Automated Email Strategies For Your Small Business

The term “automation” conjures images of computer-controlled machines and robots, artificial intelligence, and other such technologies. This is the exact opposite of how you want your small business to appear when you communicate with your leads, prospects, customers, clients and patients.

As such, automating email marketing seems fundamentally wrong to many small businesses. However, this is not the case. By automating email marketing, you enhance your ability to increase your interaction with our audience and more importantly, to meet more of your audience’s needs.

Herein we will explore the basics of automated email marketing and explain why every small business should invest in this form of marketing.

Email Marketing Automation: What Is It

At its core, email marketing automation is simply a tool that will “automatically” send emails to a person, or a group of people, based on criteria you define. In doing so, your business benefits by having a more timely email delivery system and a more personalized email interaction experience. Email automation allows you to “deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.”

How It Works

The entire automation system relies on having triggers and an email workflow. As such, the implementation of the email workflow is based on certain triggers being activated. To create a personalized and relevant work experience, the workflow must be designed around human behavior (which are in essence the triggers) and the users’ data.

For instance, small B2B triggers may include:

A website visitor opens the landing page without submitting the form,
When a website visitor has downloaded content but is yet to contact the business directly,
If a prospective client has started following the company’s social media accounts, or
When a lead starts to follow a company on various social media platforms.

For B2C businesses, triggers may include

A customer making purchases,
When a customer views and reads about several items without placing any item in the shopping cart.
When a customer places an item on the shopping cut but does not check out.

Such workflows are not just effective with prospective customers only. Small businesses can design workflow and effectively use them to enhance and grow the relationship they have with their existing customers and clients while encouraging the purchase of additional products and o services.

While it is common for B2B and B2C workflows to be fundamentally different, there are certain types of workflows that are suitable for both types of businesses. These include:

#1. Welcome Email – When a customer or business opts in on your subscriber list, registering an account to become a member on your site or after making a purchase, businesses have an opportunity to make an impeccable first impression. At this point in your interaction, your customers or clients are very receptive and they are ready. Sometimes they are looking forward to hearing from you. For B2B businesses, offer a content-rich and relevant email and for B2C, offer exclusive offers and promo codes.

#2. Feedback Request Emails – There are two main feedback request email types that small B2B and B2C businesses can use. The first type of emails is the negative-trigger type, where you send an email based on a negative action such as email list unsubscribe or an app uninstall.

The second type of feedback request email is the time-based emails. These are sent after a predefined amount of time has passed following an action (for instance, a purchase or direct inquiry) to request for feedback. As you can appreciate, the messaging of all these emails is quite different and is based on the behavior trigger in question. Nonetheless, they are very valuable and important to small businesses as they make their customers and clients feel valued and the opinions of the clients and customers valued as well.

#3. Re-Engagement Emails – These are emails that are designed to incentivize customers and clients that have been interacting with your emails to re-engage. You can schedule the emails to be dispatched after a certain period of inactivity (say 100 days). Of importance is to offer an incentive for the client or customer to re-engage with your brand. A good way to do this is to offer special discounts, special access to your content, or simply a promotion code.

The behavior of users can be tracked and utilized. Almost all actions that individuals take while engaging with your brand is a source of information. Businesses can make use of this information to create kind of trigger that can be exploited to create a better and more comprehensive engagement. However, the email workflow should be intricately designed based on the triggers and behavior of users. Businesses should not have emails for triggers that not used by users.

Expert Tip: You can add emails based on dates such as holidays, birthdays to the workflow for a more personal email interaction experience.

The Benefits Of Using Email Marketing Automation

1. This technique of email marketing makes your email list very segmented allowing you to exploit user data.
2. It helps you to convert potential customer much faster.
3. It enables businesses to continuously engage their clients and customers effortlessly
4. It increases the efficiency of business communications by reducing repetitive tasks
5. It improves engagement as it delivers more relevant messages in a timely manner.

Some businesses may be hesitant of automation due to fears of the emails becoming robotic and irrelevant. However, with the right automation software and the personnel, automating email marketing becomes easy and a beneficial to the business.

Are you using email marketing automation? Share your experiences in the comments below.

 

About the Author Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money.

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