For many SaaS companies, mastering customer success can be challenging. Founders lack the resources, and rarely have dedicated customer success managers.
But customer success doesn’t always mean manual check-ins and reviews. Instead, you can automate your customer success efforts with targeted behavior-based email. By switching to automation, you can trust that customers are taken care of at every stage of the journey, during the onboarding and beyond.
In this article, you’ll learn what messages you can be sending, and how to get started.
Four emails you can send during onboarding
User onboarding is the most critical period. User energy is high, and your efforts determine whether the user will adopt your product, or abandon it. During this time, there are several customer success engagements that you can automate.
1. Check if the user is inactive
Consider setting up automation to check-in on a customer if they are inactive on the platform. Instead of manually checking for inactive users, you can also automate this process, so it’s completely streamlined. By checking in on customers that might not be using the product during their free trial, you can understand any pain points they might be experiencing.
However, be gentle with your nudges. Bombarding an inactive user with daily emails won’t take you anywhere.
2. Suggest various calls
You can address various customer needs with different types of calls. Thankfully, modern scheduling systems like Calendly or SavvyCal allow you to simply include a link. Here are some call types you can leverage:
General onboarding call
Technical setup call
Strategy call (to identify key objectives and guide their work)
Review call (to review work done by the customer)
3. Remind the user of done-for-you services
Sometimes concierge setup is the most efficient way to get users going. This is particularly true for products that require technical efforts, migration work, etc. However, instead of offering that to all new accounts, you can only suggest this to certain users — based on their behavior or other data (such as company size).
4. Send inspiring educational content
Beyond updating your customers with the most beneficial product features or the benefits of switching to an annual payment plan, try sending automated messages centered around educational content. These can include case studies, reports, instructional videos, survey results, and thought leadership pieces. Instead of instructing customers how to use your product, show them how they can succeed with it.
Six emails you can send to an active user
A customer is only successful when they know that your product is helping drive their success. To do this, you need to build relationships with your customers to give you valuable insight into their overall experience, including any pain points.
To gather this insight and continue to give your customers exactly what they need when they need it, you can automate strategic messaging to active users on your platform. Below are several engagements to get you started.
5. Ask for feedback
You can use behavior data to collect targeted, specific feedback about certain features. By being intentional with your questions, you will get direct answers to help improve your product or service. As customers continue using your tool, they’ll be able to see their feedback come to fruition.
6. Ask for a Capterra review
Capterra is the world’s largest software database, and it can be a great source of leads for your product. Track what users have been using your software successfully for a few months, and ask them to share their positive experience in a review.
7. Ask for a referral
In the same way, you can identify successful users and ask them to recommend your tool to friends. You can incentivise this with a promo code, or a reward for both parties. If you have an affiliate program, you can automatically invite your customers to use it as well. This will put your affiliate outreach on autopilot, and save you hours of time.
8. Suggest a check-in call
Depending on how long your customer has been using your software, it’s essential to check-in frequently without being overbearing. By suggesting a check-in call, you can help answer any questions the user might have, and help them use the software efficiently. By getting in front of issues, you can mitigate the risk of customers leaving.
9. Promote features they aren’t using
It’s a good idea to remind customers of crucial features within your software that could be helping them. By suggesting relevant features, you show your customers you care about their success.
10. Suggest a switch to annual billing
When a customer is paying month-to-month, it can be hard to predict their next move. By suggesting a switch to annual billing and its benefits, you better understand a customer’s commitment to the software. It also helps to strengthen the bond, and benefits your cash flow.
How to automate messaging
When you’re starting to think about implementing customer success in your SaaS business, it’s best to think from the ground up. Don’t let the technical side of things intimidate you.
Here’s how you can get started with automated messaging:
Pick an email automation tool that allows for behavior-based messaging. Popular tools include Userlist, Intercom, Customer.io, and many others.
Start tracking user behavior. To create the right messaging, you need to understand your customers’ actions at every stage. Focus on a few key properties and events, and then expand over time.
Create automated campaigns for touchpoints within each segment. Campaigns and segments go hand-in-hand. When a customer enters a segment, there needs to be a targeted campaign.
Forward the responses to your customer support inbox. That’s how you create relationships with each individual customer. Customer support tools and automation tools always go hand-in hand.
You should also consider what will happen when the user receives the message and responds to it. Who will be the designated customer support agent? How will you handle customer support tickets? Email automation tools allow you to set different “reply-to” addresses, which you can use strategically.
Let’s be proactive
Too often our customer support is reactive. We don’t have time and resources to reach out proactively. Thankfully, email automation can help.
No matter the size of the company, more customer success touchpoints mean better customer experience, and ultimately, better activation and retention for your product. We hope that these automation recipes can give you inspiration to get started!
About the author
Jane Portman is the co-founder of Userlist, an email automation tool for SaaS companies. Since 2017, they’ve been helping founders with user onboarding and engagement. A seasoned podcaster, Jane also runs two shows, UI Breakfast Podcast and Better Done Than Perfect.