SaaS Marketing

4 SaaS Email Marketing Tips To Reduce Customer Churn [Examples & Templates]

Alon Keren January 8th, 2022

Customer churn is a natural phenomenon for SaaS companies since you can’t retain customers forever.

However, for most SaaS startups, customer churn is a major headache, with the average churn rate for 1-2-year-old startups touching 50%.

There are numerous reasons for customer churn, including poor product performance, lack of support, and better competitors.

But a carefully designed SaaS email marketing strategy can help in reducing churn in most scenarios.

In this article, I’ll discuss four proven SaaS email marketing tips to help you improve your customer engagement and retain users longer.

Let’s dive in.

Tip #1 for SaaS Email Marketing: Nail The Onboarding Sequence

First impressions last a lifetime which is why your first few interactions with your customers are crucial.

They’ve just invested in your product and are excited about using it.

Make the most of it.

Research shows that welcome emails have an 82% open rate which is 61% higher than regular emails.

Source

Unfortunately, many SaaS onboarding sequences look like this.

Email 1: Welcome

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Crickets.

Seriously! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen SaaS companies simply ignore their customers after the initial welcome email.

Don’t do that.

Instead, invest in a comprehensive onboarding email sequence.

What’s the goal? Understand your customer’s goals and help them use your product to succeed. This is why the best SaaS onboarding emails are deep-rooted into customer research.

For example, if your customers frequently reach out to your support team seeking help in using your product features, your onboarding sequence should focus on customer education.

Asana’s welcome email is an excellent example.

After a quick welcome message, it takes the user straight to the next most important tasks in using Asana.

Similarly, Shopify sends new customers a welcome email that guides them on the next steps they should follow to start selling online.

They follow it up with an email containing links to the Shopify Academy and Help Center, inviting users to explore these resources.

It follow-ups with five more emails, each explaining a different aspect of Shopify’s ecommerce platform and showing customers what’s possible.

The goal of these emails is to help the customers use the product as soon as possible to get immediate value from it. Because the more a customer benefits from your product, the likelier they are to stay longer with you.

So, when designing an onboarding sequence, don’t limit it to just a couple of emails. Instead, use this sequence to:

  • First of all, engage your customer by asking them their immediate goals.
  • Send them step-by-step tutorials and guidelines to start using your product asap.

You can even start with this simple onboarding email template.

Include as many emails as needed in the onboarding sequence. But make sure you show your customers everything they can do with your product by the end of the sequence.

Tip #2: Make Them Use Your Product

Product education emails don’t stop with the onboarding sequence.

Once customers start using your product, keep sharing tips to help them make the most of it. Once again, use insights from your support team to understand your customers’ biggest challenges and create emails that resolve them.

Ahrefs do a brilliant job in helping customers use their product through regular emails.

Also, make sure you let your subscribers know about every product update (even minor ones) and show them how they work.

For example, every time Elementor adds new features or upgrades, it informs the customers about it through timely emails.

This is where your content marketing and SaaS email marketing strategies converge as well.

The more useful and actionable blog content you create around your product’s core features, the more value you can provide through your informational email campaigns.

Doing so keeps your customers interested in your product and helps them make the most of its features.

If they still don’t use it, ask them if they need help. This email by Wave Video is an excellent example.

What’s the cost of not helping your customers use your product? They’ll simply lose interest, forget about you, and not even complain (as this research shows.)

Source

Only one in twenty-six unhappy customers complain. The rest stay quiet, and you only get to know about them when they don’t renew their subscription.

Don’t leave things that late.

Keep emailing your customers and make sure they’re using your product to its potential.

Tip #3: Win Back Customers With Reactivation Emails

You’ve sent your customers a well-designed onboarding sequence, and you’ve been helping them with actionable content to make the most of your product.

But they’re still not using it and not even responding to your emails.

This is where SaaS reactivation or re-engagement emails come in handy.

Re-engagement emails have one goal – get your customers back to using your product.

Here’s an example of an excellent re-engagement email by Webflow.

Look how they use FOMO to re-engage users instead of just asking them to do it.

Grammarly uses a slightly more direct approach and reminds users to start using it again.

Even Google uses these emails to get users back.

A reactivation campaign can consist of one or more emails. Most of the time, one email isn’t enough, so it’s always better to reach multiple times before giving up.

You can automate this process by creating a condition-based reactivation campaign that triggers when a user hasn’t logged in to their account for a specific period of time.

If they take action in response to your first re-engagement email, they automatically go off the follow-up list.

Otherwise, they’ll get the remaining reactivation emails as well until they click a link or meet the condition you define in your email marketing software.

Tip #4: Design A Compelling Retention Sequence

Retention becomes much easier if you’ve treated your customers well, solved their problems, and kept them engaged with your product throughout their subscription period.

So ideally, you should be thinking about retention from the moment a customer signs up.

However, most people need the final push, which is why a retention email sequence is critical to your business.

According to research, it’s much easier to retain your existing customers than to get new ones.

Source

In the case of an annual subscription, your retention sequence should start long before your customer’s term expires. This not only helps you warm them up for renewal but also ensures that they don’t get any surprises if they’ve enabled auto-renewal (most people forget it.)

For example, Elementor sends a soft reminder a few weeks before the renewal date.

You can also use special offers and packages to entice customers and drive more renewals.

BlueHost usually does that in its renewal emails.

As the renewal date approaches, send multiple reminders and even offer discounts as a last resort. 

In most cases, you won’t need to do that if you’ve kept in touch with your customers through regular emails, resolved their problems, and provided them excellent service.

Email Marketing Works for SaaS

Yes, it does.

By staying in your customers’ inbox all year and helping them get value from your product, you can significantly reduce your churn rate.

Still, a certain percentage of your customers will always leave, and that’s alright as long as you’ve provided them everything you committed and kept them engaged through regular emails throughout their tenure with you.