The Role of Personalized Invite Emails for Compounding User Acquisition in Product-Led Growth

Usha Vadapalli
January 19, 2023

Studies show that referral strategies are a great way in the B2B SaaS industry to acquire new users. The reason is the user's trust in a colleague’s recommendation. Statistically, customers gained through referrals also have a better product-customer fit, higher conversion rate, and are more loyal.

Think of how you got started on Slack. Word of mouth is not a cliché but an effective growth strategy to compound user acquisition in PLG.

Scaling Acquisition

How often do your best customers and product champions organically share their amazing product experience with their network purely out of delight?

You already know that this happens so rarely and is not enough to fuel a viral growth loop. Waiting for organic word of mouth to catch on might keep you waiting for a while.

A user’s positive product experience and a personal recommendation to their team or friends can set off a self-sustaining and perpetual PLG growth loop for your business. All you need to do is to give them a little push.

Share or Invite emails are one of the most effective ways to encourage your happy customers to spread positive vibes about your product. Let’s see how.

Invite to Collaborate

Many B2B SaaS products are built to enable or ease collaboration at work. The value of such products increases as more users start using them creating a network effect.

While clicking on the in-built ‘Invite’ button is convenient, emails do a better job when the invitation has to be relayed to a team, multiple teams, or even to invite new employees to join the workspace.

Here are some invite email examples from top PLG companies.

PLG invite emails need not be limited to joining a team workspace. Product-led companies can build campaigns in varied contexts such as  asking customers to invite their team to try a new limited access feature, a new product’s beta version, join the product’s user community, etc.

You can also leverage email to remind the sender if the invitation is not accepted yet. Asana drove it home with this email.

Share an Outcome

Not all B2B SaaS products have the advantage of in-built virality or network effect.

But, any PLG business can benefit from creating curiosity around what can be done using their product. Recognize and celebrate the customer’s milestones and achievements while encouraging them to share the outcome or experience.

Think of shareable dashboards, reports, designs, templates, and any possible outcome derived by the user using your product. Encourage both team and social media sharing too.

PLG companies run campaigns to congratulate users on their achievements and milestones crossed using the product. You can double down on this opportunity to acquire new users by adding a CTA to share their work with the world.

This is an email campaign that works universally for all PLG models and products.

The first campaign launch can be nerve-racking for a marketer (or anyone, TBH). We at Inflection love celebrating customer milestones with a high-five and encourage our customers to proudly share their first campaign launch.

Inflection_PLG_tweet_share_your_first_campaign_email

Loom celebrates their users’ first video recorded and encourages sharing it. Sumo Logic suggests sharing dashboards with the user’s team.

Any PLG model in any product category can succeed from a campaign that encourages sharing the results of using your product. Because user-generated content with proof of what your product is capable of is the best kind of product review you can ask for.

Incentivize Sharing

Good old referrals get the job done when the customer needs extra motivation to invite friends to your product.

In PLG businesses, a referral need not offer a discount or gift coupon. Referrals can unlock new product usage limits or premium features for the referrer and also for the referred.

Here are some examples.

Trello offers a choice to earn enough credits by inviting new users instead of paying for an upgrade. Webflow’s email offers exclusive product access and Dropbox shows you the benefit of inviting users and suggests inviting more to keep adding on extra storage space for free.

Personalized PLG Invite Emails for The Win

You’ve optimized your product experience, measured customer satisfaction, and emailed all your existing customers and product champions asking them to invite friends. The existing customers get incentives for sharing, new users who accept the invite might as well, and you acquire more users. Everyone wins!

Yeah…not quite! 😐

Imagine sending an ‘Invite your team’ email to all your customers. It makes sense to customers who just paid for or upgraded to a Team plan but not to an individual user. The same message is helpful for an admin user in an Enterprise account but will not have an impact if sent to a CXO customer - a buyer but not a product user.

You might have the best-loved product in the category but a generic message asking customers to send out invites will not have much impact.

Ditch generic invitations. Get personal!

Personalize your PLG share, invite, and referral emails to the customer and speak to them 1-1. Remind them of your product’s value and encourage them to share it with their teammates, friends, and extended network - which in turn has more benefits.

You can personalize PLG share or invite emails depending on the type of product and your PLG strategy.

For products that deliver more value with collaboration, the ‘Invite your team’ email should ideally be part of the onboarding process. Your email has to be a timely reminder, especially during a trial period.

Leverage an onboarding micro survey to understand more about your customer, their team, and their goals with your product to customize this message.

Send them a reminder if some of their teammates didn’t accept the product invite. Like Asana does in the example above.

You can also create urgency by adding a time limit (if relevant) and maybe even by offering a personalized onboarding session with customer success to speed up adding team members.

Add an email in the campaign if the customer account has a buyer who is not an active product user with an offer to add a free-of-cost viewer seat. This benefits in two ways.

  1. The decision-maker gets to witness your product value first-hand and
  2. Makes the sales pitch for expansion and upgrade easier

You can also personalize milestone emails congratulating your customer and suggest sharing their accomplishments with the world. Personalizing the referral emails with a customized code can help you keep track of the rewards and the number of invitations sent and accepted from one customer.

If you read this post so far and are wondering if you can scale and personalize invite emails to kick-start your PLG growth loop, then let me tell you how easy it can be with Inflection.

Inflection combines product activity and CRM data to help PLG teams drive revenue, product engagement, and speed up onboarding. All this at scale for the exploding volume of users in a PLG company and without the dependency on data or engineering. Get started here to watch Inflection in action.

In Summary

The product-led growth (PLG) business model thrives on a delightful product experience. Get it right and you just need to encourage your satisfied customers to share their delightful experience with the world.

Your happy customers can be the NOS you need to boost that growth loop for your PLG business. But, oftentimes the customers need a little extra push to share their product experience. A personalized PLG share or invite emails delivered with the right context and right incentives can help spark that interest to share.

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