25 SaaS Email Marketing Examples to Steal
When there are countless new and exciting inbound marketing techniques, why use email marketing? The answer is simple: Email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective than marketing done via social media, and the buying process it leads to is up to 3 times faster, according to a study done by McKinsey & Company.
If used correctly, this trusted marketing tactic can get you brand new customers, and may even help you regain your old and inactive ones.
Here are 25 email marketing examples from SaaS companies to inspire you:
Grammarly’s Promotional Email
A cloud-base writing assistant software, Grammarly has crafted a carefully designed email, which is categorized as a lead nurturing email.
What do I mean by “lead nurturing?” Well, the people on your mailing list are also leads in the consideration stage: they are aware of your brand and services, but they may be using the free version you had offered them, or maybe they are only subscribers to your emails.
Whichever the case, sending a promotional email like this one is likely to move them down the marketing funnel and into the decision stage, nurturing them in a sense.
There are a couple of reasons why Grammarly’s email is such a good example of this type of e-mails:
- It has a clear and concise call to action. There isn’t an overload of information about the product.
- It makes use of colorful visuals that provide useful data that convinces the reader.
- It directly addresses the user by talking about their experience.
Hootsuite’s Promotional Email
Hootsuite, a social media management platform, is reaching out to qualified leads and telling them that their brand is an expert in its field–the “speak to an expert” button serves to this purpose.
They’re also telling the reader that there’s no reason to be “daunted” by their paid features: they’re offering a free template that can be accessed right now. The email also includes a reference to a success story of the brand, which adds to their all-knowing rhetoric. A potential customer in their research stage will be attracted to a thought-leader brand, so this email is quite effective.
Visme’s Promotion Follow Up Email
Emails like that of the visual content platform Visme feel personal because they refer to a previous conversation (even if one-sided.) They know that e-mails get lost or ignored in the busy mailboxes of customers, and that reminding them does not hurt.
Their strong hook makes the offer sound like an even better deal, as if it was offered only to the reader.
If this email was sent after an appropriate amount of time had passed since the first email, then it’s pretty likely that the reader would accept the offer.
Ebay’s Discount Email
eBay, one of the biggest e-commerce businesses, is aware of its user profile and their interests. Typical users of Ebay are searching for good deals and prices constantly, and what better way is there than directly telling them what’s going on?
This is another great example of a lead nurturing email, but there’s a small trick that Ebay is using that’s worth pointing out: there are no price tags on the products.
This is because email marketing isn’t only about getting people to buy your products, it’s also about driving meaningful traffic to your website.
Another great aspect of this email is that it’s consistent with Ebay’s design and branding. The color choice and the photos are all similar to what a lead may see on the website. The header menu is almost identical to the one on the site, too.
Brand consistency means that your leads are recognizing your brand on all of the different platforms you may be reaching them from: that’s why branding is one of the biggest B2B marketing strategies.
Teespring’s Re-Engagement Email
A social platform where you can buy or sell customized products, Teespring is aware of how some subscribers eventually end up as inactive users. Their re-engagament email is targeted specifically at these users: it gives them reasons to return to their service by using personalized data. This data that acts as a past success story is a great way to lure them back to the brand. Another characteristic of this email is that it appeals to the emotions of the viewer. There isn’t a more universal symbol of empathy and awe than an adorable, sad looking puppy (although you may want to use different images to apply to your viewers emotions, as we encounter many other emails using the same image.)
One last thing: similar to the other examples, this email is made up of only 5 to 6 sentences. It’s clear and to the point, with a giant blue button ready to be clicked on.
These may seem like small details, but they are important if you want to have a high click rate on your emails.
DropBox’s Re-Engagement Email
Dropbox’s childlike drawings and sad faces get the inactive user’s attention. In three points, Dropbox reminds users what their service is good for in a playful tone, so as not to bore the reader. It does not stuff the email with reasons to come back or with countless CTA buttons, and it still drives traffic.
Zoho Mail’s Referral Campaign Email
Perhaps one of the most underrated types of email marketing is referral campaigns. It’s mostly thought that people’ll avoid getting into the fuss of inviting friends to get discounts, or that referrals are not taken seriously by other users; but that is simply not the case. These campaigns are highly effective because of 3 main reasons:
- “Word of mouth” is the main motivation for between 20 to 50 percent of purchases, especially when the buyer is a first timer,
- They are great tools for building brand-awareness,
- They result in excellent conversion rates and longer subscriptions (in fact, referred customers were found to be 18% more likely to stay with a brand than other customers)
This email sent by Zoho Mail is a good example of this marketing strategy: a brand offering email protection services to companies, Zoho Mail is promising the reader up to 25 free accounts. This is a tempting deal for most businesses, and said deal is written in a big font. The email also makes use of minimalistic yet creative designs, and how the deal works is explained step by step at the end of the email. There are two buttons to get the user started, one in the beginning and one at the end, so it doesn’t matter if the reader stops reading after the headline or decides to goes through the whole thing: there’s still a chance for them to click on the button and to create traffic for your website. So, even if you don’t reap all the benefits above, you’ll still get people to be aware of your services.
