Should SaaS companies do email marketing in 2021? The effectiveness of email lists continues to be one of the highest in digital marketing.
We all know that user satisfaction is a priority for SaaS businesses, but today, you can no longer buy a cold database of addresses, send spam emails, and get expected results.
To make your newsletters work, you need to come up with a well-thought-out strategy.
In this article, we will explain to you what email marketing is, its pros and cons for SaaS companies, and share the top 5 best software solutions.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is one of the first sales tools that appeared on the Internet. Despite the fact that today, there are a lot of new advertising channels, email marketing remains the leader in the field of Internet sales.
Email marketing has a number of advantages in terms of sales, which alternative lead sources don’t have. Here are a few of them:
Return on Investment (ROI)
A well-designed email campaign recoups the cost of its preparation, increasing sales and loyalty of the target audience;
Compared to social networks, where reach is only a few percent, emails reach at least 90% of your subscribers;
On social media, people scroll through the feed, almost never lingering on the content. In addition, once a post is read, it’s lost without a trace.
An email always stays available in your inbox. Plus, more than half of users spend more than 8 seconds to read it;
Design and Features
In chats and social networks, we are forced to use only predefined features. Email newsletters have an unlimited number of design options – you can add any interactive elements to your message;
In this regard, messengers and social networks are still quite modest. In turn, email marketing allows you to track user behavior in detail;
Effective email marketing features help you to interact directly with your target audience who is genuinely interested in your promotional offers.
Therefore, it provides a significantly higher conversion rate compared to other channels, competing only with contextual advertising in search networks.
Thus, on average, the conversion from email marketing is twice as high as that from organic traffic to the site. Also, it’s 9 times higher than traffic from social networks;
Every Internet user has an active email account, so potentially, email marketing allows you to reach many web users.
This is an incomplete list of reasons why email marketing is necessary. Unlike new channels that are just being researched and tested, mass mailings have long stood the test of time just like cold calling, and have been one of the best and proven sales techniques.
Of course, email marketing isn’t just about selling emails. Emails allow you to remind others about yourself and form a strong relationship.
You can send a sales proposal or any other type of text-based document and it will be formatted in such a way that makes conversion easy for the reader.
Emails can lead your customers through the sales funnel (incl., fully automatically) and are used for online surveys, research, news, and more.
If you wish to accelerate your email campaign performance, user-generated content has to be the perfect integration. User-generated content is the content your customers create for you.
These real-life experiences added to your email campaigns can help you fulfill the visual appetite of the users, inspire them to activate the abandoned carts, boost the email click-through rates & engagement, and build a sense of community among your customers.
You can use UGC platforms like Taggbox to leverage UGC in your email campaigns.
Email Marketing as a Source of Lead Generation for SaaS Companies
The main benefits of email marketing are, of course, speed and targeting capability. If you have a well-segmented customer base, you can send out targeted emails to the most interesting segments in a very short time.
You can use omnichannel survey software to find the customer segments that are profitable for your business.
The pluses of email marketing also include ample opportunities to personalize emails.
No matter how many recipients are in the mailing – everyone can be addressed by name, mention the context of the address and create an impression of lively, individual communication all of which is extremely important for conversions according to Tanya from Nimble Made
Another advantage of email marketing is the extremely low cost of newsletters. By the way, some services allow you to do mailings completely free.
Thus, some CRMs allow you to send unlimited emails through, say, Gmail at no extra charge.
Automation is the unique advantage of newsletters, which not so many tools can boast. Automated emails (AKA triggered email or behavior-driven email) will be (automatically) sent to your customers at the right time.
With email newsletters, you can also create an automated sales funnel. That is a fully automated sales process that takes place without the involvement of managers.
What Is the Best Email Marketing Software?
To choose the best email marketing software, you should consider quite a few factors. Here are the main ones as follows:
- Trouble-free operation;
- Technical support;
- Design templates;
- Ease of use;
- Email deliverability;
- Any extra features you may need.
The best email marketing software should allow you to easily design emails, segment your mailing list, personalize your communications with customers, and view analytics reports. Most importantly, your emails should reach the main inboxes of users.
After all, the point of email marketing is to send the right message to the right users at the right time.
Top 7 Email Marketing Software Tools for SaaS Companies
For those who have tried simple email services but need more, MarketingPlatform offers an advanced email and SMS solution with marketing automation and a customer data platform to deliver high-end quality content.
