This is a guest post by Imani Francies. Imani writes and researches for FreeAdvice.com. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media and specializes in various forms of media marketing.
If you open your email account, I’m sure you have at least one from some company. People who run long standing, multi-million dollar businesses have discovered how marketing emails can increase revenue. Because of this, they’ve mastered the art of email marketing in their voice (or brand).
As a company building your brand, it can be easy to imitate others accidentally. So it’s crucial to keep your company’s voice distinct. There are copyright laws that protect you and other businesses from copying one another. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to properly structure automated marketing emails in a way that is specific to your brand.
What Is Email Automation?
In simple terms, email automation is a form of marketing where emails are automatically sent out to customers who have opted in to your mailing list.
Many people don’t see results with email automation because they don’t fully understand the basis of it. They use it as a platform to promote their products or services when they should be using it as a platform to connect with their customers. While building a personal relationship, you can accumulate data on how and which customers interact with your emails.
This gathered data allows you to properly market your services without being overly promotional, and the customer can feel more compelled to purchase because of the sense of loyalty you’ve created through these emails.
There are two different versions of email automation. One is less complex, made of fewer emails to everyone on a timed basis. The other is more complex, where emails are sent out based on the actions made by the recipients. To properly use email automation, it’s best to implement both versions.
The benefit of automatically sending emails is that it frees up your time. You’ll spend less time sending multiple emails, building relationships, and promoting content–especially if you have an extensive email list.
WHAT THETA CLUB MEMBERS SAY
Continue adhering to all the best practices from 2019 and before: automate everything that can be automated, create great email content, make sure your emails are responsive and look awesome on mobile, only have one major call to action, and use an enticing but not clickbait-y subject line.
Planning Your Automated Email Campaign
Before you even begin configuring your emails, you need to put together a plan. You need that great big beautiful marketing word: Content. To curate a diagram that will drive engagement, you need to figure out a style that is specific to your brand and which kind of data you are trying to acquire to elevate your business.
Your brand is important because it separates you from competitors. In terms of the type of data associated with marketing, there is identity data, descriptive data, behavioral data, and qualitative data. In essence, the data needed depends on your businesses’.
- Identity data is the most basic information out of all four. This data consists of your customer’s name, age, gender preference, mailing address, email address, and phone number. In some cases, you may be able to collect their social media names and their occupation.
- Descriptive data. This data shows your customers beyond the basics. It is the comprehension of their personality. You can get this through surveys, interviews, and analyzing behavioral data.
- Behavioral data helps you anticipate your prospect’s actions. To get this, you can collect their online activity, social media usage, buying behavior, and browsing habits.
- Qualitative data is a combination of all three. This data shows why customers purchase services or products. Use this to see what the customer thinks about your brand from things they share, review, and discuss about your business on social media posts, in emails, and on other sites.
Once you decide which of the four forms of data you need to collect, you can organize your triggers–actions that customers make to set-off the automated email–and emails associated with it. The types of emails sent by triggers can be a confirmation email once someone completes a registration, subscription renewal notifications when they’re days away from expiration, or a welcome email after a customer signs up.
Running Your Email Automation Program
Email automation can bring plenty of revenue to your business–there’s no doubt about it. So now that you have the specific data you need and you have your plan together, you can decide which program to use to implement it. There are all kinds of platforms that help businesses run email marketing campaigns, but they all tend to have the same tiers.
Their free subscription is best for small businesses with slim budgets and a mailing list between 500 and 1000 subscribers. The middle subscription is for companies that have grown in size and run an operation that requires larger marketing goals. Lastly, the all-inclusive subscription is for big-time businesses with greater demands from consumers consistently.
The subscription tier that you use depends on your business needs. Still, once you decide on a platform and a respective tier, you can start soliciting your consumer’s information through your social media and with the best website contact forms.
Putting Everything Together
The most important step of email automation is to set up your automated emails. Of course, you need increased engagement on your website and social pages to entice customers to subscribe to your mailing list. However, the #1 priority is having automated emails in place.
Each site is similar in workflow and triggers. When someone signs up for your contact list, you want to create a welcome letter that goes out immediately. This welcome letter shows the essence of your company’s brand, is as personal as can be, and should include relatable information about the owners of the business.
Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly emails, based on a subscriber’s subscription date, should update the subscriber about news or sales about the business/brand. This keeps the consumer in the loop and builds a personal connection to them. Another way to make things more personal is by including an option in the email where the subscriber can engage (offer advice, share stores, etc.) with the updates.
Automated birthday and anniversary of a date emails take the sense of loyalty a bit further. Send out an email on the prospects’ birthday that was provided in the contact form when signing up for the email list. Also, send out an email on the anniversary from when the subscriber joined the list.
Lastly, promo emails are another way to build a connection with your customers. Offer promotions through email specifically to those signed up to your email list, and if possible, do it often. It doesn’t have to be a big discount or promotion, but something is better than nothing.
As you get more comfortable and understand the wants of your customers, you will be able to draft more automated emails that are specific to your audience.
Using Your Data to Determine the Best Email Campaigns
Once your emails are generated and going out to your subscribers, you can start monitoring them and accumulating the data. Here, you can start analyzing the interaction with your email campaigns and decide what’s best for your business.
Collect the data you decided your business needs. This data will include what, when, and how the subscriber interacted within your email campaigns. When you know how, when, and what, you can start deciphering the ‘why.’ Why is your brand so useful to the customer? How can you consistently tighten up the type of emails you send and make them more personal to each type of consumer? All of this is done with the hopes of increasing revenue and creating a loyal market.
WHAT THETA CLUB MEMBERS SAY
Use the data. Technology is getting better every day and email marketers in 2020 have access to more data than ever before. Use it to your advantage. Take time to run A/B testing to increase conversion rates. Segment your lists. Analyze, analyze, analyze. It will be worth it in the end.
With Email Campaigns, the Sky is the Limit!
It might seem too good to be true, but it’s one of the easiest and cost-effective means of building a customer base for your brand. Email campaigns are key to driving data and building revenue, but even more than that, they help your customers feel like they’re part of something. Get your brand out there, and make sure your customers feel you value them beyond their wallets!