By now, surely you know all about the six marketing processes that should be automated. But of all the things that you should automate, I would argue that the most important one is email.
Why? Email is arguably the most important marketing tactic—even more effective than social media. And if you aren’t automating your emails, chances are you’re not sending out nearly as many emails as you should be. Translation: Your sales are not doing as well as they should (or could) be doing.
Of course, every business has different objectives, and therefore different types of emails that they will want to automate. But here are some of the most important email workflows that should, at the very least, be on your radar—if not already in your CRM.
1. The Gated Content Workflow
When you ask your visitors for their email address, you’ve got to give them something truly valuable in exchange. That’s where the gated content workflow email comes in.
Start by creating a pop-up on your site or a landing page for your downloadable content offer. When the user fills out that form, you will get their email address, and then they will receive an automated email with the content offer. Voilà.
2. The Interest Workflow
Not all of your leads are going to be interested in the same thing. Let’s say your business is a travel agency. Some of your visitors might exclusively go to Europe. Others might love South America. The purpose of this workflow is to cater to those interests, whatever they may be.
You might have your workflow triggered once your lead downloads a certain e-book or guide. So as not to bombard them, wait a few days and then send them links to other relevant and related content that you think they might like.
3. The Welcome Series Workflow
When someone subscribes to your blog, you should be sending them a series of three emails to thank them for signing up and reminding them of all the goodness that you’ll be sending them. These emails help to establish some trust in the relationship and let your leads get to know you a little better. This is the first impression that you’ll be making on your leads—so make it good.
Why three emails? Because if you only send one, you are likely to overwhelm your contacts with information, that would be more digestible broken up into pieces. Sending multiple emails also helps ensure that you remain top-of-mind at the start of the relationship (when they are more engaged).
The first email should be sent out immediately after they subscribe. Tell them who you are, thank them for signing up, and let them know that you will be sending them a series of emails over the next week or so.
Two days later, send the second email. Let them know how they can connect with you (via social media, email, phone or otherwise).
About four days later, you’ll want to send the third and final email of your Welcome Series, which you can use to try and get to know your contacts a bit better. Ask them one question that’s easy to respond to, like what kind of blog content they would prefer or when their birthday is. You can then use those answers to create more tailored content.
4. The Re-Engagement Workflow
Just like you should call up that old friend of yours who you haven’t talked to in a while, you should also reconnect with your leads when they seem to have fallen off the face of the earth.
When your leads haven’t been active in a while (ie: haven’t made a purchase in a while or haven’t been using your service lately…or haven’t visited your website in a long time), you should send them an email reminding them that you exist. Set up the email so that it’s sent out after a certain period of time, whether that’s several weeks or several months. And if you want to increase your chances of engagement, send them an offer, like a free trial or a coupon, within the email itself.
If they still don’t respond, wait a little bit and then send a follow-up email. Still no response? Wait a bit more and then send a final email, telling them (kindly) that you will unsubscribe them from your list if they don’t respond.
Why does this workflow really matter? It’s important to filter through your contacts and find out who is really engaging with your content. Because the more unengaged subscribers you have, the more difficult it will be to reach the ones who are actually engaged.
Here’s why: If your open rates are extremely low, email services take note of that and will be more likely to send your emails straight to the spam folder. Plus, if you have a bunch of unengaged subscribers on your email list, that’s not exactly the best indicator of things. Look at it this way: If someone hasn’t opened your email in two months, why would you even want to keep sending them emails? Would you keep trying to woo that guy or girl that has rejected you over and over again…or take a hint and move on? My thoughts exactly.
5. The Cart-Abandonment Workflow
Let’s face it: Thanks to the vast Internet, social media, smartphones…people get easily distracted these days. They might go on your website, put something in their shopping cart…and then suddenly get a text message, phone call or a link to an interesting article. Before you know it, they have left your site and forgotten all about what they were just about to purchase…until you send them this email.
A few days after your prospect has abandoned their shopping cart, send them an email to remind them about what they are missing out on. At this point, you know that they are sales-qualified leads, since they are interested enough in your product or service to make a purchase. So it shouldn’t be too hard to get their attention. That is, of course…unless they get another text message, phone call or link…
6. The Upsell Workflow
As you probably already know by now, it’s always easier to sell to a previous customer than it is to sell to someone who has never purchased from you before. That’s why this email is so powerful.
After your lead makes a purchase from you, send them an email offering them an add-on or something similar that they might be interested in. For instance, if they just purchased an entrepreneurship book from you, you know what topic they are interested in and could propose similar entrepreneurship or business books that they might be interested in. Or if they just purchased a yoga mat from you, you could offer some yoga accessories, like a bolster or a yoga wheel.
7. The Replenishment Workflow
If your shoppers tend to make repetitive purchases, you’ll want to set up a workflow to remind them when it’s time to buy again. For instance, if your business sells sunscreen, and the typical bottle runs out after three months of daily use, then send them an email a week or two before the bottle is supposed to run out and remind them that it’s time to purchase.
Remember that the workflow emails that you send out will ultimately depend on your business objectives and who your target audience is. These seven emails are only a start, and some obviously might be more relevant to your business than others.
And now it’s your turn to share…Do you have any to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.