A mail airplane leaning against a brick wall
A mail airplane leaning against a brick wall
#Saas Email Marketing

SaaS Email Marketing Handbook

Paul Kiernan

With a SaaS email marketing campaign, you’re sending emails to people who know what you’re doing. They have a sagacious knowledge of the tactics, tools, and strategies you’re using. So, your approach needs to be more refined and intelligent.

Email marketing is a powerful tool. It is a form of direct marketing and digital marketing that uses email to promote your businesses and services. It brings awareness of your latest offerings, service changes and keeps your customers and potential customers up to speed on what is happening with your company. It plays a pivotal role in your marketing strategy, boosting brand awareness, building relationships, and maintaining customer engagement.

SaaS email marketing is a slightly different animal. The main difference between the two is that with SaaS email marketing, your audience knows the game.

The target of a general email marketing campaign sees an email in their inbox, and they open it, or they don’t. They read it, or they don’t. They take action, or they don’t. They view the email as just another email selling something.

With a SaaS email marketing campaign, you’re sending emails to people who know what you’re doing. They have a sagacious knowledge of the tactics, tools, and strategies you’re using. So, your approach needs to be more refined and intelligent.

Some may see this as a disadvantage, but a savvy marketer understands that a knowledgeable customer base allows them to move in different directions and employ their best game. It is a challenge but one that makes SaaS email marketing exciting and fun.

To get you to the point of having fun with your SaaS marketing, we offer his article with some tips and insights. We’ll cover:

  • Why Email Marketing is Essential for SaaS Companies
  • What to Include in Your SaaS Email Marketing Strategy
  • SaaS Email Marketing Templates
  • Getting Started with SaaS Email Marketing

By the end of this journey, you’ll have a clear grasp of the why, how, and when of SaaS email marketing. Let’s jump in, shall we?

Why Email Marketing is Essential for SaaS Companies

A busienss desk with a large monitor showing the words Do More

Every step of your marketing campaign should be designed to increase sales ultimately. Email marketing is just one tool in your box. The software industry may look down its nose at email marketing because they have a very “sure, sure, we see what you’re doing” attitude towards it. Does that mean you abandon this particular tool when marketing software as a service? Not at all. Just the opposite.

A well-done SaaS email marketing campaign can still boost engagement and conversion rates while building a loyal customer base even in the knowledgeable software field. The emphasis here is on well-done.

When talking about open rates for email campaigns, 15%-25% is good; that’s where you want to live at the start; once you’ve established a relationship, those percentages will increase. In the software industry, the average open rate is 21.29%. The average click-through rate is 2.45%. Both numbers are reasonable; however, booth numbers can and should certainly be increased with a good email marketing strategy.

A SaaS company must have an effective, intelligent email marketing strategy to compete in the software industry. A campaign that targets, nurtures, and provides value.

What to Include in Your SaaS Email Marketing Strategy

Two people planning a strategy with post its on a glass wall

A SaaS email marketing campaign is aggressive and constantly active. This ain’t your grandma’s drip campaign. If she had one. And, seriously, why does your grandma have a drip campaign? We can discuss that later.

The point here is to engage, convert, and retain. And, you have to hit your point from the very first email. You cannot ease in with a SaaS email marketing campaign.

The best way to approach it is with a four-pronged attack. We’ll lay out this attack here and then move forward.

As a starter, we will be using the term freemium a bit; if you know what that means, yay for you, you can skip this paragraph. However, if you’re starting fresh, here’s what you need to know: Freemium allows software users to utilize basic features of a software, game, or service for free and then charges them for upgrades to the basic package. Clear? Good. Now, fork in hand, let’s dive into this dish.

Prong #1 - Get Those Freemium Users

As the great American short story writer Cynthia Ozick once said. “Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.” You get one chance; make it a good one.

Offer your potential customers immediate value from your product. This is going to give you a better shot at starying your relationships with potentials right. Collect information that is going to make the relationship unique and personal. Make them understand from the get-go; they are not just one of the masses.

Get them up and running smoothly so they can easily understand and access all the goodness of your product without hassle or headache. Right away, you’ve given them immediate, hassle-free value. That’s an excellent first impression.

Prong #2 - Nurture & Boost

Getting the freemium users on board is a big win; now, they are primed to move to the next level. But, be patient here; this is where 67% of email marketers go off the rails. Don’t jump too quickly. As Miles Davis said, “Timing isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”

Allow the freemium users to see and feel the full value of your product while developing a solid working relationship with your company. Nudge this along with your nurturing emails.

