SaaS Email Marketing Guide for 2021
Do you have amazing content on your website, but don’t know how to promote it? Do you need to reach different audiences, but don’t know how?
Then email marketing is what you need.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is both a form of direct marketing and digital marketing and one of the most powerful methods to help you promote and advertise.
It can appear in many different shapes and forms, but overall, it is the emails you send to customers or “email subscribers” for various reasons.
With each email marketing campaign, you can target different audiences, have different purposes, try different layouts and copywriting. Regardless of any of that, it is a great way to increase your marketing reach and deliver your message.
How To Do Email Marketing?
Starting a completely new marketing campaign may sound like a lot of work. But trust me this is a lot easier than you think.
Just follow our guide.
Build an Email List
Start off by creating an email list with people who have shown interest and given you their email address. They are called email subscribers.
The thing with this is you should be very careful to check that every single person on that list has given consent to receive emails from you.
You can collect emails through landing pages, blog posts, event sign-ups, etc.
Email Service Provider
Once you have your email list, you need an email service provider.
The most commonly use one is Gmail provided by Google, but you can also use other options like Outlook, Yahoo Mail, or Zoho Mail.
Segmenting Your Email List
It is not very likely that your entire email list will be interested in the same topics. Of course, there will be some things in common, but constantly getting emails that has nothing to do with them will make it feel like spam.
To increase conversion rate of your emails and decrease the subscription cancellation rate, you need to segment your list.
This will get easier as time goes by and as you better get to know your subscribers. You will know exactly which emails to send to which subscriber.
You should part your email list into segments according to what people are interested in. This will make your job so much easier than creating content that will resonate with everyone.
It will also make your emails more exciting for the audience since they will only receive content that relevant to them.
Automating Email Campaigns
Now it’s time to determine what types of stuff you want to send out. There are a whole lot of options for you to choose from —later on in the article we will be looking closely at four types of email campaign you must use.
To do this you should know your target audience and define your email marketing goals very well.
Because just like with content marketing, the audience and what you hope to achieve with the campaign should be your biggest driving force.
Measure Your Progress
For everything you do in marketing, you need to measure your success. You cannot know if a strategy or campaign is working well or causing you damage without tracking it.
Here are key metrics you should track:
- Unique Opens: number of unique subscribers who has opened your campaign.
- Open Rate: percentage of all subscribers who has opened your campaign.
- Click-Through Rate: percentage of people who clicked on a link after opening your campaign.
- Emails Not Opened: number of subscribers who hasn’t opened your email.
- Unsubscribe Rate: percentage of people who has unsubscribed.
- Spam Complaints: number and percentage of people who clicked “Mark as Spam”
Read for more SaaS marketing metrics to track.
Email Marketing Copywriting
When we say email marketing, we mean a lot of text writing and verbal communication. How you deliver your message can be much more effective than the message itself.
Here are eight tips that will enrich and enhance your email marketing copywriting:
- Attractive Subject LineYour email’s subject line is at least as important as the whole of the text. It is the first impression your audience will have with the email and it will determine whether they will open it or not.So, no matter how great your copy is or how relevant your content is, if you don’t have an enticing subject line, it’s all going to trash because people won’t even have a look at it.There are a few points to keep in mind:
- Length is a key player. If your subject line is too short, you probably won’t be able to express yourself. On the other hand, if it’s too long, people might not even bother to read it. Subject lines around 6 to 10 words usually work the best.
- Word choice might have both attracting and repelling effects. Action phrases like, “act now” or don’t miss out” can give a feeling of urgency and lead to more clicks. But be careful and stay away from words that can be off-putting for your audience.
- Personalize your message. Include a real person’s name in the subject line instead of a company name. This would make the message feel more real and intimate —which is something that people look for in the email medium.
- Preview TextThis is often overlooked and many people don’t even know the meaning of it.A preview text is the one or two sentence you see before clicking on an email to read it. It’s like a trailer for the email content.Just like how people won’t watch a movie if they are not intrigued by the trailer, they won’t open the email if they don’t like the preview text.It’s a little tricky to write a good preview because you should keep it to a maximum of two sentences and still make it enticing enough so that people will want to read the entire thing.The key is to keep it simple and keep it interesting. If you are able to comprehensively tell what’s inside the email and relate to the audience, people will most likely open and read your emails.
