Use These 6 Email Marketing Strategies to Keep Your SaaS Customers Engaged

by Trevor

One of the most important ways to reach your customers is through email. And you thought email marketing was dead.

According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of customers prefer using email to communicate with companies. That percentage towers over the 17% of customers who prefer communicating via social media.

So, do you have a rock solid email marketing campaign to keep your customers engaged and informed? If you’re like most SaaS out there, I’m guessing the answer is no. But that’s okay, you’re here and we’re going to tackle email marketing together.

Let’s discuss the most important things you need to know about email marketing first, and then we’ll look at the key tips to remember when marketing via email.

Here’s a list of best practices to remember when sending emails to your SaaS customers:

The Benefits of Email Marketing

Why is email marketing so important? It’s all about money.

You may have heard the phrase, “the money’s in the list.” Here’s what that means: Email has a 3800% return on investment. You stand to gain $38 dollars for every $1 spent in email marketing. After you’ve created a list, no matter how small, you can start to nurture your subscribers and turn them into customers. Then, you can keep investing in those customers, and continue to bring in revenue.

What’s even more impressive is that 91% of email subscribers sign up because they want to get promotional emails from the companies. If people are signing up for your list, it’s because they want you to market to them. Don’t be shy.

The biggest benefit of email marketing is that you can continue to stay connected to your audience. The hope is that you’ll eventually woo these subscribers into customers. With a proper email marketing strategy, you’ll definitely stay “top of mind”. This is essential because most people aren’t ready to buy right away, but if you keep nurturing them, one day, they will buy.

For those who have already converted into customers, your emails become gentle reminders to use your product. This is important in the first few days after signing up, because you want your new customers to get in the habit of using your app religiously.

Finally, email marketing is a great way to gather feedback from your audience. You can survey your list periodically or conduct research trials on new products before releasing to the general public.

Understand the Types of Emails to Send

There are six main types of emails that you can send to your audience. Here’s the breakdown:


Your welcome email is the first email that you’ll send your new subscriber or user. In this email, you’ll set expectations on when to expect your emails, how often you send emails, and what you’ll discuss in your emails.

The content of your welcome emails will differ, depending on the audience.

If you’re sending a welcome email to someone who’s signed up for your service, you should include a getting started guide, where you discuss how to use your product.

If you’re sending a welcome email to someone who’s signed up for your newsletter but not your product, you should direct them to a landing page with a “best of” list of your best content. If you’ve promised a freebie (i.e. a lead magnet), you’ll also send instructions on how to retrieve it.


Newsletters are informational emails that keep your audience connected to you. You’ll send these emails to your entire list. But I do recommend segmenting for better open rates (more on this later).

Your newsletters should be sent on a frequent and consistent basis (for example, once a week every week).

In these newsletters, you’ll keep subscribers updated on any news concerning your company or your products. You’ll share blog posts. You’ll give them the heads up on any upcoming sales.

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is not the same as a newsletter. In lead nurturing, your entire goal is to move the subscriber from prospect to customer. You’ll do this through educational content, such as email courses. You can also use testimonials and case studies to persuade.


Promotional emails are a favorite for your users. In these emails, you’ll send news of special discounts, promotions, and sales.


Transactional emails are usually triggered by behavior from the subscriber. For example, if the subscriber needs to reset his or her password, you’ll send this type of email automatically. Other transactional emails include upsells, cross-sells, and receipts.

Cart Abandonment

Last but not least is the cart abandonment email. This is the email you should send immediately (within 30 minutes) after a customer leaves without completing a purchase. Approximately 23% of users abandon their carts on purpose in anticipation of a discount. Whether you want to give a discount or not is up to you, but sometimes rescuing a sale is better than not making any profit.

1. Segment Your List

You should always segment your list. Always.

Here are a two stats to remember:

No doubt about it– you should segment your list if you want to get more people to read your content.

If you’re just starting out, here are three important segments to consider:

1 – People who’ve purchased your product.

Send this segment emails of support, promotions, upsells, surveys, discounts, and information about your loyalty referral program.

2 – People who’ve expressed interest in your product but haven’t purchased.

Send this segment case studies, discounts, and webinar invitations.

3 – People who have initiated a trial but haven’t purchased.

Enroll this segment in an email course where you educate them on how to use your product. Towards the end of the trial, send testimonials, case studies, and special discount offers.

Here are a few other ways to segment your list:

By sign up date – Get your new subscribers up to speed and send them your “greatest hits” emails before funneling them into your main newsletter list. This allows you to gently introduce them to your list without throwing them into the deep end.

By app activity – Send emails based on where the user is in their customer journey with you.

By location – Send location-specific emails, such as discounts that coincide with special holidays like 4th of July or Canada Day.

2. Be Mindful of the Preview Text

Are you optimizing your email content for the preview text?

Preview text is the snippet of content that shows what your email is about. Most email marketing services provide a space for you to include your preview text.

So, why is it important?

Preview text allows a reader to determine whether or not to open your email. If your preview text isn’t relevant, then the reader isn’t going to bother opening your email at all. Your preview text needs to compel the reader to open.

Depending on the email provider, you have approximately 90 characters (not words) to persuade the reader. I recommend using this opportunity to ask a question. Questions immediately engage.

Preview text isn’t supported by every email service, but most of the bigger email providers offer it, including Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo!.

3. Send Emails Frequently

Aim to send out your emails on a frequent and predictable schedule. According to this study, the majority of your email subscribers want to hear from you weekly. If weekly sounds like too much of a commitment, send no less than once a month. Twelve emails in a year is doable for just about any SaaS.

The reason you should send out frequent emails is so that you stay “top of mind” for your subscribers. They should get used to hearing from you often. This will help them remember you when it’s time to finally make that purchase you’ve been nurturing them into buying.

4. Keep Your Emails Short and Sweet

The most effective emails are surprisingly short. You don’t have to spend a lot of time composing lengthy emails. According to Boomerang, the most effective emails are between 50 to 125 words in length.

That’s approximately three paragraphs.

Image Courtesy of Boomerang

Maybe it’s due to our ever-decreasing attention span. Maybe it’s because the inbox is a pretty hostile place where users just want to get in and get out. No matter the reason, the best performing emails are short.

It gives you just enough time to pique your user’s curiosity and invite them to read more.

So, in the case of newsletters, just include an excerpt and invite the user to click over for more information. That way you’ll get users back to your website– a win!

5. Send Valuable Emails

Don’t send emails that are nothing more than glorified status updates. While I do recommend sending your emails on a consistent basis, if there’s nothing to report, then don’t.

You should always send the most valuable content to your subscribers. Your emails should be something that your subscribers look forward to receiving.

6. Mind the Call to Action

Your call to action is crucial for engaging customers. Don’t send an email without purpose. Your emails should direct users to your blog, ask users to sign up for a trial, invite users to a webinar, or encourage them to refer new friends. End every email with what the user should do next. If you don’t, they’ll delete it and move on.

Speaking of which, make sure that you click on the link at the bottom of this post to receive a checklist of emails you should send to your SaaS customers.

Download our list of SaaS email marketing best practices:

Kill your churn. Keep more of your customers. Get an invite to Retained.

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