Email Automation for SaaS Companies: Onboard, Convert Trials & More…

Email Automation for SaaS CompaniesIf you run or manage an SaaS you’re probably interested in scaling your business as quickly as possible. Obtaining, retaining and converting users is the most important thing you can do to accomplish this.

As you probably know, deep relationship building is at the heart of accomplishing your goals. And when it comes to building profitable relationships, the one channel that outperforms every other channel is still email.

As a SaaS you have a unique opportunity to leverage email in ways that most businesses cannot do, because of the lack of technical skill and talent. Ironically, most SaaS that fail to grow, do so because they focus too much of their attention on their own product.

Whether we like it or not, the product is not the main thing that drives growth and adaptation in an SaaS context

The main driver is marketing and building relationships. Fortunately, with the birth of advanced personalization and automation technology in email marketing, you can now look at marketing in a technical way.

In fact, if you are a SaaS that desperately needs to get its talent on board with investing more into email marketing, you can leverage this frame. Just look at building your email marketing automations and funnels as if you were building a software product. 

young man looking at email inbox on laptop, symbollizing email automation for SaaS

This is easier to do when you start utilizing the more advanced and technical email marketing features such as events and web-hooks. It’s a good way to get your developers invested in email marketing, which in turn will drive massive growth in your SaaS.

Learn about email marketing in general

While utilizing email automation is all kinds of cool, it only works well if you understand the basics of good email marketing, and that is how to build relationships with the subscriber.

It also means understanding the key driver of all profits, and that is engagement. In fact, even if you do nothing else to learn about email marketing, at least check out our super-popular guide on engagement as the driver of all profits.

And then, you might consider looking at our extensive free guides on email marketing. Most of them are posted on the blog. But if you want to make sure these killer guides get delivered to you as they get released, your best is to get yourself a forever-free Emercury account

Aside from getting a generous plan for free, you will also be the first to get access to free guides and email marketing education – some of the best on the planet.

Start tracking important events in order to intelligently treat users in a super-personalized way

Whether you want to build the best possible onboarding experience, or want to create amazing up-sell sequences, configuring your on-site events is a must.

What are “on-site events”? Well, they are any kind of behaviors and actions that a user or prospect takes on your website. Whether they visit the “paid add-ons” page, or go and finish watching an onboarding video. Perhaps, you want to know when they toggle the switch on the pricing page to change between different pricing options.

young woman in open office looking at laptop

All of these are events that are useful in order to turn more free users into paid users, but also to upgrade existing users to higher-level plans or to sell add-ons. But it’s not just in terms of increasing sales directly. You can utilize events to increase customer engagement and satisfaction with the product.

You can for example build intelligent email automations that offer help or change their onboarding sequence based on what they do around the site. For example, if they set up a feature on their own, there is no need to send them the onboarding email which encourages users to set up said feature. You can instead send a different email to encourage them to do something else which will increase their engagement with the product.

Now, how do you set up and use these events?

Fortunately, with Emercury this is straightforward and super-customizable. See our guide on setting up your site & event tracking. After this, you’ll be able to set up custom events. With Emercury, unlike most platforms, you’re allowed to set up fully custom events.

That’s right, you can define any kind of action, behaviour or event as a “custom Emercury event”. Our events system is fully customizable and lets you define the parameters of the event, and they can contain any kind of custom values that you want. We did this with SaaS in mind.

After you have set up your custom events, you can go ahead and set up marketing automations that trigger on any event that you want, whether built in, or one of your custom events.

That means that the moment a person visits the pricing page and does a custom action, you can have them receive an email offering them to book a call with your sales team. Or you might sign them up for an upsell sequence. If you can imagine it, you can do it.

Create an automated and intelligent onboarding sequence to ensure adoption and retention

Let’s make this as clear as possible. There are two main ways to reduce churn, and consequently boost profits as an SaaS. The first one is to improve your product and features. The other way is to optimize your onboarding process. Yes, it really is that crucial and right on par with working on the product itself. 

The goal of onboarding is quite simple

If you want to have a single laser-targeted objective when working on your onboarding process, I have good news. You can define it in a single sentence. When you create an onboarding process, your goal is to help the customer get the most out of your product.

Yes, it is that simple. Now, it will require some work to accomplish and there are more details that go into it. But the actual objective and aim doesn’t have to be any more complicated than this. In fact, it shouldn’t be.

How do you accomplish this?

Well, there are quite a few things that you can do, but it’s always wise to focus on the highest-leverage activity. And when it comes to onboarding, you want to look at how onboarding was first invented, and used.

Originally, some companies got the idea that they can increase adoption by simply giving the new user easy tasks to complete. And for a long while, most onboarding processes were just a matter of guiding users through onboarding tasks.

And while there are fancier and more sophisticated things that you can do today. It’s always a good idea to start with the basics. They are still the ones that bring the most bang for your buck.

young woman taking notes on a notepad next to laptop

In essence, there are things you need to ask yourself

  1. What are the tasks, settings or options the user must configure in order to experience the full benefits of using your product?
  2. Is there a good sequence or order in which you want them to try features, and does it depend on their customer profile
  3. Are there any super-cool auxiliary features that you would like to make sure that they try out?

And then, all you do is that you build an email automation that uses the order that you came up with. First the email about initial settings and configuration. And then gradually guide them to using the different features, one by one, in the order that you came up with.

If you have a 30 day free trial, you might want to space out the emails so that the sequence is about 20-25 days long. This gives it enough time to inform them what features they want to try. 

