Cold Email Marketing for SaaS: An Underrated Marketing Approach

Sam Brodie

August 22nd

Does cold email marketing for SaaS start-ups really differ quite a bit from what is being practiced by other industries? If not, why are SaaS companies obtaining such low open and response rates?

Well, the simple answer is yes, cold email outreach for SaaS does differ from the rest with respect to one primary point. Before we get to that, let’s take a look at some instances that speak otherwise about the capabilities of cold emails in the SaaS space.  

In fact, once you master efficient cold emailing practices for the SaaS sector, there will be a significant increase in the number of conversion opportunities. A study by QuickMail found out that TeamUp, a gym management SaaS achieved a cold email response rate of 46.6%!

Another QuickMail client, Demio, a webinar SaaS organization, was able to bring in 500 new clients within just 7 days. And guess what, the cornerstone of their entire 7-day lead generation challenge was cold emails!

So what are these SaaS businesses doing differently? What must you change about your cold email marketing campaign to obtain similar figures? Read on to find out!

Common myths about cold emailing in the SaaS industry

Before we head over to the benefits and tips for cold email marketing for SaaS, let’s first take a look at some of the most preposterous myths associated with cold emails. They are as follows:

1. Everybody should receive a common message: Compared to generic emails, cold emails might just be a tad bit more expensive. However, this myth can be eliminated if you delve into personalized cold emails since the payoff is quite good.

2. Customization and personalization come at a cost: Delivering identical emails to everyone on your email list without segmenting it is essentially spamming your recipients. Instead, create highly targeted messages that provide them with something important.

3. Every detail must be mentioned in the email: Please get this out of practice if you still follow this outdated myth. Most individuals open their emails on their phones, so keeping emails concise becomes even more critical. So keep it brief, precise, and actionable.

4. Email templates can enhance boost rates: Quite a few organizations follow the exact same cold email template. As a result, they appear mediocre rather than unique to potential clients. In this instance, customization and distinctiveness are crucial.

How is cold emailing within the SaaS industry different from the rest?

At their core, the problems faced by the SaaS industry can be quite similar to the ones of other industries. However, there is one key factor that varies quite a bit, and it is this hurdle SaaS companies need to be aware of in order to practice cold email marketing effectively.

The primary differentiating factor between the service-as-a-service (SaaS) and others is how they approach obtaining new clients. For example, you wouldn’t stumble upon many retail shops offering a free trial of their products for a month, which is precisely what many SaaS organizations do. It may serve as a compelling incentive for attracting individuals. People, after all, love freebies!

And, while it may be relatively simple to attract individuals to join by offering a free demo, there is no cash generated until the prospect pays down for a complete package.

So, sooner or later, users simply stay for the free trial duration and end up leaving or not committing. Therefore, this trial period must be planned out strategically, not just to educate the users about the basics of the software but also about how it can dissolve their individual pain points.

Furthermore, the developers can even provide access to detailed functionality information surrounding the software, allowing users to figure out personalized ways to integrate your solution into their life.

This creates marketing possibilities that other companies will not have. SaaS businesses should recognize this and take advantage of it immediately.

How can SaaS companies benefit from cold emails?

Cold emails are one of the best tools for building brand awareness. In fact, a certain survey states that 80% of its participants prefer cold emails over calls, owing to their less intrusive nature.

To give you a better idea, here are a few benefits of cold email marketing for SaaS:

  • Lead generation: Lead generation and cold email marketing go hand-in-hand. Lead generation usually takes place at the beginning of every sales cycle, and cold emails are a great aid in the process. With the ability to collect valuable prospect data, cold email acts as a great lead-generation tool.
  •  Cost reduction: Cold emails prove to be much more affordable than any other form of marketing. Cold emails are straightforward to develop and compose; they produce trackable results that can be readily modified based on data-backed choices. Cold emails require less data to generate relevant value-packed content and outreach software.
  •  Networking: The primary concept behind sending out cold emails is making the decision-maker aware of your offerings. Your prospects might not know your service exists, and as a result, you can pitch it as a solution to their respective pain points. Even if it doesn’t result in a conversion, you will contribute to growing your brand awareness.
  • Tenacity: Cold emails grant you the ability to be tenacious and persistent for no extra charge. Unlike cold emails, other marketing means will demand more money to repeat the process.

A few tips to navigate SaaS cold emailing effectively

The sad truth about cold emails, irrespective of how valuable they prove to be, is that 77 from 100 of the cold emails you send never get opened. So how can one bring this open rate up?

Well, here are a few tips and tricks to employ effective cold email marketing for SaaS:

Delve into a holistic understanding of your TAM

To send out effective cold emails, the primary step is to figure out who you’re sending them to. You might already have a contact, an organization name, and a concept of how your company may assist theirs.

However, sending a good cold email necessitates going above and beyond, and identifying what your prospects require is a great place to start.

