Emails are one of the most powerful tools in any SaaS marketing arsenal. They offer a way to get your content, brand and product directly into the hands of engaged, relevant people.
If you're prepared to monitor, analyse and refine your email campaigns, they have the potential to be one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics going.
To help you get the most out of your email marketing, I'm looking at 7 key steps to maximising the ROI of your SaaS marketing emails.
1) Be Clear About the Goal of the Email
All marketing activities need to be outcome-orientated - and emails should be no different.
Each and every one of your marketing emails has to be designed to serve a single goal, and encourage the recipient to take a desired course of action.
Before you set metaphorical pen to paper, you need to decide what you want to achieve with your email. Typically, most SaaS marketing emails will be designed to:
- Encourage leads to engage with blog content, or download a whitepaper.
- Encourage qualified leads to take up a trial offer.
- Encourage a trial user to speak to a sales rep, or buy your product.
2) Put a Value on User Actions
Deciding on the goal of your email will help you to create effective, purposeful copy. Just as importantly, it'll also help you work out the return on investment (ROI) of your email strategy.
To calculate your return, you first need to work out how much a successful action is worth. If you're creating an email to encourage leads to take up a free trial, you need to be able to estimate how much a new free trial user is worth to your business. If you're promoting an eBook, you need to put a value on each eBook download.
This allows you to compare the costs of sending an email with the value it generates, and calculate your ROI. Armed with that information, you can work out which of your emails is generating the highest value, and focus your efforts on the most effective strategy.
3) Segment Emails by Buyer Persona
Instead of sending a single email to your entire mailing list, break your list down into groups of people with similar interests and problems (known as buyer personas), and create a tailor-made email for each group.
Segmenting by buyer persona will make it easier to address the individual needs of your recipients, and increase the chances of your readers engaging with and acting upon your email.
4) Create Standout Copy
For your SaaS marketing email to be effective, your recipient needs to open it, read it, and click the link inside.
To get your email to standout in a crowded inbox, and encourage your reader to take action on its contents, you need to be smart with your email copy. It's essential to:
- Personalise copy, and make references to the recipient's name, business and pain points (as revealed by their buyer persona).
- Use that information to create a compelling story your reader can relate to.
- Show a bit of empathy and personality - and demonstrate you're a person, not a machine.
5) Pick the Right Email Frequency
You need to determine the sweet-spot for sending your emails. There's a fine line between too much content, and too little - and it pays to experiment with a few different frequencies.
To work out your ideal frequency you need to:
- Fit your emails around your prospect's typical buying cycle.
- Work out how many emails you can sustainably produce.
- Get feedback from your prospects - how often do they want to receive emails?
- Subscribe to your competitor's mailing lists, and analyse their email frequency.
In order to calculate the efficacy and ROI of your SaaS email marketing, you need access to accurate data and crucial performance insights.
Marketing automation software (like HubSpot) is designed to provide you with the information you need to constantly analyse, revise and improve your marketing strategy. Good software will allow you to manage your mailing lists, segment them by persona, create personalised dynamic content, and track crucial performance metrics - like open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribes.
7) Build an Opt-in List For Your SaaS
Bought mailing lists will never realise the same ROI as a built mailing list. To get the most out of your email marketing, you need to create an opt-in list, and encourage users to sign-up for your emails of their own volition.
Opt-in mailing lists will see much higher engagement than bought lists, as each of your recipients has chosen to receive your emails - benefiting from the psychological principle of commitment and consistency. You'll only attract relevant, interested people to your mailing lists, and you'll avoid burning through expensive bought lists, or suffering the wrath of anti-spam laws.