We've all received an automated email here and there from brands, but it is possible that you've never had the opportunity to optimize those kind of emails for yourself. The vast majority of marketing messages you receive via email will fall into the category of autoresponder emails. These emails are simply automatic messages that go out based on the action of a lead, prospect, or customer.
To make the most effective use of these emails for your business, let's consider what email automation are and why they are important.
One of the best things about the proliferation of email marketing is that most people who give you their email via an offer or mailing list option on your website actually expect some emails. Certainly, you can give them too much of a good thing, but when you build needed communication, like a shipping confirmation, into a branded, content-rich email, you can avoid annoying customers while still driving toward greater brand loyalty.
Here are some of the most valuable and expected forms of autoresponder emails, each triggered by a choice made by your potential customers.
One effectively way to gather prospective customer's emails is to create a prominent place on your website for visitors to input their email. The kind of person who does this is either 1. quite interested in your company/product, or 2. quite interested in getting something for free via offers. Either way, he or she is a good person for you to keep in hand!
The autoresponder you send to such a sign-up will be different depending on what you offer as a brand and what makes sense for your organization. Here are some ways you might respond:
- If you offer a one-time, 10% coupon in exchange for the email address, you may automatically send a friendly "your sign-up has been confirmed" email that contains the coupon. Others choose to automate two emails: one as the confirmation, another as the coupon 24 or 48 hours later. This is effective if the customer might grow impatient and purchase now, using the coupon in the later days for a second purchase.
- If you offer a high-cost, one-time-purchase product, you might offer a "free quote" or "free demonstration" as an enticement to give the email address. In this case, an email that appears to come directly from you or a particular salesperson (can be randomly assigned) with an offer to chat on the phone or set up a meeting. These emails, arriving quickly, can move people from casually interested to more committed in their interest quite quickly, especially if your sales team is prompt in their responses after that.
- If joining a mailing list doesn't carry any kind of offer, send a content-rich email that reflects your brand; include some kind of interesting, useful how-to or story that will engage the prospect and offer them a chance to grow more attached to your brand. Phrases that welcome the reader to a "club" of some kind are appropriate if your customers have common interests that can bond them to one another.
Other, industry-specific options are great as well, as long as the content of the email flows naturally from the value offered in the email sign-up prompt on your site.
If your customer makes a purchase, or their order ships, or there are questions about their order, your autoresponder emails can pull double duty. One element is making sure that you give clear communication to your customers, but the second chance is to add something else: a link to your company blog, an invitation to like or follow on social media, or a quick survey. Including these items takes very little space and time, but it can boost your numbers on a few different fronts that matter to your company, all while wrapped in a package that customers actually expect and appreciate.
If someone doesn't complete an order but has already "signed in" or otherwise provided an email address, you can use this to your advantage! Automate an email that, for instance, asks if there is anything you can help with, acknowledging the incomplete shopping process. Another option is to automate a delayed email that, after two or three days, sends a coupon to the potential customer; this might just be enough to get them to head back to your website and complete the sale. Use these kinds of emails to solve a problem in your business, not just to habitually harangue your customers; if you learn, for instance, that they don't like the buggy payment system and don't come back even with a coupon, make changes to your system. Abandoned shopping carts are valuable pieces of information for change and improvement.
After a purchase or after your company experiences a little bit of good (or even bad!) press, you can use your autoresponder to send surveys or requests for feedback. The percentage of people who will fill it out may be low, but they tend to show that your company cares about their customers, which can increase brand loyalty even in those who barely glance at the email!
If someone signed up for your newsletter or mailing list and remains inactive or doesn't engage with emails, you can trigger a custom email for 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months afterwards. Perhaps your first month reminder is an "extension" on the deadline of their coupon, while the 2 month email showcases whatever is newest in your products and services; you can then use the 6 month email to ask for feedback and asking "how their needs have changed," or something else relevant to your business. Each of these touch points, by being different, have the ring of authenticity and personality, all while re-awakening what would be otherwise dead leads.
So you are starting to see that quite a lot of customer communication can be automated; you can make the most rote of your emails automatic and focus in on individual needs for the majority of your sales and customer service time. Here are some of the major advantages of autoresponder emails.
Ultimately, the time it takes to create email templates (even with name customization and other features) and the money for email automation software is vastly outweighed by the return on investment. Customers, even those who claim they don't like getting "too many" emails, actually like getting offers, content, and updates on your company. No one expects that you are hand-typing each of these items, so just sending prompt, valuable email content can reach more customers.
Of course, the magic of email automation tool can dazzle people too much at times; the whole benefit of the email marketing automation strategy is that these emails free up your team for more one-on-one contact with customers and faster response times to complaints, queries, and needs. Rather than aiming to automate everything, aim to automate the least personalised parts of the sales process. The autoresponders do the boring work, but their reach and ROI is also dependent on someone quickly taking into account whatever the customers and leads send in response.
Your email autoresponders won't be perfect the first time, but using advanced tools within your website and email campaign software allows you to notice which kinds of emails create the most opens, clicks, and deeper engagement, like purchases. When you discover what works best for your unique business, you can experiment with new options that work for your clients. In addition, more feedback - like survey results, emails, and comments on social media - gives you valuable information for future directions in your company. Taking these pieces of information seriously is a good idea; people pay thousands of dollars to get excellent feedback information, and this information comes to you as part of the package with autoresponder software!
As you begin your process of creating autoresponder emails, keep these main takeaways in mind:
• Autoresponder emails are emails that are triggered by your lead or customer making a choice or doing an action.
• Crafting brand-specific, content-rich emails will create brand loyalty.
• Autoresponders are a valuable way to keep prospects interested and customers in the loop about their purchases.
• Innovating with your autoresponder emails in response to the engagement they get is key to moving forward and seeing results.
• Most importantly: autoresponder emails are a tool to maximize your time responding to the interested leads who engage with them; they cannot do the important work of engaging your customers one-on-one, which you can uniquely provide as a company.
Want to learn more about autoresponder emails and get started with your own campaigns using Enginemailer free autoresponder service? Contact us to learn more about what Enginemailer can do for you to save you time, energy, and money!