I can hear the sighs already. Big businesses, SME’s, individuals – we’re all inundated day after day, hour after hour with unsolicited and unwanted emails. But before you turn the page, read on a bit further to find out how they can be used positively as an effective, beneficial marketing tool.
Essentially automated emails are a marketing strategy used to schedule quality emails to subscribers in a more customised way. For example; a customer signs up to a mailing list or adds a product to the cart but doesn’t complete the sale thus triggering an automated email. Put simply, it is a reaction email automatically activated by a customer action which can be as basic as opening an email. Got it?
So intrinsically it tailors personalised content to a customer who has already expressed interest in your site or product. It promotes active and targeted marketing directly to your email list and the clever bit is that they are much more likely to be of interest to the receiver. Additionally because it is automated your staff are then freed up to respond to customer questions, queries, orders and other beneficial tasks. Ones which hopefully will generate income for you.
But how do you persuade people to open one unsolicited email amongst many? Answer – you spend time making it individual and appealing. Ensure the subject line is customised so it feels personal and it will be much more likely to be opened. There’s little point in spending vast amounts of time in creating amazing content which is unlikely to be read. Consider carefully the audience, when and how to promote leads and how to successfully promote a business relationship to your (potential) client.
It makes sense then that email marketing can be employed as a vital, promotional tool which has potential for maximum impact as it targets an already actively engaged audience. Therefore customers feel invested in receiving communications in which they have previously expressed an interest. Further, communicating directly with consumers is a proven efficient marketing channel.
Why should my business be interested in this I hear you ask?
Well, let’s look at some of the stats for starters.
- More than half of the world’s population use email (Pitch-Funnell)
- 4.03 billion people used email in 2021 (Statista)
- By 2025 there will be an estimated 4.6 billion email users (Statista)
And as means of communication it is still growing. During 2020 the total volume of emails increased by 7% (GlobeNewswire).
So it’s powerful, instantaneous, direct, economically sound and easily accessible. Wow. Your communication gateway direct to your client, building and cementing thriving business relationships. Used wisely its potential is vast. Plus add in a high ROI and easily measurable performance factors and it’s clear email marketing is a potential winner.
Given the colossal capacity here it’s definitely worth understanding just a teensy bit about the various types of email automation sequences for your marketing funnel.
Starting at the very beginning there’s the welcome email sequence and since nearly 75% of us expect a welcome email this is a golden opportunity to introduce your company and begin to build and nurture trust.
Moving on seamlessly to customers who have made a purchase, you will want a follow on email or onboard email sequence. Basically keep the customer engaged – maybe by providing assistance (product instructions/share advice or tutorials) if needed.
Many of us leave goods or products in a shopping cart (yep guilty) so an abandoned cart email sequence may well nudge any potential purchasers to seal the deal. Statistically this important sequence has really strong conversion rates. Definitely worth the effort.
Got a promotional event planned such as a workshop or an online conference? Want to reach a wider, invested audience? Time to employ the event email sequence. Depending on the nature of the event a range of emails may be sent to invite subscribers, highlight benefits or share details.
And then finally the re-engagement email sequence. Warn users their subscriptions are about to expire or re-engage with cold subscribers who have failed to open or click on your emails in the last 30 days.
That’s a whistlestop tour introducing the world of automated email sequences. But there’s also the how and when to create sequences. How many in each? What to include? Who creates the copy and graphics?
When it comes to the where and how, there are many different options for this and it all depends on the campaign objective. If you have created a lead magnet (a killer piece of content that users will give up their email address to access) then you may want to consider a funnel AND email automation sequence. Many marketing gurus survive through this tactic, offering a free taster course or helpful guide when you provide your email address to access but as soon as you do you’re then taken to another page where they try to up-sell a paid course with a follow-up email sequence to hit you with discounts to encourage you to purchase. For this the most popular method is ClickFunnels integrated with ActiveCampaign.
For email automation in general ActiveCampaign is one of the most popular, it integrates with most popular CMS systems like WordPress and allows you to add customers and potential customers to a variety of sequences you have created like the welcome email sequence. Shopify have their own abandoned basket email but this can be further enhanced through the likes of Omnisend. Even MailChimp has its own email automation! To be honest, the majority of email providers have email automation functionality but it depends on the sophistication of your requirements and the CRM you are using, HubSpot is fantastic omni-channel features to incorporate emails into other campaigns but this does come with a higher price tag. ActiveCampaign is a great all-rounder for those who want to have multiple email sequences and plan to both grow and utilise their database of emails but for those dipping their toes in the water, MailChimp could be enough to start.
For content inspiration, sites such as Really Good Emails are fantastic to allow you to see what other brands are doing in the form of email.
But remember it’s critical to monitor and test performance at every step to guarantee your best ROI possible. That’s where we come in.
For advice, information, help reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Created to support inspirational businesses like yours.