HeadSpace’s Survey Inquiry Email
Surveys are great tools to improve your service so that you can decrease your churn rates. However, the main problem might not be about creating your survey (especially if you’re using Hockeystack’s survey tools) but it may be about getting your users to interact with it. The users who receive your survey are likely to have a couple of questions in their minds, and this survey inquiry from HeadSpace directly answers all of them.
A meditation app that makes use of different subscription plans, the brand addresses several issues that may arise: “Why should I take the time to answer all these questions?” Because you might get a free 3-month Headspace code. “Isn’t it just going to bore me?” Well, Headspace promises it won’t (plus it’s “super short.”) “Why would they ask me?” Because they care about your experience and want to improve themselves as a brand.
Email on Acid’s Survey Inquiry Email
Another effective email of the same kind comes from the email tracking platform Email on Acid. Similar to HeadSpace, they give the user a clear incentive (the possibility to win a 100$ gift card), but they also include details that the previous didn’t : they tell the reader just how long filling out the survey will take, and they include an urgent call to action (only the “first 100 people to complete the survey” will get a chance to win the gift card.)
These are all subtle yet productive details. Don’t just use email marketing to tell people about your products or to advertise your new features: give them a chance to interact with your brand by taking their feedback and making them feel important.
Shopify’s Welcome Email
The first impression you have on a new subscriber counts. This may sound pretty intuitive, but 83% of brands still fail to make this first impression, let alone a positive one. A well-designed welcome email is what you need if you don’t want to be a part of this 83%. Why? Because the impressions you leave while converting a lead to a customer aren’t enough: as a SaaS company, you need to generate long term subscribers, and that means treating these people as first timers.
A multinational e-commerce company, Shopify leaves a perfect first impression on its new customers. The email is personal: directly addressing the customer by their first name, and including a lot of “you” and “your”s. There is an inspirational quote at the bottom of the email, signaling at what the new user can do with the service they are now paying for. But most importantly, there are several links leading the reader back to the website: a design logo button, links to webinars, blogs and guides, and login urls are all included.
SurveyMonkey’s Welcome Email
Another welcome email is sent by the SaaS company SurveyMonkey. The subject line is a warm welcome, there is a bright call to action button right on the middle, and the design colors match the branding. The possibilities that are offered are written clearly and concisely in one sentence per block. Again, the email does a good job in leaving a good first impression and creating engaged users.
Zapier’s Service Update Email
We cannot stress it enough: you need to emphasize your new features to keep your subscribers. Users are constantly looking for reasons to renew their subscriptions, and you shouldn’t leave it to them to find the new additions. Update emails make sure that your new features don’t go unnoticed, proving to readers that your brand is constantly evolving and improving itself.
Zapier’s email can be described as part newsletter part service update: they tell the user how much they have improved (more than 10 improvements!) and provide them with a clear summary button. There are one-sentence descriptions of the additions, but nothing more. Zapier also knows the features that the users care about (they’re probably using an analytic tool like HockeyStack) and provide information about the updates relevant to them. A short, personalized email like this one is enough to update your users.
LinkedIn’s Personalized Email
LinkedIn addresses the issues specific to its customer, another startegy to make your email personal. The design is consistent with LinkedIn’s general design with the color patterns and symbols, and the word choice is appropriate: using action words like “grow,” “analyze” and “identify” gets the customer going.
Vidyard’s Personalized Holiday Email
![vidyard personal email example]()
Vidyard has gone a step further in personalizing. They have focused on what they’re good at as a company, videos, and prepared one addressing the reader directly. A holiday email like this one shows that your brand doesn’t see its customers or leads as dollar signs, but rather as people they care about. And when people feel cared for, they’re likely to keep interacting with that brand: this is why customer marketing focuses on fulfilling the needs of the customers so much.
Flock’s Welcome Email
This welcome email for a free trial follows a bit of a different strategy: it directly leads the user to the premium version of Flock’s service, giving six different reasons as for why they should. The explaination at the start is also targeted to the reader, mentioning “admins just like you.” Even though such an advirtising welcome email is risky, it can get your free-trial users, who are simply leads in the consideration stage, down to the purchasing stage more quickly.
Again, there are two call to action buttons that are both at the beginning and end of the email, giving the reader two oppurtunities of engagement.
- An important note: you really shouldn’t put these buttons all over your emails. A button after each sentence is not the way to go. Instead, one or two buttons are sufficient, so that you don’t overwhelm your reader.
