The 7 Must-Have Email Sequences for SaaS and AI Brands

The 7 Must-Have Email Sequences for SaaS and AI Brands

Hira March 2, 2024 No Comments

Imagine: you’re the owner of a fast-growing AI startup or a SaaS company. 

You obviously have a thousand decisions to make every day.

Important decisions.

You’ve also spent countless hours refining your product. Now it’s time to nurture your prospects to retain them—make them life-long customers.

Email marketing is one of the ways you can achieve this goal. 

But where do you start? 

You may have a newsletter and a welcome sequence, that does the bare minimum. But is there room for optimization?

Hint: There’s always room for optimization.

In this guide, I’ll talk about the seven email sequences that I use to help my clients maintain lasting relationships with their customers.

There are some incredible resources that can help you do this.

But in this post, I’ll explain how I do it for my clients AKA. a couple of SaaS and Tech brands that you’ve definitely heard about.

Let’s begin with the opener.

1. The Welcome Sequence aka. Setting the stage

“A great welcome email can make or break your subscriber’s perception of you.” — Neil Patel

A welcome sequence is your first chance to make an impression on your subscribers. Your subscribers may be coming from different optins, so keep in mind the customer journey and greet them with a message that is in line with their journey.

Depending on where they’re coming from, they may be high-intent potential buyers.

Not hearing from you about your offer in convincing lingo may lead them to think the offer is not for them at all.

[Not hearing from you at all is worse, so don’t think you can get away without a welcome email sequence.]
A welcome sequence can be as short as one or two emails. Or it can run as long as a few weeks or months depending on the complexity of the product (or the customer journey segmentation).

Its goal is simple: welcome the audience.

Keep them engaged. Make them feel wanted.

Make them feel like they belong.

welcome email sequence for SaaS

Step-by-step guide to creating an engaging welcome sequence

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an engaging welcome sequence.

Step 1: Research your target audience

Research is the biggest part of creating anything from landing pages to website copy to email sequences. I’m going to write another blog post about how I do my research for emails.

But for this post, remember that customer surveys, 1:1 interviews, and review mining are 3 effective ways to research your target audience to understand their motivations and pain points.

Step 2: Craft your welcome emails

When you write your emails, pay attention to the From Lines, subject lines, and preview text.

Make the email personalized by adding all the details from your collected data.

When a reader feels like a brand gets them, they keep coming back.

End your emails with a call-to-action or an open loop.

An example of an open loop will be where you explain points a and b to your readers, but ask them to read the next email to learn about point c.

Step 3: Deliver value right away

Follow up by sending emails that offer immediate value, such as a useful resource, exclusive content, or a discount code.

Here are my favorite ones:

1. Email from the founder
2. Answering FAQs
3. Delivering user manual guides for easy team integration

In subsequent emails, introduce your brand, its values, and the problems you solve. Make subscribers feel like they’re part of an exclusive community.

A template for you…

Here’s a welcome email template for you:

Subject: Forget the Rest, [Your App] Is All You Need


Dear [User’s Name],

Stop wasting time with clunky, ineffective solutions. [Your App] is here to revolutionize the way you [Briefly Describe What Your App Does].

Tired of [Problem Your App Solves]? Millions of others were too. That’s why they switched to [Your App] and experienced a [Quantifiable Benefit].

Don’t be left behind. Join the movement and unlock your full potential with [Your App] today.

Click here to get started: [Link]


The [Your App] Team

Getting Started is Easy:

Download [Your App]: [Provide App Download Links for iOS and Android] Create Your Account: Open [Your App] and follow the simple on-screen instructions. Explore [Your App]: Dive right in and discover all the amazing features at your fingertips. Why Choose [Your App]?

[Benefit 1]: [Explain a Key Benefit] [Benefit 2]: [Highlight Another Benefit] [Benefit 3]: [Mention One More Reason to Choose Your App]

Support and Assistance:

If you ever have questions or need help, our support team is here for you. Simply reply to this email, and we’ll provide the assistance you need.

