How to create the best email workflow for your SAAS business

 

I've noticed a curious thing about SAAS companies. When companies talk about a marketing automation platform and/or email marketing automation workflows or just email marketing in general, they are unusually willing to tell you how much they charge for their software.

On the one hand, email marketing software can be a good thing. It's usually better to be transparent about pricing than not. But on the other hand, it's also an indication of how little thought most saas companies have put into it.

Here's what I mean: when you ask people "how much does x cost?" they respond by telling you what they charge. But when you ask companies that question, they respond by telling you how great their product is and how important it will be to your business.

So why do saas companies behave differently? Because the way most people buy things from them is the way most startups buy things from them: someone in marketing applies for a free trial, and then when they like it they get someone in ops to talk to sales and haggle over the price until they reach some agreement.

I'm not sure whether this is good or bad for saas companies, but I can't help noting that no one ever buys anything else this way.

Setting up a system of SaaS automated email workflows will be one of the most important jobs your inbound marketing agency embarks upon.

The contacts you've accumulated in your marketing database are only as valuable as you are able to effectively engage them – and any customers that you let fall by the wayside (i.e. forget about) won't be customers for very long.

Today, email marketing and automated email sequences remains one of the most effective – if not the most effective – marketing channel.

Indeed, according to the latest report from the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers cite email marketing as being the number one channel for content marketing success.

Email marketing workflow is considered the number one marketing channel for B2B companies.

(Image source: contentmarketinginstitute.com)

SaaS email marketing automation strategy workflows will form an essential part of both your lead nurturing and customer retention strategies and will ultimately improve your conversion rate.

They will need to be set up using email marketing automation workflow software, with a series of personalized emails with relevant content created that will be triggered when each customer or prospect that you have performs a certain action or reaches a particular stage in the buyer's journey.

Your inbound marketing agency can create any number of SaaS email marketing workflows based on any information about your contacts and your email marketing strategy. They are a critical element of targeting initiatives, designed to drive continued engagement throughout the customer journey, from the moment they first submit their contact information, to long after they've made their first purchase.

So let's consider a few examples of automated email marketing workflows your inbound marketing agency can set up for you to start extracting the most value from your database of contacts as they progress through your sales funnel.

Read How the Top Companies Chase and Close SaaS Sales Leads

SaaS Email Marketing Workflow; To Engage and Retain Customers

New Subscriber Welcome Workflow

Right at the top of the funnel of your content marketing efforts is your blog. When you get new subscribers, a SaaS email automation workflow should be in place to welcome these prospects so you can begin to build a relationship that will start to convert them into leads, and then those leads into customers.

The trigger will of course be the act itself of subscribing to your blog, which will automate the sending of a warm and welcoming email, thanking the prospect for subscribing, explicating the value they will get out of reading your blog, and directing them towards some further educative materials.

As a matter of course, every time a new blog is published, the automated system will send an email, as well as when your newsletters are released.

But, somewhere along the line of the workflow, you will want to be offering something extra. That’s what photo-framing startup Framebridge does in its offer of additional educational content to keep its subscribers engaged – in this case teaching their blog readers a helpful skill.An ideal welcome email marketing workflow is practical, helpful and educational.

(Image source: blog.hubspot.com)

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Lead Nurturing Workflow

In the sales process, lead nurturing is all about moving prospects down the sales funnel.

Let's say a visitor to your site has downloaded a piece (or several pieces) of your ToFu (top of the funnel) content materials – an eBook, infographic, or white paper, say. These are common called Lead Magnets.

Having submitted their personal information, this visitor now becomes a contact in the sales cycle – and their action(s) (i.e. requesting access to gated content) indicates that they may be ready to be guided towards the next stage of slaes automation.

Downloading the initial content offering is the trigger, and your SaaS email workflow automation system will be configured to send out a follow-up email to these contacts with the offer of some MoFu (middle of the marketing funnel) content, designed to be influential in converting qualified leads into customers.

This MoFu content can take many forms – perhaps it's a blog post featuring a customer success story, a case study, or an invitation to a webinar. Here's one such triggered email example from email automation company Litmus.

A lead nurturing email marketing workflow has to strike the balance between educational and promotional, with an emphasis on how the product or service can help meet the customer's needs.

(Image source: blog.hubspot.com)

New Customer Automated Workflow

New customer SaaS automated emails are essential. As soon as someone has made a purchase or signed-up to your service, your inbound marketing agency will ensure that a purchase confirmation email as part of your marketing automation, is triggered, containing a big thank you to the new customer.

It’s also important at this stage that your email does what it can to address any buyer’s remorse head on. It’s not uncommon for a new customer to feel a tinge of regret when they make a purchase – in fact it’s very common.

What you need to do, therefore, is to help your customers rationalise the purchase they’ve just made from you – and your email content is the perfect medium for doing just that.

Indeed, sometimes it may be appropriate to not actually “thank” them for the purchase, but to “congratulate” them on it instead. This will serve to support their decision, which you will bolster with positive, confirmation messages that explicate the new value they’ve just released for themselves or their business, all of which will help them justify the purchase they’ve just made.

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Here’s an example from ecommerce platform WooCommerce:

Affirm your customers' decision to buy from you with a congratulatory follow-up email from the email marketing workflow

(Image source: woocommerce.com)

Abandoned Cart Workflow

Studies show that the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate stands at 69.23%.

This equates to millions if not billions of pounds' worth in lost revenue from companies around the world each and every year.

As such, your inbound marketing agency will be searching for a solution to reduce your cart abandonment rates – and automated email marketing workflows will naturally be a primary tactic.

The trigger here will be customers loading up their online carts with items but failing to complete the purchase. And the trick with the email that you send will be to entice them back to finish what they started.

Here, mattress manufacturer Casper includes a customer testimonial in its abandoned cart email to lure customers back.

Some customers will need a nudge to get them back on the path to purchase. A SaaS email workflow that reminds them when they left in their basket is ideal.

(Image source: blog.hubspot.com)

Over to You

These are just a few examples of how to use SaaS email workflows to engage and retain customers. A good inbound email marketing agency, however, will ensure that you have many more, each of which designed to be triggered by very specific actions taken by very specific customers and leads.

The email marketing automation software you decide to use with automation workflows that you use from your marketing automation provider will also be configured to trigger internal emails as well.

This means that your sales department will be notified when someone reaches the bottom of the funnel (BoFu) stages of the buyer’s journey, or certain members of your marketing department can be contacted if an MQL (marketing qualified lead) is identified and this can all be achieved with email marketing automation tools.

A marketing automation platform with a SaaS automated email workflow is an advanced tool for the serious inbound marketing strategist – if you need help with yours, then please get in touch with the inbound marketing experts here at Incisive Edge today. 

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Julia-Payne-Inbound-Marketing-Account-Based-Marketing-Expert

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