One of the easiest ways to improve your email campaigns is with user generated content (UGC). It's a low cost and low hassle way of adding social proof to your emails to build stronger customer relationships and make more sales.
In this article, we'll give you the lowdown on what UGC is, how to collect it, and how to use it in your SaaS email marketing strategy.
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content (UGC) is a form of content marketing where the content is created for your brand by your customers. This could be in the form of blog posts, social media posts, product reviews, video how-tos, customer testimonials, and more.
For example, when you send an email to your list about your product's newest feature, that email could include a testimonial from an early access user describing how this particular feature has benefited them (such as it boosted their sales by X amount).
In a nutshell, user generated content is content that promotes and markets brands that customers and followers create.
What are the benefits of using UGCs in SaaS?
Social proof is a powerful type of marketing that works more strongly than anything you could create because it allows prospects to see how companies just like them are enjoying your software. It's authentic.
Here are the benefits of using UGC in SaaS email marketing:
It's low cost
User generated content doesn't have to use up a lot of resources. From running a contest to giving away a prize, by and large, UGC can be super low-cost.
And when you consider that regular content marketing campaigns often cost between $6,000 to $60,000 a month, UGC is a great alternative.
Depending on your company's growth stage and budget, however, you can always explore SaaS financing options to follow through on your campaign successfully.
It gives you street cred
Prospects might believe you when you tell them how useful your software is. But you'll have a much better chance of connecting with them if you add a layer of authenticity to your emails by giving your existing customers a voice.
People trust other people
Research shows that 79% of consumers trust online reviews — a huge number. And since UGC is essentially a favorable customer review, it's worth adding to your email campaigns.
UGC allows for more creative emails
Lastly, UGC can add more flair to your emails, which in turn boosts engagement and conversions.
You can personalize them, add more unique content, and you can also add (with permission, of course) photos of the customers who have created your UGC.
Ways to use UGC in SaaS email marketing
Here are some ways to include UGC in your email marketing campaigns:
Highlight your customers
To keep your email campaigns fresh, you could put the spotlight on your customers now and then.
For example, say "our customers are achieving awesome results lately", and display some real-life stories from customers who are getting the most out of your software.
Include their names, photo (for visual proof), and testimonials.
Include UGC in signup abandonment emails
In the SaaS world, prospective customers may abandon their signup process due to a lack of perceived value.
In other words, they're no longer sure that what they're getting is worth the effort.
A really easy way to bring them back into the game is to not simply tell them why your SaaS is worth the effort, instead, show them how businesses just like theirs are extracting lots of value out of your software.
So use signup abandonment emails to retarget prospects with UGC that showcase existing customers' satisfaction with your SaaS.
Include UGC in post-purchase emails
Even if someone has made a purchase, your relationship with them shouldn't stop there.
In fact, post-purchase emails in a SaaS marketing campaign can be one of the best ways to drive more conversions and sales.
By showing customers what other customers did next after they started to do business with you, as well as the success they had, you will go some way to solidifying your relationships and turning first-time buyers into loyal customers.
Next, let's take a look at how you can collect UGC from your customers:
Collect customer reviews
After someone has made a purchase and is happy with the product, asking them if they'd kindly like to leave you a review is a good idea.
Wait a few days post-purchase before you ask them for their review and make sure to always thank them for their time.
Here's an email template for you to send to your customers:
Thank you for buying and using our [product]! We're happy to have you and looking forward to helping you achieve [product.benefit].
Would you have a few minutes to rate and review the product?
Valuable insights from customers like you help our team improve our product’s features.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us out!
Another option is to send out a poll and ask your subscribers to tell what they thought of your product.
One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to collect user generated content is by running a contest.
The premise could be as simple as your customers creating brief video reviews of how they're getting the most out of your software. Whoever's video stands out to you wins a prize that's relevant to your business, audience, and niche, like a discount or an upgrade.
A contest is a great way of encouraging customers to submit their UGC because it's fun, interactive and there's a prize at the end.
Create an environment for people to share their content
It's highly likely that your customers are on social media channels like LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter.
Therefore, you need to let them know there's a space where they can tag your brand and use hashtags you've created to share their content. This allows you to easily find UCG across your channels before adding it to your email campaigns.
To ensure your SaaS email campaigns hit the spot, it's important that you track your email marketing analytics. These will give you insights into your campaigns, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments that will increase your open rates, click-through rates and conversions.
Other than that, you can start by running contests and raising awareness that you want to gather content from your loyal customers. With that material in hand, you can launch an exciting email campaign that's inventive, engaging, and full of social proof.
About the author. Piotr Pisarzis is the CEO and co-founder at Uncapped. Prior to Uncapped, he was a venture capital investor at Corviglia Capital, DN Capital and Finch Capital, focusing on banking and lending investments. Piotr has held multiple positions, including four years at Google helping directors deliver growth with data insights.