If you've been sending out repetitive emails manually, you know it's not an easy task.
Customers are at different stages in the buying journey with unique needs, preferences, and behaviors. This means there's a constant need to be in consistent communication with your customers, or else you will lose the chance to foster great relationships and boost revenue.
How can you possibly communicate with every customer without experiencing burnout?
Email automation is the key as it lets you engage with the right customers at the right time. There are different types of email automation sequences. This article will explain each and highlight how to use each automated email sequence to save time and money.
Here's what we'll consider:
- What is email automation?
- Why you need email automation for your SaaS business
- How to save time and money with email automation
- Types of email automation
- Choose the right email automation tool
- Wrapping it up
What is email automation?
Email automation is the process of sending a series of emails to customers based on their actions and behaviors. These customer actions and behaviors are also known as triggers. They can include signing up for a free trial, downloading a lead magnet, signing up for an event, etc.
For example, if a user signs up for a free trial but has not upgraded to the premium plan, you can set up an automated upgrade email series to entice the user to upgrade their plan.
Why you need email automation for your SaaS business
As we mentioned earlier, email marketing is not an easy task. It can be challenging to communicate with customers with unique needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Email automation takes the pressure out by helping you build messaging workflows tailored to your customer’s preferences. Even more, it helps to boost more revenue than sending emails manually.
According to Campaign Monitor, automated emails generate 320% more revenue than non-automated emails.
Here are additional benefits of using email automation in your saas business:
- Build Better Customer Relationships – email automation lets you send pre-built email sequences to keep your existing customers interested in your brand. It also provides a means to sell your products at scale and increase revenue. For instance, you can automate re-engagement campaigns, ask for customer feedback and send exclusive offers.
- Personalized messaging – with email automation, you can send the right message to the right customer segment at the right time based on pre-defined triggers and user behaviors. It makes customers feel that you understand their needs better.
- Save time – email automation cancels the need to send messages manually. It helps you and your team save time and focus on other tasks.
How to save time and money with email automation
Before you plan and set up your email automation strategy, you need to get familiar with a few terms and understand their purpose.
- Understand the customer journey – a typical SaaS customer journey includes five stages, namely: awareness >> consideration>> purchase >> retention >> advocacy.
You need to understand each stage and where prospects and customers fall by mapping out the customer's journey. This will help you plan the automated email series you send to customers at every stage.
- Build a customer roadmap- as we mentioned earlier, you need to plan an automated email sequence based on the customer journey. In other words, you need to set up workflows based on customer actions /behavior. For example, if a customer performs a specific action, you send them email X. If the customer performs another action, you send email Y.
Types of email automation
1 . Welcome email series
With email automation, you can send a welcome email series to customers at different touchpoints in the buying journey. This means that you don’t have to worry about spending too much time communicating with every prospect and customer in your database.
A welcome email series can be sent based on some customer actions like:
- When a customer sign-ups to download a lead magnet
- When a customer signs up for a free trial
- When a customer signs up for an event you’re hosting
Email automation helps you to set up the ideal workflows and conditions for each of these customers’ actions.
2. Lead nurture email sequence
Since customers are at different stages in the buying journey, their nurturing needs will differ. However, here's a typical example of a lead nurture sequence:
Trigger-based action: lead magnet download.
Automated email sequence: a lead nurturing email sequence with 3-5 emails that include:
- A welcome email containing the lead magnet the user signed up for
- An email highlighting your brand story
- The third email highlights your product’s unique value proposition and additional resources for nurturing
- The fourth email reveals core product solutions based on the customer’s stage in the buying journey
- Final email enticing the prospect to sign up for a free trial
3. Onboarding email sequence
When a prospect signs up for your product, you need to help them get the best use of your product.
Trigger-based action: free trial sign up
Automated email sequence: an onboarding email sequence with 3-4 emails:
- A welcome email thanking the customer for signing up including resources on how to use the product and other product recommendations
- An email asking the user about their onboarding experience so far
- An email including testimonials, case studies, and reviews to entice the user to upgrade to a paid plan
- An upgrade email enticing the user to pay for a premium plan
4. Event promotion email sequence
When you have an event like webinars or meetups, it’ll be time-consuming sending an invite to every user manually. You can issue reminder emails before the event begins and save time with email automation.
- First of all, after a user has signed up for the event, their contact info like name, email, and the date of the event is added immediately to your email marketing tool. You’ll have to issue an automated follow-up email series that’ll go out on predetermined days leading up to the event.
- Secondly, after the event has ended, you’ll also have to issue a series of follow-up emails on any relevant information like videos, slides, PowerPoint presentations, and webinar recordings.
This type of automated email series can help increase revenue and reach your customer base at scale.
5. Re-engagement email campaigns
Re-engagement email series provides a means to win back inactive users. All you need to do is set up the right workflows and let email automation deliver trigger-based messages to users at the right time.
Here’s an example of using email automation:
Trigger-based action: user becomes inactive for a certain period of time.
Re-engagement email sequence: a series of 3-4 emails that encourage the inactive user to get back to using your product. Your re-engagement email sequence can include:
- The reminder email initiates the win-back email campaign.
- Feedback email that enquires why the customer went inactive.
- Incentive email that offers the customer something for free.
- Unsubscribe email informing the customers you have to let them go with an option to return in case they change their mind.
Once you set up your re-engagement email sequence, set the ideal conditions and automate it.
6. Transactional emails
Each time a user makes a purchase with your brand, you need to send transactional messages to inform the user of the transaction status.
These messages form a crucial part of your email marketing automation strategy. Most of the time, users will open them to ensure that their transactions went as planned.
Here’s an example:
Trigger-based action: user pays for a premium plan
An automated email thanking the user for the purchase including a receipt confirming the user’s payment was successful
Transactional emails can also be used to notify a user if a payment wasn't successful and what it means for their app usage.
7. Customer review email
This email category is all about getting compelling customer feedback. You can set up an email automation workflow to entice customers to give feedback about their overall experience using your product.
Trigger-based action: the customer makes the recurring payment for a certain period of time
Automated customer feedback email that includes an offer to incentivize customers to provide a review on how your product has benefitted them.
Choose the right email automation tool
To get the best use of email automation, you need a suitable email automation tool to help you create automated email series based on customizable triggers and dynamic customer segmentation.
Engage is a powerful customer engagement tool that will help you build a better relationship with your customers by giving you the ability to send personalized automated messages to your customers via email, SMS, push notifications, and in-app messages.
Email marketing includes many tasks that can get you stressed out if you don’t apply the right systems to simplify the processes.
With email automation, you can set up ideal workflows and send the right messages to the right customer at the right time. This way, you save time, money, and resources and help your team operate at optimum performance.
Remember, to build the ideal email automation strategy, you must understand the customer journey, create the right customer segments and build customer roadmaps for a more personalized messaging.
At Engage, we have simplified these processes to ensure you can easily integrate your customer data and craft powerful automation with different triggers.