We’re excited to have you as part of our [Your App] community. Your journey with us is just beginning, and we can’t wait to see all the incredible things you’ll achieve.

Thank you for choosing [Your App]. Let’s make every moment count!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

You have my permission to use this template and personalize it for your audience.

Disclaimer: Templates are just a starting point. I highly recommend you working with an email strategists that specializes in SaaS so they can map our your customer journey and come up with specific messaging to help you convert better.

Now, that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about another big sequence for SaaS and AI.

2. The Trial Activation Sequence aka. The first date

“Make the customer the hero of your story.” — Ann Handley

If your trial activation sequence can only do one thing. Make sure it does this. ^^^

The trial activation sequence starts when a person subscribes to your free trial.

It is one of the most lucrative email sequences for a SaaS brand.

emails for SaaS

The goal of the trial activation sequence is to make your users sign up for a paid trial by putting down the card details.

You may want them to reach an AHA! moment.

The AHA! moment happens when your free-trial subscriber realizes that they cannot live your solution. So much so that they upgrade for a paid trail.

For example, Facebook’s AHA! moment is when a user adds 10 friends in 7 days.

Twitter’s AHA! moment is when a user gains 30 followers.

Let’s look at how a SaaS company achieves this.

Step-by-step guide to crafting an effective trial activation sequence

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an effective trial activation sequence.

Step 1: Welcome Email (Again)

Start with a welcome email, but this time, focus on giving the subscriber a reason to make their account, or log into your app. They should have motivation to start setting up their dashboard. 

How do you do this? You tie back the features of your product as the go-to solutions to their problems. 

Step 2: Break It Down

Send a series of emails that break down the onboarding process into manageable steps, with clear instructions and video tutorials.

With each email, you’re taking the reader through a journey. A journey to put down their card details and subscribe for an app because this app or software is going to solve a big problem for them.

The touchpoints of this journey could be setting up your dashboard, inviting team members, or setting up their first email blast.

Step 3: Highlight Features

Showcase key features and functionalities of your product in separate emails, highlighting how they benefit the user.

Through the template in the next section, you can see what a trial activation sequence looks like.

A template for you…

Subject line: Whoa! Your free trial of [product/service] is ready (And it’s awesome!)


Hey [Subscriber’s Name],

Guess what? Your free trial of [Product/Service] is officially live!

We know you’re probably wondering, “What can this amazing product actually do for me?” Well, buckle up, because [Your Product/Service] helps you [Brief Description of What Your Product Does] like a total champion.

Here’s what you can expect:

[Highlight a Key Benefit]: Say goodbye to [pain point] and hello to [desired outcome]!
[Highlight another Key Benefit]: This is so easy to use, even your grandma could figure it out. (No offense, grandma! )
Ready to unleash the power of [Your Product/Service]? Click the button below to activate your free trial and start winning: [Link]

P.S. Still got questions? No sweat! Just reply to this email, and our awesome support crew will be happy to help.

See you on the winning side!

The [Your Product/Service] Crew

Next up, is my personal favorite. The engagement sequence.

3. The Engagement Sequence aka. How you doin’

“If you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will.” — Bob Hooey

One thing I learned from Joanna Weibe (Copyhackers)—among many other things—is that a customer is unapologetically interested in themselves.

So when you’re engaging with your customers, you’re focusing on them. More than your brand, more than your product—you’re focussing on solving their problem and giving them a great experience.

engagement sequence

Email marketing maven, Rand Fishkin, shares: Your subscribers should hear from you often enough to remember who you are but not so often that they ignore you.

Step-by-step guide to creating a nurturing engagement sequence

Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a nurturing engagement sequence

Step 1: Content Variety

Diversify your content. Send newsletters, industry insights, tips, and user-generated content to keep subscribers engaged.

