In this day and age we are immersed in technology around the clock and while it can be overwhelming at times, it can also be a huge asset to any small business. With the norm now being that everyone carries a cellphone in their pocket [which, let’s be honest, is just a teeny tiny computer], the ability to reach your customer base wherever they may be has become increasingly important.
Keeping at the top of your potential customers inbox in an excellent way to stay on their mind and to build trust. This trust is paramount to forging a relationship and converting that potential lead into a loyal customer.
Here’s the trouble though: there are an endless number of things that you have to do to run your business, and sitting down to email with customers, sending out follow up communications, and reaching out to new customers can be an endless task! Enter email marketing automation.
Email marketing automation is a system of software, services, and tools that are used to manage an organization's email marketing activities. The best thing about it? It works at all hours of the day and night so you don’t have to!
Email marketing automation is integrated with a company's customer relationship management (CRM) system and helps to manage the process of sending emails to customers. This type of software can even send follow up emails or trigger other events to take place within the CRM system. So when your customer makes a purchase, signs up for a newsletter, or downloads a lead magnet from you, your email marketing automation kicks in and does most of the follow up work for you! All while you’re picking up your kids from school, at the hairdresser, or meeting with a current client. Ahh, the beauty of technology, right?
The main goal of email marketing automation is to increase customer engagement through personalized and timely messages that are relevant to where each customer is on their journey. The added benefit being that you create these automations once and then they are automatically delivered to your leads or customers without you having to send those emails out one by one. Hello timesaver!
Alright, now that you know what email marketing automation is and why to use it, you’re probably thinking, “but how does it actually work?” Let’s dive into the nitty gritty!
Email automations function through a workflow which is a series of email events that you set up for specific purposes. These workflows allow you to create a chain reaction of emails that can be triggered by different events. One email automation example would be sending out a follow up communication to someone who clicked on a link in a previous email. Because they clicked on a link, you know that they are curious about your products or services, and having email marketing automation in place to follow up with that lead increases the likelihood of converting them to a customer.
The uses for email marketing automations are nearly endless [and vary widely, depending on your business], but typically fall into two categories: scheduled and triggered.
Scheduled email marketing automations might include sending a newsletter or announcing a product launch. On the other hand, triggered email marketing automations are initiated because of an action taken by your customer or new lead.
A trigger example for an email marketing automation workflow would be someone filling out a form to download a lead magnet or the purchase of a product from your sales funnel. They completed an action on your website or landing page and, because of that, additional steps are triggered for them.
Once you know the type of email marketing automation you need, the next step is to map out what you want that automation to achieve for your business and your customer. The goal of your workflow will determine the different action steps needed to deliver the customer experience you want. In the case of email marketing automations, the proof is in the planning [pudding, planning, close enough right?]. Take the time to make sure you know exactly what you want that workflow to do for you. You’ll save yourself a lot of revisions by having a very clear plan from the start.
Still not sure exactly how to utilize email marketing automation? Here are five email automation examples that we think belong in every business.
Each business owner has specific needs for their business and a unique customer base. The flexibility of email marketing automation makes it incredibly easy to customize workflows to fit your exact blueprint. Now let’s dive into some of the most important email automation examples that can be put in practice in your business to take better care of your customers.
What it is: The welcome sequence email marketing automation is especially important for online only businesses. This gives you, the business owner, a chance to introduce yourself and your business to your new friend [who doesn’t love meeting new internet friends?]. This doesn’t have to be done in just one email, in fact it’s better to have multiple shorter emails that take your new friend on a little journey with you.
Why we love it: This is the perfect opportunity to tell a short story about yourself to bolster this new relationship. You can also let the potential customer know what kind of communications they can expect from you to set the tone for your future emails.
The Result: The welcome sequence email marketing automation is the perfect opportunity to nurture your relationship with your new lead. Let them get to know you and ask them about themselves, opening up a dialogue and building trust.