Knowing who you’re trying to reach, their requirements and interests, and the value you’re offering can bring will ensure that your message reaches them.

Furthermore, customization is critical to effective cold email marketing; by developing personalized messages that are suited to the particular prospect, you boost your chances of receiving a response.

In fact, cold email content that has been personalized can yield staggering response rates of up to 32.7%. It simply goes to show that you care about the prospect’s pain point and will solve it for them.

Make it a point to emphasize the worth you bring to the table, focusing on why clients should choose you above other options. Begin with a description of yourself and your organization, followed by an explanation of what your offering can accomplish for them.

Give specific instances and instances of how you have assisted other clients in achieving success.

Pay close attention to your subject line

Before we carry this point forward, you must understand the importance subject lines hold in the success of your cold email marketing campaign. A staggering 33% of prospects will decide on opening or not opening your cold email purely based on the subject line.

best subject line statistics

The subject line is the primary thing a recipient notices. It is one of the most crucial aspects of your email and ought to be regarded as the most significant component of it.

Create a compelling subject line with a sense of urgency to guarantee that potential clients open your emails. Additionally, attempt to personalize the subject line and underline your SaaS product’s value proposition.

Furthermore, it is also pertinent to remember that short subject lines will not do your cold email any good. Studies show that longer subject lines can yield approximately a 25% increase in response rates.

Lastly, personalization also plays a key role in the effectiveness of your subject line. In fact, you can boost your average response rates to cold emails by a mind-blowing 50%, given the subject line ticks all the above boxes.

personalized subject lines

Lastly, you could hyper-personalize old emails by including the prospect’s name in them. Believe it or not, a study concluded that including first names in subject lines unlocks a high degree of personalization that can yield open rates surge by nearly 44%!

first name personalized subject lines

Segment your emails accurately

Email segmentation makes it considerably easier to find and manage your emails effectively. More significantly, it allows you to delve even deeper into prospect personalization, which increases the likelihood of a prospect’s reaction.

It helps you establish more direct and time-saving methods around your outreach, whether it’s based on company size, individual, or job position.

pillars of email outreach segmentation

This procedure also assists you in determining your ideal prospects. A greater response rate in one segment may indicate that additional resources should be allocated to that respective customer profile.

Make sure you get all the elements of your email right!

Although this point might seem quite rudimentary, it constitutes the very fundamentals of what you need to know for successful cold email outreach for SaaS start-ups.

Effective correspondence goes beyond simply conveying your message. Simple messaging that is straightforward to read and understand is sometimes overlooked in the pursuit of the ideal marketing or lead-generation email. Needless to say, cold email marketing for SaaS must contain painfully simple content. Again, this isn’t a reason to pay any less attention to the creativity behind it.

Ask yourself the following questions before you draft your cold email, and make sure you answer all of them:

  •  Is the CTA clear?
  • Can this text block connect with the prospect personally?
  •  Am I sending the email to the right person?
  •  Am I aware of all the prospect’s pain points? And so on!

Now that you get the idea, here is another trick to further straighten out the process. Another key to effective cold emails is to keep in mind the AIDA model: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

Keep these four parameters in mind, and find the right balance for the right prospect! Also, do not forget to include an attractive CTA since effective CTAs can almost double your overall email marketing success.

Don’t forget to follow up!

Following up with prospects is an excellent strategy to remain on the top of prospects’ minds and boost response rates. It’s also critical to track your achievements so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

In fact, follow-up emails increase the chances of a reply from prospects by almost 25%. So, keep in mind that your follow-up emails are equally important and must not be skipped out on.

Also, longer follow-up emails boost your chances of securing a meeting by 15 times. Aim for 150 words or less, and always repeat the subject matter of the initial email in follow-ups. Avoid pushing follow-ups that lack context.

Your prospects may be inundated with countless emails, which may easily have concealed your first email. In your follow-up, you should remind them who you are and the reason you are emailing them again.

Lastly, a study concluded that the optimal number of total follow-ups that must be sent is 3.


We can conclude one thing for sure! It takes time and effort to determine what your TAM is and how to compose the most effective cold emails to pique their interest.

While the underlying idea stays identical for all businesses, there are specific practices that are exclusive to SaaS organizations, providing them with chances that others do not. Recognize and capitalize on those opportunities; doing so can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

do not ask prospects for thoughts

So, never ask the prospects for their ‘thoughts’ on cold emails, and preferably send them out in the time slot between 1 PM to 4 PM. Follow the above practices to your organization’s best efforts, and find yourself in the middle of a flourishing cold email marketing campaign for SaaS companies!

Author Bio

Angelina Smith, Senior Content Editor with eSalesData, has 12 years of experience executing rewarding marketing strategies and specializes in curating effective marketing content. She currently leads the marketing team of eSalesData LLC, an established database company based in Fremont, California.

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