Email marketing automations means that you can instruct your service provider to email your contacts…automatically. Ok, that’s the obvious stuff out of the way. Trouble is, a lot of old school marketers are still using their ESP simply to send out mass broadcasts to their entire lists.
If you magically schedule your email to be sent 12 hours in the future, and your email goes out to your complete list of 10,000 people whilst you’re sipping on margaritas at the beach, it may seem like magic to your grandfather, but actually you’re several years behind.
With current email marketing automation tools, there are much more precise, targeted and sophisticated ways for you to engage with your list. Rather than contacting everyone en masse, reach out to them when they expect and want to hear from you, and with information and offers that you know for a fact that they’re interested in.
You can often quite easily use these tools yourself or employ a professional email marketing company / agency to do it for you, if you are still in the margarita sipping mood. Getting a good start with marketing automation is the most important part.
Here are 5 rock solid email marketing automations that will reach your contacts when they’re red hot and ready to hear from you:
1. Targeted Promotion to Hot Leads
With the right behavioral tracking, you can easily detect which pages on your website your contacts visit. This data presents a fantastic opportunity for you to offer these contacts promotions specifically targeted to what you know they’ll be interested in.
If you run a pet store, and your contact has spent the last 3 hours reading all your articles tagged with ‘dog training’ then, chances are, they’re interested in dog training. You can have your ESP automatically send all people who match this criteria an email with some more dog training tips, and a 10% discount on your dog training eBook.
Don’t make it creepy. People don’t like the idea that the websites they visit are ‘watching over their shoulder.’ Instead, use this as a way to make your promotions more relevant, targeted and useful to the people on your list.
This kind of behavior isn’t unique to the online world. You may remember when Target famously found out one of their customers was pregnant before she had told her family, and mailed her a pregnancy related offer which her father got hold of! Knowledge of your customers purchasing and browsing patterns bestows great power – use it responsibly.
2. Cart Abandonment Emails to Convert ‘Almost’ into “Yes
When people find a product they like in your store and click through the check out, that isn’t a victory… at least, not yet. In fact, up to 75% of your customers may be abandoning your store with their shopping carts full. They found you store, found a product they liked and even decided to buy it, only to get cold feet at the last second.
With email marketing automation, you can recover some of these lost sales and convert them back into customers. A cart abandonment email is a friendly email you send to your almost customers shortly after they’ve abandoned your cart to help them get back on their feet.
How to write a good cart abandonment email
A simple but effective cart abandonment email by Pacsun. Get more email inspiration.
Make your cart abandonment email polite and helpful, and gently remind them of the benefits of the product or service they were about to buy.
Perhaps sweeten the deal with a short term discount or bonus that will make them rush back onto the site. There may have been a technical issue they stopped them from buying, so make your customer support contact details obvious.
It’s also possible that everything was fine and they were about to buy, but then their mother in law rang to complain about her neighbour’s kids new rock and roll band who were practicing last night until the ungodly hour of 9.36pm…. And they simply got sidetracked. A quick email from you may be all that you need to get them back to your site.
3. Transaction Emails With Cross Sell
So someone has found your website, read your articles, and bought your products! A good job well done, right? Time to hit the bar and celebrate! Actually,for smart marketers, this is merely the beginning.
Transaction emails get opened more than twice as often as regular marketing emails. It would be quite the folly to waste this with merely the boring invoice and receipt details!
Throw in a special offer about another, related product to thank them for being a customer.
Give them a compelling reason to act now, and upgrade.
When they are reading your transaction emails after making a purchase your new customers probably still have their credit card in their hands, and will be in the buying mood. Integrate smart, helpful offers into your transactional emails and you stand a decent chance of increasing your average customer value.
4. Request a Review… The Right Way
Remember getting those emails from companies like AirBNB and Tripadvisor asking you to review your experience? These serve more than one purpose. They don’t only motivate you to contribute value to their site by offering your advice to other users, but they also make you feel part of the community, part of the tribe or travellers who each help each other to travel smarter.
Review requests are an opportunity to make your customer feel important. A certain amount of time after they’ve bought your product (the length will vary depending on the nature of the product, but generally speaking the sooner the better) have your system shoot them an email and ask them to review it on your website or an important channel.
Pro tip: Make the review email about them.
Don’t say ‘we need your review,’ but motivate them to have their say and get their voice heard and inspire other pet owners / food lovers / hard working marketers to get the best value and learn from their experience.
5. Reward Anniversaries and Milestones for Increased Engagement
This is a common one for creators of software and apps. You want to inspire people to continue using your tool. When they have… registered a certain number of users, performed a certain number of actions, achieved any milestone, send them an automated email to congratulate them for this.
Like an addictive videogame, rewarding increased progress can trigger a dopamine hit to the brain which will help people feel more engaged and satisfied with your product.
This idea of rewarding for use and engagement isn’t only for software providers. Back to our pet store example. If someone has been a subscriber for 12 months you can offer them the ‘Pet Lover’s Reward’ and a 10% discount on all your bet products.
The opportunities to give your users a pat on the back are limited only by your imagination. The key is to keep making people feel good about being part of your community.
I hope this article has got your mind whirring about the possibilities of email marketing automation. Remember though, just because your emails are being sent by a machine, doesn’t mean you have to sound like a robot. Set up your sequence with care, and write with personality. Respond closely to statistics and track, change and upgrade your processes constantly.