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Email automation: How to get started
  -    -  Email automation: How to get started

 

Email automation: How to get started

In this edition of the SPT Agency academy, you’ll learn why batch and blast should be left and the past and why email automation is the way of the future. We’ll provide you with an example of a lead gen automation and a retention based automation so you can begin including email automation as part of your marketing strategy.

So you’ve heard all about email funnels, but you’ve yet to set up your first one, OR you want to check that you’re on track with your set up?

At the end of this Free Academy Lesson on building your first email automation funnel, you will learn:

  • Email automation benefits & risks
  • Email automation platform review – which platform should you choose? Features and benefits checklist.
  • Email funnel strategy principles; how should you build your content?
  • Email workflow & content examples

Happy learning 🤓

Want to 10K the ROI on your digital marketing sales funnel?

Check out our Fabulous Funnel Mapping Workbook in our Work Shop. Learn everything you need to know about funnel mapping, how to align your Facebook and Instagram retargeting funnels to your email marketing nurture workflows and how to map your funnel messaging.

 

Did you find this lesson useful?

Tell us what you found helpful in the comments below, leave us a tip you may have discovered yourself (for the benefit of the community) or tell us what you want to see next. Want more bite-sized tips more often? Follow us on Instagram!

Getting started with email automation

Why you need email automation.

Email automation is functionality that exists within some email software solutions that allows marketers to send automated emails to customers based on their behaviour. It is often therefore used to help ‘propel” a customer through the stages of the customer journey in an attempt to convert them faster.

Email automation ensures that communications sent to our databases are timely, efficient (no need to send manual communications) and most importantly, relevant!

The facts & the stats

Why digital marketers are always talking about email automation.

📈 75% of email revenue is generated by personalised campaigns.
📈 Segmented lists (with less than 500 subscribers) perform much better in opens and clicks (45.2% open rate and 19.8% click rate) when compared to giant, unsegmented lists (25k – 50k subscribers have a 21.1% open rate and 7% click rate). No more batch and blast, personalise!

📈 63% of companies are outperforming competitors with help from marketing automation.

Statistics provided by Moosend and Higher Logic

Benefits
  • Can move our leads from “freezing” to “hot”, through targeted communications prospects who may have only just heard about you through to engaged prospects or customers likely to convert to the desired action you would like them to take.
  • Improve personalised communications, making our customers feel as if we know them.
  • Testing, we can learn more about what resonates with our audience and what needs to be tweaked/changed. Continuously run A/B testing and continually optimise our campaigns.
  • Save on costs. Email automation software is usually a monthly expense. Most platforms are generous with contact lists, and you can create unlimited campaigns and unlimited automations which can be cheaper than other marketing tools.
  • Save on time. Can be set up as a set and forget if you wish to allow you to focus on different pieces of the marketing puzzle.
  • Segmentation, you can segment your audience based on their behaviour and demographics.
Risks

We love email automation, but here’s what to watch out for when setting up your campaigns.

❌ Email overload. While we love our email automations start simple and focus on critical metrics such as clicks and open rates. Get the basics done right and slowly over time, add further segmentation and triggers to your automations.

❌Value. In a similar vein to the above, don’t send emails for the sake of sending emails. Ensure each email adds value through to the customer and aligns with the customer journey.

Risks continued

❌ Dirty data. Always ensure your lists are clean as sending emails to incorrect addresses will impact your deliverability over time.

❌ Tone. It may sound simplistic, but ensure the tone of your brand and your copy is suitable for each stage of the customer journey. By not doing this, we may scare off or confuse our customers.

❌ Not testing. Ensure you have verified your automation, and then do it again! The last thing we want is for customers to enter multiple automations and receive conflicting messages accidentally, or not to be added to a list properly, which may lead to a missed sale.

Choosing your email platform

Choosing your email platform is dependent on your budget and your goals. There are a variety of reputable email marketing software solutions available. We recommend selecting a mainstream company that can integrate with a range of other marketing platforms.

Some of the options on the next slide also offer CRM functionality so you can manage “deals” (suitable for B2B) with as little or as much automation as you like.

