Email automation. So boring. Let’s look at it in a different way.
Email automation is like a large party where everyone is mingling and getting to know each other. Your marketing emails should be full of respect, pleasant intent, transparency and relevant to the people involved. But instead of the guests at one party, you might have thousands of customers – each with different interests and needs. On top of that, you will want to communicate with everyone over an extended amount of time. Is it possible? Email automation is our choice.
Step by step
Email automation happens when you set up a series of programmed, timely emails that are triggered by certain customer actions. Sometimes it’s called drip marketing. This will help you keep in touch with active customers, turn potential into real ones and of course attract new ones.
But you ask (or don’t ask, but bear with us), is it really possible to send unique messages to certain customers without writing to each and every unique customer myself?
Let’s check out how Custom Service Hardware (CSH) did it. They’re an online retailer that sells supplies to people remodeling their homes. CSH noticed a lot of customers abandoned their online shopping carts before hitting “purchase”, so they used email automation return lost clients and turn them into active ones
If customers abandoned their cart for over an hour, CSH emailed them and offered to help complete the order – along with a 5% discount expiring in 7 days. If they didn’t act after the 1st email, they’d get another 7 days later that reminded them the coupon was expiring. CSH also asked if they had any questions, which put the customers first.
This email automation campaign ended up being a great success for CSH. Let's check out how customers responded to the initial email that had the 5% discount code and the follow-up email a week later.
Here's how the 1st email did:
- open rate: 58,7% of customers opened it;
- click-through rate: of those customers, 37% then clicked through to their shopping carts;
- purchase: 36,6% of those who clicked through then bought the product in their carts;
Here's how the 2nd did:
- open rate: 40,9% of customers opened it;
- click-through rate: of those customers, 22,2% then clicked through to their shopping carts;
- purchase: 100% of those who clicked through then bought the product in their carts;
Just like Custom Service Hardware focused on re-engaging lapsed customers, it is very important to determine the ultimate goal and the ways to achieve it before starting to email automation.
Email automation goals
Reaching your email automation goal works like this: The customer takes an action. The action triggers emails (called an email flow). Each email is sent at a certain cadence. These emails help you reach your goal. Let’s explore this by looking at some common goals.
The first popular goal is an introduction to your product and/or teaching customers how to use your product or service. The trigger for that goal is customers visiting your site, app, or store and signing up for your emails or making a purchase.
Here is one of the variants email flow: The customer buys one of your products and an hour later they get your welcome email. Over the next few days, they’ll receive your “how my product works” email.
Another goal is engagement, or encouraging customers to interact with your products or business even more. The trigger is when customers try some of your features or services on your app or site, but not others.
You can set up your email automation flow like this: Every few weeks, those customers will get an email encouraging them to engage with your business (by taking a specific action of your choice).
Every month, your newsletter will be emailed to them. And periodically, they’ll receive emails about your new features or products you’re launching, and/or tips and tricks.
Retention – or getting customers to stay loyal and keep coming back – is also a common goal. For this goal, you can use different triggers and email flows. For example, let’s say the trigger is a customer making their first purchase. Two days later, they’ll receive an email asking for feedback. If a customer makes more purchases, that’s also a trigger. A day later they can get an email with related products they might like. You might also consider reengagement as a goal. It’s getting a user who’s stopped using your product to start using it again.
The trigger is when customers forget about you and have stopped participating completely. For example, let’s say they haven’t visited your site or used your app in a while. For a set time period, you can have them receive emails every 7 days. The 1st can be a “we miss you” email. The 2nd, a “what you’re missing out on” message. Finally, they’ll be sent a discount or promotion.
Your email flows shouldn’t overwhelm or annoy people. Also, let people opt-in and out of your emails.
Let's find out what you need to do get yourself and your site or app ready for email automation:
- added an email entry box on site and/or app;
- introduced an email opt in/opt out checkbox;
- create terms and conditions so I can email customers;
- researched email automation platforms.
That’s cool, you are ready to do email automation 😉
And these tools may be helpful:
GetResponse – an email marketing platform that enables you to create a valuable marketing list of prospects, partners, and clients, so you can develop relationships with them and build a responsive and profitable customer base.
ConvertKit – an email marketing solution for those who are interested in increasing conversions and optimizing their sales funnel.
Emailoctopus – an email marketing service for users of the cloud-based email-sending service Amazon SES. Its features include app integrations, blog automation, responsive templates, real-time analytics, and more.
Now learn how to boost your email automation with Business Email Address.
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