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A Business Owner’s Guide to SaaS Email Marketing in 2024

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Scattergun-blasting marketing emails into the void… Has that ever worked? Sure, with the advent of email and its subsequent surge in popularity, everybody tried it.

And everybody on the receiving end hated it.

The simple truth is that we don’t want to feel marketed to. Yet we do want to be subtly nudged towards the goods and services that would make our lives better.


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Easier.

The mark of good SaaS email marketing is nailing that sweet spot between coming off as annoying and “salesy” and coming off as a trustworthy source of information, products, and yes, software as a service.

And you want to fall into the latter category.

Keep reading to find out exactly how to do that.

But first, our top 3 Email Marketing tools are:

Looking Back to Look Forward: The Legacy of SaaS Email Marketing

Email marketing dates back to the early days of the Internet’s popularity in the late 1990s.

As the digital world became more accessible to the public, businesses recognized the value and potential of communicating with customers directly. The first known instance of email marketing dates back even earlier-to 1978, when Gary Thuerk sent a mass email promoting via the Arpanet showcasing computer models.

The email in question was benign but is now seen as the first instance of email marketing. It didn’t even reach 400 inboxes-there simply weren’t that many people to reach back then. But it kickstarted a trend that exists to this day.

What can we take from this?

Thuerk’s marketing campaign generated $13 million in sales, forever solidifying the effectiveness of email as a tool in the marketer’s toolbox.

Where Does SaaS Marketing Fit In?

Despite the popularity and proliferation of social media (and other trends), email remains a staple of the marketing game.

Software as a service, by its nature, benefits from targeted marketing efforts. By and large, most SaaS platforms solve a very specific problem-whether it’s a problem faced by individuals or businesses. With the right marketing tools, marketers can divide and conquer their audiences based on a variety of criteria, including:

  • Behavior
  • Age group
  • Personal preference
  • Demographics
  • Income

Moreover, SaaS email marketing blends with other marketing channels seamlessly. It’s not just a sales tool; it’s a multi-tool. You can use it to drive traffic to your website, to promote and grow your social media presence, and to trigger automated responses based on user behavior.

How Email Transforms Your Marketing Strategy

No marketing campaign is complete without email, and one of the key ways SaaS email marketing transforms your strategy is through automation. With it, you can set up sequences of emails that are triggered by certain actions and events.

A target customer is opening more emails than usual? It’s time for a sales pitch. They’re ignoring your marketing emails and relegating them to the trash?

Perhaps it’s time for a different approach.

Your messages stay timely and relevant-which means they stay engaging. And – with the right software-you can track and measure the success of your campaigns in real-time. You gain a deep understanding of what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs to go back to the drawing board.

You can use data analytics and insights to make rational decisions about where to go next.

SaaS Email Marketing in 2024

The skyrocketing popularity of machine learning and AI tools is transforming the landscape at a breakneck pace. So, as we look to 2024 and beyond, we need to prepare and become more flexible than ever.

The major trend is artificial intelligence (AI) in email marketing. AI can help businesses analyze vast volumes of data. It can predict customer behavior with uncanny accuracy, and AI tools are perfect for tailoring email content to the wants and tastes of the recipient.

But AI isn’t everything, and another exciting trend is the gradual rise of interactive emails.

Gone are the days of lengthy bodies of text with a call-to-action tagged on. Interactive elements, like polls, quizzes, and embedded videos allow businesses to make their emails engaging and interactive. The result is a better user experience on the one hand-and better chances of conversion on the other.

What’s in Store for 2024

Legislation and regulation are the hot topics for 2024 and beyond.

Existing regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) blanket entire demographics in a sea of red tape, bylaws, and gray zones. Many U.S. states are following suit, using California’s model as a template for their legislature.

President Biden issued an executive order in October 2023 to this effect. In a nutshell, the new directive calls for transparency, data protection, and new standards. In essence, a new dialog on the potential and limitations of AI is emerging and ongoing.

Sweeping laws will come into effect in 2024, and more will likely follow in the coming years. It’s fair to say that nobody knows what will happen-but the U.S. appears to be following the model of the European AI Act, which seeks to grade the types and uses of AI based on how much risk they pose.

What’s our prognosis?

Following in the footsteps of GDPR and data protection, we expect the use of personal (identifying) data to be limited. The true power of AI in digital marketing strategies will be its ability to learn; to adapt; and to tailor its approach to each user.

What’s Staying the Same

Some things will stay the same, no matter what shiny new tech emerges or what digital marketing trends take the industry by storm.


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Fundamentally, the ultimate goal of email marketing is to do one thing: Provide value to customers. Whether it’s informative content, exclusive deals, or personalized recommendations, your SaaS email marketing will always need to meet your customers’ needs and exceed expectations.

In that regard, the need for a well-thought-out strategy isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It’s easy to get swept up by the latest tools and tactics-but clear goals, performance indicators, and a defined target audience will always pay dividends.

Your One-Stop Guide to SaaS Email Marketing

As a veteran of the marketing world, SaaS email marketing has withstood the tests of time.

But how do you approach it?