What is it: The thank you sequence is a great example of a triggered email marketing automation. The customer completes an action on your website and as a result of that action, the ‘thank you’ email marketing automation gets sent out. The best part? After you create the workflow once, this follow up happens on repeat without you having to lift a finger. Ah-mazing!
Why we love it: Whether your thank you sequence follows purchasing a physical product, a coaching package, or simply downloading a lead magnet that you offer, being appreciated always feels good! Don’t ever underestimate the value in thanking your new customer or lead for engaging with your business.
The Result: Your customer, or lead, feels appreciated and valued by you! Bonus points if this is a personalized message. Tell a story about your business in the beginning so they know how much they mean to you.
What it is: The email newsletter is the ULTIMATE email marketing automation for nurturing your leads to convert them into paying customers. Remember earlier when I mentioned that building trust with your leads is so important? Providing frequent and relevant information is the best way to do this, and there is no better format than the newsletter.
Why we love it: The beautiful thing about email marketing automations is that they can flow seamlessly into one another and work together. For example: when a new contact downloads your latest lead magnet, they get added to a thank you sequence [showing how much you appreciate them], then they get added into your email newsletter workflow and continue to get valuable information from you on a regular basis.
The Result: Each of these touch points with your new lead helps to build up that relationship and enhances their trust in you.
What is it: There is a lot that goes into launching a new product or service. As part of your launch, you can use email marketing automations to take your potential customer on an emotional journey over the preceding days or weeks.
Why we love it: Launching a new product or service can be very stressful, but using email marketing automations can remove a lot of the headache. These scheduled emails serve to warm up your email audience to your new offer. As a result, this helps the customer identify if they have the problem that you are offering a solution to, once again building trust. Keeping open and frequent communication with your email list leading up to your launch not only keeps you and your new offer top of mind for them, it also prepares them for the offer.
The Result: Let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than getting an email from someone only when they have something to sell [AKA your email inbox on Black Friday, amiright?]. It’s like that friend that you only hear from when they need something. People you communicate with regularly on your email list will be the most likely to buy in to your new offer, [especially if they have purchased from you previously], and by nurturing them through email automation marketing, you are setting your launch up for success.
What is it: The review request email marketing automation is an excellent way to build your brand. Ideally, you want your customer to be a raving fan before you ask them to submit a public review of your product or service making this a must for later in your customer’s journey. Make sure you take the time to nurture that relationship before asking for their honest opinion.
Why we love it: I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all checked reviews to determine which restaurant to go to for dinner or whether that new skin cream actually does what it claims. So if social proof is important for everyone else, why not for your business? And if it’s so important, why not automate it? Gather up those reviews so that you can use them for social media posts, in your other email automations, or as part of your website content.
The Result: For all businesses operating in the digital space, social proof is king for building trust with potential customers. There is no social proof valued higher than the honest review or testimonial.
Remember the goal of email marketing automations is two-fold: nurture and communicate with your customers and gain back some much needed time from your day-to-day tasks. Use these five email automation examples to take your marketing to the next level and provide value and support to your customers and leads. Re-invest the time and energy that you gain from having these email marketing automations in place into your zone of genius where you need to be operating.
Knowing what email sequences to use is important but what might be even more important is knowing how to structure and write your email content in order to both entice your prospects and to make sure that your email lands in their inbox [not in the dreaded spam folder]. Whether you are already regularly communicating with your email list or not, make sure that you are avoiding these words in your emails and using these tips to increase your email deliverability.
How to Get Started with Email Marketing Automations
Now by this point, we’ve learned all about what email marketing automations are, how they work, and which ones you need to implement in your business, which leads you to your next question: How do I get started?!
If the idea of having to plan out these workflows and email marketing automations is feeling a bit daunting for you, don’t fret! Here at Social Fox, when you sign up for an account with us, we provide email marketing automation workflows to get you started and cut down on your stress. In addition to that, we include unmatched customer support and resources to further enable you to jump in and customize your own email marketing automations and make them perfect for your business.
If you’re ready to nurture more leads while regaining more of your precious time take the leap into the world of email marketing automations with Social Fox, schedule a free demo with us today!