Nurturing emails are the flowers and thinking of you cards on the relationship road. These emails turn your freemium customer’s sort of interest into full-on love. And now, they are primed for the next move; conversion campaigns.

A Pause

A quick note here before we move on. There is value in sincerity. There is value in saying to a customer; you have the freemium package and, after speaking to you and getting to know you, that’s really all you need or will ever use in your life.

You can sell; you can follow these steps and get the conversion but, if you see that you made an error in your research and the customer honestly won’t use your software service or product, but you still think you can sell them on it,, take a step back. Think about the future of your company in the market. You will develop more, create new, and maybe, being honest with this connection will help keep them on your respective radar.

When the moment is right, have the courage and the sense to be sincere and speak the truth. It will set you free. That, too, is part of good timing.

Okay, just wanted to throw that out there. Now we move on ...

Prong #3 - Now Be Premium

You’ve laid the groundwork; you’ve been patient, giving them a glimpse behind the curtain, so now, your time to this point has been impeccable; now make the move—Start the flow on your conversion campaign.

In this phase of the campaign, make moving from freemium to premium effortless. Remove all obstacles, send them enticing, valuable offers, and make the conversion not only painless but exciting as well.

Prong #4 - Retain, Upgrade & Remember

Here you’ll be working to keep your existing customers happy with a steady flow of value emails. This will reduce your churn rate, and it will help entice your regular customers into upgrading their accounts.

This is important; remember your long loyal customers. Do you have a phone plan? Isn’t it kind of frustrating when you see your phone company making all these fabulous offers to get new users while you’ve been loyal for decades, and it feels like they don’t care about you any longer. Don’t do that to your loyal customers.

Keep them in mind and create something special just for them now and then. It shows you’re thinking about them, that you appreciate them, and it will make them a bit more receptive to the up-sell emails they know are coming. Remember, this is a sharp group, treat them as thus, and they will be more willing to go along.

This is in line with the previous pause where we discussed sincerity. Showing the customer that they are more than just meat puppets you can sell will make forward progression easier. Never lose sight of the fact that you’re humans working with humans. Especially with software, look for the chances to be human.

Put Time Into Prep

food & spices on a wood table in preparation for cooking

One of the main steps you’ll want to take before jumping into your SaaS email campaign is to set clear goals. If you don’t have clear goals, you’ll never know if your campaign is succeeding, and then you’re just sending random emails into the abyss. Be sure you set for yourself what action you ultimately want your potential customers to take.

Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of a SaaS email marketing campaign is to increase conversions and reduce churn. Never lose sight of that. To do this, you’ll want to target critical metrics that you can use to know how well you’re doing and which strategies and emails are landing and having an effect.

For example, if you want to be fully aware of your customer retention rate, stay on top of your churn information, is your churn rate decreasing? Is your Average Customer Lifetime (ACL) increasing? It might be a good idea to A/B test some of your emails. Send out two different offers and then check to see which has a higher click-to-open rate. Prep these two emails beforehand so you can get information up to date. Thus, you specify and streamline your campaign to the ideal audience quicker.

You’ll also want to spend a little time figuring out your target audience; this will streamline your email campaign immensely. The article listen will give you tips and tools on what to do when looking for that perfect target audience. Once you have that in clear sight, then move forward. But, this should be a significant step in your preparation for your SaaS email campaign.

Your Key Performance Indicators, KPIs will be vital for knowing if and how your SaaS campaign is working. Here are a few email KPIs you’ll want to track:

  • Open rate, percentage of subscribers who open the email.
  • Click-Through Rate, the percentage of subscribers who click a link in your email.
  • Click-to-Open rate, The percentage of people who clicked a link in your email out of the total number of people who opened the email.
  • Unsubscribe rate. How many did you lose?
  • Goal completion. You have a goal in mind, how many subscribers reached that goal.

Keep an eye on these and adjust where you see fit.

SaaS Email Marketing Templates

a tablet with interchangeable squares that form an image

We’ll now give you some templates for your SaaS email campaign, simple copy and paste stuff that you can make your own, and start crafting your campaign.

We’ll start with the “Welcome” email. This wil be the first email you’ll send when a freemium subscriber is to let them know they are acknowledged, welcomed and get them on board and experience the value of your product right away.

Template: Welcome

Hey [name],

I’m [name], the founder of [company name], and I’d like to thank you for signing up to our service personally.

