We’re living in a digital era and one of the easiest ways to communicate with your customers is online. Emails are a powerful marketing tool that offer direct contact, straight into their inbox. Customers then have the freedom to open your email in their own time, ready to take in any message your business has to share when it’s convenient for them. You possess the ability to cultivate long-term relationships and build a loyal customer base that you can nurture into future sales.
Of course, as technology improves, the creative ways you can reach your customers grows alongside it, and email marketing platforms can do so much more than simply send emails using email automation tools. From staying up-to-date with latest products, to sharing specials, or offering targeted discounts, studies have shown that it costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain an existing customer. Here’s exactly how you can use OSKY Mail’s email automation tool to reach your existing customers.
What is Email Automation?
Also known as triggered email, or behaviour-driven email, automated emails are messages sent automatically by OSKY Mail in direct response to an action taken (or not taken) by your customers. You have the ability to send personalised messages to both prospects and customers when these specific triggers are met.
Businesses have the ability to send out the right emails to leads at the right time based on information they have collected about them.
Let’s look at an example.
Running an ice-cream business
It doesn’t get much more exciting than being in the business of selling ice-cream. Your biggest struggle? Getting people into your shop and buying the goods! You’re already attracting plenty of foot traffic (who can resist!), but building a loyal, engaged customer base does take a little more work.
This is where email marketing can help! You can encourage your customers to sign up for a FREE ice-cream on their birthday. Everyone loves free ice-cream so the incentive is definitely there. Once they pop in the date details, you can have an email automation set up that sends out an email on the set date (their birthday) with a coupon for a free ice-cream on that day. Even better if they grab their friends to come along, attracting new customers and more opportunities for email campaigns.
Benefits of Email Marketing Automation
Whether you’re on the fence about whether to dive down the rabbit hole of automation, or simply haven’t considered it yet for your business, there are plenty of benefits involved.
Segment Your Customers
Each stage of the buying journey is different and lends itself to different messages. You can segment your customers based on where they are at in their marketing journey with your business, from those who have ‘Abandoned Cart’ online to those who have made a purchase before. This enables you to target them with the appropriate message, such as 15% off to get them over the line with their shopping cart.
Nurture Prospective Customers
According to research, the majority of customers prefer to receive email communications from businesses over direct mail, SMS and push messages. With email marketing campaigns in place, you can nurture your customers from the moment they find your website, right through to the purchasing stage. You can set up an offer on your website, for example a free eBook, discount code, or lookbook of latest designs to capture emails.
From there, you can have an automated campaign set up to take these leads down a sales funnel. Through a series of emails you can nurture that lead into a customer.
As a business, you want to hold on to those customers who have already purchased from you in the hope of repeat business. The easiest way to do this is through email automation. Have emails that are automatically sent 3, 6 and 8 months after a purchase, starting off by checking in with how they’re enjoying their purchase, following up with a coupon code and finishing with a special deal exclusive to them.
Follow the Buying Cycle
If you have a product that is regularly needed, such as laundry or dishwashing powder, you can set up a monthly promotional email that will trigger potential customers into buying (after realising they’re almost out). It’s a clever way to trigger your customers into a buying mindset with it all set up automatically from your end.
Free up your marketers time into other areas by allowing your email automation system to take over. Set it up once, leave it to work over and over. This means less time manually putting together new email segments and tailoring messages over and over, and more time to focus on more important tasks.
Types of Email Marketing Automation
Now you have an understanding of exactly how it works, it’s time to dive into all the different ways you can set up email marketing campaigns to benefit your business and grow a loyal marketing base. If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get you started, here’s five types of email automation you can implement straight away.
1. Welcome Email
When someone signs up to your newsletter, you don’t want them to have to wait until you send out the next newsletter. A Welcome Email bridges that gap, offering up a nice and personal welcome – along with any promises you made. For example, if you offered a coupon for signing up then include this in the Welcome Email.
2. Event Campaign
Whether you’re having a Black Friday sale, or hosting an event for your business, setting up an automated campaign allows you to nurture leads to get people shopping or attending your event. You can share past photos of events, showcase products going on sale, and get your audience excited about what’s to come with a multi-email campaign.
3. Transactional Emails
When customers make a purchase on your website, you no doubt have a system in place to ensure they receive their tax invoice. You can personalise this trigger email, asking customers to share their thoughts and experience with you and wishing them the best with their new purchase. This builds a stronger relationship and adds to the value they feel as your customer.
4. Inventory Emails
Do you have a popular product that keeps getting sold out? It’s time to set up an inventory email. Customers can pop in their email address, triggering an email to be sent to them when that product is back in stock. The easiest way to win a customer over and make a sale at the same time.
5. Feedback Emails
This type of automated email is especially valuable for service-based businesses. Trigger the email to be sent a number of days after they experience the service from your business, asking them to fill out a survey as feedback. It’s a great way to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.
Getting Started With Email Automation
It can be a daunting process, diving in and getting your first campaigns set up. Once you get used to it and realise just how much it has to offer your business, you will become experts in no time. Of course, OSKY is always on hand to help set up your email automation journey, designing templates for any campaign you can think of, like membership renewal reminders, birthdays, events, and so on.