by Elastic Email Apr 14, 2022

Email is far from dead. For B2B SaaS brands, email marketing still plays a critical role in converting web traffic into long-term customers.

In fact, top-performing SaaS companies are more focused on email conversion rates than ever before, as email continues to reign as their strongest sales channel. To optimize their Saas email marketing campaigns for the highest conversions, they focus on these four email metrics: 

  1. Email deliverability
  2. Open rates
  3. Click-through rates
  4. On-page behavior (the page you're linking to in your email)

In this post, we'll share a framework that allows you to build a high-converting email campaign that crushes your revenue goals.

But first...

What you need to know before you begin optimizing your SaaS email marketing campaigns

Before you begin your email campaign optimization process, ensure that:

  1. Web traffic that is high enough to be measured. (If you don't have enough volume or subscriptions data, it's best to focus on increasing traffic instead.)
  2. Clear business goals to tie email performance to. (Unless you're clear on your business objectives, you can only optimize basic metrics like open and click rates. This is a good starting point, but won't lead to lasting improvement.)
  3. A thorough understanding of your target audience. (If you don't have a strong grasp of your target audience, it's hard to drive more engagement and get more conversions.)

What you need to know before you begin optimizing your email campaigns

Before you begin the optimization process of your SaaS email marketing campaign, ensure that:

  1. Web traffic that is high enough to be measured. (If you don't have enough volume or subscriptions data, it's best to focus on increasing traffic instead.)
  2. Clear business goals to tie email performance too. (Unless you're clear on your business objectives, you can only optimize basic metrics like open and click rates. This is a good starting point, but won't lead to lasting improvement.)
  3. A thorough understanding of your target audience. (If you don't have a strong grasp of your target audience, it's hard to drive more engagement and get more conversions.)

How to choose which emails to optimize?

Even if you optimize an email, it will be of little use if the email doesn't add much to your campaign's results.

So how can you determine which emails will have the greatest impact on your entire campaign?

● If your goal is to ramp up a campaign's engagement, focus on your welcome and nurture emails.

● If you want to optimize for the campaign's conversions, focus on your promo and sales emails.

When you start with a specific goal in mind, you know how to choose which emails to optimize, allowing you to do more with less.

A step-by-step process for optimizing an email within your marketing campaign

No matter how long you've been doing email marketing, sending an email triggers a chain of events.

After seeing your email's subject line, the recipients are motivated to open and read it. As soon as they have clicked on the links in the email, a specific action must be taken on-site.

You will want these events to run smoothly by improving the following:

1. Email deliverability

Did you know that 14.7% of opt-in emails never reach the inbox? This means a significant part of your potential audience will never hear from you.

This is partly because email deliverability is impacted by a wide range of factors such as email copy, send volume, spam score and the email marketing platform you use. 

You can maximize email deliverability by optimizing the following:

Sender's name: It helps if the sender's name is recognizable and has no spam-trigger word.

Email address white-listing: You can ask subscribers to white-list your email address. This way, they won't get your emails in their spam folder.

Email format: Providing both HTML and plain text email versions enhances deliverability.

Double opt-in: A user must confirm twice to be added to your email list. Asking for a second confirmation minimizes the probability of spam detection.

● Unsubscribe link: To avoid spam complaints, your emails should include an unsubscribe link.

2. Email open rates

Higher open rates mean more prospects see your offer. To aim for open rates of 50% or more, you'll want to focus on one key element: Your subject line!

Your email's entire journey begins with the subject line. Curiosity must be piqued immediately to capture their attention.

Examples of top-converting subject line formulas:

● Including "how to" in the subject line (e.g. How to turn your blog into a 7-figure asset?)

● Making your offer timely (e.g. How do you reach your revenue goals in 2022?)

● Pique curiosity (e.g. 73% conversion increase with this unpopular CRO technique)

● Making it personal (e.g. Question for you Paul...)

Tips for a click-worthy subject line:

● Keep it short as long ones are more likely to be trimmed by the mobile screen width.

