What is Email Automation?
Email automation is a huge time saver and a great way to consistently stay in front of your potential and returning customers. By automating emails you are meeting their needs and offering value without creating and sending an entirely new email from scratch. Instead, you can nurture your leads with specific, timely messages whenever they meet a specific trigger.
Why Does Email Automation Matter?
It can be difficult to know how often and when to email your database. Email automation takes the guesswork out of it, allowing you to be in the right place at the right time. For example, a customer who submits a question to your website expects an answer within 10 minutes (Live Chat Exposes a Fatal Flaw in Your Go-to-Market). For many businesses, a one-on-one instant response isn’t feasible. Instead, set up an automated email response to let them know that they have been heard and your company will respond, personally, within a certain time frame. You can even frame this automation to alert certain members of your team, ensuring a timely response.
Being in front of your potential clients and customers at the right time increases customer satisfaction and has its monetary benefits as well. According to Campaign Monitor, automated emails generate 320% more than non-automated emails.
HubSpot- Our Favorite Email Automation Service
HubSpot is a powerful CRM with a wide variety of Marketing and Sales capabilities. If you’re just starting out on HubSpot, you may be overwhelmed with the variety of options and directions you can take. These are the two tools we most recommend for email automation:
- Form Fill Follow-Up: If you have a piece of content that will attract, engage, and delight your audience, consider gating it. Through the form fill, you’ll collect pertinent lead information that will help your sales team and allow you to send the lead a follow-up automatically.
- Workflows: A workflow is perfect for a more complex lead nurturing campaign. Through this tool, you’ll create a framework, a set of rules, that your email campaign will follow using time delays and if/then branching. Using a HubSpot Workflow you’ll be able to automatically send emails based on interactions, update your CRM, and send internal email notifications to sales and marketing members.
If you don’t have the time or bandwidth to conquer the workflows tool, contact Forge Apollo. Our digital marketing specialists will work with you to develop and implement email automations that help support and grow your business.
5 Keys to a Successful Email Automation
1. A Goal
You should have a clear goal for each automation. Some examples include brand awareness, referrals, reviews, and schedule a demo. Without a goal, you’ll just be sending random emails which may potentially raise your spam or unsubscribe rates.
2. Great Content and Compelling Call-to-Actions
The name of the game is not to gather as many email addresses as humanly possible. You want to focus on getting the email addresses of the people most likely to interact with your brand. Having a great service or product in today’s over-saturated market simply isn’t enough. You absolutely need to provide informative, educational, interesting content for them to engage with. The better the content, the more likely customers will be to click your call-to-action (CTA) button and make the exchange of their personal information for your educational information. Remember, your automation may be amazing but without data collection, they’ll have nowhere to go. That being said, choose which content is gated very carefully- there should be more “freebie” CTAs than ones that require the information exchange.
To do so, follow the inbound methodology framework
- Attract Strangers: During this awareness stage, buyers are identifying their problem or opportunity. Entire pages should be dedicated to helping them spot and solve their problem or opportunity with specific CTAS placed strategically within in. Some examples include: Download our guide to “___”, download or watch our free webinar, or get 5 great “___”, tips to your inbox every month. You want to get them interested in participating with your brand, so get creative!
- Engage Prospects and Customers: Now that you’ve attracted prospects and customers, you need to keep them engaged. There are so many different avenues to explore that are unique to your brand but here are some great places to start: Sign up for or live webinar, join our community of “___”, or enter this contest to win “___”. This is where it’s important to communicate directly with your prospects and clients, gather their feedback, and create more content that aligns with their input.
- Delight Customers and Promoter: You’ve solved their problems and you’re engaging them now it’s time to knock it out of the park. What can you do for your customers that is unique or unexpected? There are so many paths to choose. You could offer a rewards program with automated reminders to use their point or send them a handwritten thank you or birthday card. Go as big or as small as you want, just keep it genuine and personable.
Just because automated emails work off of templates, doesn’t mean they can’t feel personal. When creating these emails, be sure to include relevant personalization tokens like name, product interest, or company name. Personalization tokens are a wonderful tool that pulls data from your CRM and places it in the correct email before sending it out. They are a great way to start personalizing your emails but you can take it a step further.
You may know when someone’s birthday is and you might even send them a birthday email with a coupon or gift. These are great automated emails! But, have you thought to look at a birthdate with a more strategic eye? When you do, you begin to ask questions that really help define your brand, refresh your offerings, and lay the foundation for your future campaigns. It is also a crucial step in segmenting your email lists.
How old are your subscribers? What type of content is that age demographic looking for? Are there any season and age-specific trends? These are only a few questions for one type of personalization! Your options are endless, so start small and view this as a never-ending learning opportunity.
4. List Segmentation
This is an important step to properly personalizing your emails. The best place to begin is to separate your contacts by your buyer personas. If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, download this quick guide to get started.
Don’t be afraid to break them down further, though. For example, Buyer Persona 1 wants educational material sent to their email but some like to be emailed weekly while the other likes to be emailed monthly. Your content may not change, but your delivery needs to take these nuances into consideration so, segment, and send emails accordingly.
If you are creating an automated email that isn’t based on a CTA, double and triple check the segments you’re using. Once email automations are set, it can be easy to forget they are running in the background and nothing is more annoying to leads than an inbox full of irrelevant information.
5. Analyze, Reflect, Refocus
Once your automations have been running for a while, start regularly checking its' metrics; example metrics include open, engagement, and spam rates. Customer likes, dislikes, and trends all change over time. That means automations that exceeded expectations a few years ago may not be performing as well now or vice versa. So, use these analytics as a map to navigate the rough waters of your ever-changing customer expectations.
Need Help with Email Automation?
Forge Apollo specializes in creating lead nurturing and CRM management automations. Let our dynamic team put together and execute a comprehensive automation plan designed around your business’s unique needs.
Contact us today to get started.