Five email automation opportunities you're overlooking

Lilach Bullock on Email marketing, Marketing automation,


Automation is a wonderful thing. It frees marketers from the yoke of having to nurture prospects on a one-to-one basis and it also creates new sales pipelines. If your email automation comprises a welcome sequence for new subscribers and a couple of landing pages that trigger email sequences, you’re doing it wrong. Well, perhaps not wrong, but you’re certainly not doing it right.

Automation software can be thought of as a high-performance sports car that can drive you anywhere you want to go. If you want to plot a course to Salesville, automation can take you there. It will help you sell more and sell faster, but only if you’re willing to utilise the technology to its full potential. So, go on: put the pedal to the floor, hit the open road and then let automation assume cruise control. The following triggers should whet your appetite for the automation possibilities at your fingertips.

Trigger 1: Inactive Contacts

Disengaged contacts happens. It happens a lot, for in marketing it’s inevitable there’s going to be a certain attrition rate as prospects fall by the wayside and the content you send them goes unread, unclicked and unopened. But if your policy regarding inactive contacts consists of an annual purge of your database, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Create a set of rules regarding what constitutes inactivity, based on such factors as the length of time since their last website visit, email open or form submission. Then create a campaign designed to awaken these sleeping customers.

Email Automation

It could be an exclusive offer, a special discount or anything else that might stir them from their stupor and get them excited about your brand once more. Remember, these people once went out of their way to engage with your business and expressed a desire to learn more. It’s up to you to reawaken that desire. Even if only 2% of your inactive contacts respond to your entreaty, from a data set of 5,000 that’s still 100 new sales. What have you got to lose?

Trigger 2: Past Purchases

A customer doesn’t have to fall out of love with your brand to go quiet: they might simply be busy getting the most out of the product you sold them all those months ago. Unless they’ve purchased a tangible product that requires replenished, they’ve no reason to return to you any time soon. It’s up to you to maintain contact and build up a relationship, not by pestering your customers, but by creating helpful automation sequences based on their purchases.

Email Automation

Create workflows to help them get the most out of a product they’ve purchased and to upsell and cross-sell where appropriate. The number of workflows you create will depend on the extent of your product range, but ideally you want customers to receive content that correlates closely with their purchase history. Otherwise, you’re just sending them broadcast emails.

Trigger 3: Cycle-Based Purchases

This one sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many businesses overlook the need to follow up with purchases that are made on a cycle. Don’t confuse these with seasonal purchases – no marketer misses Christmas, the start of the financial year or any other seasonal trend worth catching. Rather, cyclical purchases are products that will require renewal after a certain period. If a customer purchases a water filter and a pack of 90-day cartridges, it stands to reason they’re going to need a re-up three months down the line. Likewise, with supplements or protein powder or any other product whose depletion date can be approximately calculated. When your automation is on point and a gentle reminder arrives in the nick of time, it works like an Amazon Dash button, with the customer only too happy to click and commit to more of the same.

Trigger 4: Birthdays and Anniversaries

Email Automation

Humans forget birthdays and other important dates all the time but computers don’t. Setting up an automated email that reaches customers on their birthday is a simple way of making them feel wanted, strengthening the customer bond and tempting them to treat themselves courtesy of an exclusive offer. Don’t know your customer’s birthday? No problem. Send them an anniversary email instead one year to the day after they joined your database. The occasion doesn’t matter – the personalised message does.

Trigger 5: New Customers

If you currently use automation, there’s a good chance it’s to convert leads based off form fields on landing pages you’ve set up. That’s a great way of nurturing leads, but what do you do when your prospect becomes a customer? Don’t pat yourself on the back and move on to the next lead – there’s still work to be done with nurturing your newly acquired customer. Given that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, it makes sense to focus on the new kids on the block who will become the lifeblood of your company. Create an email sequence that’s designed to welcome new customers into the fold and encourage them to make themselves at home. The comfier they get, the less likely they are to leave. Devoting attention to new customers will generate goodwill, as it demonstrates that your interest in them doesn’t end the moment they pocket their credit card.

The beauty of email automation is that the potential API-based triggers you can set up are virtually limitless. When it’s done right, automation that responds to a customer’s actions isn’t creepy – it’s helpful, provided you deliver content that resolves the problem they’re trying to solve. Automate all the things and watch your buyer engagement shoot up.

