The Email Marketing Automation Guide For Busy Business Owners Who Don't Have Time To Waste
The number one reason business owners give for not using email marketing is that they simply don’t have time, and looking at all the tasks involved with email marketing, this isn’t surprising.
Writing a compelling sales email is just the start.
You then have to wrestle with an email template on MailChimp or an equivalent platform to accommodate your content, or commission one from scratch. Then comes the task of physically sending your emails, then scanning your inbox for replies, bounces, and unsubscribe requests, trimming your database of opt outs and duplicates, and ensuring all leads are followed up promptly. Email marketing can easily become a full-time job for someone.
This is why email marketing automation is such a boon for busy business owners who don’t have the time to waste on all these manual routine tasks. In this article, we explain how email marketing automation allows you to focus on the most value-driven tasks, while letting you and your team achieve more from your efforts without having to invest more time and resources.
What is email marketing automation?
Email marketing automation is a trigger-response system, in which a particular email is delivered in response to a ‘trigger action’ from a prospect – without any manual intervention or follow-up required. This basic ‘auto responder’ mechanism allows almost infinite customisation to a wide range of business needs.
Common examples of automated marketing emails include:
- Welcome emails: A ‘welcome auto responder’ sends a friendly and informative email to all new subscribers to your email marketing list through your website – at the point they sign up, not later in the day when a salesperson has time to get round to it. This email thanks the person for their time and provides introductory content, and may link to core areas of your site or campaign-specific landing pages. No hard sales at this point. Remember that most of your website leads won’t be ready to make a purchase immediately. Additional email flows can be created using the auto responder model to deliver content as and when the prospect visits the links in the welcome email.
- Introductory drip feed content: Some businesses set up a series of welcome emails to drip feed content to new leads in a way that encourages engagement and prevents the prospect from feeling overwhelmed. This initial series could include a short thank you and welcome message, then a follow-up reminder three days later if no trigger actions are reported, and a final discount or incentive offer the following week if there is still no contact from the prospect. This incentive email could include a link to a downloadable e-book, a personalised coupon, or the offer of a free consultation. These emails can all be scheduled in advance using your automation platform. All you need to do is log onto your platform to view a summary of the actions taken by your prospects and the emails delivered.
- Campaign promotions: Email marketing automation provides an excellent channel for promoting time-bound seasonal campaigns, events, and product launches, with email content delivered to subscribers at set intervals in advance of the launch. The same mechanism can request feedback from prospects following an event, and encourage revenues from new products by reminding subscribers of the launch and thanking them for their involvement.
- Keeping in touch emails: It isn’t just new customer sales that benefit from email marketing automation. The same tactic can encourage renewed engagement from lapsed customers you haven’t heard from in a while, or prompt an e-commerce customer to return to an abandoned shopping cart. These messages can be as simple as ‘we miss you and hope you are well’ to a specific personalised offer to encourage someone to make a purchase, or to register for a service on your site. The automated messages can be triggered by certain actions – such as an abandoned shopping cart – or sent after certain lapse of time, e.g. six months after the customer’s most recent purchase.
Getting more from email marketing and spending less
All these time savings are great, and in a small business with only one or two people handling marketing and sales, the productivity benefits will soon become apparent in monetary terms. However, the benefits of email marketing automation go beyond saving someone the time of physically writing an email or remembering to follow up a prospect: these activities have been the bread-and-butter of sales teams for decades.
There are also strategic benefits of automation that directly impact your sales revenues:
- Scalable online sales and marketing: When managing your email marketing campaigns manually, your available staff resources place a cap on the number of emails you can realistically send and respond to. This limits the total number of potential leads from email marketing and places a corresponding cap on sales revenues – limiting growth and preventing scalability. The efficiency and productivity benefits of email marketing automation allow smaller businesses to circumvent this limit without having to invest in new sales and marketing staff, by enabling easier scalability to send and respond to larger volumes of emails.
- Better personalisation: Due to the time constraints of manual email marketing, most communications are fairly standardised – in that all prospects get pretty much the same message. The auto responder tools of email marketing automation, on the other hand, enable far greater personalisation in the messages you send to individual prospects. Each buyer persona you identify can have an individual content drip feed to encourage engagement, or even multiple feeds for different response scenarios. You can do this because sending and handling the emails are taken care of by your automation platform, and don’t require you to physically write and send each email individually. Personalised messaging increases your chance of successfully nurturing a lead into a customer, building positive and lasting relationships with your email subscribers.
- Email marketing for life: Email marketing is primarily a new business sales activity, but with email marketing automation you can also expand the strategy to include retention campaigns, building customer loyalty and increasing the value and life-cycle of each customer. In fact, once your email marketing automation protocols are set up, you can quickly create relevant and dynamic email content for a range of purposes – such as requesting feedback or seeking customer input into a new product, or simply celebrating your business’s anniversary.
Email marketing support from JDR
At JDR Group, we help SMEs reap the full potential of email marketing – increasing revenues whilst saving on costs and cutting the time spent managing routine tasks. To find out more about email marketing automation, please call 01332 215152 today.
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