We established [company name] in order to [mission/values of company].

We’d also love it if you could take a moment and answer this question: Why did you sign up? We ask to make your experience with us as straightforward and focused as possible and assure that you get the most out of your [purchase, subscription, etc.].

We’ll be following up from time to time to tell you about offers and to make sure you’re happy with your choice to join us. And, we always look forward to hearing from you.

I’d love to hear what you think of [product] and if there is anything we can improve. If you have any questions, please reply to this email. I’m always happy to help!


The welcome email is vital for anyone who has signed up for a freemium plan or purchased a service/product. It gets you connected personally and helps the user get immediate value out of your products or service.

The welcome email is the start of the relationship; if they like it, they will open subsequent emails from you. And, the welcome email allows the customer to know that there will be more to come.

Template: First Step Email

Hi [name],

Welcome to [product/service name]. Your free trial starts today.

What happens next?

Keep an eye on your inbox as we’ll be sending you the best tips for [product/service].

Want to get more out of [product/service name]? Choose a plan below...

[paid plan link]

This is another form of welcome email, but it gets the user going. It gives them simple, clear steps to follow, and it doesn’t overwhelm them with too much information. It also alerts them to stay tuned for more information, setting up anticipation with each new email.

You’ve established the relationship with the welcome email; now, you give them practical tools and links to follow.

Template; We Can Help

Hi (customer name),

Thanks for choosing us! We know you'll love it at (your company) and enjoy our seamless service (what the product does). We know you are new; we’re here to guide you with these links. They will walk you through our product. We aim to help you get the most of our product as soon as possible.

This video(add link) enables you to set up (product name) for the first time.

Our updates section(add link) clears all your doubts regarding the newest features.

Our blog(add link) gives you interesting reads of (product name)features, case studies.

Let's bring out the success that your business deserves- together!

Have you any questions? We are here to answer any questions. Contact our customer service crew (link) or the IT Team (link) with any questions.

Best regards

(Your name)

This email gets your customer familiar with all the facets of the product and lets them know you have them covered with questions and concerns. It gives them direct links to where they can go for immediate help and assures them you’re right there for them always.

Template; Follow Up

"Hi (customer name),

Just wanted to check in as we haven't heard from you in a while. Hope you’re having a smooth experience with our product. Do you have any queries?

Please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to assist you at any time.

Have a great day,

(Your name)"

The follow-up email can be used to see if they have a technical question or a problem; you can direct them via a link to where they can go for help.

Template: Issue Resolved

Hi (customer name),

Just wanted to get a confirmation in regards to your previous query. We believe that our team worked their best to sort out your question at the earliest. Was it resolved to your satisfaction? Do you need any additional help?

Please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to assist you in any case. Stay safe!

Have a great day,

[Your name]"

This email lets them know they haven’t fallen through the cracks and assures them that you’re true to your word of quality service and care. It also keeps the line of communication vibrant and open by asking questions and seeking out feedback.

Template: Recon Email

Hey (customer name),

I noticed that you didn’t upgrade your service from the free level to a more in-depth plan. Nothing to worry about; it may not be suitable for you, we get that. No hard feelings for my end at all!

However, if you would be willing, I’d love to know what I could have done to get you to upgrade or why you chose not to. Just for our education and to help us along as we constantly try to improve.

We value your time and what you have to say, so if you could hit reply and let me know, that’d be much appreciated.



This email keeps things friendly and shows them you’re interested in doing more than just piling up customers. When a customer sees you want to make improvements, it can open the door to getting them back on board. If anything, it helps you gather more data and improve your campaign and your products or service.

Template: Review Email

Hey(customer name),

I may be asking for a lot here, but will it be possible for you to drop a review here about your experience with our product and services(link to the review page or section)

Unlike other software companies, we don't reward our employees for collecting reviews from customers. Rather, we get it framed and gifted to the service agent who worked on that query or service request. We think this motivates them further to become customer success leaders rather than just service agents.

There is no rush here, and this is not compulsory. This also won't affect our relationship as a customer and a business in any way.

If you have any questions or doubts, please let us know.

Thanks and regards,

(Your name)

Nurturing and Retaining Customers

One of the things your SaaS email campaign will focus on is nurturing the relationships you’ve worked so hard to start and keeping those customers loyal and happy.

One of the ways to do this is to send emails about information of value regarding products or services. Announce a new blog copy that will answer questions or help them get more out of their purchase.