Regardless of one’s technical skills, the platform’s user-friendly features enable anyone to be able to create great-looking email campaigns.
There are many standard templates to choose from. Or, if you feel creative you can design your own. All customers receive a dedicated team to help them with onboarding while providing continuous ongoing support. So, help is only a phone call away.
If you require automated emails to be sent, then there are endless possibilities for creating automated flows, with their Flowbuilder.
All of your data can be kept safely on the platform and complies with EU GDPR regulations. As a result, the deliverability of emails is assured and ends up in the recipient’s inbox, not their spam folder.
MarketingPlatform is a multi-channel solution. You can reach your clients through email, SMS, mobile phone push notifications, or even social media.
For example; if you want to reach an audience that hasn’t interacted with your email campaign you can retarget them via ads on Facebook or by using push notifications on their mobile phones, for those that run an application.
The platform has over 900 integrations with various ERP’s, CRM’s and webshop systems. For example; Salesforce, Magento, Shopify, Zapier, Sleeknote, WordPress, just to name a few.
Most importantly, the cost of getting started is very competitive in the market field and is only a small price to pay for long-term gains.
Starting from $98 per month with 2500 contacts you can upgrade your plan as your business grows.
Why not book a free demo with a 14 day trial period and see the benefits for yourself. For more information visit their website.
SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing solution for SaaS businesses and one of the fastest-growing email marketing platforms in Europe.
It’s extremely easy to use with great tools to create beautiful and interesting emails. The editor has a simple drag-and-drop interface and is great for beginners with no email marketing experience.
SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that allow users to send transactional emails, create workflows for automated follow-up emails, and segment users.
It also helps you choose the best time to send newsletters using AI-based algorithms to ensure better email delivery.
SendinBlue offers a completely free email marketing plan with unlimited contacts and the ability to send up to 300 emails per day (under one brand).
Paid plans start at $25/month for Lite (no daily sending limit, email support, A/B testing, no SendinBlue branding, advanced statistics, etc.).
There’s also an ability to add SMS newsletters to your account, but the price will vary depending on your requirements for the newsletter.
By the way, the company has recently improved its Premium plan to include more advanced features such as landing pages, a chat, multi-user access, marketing automation, and phone support.
This means that by choosing Premium, users will now get more value for the same price.
Lastly, SendinBlue offers a separate bulk email marketing service via SMTP, which you can use for automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site.
It’s a useful feature if you have a large website and need automated, real-time content-based emails.
Drip is a powerful platform for enterprise email marketing and SaaS eСommerce, as well as bloggers and marketers.
It offers a wide range of tools for creating simple marketing automation, an automated sales funnel, and personalization.
The platform lets you integrate with popular website builders, e.g., WordPress and WooCommerce.
This, in turn, allows you to easily add pop-ups and registration form redirects to your website and attract more leads.
Drip is a competitor for a service like a Campaign Monitor. The reason is because of its clever marketing automation and email segmentation tools, as well as split-testing features, a list group, and a workflow builder with visual automation.
The features also include webinars, automation training, in-depth courses, free guides, and excellent documentation.
Drip is used in many types of businesses since it allows launching massive newsletters and stays in touch with each customer, communicating with each of them individually.
This is possible due to marketing automation for eCommerce.
The software solution is one of the best email marketing tools for eCommerce websites and SaaS business owners who are looking for more advanced features to maximize their marketing efforts.
As for the prices, you can expect plans that start at $19 per month (1-500 contacts, unlimited emails, A/B testing, pre-built workflows, and email templates, unlimited seats and role-based access, behavioral segmentation, 100+ integrations, and support).
There’s also a 14-day free trial with no credit card information required.
By the way, the team has added an SMS notification feature for all the plans. It allows you to contact your users both via email and SMS marketing channels.
This makes this service a true one-stop email marketing platform for online store owners.
If your team is sending outreach to start conversations with leads or prospects, it’s important to know how quickly your team replies to emails. That’s where EmailAnalytics can help.
Email response time is a huge KPI for sales and customer service teams. 35-50% of all sales go to the vendor that responds first!
EmailAnalytics customers boast a 42.5% faster response time, on average than non-EmailAnalytics customers.
So if you want to measure your team’s email activity, monitor email response time, and improve it across your team, go check out EmailAnalytics.
