers and strategize ways that you can increase the number of users who do upgrade.

If the price of your product is preventing them from converting, then perhaps you can offer discounted price promotions to get these users to convert.

Or, like some companies, you can offer users the opportunity to unlock only the features that the user wants to use for a fraction of the cost.

The point is: find out why freemium users haven’t upgraded and use that info to strategize and test campaigns that will convince them to.

Tips
  • Be Concise : Make the email short and sweet. Get right to the point so users are more likely to read the email and respond.
  • Reduce Friction : Make responding as easy as possible. If users have to jump through hoops to answer, then they won’t do it. Allow them to respond via email (like Groove does) and/or give them options so they can respond how they prefer.
  • Be Friendly : Open with a personal touch. After all, you’re asking them to do you a favor. And they’ll be more likely to respond if they like you.Groove’s email keeps things friendly by letting the user know there are no hard feelings about the fact that they didn’t upgrade.
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Stage 2: Nurture Relationships With Value

The goal of the nurturing stage should be to educate the user on how to use your product to get the most value from it. If users can get results with your freemium product, they’ll be more likely to upgrade to a premium plan to get even better results.

With your nurturing sequence, you should:

  • Educate the user on the full features and capabilities of your freemium product.
  • Teach the user how to use features that are most relevant to them and their specific goals.
  • Remind the user of what they’ve been able to accomplish with your freemium product.

Educate Users With Valuable Blog Post Updates

The primary goal of nurturing SaaS leads is to help them get value and results from using your freemium product.

The more value they get from your product, the more they’ll realize how much they need your product.

And if they’re getting results from your freemium product, they’ll see even more value in a premium plan.

Help them get results from your product by sharing your valuable blog content.

While your blog subscribers will get email updates on every piece of content you publish, you’ll get more results from freemium users if you share targeted content with them.

There are 3 types of blog content emails you can share with them:

  1. Popular Post Round-Ups: Make it easy for users to find your best content by sharing a round-up of your most popular posts.These posts are popular for a reason – readers find the most value in them. And if casual readers like them, your freemium users will too.The more valuable lessons users learn from you, the better your relationship with them will be. And they’ll be primed to convert to a premium plan.The email below from Drift is a perfect example. They share their most popular content with readers to “get them up to speed” so they don’t have to waste time “digging through [their] entire blog.” They also include a quick CTA inviting the recipient to use a feature of their product.
  2. Segmented Blog Content: Some of your blog content won’t be relevant to particular market segments. So don’t waste their time.Instead, use the segmentation data you’ve collected to identify the content that will be most relevant to each segment. Then create drip campaigns that share this valuable, targeted content.The BuzzSumo email below is a great example of this type of email. Some of their customers use BuzzSumo for content creation. These users will find info on creating headlines very useful.
  3. Feature-Based Blog Content: Don’t assume that users will inherently know how to use all of your product features.Even if they do, they may not be getting the full value of these features.Create blog content that guides readers on how to use your most popular features to get the results they want.You can share content that shows them how to use freemium features and helps them get more value from the freemium version.Or you can share content that shows them the valuable results they can get from the premium version and tempt them to upgrade.
Tips
  • Don’t Be Salesy : The blog content you share should be customer-centric. The goal is to provide value so they see the value in your product and build a stronger relationship with your brand. This isn;t the time to try to convert them.
  • Be Relevant : The more relevant your blog content is, the more users will find value in it. Share content that is relevant to your specific market segments and their specific goals or pain points. Show them how your product can help them achieve their goals or solve their pain points.

Guide User Segments With Tailored Content

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Sending relevant, targeted emails is critical to helping freemium users find value in your product.

You want your email sequences to guide users to take actions that will show them how to use the product in a way that is tailored to their needs. Otherwise, you’re just wasting their time and clogging up their inbox.

Zapier shows us a perfect example of how to accomplish this in the email above.

Since the user signed up using a Gmail account, Zapier sends them an email showing them “a few popular ways people integrate Google Apps with Zapier.” The user is more likely to find this relevant and useful since it likely applies to them

Furthermore, Zapier makes things super easy by including a CTA button that the user can click to to perform the integrations straight from the email.

