As a SaaS founder, you know that the buzzword of the hour is customer success.
If you want to engage your users and transport them to the next stage of their customer journey, this article will provide an overview of the seven types of emails that can help you do that.
With these emails, you will ensure users are achieving success every step of the way.
So, read on and discover new ways to interact with your customers and make them feel valued and heard.
Account Activation Email
Your activation email reminds customers that they’ve signed up for your product and gently pushes them to activate their account. That’s a great way to get the user to take the first step.
While important for customer success, this type of email is also a very useful way for you to make sure that your primary channel of communication with the customer—their email—is functioning properly.
For best results, try to communicate the product’s value in your activation email and motivate the customer to start using your product immediately, just like Freeletics does in the example above.
Generic activation emails probably won’t be as effective in motivating your customers to start using your product.
In fact, sending a boring, low-effort email so early on may even put them off using the product altogether, like in the example below.
Checking if the lines of communication are clear can have numerous long-term benefits for your company as well.
It can tell you whether the recipient has changed their mind in the meantime, giving you the opportunity to zone in on customers who are having second thoughts about your product.
Also, if you send an activation email and notice that the email has bounced, you can remove this email from your mailing list.
That way, you can save important resources, as well as the time and energy of your customer success team, especially if you’re using an email automation service. That’s because email automation services usually charge according to the volume of emails sent.
To sum up, activation emails are important for customer success because they’re one of your first points of contact with your users. They are an early opportunity to motivate the customer to start using your services.
Additionally, activation emails allow you to check if the communication channels are working, which is very important as good communication is essential for ensuring customer success.
Some companies prefer not to use account activation emails, which is sometimes justified. However, the next type of email that we will be covering should definitely be a part of your customer success strategy.
We are talking about the welcome email, the true beginning of a long-term, successful relationship with your customer.
This email is crucial because as many as 8 out of 10 customers expect to receive a welcome email soon after subscribing to a service.
Without a welcome email, customers may feel lost and unsure about how to start using your product. To avoid disappointing them, try to send out your welcome email within the first 24 hours upon signup.
The purpose of this email is to set the stage for your customer’s future use of the product.
You’ll want to give them a short introduction to what they can expect from the product and remind them of the value they stand to gain from using it.
Headspace, the meditation app, does an excellent job with this.
They demonstrate the value the customer stands to gain (help with stress and burnout, increased satisfaction and happiness), and even support it with scientific proof.
They also provide a clear starting point for the customer by including a button that will take the new user straight to the app.
That’s a great first step towards turning your customer into a power user of your product, enhancing their chances of success.
All in all, the welcome email is your chance to remind the customer of the value they stand to gain from using your product.
It’s a good idea to send it soon after activation because customers expect to be warmly received when they start using the product, and they need a solid starting point from which they can begin achieving their goals with your software.
Trial Reminder Email
Some SaaS companies offer trial versions of their product to prove their worth and allow their customers to test drive their software before committing to a paid subscription.
That’s an excellent way to convince skeptical customers, as well as the customers with less purchasing power who would otherwise be reluctant to give your product a shot.
When the free trial period starts nearing an end, a good practice is to remind the customer that soon they will no longer be able to use your software for free.
This is usually done by email, and a carefully crafted message increases your chances of converting the user into a paying customer.
The trial reminder email is your last chance to get the user to convert, so do your best to make it count.
With that in mind, let’s go over the best practices for trial reminder emails.
First of all, your trial reminder email should be timely. It should allow enough time for the user to decide how they want to proceed after the trial ends: convert to a paying user or cancel the service entirely.
Two or three days should be enough time for the user to decide what they want to do, like in the example from Beatrix above.
Another great practice for crafting trial reminder emails is to do everything you can to facilitate the action that the user decides to take next. Whether it be subscribing or canceling, the user should have a clear path forward.
For those who wish to subscribe, it’s useful to include a subscribe or activate button, like the email from Beatrix has (see the example above).
On the other hand, if the user decides not to purchase a subscription, you can follow up with an email that their trial has ended, but also include a way for them to come back should they change their mind, as Netflix does in the example below.
Finally, remember to once again include value in your email because that will ultimately sway the user to convert into a paying customer.
For example, Abstract reminds the user of all the features they can use if they decide to become a customer.
In the instance of trial reminder emails, customer success lies in helping the user commit as effortlessly as possible and without interrupting their work.
Sending a timely email with a clear course of action and a presentation of value allows you to do just that: convert the user naturally and seamlessly.
User Reactivation Email
Not all of your customers will become power users. Unfortunately, a segment of your customer base will discontinue product use soon after activation.
Some sources claim that the average app abandonment rate is as high as 25%, meaning a quarter of users never come back to your product after the first use.
Thankfully, a well-thought-out user reactivation campaign can help you win back customers who haven’t adopted your product for some reason.
A user reactivation email is usually sent to customers who haven’t interacted with your product or opened any of your emails for more than three months.
The aim here is to get the customer to learn by doing because the more they use the software, the more proficient they will become. As a result, they will start achieving success and accomplishing their goals with the help of your product.
All they need is a little push in the right direction.
This can sometimes be achieved simply by reminding the user that they subscribed to your product at one point and inviting them to come back.
That’s exactly what Grammarly does. It also includes a call to action that will take the user directly to the app. This is good practice because users sometimes simply forget they’ve installed a product or they’ve lost the habit of using it.
In some cases, users may churn because they are unhappy with your product.