Step 2: Personalization

Segment your audience and personalize your emails to cater to their interests and needs. Ask questions. Tell them to write back to you. Tell them about your brand or yourself in a way that helps them connect.

Step 3: Interactive Elements

Incorporate interactive elements like polls or surveys to encourage subscriber participation.

In the next section, I have an example.

A template for you…

Subject line: Level Up Your [Product Name] Game: Hot Tips & New Features Alert!


Hey [Subscriber Name],

Ready to take your [Product Name] experience to the next level? We’ve got a treasure trove of goodies just for you in this email – buckle up!

Inside this email, you’ll find:

** Feature Spotlight: [Feature Name]** – Discover how this game-changing feature can help you [explain the benefit or solve a problem]. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, this is a must-know! Learn more → [Feature Link]
** Customer Success Story: [Customer Name]** – Get inspired by [Customer Name]’s incredible journey with [Your Product]. They went from [starting point] to achieving [amazing result]! Read their story and see how you can replicate their success. → [Customer Success Story Link]
** Upcoming Webinar: [Webinar Title]** – Join our interactive webinar on [webinar topic] and dive deep with our experts. They’ll be dropping knowledge bombs and answering your questions live! Don’t miss out on this chance to become a [Product Name] master. ➡️ Register now → [Webinar Registration Link]
✨ Tips & Tricks: [Tips Title] – Unleash the full power of [Your Product] with these [number] handy tips! From hidden shortcuts to pro-level hacks, we’ve got you covered. → Explore them now → [Tips and Tricks Link]
** What’s New: [Product Updates]** – Stay ahead of the curve with the latest updates to [Your Product]. We’ve been busy making things even better, and we can’t wait for you to try them out! → See what’s new → [Product Updates Link]
Need a hand? Our friendly support team is just a reply away!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need help getting the most out of [Your Product].

We love seeing you in our [Product Name] community! Stay connected with us on social media for more updates, insights, and fun interactions.

Thanks for being awesome!


The [Your Company] Crew

Now let’s talk about making money! Next up is the sales or conversion sequence.

4. The Sales Sequence aka. Let the sales begin!

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” – William Clement Stone.

The sales sequence has one goal: turn prospects into paying customers.

sales email sequence

Here are some of the copywriting formulas I use:

  • AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action):

Attention: Grab your audience’s attention with a compelling headline or opening.

Interest: Pique their interest by discussing the problem or need your product solves.

Desire: Build desire by showcasing the benefits and features of your product.

Action: Encourage action with a clear call to action (e.g., “Buy Now” or “Get Started”).

  • Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS):

Problem: Start by highlighting the problem your audience faces.

Agitate: Agitate the problem by discussing its negative consequences or pain points.

Solution: Present your product or service as the solution to their problem.

  • Before-After-Bridge (BAB):

Before: Describe the situation or problem before using your product.

After: Paint a vivid picture of how life or circumstances can improve after using your product.

Bridge: Show how your product is the bridge that leads from “before” to “after.”

  • 4Ps (Picture, Promise, Proof, Push):

Picture: Paint a vivid picture of your audience’s desired outcome.

Promise: Make a compelling promise related to your product.

Proof: Provide evidence, such as testimonials or case studies, to support your promise.

Push: Encourage action by telling your audience what to do next.

There are many other formulas that you can use. But for me, I stick to these along with some other copywriting practices that I’ll soon talk about inside my blog.

Step-by-step guide: Crafting compelling sales sequences

Here is a step-by-step guide to writing a sales sequence.

Step 1: Define goals

Set clear conversion goals (purchases, sign-ups, etc.), choose relevant KPIs (metrics tracking progress), and share them with your team for aligned progress.

Step 2: Strategize for persuasive copy

This month alone I strategized for a welcome sequence, a newsletter campaign, and a sales funnel.

The one thing I’ve learned after years of strategizing and learning how to think, I’ve understood that to get great answers, you need to ask great questions.