And at the bottom of the email, they share even more ways the user can get value from Zapier and Google Apps through Zap templates.

Tips
  • Use Data To Create Tailored Emails : Use your user data to create emails that are tailored to their specific needs. Zapier sends their email to users who sign up with a Gmail account.
  • Make It Easy For The User : Don’t make the user figure it out on their own, or they may not do it. Include CTA’s in your email that brings users straight to your software and allows them to perform the desired action.

Teach Users About Your Product With Educational Courses & Webinars

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Webinars and educational courses are a great way to onboard new users and teach users how to achieve their goals with your product.

It works well because, rather than giving them instructional materials they have to read and apply, you get to actually hold their hand and show them step by step how to use your product.

Users can follow along while they watch the webinar and rewind or fast-forward when necessary.

The more users know about your product and its features, the more likely they are to use it, and the more value they’ll get from it.

You can create webinars that show users how to achieve a specific goal, how to use a specific feature, how to get set up, etc.

The Mailchimp Webinar Email above is a perfect example of how to do this.

It shares 4 webinars that users can sign up for depending on what they want to learn.

Each webinar includes a few quick sentences describing what will be taught and why it’s valuable to the user.

Users can register for the webinar straight from the email by clicking on one of the CTAs.

And even if they can’t make the webinar, they can still register and receive a recording of it.

Tips
  • Features & Goals : Create webinars and Webinar Emails that instruct users how to use features and/or how to use your product to achieve a specific goal.
  • Incorporate User Data : User data can tell you how individuals are using your product and how most of your customers use it.If someone regularly uses a certain feature, you can send them a webinar teaching them how to get more value from it. Or you can create webinars teaching people how to use your most popular features.
  • Give Users Time Options : Some people won’t be able to make it to your live webinar or training. So give them the option of receiving a recording instead.As long as they watch it and get value from it, who cares when?Also, make sure your Webinar Emails include options for the different webinars you have. Users can pick the webinar they want most.

Show Them How Far They've Come With Activity/Progress Emails

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Activity/Progress Emails are emails that show users what they’ve accomplished using your product, usually in the form of numbers and stats.

They’re a great tool for demonstrating the value of your product and building your relationship with the user.

A freemium user who hasn’t yet converted to a premium plan may still be unsure of the value of your product. Activity/Progress Emails allow you to quantify that value to the user.

And by sharing the rate of change of their stats, users can see how they’ve improved over time.

If the user can see the value of your tool, they’ll be more likely to continue using it or even upgrade to get better results.

You probably know Mailchimp, the above email from them is an example of Activity/Progress emails done right.

The above email by Mailchimp is an example of Activity/Progress emails done right.

It shows the user weekly stats on how their audience has grown since using Mailchimp.

It keeps track of the rate of change to better demonstrate how much their tool is helping.

And it includes a tip for how the user can do even better.

They also have the potential to introduce gamification into the mix.

Canva sends the email below when a user has created 10 designs. The email congratulates users on their achievements

(10 designs) and prompts them to share it with their friends.

It also shows them that the next milestone is 20 designs, so the user will feel motivated to reach it.

And by sharing it with their friends, they get to display their badge proudly and compete against each other.

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Tips
  • Quantify Their Progress : Help the user better understand the value of your product by quantifying it. Share regular stats about how they’ve improved.
  • Include Tips : Help the user get even better results by including tips to help them improve their results. Try tailoring the tips based on the results.
  • Introduce Gamification And Social Proof : Rewarding users for their accomplishments and tantalizing them with badges is a great way to motivate them.If possible, introduce the concept of badges and accomplishments to your Activity/Progress Emails.And introducing social sharing can create some friendly competition while also encouraging users to promote your brand.

Action-Triggered Feature Introduction Email

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Action-Triggered Emails are one of the best ways to segment your email campaigns. These emails are targeted toward how the user is actually using your product.

And when nurturing users, you want to get them to use more features so they can see the full capabilities and value of your product.

You can do so by sending Action-Triggered Feature Introduction Emails.

Rather than sending emails that introduce features users may not be interested in, you can introduce features that are directly related to how they’re using your product. You can show them even more ways to use your product and how much more value they could be getting.

