Time is a precious commodity for any business owner. This is why automation is essential for freeing you up to concentrate on the most important tasks at hand. That is not to say that email sequences and marketing emails are not important, but if you dealt with them manually, you would have little time to do anything else. Thankfully, email sequences are available to take this task out of your hands, helping you target your customers more effectively and without monopolising your time.
Not only do you save time, but with well planned and executed email automation, you can also increase your business income too. Email sequences allow you to talk personally to your customers or to those people who are still undecided about becoming customers.
This article explains the fuss behind email automation and how to implement your own campaigns that will revolutionise your business!
What are Email Automations and Email Sequences?
Email automation for marketing leverages software to send personalised emails to individuals based on actions that they take or do not take. These are referred to as email sequences and they work on triggers from the behaviour of customers.
For example, if a customer has bought one product or service from you, you will have an email sequence that will send them a message when you release a new product or service that is similar. This means you don’t spam your whole list every time you launch something new and dilute your messaging. You target those customers who you know are interested in that kind of purchase.
Another example is sending an email out when a customer abandons their cart at checkout. The email in this case reminds them that they need to finish the purchase or can address common concerns that cause cart abandonment, such as high postage costs. You could use this email to offer a 10% discount, for instance, which might seal the deal.
Why Are Email Sequences Important?
When it comes to digital marketing, business owners often think about their social channels as being the be-all and end-all. And, yes, your socials are brilliant for capturing the attention of potential customers and bringing them to your brand. But you can also further foster that relationship with perfectly targeted emails. You’re then talking to them in their private space, directly in their email inbox. Your socials and email sequences are the perfect partners for bringing in business.
And it is the personalisation of email sequences and automation that makes them so popular. The stats make for clear reading:
- 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalised messaging, according to SmarterHQ
- Accenture reports that shoppers are 90% more likely to spend with your brand when they have a personalised experience
- Campaign Monitor found that automated emails create 320% more revenue than non-automated emails.
How to Use Email Sequences and Automation
To start using email sequences to automate your messages to customers, you need to choose the right software for your business. At Supportal, we use ActiveCampaign, which allows us to set up our rules and let them do the hard work engaging our customers at the times when they need nurturing to close the deal. Visit the ActiveCampaign website to find out more about what they can do for you too.
Once you have your software, you can start creating a range of email sequences, including:
Subscribers are worth engaging because they have shown enough interest in your business to sign up to your newsletter. That is not to say that you should instantly go in with the hard sell, but you should send them a welcome email.
As soon as they sign up, the email sequence is triggered and sends them a personalised message to acknowledge their action. You can also add in links to your most popular content and start to foster the relationship that will move them to become a customer.
You might also have an introductory offer for them, which might persuade them to spend.
There are many reasons that a customer might abandon their cart. It might be that they want to keep the item there to make it easy to find again once they have thought about their purchase. Alternatively, they might be put off by shipping fees, delivery times or could just be shopping around for the best overall price.
Without email automation, these might all be lost sales. By creating a sequence that triggers on abandonment and sends an email at a certain length of time afterwards, you can remind customers to complete and then offer them an incentive to buy from you.
If you have a lead magnet, such as a whitepaper, pdf guide, cheat sheet or similar, you will end up with a number of cold leads that all need nurturing. This is when a well-planned email sequence comes into play.
This sequence might look something like this:
- Email 1: Thank you for downloading/registering etc.
- Email 2: Address pain points and offer a discovery call to help
- Email 3: Send more information on how your product or service helps
- Email 4: Follow up to seal the deal.
The initial action by the customer triggers the sequence and allows you to sell to the prospect without having to devote time to each individual lead.
It is not just enough to make a sale anymore. If you sell products, you want to upsell to customers and engage them with new products in the future. For services, you want to retain customers and keep people paying subscriptions. This makes the onboarding process particularly important, as getting people using what you sell effectively is the best way to show them they are getting value for money.
Send an email on sign up to guide them through the main features of your product or service. A couple of days later, send one that addresses any little niggles that people find when getting used to it and then send another offering tips for getting more out of their experience.
Offering this guiding hand helps them remain engaged and persuades them to persist.
Metrics and Analysis
Any process such as email sequences requires you to review performance and hone your approach in order to make the most of the benefits of automating this marketing tool.
Consider what your key performance indicators will be before you start your campaigns. Decide whether you want to track opens, clickthroughs, conversions or your return on investment (ROI). You might choose a combination of metrics to track.
Watching trends over time, you will get a good idea of what you are doing right and where the sequence needs adjusting and improving. Don’t just set the automation off and hope for the best, get analytical and make the most of this powerful tool.
Best Practices for Email Sequences
- Use compelling subject lines. Think about what would entice you to open an email and use the same logic to appeal to your customers too.
- Play with the timing. Your software might be able to tell you the optimal times to send out your emails, but it is not always accurate. Think about what your target audience does with their time and when is best to catch them to encourage them to read your emails.
- A/B testing. Try out different styles of email to see which works best. Similarly, sending them out at different times and comparing the response, trying a couple of different subject lines and playing with a range of calls to action will help you understand better what works for your audience.
- The call to action is incredibly important. It’s what you are working towards. Engage readers with useful content and then direct them to the next place you want them to go. It could be to a product, a lead magnet, a sign-up page or something different.
Ready for Email Sequences?
If you are ready to gain the benefits of email sequences, there are two options. You could hire a virtual assistant to look after email automation on your behalf. You only pay for the work they do, making it a more cost effective way of dealing with email sequences than hiring a new staff member. Alternatively, take a DIY approach by signing up with a company like ActiveCampaign and creating your own email automation. To help with this, we have created 140 email templates to simplify the process for you. Download them today.