Must have email sequences for SaaS and AI

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

Imagine you’re the owner of a rapidly growing AI startup or a SaaS company. 

You’ve spent countless hours refining your product, and now it’s time to nurture your prospects to make them life-long customers.

Email marketing is the last cookie in the cookie jar—of the digital world​​—that can help you achieve this goal.

One that can help you satisfy your cravings (and bring your money), and bring you peace knowing you had it before your partner (or in this, your competition). 

But where do you start? 

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

And I know, I know, a lot of copywriters and marketing blogs talk about this. But in this post, I’ll explain how I do it.

And you can too.

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 the first impression you make on new subscribers. It sets the tone for your brand and begins building a relationship. 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.

Its goal is simple: welcome the audience. Keep them engaged. Make them feel wanted. Make them feel like they belong.

Okay, maybe not that simple.

Email marketing onboarding sequence

Welcome aboard! Email marketing sequence for SaaS and AI brands

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

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 tell them to read the next email to read about point c.

Step 3: Introduce Your brand and deliver value right away

Follow up by sending emails that offer immediate value, such as a useful resource, exclusive content, or a discount code. Or close the open loop (and leave another open loop for the readers to read the next email).

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: Welcome to [Your App] – Let’s Get Started!

Dear [User’s Name],

Welcome to [Your App]! We’re thrilled to have you on board and excited to embark on this journey together. 🚀

[Your App] is designed to [Briefly Describe What Your App Does]. Whether you’re looking to [Highlight a Key Use Case] or [Another Key Use Case], we’ve got you covered.

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]

Now 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.

Email copywriter for hire

Email marketing sequences for SaaS and AI

The goal of the trial activation sequence can be to make your users sign up for a paid trial by putting down the card details or reach an AHA! moment.

The AHA! moment is like when a light bulb goes on in your head. It’s when you suddenly understand why something is so great. In software, it’s the moment when someone using a new app or program realizes how helpful it is. It’s a moment of excitement and makes them want to keep using it.

It is important because once a user reaches an AHA! Moment, they’re more likely to keep using the software/app.

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 guiding users through the initial setup process. As with any other sequence, you need to have your research documents ready and open in front of you to write this email.

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: Subject: Get Started with [Your Product/Service] – Your Free Trial Awaits! 🚀

Hi [Subscriber’s Name],

Welcome to [Your Product/Service]! We’re thrilled to have you on board for your [X]-day free trial. 🚀

In case you’re wondering, [Your Product/Service] is all about [Brief Description of What Your Product Does]. With our powerful tools and features, you can [Highlight a Key Benefit].

To get started, here’s what you need to do:

[Action 1]: [Include a brief description and link]

[Action 2]: [Include a brief description and link]

Need help? Our friendly support team is here to assist you. Just reply to this email, and we’ll be happy to guide you through it.

Thanks for choosing [Your Product/Service]. Let’s make the most of your trial!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

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

I went from being the shy person in the room to someone who can effortlessly start conversations and make friends all around the world. 

And I apply the same tactics when crafting an engagement sequence. 

Email marketing personalization in SaaS and AI

GIF: Email marketing and personalization

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.

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

Remember: more you’s, less I’s

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…

Hi [Subscriber’s Name],

We hope you’re enjoying your journey with [Your Product]! 🚀At [Your Company], we’re committed to helping you make the most out of our powerful SaaS/AI tool. We’ve got some exciting tips, updates, and insights to share with you in this edition of our newsletter.

In this email:

  1. Feature Spotlight: [Feature Name]

Discover how [Feature Name] can [Explain the benefit or solve a problem]. Whether you’re a seasoned user or new to [Your Product], this feature can streamline your workflow and save you valuable time. Learn more → [Feature Link]

  1. Customer Success Story: [Customer Name]

Meet [Customer Name], a [Describe Customer’s Role]. They achieved [Brief Description of Success] with [Your Product]. Learn how they did it and get inspired for your own journey! Read their story → [Customer Success Story Link]

  1. Upcoming Webinar: [Webinar Title]

Join us for an interactive webinar on [Webinar Topic]. Our experts will dive deep into [Webinar Subject] and answer your questions live. Don’t miss this opportunity to boost your skills! Register → [Webinar Registration Link]

  1. Tips and Tricks: [Tips Title]

Discover [Number] helpful tips to supercharge your productivity with [Your Product]. From shortcuts to best practices, these tips will make your experience even smoother. Explore the tips → [Tips and Tricks Link]

  1. What’s New: [Product Updates]

Stay in the loop with our latest product updates. We’ve been hard at work to enhance your experience, and we can’t wait to share what’s new. Explore the updates → [Product Updates Link]

Have questions or need assistance? Our support team is here to help! Just reply to this email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Stay connected with us on social media for even more updates, insights, and community interaction.