- Make It PersonalI mentioned this earlier with the subject line and it is as important for the entire email as it was for the subject line.Email is perceived as a personal form of communication and thus requires a more personal copy than other mediums if you aim to increase conversions.Your language must be conversational and aimed at a single person rather than a crowd. Just forget that you will send the email to hundreds or thousands of people and just act like you are writing to only one friend or customer.It will be much more easier to approach the people this way. Your content will feel intimate and resonate with the audience.
- No Industry JargonAvoid jargon at all times. It bores the audience and keeps the content from being relatable.With your email marketing, you are not trying to prove that you are qualified or the you know about your industry.Email is a marketing medium, but also a communication medium. If you put barriers, like industry jargon, it’s just going to get harder to reach the audience.
- Carefully Chosen WordsYou need to keep the focus on the audience and your word choice can really help you do that.Include a lot of “you” and “your”s. Let them feel that you are talking about them and for them.Instead of mentioning what features and tools you offer, show how you will benefit the audience.When you talk about products and features it’s about your company. When you talk about benefits it’s about the subscribers.
- Short and ConciseYour content should apply to the way its medium is perceived. And we all know that emails are usually skimmed through, rather than fully read.Writing long paragraphs and hundreds and hundreds of words won’t really help you get your point across. Your copy might be very valuable, but when it’s long and over-detailed, people won’t read it.So, you need to keep your emails short and to the point. Use a lot of white space to break up huge texts. Include bullet points and questions every chance you get. And don’t write sentences worth more than one and a half lines.
- Single and Simple CTAJust put as many call-to-action links as you can and that way at least one of them will work.No, I’m sorry. If you think like this, then you’re wrong. The truth is none of them will work.With too many commands and CTAs flying around the audience will be overwhelmed and they will not take action at all.Your emails should be very simple and short and only include one CTA at a time.If you want inform people about your new YouTube channel and ask for them to subscribe, you should do it with a stand-alone email. You shouldn’t also ask for them to check out your latest blog post or visit your Instagram page.
Types of Email Marketing
If you think about it, there are hundreds of types of email marketing that you can use to inform, educate, attract, thank, or greet your subscribers. Each type is aimed toward specific audiences and give different results.
Here are the four very essential types of email marketing that you should be using.
1. Welcome Emails
Once again, first impressions play an important role in lead conversion. And there is nothing better than a warm welcome to start off your customer journey with new subscribers.
You should send these emails right after someone new signs up for your email list. This will make them that you care about them and make them feel valued.
You can try addressing the new subscriber with their name in the welcome email, to make it feel more personalized and thoughtful.
2. Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are like update emails about your own content. It is regular and it lets your subscribers know what’s new with your company.
You can include newly published blog posts, upcoming webinars or live sessions, new podcast episodes, and basically anything new content you have out there that might be for the audience’s attention.
Visual presentation is crucial for email newsletters since you have a lot going on. You need to make sure that each section is easily separable and not too tiring to look at.
3. Transactional Emails
These emails follow past actions of leads. This includes “thank you” emails, order-confirmation emails, and some informational emails.
These types of emails create the sense that you care about customers and are ready to help them. It shows that you are aware of them and is an opportunity to show interest.
You can also use them as a chance to move leads down the marketing funnel. You can send an email thanking people for signing up for your webinar and also asking them to join your email list.
4. Lead Nurturing Emails
These are a series of promotional emails targeted specifically according to people’s position on the marketing funnel. It is a method of inbound marketing you should use to convert leads into more qualified versions.
It is really important to define your ideal customer and buyer personas, so that you can correctly target audiences and make these types of emails increase conversions.
Best SaaS Email Marketing Examples
Below, we have picked out three excellent SaaS email marketing campaigns as examples that bring together everything we have mentioned beforehand.
- CanvaAn online graphic design platform, Canva, sends out emails every time their users hit a milestone —like completing 10 designs. While congratulating the users’ achievements, they also encourage them to keep using the software by providing new goals.The main CTA of this email is encouraging the user to share their success on social media. This will provide Canva positive feedback and exposure to new potential users.
- DropboxDropbox is a file hosting service with great email marketing. Their emails are very straightforward and easy-to-understand without sounding rude —which is a hard balance to catch.Three things that Dropbox did really good with this email are:
- Using a cartoon design at the introduction. This is a cute and warm opening and it’s also engaging.
- Addressing the user with their first name. That creates intimacy and makes the message more personal.
- Keeping it short and to the point. This doesn’t bore the reader and kindly delivers the message.