Daily, weekly, and monthly email reports make it super easy and convenient for managers to monitor the email activity and workload of their teams.
Paid plans start at just $5/user per month, and they have a fully-featured 14-day free trial.
As with other services, Constant Contact offers you a collection of themed templates to use. The company is doing its best to stay trendy, which means you can even add templates for coronavirus-themed emails.
Advanced users can create an email from scratch in an in-built HTML editor.
Constant Contact’s drag-and-drop email designer is quite intuitive. The only difference from other services is that in the preview mode, you have all of the following fields at once: “Sender,” “Subject,” and “Pre-header.”
So you have an opportunity to look at the letter through the eyes of your recipients as if it’s in your inbox.
A control panel is compactly located on the left side of the screen and consists of 3 tabs: “Build,” “Images,” and “Design.” The Build tab includes building blocks that make up a page template (“Image,” “Text,” “Button,” “Separator,” “Social Media,” “Video,” “Read More”).
Additionally, there are blocks of integration with Shopify, Woo, Eventbrite, Polls, etc., as well as entire block modules for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time on editing.
The Design tab is where you adjust the background color, fonts, links, button design, and separators. The Images tab is responsible for working with images (duh). This is where you can upload your files.
In addition to the sidebar, each block has an additional toolbar when you select it with your cursor.
For example, if it’s a text block, you can customize the font, its size, style, alignment, insert active links, etc.
Once you finish editing, several actions are available: you can open a preview, send a test email, or check for errors. The results are displayed immediately: the service tells you where to add a link or text, and what’s looking fine.
The preview mode is available for PCs and mobile devices.
After exiting the editing mode, the service offers to finish setting up your newsletter by specifying the details, e.g. the recipient segments, campaign name, sending time, etc.
Tip: the list of newsletter campaigns is available both as a list or a calendar, which is very convenient and clear for planning purposes.
($20/month, up to 3 users) – for startups and small businesses who need professional emails. Unlimited emails, sign-up forms, apps, and integrations, shoppable landing pages, adjustable templates, tracking, reports, eCommerce marketing, and segmentation, contacts database, automation features, etc.;
($45/month, up to 10 users) – for small businesses who are interested in email automation and additional powerful features to engage your target audience.
Customizable pop-up forms, polls, online donations, consultations.
Customer.io is a service for sending and creating automated newsletters, SMS campaigns, or notifications.
To create a customer base for newsletters, the service collects information in real-time about the user’s product in several ways.
To work with the service, users need to connect the product to the service using an API or integrate it with another service to collect data about users, e.g. Segment (customer data platform). You can also get data from a CSV file.
Customer.io has two main elements to work with: people and segments. A person is a customer of user service, and his/her card describes the basic attributes necessary for working with the service: contacts, devices, segment, the activity log, correspondence history, and more.
Segments are groups of people who are configured by users to send messages. Segments are used to define mailing lists and form groups of people according to certain criteria.
These can be people who bought a subscription to the user’s service, customers who work with a certain type of device, or new users.
There are two types of segments in Customer.io: the ones created manually by the user and those, which are created automatically.
Emails and messages are sent from 3 menus: “Campaigns,” “Broadcasts,” and “Transactional Emails.” Campaigns allow you to send one or more messages.
Campaigns are triggered by events from a “workflow” (a submenu where you configure actions (or chain of actions) a customer must perform to get the message).
Such campaigns are suitable for sending standard emails and notifications: a password reset email, a thank-you email for registering, etc. “Transactional emails” are used to send informational emails and messages, such as launching a new feature, holiday greetings, etc.
“Transactional emails” allow you to respond to customer actions, such as sending them purchase receipts, reminding them of delivery, or sending a registration confirmation email.
- Built-in email editor;
- Sent email and newsletter analytics;
- Sending relevant messages that will guide customers through the funnel, preventing churn and increasing retention;
- Exporting data to CSV;
- A/B testing;
- Customer lifecycle tracking.
The Basic plan (up to 12,000 profiles) will cost you $150/month and offer everything you need to start sending beautiful messages (SMS, push, and webhooks) to your customers.
You can track unlimited events and attributes, assign user roles and permissions, and get a hold of tech support.
The platform allows you to automate marketing, design complex processes while building a base of happy customers, and increase conversion rates.
ActiveCampaign is more than just an email provider – it aims to provide a holistic approach to the entire email lead generation process with its unique features, e.g. marketing automation, CRM, SMS marketing, and machine learning.
