7 Crucial SaaS Email Marketing Funnel
Stages You Need To Know
One of the awesome things about email marketing, especially for SaaS, is that you can use it anywhere in the buyer’s journey.
You can send emails to people who are just finding out about your SaaS product. You can send them to convince existing leads to make a purchase.
What’s more, long after you have won them as paying customers, you can still use email to keep them subscribed to your SaaS product.
But with this versatility that comes with email marketing, it can be quite a challenge to keep track of which emails should be sent to whom.
That’s where the email marketing funnel comes in.
In this blog post, we will talk about the SaaS email marketing funnel and the key stages that it should have.
But before we dive into that, let’s first take a quick look at what is an email marketing funnel.
What Is An Email Marketing Funnel?
An email marketing funnel is simply a process that you can use to send targeted emails to your list at each stage of the buyer journey.
The goal of having an email marketing funnel is to eventually get your subscribers to take the desired action. That desired action can be making a purchase, signing up for a free trial, or just subscribing to your blog.
Why Do You Need An Email Marketing Funnel?
There are several reasons why you need an email marketing funnel. Here are some of the most important ones:
It Helps You Simplify & Visualize The Customer Journey
One of the main reasons why you need an email marketing funnel is that it helps you simplify and visualize the customer journey.
It can be quite overwhelming to keep track of all the different stages that an email subscriber goes through before they finally purchase your SaaS product.
But when you have a funnel in place, it becomes much easier to track where your subscribers are in their journey and what kind of emails they need at each stage.
It Helps You Send The Right Message To The Right People
Another benefit of having an email marketing funnel is that it helps you send targeted emails to your list.
This is important because you don’t want to be sending the same email to everyone on your mailing list.
For example, someone who just subscribed to your email newsletter doesn’t need to receive the same email as someone who’s already been a subscriber for 6 months.
It Helps You Keep Your Email List Organized
Another benefit of having an email marketing funnel is that it helps you keep your email list organized.
This is important because you want to make sure that you’re sending the right emails to the right people at the right time.
If your email list is a mess, it will be very difficult to keep track of who needs to receive which emails.
It Helps You Increase Your Email Open Rates And Click-Through Rates
Another benefit of having a powerful email marketing funnel is that it helps you increase your email open rates and click-through rates.
This is because when you send targeted emails to your list, they are more likely to open and click on them because they are relevant to them.
On the other hand, if you send generic emails to your entire list, they are less likely to open and click on them because the emails don’t appeal to their particular interests.
It Makes Email Marketing Automation Easier
Another benefit of having an email marketing funnel is that it can guide your email marketing automation.
This is because when you have a process in place for sending emails, it becomes much easier to automate. Setting up drip email campaigns becomes so much simpler.
And when you automate your email marketing, it frees up your time so that you can focus on other important tasks.
Essential Email Marketing Funnel Stages For SaaS
The SaaS sales funnel doesn’t work like the sales funnels for most traditional businesses out there.
With the SaaS business model, the buyer’s journey doesn’t end after the customer makes the first purchase. It goes on and on until the customer stops subscribing to your SaaS product.
That’s why some key stages in the sales funnel include the Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Retention, and Advocacy stages.
As we discuss different stages of the SaaS email marketing funnel, you may notice that they share some similarities with a basic SaaS sales funnel.
But in this instance, we will focus on how emails vary for each stage.
With that, some essential SaaS email marketing funnel stages include the following:
- Purchase & Adoption
Let’s talk about them one by one.
1) Awareness Stage
The Awareness Stage is where your potential customer becomes aware of their pain points.
At this stage, they don’t know much about your SaaS product. They may not even know what types of solutions can best address their pain points.
The goal of your emails in the Awareness Stage should be to provide value to them and gain their trust.
That would put you in a better position to introduce your SaaS product to them and get them interested in learning more about it.
That’s why, in this stage, you mainly work with the following types of emails:
Welcome Email: You send these emails to welcome your potential customers after they sign up to be on your email list.