Start out simple, get fancier later on

From my experience people get stuck trying to do too much at once. This is especially difficult if you don’t have a partner on your side to guide you. 

My suggestion would be to use our automation builder to build a simple drip sequence that in that general order we discussed before.

And then, over time, start personalizing it more. For example, you can define custom events whereby if a user tries a feature on their own, you don’t email them about it during onboarding. Or perhaps, you might even have the sequence and order be completely dependent on how they use the product.

To get some ideas of this concept, and how to grow automations from simple to sophisticated and personal, please see our super popular guide on personalizing email automation for higher conversions.

Make it a goal to track and measure performance

Talking about fancy automation features is cool. And we do love talking about all the sophisticated automation and personalization features we have for you.

However, we need to take a break from that and speak about something that is of utmost importance to getting the most out of automation. Well, out of email marketing in general as well.

young professional man analyzing charts on laptop, symbolizing someone doing an analysis of email automation for SaaS results

And that is tracking is your performance. How do you know that what you are doing is working? How do you know that things are improving? Is your more personalized onboarding sequence better than the one before it.

Relying on, or waiting on payments as a measure of efficacy isn’t sufficient. You also want to track your engagement. How do you know if your marketing automation is more effective today than last month? Well, did engagement go up? That’s where you will find the one secret to all profits.

Automatically manage important information with tags & custom fields

There is another thing you might want to look at, as you get more sophisticated with your automations. And that is to utilize tags and custom fields as a way to differentiate your users. With Emercury this is fully customizable. 

Storing more personal data in fields and tags is crucial to being able to use even more granular levels of personalization. For example you might create a custom field that differentiates users based on their interest. 

Or you might assign a tag to users who performed a certain action. You can then (automatically or manually) treat different users differently, based on their tag, or custom field values.

To learn more about this idea, see our guide on email marketing personalization as a way to convert more subscribers and users into highly-paying customers.

But how do you fill in those custom fields and tags automatically?

You can build automations that store different values for users based on their behaviour, inside of emails, or on your website. You can even do this based on behaviour from outside systems, using incoming webhooks – something unique to Emercury.

All you have to do is utilize our automation builder. It can trigger off of anything you can imagine, and then based on any condition you would like, it can assign different values to individual users on the fly.

Boost your profits with intelligent cross-selling, upselling and upgrades

You know what I love more than anything? Helping businesses get more profits out of what they already have. The fact is that most businesses are leaving a ton of money on the table by failing to utilize some very simple tweaks and methods.

There is one thing that I suggest to a lot of businesses that I find most SaaS also forget to utilize. And that is to leverage automated (and intelligent) cross-selling, upselling and upgrade offers.

The fact is that most profits in a highly-profitable business are made on the backend offers. That is, from selling customers on additional offers and upgrades.

Most businesses (and that includes SaaS) tend to get lazy about the backend, and put all of their focus on the front-end, entry-offer. And it makes sense, at least when you’re getting started.

However, once you have things set up well and a decent amount of your users are buying a subscription, it’s time to work on the next step. You can go ahead and build intelligent, personalized upsell and cross-sell sequences that intelligently offer the user to upgrade to a higher-level plan, purchase some add-ons, etc.

To learn more, please read our super-popular guide on upselling and cross-selling with email. Remember, you can start off simple, and then get more sophisticated as time goes on. You can leverage custom events and conditional automation to make very personalized upsell and cross-sell offers.

Automatically boost sales activities

The sales team is an important part of boosting profits in any SaaS. What if you could leverage automation to funnel leads to sales on a very personalized and real-time basis? Well, here’s a trick that is quite simple (at least with Emercury) yet most SaaS fail to utilize. 

You can actually build an automation that pings your sales team or shares date with them in real time, based on user behaviour. For example, you can build an automation that triggers whenever a lower-level user checks out the pricing page for higher-level plans. 

With Emercury you can even make it so that they need to look at it at least 3 times. And then, you can have the automation send that person’s details to a google sheet for your sales team to follow up. To see an example, check out our quick guide on automatically funneling leads to your sales team.

Integrate with the rest of your stack

What if you could have your marketing platform respond in real-time to things that happen in the rest of your stack? Well, with Emercury this is now possible as we recently released full support for incoming webhooks. I think we are the only platform that offers this option.

What does this mean for you? Well, in short, your marketing automations can respond, in real time to any event that happens in any of the other tools that you use. This means that you can now personalize your automated marketing based on any change that happens with the user in any context. 

Whether that is in terms of their behaviour and actions with your emails, on your website, or any change that happens in terms of that user anywhere. For example anything that happens with that user in your invoicing software. The possibilities are endless.

Get an actual partner on your side

All of the things that we are discussing here are much easier to do with a mentor on your side. Why go at it alone and keep reading articles trying to figure things out? Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was someone who would actually care about the growth of your SaaS and help you?

At Emercury we don’t see the SaaS who use our systems as “users” or “customers”. We see them as partners. And this is for a very simple reason. The more your SaaS grows, the more you will need to utilize Emercury.

This is why we are highly driven in helping you succeed in scaling your SaaS with the help of proper email marketing implementation. When you get onto Emercury you get more than just access to all the fanciest automation technologies. You get access to a team of SaaS email marketing experts who have a vested interest in seeing your SaaS succeed.

If you want to get a sense for this 5-star experience, please consider booking a free demo with our team. Isn’t it about time that you felt what it’s like to have someone on your side that cares about your success?

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