The complete guide to SaaS cold email outreach

Table of Contents

You have an amazing SaaS product. You've optimized it to the best of your abilities and made sure it looks and feels amazing to use. Now it's time to get some users.. but how?

It's tough, especially as a solopreneur. You will probably come to the conclusion that building a good product is only about 20% of the whole process. The other 80% is getting your product in front of people who are actually interested in using it.

So in this article, we'll cover one of the best ways to promote your product in front of the correct audience.. 🥁 cold email outreach!

Why cold outreach?

Cold email outreach is one of the best ways to get your first 100 loyal users. It establishes a more personal connection between the sender and the recipient and can lead to a higher conversion rate compared to other marketing tactics. When done correctly, cold emailing can help you establish trust with potential customers, build relationships, and even drive revenue.

Pros

  • Sending emails is free and simple (it only costs your time)
  • A more personal connection between the sender and reader
  • A person is way more likely to open an email than click on an ad

Cons

  • Nobody likes spammy emails
  • Very time consuming - you need to personalize your emails for every recipient
  • Finding high quality leads can be time consuming
  • The spam folder is your biggest enemy
  • Most people might read your email but not reply

It's a high effort job, especially if you're a solopreneur. You have to not only focus on the technical details of your SaaS, but also send lots of high quality and personalized emails to complete strangers, which can be extremely time consuming.

Finding your target audience

The most important thing about cold email outreach is sending your emails to the correct people. That's why you need to find people in your specific niche and build a list of emails.

You can either use a lead generation tool like Apollo or compile a list of emails yourself.

If you're just starting out, building an email list with a newsletter or just manually finding emails is way slower but wields more accurate results.

In our case, Afficone is an affiliate marketing software for SaaS startups, so our target audience is.. SaaS startups. These can be found in many places, ranging from ProductHunt, Twitter, Reddit and even software directories like G2 and Capterra.

How to write a good email

As I mentioned before, your emails must be personalized towards the reader. This can mean calling them by their name or talking about what their company does.

The only metrics you should care about when it comes to cold email outreach are open rate, response rate and conversion rate.

Ideally your email open rate should be 30% or higher. That means that 3 out of 10 people open your emails. If it's lower than that, you might need to work a little on your email titles.

The email response rate should range from 5% to 15%. If your response rate is lower than that, you probably have to work on getting better and more targeted leads.

The conversion rate solely depends on the problem you're solving, your website and your pricing.

An interesting subject line

The email subject is the very first thing the reader will see. This is where you must grab their attention and entice them to open your email.

Keep it short, simple and relevant

You don't need to share your whole life story in the title of your email. A simple question or request is completely enough.

Just a quick question, {name}

This particular title is enough to grab the interest of the reader; the first thing they should see is a genuine interest in talking to them, not a cheap sales pitch trying to sell them something.

I saw {their product's name} and thought you could use this

This is a more casual approach but it's effective because it shows you've taken the time to check out their product.

Avoid spammy titles

The most common pitfall when writing email titles is assuming that readers care about your product, especially considering that most would have never heard of it before reading the email.

Here are some examples of titles to avoid:

  • Get instant access to {your product}
    • Instant access to what? I don't even know what your product is about.
  • Limited time 10% off your next {your product} purchase
    • A false sense of urgency doesn't help.
  • You've been invited to the {your product} beta
    • Invited to what beta?
  • Transform your business with our expertise
    • This just sounds like spam.

You need to make people curious enough to actually open your email. They might be interested in learning about your product, but not with a spammy title like that.

To keep it simple, you do not want your emails to look like these:

Image from clickmatix.com

Writing your message

So you've gotten a person to open your email. Now what?

You need an engaging message that resonates with the reader,  one that speaks to their unique pain points or passions, and helps them feel seen, heard, or understood.

Don't use HTML

Seriously, using HTML in your email will not only increase the chances of your message going to the spam folder, but also make it feel inauthentic.

Different colors, font sizes and font weight can make it seem like the email has been sent by a bot and not a real person.

Keep it short and relevant

Writing a short email guarantees that the reader will actually read it. Your message, preferably, shouldn't be longer than 3-5 sentences and shouldn't contain any useless information.

Try to avoid generic lines as they are just a waste of space:

  • Hope this email finds you well.
  • I hope you're doing great.
  • Good morning/afternoon/evening.

You can start with your first line being extremely personalized and specific.

Don't talk about yourself too much

The reader doesn't need to know that your product has the option to do X, Y, or Z or that your are the Chief Executive Officer of the company. What they care about is what your product can do for them.

Talk about the value that your product will bring to the reader's life or business. How will it make their day easier? How will it save them time or money? How will it help them achieve a specific goal?

While it's natural to be proud of what you've created, don't overhype your product or make it seem like a miracle solution. This can come across as insincere or even arrogant.

Don't scare people off with meetings

Finish off your email by using language that encourages the reader to take the next step, but doesn't require a significant investment of their time. Avoid asking for a call, meeting or any time commitment at all.

Use a softer call to action such as:

  • Interested in learning more? Drop us a message!
  • I'd be happy to send over some additional information if you're interested.
  • Have questions or would like to know more? Reply and I'll get back to you ASAP.

An example of a good cold email

There is no perfect cold email, but this is what has mostly worked for us:

A cold outreach template we use!
A cold outreach template we use
  • Targeting new founders which have just started their marketing journey.
  • A straightforward introduction, personalized towards the reader.
  • Brief information about the sender.
  • Casual value proposition.
  • Non-pushy call to action.

You're talking to another human being. Being relatable and acting casual can differentiate your email from all the spammy emails your prospects receive.

Conclusion

Keep it simple, act casual and put the prospect first.

Cold email outreach can be a good marketing channel for earning loyal customers for your SaaS. By doing cold outreach, you essentially learn how to communicate with people in your niche and develop skills as a salesperson.

I would recommend giving it a try before paying for any PPC ads or agencies.

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