- InVisionInVision, which is a prototyping, collaboration and workflow platform, has an amazing format for their welcome emails.This email shows how easy their software is to use and how helpful it can be while also providing tutorials.They end the email by offering a support line which shows the audience that they are there for them —which can be a really good way to start new customer journeys.
How to Repurpose Content for Email Marketing Campaigns
Repurposing content means changing the target audience, format, and/or medium of an existing piece of content in hopes of achieving different goals.
You can do this by following this four-step guide:
- Define the purposeThis includes both the purpose of the initial content and the purpose of its new version. This way you will know what you’re transforming into what.
- Find the right target audienceYou need to determine which segment of your email list would be more interested in the repurposed content, so you can work to align it with them even further.
- Audit the existing contentLook back on your content archive and see what types of content resonated with which audience. This should give you a good idea of how your repurposed content should be lead.
- AutomationGet the repurposed content email-ready and promote it through there.
How to Gain More Users for a SaaS via Email Marketing?
Gaining more users or increasing conversions is probably the number one goal for email marketing.
Here are five tips that can help you maximize user gain:
- Understand your subscribers. Spend time trying to comprehend what they need and what they are interested in.
- Arrange content based on the customers location in the marketing funnel. How far down they are will let you know how much “push” they need to convert.
- Use branding at all times. Although this is a more personal medium it is still a marketing medium where you need to stand out. Make sure that you don’t lose your brand identity trying to create intimacy.
- Mix different types of campaigns. Each segment of audience require different types of emails, but receiving only the same few types can get really boring for the audience.
- Find the right time to send emails. Some hours or days work better than other. You need a little testing to find out what time gets highest rate of unique opens and/or click-through rates.
Top Email Marketing Tools To Use
Now that you know everything you need about email marketing, it’s time for you to learn about the top email marketing tools that will make your job so much easier.
HubSpot is a well-known email marketing software. It is commonly used with businesses of all sizes because of its all-in-one build that offers CRM, email marketing, sales tools, website builder, operation hup, and more.
- Send time optimization
- High email deliverability
- A/B testing
- Detailed performance analytics
- Marketing automation
- Drip campaigns
Pricing: HubSpot offers a free version with many powerful features, but if you need a more advanced version the packages start with $45/mo.
ActiveCampaign is a highly customizable customer experience automation platform. They combine CRM, marketing automation, and email marketing to create powerful campaigns over communication mediums —including email.
- Smart auto responders.
- Marketing automation.
- Track your contacts onsite and in your apps.
- Drag and drop email designer.
- Over 850 built-in apps and integrations.
Pricing: ActiveCampaign prices start from $7.5/mo and increase as packages become more advanced.
Another very powerful and helpful marketing automation tool is ConvertKit. With its many advanced features it simplifies drip emails, creates easy forms, and automatically sends emails to make your job easier.
- A/B testing
- Email templates
- Landing page builder
- Smart workflows
Pricing: ConvertKit provides a free version as well as paid packages starting at $29/mo.
MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that helps small businesses grow fastly. Their AI-powered tools are very powerful and easy to use. They are built to help your business send automated emails, build landing pages, create targeted ad campaigns, send postcards, facilitate reporting and analytics, and more.
- Subscriber management
- Custom report generation
- Success and click-through rates
- Email tracking
Pricing: MailChimp also offers a free version and the paid versions start from $9.99/mo.
Although email marketing is a very broad topic, we did cover everything from great copywriting to repurposing.
New and unfamiliar methods of marketing can be challenging, but if you spend a decent amount of time on this and stick with guide, you will be launching your email marketing in no time.
How can I collect enough email addresses for my email marketing campaign?
The best way to do this is to use your already popular channels. If you have a blog that gets a lot of traffic, you can ask people to subscribe to your email list. Or you can ask them at the sign-up process of an event (like a webinar). You can also collect emails in exchange of additional content (like an advanced guide).
What should my emails be about?
There are so many email topics you can write about that you don’t ever need to be afraid of running out of ideas. The hustle here is to choose the right content for your audience. Segmenting the email list is really going to help you direct different content to different audiences. You need to spend time to understand your subscribers and their needs and find the types of emails that best resonate with them.
How frequently should emails be sent?
This is a very fragile point where you don’t want to send too many emails and spam the subscriber, but you also don’t want to send to little that they forget about you. Generally sending emails more than 2-3 three times a month (unless it’s a newsletter) can become a nuisance and lead to ignorance. However, it changes with every industry and even subscriber, so the best way to find the right frequency is to test and see for yourself.