Autopilot sends an Action-Triggered Feature Introduction Email after users publish their first “Journey.”

It prompts the user to add the Autopilot tracking code to their website so they can gain more insight into their contacts and capture leads directly from the website.

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Stage 3 : Remove Friction & Provide Conversion Opportunities

Now that they’ve fallen in love with your freemium product, it’s time to convince the user to upgrade to a premium plan.

  • Tempt users to upgrade by sharing premium features and explaining their benefits.
  • Reduce friction to upgrading by offering the user a free trial or a personal demonstration that’s tailored to them.
  • Share case studies and customer stories to make your value proposition as real as possible to the user.

Give Them A Taste Of Premium With A Free Trial Email

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Sometimes users need a test drive of the premium version of your product to convince them to upgrade. Once they get a taste of the full features and capabilities, it’ll be harder for them to let go.

Canva’s Free Trial Email is a perfect example of how to execute this email strategy.

Rather than just offer the free trial, they share a feature of Canva Pro that the user may be interested in. Then they invite them to try it out.

Enticing the user with a cool feature piques their curiosity, making them more likely to take the Pro version for a test drive.

Tips
  • Give Them A Reason To Try Premium : To get more freemium users to do your free trial, share a feature of your premium version that the user may be interested in test driving.
  • Share Enticing Features : You can either share the most popular features of your premium membership, or use your user data to micro-target the features you advertise. Either way, make sure it’s enticing.

Give Them A Personal Tour With A Product Demonstration Email

Because they’ve never actually seen the premium version of your product, users don’t know what it does or how to use it.

This is one form of friction preventing users from upgrading to a premium plan. And it can be easily removed with a Product Demonstration Email.

Sometimes you need to educate users on the features and benefits of your product. Not in a general way, but in a way that’s tailored to their business and their goals.

Demonstrating your product to users benefits all parties involved because it:

  • Enables you to collect data on the user that your sales team can use to improve their efforts.
  • Gives you an opportunity to do a tailored sales pitch.
  • Allows the user to better appraise your product before deciding to buy.

Vero’s Product Demo Email is a great example of how to pull this off.

It allows users to pick a time that works best for them. And it removes objections by telling them the demo will only take 15 minutes (even if it goes longer, it gets them in the door).

Tips
  • Remove Objections : Users will be less likely to do the demo if they think it’ll take a long time. Let them know it will be quick and painless. Then let them choose if they want to go on longer.
  • Give Them Options : Make things as easy as possible by letting the user choose when they want to do the demo. More users will take you up on the offer if they can do so at their convenience.
  • Time This Email Right : Vero sends this email toward the end of the year when their customers are busiest and can benefit most from their product. Figure out what time of year or point in your sales cycle users will need your product most. Then hit them with the offer.

Make Your Value Proposition Real With A Case Study Email

The importance of incorporating case studies into your marketing strategy can’t be overstated.

92% of online shoppers look at a product review before making a purchase.

And according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Demand Gen Report, 79% of B2B buyers choose case studies as their preferred content format when making a purchase decision.

Every business promises that their product will get results. But a case study proves it.

It grounds your promise in real-world results while simultaneously educating the user on how to get those results with your product.

It also works as a form of social validation.

Vero’s short Case Study Email shows you how it’s done.

The Subject Line is straightforward and connects to a problem the user may have – onboarding.

It connects the user to a similar company – ContactMonkey (the business mentioned in the case study) – by mentioning that they used to share similar problems. But with Vero, ContactMonkey resolved those problems.

Then it briefly describes a few Vero features that make onboarding easier, further piquing the user’s interest.

At the end, the email connects the subject to the ultimate goal of any business – driving revenue.

Tips
  • Create A Great Case Study : Some case studies just tell you that the product worked for someone else, and nothing more. They’re not very convincing. Be sure to make a great case study that’s primed to convert.
  • Micro-Target Your Case Studies : A case study should be as relevant as possible to your target. It should revolve around solving a problem the user faces and, if possible, a similar business.
  • Include Some Features : Incentivize the user to check out the case study by sharing the features that enable your product to solve their problem. They’ll be more likely to click through.