Template: Post Round-Up

Hey (name),

There is so much going on and so much to learn about (product name) that sometimes it can be overwhelming just to know what questions to ask. I get that, believe me.

I want to make things a little easier for you by connecting you to some of our most popular and informative blogs that will probably have all the answers and even some of the questions you’ve been looking for.

Also, a few on the list are just our favorites, and we like to pass along good stuff like these.

  • Links To Popular Blogs
  • Links to your blog posts

Hope you enjoy these and please, let us know if you have questions or comments.



This email gives them practical information and allows you to provide them with a little more insight into your personality by sharing stories you like. That strengthens the relationship while giving them information to get the best value out of their purchase.

Template; Tailored Content

Hey (name),

I think there are a few shortcuts and features that you may not have explored yet. Let me make this easy for you, okay?

Just click (link), and we’ll take you to (page, video, instructions), and we can get you using (product) to its fullest potential.

You can work right from this email to get to the pages you need most. Let us know if you have any questions; we’re always happy to hear from you.



Use data you’ve been gathering to send out emails that target specific people or groups. Give them quick access with clear CTAs to the content that is best suited for them. Don’t make them hunt for it; lay it out clearly.

Template: Education & Webinars

Hey (Name)

I just wanted to alert you to a few webinars and educational blogs that will make your life easier and help you take (product) even further than you are now. Get the most out of it with these informative webinars.

Webinar #1

Short description and link.

Webinar #2

Short description and link.

Webinar #3

Short description and link.

In case you missed these:

Here are a few blogs that will give you valuable information about getting the most out of (product) for reading when you have the time.

We want to make sure we give you the most information to make the most of your purchase.

Drop us a line if you have any questions or suggestions; we love hearing from you.



This keeps your customers informed while you sing the praises of the features of your product. It may get them over the line and get them to sign up for a paid subscription. At any rate, you’re giving them information and helping make their life better.

Template: Resolution

Hi (customer name)

I am so sorry to hear that you faced(mention the issue). I completely understand how frustrating it must have been for you. I'll make sure that this message reaches the internal team.

Meanwhile, your issue is our priority. We are actively working on it to get it fixed right away. We will let you know as soon as it gets resolved.

Thanks for letting me know about your negative experience. Your feedback has proved to be valuable. We apologize again for the inconvenience that it caused you. We'll keep you updated on improvements for sure.

Let me know if we can do anything more for you. Thank you.


(Your name)

This is a quick way to appease an upset customer and turn an angry email into a happy result. Again, this kind of email goes toward retaining the custom for the long term and building strength in the relationship.

With a quick response to an angry inquiry, you’re showing your customers you listen, care and back up what you say. This kind of email goes a long way to keeping a customer loyal and staying with you when you try new things.

Template: Renewal Reminder

Hey ( customer name),

Hope you had a great year with our product. We are happy we helped you reach your milestones for the past year.

We noticed your annual subscription is expiring in 2 weeks. Because we want you to continue without any issues, here's a video to guide you on how to renew in just (number) steps. Please ensure that all payment information is up to date, and don't forget to select the auto-renew option.

We also are providing a one-time discount for existing customers who renew before the end of this week. If you have any questions regarding renewal, I'd be happy to help.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


(Your name)

This makes it easy for them to stay with you. No questions of where and how, you let them know you’ve been together for a year, which is a long time. Make the renewal simple and accessible from the email. Don’t give them any reason not to renew; make it easy to stay on board.

Those are just a few templates for you to copy, paste, and edit to fit your needs—a jumping-off point for your email campaigns. Use them as inspiration or education; that’s up to you.

SaaS Email Marketing Agency

Just because we provide you with a few tools, it doesn’t mean that’s all there is to know about a strong SaaS email marketing campaign. A well-run and successful campaign takes constant attention, evaluation, and adjustments to keep your customers with you and to get those potential customers on board.

There’s a lot to do, and more importantly, there is a lot that can go wrong. Do you have the time and workforce to focus on creating a truly innovative and effective SaaS email marketing campaign? If you started your answer with “well… let me think,” surely, you don’t.

Don’t panic. ThoughtLab has got you covered. We can create a SaaS email campaign that is timed perfectly, feathered out with precision, with copy that grabs and holds and content that leads your customers right where you need them to be for a long time to come.

Don’t miss the abundant opportunities that a top-notch SaaS email marketing campaign can generate for your company. Contact ThoughtLab today for a free consultation, and let us show you how to create a SaaS email campaign that will be the click of the town