For example, you can write an email that thanks them for subscribing and tells them what they can expect from your emails.
Educational Emails: These types of emails are more about relevant topics in your niche.
In the spirit of providing value to your subscribers and gaining their trust, the email content doesn’t have to aggressively promote your product yet. It just builds trust with your audience by providing relevant and reliable information.
Brand Story Emails: You send these types of emails to tell your new subscriber about your brand story.
For example, you can write an email that talks about how your company started and what your mission is.
2) Engagement Stage
The Engagement Stage is where your email subscriber starts to engage with your brand.
At this stage, your main goal is to present your SaaS product as a solution for their pain points.
The goal of your emails in this stage should be to get your subscribers interested in your product. That would prompt them to take a closer look at what your product has to offer.
That’s why, in this stage, you want to work with the following types of emails:
Product Overview Emails: You send these types of marketing emails to introduce your product to your potential customers. For example, you can write an email that gives a quick tour of your product and its features.
Case Study Emails: You send these emails to show potential customers how your product has helped other people.
For example, you can write an email that talks about how one of your customers used your product to solve a specific problem.
This type of email may pique your prospect’s interest further because of the social proof that comes with it.
3) Consideration Stage
The Consideration Stage is when potential customers start considering whether or not to buy your SaaS solution. They may even be comparing it with other similar products in the market.
At this stage, your goal is to help potential customers make an informed decision about your product.
You want to show them that your SaaS product is the best solution for their pain points and how it is different from your competitors. That would prompt them to buy your product over other similar products in the market.
That’s why, in this stage, you primarily work with the following types of emails:
Product Comparison Emails: You send these types of emails to compare your product with other similar products in the market.
This type of email helps potential customers understand how your product is different and better than other options they have.
Free Trial or Demo Emails: You send these types of emails to offer potential customers a free trial or demo of your product.
This type of email can help show potential customers the value of your product and how it can help them before they make a purchase.
Promotional Email: You send these types of emails to offer potential customers discounts or other promotions.
This type of email can help convince potential customers who are on the fence about your product to make a purchase.
Activation Emails: You send these emails to demo or free trial users who may have encountered a specific “activation.”
Activation refers to an event that can indicate that your SaaS product has already delivered value to your lead or prospect. In SaaS spaces, it is also called the “A-ha!” moment.
The activation highly depends on you and what makes you say that your product has already delivered significant value to your users.
Let’s have some examples.
For telephony solutions, activation could mean that the user has enjoyed a certain duration of free calls using the SaaS product. For sales management software, it could be the user being able to create a custom sales pipeline.
These “A-ha!” moments are great times to send an email to your free trial users since they already see the value of your SaaS product and it’s still fresh in their minds.
If you can, you can even send automated emails triggered by these activation events. In the email, you can congratulate them for doing what they just did with your SaaS product. And then you can offer them a full subscription to it.
4) Purchase & Adoption Stages
The Purchase and Adoption stages are when potential customers finally buy your SaaS product.
At these stages, your goal is to provide them with a smooth and positive purchase experience. You also want to ensure that they’re able to use your product and get value from it.
That’s why, in this stage, you have to send the following types of emails:
Purchase Confirmation Emails: You send these types of emails to confirm that a customer has purchased your product. But you can also go the extra mile and make a good first impression of your new relationship with them.
For example, you can write an email that thanks them for their purchase and provides the next steps on how to use your product.
Onboarding Emails: You send these types of emails to help new customers get started with your product. For example, you can write an email that gives a brief overview of your product and its features.
You can also include some helpful tips on how to get the most out of your product.
5) Retention Stage
The Retention Stage is when customers continue using your SaaS product on a regular basis.
At this stage, your goal is to improve your customer retention. You need to ensure that your current customers are able to use your product successfully and get the best value from it.
You may also want to encourage them to use all the features of your product.
That’s why, in this stage, you will work with the following types of emails:
Product Usage Emails: You send these types of emails to encourage customers to use all the features of your product.