Before you put your strategy in place, here are the questions you should answer:

What does your customer want?
What is their biggest problem?
What is their biggest motivator?
How can you answer their objections even before they come up in their minds?

The next step is to…

Step 3: Create Urgency

Start by acknowledging the user’s potential frustration with the free tier. Focus on FOMO (fear of missing out). Introduce the limited-time offer and emphasize its exclusivity. 

Next, quantify the benefit. Instead of just saying “more features,” highlight the specific benefits users will gain through the upgrade.

End with a clear call to action. Make it easy for users to take the next step. 

In the next section, I have an example for you:

A template for you…

Subject Line: [Benefit] Awaits with [Your Product/Service]


Dear [Prospect’s Name],

Tired of [pain point]? Millions of others were too. That’s why they switched to [Your Product/Service] and experienced a [quantifiable benefit] increase in [metric].

Don’t be left behind. [Your Company] has developed a proven solution specifically designed to address the critical challenges faced by businesses like yours.

[Your Product/Service] offers:

[Feature 1]: Eliminate [pain point 1] and boost [benefit 1] by [percentage].
[Feature 2]: Simplify [complex task] and achieve [desired outcome] with ease.
[Feature 3]: Gain unprecedented insights to optimize [area] and maximize results.
Don’t just take our word for it. [Client’s Name], a respected leader in [industry], achieved [specific, quantifiable success] with [Your Product/Service].

Ready to unlock the potential of [Your Product/Service] for your team? Contact me today to schedule a brief consultation and discover how we can help you achieve tangible results.


[Your Name]

Next up is the retention sequence.

5. The Retention Sequence aka. Come Back!

Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. – Chip Bell.

The retention sequence is used to build loyalty among your customers.

retention emails

When customers like what they get (product) or have an amazing experience (service) they’ll likely become fans for life.

Step-by-step guide to creating an effective retention sequence

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an effective retention sequence.

Step 1: Show Appreciation

Send a heartfelt thank-you email to your customers, expressing gratitude for their support.

Step 2: Educational Content

Provide ongoing value through educational content related to your product or industry, showcasing how it can benefit customers.

This includes sharing customer testimonials of how other people are using your product or service. This helps a user find further value and benefits to your product.

For example, and this is an example outside SaaS but still applies, I registered for a mastermind but I didn’t know what to ask during my 1:1 coaching calls.

It wasn’t until I received an email of examples and excerpts from other members’ coaching calls to understand how I’d like to use this service for maximum benefit.

Step 3: Exclusive Offers

Offer exclusive discounts, early access, or rewards to reward and retain loyal customers.

Like we do inside our example email.

A template for you…

Subject: Thank You for Choosing [Your Company]!

Dear [Customer’s Name],

We want to express our deepest gratitude for being a valued member of the [Your Company] family. Your loyalty means the world to us.

As a token of our appreciation, we’re offering you an exclusive [X%] discount on your next purchase. Simply use the code THANKYOU[X] at checkout. This offer is valid until [Expiration Date].

We’re committed to continually improving your experience with [Your Product/Service].

If you have any feedback or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Your input is invaluable to us.

Thank you for choosing [Your Company], and here’s to many more great moments together!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Next, we have the upsell/cross-sell sequence.

6. The Upsell/Cross-Sell Sequence aka. Marry me!

The key to successful selling is to match the benefits of your product to the needs of the customer. — Brian Tracy

Imagine you have a special app on your tablet that helps you draw pictures.

At first, you use the free version, but you really like it, and you want to do even cooler things.

So, you decide to sign up for the super artist version.

It’s a win-win.

upsell email sequence

The company wins because it gets lifetime users.

And you’re happy because you can solve more problems and get better outcomes.

Step-by-step guide to boost revenue with upsell/cross-sell sequences

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an upsell/cross-sell sequence.

Step 1: Segment your audience

Segment your customer list based on their previous purchases and interests to tailor your offers. This will help you make better upsell recommendations.

