Marketing is one of the most important activities we can do in our business. After all, sales come as a direct result of our marketing efforts.
One of the most time-efficient ways to reach large audiences of interested consumers is email. In my small business frequently I write marketing pieces after hours when the phone has stopped ringing, and my inbox is quiet. But if I sent my email at 2am I wouldn’t get many reads as not many people are as crazy as I am and work at 2am. So I schedule my marketing piece to send bright and early in the morning.
Here’s where email automation comes in. Automation is best used when the same email will be sent over and over again.
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my business is to create an educational series that people receive when they sign up for my email list. If I didn’t use automation to deliver this educational series, it wouldn’t be time or cost efficient for me to personally send it every time I got a request. It would annoy the reader as they would receive the educational series when it was convenient for me as opposed when they needed it to solve their problems.
The educational email series has been a boon to my business.
- It immediately solves problems for my readers.
- It creates credibility for me by proving I’m an expert in my field.
- Every potential customer gets the same communication no matter when they sign up for the email. So I know the level of knowledge each of my potential customers has.
- It opens a line of communication with my potential customer.
- It puts me in front of my readers on a consistent basis.
An educational series isn’t the only way to use automation. What are some of the best ways to use automation in your business, regardless of the size?
How Can Automation Help Me?
Automating your email marketing efforts will:
- Save you time
- Make sure nobody is forgotten
- Market your business around the clock
- Allow you to focus on other important aspects of your business.
Automation may be beneficial, but how can you use it?
When Not to Use Automation
Even a good thing can be too much. It can even harm your business if used in the wrong way. Some circumstances require a personal touch every time.
- Business transactions
Dealings with potential clients need a personal touch and must be done on a 1 on 1 basis. This goes for reaching out to influencers or other businesses to work together.
- Customer Service
Nobody wants to go through an automated system to solve a problem or issue. Think about a time you contacted a company with a question or complaint and had to fill out a form with drop-down menus – often with none fitting your issue only to receive an automated email acknowledgment. It’s frustrating at best.
When to Use Automation
The most common way automation is used as a welcome email when someone subscribes to your list.
A welcome email tells your reader what to expect for a publication schedule. It may contain a free download or video that educates your customers on your product or service. It opens the lines of communication and helps foster goodwill with your clients, which helps grow your business.
- Rewarding Loyalty
MailChimp offers lots reports that let you know when customers click on a link in your email. By gathering this information, you can send out automatic emails to a select group of customers. Maybe you’ll send a special discount or surprise gift. These automatic emails can be set up to be relay when a client has met certain conditions, like a certain number of purchases or regularly clicking on your emails.
- Series Emails
A brief email course is one popular way to use this feature. Send lessons in a series of emails on a schedule you pre-determine. This way you don’t forget to send the next lesson, and you don’t have to keep track of everyone who may have signed up for the course.
Automation doesn’t take care of all circumstances. People still need a personal touch to trust you and your business. You’ll gain time by being more efficient using automation for MailChimp, and you’ll be able to concentrate on more important things, like leads. Relieving the stress from having so much to do one of the biggest advantages of automation. With less stress, you can face customers with a positive and engaging attitude.