Automated email campaigns send out personalised, timely emails triggered by an action taken by the customer. A trigger might be something as simple as a mailing list or WiFi sign-up, a first purchase or an incomplete basket-add.
However, because the trigger can be set to be really specific to your business, there are all sorts of possibilities for automated workflow.
Whether you’re new to automation or already a convert, here are some ideas to grow your business.
Welcome new subscribers
According to Hubspot, 96% of visitors to your website are not yet ready to make a purchase. However, these people have shown an interest in what you are offering. Keep them engaged by communicating with them and leading them towards a purchase in the future.
One way to do this is to persuade them to subscribe to your mailing list. Subscribing is a much less intimidating conversion action than handing over money to buy something, and so people are likely to fill in a few details if you ask.
Once the prospective customer has signed up, use an automated campaign to welcome them onboard. A special subscriber-only offer will encourage them to make a purchase.
Consider setting up a series of welcome emails when a contact converts into a paying customer too. This is a positive way to kick-off your new customer relationship and can keep customers engaged after they buy. If a product requires training, use the automated workflow as a way to promote a series of helpful training materials.
An automated welcome email takes minutes to set up. You just need to add an email subscribe box to your website that adds sign-ups to a chosen list in your email marketing tool and then set up an automated email that is triggered whenever someone joins the list. Rezcomm’s email-marketing software comes with full, user-friendly automation functionality.
You can even generate a discount code to include in the welcome email. This is a great incentive for customers to make a purchase. It also allows you to track the effectiveness of your campaign in terms of revenue.
Continuing to communicate with your customer on a regular basis without flooding their inbox will lead to strong customer relations. This is significant when considered in terms of customer satisfaction and retention: According to Bain and Co. a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
Emails in an ongoing workflow could include re-engagement emails, ‘thank you’ emails to loyal customers and content-rich emails offering value and inspiration.
According to Listrak, around 80% of all online transactions end with cart abandonment. The primary reason for this is high shipping costs.
When a customer adds a product to their cart and does not complete checkout, an automated email can bring them back on board. Consider down-selling or offering free shipping as an incentive.
Captain Cook Cruises worked with Barilliance to create an automatic two-stage cart abandonment retrieval campaign, retargeting visitors who left the site before completing a purchase.
After a series of A/B testing, the trigger was set so an email was sent out 45 minutes after the abandonment, and a second email 24 hours later. Both emails featured images of the products chosen by the visitor that link directly to the abandoned cart.
In instances where a visitor had not entered their email address during their visit, they were offered a ‘send my cart’ option as a means to capture their data.
Within a few weeks, the company began noticing growth in sales. On average, the open rate for the first email was 53% and the second, 42%. In just 6 months, they increased the conversion rate by 678% compared to the site’s average, achieving an ROI of 7500%.
Increase product engagement
Most online applications use a free trial period of some description to allow prospects to try their product with the intention of persuading them to sign up as a paying customer.
Before people convert, they need to understand the value of the product. By the end of the trial, the product needs to be indispensible, or the customer has no reason to start paying for it.
An automated workflow can be designed to engage people with the product’s value and encourage them to buy.
Collect product feedback
E-commerce works best when it’s customer-centred. This means providing products and services that match what your customers want, building trust and brand advocates, and consistently fulfilling brand promises.
This works in both directions. On one hand, customer feedback is one of the best ways to gain a thorough understanding of customers’ pain points and needs, on the other, positive feedback and reviews attract new buyers. After all, 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they would personal recommendations.
This type of email is really easy to set up, and you can start getting valuable feedback straight away. Add new customers or trial subscribers to a specific list in your email-marketing tool and then set up an automated welcome email to go out to people when they join the list.
You can then either collect structured data with link-throughs to surveys created in feedback tools or ask the recipient to reply directly with their review or experience.
Alert customers to expiry dates
One of the most reliable ways to keep a customer’s business is to send them emails letting them know when their subscription, account or policy is about to run out.
Domain name and web hosting provider GoDaddy does a good job of this when a customer’s domain name is nearing expiration.
GoDaddy sends frequent automated emails in the run up to the expiry date, reminding customers to renew. They provide a discount offer and a simple call-to-action. This is extremely effective at getting people to renew their accounts.
These emails are simple to set up. Enter the expiry date of the customer’s subscription or account and design a series of automated emails to send at set times before that date (30 days, 14 days, 7 days, 6 days and so on).
Birthday emails are one of the most common automated messages and they can be really effective, exploiting the trend for personalisation in the ultimate way.
As long as you have your customer’s date of birth, these emails are really easy to set up. Set up a recurring email triggered by birth date, and the email will automatically fire off every time that date comes around. If you are sending a voucher specific to a particular restaurant or other venue, trigger the email a few days early so that the recipient can make plans to use it on their birthday.
Nurture your leads
According to Gleanster, 50% of leads generated by organisations are qualified but not yet ready to purchase. How do you move these leads along and convert them into customers when they’re ready to purchase, without pouring time and resources into nurturing them?
Here, automation can be used to set up a series of lead-nurturing emails to educate prospects about your product and to build brand awareness.
If you are using a CRM system like Rezcomm to manage your sales and leads, you can tag specific leads that need nurturing and integrate those tags with your email marketing system.
Popular marketing blogger Patrick McKenzie recommends a marketing flow of 6 emails that go out over 30 days, increasing in ‘sales’ angle:
The problem email: Suggest replacing the customer’s existing process with your product. Focus on the problems they currently experience and barely mention your product.
The benefit email: Look at the benefits for the customer of using a product like yours. Focus on the benefits of your type of product, not your specific product.
The transition email: Every potential customer is currently using someone else’s product to do the job your product could do. Your challenge is to get them to switch to your product.
The tools email: A quick-buyer’s guide. Give an overview of the tools available to achieve what your product achieves. This will be the first time that you introduce your product and explain why it’s better than the competition. Include a call-to-action to purchase or sign up.
The case-study email: Share a story about how one of your customers uses your product. Outline how it has helped them, the problems it has solved and the benefits it brings. Include a testimonial and a call-to-action.
The resources email: In the final email, suggest some other content or resources (eBooks, templates, kits, blogs) for learning about what your product does. If the customer has not yet converted, you could include a special offer.
In the above email flow, the focus is on educating and engaging potential customers rather than making the hard sell. This approach makes the likelihood that a person will sign-up or purchase much higher.
Rezcomm’s e-marketing software features advanced automation options. If you would like to talk to us about how we can help grow your business, contact us today.
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