Step 2: Recommend complementary products or services

Send personalized recommendations for products or services that complement what the customer has already purchased. An example would be offering 3 free member accounts apart from the upgraded offer and more features.

Step 3: Provide incentives

Offer special discounts or incentives for customers to make additional purchases. Emails that break down monthly and annual payments and provide a % discount for seasonal sales also perform well.

Learn how to do an upsell with a swipeable email template in the next section.

A template for you…

Subject Line: Stop Settling: Unleash the Full Power of [Your App] with Premium


Dear [Subscriber’s Name],

Enjoying [Your App]? That’s great, but you’re only experiencing a fraction of its potential.

Upgrade to Premium and unlock the features that will truly supercharge your experience.

Here’s what you’re missing:

[Feature 1]: Ditch the limitations and [benefit].
[Feature 2]: Elevate your experience and [benefit].
[Feature 3]: Gain the edge you need to [benefit].
Premium isn’t just about features, it’s about results. It’s designed to help you [achieve a goal or solve a problem] faster and more efficiently.

But wait, there’s more! Upgrade today and receive:

[Additional Benefit 1]: An exclusive bonus that further enhances your experience.
[Additional Benefit 2]: Unmatched customer support to ensure your success.
Don’t settle for mediocrity. Upgrade to Premium and unlock the full power of [Your App].

Click here to upgrade now: [Upgrade Now Button]

P.S. Still hesitant? Our support team is just a click away. Contact them with any questions.


[Your Name]

Last but not least, is the re-engagement sequence.

7. The Re-engagement Sequence aka. Let’s try and work things out!

Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers. — Seth Godin

A re-engagement sequence is like a friendly invitation to say, “Hey, we miss you!”.

It’s important because it helps people who haven’t used a service or app in a while remember how great it is.

This sequence is targeted towards a segment of your audience that hasn’t engaged with your emails for a while.

Step-by-step guide to rekindle interest with re-engagement sequences

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a re-engagement sequence.

Step 1: Identify inactive subscribers

Identify subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails for a while, typically after several months.

Step 2: Write and send your re-engagement emails

Send personalized emails that acknowledge their inactivity and offer an incentive to re-engage, such as a special offer or exclusive content. You can also begin by asking for a small thing.

Remember, the goal is not to sell, but to remind them why they signed up for your emails in the first place.

Step 3: Remove Inactive Subscribers

If subscribers don’t respond to the re-engagement email, consider removing them from your list to maintain a healthy email list.

Here’s an email template for you.

A template for you…

Subject: We Miss You! Come Back to [Your App] Today!

Hi [Subscriber’s Name],

We hope this email finds you well. It’s been a little while since you last used [Your App], and we wanted to let you know that we’ve missed you!

We know that life can get busy, and sometimes, apps like [Your App] can slip our minds. But we wanted to remind you of all the great things you can do with [Your App] and why you loved it in the first place.

Here’s why you should come back to [Your App]:

[Benefit 1]: [Remind them of a key benefit or feature]

[Benefit 2]: [Highlight another great benefit or feature]

[Benefit 3]: [Mention one more reason they enjoyed the app]

It’s easy to get started again. Just click the button below to reopen [Your App] and rediscover the magic:

[Reopen Your App Button]

If you have any questions or need assistance, our support team is here to help. We’re excited to welcome you back and make your experience with [Your App] even better!

Thank you for being a part of our [Your App] community. We can’t wait to see you again!

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

As much as I can go on talking about emails, I’ll wrap it up here. 🙂

Wrapping up…

As you venture into the world of email marketing for your SaaS or AI brand, remember the words of legendary marketer David Ogilvy: “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

In other words, get creative, have fun, and tailor these sequences to your brand’s unique voice and style.

By implementing these must-have email sequences and following the step-by-step guides, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking the full potential of email marketing for your brand.

And if you need any help, connect with me via email to talk all about email sequences!

P.S. Hear what this client is saying about the emails I wrote for them.

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