How to Boost Your Business Using Email Automation
Time is of the essence for most marketers. When you’re first getting started (and even once you’re established) it’s easy to feel pulled in a dozen different directions at once (in fact, years later that can still happen on most days!), and marketing can be a bit of a time sucker, especially if you’re not really sure what you’re supposed to be doing.
Luckily for busy business owners like myself and many of the clients I work with, email automation has more recently come on the marketing scene in a major way. In my experience email automation is the perfect set and forget marketing strategy for business owners and marketers who are looking to get great results from their marketing while still putting their primary focus into running their business.
What is email automation?
I love email marketing but it can be fiddly and time consuming. Email automation takes care of the process for me by automatically triggering emails to be sent when a subscriber performs a certain action.
Instead of setting time each week to create and send regular emails, I can spend a small block of time (usually a couple of hours here and there) creating a few automated emails that can then be set to send indefinitely to whoever triggers them with no further intervention. The trick is though, the content has to be good, highly relevant and engaging.
How to use automated emails for the best marketing results
If you’re using one of the main email marketing platforms you should be able to create and set automated emails with ease. Most email marketing platforms (I use Campaign Monitor, some of my clients use Mail Chimp) also let you track the results so you can see how well your automated emails are working for you while you’re off doing other things. Today, I say down with a client and reviewed results from an email campaign that was sent a few days earlier.
While you’re probably familiar with the automated “welcome” email (which I am not such a fan of but can work out well if the content is engaging and interesting), there are a myriad of other uses for email automation that you might not have thought about. Here are three of my favourites.
- To deliver a course:
Offering a course (on your area of expertise for example), this provides a great way to bring in new subscribers, boost your credibility and authority and start to build a relationship with your target audience. Pick a topic your subscribers are likely to be interested in, break it down into five or six emails and set them to send at regular intervals (I would recommend sending them at least five days apart).
This may seem like a bit of work at the beginning, but you only have to write them once and they will continue to bring in new subscribers for as long as you like with absolutely no further effort.
- To encourage new subscribers to become customers:
One easy way I’ve found to boost the effectiveness of that welcome email is with a special introductory offer or discount, especially relevant for B2C and ecommerce businesses. Triggered whenever anyone new signs up to your mailing list, introductory offers can help you get new subscribers over the line from interested follower to paying customer faster.
- To nurture your leads:
Most people who sign up to your email list are not automatically going to become customers. It takes a bit of hard work and relationship building to encourage your subscribers to make that transition and email automation can really help.
To get this right you will need to have an in depth understanding of your customers, and the barriers they face to purchasing from you, so you can create a series of six to eight emails that address these issues without being overly pushy.
I would recommend using a mixture of case studies (especially for B2B audiences), problem solving guides and stories of how other customers have been successful using your products or services.
These are my three favourite ways to use email automation for my business, but there are plenty more ways you can use automated emails to boost your marketing and grow your business without having to spend all your time creating individual campaigns and newsletters.