March 20, 2017

Save Time And Get More Customers With Email Automation

An automated email series is a no-brainer for any company that’s serious about saving time and creating a personalized experience for prospects and new email subscribers.

Many companies, especially those that sell software, experience a huge drop (up to 60%) in the number of prospects who sign up for a trial of their product, try it out once…and then never come back.

If you’re wondering how to avoid high churn rates, the key is a thoughtful series of automated emails, designed to deliver massive value to new email subscribers.

 

Start With A Welcome Email

This is email #1 where you welcome new subscribers to your list immediately.

If they opted in to get a resource like a mini training or a checklist, give them a big, clear link in your welcome email. This resource should provide a ton of value.

Make it clear and easy to contact you. Try an approach like the folks at Baremetrics and ask your customer to respond directly to the email to set up a phone call or Skype chat to go over their particular needs.

 

Use A Super Personal Follow-Up Email

This is our favorite email in our customer onboarding automation, and we send it within four hours of the welcome email.

There are two goals to this email:

  1. Learn more about your prospective customer’s pain points.
  2. Show them that they’re talking to a real team of humans who really do care about solving their problems.

Keep this email informal, concise and simple; it’s not a flashy marketing email. Here’s an example:

Welcome {First Name}!

I wanted to quickly check in to share how excited I am that you signed up to {learn more about subject X or get super helpful resource Y}.

Here at {business name}, our goal is to make your life easier by {insert one or two key selling points of your product or service}. So, over the next few days, we’ll be sending you some tips and tricks to help you make the most of {your product or service}.

Right now, though, I’d love to learn a bit more about your business and the challenges you’re facing.

Please do me a favor and… {answer these 3 quick questions OR respond directly to this email and tell me the biggest problem you’re struggling with right now}.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

{Your Name}


Image Source: Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn, entrepreneur and founder of Smart Passive Income, also uses his email provider, ConvertKit, to send a quick survey within the body of his welcome email.

This tactic is brilliant. All the subscriber has to do is click on the link that best describes them, and they’ll get follow-up emails with content tailored to their particular needs.

Here’s the key to making this follow-up email work, though: you or someone on your staff must personally answer any responses that you get from prospects.

It will impress your potential new client and show them that you’re not just interested in their money; you’re interested in solving their problems.

Yes, it takes time, but it will pay off in the long run. Treat your customers well and it will improve retention rates, increase customer lifetime value, boost sales, and more.

Plus, after this email, you’ll have a better idea of the pain points that this particular customer has, and how you can provide a personalized solution for them.

 

Identify Success Triggers

Before discussing the email #3, we’re going to detour into an important topic: success triggers.

Smart companies identify success triggers, which are actions that your most valuable, engaged customers routinely take.

Get out your pen and paper, think of your long-term clients, and consider their onboarding process. What actions were key to converting them to paying customers?

Write down any important steps that you can think of. These are potential success triggers.

Every business is different. Your success trigger might be creating an account, downloading an app, setting up a sales call, or watching a quick training video.

Identifying success triggers is essential to guiding prospective customers to an activation point, which is your goal in the next email.

 

Get to an Activation Point Quickly

OK, on to email #3!

If you want a prospect to stay engaged and on the road to becoming a customer, you not only need them to sign up for your mailing list, but you need to get them to an activation point. That’s your goal in this email.

But what’s your activation point? Think of your success triggers! Those are excellent activation points.

Alex Schultz, the VP of Growth at Facebook defines this as the moment when your user thinks “Aha! So that’s what this product can do for me”.


Image Source: Slack

For example, Slack sells software that helps teams stay organized and communicate. When a prospect signs up for a trial of their software, they quickly guide them through the first few steps of setting up a team and a username.

Why? Because the team at Slack knows that if the prospect completes those steps (aka success triggers!), the prospect is more likely to stay engaged and become a paying customer.

Whatever your activation point is, remember that you’re aiming to get your new subscriber to the “Aha!” moment.

 

Find The Right Number Of Emails

There is no straight answer to this question, because it depends on your business and how quickly prospects typically move through your sales funnel.

To give you a rule of thumb, though, most of the pros (like the team at Pardot) use a series of at least five welcome emails, staggered a few days apart each time.

After the welcome email and quick follow-up email, we suggest that you start by staggering your emails three days apart. From there, A/B test your send times to figure out what works best.

As to the content of email #4 and beyond, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep it simple. Whatever steps you ask your prospects to take in each email, they should be easy to quickly accomplish.
  • Cater to multiple learning styles. Some people like to read, some people like to watch videos, others like actionable checklists. Mix it up.
  • Make it clear what step you want the subscriber to take next. At the end of each email, tell them when the next one will be coming, and hint at the valuable content that it will provide.

When you take the time to set up a smart, automated series of onboarding emails, you ensure that prospects receive a perfectly timed series of messages with highly valuable content.

You can gather valuable data about your prospects’ pain points so that your team can easily follow up with a personalized email or phone call.

Providing the right content at the right time is crucial if you want to avoid the high churn rates that many companies experience after the first interaction with a prospective customer.

That’s why an automated email series is so valuable, because you can test and tweak your emails until you find a formula that converts.

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