You can edit news emails, create campaigns, and communicate with your customers. The software offers several templates for creating content for personalization purposes.
In addition to a simple newsletter, ActiveCampaign also has the task of creating multiple email activation conditions, such as after someone has purchased your product, or sending emails to a specific audience, depending on the segment and conditions used.
ActiveCampaign key features:
- Marketing automation;
- CRM and sales automation;
- Smart autoresponders;
- Age, gender, location of contacts;
- Built-in integration with external services;
- Advanced segmentation and targeting;
- Drag & drop support;
- Auto series;
- Tracking contacts on the site and in apps;
- Dynamic content;
- Social media monitoring and auto-reactions;
- Free email templates;
- Live data and videos in emails;
- Creating forms for landing pages;
- SMS marketing.
We believe that ActiveCampaign should suit large companies that have ready-made content and need solutions for automation and a good CRM.
Prices start at $7.50/month (considering a 50% discount) for Lite. The plan includes features like marketing automation, unlimited emails, a drag-and-drop email builder, 125+ templates, newsletters, sign-up forms, user segmentation, event/site tracking functions, reports, etc.
There are also Plus ($35/month, 50+ landing page templates, contact scoring, FB custom audiences, advanced performance reporting, SMS marketing, custom branded forms, etc.),
Professional ($79.50/month, website personalization, predictive sending/content, split automation, site messages, etc.), and Enterprise ($139.50/month, custom reporting and domain, free design services, unlimited email design testing, social data enrichment, etc.) plans.
All the prices are cut in half due to the active limited offer at the moment of writing this article.
Action Alerts (via ReadyCloud)
If you’re selling online, Action Alerts are the newest way you can reach customers via email and text message to grow your bottom line.
Designed by ReadyCloud Suite, Action Alerts gives your online business the chance to turn everyday eCommerce order activity into a marketing genius.
Users start with a license to ReadyCloud CRM ($24/month), which gives them 100 Action Alerts they can use. They then connect their online sales channels and import the customer order history.
After this, they can create something called “triggers,” which will determine to who and when an Action Alert is sent.
- Action Alerts are excellent post-purchase marketing tools
- Created to automatically sync to customer behavior for upsells
- Ideal for cross-promotions, reminders, thankyous, and more
- Excellent for upsells and cross-promotions on post-purchase/thankyou messages
- Robust analytics and metrics, including open rate, CTR, and conversion tracking
We believe that Action Alerts is ideal for medium to large-sized eCommerce retailers that want to simplify their internal growth marketing.
The behavior-based method that Action Alerts uses, and the 50 included premade templates and customizable triggers, make it easy for anyone, even with limited knowledge of email marketing, to get off on the right foot.
The cushy $24/month per user starting rate and the low cost of Action Alerts (about $5 for 100) make this a cost-effective growth marketing system that retailers everywhere can benefit from.
Arguably, the number one marketing automation platform available – HubSpot comes with an arsenal of marketing features, including a powerful Email Marketing tool.
“Their editor is super easy to use!” says Datis Mohsenipour, Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Outback Team Building & Training.
“There are loads of free templates available in their marketplace, and the email tool comes with all the features you would expect.
Things like A/B testing, time-zone delivery, and they even have a feature called “smart content” which allows you to show different content to different audiences.” he adds.
Email marketing is just one of the many stars of HubSpot’s show. Their laundry list of features include:
- Blog – an easy-to-use blog CMS that gives AI-powered SEO tips
- SEO – powerful tools to help you research and strategize on your content
- Ad Tracking & Management – a consolidated place to manage and launch ad campaigns on multiple platforms
- Social Media Management – a social media scheduling and monitoring tool
- Live Chat – a chat plugin that allows you to chat with customers and use customized bot flows to qualify leads
Being a best-in-class software, HubSpot doesn’t come cheap. There is a free version, but the plans start at about $35 USD per month with limited features.
We sincerely hope that our list of top email service providers will help you choose the right platform for your SaaS business. Since there are many excellent tools out there, you need to compare their price and what features are most important and necessary for you.
Pay attention to the cost, % of email delivery, newsletter templates, ease of use, and availability of additional features that are important to you.
If you run a SaaS company or have an online store/e-commerce website, we recommend using Drip since it’s the best email marketing solution for eCommerce. Its personalization and automation features are extremely powerful.
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