● Answer your recipient’s question: "What's in it for me?" (Describe exactly what's inside; otherwise, it's clickbait!)

● Experiment with various subject lines and keep track of their open rates.

To perfect your subject lines, use free tools like Send Check It, Subject Line, and Coschedule. They help you test subject lines and scheduling (because there are good and bad times to send email campaigns!).

When you're finally seeing enough open rates, move on to optimizing your email body copy.

3. Email body and call to action (CTA)

Before making a buying decision, your subscribers need time to warm up to you and your offer.

To remain top of mind and relevant, you have to have creative flexibility. That means, you should include a variety of different topics and message formats in your marketing campaign:

Announcement: Invite your subscribers to a live event, podcast episodes or free downloads.

Case study: Showcase how your strategy helped someone else achieve their goals. Don't forget to mention tactical advice and actionable tips.

● Mini blog post: This is when you create valuable content to nurture your subscribers. You can take a blog that you wrote in the past and repurpose it into a shorter email-based version.

● Story: Vulnerability is a key element in building a relationship with your customers. So the question is, "What are the valuable lessons or takeaways in your story that your audience can apply to their own lives?"

Insider's glimpse: Give them a product tour, show them your workday or introduce them to your team.

● Survey: Send an email to your users asking for feedback.

To come up with more content ideas, browse Facebook groups to see what problems people are having. You can also send out a survey to your subscribers.

And most importantly, every email must always include a call to action. This is the very crux of your campaign. Without the right ask, your email won't drive action. Make sure the call to action is well-timed within your user's customer journey.

Next, we'll look at optimizing on-page behavior.

4. Landing pages

Optimizing your emails can wind up being a waste of time and energy if the pages you're linking to don't perform.

A good rule of thumb is to always direct your email recipients to the most efficient landing page. This greatly reduces the barrier to action for users. Be sure to optimize your landing pages, conversion funnels, and user experience before sending out the email campaign.

To optimize your landing pages for maximum conversion, focus on these areas:

Headline: It's important to focus your headline on one thing that your potential customers think is appealing to them (that you provide).

Supporting copy: Try different forms of social proof such as descriptions, case studies and testimonies. Besides, lower the reading level of your copy to a grade 5 or 6 with tools like Hemingway.

● Social proof: Images, stories and satisfied customers' comments can all boost conversion.

● Call to action: Action-oriented CTA verbs are more likely to get your audience to act quickly. Also, match the CTA with what the readers are looking for.

● The layout: Clean and simple pages will help you achieve your conversion goals more quickly. The copy should be broken up into bullet points or told as a story. If your readers aren't clicking on your CTA, try other button colors, sizes and repetition. Use heatmap tools like Hotjar to see what elements your users are focusing on.

Image/video: Images and videos can keep people on your website longer and engage them with your content. Furthermore, to give visitors a strong sense of how good your facilities are, use video to make virtual tours.

● Trust drivers: Including PayPal and VeriSign Trusted symbols can enhance conversion rates. Not to mention phone numbers, live chats, warranties, FAQs and privacy policies. 

● Technical related things: People's patience for technological delays is wearing thin. Without a smooth buying process and a fast page speed, you run the risk of losing your visitors.

You can optimize your landing pages by optimizing one area at a time and keep testing.

Final thoughts on Saas email marketing campaigns

And there you have it! A simple formula for getting the most out of your SaaS email marketing campaign. You start by making sure your emails get delivered, and then using top-converting subject line formulas to reach a higher open rate. The next thing you should do is include different email topics and formats in your marketing campaign to keep your readers engaged. Finally, create a smooth user experience on your landing page that drives people's actions. Now that you have this formula, you know how leading SaaS companies optimize their email marketing campaigns.

Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What are some of your favorite ways to optimize an email marketing campaign? How have they worked for you?

About the author

Davis Truyen is a technology-focused freelance B2B copywriter. You’ll usually find him cooking up educational and awareness-raising content for major SaaS brands. Davis enjoys outdoor activities with his family in his spare time and is obsessed with ice-blended chocolate.

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