For example, you can write an email that talks about how one of your customers used your product to solve a specific problem
This type of email may prompt other customers to use your product in a similar way.
Tutorial Emails: You send these types of emails to show customers how to use your product. For example, you can write an email that provides a step-by-step guide on how to use a specific feature of your product.
You can also include some helpful tips on how to get the most out of that feature.
Product Update Emails: You send these types of emails to let customers know about new features or updates to your product.
For example, you can write an email that talks about a new feature that you just rolled out and how it can help them.
You can also include a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages them to try out the new feature.
Reactivation Emails: When it comes to running a SaaS business, having unhappy customers is inevitable.
And when you notice that some of them aren’t that happy with your product, you can send them a reactivation email to check up on them.
You send these types of emails to customers who haven’t used your SaaS product in a while. For example, you can write an email that asks them how they’re doing and if they need any help with using your product.
You can also include a link to a knowledge base article that can help them get back up or maximize their access to your SaaS solution.
6) Expansion Stage
The Expansion Stage is when customers are ready for more advanced subscription plans or other add-on products that you offer.
At this stage, your goal is to upsell or cross-sell to your existing customers.
That’s why, in this stage, you mainly work with the following types of marketing emails:
Product Usage Update: The best way to upsell a SaaS product is to show your customer how they are getting so much value from their current plan that they are almost exceeding its limitations.
At this point, you can send an email update that talks about how the customer is using your product and the benefits they’re getting from it.
For example, let’s say you have a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
If you feel like a customer is ready for an upgrade, you could send them a recap of how many leads they have generated or how many deals they have closed using your software.
Then you can tell them how the next subscription tier can double or triple their results for just a twenty-dollar difference.
As a cherry on top, you can end it with a compelling CTA that leads them to a page where they can upgrade their subscription plan.
New Feature Announcement: You can also use email to announce a new feature that’s coming out soon. This is a great way to get customers excited about an upcoming update and encourage them to upgrade their subscription plan.
For example, let’s say you’re releasing a new CRM feature that’s going to help sales teams close more deals.
You could send an email announcement that talks about how the new feature works and how well it performs with the higher plans. That way, your customer has more incentive to upgrade to a more advanced plan.
7) Advocacy Stage
The Advocacy Stage is when customers are so happy with your product that they’re willing to talk about it to other people.
At this stage, your goal is to turn your loyal customers into brand advocates who can help you promote your product.
That’s why you will primarily work with the following types of emails:
Product Review Request Email: You can send this type of email to customers who you think would be willing to leave a review for your product
In the email, you can thank your subscriber for being a loyal customer and mention how much their opinion means to you.
Then you can include a CTA that leads them to a page where they can leave their review on popular review sites like G2 and Capterra.
Referral Program Email: Another great way to turn customers into brand advocates is by setting up a referral program. And you can use email to communicate this program to your happy customers.
With this type of email, you can offer customers a free temporary upgrade or other incentives for referring your product to their friends or colleagues
For example, you could give them a one-month free upgrade for every person they refer who signs up for your product.
What’s more, you can also include a CTA that leads them to a page where they can learn more about your referral program and start referring people to your product.
Final Thoughts: Creating Your Own SaaS Email Marketing Funnel
Email marketing is a powerful tool that can help you grow your SaaS business at every stage of the customer journey. After all, email is the best way to nurture relationships, promote your product, and close deals.
Having a solid email marketing funnel will help you ensure that your email marketing efforts are doing what they are supposed to.
However, there is no single email marketing funnel that works with all kinds of SaaS businesses.
After all, every company is different. Your processes are your own. Different people in your target audience have their own interests and preferences.
That’s why it’s important to tailor your email marketing funnels according to the needs of your business and your customers.
The best way to do this is by using the email marketing stages we’ve talked about in this article as a guide. That way, you can create a powerful email marketing funnel that’s specifically designed for your business.
Looking for more guides and strategies that can help you grow your SaaS business? Check out our blog here.