Automation is a wonderful thing. It frees marketers from the yoke of having to nurture prospects on a one-to-one basis and it also creates new sales pipelines. If your email automation comprises a welcome sequence for new subscribers and a couple of landing pages that trigger email sequences, you’re doing it wrong. Well, perhaps not wrong, but you’re certainly not doing it right.

Automation software can be thought of as a high-performance sports car that can drive you anywhere you want to go. If you want to plot a course to Salesville, automation can take you there. It will help you sell more and sell faster, but only if you’re willing to utilise the technology to its full potential. So, go on: put the pedal to the floor, hit the open road and then let automation assume cruise control. The following triggers should whet your appetite for the automation possibilities at your fingertips.

Trigger 1: Inactive Contacts

Disengaged contacts happens. It happens a lot, for in marketing it’s inevitable there’s going to be a certain attrition rate as prospects fall by the wayside and the content you send them goes unread, unclicked and unopened. But if your policy regarding inactive contacts consists of an annual purge of your database, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Create a set of rules regarding what constitutes inactivity, based on such factors as the length of time since their last website visit, email open or form submission. Then create a campaign designed to awaken these sleeping customers.

Email Automation

It could be an exclusive offer, a special discount or anything else that might stir them from their stupor and get them excited about your brand once more. Remember, these people once went out of their way to engage with your business and expressed a desire to learn more. It’s up to you to reawaken that desire. Even if only 2% of your inactive contacts respond to your entreaty, from a data set of 5,000 that’s still 100 new sales. What have you got to lose?

Trigger 2: Past Purchases

A customer doesn’t have to fall out of love with your brand to go quiet: they might simply be busy getting the most out of the product you sold them all those months ago. Unless they’ve purchased a tangible product that requires replenished, they’ve no reason to return to you any time soon. It’s up to you to maintain contact and build up a relationship, not by pestering your customers, but by creating helpful automation sequences based on their purchases.

Email Automation

Create workflows to help them get the most out of a product they’ve purchased and to upsell and cross-sell where appropriate. The number of workflows you create will depend on the extent of your product range, but ideally you want customers to receive content that correlates closely with their purchase history. Otherwise, you’re just sending them broadcast emails.

Trigger 3: Cycle-Based Purchases

This one sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many businesses overlook the need to follow up with purchases that are made on a cycle. Don’t confuse these with seasonal purchases – no marketer misses Christmas, the start of the financial year or any other seasonal trend worth catching. Rather, cyclical purchases are products that will require renewal after a certain period. If a customer purchases a water filter and a pack of 90-day cartridges, it stands to reason they’re going to need a re-up three months down the line. Likewise, with supplements or protein powder or any other product whose depletion date can be approximately calculated. When your automation is on point and a gentle reminder arrives in the nick of time, it works like an Amazon Dash button, with the customer only too happy to click and commit to more of the same.

Trigger 4: Birthdays and Anniversaries

Email Automation

Humans forget birthdays and other important dates all the time but computers don’t. Setting up an automated email that reaches customers on their birthday is a simple way of making them feel wanted, strengthening the customer bond and tempting them to treat themselves courtesy of an exclusive offer. Don’t know your customer’s birthday? No problem. Send them an anniversary email instead one year to the day after they joined your database. The occasion doesn’t matter – the personalised message does.

Trigger 5: New Customers

If you currently use automation, there’s a good chance it’s to convert leads based off form fields on landing pages you’ve set up. That’s a great way of nurturing leads, but what do you do when your prospect becomes a customer? Don’t pat yourself on the back and move on to the next lead – there’s still work to be done with nurturing your newly acquired customer. Given that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, it makes sense to focus on the new kids on the block who will become the lifeblood of your company. Create an email sequence that’s designed to welcome new customers into the fold and encourage them to make themselves at home. The comfier they get, the less likely they are to leave. Devoting attention to new customers will generate goodwill, as it demonstrates that your interest in them doesn’t end the moment they pocket their credit card.

The beauty of email automation is that the potential API-based triggers you can set up are virtually limitless. When it’s done right, automation that responds to a customer’s actions isn’t creepy – it’s helpful, provided you deliver content that resolves the problem they’re trying to solve. Automate all the things and watch your buyer engagement shoot up.

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Lilach Bullock
Professional Speaker, Lead Conversion Expert, Social Media Specialist & Occasional Diva. Proud mum
UK https://www.lilachbullock.com/