A 2022 study reveals that 86% of customers will leave a trusted brand after two poor experiences.
And businesses need to get many things right to deliver a world-class customer experience.
Whether tailoring a personalized product trial, making data-backed marketing decisions, or fostering lasting brand affinity, every aspect of the customer journey demands meticulous attention and management.
It could get challenging, particularly for product-based SaaS companies, as the number of customers, range of offerings, and diversity of marketing channels increase making it difficult to maintain a consistent, high-quality experience for every user without losing the personal touch.
This is where marketing automation strategies can come to the rescue. Through smart, systematic automation, brands can enhance personalization, optimize decision-making, and maintain proactive engagement, regardless of the scale of their operations.
In this article, let’s look at four effective marketing automation strategies that can help you deliver great customer experiences and propel your brand to new heights.
1. Personalize at scale
Personalization plays a crucial role in shaping all facets of the customer experience, from the moment of onboarding to the product usage stages. Tailoring every step to the individual customer’s use case elevates their journey from generic to uniquely their own.
But personalization is not merely a cosmetic change; it entails a thorough understanding of the ways customers interact with your product and brand. These interactions are then converted into behavioral triggers, motivating customers to engage in beneficial actions through targeted nudges.
Here are some customer-facing aspects of a SaaS business that stand to benefit immensely from personalization:
Onboarding: A personalized onboarding experience can drive higher user engagement, reduce drop-off rates, and lead to faster feature adoption. Using behavior-based triggers and understanding the user’s needs, you can tailor the onboarding process to match individual user requirements.
Feature updates: Regular feature updates keep users engaged, but a personalized approach can make them more effective. For instance, you can analyze the usage pattern of your users and send them feature update messages relevant to that.
CSAT surveys: Personalizing surveys based on the user’s job role, interactions, and usage patterns can lead to more accurate feedback and higher response rates.
Appreciation messages: Personalizing these messages can make customers feel valued, fostering a stronger relationship between the brand and the customer. You can send such messages after a customer has used your product for a year or on their birthday.
Customer service: You can feed user data to your service chatbots to provide more personalized answers to your customer’s queries.
To personalize these customer-facing aspects, SaaS businesses need to track user behavior closely and trigger automated messages or nudges that motivate them to take action. The challenge here is that customers interact with a brand in multiple ways.
For instance, installing an app, downloading a free PDF, and opening an email are some of these interactions that SaaS brands need to track and set automation for to improve customer experience through personalization.
This is where platforms like Encharge, a marketing automation platform, come into play.
Specifically designed for B2B SaaS businesses, Encharge allows you to put your marketing processes on auto-pilot beyond email marketing. You can track user behavior to onboard them to your product, create automated sales tasks to nudge inactive leads, send payment reminders by connecting it to your billing system, and more.
Additionally, features like advanced user segmentation, account-based marketing capabilities, and integration with popular SaaS apps, such as HubSpot, Typeform, Stripe, and more, make it a potent tool for SaaS companies looking to personalize at scale.
In a nutshell, scaling personalization with automation enables SaaS businesses to cater to each customer as an individual, improving their overall experience while also optimizing brand performance metrics.
2. Multi-channel marketing
Multi-channel marketing helps SaaS companies engage and communicate with their customers on their preferred method or platform, which improves the customer experience. Additionally, it allows brands to reach a wider audience, increase brand awareness, and discover new customer segments.
At its core, multi-channel marketing begins with identifying the ways and platforms through which you could communicate with your customers.
The next steps involve developing a messaging strategy for communication tools or building authority and a following for social media platforms, consistently engaging with your audience, and sharing diverse content that shines a spotlight on your brand and product.
It’s about meeting your customers where they are and creating a seamless and integrated customer experience across all channels.
However, like all strategies, multi-channel marketing comes with its own set of challenges. Learning about multiple platforms, posting consistently on each one, and effectively engaging with the audience require a fair bit of planning, time, and resources.
This is where you can leverage various tools to help you automate relevant tasks involved with multi-channel marketing.
For instance, you can use social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that post your content on your chosen platform at a preset time.
Buffer allows you to post on multiple social media platforms and track their performance | source
Similarly, you can lean on brand monitoring tools like Brandwatch and Mention to track when your audience or customers talk about you, allowing you to immediately engage with them or reply to their queries.
Keep in mind that automating essential tasks related to multi-channel marketing doesn’t mean you compromise on the quality of your messages and the nature of engagement. For instance, if you can post more content easily, you should aim to increase the volume of your posts while retaining their content quality.
Here are a few best practices that will help you get the most out of your automated multi-channel marketing efforts:
- Align marketing and channel objectives: Each channel has unique strengths and purpose. It’s essential to align your marketing objectives with the capabilities of the chosen channel to maximize effectiveness.
