Reduce Your Subscriber Churn by 50% Over the Next 90 Days.
<<Calling all subscription based SaaS companies! If I could help you reduce your churn by 50% over the next quarter with my 90-day retention email marketing formula… Helping you educate, inspire and retain your existing customers. Would you be Interested?>>
If you have high rates of churn within your monthly subscriptions, then you are most likely failing to nurture your customers after they buy from you. I am going to teach you how to use email to continue to educate, inspire and retain your customers so that they are much less likely to ever cancel your subscription. Without a robust post-purchase marketing effort, you are literally throwing money away bringing in new customers when instead you could be making money by keeping more of your customers with you for longer.
Email marketing is essentially about building relationships with your audience. Email remains one of the most intimate forms of marketing, and it provides a platform to have effective one sided and two sided conversations with your prospects and customers. While these attributes make email ideal for qualifying leads and nurturing warm and cold audiences towards a sale… they are possibly even more ideal for the warmest audiences of all… those people who have already bought from you, and now need to hear all the reasons to justify their purchase.
If you are a SaaS company and your product is subscription based you need to be even more focused on providing your audience with recurring education, community building and relationship nurturing on a predictable, ongoing basis so that your subscription becomes a necessity, and never gets sent to the chopping block.
If you opted in above for my 60-day retention email marketing formula then please keep reading because this is where I’m going to break down the different types of emails that fit into my 60-day plan. My approach to retention emails, more broadly referred to as “broadcast emails”, separates emails into three basic categories: Customer Spotlights, Features Highlights and what I call “I-You” Emails.
Read on while I break down each of these categories of retention emails and let me know if you’d like early access to my 90-day email retention plan which will tell you exactly when and why to include these emails and reduce your churn by next quarter.
Customer Spotlights (Anecdotal stories, Case Studies, Q&A)
These are emails in your customer retention plan that help your customer see how others have used your subscription service to grow their own businesses. These emails are a great way to help your customer see where they could be in the near future… which gives them an added incentive to stay connected. Here I’ve identified three types of Customer Spotlight emails that I use regularly.
WHAT:These are any stories that you draw from either your sales team, content team, customer feedback forms or simply in passing, that you can tell to your email audience featuring one of your brand’s customers.
HOW: These stories can be short, used to introduce a specific feature or benefit of your product, or then can be lengthy.
BENEFIT: These are usually not intended to make a sale, but rather to make your customer feel the human side of your company. These can be quick and fun to write and they should definitely be fun to read.
OBJECTIVE: Boosts open rates and builds trust
Personality Based Case Studies
WHAT: Case study emails can be a short before and after story, or they can be a lengthy, scientific breakdown of one of your customer’s successes with your products.
HOW: If you already feature case studies on your website, re-purpose that content but make it a bit more conversational when adding to an email broadcast list.
BENEFIT: The point here is to show transformation of one of your customers and how they reached specific goals and objectives by utilizing your brand’s solutions.
OBJECTIVE: Inspirational, visionary, provides social proof
WHAT: These emails can have a short lead to capture the audience, but the buik of the email is an actual Q&A format, like an interview.
HOW: The content of these emails can come from customer feedback surveys, customer interviews, or any one-on-one conversations you want to share with your wider audience.
BENEFIT: Provides in-depth information presented in an easy to read format. These emails give insight into specific features of your product and how other clients have benefited in the past, but presented in a non-threatening, easy to digest outline.
OBJECTIVE: Credibility, Relatability
Features Highlights (New Offers, FAQs, Problem-Solution Stories, also Case Studies)
These are emails that highlight specific features of your subscription based product or service. These emails are incredibly important for SaaS companies because they provide ongoing education for your customers to ensure they are getting the most benefit out of the subscription, and tailoring your product to their specific needs. Below I walk you through three different kinds of features driven emails and how to use them to educate and inspire your audience.
WHAT: These emails are designed to answer lingering objections about your product which can creep up, even after your customers have already bought from you.
HOW: These emails can be laid out just like an FAQ web page, addressing anywhere from 5 to 25 FAQs. Or the questions can be embedded in a narrative style email where you address only one or two objections (FAQs) at a time. For lengthier FAQ emails, formatting is extremely important so that the audience can skim easily and find the questions that interest them the most.
BENEFIT: Because people buy from emotion and justify with logic, FAQ emails can help your customers justify their purchase decisions while also providing an easy reference for common problems, which done well, can take a load off the customer service team.