Share The Possibilities With A Premium Features Email

A common problem with the freemium software model is that many users will be too satisfied with the features of your free plan to upgrade. But they’ll be more likely to upgrade if they know the capabilities of your premium membership.

So share those possibilities with a Premium Features Email.

CloudApp uses a simple Premium Features Email to entice their users.

Users are already using CloudApp for fast screen grabs and file sharing. So CloudApp tells them that they can do even better – or “faster and morerer” – by “unlocking the true power of CloudApp” with their Pro plan.

They also share the specific aspects of a Pro plan that enables them to do so – increased upload speed and the ability to upload 6GB files. Short. Sweet. Effective.

Tips
  • Share The Right Features : The features you share to entice freemium users should be relevant and/or popular. Try using action-triggers to send emails that are targeted based on the way users are currently using the app.
  • Simple vs. Comprehensive : Sometimes, sharing a single, targeted feature of your premium plan is the best way to convert freemium users. Sometimes, a comprehensive list of your premium features works best. Run tests to find out which type works best, and for which user segments.
Maiicon

Stage 4 : Nurture & Retain Users

Converting users to premium plans is only half the battle. Now you have to keep them.

You should continue to send users nurturing emails that educates them on how to use your product (especially the specific features they use the most) to achieve their goals and eliminate their pain points. All of the emails templates from Stage 2 still apply in Stage 4.

But in addition, you should:

  • Send prompts to reengage inactive users and invite them back to your product.
  • Create offers that incentivize users to return or renew their membership.
  • Upsell users to better versions of your product.
  • Learn more about why users become dissatisfied with your product so you can reduce churn.

Invite Users Back With A Re-Engagement Email

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We all get busy. We all forget. Your customers are no different.

And while some will never return to your product, you can convince others to return with a Re-engagement Email.

A Re-engagement Email is a simple reminder to the customer that you exist and you miss them.

It has 2 goals:

  • To get some users to return to your product.
  • To collect info on why users don’t return.

MarkUp accomplishes both in a quick and painless email.

It’s not too pushy. It merely invites them to revisit MarkUp if they’re free.

And it also asks if there’s anything they can do to improve the customer’s MarkUp experience.

This kind of email shows the customer that you care about their business and want their feedback.

Don’t expect a large number of returns. But if even a few users revisit your product, you can chalk it up as a win!

Incentivize Returns With A Service Renewal Offer Email

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If you want to reduce your Churn Rate, then don’t give users a chance to churn. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

A Service Renewal Offer Email is sent to users whose plans are about to expire. Before they do, tempt them to renew their membership by reiterating the value of your product and giving them a great deal for sticking around.

Service Renewal Offer emails work well because they catch the user ahead of time – before they consider whether or not to renew – and give them a reason to stay.

Vero’s Service Renewal Email is a perfect example of how to execute this strategy.

It opens with the offer – saving $600 by renewing their membership.

It entices the user to stay by sharing 2 new, great features that were recently added to their product.

It makes the offer time-sensitive. Users have to make a decision “in the next 7 days.”

The email is also targeted toward users who joined Vero on a previous discount offer, so reduced pricing is likely to be important to them.

Tips
  • Create A Great Deal : Give users a reason to renew by offering a price reduction and/or extra features. They’ll be more likely to renew if there’s a little something extra in it for them.
  • Time It Right : Hit users with this email before their plan expires. Make the decision to renew as easy as possible. Vero also sent their Service Renewal Email out at Christmastime, allowing them to frame the offer as a Christmas gift.
  • Share Your Top Features Or New Features : Remind them of what they’ll be giving up if they leave. Share the features users love most so they remember how valuable your product is.
  • Put Some Pressure On : Create a sense of urgency by making the offer time-sensitive. Users will be more likely to renew because they won’t want to miss out on a good deal.

Nudge Inactive Users With A Reactivation Prompt Email

ISome users aren’t aware that their subscription will soon expire.

They don’t necessarily need to be tempted with offers. They just need a quick reminder.

A Reactivation Prompt Email does just that – it prompts users to reactivate their accounts.

The above Reactivation Email from Unbounce is short and sweet. It tells the user when their account is set to expire and what will happen when it does. Then it prompts them to reactivate.

And if the user has any questions, they’re invited to send them a message at the email provided.

