If you’re anything like me, you hear the term “email automation” and cringe. It sounds so icky and impersonal, doesn’t it? The thing is though, and this is something I’ve learnt over time, if it’s done the right way, it’s actually the exact opposite.
Email automation can actually provide your prospects and customers with a tailored experience; showing that you understand them and their needs.
I first realised the possibilities that email automation held for small business when my mentor at the time, Susan Jones from Ready Set Start Up, suggested I trial Active Campaign. You’ve probably heard of it.
There are other platforms out there that are also good for small business owners, including Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor, but I tried Active Campaign and liked it – so it’s been my tool of choice ever since. I love the user interface and how easy it is for ‘non-techies’ to understand. And simplicity is crucial for small business owners because we’re so busy wearing multiple hats.
So what are the benefits you can see from email automation?
Firstly, you can show your customers that they’re important. You can do that by using separate automations with targeted content for different audience segments. This way, you’ll show your customers and prospects that you really do understand them, rather than just lumping them all in the same “monthly newsletter” bucket.
Through email automation, you can get clear data on who downloads your content so you can nurture your prospects with the information they want. If you’re someone that loves stats and figures, you’ll be able to report on who downloads what and who clicks on what links. Over time, this will enable you to create clearer customer profiles.
Email automation saves time in the long run. I’m not going to argue – it takes time and effort to get successful automations up and running. But the thing is, once they’re done, they’re nurturing your prospects and customers for you with little input needed.
It can shorten your sales and marketing cycle and help you make the most of the resources you have. Instead of a continued “just following up” email or call, your sales team (or you – if you’re a solopreneur) can instead focus on adding value to your prospects through the use of targeted and informative content.
You can sort the valuable leads from the not-so-valuable. By monitoring the interaction your contacts have with your email automation, over time you can provide contacts with a score as to how valuable a lead they are.
You’ll increase customer retention. We all know the saying “it’s cheaper to maintain an existing customer than win a new one”. Automated campaigns that are created using targeted and valuable content; can go a long way to demonstrating to your existing customers why they should stay with you.
When it comes down to it, as small business owners, we generally get a lot of emails every day. So the one thing you want to ensure your email automations do is to set you apart from other companies or contacts. Be creative, but also ensure you choose the right audience for the right topic. Email automation doesn’t have to make you cringe and it can, in fact, be extremely beneficial to both you – and your intended target. Go about it the right way, and you’re further on your path to marketing success.