Thanks for being part of the [Your Company] community. We’re excited to continue this journey with you!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

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.

email copywriting for SaaS or AI

email marketing | money GIF

A sales sequence can be for a launch or an evergreen offer. In both cases, a copywriter uses all the formulas in his or her arsenal to connect with the prospect and… sell! 

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

Clearly define your conversion goals, whether it’s product purchases, sign-ups, or free trials. Identify the KPI’s (key performance indicators) and communicate them with your team. 

Step 2: Strategize for persuasive Copy

Write persuasive and benefit-driven copy that compels subscribers to take the desired action. For this purpose, you first need to have a strategy in place. 

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?

Step 3: Create Urgency

Use scarcity tactics and limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency. 

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

A template for you…

Subject: Unlock [Benefit] with [Your Product/Service]

Hi [Prospect’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to introduce you to an exciting opportunity that could transform [Prospect’s Company/Team]—[Your Product/Service].

At [Your Company], we’ve been working tirelessly to develop a solution that addresses [Pain Point/Challenge] faced by businesses like yours. Here’s how we can help:

[Feature 1]: [Highlight how Feature 1 addresses the pain point]

[Feature 2]: [Highlight how Feature 2 addresses the pain point]

[Feature 3]: [Highlight how Feature 3 addresses the pain point]

Our clients have seen remarkable results, including [Specific Results or Benefits]. But rather than taking my word for it, here’s what one of our clients, [Client’s Name from a Relevant Industry], had to say:

“[Testimonial or Quote Highlighting Success with Your Product]”

I’d love to discuss how [Your Product/Service] can specifically benefit [Prospect’s Company/Team]. Would you be open to a brief call or meeting? We can explore your specific needs and see if we’re a good fit.

Please let me know your availability, and we can schedule a time that works best for you. If you have any immediate questions or need more information, feel free to reach out.

Thank you for considering [Your Product/Service]. We look forward to the opportunity to help [Prospect’s Company/Team] achieve [Benefit/Goal].

Best regards,

[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. 

GIF for Hira Osama's blog | email copywriting sequences

GIF for Hira Osama’s blog | email copywriting sequences

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 loyalty and 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, 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 determine 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.

GIF for email copywriting sequence for SaaS and AI

GIF for email copywriting sequence for SaaS and AI

The company wins because they get more lifetime users and increase revenue. And you’re happy because you can solve more problems and get better outcomes.

It’s like going from a small ice cream cone to a big one with extra toppings – you get more of what you like!

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: Take Your [Your App] Experience to the Next Level with [Your App’s Premium Plan] 🚀

Hi [Subscriber’s Name],

We hope you’ve been enjoying [Your App] and finding it useful for [Highlight What the App Does]. We’re thrilled to have you as part of our community!

We wanted to share an exciting opportunity with you. With our [Your App’s Premium Plan], you can unlock a whole new level of features and benefits that will supercharge your experience.

What you’ll get with [Your App’s Premium Plan]:

[Feature 1]: [Highlight how Feature 1 can benefit the user]

[Feature 2]: [Highlight how Feature 2 can benefit the user]

[Feature 3]: [Highlight how Feature 3 can benefit the user]

Our [Your App’s Premium Plan] is designed to [Explain How It Helps Achieve a Goal or Solve a Problem].

But wait, there’s more! When you upgrade today, you’ll also enjoy:

[Additional Benefit 1]: [Describe an extra benefit of upgrading]

[Additional Benefit 2]: [Describe another extra benefit of upgrading]

Ready to experience the full potential of [Your App]? Simply click the button below to upgrade to [Your App’s Premium Plan] and unlock these amazing features:

[Upgrade Now Button]

If you have any questions or need assistance with the upgrade process, our support team is here to help. Feel free to reach out anytime.

Thank you for being a part of [Your App]! We can’t wait to see what you’ll achieve with our premium features.

Best regards,

[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.

Email copywriting GIF for re-engagement sequence

Email copywriting GIF for re-engagement sequence

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 clients are saying about the emails I wrote for them.

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