Tips
  • Remind Them Of Their Deadline : Let them know when their account expires to add a sense of urgency to the decision.
  • Use Loss Aversion : The Unbounce email tells users that they’ll return to the freemium version when their subscription expires. But it could do even better by briefly describing the features they’ll lose if they don’t renew. Users will be less likely to let their account expire if they know they’ll be losing a favored feature.
  • Include A CTA : Remove friction by making it easy to renew. Users should be 1 or 2 clicks away from renewing their account.
  • Invite Them To Reach Out : Some users will have questions they want answered before making a decision. Invite them to ask so you can give them what they need.

Upgrade Users With An Upsell Email

IIt’s easier and more cost-effective to upsell existing customers than to get new ones.

And by upselling your customers, you’re increasing the value they get from your product and the likelihood that they stick around.

Buffer’s Upsell Email attempts to get users to commit to a longer contract by switching from monthly billing to yearly billing.

Upgrading to a yearly contract benefits the user because they save money. And it benefits Buffer by extending the customer’s contract. The longer they use Buffer’s product, the more they’ll want to keep it.

This Upsell Email is great because it:

  • Shares the monetary value of switching to an annual plan (saving 15%).
  • It reduces friction by eliminating objections (users can cancel whenever they want and get a refund for unused time)
Tips
  • Demonstrate The Value Of Your Upsell : Users need to understand what they stand to gain by upgrading their account. Walk them through the value they’ll get and use numbers, data, or any other method at your disposal to make it as real as possible for them.
  • Remove Objections To Reduce Friction : Try to predict any objections users may have to your upsell offer. Then address their objections in your email like Buffer does.
  • Segment Your Upsell Offers By Behavior Or Psychographics : Make sure your upsell offer is relevant to the user to increase the chances that they upgrade. Buffer’s Upsell Email offer works great for price-conscious users who want to save money (psychographics). But if you know that the customer is using certain features of your product, you can send them an upsell offer that expands their access to those features (behavior).

Learn About Your Churn With A Churn Recon Email

It’s a sad fact, but some users won’t fall in love with your product. Churn is unavoidable.

But, while churn can’t be eliminated altogether, it can be reduced.

To reduce churn, you need to understand why users churn.

Which is where a Churn Recon Email comes into play.

The goal of this email is simple – ask them why they’re leaving.

Most people won’t respond. But those that do will give you valuable insight into how you can retain more customers.

Look for common responses, both overall and within specific customer segments. Start by addressing the most common reasons. Then increase retention even further by addressing the segment-specific reasons.

Groove’s Churn Recon Email keeps things brief. Churners won’t have much patience for a long email.

It asks the user why they’re leaving and tells them their response will help make Groove better.

And it makes responding as easy as possible by letting them reply to the email. No clicking through to take a survey.

Tips
  • Keep It Short And Sweet : Churners won’t have much patience for a long email. They’ve already decided to leave. Get right to the point to get more people to respond.
  • Reduce Friction : Allow users to reply straight from the email. If they have to click around to respond, then they simply won’t do it.
  • Employ A Little Psychology : Groove thanks the user for trying their product and gives them a reason to reply (it’ll help make Groove better).These may seem like inconsequential details. But it’s actually employing psychology to encourage people to respond. People will be more likely to respond if you’re nice and if they understand the reason behind your question.

It's Time To Launch
Your Killer

SaaS Email Marketing Strategy!

Lunch-killer.

92% of SaaS companies fail in their first 3 years despite growth and funding.

Of those that survive, more than 50% of them are still expected to eventually go out of business.

Don’t be one of those companies.

The most successful SaaS businesses in the world recognize the fact that email marketing is one of the best channels for onboarding, converting, and retaining their users.

They’re using email marketing strategies just like the one described above to survive and thrive.

And now you can too!

So start right away by identifying your KPI’s, segmenting your customers, and understanding your sales funnel.

Then use the strategy we’ve outlined and the email templates we’ve provided to create an email marketing strategy that converts customers, retains customers, and leads to long-term growth!

At InboxArmy, we guide SaaS companies in creating email marketing campaigns that convert customers and reduce churn. Talk with a member of our team to see how we can improve your email marketing results. Get in touch now.

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