- Keep experimenting: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday may not work today. Hence, it’s vital to experiment and innovate with your multi-channel strategies continually.
- Pay attention to industry trends: Stay informed about the latest trends and updates in your industry and marketing. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and give you new content strategies. Semrush, a popular SEO tool, does just that.
Multi-channel marketing is not just about presence on multiple platforms but using them effectively to communicate and engage with your audience. By doing so, SaaS brands can enhance their reach, engagement, and ultimately, customer experience.
3. Content creation
Content is one of the most effective mediums through which you can deliver a great customer experience.
Personalization, the first strategy discussed in this article, requires tailoring messages, notifications, and emails to the needs and behaviors of individual customers. This, of course, hinges on the creation of a wide array of engaging and relevant content.
Similarly, a successful multi-channel marketing strategy depends heavily on crafting platform-specific content that resonates with diverse audiences across various channels.
However, creating various content types for diverse customers across multiple platforms is challenging. Time and budget constraints, the need for thorough content research, the complexity of creating content that caters to different platforms and objectives, and the requirement to measure their impact all add layers of complexity to the task.
Thankfully, various AI-powered tools can help manage these challenges.
The biggest one, of course, is ChatGPT which can help you with text content creation, review, research, and more. You can also upgrade to ChatGPT Plus to use various plugins to simplify specific tasks such as keyword research:
Keyword research with ChatGPT Plugins
Various specific tools will simplify your content creation process, such as SurferSEO and Frase for writing search engine-friendly blog posts, Descript and Peech to edit and polish video content, and Canva and Fotor to generate and edit all kinds of images.
Here are some of the most important content types that SaaS brands need to create to help their customers get the most out of their business and deliver a good experience:
- Emails: The lifeblood of customer communication, emails can be used for everything from onboarding and feature updates to appreciation messages and customer support.
- Social Media Posts (Images and Text): Posting on social media platforms helps to maintain engagement and enhance brand awareness. The content should be customized to each platform’s unique characteristics and audience expectations.
- Videos: Videos are an engaging way to explain product features, share customer testimonials, or provide how-to guides.
- Blog Posts: Regular, informative blog posts help to establish your brand as an industry authority and earn your audience’s trust. They also serve to educate customers about product features and best practices.
- Guides: Detailed guides provide value to customers by helping them understand and use your product effectively, thus enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. Moreover, they can be used as lead magnets.
- Webinars: Live or recorded webinars can be used for product demos, expert discussions, or tutorials, providing an interactive and engaging platform for customers to learn and ask questions.
4. Churn management
When customers start abandoning your product — a phenomenon known as customer churn — it’s a tell-tale sign of trouble. The reasons can range from product dissatisfaction to poor customer experience or finding a better alternative.
Cutting down churn rates should be a priority for every SaaS company as it will directly affect your revenue stream. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize churn rates.
For instance, you can consider offering flexible pricing options through more tiered plans to accommodate different budget sizes, incorporating more customizability to your product’s features to expand their use cases, and empowering your customers through self-service to make them feel more in control and reduce the frustration of waiting for support.
But here’s the thing — SaaS churn management isn’t about randomly throwing these strategies at the wall and seeing what sticks. As customers churn for different reasons, you cannot adopt a random approach to motivate them to renew their subscriptions.
For instance, if a user decides to leave due to bad customer service, offering them flexible pricing won’t be effective.
Hence, you need to adopt a systematic process to isolate the issue and take relevant action:
- Identify “at-risk” customers: Your first job is to define what an ‘at-risk’ customer looks like. This could be someone who rarely logs in, hasn’t used certain key features, or frequently engages with your customer support.
- Create a system for spotting these customers: This is where predictive analysis comes into play. By analyzing patterns in user behavior and historical churn data, you can identify which customers are likely to take their business elsewhere.
- Implement measures to retain at-risk customers: Once you’ve identified potential churners, the next step is to intervene with targeted actions. Maybe they need extra help navigating a feature, or perhaps a discount could nudge them to stick around longer.
After you outline the details of the above steps on paper, you can automate it using various tools.
For instance, tools like Mixpanel and Pendo allow SaaS businesses to track how their customers engage with their products. They also offer AI analytics features that are pivotal in identifying which customers aren’t getting the value they had signed up for — allowing you to zero in on the at-risk customers.
Then, you can map triggers to Encharge, the marketing automation tool we mentioned earlier, to send relevant messages and emails to improve customer experience and reduce the chances of customer churn.
The journey to delivering an exceptional customer experience in the SaaS industry can be challenging, but it’s certainly doable through strategic implementations of marketing automation.
Automating the process of customer journey personalization, multi-channel marketing, content creation, and identifying ‘at-risk’ subscribers to alleviate their pain points can help you delight your customers by enhancing their experience with your brand.