Hold on, what is email marketing automation and why does my business need it?
Email marketing automation is the process of setting up automated emails and email drip campaigns to be sent to your customers when they perform specific actions on your website. If your business has an online presence, you obviously can’t be there to communicate with your customers day and night.
Is someone requesting information about your new 3D printer at 1AM? Automatically trigger an email to them filled with product information. Did someone buy a shirt from your ecommerce shop but hasn’t returned in a few months? Trigger an email with a little discount to get them to come back and explore your new stock.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #1: Welcome Email
Trigger Action: Signed up or registered on your website.
This is the most basic of all automated emails. It’s triggered when a visitor registers on your website. This could be by signing up for an account or subscribing to a newsletter.
Aside from greeting them and showing your appreciation, make the most of your welcome email by…
- Telling them the next step in your sales process.
- Showing them popular/new content they may be interested in.
- Directing them to further information about your business.
- Directing them to your social channels where you can engage with them.
- Prompting them to send you questions or answers to a survey so you can learn more about their needs.
The possibilities for a welcome email are endless. To decide on the content of your welcome email, simply think about what you’d like them to accomplish next.
If the sales cycle for your business is long, direct them to more product info, related content, or a FAQ — something that will give them more confidence to make a purchase. If your sales cycle is short, show them new products, promotions, or exciting content — quickly turning them into a paying customer.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #2: Topic Workflow (Offer Download)
Trigger: Downloaded your offer.
If you’ve created a valuable lead magnet on your landing page for visitors to sign up for and receive, then you can create an automated email to send to them after they’ve converted.
Based on the topic of a free ebook you’re offering (for instance), you can set up a series of emails filled with content about that topic. If it’s an ebook on weight loss, for example, you would send them the ebook along with a weekly follow-up series of emails with content surrounding weight loss and eventually an email to purchase your exclusive weight loss program.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #3: Free Trial Sign-up
Trigger Action: Signed up for a free trial.
If someone signs up for a free trial for your software or service you should have an automated email sent to thank them and to help them onto the next steps.
Software companies often overlook the onboarding process necessary to make their users successful with their products. The easier the transition is for a user, the greater the satisfaction they’ll have with the product, resulting in a longer lifetime value.
Once someone registers for a free trial they should be sent a series of onboarding emails to explain how they can get started: video demos, links to helpful resources — anything that will make their experience with your product as simple and pleasant as possible.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #4: Lead Nurturing Workflow
Trigger Action: Variety of top of the funnel event conversions.
Are you producing inbound content for your blog and social networks? Creating customized workflows can be a great way to nurture potentials customers through your sales funnel and increase sales.
Let’s say you own an athletic wear retail business. Automated emails can be automatically triggered to customers who have read 3 or more blog posts concerning the best running warm-up exercises. You can trigger this by their visits to specific URLs.
Simply by knowing that they want to learn more on the topic of running you can send them related content and products. As the emails are sent and as you develop a relationship with them, your brand will be the first on their mind when they’re ready to buy their next pair of jogging pants.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #5: Re-engagement
Trigger Action: Inactive account profile.
Have you been following up with your past customers? Or have your relationships fallen by the wayside?
Not to worry, there is an automated email workflow that will rekindle your relationship with an inactive customer.
An automated re-engagement email can be sent to customers who:
- Have created an account or registered their email with your website.
- Have made purchases but haven’t returned in a while.
- Have signed up for a free trial of your software but haven’t been back to explore the program.
If someone’s account hasn’t seen any activity in a long period of time, a re-engagement email can be sent to alert them of a sale, assist them with a knowledge base, or to provide an offer like an exclusive coupon code.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #6: Abandoned Cart
Trigger Action: Shopping cart abandonment.
Do you own and operate an ecommerce shop? Then you must know that at least 68% of people that place a product in their shopping cart abandon it. If only there were some way to decrease your shopping cart abandonment…
Shopping cart abandonment emails can be triggered when someone leaves your website without completing their purchase. Soon after a potential customer leaves your site you can send them an email with an offer — free shipping, 10% off, a bonus gift — anything to persuade them to return and finish checking out.
Email Marketing Automation Workflow #7: Upsell Past Purchases
Trigger Action: Past purchases.
Automated upsell emails can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Based on previous purchases, emails containing related products can be sent to your past customers. In other words, “I see you liked [insert amazing product], what about [insert related amazing product]?”
Depending on how much they enjoyed their experience with your business, it’s easier to resell to a past customer than it is to acquire a new one. Upsell emails are an invaluable strategy for big companies like Amazon.com to continue their relationships with their customers.
Upselling is a great way to leverage the data you’re receiving from your customers and to tailor their experiences to their preferences. A ecommerce store that sells cameras, for example, could send an email to a recent camera buyer with a list of compatible tripods or camera grips.
Email Automation Workflow #8: Replenishment
Trigger Action: Product lifecycle.
Does your product have a finite life cycle?
Once the lifecycle of your product is complete, an automated email can be sent to your customers to remind them to restock their supply. A friendly reminder with a direct link to the product is a strategic and convenient way for your customers to repurchase and for you to increase sales.
An automated email is useful in a situations like:
- An annual subscription renewal, like a magazine subscription
- The expiry of a perishable food product, like a monthly supply of coffee beans
- Reordering products, like laundry detergent or Swiffer cloths
Putting it all together
Getting started with email marketing automation doesn’t have to be a scary process. Having to manually write and respond to every email, however? That’s the intimidating thing.
I recommend you pick a simple task, like a welcome email that you’d like to automate, and start from there.
If customers are just sitting dormant in your email database you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to nurture them into paying customers.
The examples of email marketing automation workflows we went over were:
- Welcome emails
- Topic workflows
- Free Trial Sign Ups
- Lead Nurturing
- Abandoned cart
Being able to create and automatically send emails for different situations will help you keep in touch with your customers and develop your relationship until they’re ready to make a purchase.