When that happens, you can try to win them back by explaining how you’ve improved your software and can offer a better service.
Avocode does a great job with this “It’s not you, it’s us” approach.
However, even that won’t always do the trick. Sometimes you may have to further entice your users with discounts, freebies, or coupons.
You can see how Skillshare does this in the screenshot above. They offer a discount on premium features should the customer decide to give the product another go.
The offer is also time-sensitive, which puts a little more pressure on the user to come back to the product immediately.
In conclusion, there are a lot of reasons why a customer might abandon your product, but not all of those users will necessarily be lost to you.
Take the opportunity to remind them why they subscribed in the first place or offer them a reward if they choose to come back. You may be surprised to see how many users you can get back this way.
Customer success depends on connecting users to the right features of your product. If a customer is a proficient user or someone who completes a high volume of tasks with your software, they could be a great candidate for upgrading to a premium plan.
In such cases, many companies find it useful to contact their most prolific users directly and recommend switching to a more advanced version of their product.
This helps both the customer, who can start getting even more value and your company because you’re taking an opportunity to increase your revenue from that customer.
A well-written upgrade email is an excellent way to engage the customer and get them to think about subscribing to a premium plan.
There are a couple of good practices to follow here, so let’s go over them.
To begin with, if a customer hasn’t upgraded on their own, they might be having second thoughts about becoming a premium user.
In that case, why not allow them to try the advanced features for free over a trial period?
Check out Todoist’s upgrade email above.
They offer a free trial period for premium features, while using great copy to put the customer’s mind at ease about upgrading. If the user is unhappy with the premium plan, Todoist allows them to revert back to the basic plan.
This makes them sound very confident in the quality of their product, which can go a long way in convincing the customer they stand to receive real value should they upgrade.
While we’re talking about value, it’s a good idea to use the upgrade email to explain how switching to premium may help the customer improve their work processes or achieve personal growth.
Once again, Grammarly does a great job at this. It even backs its claims with the data collected from customer surveys.
Overall, your upgrade email can be used to remind the customer what’s different in the premium plan. Think of it as an opportunity to showcase your amazing features and explain the added value your customers stand to gain.
For example, Evernote offers multiple devices, offline notes, and note history as a part of its premium plan.
And just like the other examples we used in this section, it features great copy, crisp design, and a CTA button that works as a focal point for the email.
When a customer has reached critical value using your basic plan, don’t hesitate to recommend an upgrade as this serves them as much as it does you.
Product Changes Email
Working with SaaS products means that you’re always improving and developing your software.
As your software evolves, it’s important to include your users in the process. You can do that by notifying them of any changes or upgrades to your product via email so that they are up to date about the state of the product they use every day.
This connects to customer success in two major ways.
First, it reduces the customer’s surprise at encountering any large-scale changes you’re making to your product.
That’s important because people tend to resist change, so softening the blow can go a long way in helping a customer adjust to doing things differently.
More importantly, sending an email about software updates allows you to connect with your customers and explain that their feedback is the driving force behind your product development.
For example, Groove likes to track customer feedback and let customers suggest changes to the software.
When they add the feature users wanted to see to their product, they send the users who requested the upgrade a personalized email to let them know the feature is live.
Customers love this kind of high-contact follow-up because it makes them feel like their voices are heard.
It comes as no surprise that they react with elation upon hearing that the changes they wanted to see were implemented soon after.
Remember that software development should always be driven by the needs and wants of the customers.
That’s why it’s a good idea to track customer feedback and improve your product by adding the changes your customers have requested.
Once you’ve added new features to your product, get in touch with your customers and tell them the good news.
This way, they can start using the new features right away, feeling validated because you’ve taken the time to tell them what’s changed and how they contributed to the process.
Milestone emails celebrate the customer and their successful use of your product.
Taking the time to celebrate your customer’s success reinforces their commitment to your product because they are reminded of the success they are achieving using your software.
Milestone emails also help you create a sense of community among your customers. They get users excited and more likely to share their achievements with their social circle, leading to referrals and a boost to your customer acquisition efforts.
For example, Starbucks has a customer loyalty program that features stars awarded for completed challenges. These stars can eventually be exchanged for a free drink.
Now, imagine if you were a member of this club and took out a friend for a free coffee earned from your loyalty club. That friend might be incentivized to join the club as well.
There are many things you can celebrate, from small achievements to big anniversaries.
This includes birthdays and anniversaries; weeks, months, and years in review, account growth and development, the completion of in-product goals, and so on.
There’s no accomplishment too small, so feel free to come up with your own causes of celebration.
In addition to these benefits, milestone emails have some of the highest opening rates out of your entire email marketing effort.
That’s because they’re highly personalized and pique your customer’s interest.
That’s important because you’re creating a positive image for your company, meaning customers will be more likely to open other marketing emails as well.
Keep in mind that your company is successful only when your customers are achieving success and meeting their goals using your product.
So, sending milestone emails is your chance to celebrate every instance of success and win your customer’s loyalty, building a strong basis for a long and prolific relationship.
This article has attempted to give you a short overview of the many types of emails that can comprise your customer success policy.
From activation and welcome emails, all the way to upgrade and milestone emails, these messages engage your customers at sensitive touchpoints and help you transport your users to the next phase of their customer journey.
Always be conscious of the fact that the success of your customers means success for your company and reach out to your customers at every opportunity that can help them on their way to achieving their goals.