Just starting out
These platforms are perfect for those looking to execute simple workflows and automations based on simple customer behaviour “tags.”

✉️ FloDesk
✉️ Aweber 
✉️ Mailchimp

More experienced
These platforms are perfect for businesses who know they’re on a fast growth trajectory, who are capturing a lot of data and expect to implement more complex workflows.

✉️ Active Campaign
✉️ Campaign Monitor
✉️ Drip
✉️ Keap

Platform checklist: features you may need

From our research and from speaking to marketers, some of the question marketers need to consider for now, and the future includes:

  • Is the software GPDR compliant (only relevant if you’re operating in the UK)?
  • How good is the support on offer?
  • Can the sales and marketing team both use the tool?
  • What are the reporting features? Can it integrate with other reporting platforms?
  • Is the company focused on development?
  • Can I automate the entire lead to sale to retention process?
  • Can more than one person use the tool?
  • Does it integrate with other marketing platforms such as our social channels?
  • Does it integrate with our CMS, CRM (if required)?
  • Can it send SMS?
Email funnel messaging strategy

Setting up your first automation will depend on what your goal is. Below is an example of how you can start to think about lead nurturing a prospect from their first touchpoint with your brand through to conversion and then retention. Learn more about our method here.

ATTRACT

Attract lead through content including blogs, ebook, podcast, youtube and advertising.

⬇️

CAPTURE

Capture lead through the facilitation of data exchange through gated content or value add offer.

⬇️

PROPEL

Propel them through the email automation, moving them from freezing to hot with a welcome email, special offers and lead nurturing content based on their behaviour to win the lead.

⬇️

DELIGHT

Continually delight our customers with engaging, value-adding content, rewards, and ongoing communications to ensure they feel valued.

Email automation examples

 

Now that you have a good idea of the benefits of email automation and the overarching principles for success, here are some examples of how email automation c

#1 Member re-engagement example

The below automation example was created in Active Campaign and shows campaigns being sent based on behaviours and triggers where we try to move our prospects from freezing to hot. You’ll find the automations tool in one of our suggested providers on a previous slide.

 

Welcome email automation example in Active Campaign
Member reengagement copy example

The below examples show the email on the left attempting to re-engage customers by “triggering” a key behavioural reason as to why they may be disengaged (why you’re unmotivated to go to the gym).

Step #1 of the attempted re-engagement strategy (below) focuses only on engaging lapsed members with content at this stage (no sales copy).

Example of warming up audience via email copy

The 2nd email is an example of communications that are sent to those who did engage with the content sent to them in the first email. In this example, we’ve assumed that those who engaged with our content are “warmer” and therefore more likely to respond to dedicated marketing call to actions.

#2 Post-lead submission example

The case study below is an example of a simple automation, designed to send an auto-response email following the submission of a form (such as an enquiry form, registration of interest or lead magnet form).

It sends an initial “thank you” email along with follow up reminders encouraging future, more meaningful engagements. The final email in this offer includes a last-ditch, special offer to try and encourage that conversion before the automation ends and ta non-converting list in our eCRM. If the user decides to purchase, they are removed from the automation.

Post lead email automtion example

#2 Post-lead submission example
Scarcity, final upsell
Example of post submission offer outline in an email automation
Offer reminder
Second example of a post submission offer outline in an email automation
Offer outline

Final example of a post submission offer outline in an email automation

#3 Post conversion (sale) “thank you” + nurture

Once a customer signs up to a membership, the automation opt-out of leads based funnels and automatically adds them into a retention-based funnel.

Post conversion email automation example
#3 Post-sale nurture sequence
Welcome email

Welcome email example

Check-in

1 week after joining email

Reinforce benefits

Reinforce benefits 2 weeks after example

Retention & engagement (bring a friend, try group fitness)

Final example of encouraging retention for recently joined member

In Conclusion
  • Email automation has a range of benefits, most importantly, the ability to personalise and segment audiences based on behaviours.
  • Ensure you are aware of all of the risks before setting out your first automation.
  • Choose a tool that suits your business needs and budget.
  • Align your sales copy and messaging to the customer journey.

Do you need further help in getting started with email automation? Contact us today here!

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