This guide breaks it down into actionable steps. To master it, you need to understand five simple things:

  • The marketing funnel
  • How different types of marketing campaigns work
  • How to employ user data effectively
  • How to personalize your content
  • How to nurture hot leads

The Name of the Game: Understanding the Marketing Funnel

SaaS email marketing isn’t just a matter of sending emails and hoping for the best. The marketing funnel is just that – a funnel designed to distill a wide audience into a collection of loyal customers.

You can’t convert everybody. But you can make the best of a good thing.

At the top of the funnel are the “awareness” and “engagement” phases. Here, your main goal is to attract the attention of potential leads. Grabbing their attention with video, targeted ads, and engaging content leads to engagement, such as getting your audience to visit your website or sign up for mailing lists.

Following on from there are the “consideration” and “conversion” phases. This is where you convince leads to take your products seriously and, ideally, convert them into paying customers.

Yet that’s not where the funnel ends. Repeat business is profitable business and by connecting with your customers meaningfully and providing them with real value, you enter the “retention” phase.

And, from tip to tip, email marketing is a vital ingredient in your sales funnel.

Finding the Right Approach: Types of Marketing Campaigns

Different types of campaigns suit different purposes. Broadly, your marketing campaigns fall into three categories:

  1. Promotional campaigns
  2. Informational campaigns
  3. Engagement campaigns

Promotional campaigns aim to drive sales by promoting a product or service. New product announcements, special deals, and discounts for loyal customers are essential.

Informational campaigns aren’t looking to sell-at least, not directly. Instead, they’re intended to educate customers about a topic related to your business. How-to guides, newsletters, and important industry updates are their bread and butter.

Finally, engagement campaigns build and solidify your relationships with your customers. Asking for feedback gives your customers the opportunity to feel seen and heard, while sending out surveys can help you gather insights into their pain points and needs.

Zeroing In: Gathering User Data

User data is crucial for crafting personalized campaigns that resonate with your target audience. There are many ways to gather it, and one of the most common is through web analytics.

These insights track how users interact with your website, telling you which pages they visit, which ones they avoid, and how long they stick around. Customer surveys are another way of gathering user data while learning more about their attitudes and satisfaction levels.

Most SaaS platforms offer analytics services on top of these two approaches. Click-through rates and open rates for your emails tell you what’s working in your digital marketing strategies. Conversion rates show you how well you’re performing on the bottom line.

Getting the Ball Rolling: Segmentation and Personalization

Once you’ve gathered user data, you have to put it to good use.

This is where segmentation comes in. It involves splitting your email lists into smaller, made-to-measure groups. Organize by preference, behavior, and demographics. This allows you to tailor your emails to meet the needs of each segment, increasing effectiveness.

Personalizing your emails goes even further in the pursuit of maximizing engagement. Personal touches can be as simple as customizing emails to include the recipient’s name or as complex as providing product recommendations based on a user’s browsing history.

Both elements are key to creating effective SaaS email marketing campaigns. Personalized emails drive engagement, and engagement drives conversion.

Keeping Them Interested: Nurturing Your Leads

You need to keep your audience interested to close a deal. Google’s 7-11-4 rule indicates that customers need to interact with your products at 11 different touchpoints (on average) before they decide to make a purchase.

This is what makes lead nurturing so critical. You build relationships with your leads over time to convert them into customers. It’s a crucial part of the funnel that bridges the gap between the “consideration” and the “conversion” phases (see above).

So, by sending out regular, valuable, targeted SaaS emails, you can keep your brand front and center on the tip of your customers’ tongues. You should provide value at every touchpoint (no spam) with useful, informative content and tantalizing offers.

Making the Sale and Closing the Deal

The ultimate truth for any marketing campaign is in the sale. But it’s easier said than done. Getting there demands meticulous planning and strategic execution-married with a deep understanding of your audience.

One of the most effective ways to close the deal is with the power of compelling calls to action (CTAs). The mark of a good CTA is clear, concise, and compelling.

It tells the reader what to expect and it tells them what action to take and why.

Timing is another key piece of the puzzle. An email sent at the right time can significantly bolster your chances of making the sale. A great example is the one-two approach of sending a promotional email just as a customer is ready to buy and following up with a reminder at the right moment.

Remember the power of personalization. Tailor your emails based on your audience’s preferences and behavior patterns to increase their relevance.

In time, you’ll be driving more conversions than ever.

The Future of SaaS Email Marketing

SaaS email marketing is here to stay.

To personalize and automate; to analyze and propagate: These make it a vital tool for any software as a service provider keen on thriving in a cutthroat industry.

Yet a tool is only as good as the one to wield it.

So remember: It’s not just about sending emails. It’s about connecting with customers and building relationships.

We created Real Busi to show marketing professionals the real side of marketing. Our blog offers a rich mix of marketing tips and industry insights that keep your mind razor-sharp and help you stay ahead of the game. Hone your craft and expand your marketer’s toolbox by clicking here.

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Albert
Albert, as Editor-in-Chief of RealBusi.com, emphasizes practical and real-world business insights, covering growth strategies and marketing innovations. His expertise shines through in the site's content, which blends thorough analysis with actionable advice, establishing RealBusi.com as a go-to source for professionals and enthusiasts.

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