How Email Automation Can Work For Your Business
With endless digital marketing options, it can be a challenge to incorporate a product or strategy that is actually a time saver. However, there is one tool that requires a one-time start-up effort and then runs on autopilot, and that is email automation. Freeing you up to complete other tasks and devote effort elsewhere, the following information shows how email automation can work for your business.
What is Email Automation?
Email marketing automation is a sequence of emails that have been set up into sales funnels that run automatically once a new subscriber is added to the list or a sequence is triggered.
With automation comes the ability to establish in-depth rules and triggers. By tagging a client based on click-throughs in a previous email, how they interacted with your website, or the sales page that made them subscribe, they can be placed into a sales rhythm that you dictate.
For example, a subscriber who put items in a shopping cart but did not finish checking out can be sent a reminder about items in their cart two hours after they leave the website, while someone looking to learn more about a topic may be sent to the start of a longer sales funnel focused on daily education. An email obtained via webinar sign-up may start receiving conditioning emails to get them ready for the pitch at the end of the webinar.
Rules and tagging can help with sending subscribers messages that directly align with their interests. This is particularly useful if you sell multiple products/services, as it can provide specific information without bombarding a subscriber with something they do not want or need.
If a subscriber signed up for your newsletter through a general pop-up on the website and you have no information about what they would like to learn, a great way to find out is by asking in the second or third email. Provide three links or options and analyze the selection to add the subscriber to the right sequence and drive sales towards their area of interest.
What Goes into Email Automation?
The overall customer journey should be mapped out when setting up email sequences. While it can be tempting to make every email a sales pitch, think about the journey as an opportunity to build the relationship with the subscriber. Pitch only when it makes sense in that process.
After gaining a subscriber, the first email should thank them, serve as a reminder that they signed up to receive emails, and give a preview of the communications to come. It should express excitement and give the subscriber something to look forward to.
The emails that follow should provide value before the big sales pitch and are an opportunity to establish trust with subscribers. Show value by providing them with three to five links to blog posts you have already written or to resources they can start working with immediately. Establish trust by delivering on promises, such as saying you will send information on a certain topic the next day and then sending it.
When the time is right and the subscriber has been given enough information to make an informed decision, send the sales pitch with an engaging case study and a special offer or added bonuses.
The action of the subscriber after the pitch can shift their funnel. If they buy, they can be moved to another email sequence aimed at cross-selling. If they do not buy, they can be retargeted later in the same email sequence for the same product. This process can continue for as long as it makes sense or is clear that the subscriber is not opening or responding to emails.
Optimize the Emails and Sequences
As you get data back from the sequences being sent out, you can start to identify what works and what does not. If you are not seeing engagement and sales, fix the sequence. Once you get to a comfortable place, the email can run on auto-pilot with only minor tweaks over time to update information.
Regardless of the email marketing application, almost all track open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes. If your open rate is low, change the subject line of emails to garner more attention. If click-throughs are low, alter the email copy around links to be more exciting. If a high rate of unsubscribes happens with one particular email in a sequence, it is time to reevaluate the overall strategy of that email.
Pay Attention to Language
A major trend in email marketing is to use extremely friendly language. This style puts subscribers at ease, making you and your business more approachable and trustworthy. For example, instead of a greeting such as “Dear Bob,” you could say, “Hey Bob!” Likewise, instead of “Please find three posts pertaining to your interest in marketing below,” write “Remember the other day when I said you would get resources sent straight to your inbox? They’re here!!!” Instead of one more email to sift through, subscribers will start to view you as a friend and anticipate your fun, lighthearted emails.
While all content in emails to subscribers should be carefully written, pay particular attention to subject lines, as they are what subscribers see first and ultimately effect open rates. Make them enticing, such as, “Bob, I bet you didn’t know this…” or “The secret I’m finally ready to share.”
Email Automation Software Programs
With the popularity of email marketing, there are a multitude of providers to choose from with a variety of automation capabilities and workflows. Drip from LeadPages, Hubspot, Act-on, Adobe Campaign, and MailChimp are among companies providing automation. Most services have design templates to make every email polished and branded. Because there is a cost for the services, there are frequently free trials and companies like Drip and MailChimp are free up to a set level of subscribers. Take advantage of the trials and see what works best for your needs, whether you are looking for simple auto-responders or sophisticated tools to sell to thousands.
Automation can work for you no matter the size of your business, creating dynamic, scalable marketing. Social media platforms could be gone tomorrow, so it is vital to establish relationships with consumers in-house. Automation’s “set it and forget it” feature can help you work smarter and help subscribers get the information they need at the right time.
Have you tried email automation before? Let us know what your preferred program or favorite feature is in the comments.