Activation. Is. So. Important.
No idea what I’m talking about?
Software as a service (SaaS) businesses all follow a pretty standard flow:
- User arrives on a landing page.
- User signs up to a free trial.
- User starts using the product.
- User converts and becomes a paying customer.
Moving customers from one step in the funnel to the next always results in a drop-off.
Activation is the process of getting new users to actually engage with your product. In my steps above, it’s moving customers from step 2 to step 3.
Think about it – if your activation rate is 10% and you are getting 1000 signups a day you’re actually only seeing 100 real possible paying customers each day. If you move your conversion rate to 20% you will likely double the number of paying customers and halve your cost per acquisition numbers.
I was recently talking to a company that had an activation rate of around 35%.
They described this as: “for every dollar we spend on marketing, we’re only get $0.35 worth of value“. When you think about it like that, it really shows you how important it is to get acquisition right.
This same company has recently improved their activation number. How?
With email remarketing of course!
So…let’s get onto how some examples of how emails can help increase activation and what some of the best SaaS businesses are doing.
Identifying your activation ‘action’
Activation can involve one or many steps but I’d broadly define your key activation action as the step that gets your users to engage at the minimum level. I.e. if they never do this one thing then they sure as hell aren’t going to become paying customers. Here are some examples that might help you:
- Dropbox -> Save some files to your Dropbox folder
- Gmail -> Send an email
- Xero -> Send an invoice
- Basecamp -> Create a new project
- BigCommerce -> Add a product
- ZenDesk -> Create a ticket
You get the picture! Onto some examples of email remarketing in action.
Real examples from household names
Rather than going on and on about activation email ideas ,here are some examples from successful, real world companies. I’ve outlined a few points for each as to why I think they work well (or not so well)!
- Good looking email,
- Two simple steps are outlined in order get the customer activated,
- It’s the first in a series of emails,
- It links directly to required next steps,
- There is a cool personal touch from Chuck at the end.
- Simple, clean design,
- The image of a member of their support team lends a personal feel. This actually works!
- The light tone suits BigCommerce’s brand,
- Easy access to a real person via their phone line at the top.
- They’ve used a basic HTML that essentially looks like plain text.
- There is probably a little too much going on in this information – there is not a single call to action.
- This email is sent from a ‘donotreply’ address instead of a sales, service or individual’s email address. In my experience this has never worked as well as personal addresses. Customers want to talk to you!
- They do mention everything we need to know, which is helpful!
Our top tips for success
These examples came straight from my inbox over the past month (I sign up for a lot of services, just to see their campaigns ;).
There are thousands of companies sending millions of activation emails every day – some do a great job, some do nothing and others sit in between.
Where do you fit?
Today we want to help TWO lucky SaaS businesses improve THEIR activation emails over the next 30 days. Enter the…
30 DAY ACTIVATION CHALLENGE
What you get:
- Vero FREE for 30 days
- My brain working on YOUR business for 30 days. I’ll help you write campaigns
that will deliver REAL RESULTS on your ACTIVATION metrics.
- A/B tests setup by our team so you don’t have to worry.
- Weekly results sent directly to you.
- MORE CONVERSIONS.
Two businesses will be chosen at random. By entering your email you accept that I may blog about the results, good or bad, on this blog in order to help other online businesses nail their conversions too!
Enter by midnight Wednesday 21 November (PST) to WIN!
Latest posts by Chris Hexton (see all)
- The Future of Personalization: Use Real Data to Personalize Emails - July 27, 2015
- Design at Vero: a look through the years - July 26, 2015
- The World on Your Terms: Why You Can Start a Successful Business Anywhere - September 18, 2014
- How I Manage a Team of Five Without … - September 15, 2014