Email automation. It’s the practice of composing emails ahead of time that are triggered and sent on specific dates or in response to certain actions. When people hear the term “automated,” they often think “spam,” but in this as in many other things, it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Well done automation ensures that you consistently follow through with customers in ways that work. It also removes the important but time-consuming task of responding to repetitive inquiries from your daily to-do list, so you can focus on the big picture. Another advantage of automation is that it allows you to take advantage of peak times, so the emails you send are more likely to be read. Here are some smart ways to use email automation.
Effective Email Marketing Automation Tactics
You’ve got a carefully crafted brand that’s designed to appeal to your ideal customer. Your welcome email should be a moment in a larger conversation. In addition to maintaining the language and aesthetic you cultivate in your social media posts and on your website, welcome emails are the next step toward conversion. For this reason, no welcome email is complete without a call to action. Offer information that’s immediately relevant to your subscribers, like an ebook, or even a link to a specific post on your blog that’s closely related to their needs. While you could simply say “welcome to the list,” offering useful information goes one step further—it proves that signing up was a good idea.
Don’t let visitors wander away from your site in search of special offers. Use a popup to share a discount or perk that’s only available from you. Then use the information they enter to guide them through the funnel. There are brands out there that do this so well that they cultivate a sense of gratitude…after all, people are busy. A reassuring, low-pressure message that makes it easy to take the next step saves your customer time and energy. They’ll develop a trusting relationship with you, knowing that you’ll remind them when and where to use the information you provided.
Even the most interested customer can forget to follow through on a purchase. Perhaps they’re waiting until payday or checking one last detail to ensure they purchase the correct item or service. Using automation to reach out about the items languishing in their shopping cart jogs their memory. It might even keep them from missing a personal deadline. This is also another opportunity to offer the right information at the right moment. Use a visit to a specific page on your site to trigger an email about a seasonal service or other offerings.
It’s a constant source of frustration: so many satisfied customers simply forget to leave online reviews. Automated emails are a wonderful solution to this problem! Sync them to your customer relationship management (CRM) software, so that when you finish a client project, the client is automatically prompted to review your business. Make this task foolproof. Include a link to the exact spot where’d you’d like them to leave their review.
In this scenario, you’re baiting the hook to see who bites. Send out a campaign email about a specific product or category of products. Then, queue follow-up emails for the recipients who open the first one. This strategy is particularly useful because it does not target people who are disinterested in your initial message. You’re not spamming your customer base as a whole; you’re delivering additional information in a selective fashion.
As always, the key here is to focus on the relationship, rather than the sale. We all have faith that our products or services will make our customers’ lives easier. But truly excellent automated emails consider the continuum from initial need to final sale and offer customers what they need next. If you design automation with this in mind, your mass emails will still feel granular. They’ll provide a personal touch without requiring your constant attention. Any way you look at it, that’s a win.