DigitalMaas’s Verification Email
Verification emails are crucial: you have to make sure that your campaigns, newsletters and update emails are reaching your target audience. DigitalMaas keeps the email to the point by welcoming the newcomer, and asking for their verification.
Proof’s Activation Email
Some of your users will create accounts, they will show interest in your services, but at a certain point, they’ll just stop engaging. You have to remind them about your brand, and you have to do this by sounding helpful, not desperate. Try asking them how you can improve their experience like Proof did with their activation email.
- “How can we help?” is a great question to show users that you care.
- Giving them a step-by-step guide to the activation process is even better, especially if you talk about how easy it is by saying that it takes “less than 30 minutes!”
- Proof also includes data to show what the inactive user is missing out on, overall creating an email that makes use of almost every strategy there is.
Duolingo’s Winback Email
Infamous for its constant winback messages, Duolingo may be the prototype when it comes to re-engagement emails. Just like Teespring,
Duolingo wanted to apply to the reader’s pathos with the symbol of their brand: the Duolingo bird. The email includes only four sentences, it’s clear and concise like all the others, and even more importantly, it is consistent with the branding. Again, getting your customers used to your branding is crucial if you want them to think of your services when you send them a notification.
Front’s Winback Email
Front follows a different strategy: their email is much longer, with a more implicit CTA link. So how is it still effective? Remember, 45% of customers that receive a winback email from your brand will open your future emails, becoming more likely to engage with your brand again. This particular winback email:
- Shows the inactive customer palpable reasons as for why they should reconsider: the “we have improved” rhetoric is used for this purpose,
- Gives the reader another free trial, so that they can see the improvements themselves,
- Tells the reader that it’s easy to clear their account to start fresh–one of the reasons why the user may have been unsure about re-opening their account.
GetBusy’s Product Update Email
Another great feature update comes from Getbusy. Blog posts or landing pages dedicated to your new features may emphasize your improvements, but this email reaches a more specific audience that is likely to look at these features in more detail (as I’ve said before, the people on your email list are either interested leads or subscribers looking for reasons to keep their subscription.)
This e-mail addresses this group perfectly: it both explains the features, and the usage of the feature in 4 easy (and colorful!) steps, and gives the reader a chance to engage with the brand by asking questions.
Asana tells the reader that they know what their customers are dealing with–and that as brand, they are trying to cater to their needs. The face of the Head of Community makes the email feel personal, adding to the empathetic vibe of the email.
The email focuses on two different blog posts (and these types of emails can be helpful if you want to drive traffic to your posts.) They are summarized in one two clear sentences, and they have attractive designs that are consistent with the branding. The two purple CTA buttons are likely to get attention in an email like this one.
Campaign Monitor’s Newsletter Email
It’s expected for Campaign Monitor to have an exemplary newsletter email as a marketing software brand. Their newsletter does the trick because:
- It leads the reader to infographics or lists, which are all easy to digest content types,
- It talks about partnerships with other brands that may sound familiar to the reader, which in turn, gets them interested,
- It includes several (but different!) CTA buttons leading the reader to the website,
- It summarizes each recent blog post in one easy sentence,
- It uses colors and designs that are easy on the eye.
Wistia’s Welcome Email
Wistia’s welcome email may be one of the most creative ones on this list. A brand can’t get more personal: the company has written a short poem to tell the new customer about their services’ features.
Adding a couple emoji-like symbols that represent the brand to the top also increased the warm welcoming effect of the message. It’s quite catchy and memorable, too.
If this warm tone is consistent with your brand’s tone and positioning, you may want to consider leaving aside your cold business tone and try writing emails that are creative like this one.
Shopify’s Newsletter Email
Webinars are excellent opportunities for your brand to give the audience a sense of your business’s personality and put a face behind the brand, something that’s not easy to do via text. However, your leads or customers aren’t going to follow each live event you host, so you have to remind them.
Shopify reminds people of, firstly, their webinar, and then of the other events that they are hosting. Again, the smallest detail makes all the difference: “directly from our home to yours” creates an intimate bond with the reader.
Chanty’s Re-Engagamement Email
I couldn’t include it on this post, but Chanty’s email was actually featuring a gif of the dog crying under the rain (seems to be a popular way of applying to the reader’s emotions.)
The email has a clear CTA button, taking the reader back to where they had left, giving them “at least three reasons” why they should do so.
If I would give you the ingredients of the perfect marketing email, I would summarize all of the tecniques used above as:
- Make your email personal.
- Make the design consistent with your branding.
- Don’t overwhelm the reader with long paragraphs.
- Have CTA buttos, but not too many.
- Leave good first impressions.
- Have good timing.