OBJECTIVE: Satisfy objections
WHAT: These emails focus on a new angle of a problem your audience is having, and position a certain feature of your product as the solution
HOW: The first part of the email describes one core problem your user base can relate to currently. Once you establish the problem and get your reader feeling their pain acutely, the email turns and provides your product as the solution. These emails work best as story based emails because your audience will most likely have heard similar arguments in the front end of your funnel, so you want to re-package the same message in a story driven email.
BENEFIT: These emails really get at the emotional reasons that people buy your product, and can help build trust in your brand.
Features Based Case Studies
WHAT: These emails feature a case study by focusing less on the who and why, and more on the what and how. These emails are similar to problem solution emails, except they focus on a specific example.
HOW: You can use these emails as a part II of a personality driven case study email, or as a stand alone email. Use this email to get into the nitty gritty of the core problem in the case study, and how your product solved that problem.
BENEFIT: These emails can help teach your audience about more technical features of your product through a relatable real-world example.
I-You Conversations (9-word Emails, Surveys, Direct Offers, Anecdotal Brand Stories, Vulnerability Emails)
These emails are aimed at building up credibility and trust in your audience by creating a familiar feel and making your company relatable. The five different types of emails I’ve outlined below should actually take up the bulk of your email marketing retention plan because they make your brand stand out in the hearts and minds of your customers. However, these are usually the least common types of emails that companies send because they are personality driven and relationship focused, which is the opposite of what most companies spend their time thinking about. However, adding any one of these 5 email types into your retention plan will likely give you a sizeable reduction in churn rates, so ignore these types of emails at your own peril.
9-Word Email (℅ Dean Jackson)
WHAT: This is a simple, text only email that asks a very specific and very direct question of your audience
HOW: Figure out what you want to know from your customers, and ask them directly in a one sentence (roughly 9 words) email. For example: Are you still interested in reducing churn in your business?
BENEFIT: These emails get huge response rates
OBJECTIVE: Qualifying your Audience, Segmenting, Responses,
WHAT: An email that links to a survey of your customer base.
BENEFIT: Surveys can be fun for the customer which boosts engagement and the know, like, trust factor for your brand. Surveys also give you incredible insight into your buyer’s mindsets, as well as direct language you can repurpose in your outbound marketing.
OBJECTIVE: Engagement, feedback
WHAT: These emails make a direct offer for a product that is not built into a formal launch or seasonal release.
HOW: These emails should be short and direct. It should be clear from the subject line forward that an offer is being made. Most often, direct offers need to include some incentive such as a clear result, a discount, or provide special access.
BENEFIT: Evergreen offer emails are directed at people who are ready to opt in immediately without any more information.
Anecdotal Brand Stories
WHAT: These are the most under-utilized emails because they don’t generate sales. However, they are incredibly important for building customer loyalty and lifetime value. Story based emails about almost anything related to your company and the people in it (this includes both customers, employees, suppliers, even investors)
HOW: There are not rules to these emails except to write them from one person to one person, and make them sound like you are writing and email to a friend. However the basic structure is 1. Tell a story 2. Draw a lesson or value from the story and 3. Remind your reader that you are here to serve them.
BENEFIT: These emails are going to make your company feel like a long lost friend. These emails show the human side of your company and help your audience find themselves the bigger picture of your brand’s story. These emails also will make you stand out in your customer’s minds FAR above your competition.
OBJECTIVE: Loyalty & Know, Like, Trust
WHAT: Similar to the anecdotal story emails above, these emails can take many forms, but the key factor is to show not simply the human side of your company, but specifically your fallible nature as a human run company.
HOW: When there is a chance to be honest about a mistake of any magnitude, from an embarrassing typo in an email… all the way to a botched rollout of a product update, DON’T SHY AWAY from the problem.
BENEFIT: Take these mistakes and see them as opportunities to be honest with your customers. Get ahead of problems by being open in your email marketing from the start.
OBJECTIVE: Build Trust, Relatability & Connection
Build An Email Marketing Retention Plan
You can opt-in to my 90-day email retention formula for a more in depth explanation of exactly how to diagnose the cause of your high churn rates and how to use email marketing to boost retention and reduce churn. But generally speaking, you want to use the three types of emails I’ve explained above and make them work together. You can even mix and match different aspects of these email types inside one email, for example leading with a customer focused story, and ending with a direct offer. And once you’ve identified the leading reasons that customers are canceling their subscription, you can use these emails to basically “plug the leaks” in your customer satisfaction cycle for good.
Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b email marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion email copy and strategy that’s tailored for e-com apps and SaaS brands, visit my website, aaroewriting.com, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.