Let’s face it: you’re too busy to send emails out to prospects on a regular basis. Fortunately, modern technology can automate that process for you.
If you’ve haven’t set up an email automation program, now is the time to do so. You’ll save precious time while also increasing your reach and boosting sales.
As an example, you might want to set up an automated email system to send prospects a daily “helpful lesson” email for 25 days. That’s a great way to demonstrate that you’re an authority in your space while staying in contact with people in your target market.
Here are the steps you need to follow to get that kind of automation program up and running.
Get an AutoResponder That Supports Automation
Before you do anything else, you need an autoresponder that supports email automation.
If you’re not familiar with the word “autoresponder,” it’s just a fancy way of describing a service that lets you blast out emails to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people at once.
Fortunately, most autoresponders on the market today support email automation. Services such as Aweber and GetResponse let you build campaigns that take much of the work out of sending emails to prospective clients.
Do some comparison shopping between autoresponders. Check reviews, prices, and the overall level of service you’ll get for the (monthly) amount you’ll pay. Then, pick the service that’s best for your business.
Capture the Emails
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself, “Yes, I’d love to get an email automation system up and running, but where the heck do I find email addresses of prospects?”
That’s a good question.
In fact, collecting emails is probably the hardest part of the whole process. That’s because people are usually very unwilling to share their email address.
Nobody wants spam.
So what do you do? You give them a very good reason to provide you with their email address.
One of the most popular ways to do that is by offering a freebie. Usually, it’s best to make the freebie something that’s of interest to people in your target market.
For example, if you’re marketing to digital marketers, you might offer an e-book with numerous tips on how to build brand-name awareness online. Give it a clever, clickbaity title so that the people you’re trying to reach are more likely to be interested in it.
Then, show a popup on your website that offers the freebie. Let people know in the popup that you’ll email them the URL for the e-book. That will give you an excuse to collect their email address.
Once you have that email address, you can start the campaign.
Here is the one I am running right now. It is working really well, with about about a 3% conversion rate.
We pop ups for many clients and see a lot of success. For one client, we are capturing over 1,500 emails a day.
If you don’t have time to write an e-book, keep in mind that there are plenty of other ways to build your email list as well.
Space Them Out
The next thing you need to determine is how you’re going to space out your emails. That might be one of the most important decisions you make.
Why? Because if you send emails too frequently, you’re likely to get labeled a spammer and people will unsubscribe from your list. On the other hand, if you send emails too infrequently, people might forget all about your brand between emails.
It’s a balancing act.
Make an up-front determination about how often you think people in your target market are willing to hear from you. Then, set your autoresponder to send emails at that interval.
But don’t stop there. Test your strategy.
For example, send some recipients emails once a day and other recipients emails every other day. After a month or so of testing, see which group has the best response rate.
If you see a clear winner, start using that strategy going forward.
Email marketing automation needs to be looked at just like a conversion funnel. Every email needs to be analyzed, as well as the timing of that email.
Measure Your Success
Analytics are an important component of all good digital marketing campaigns. Email marketing is no exception.
Once you’ve kicked off your campaign and let it run for awhile, it’s time to see if your efforts are bearing any fruit. You’ll do that by checking the campaign stats.
Again, most autoresponders offer analytics. If you somehow got stuck with an autoresponder that doesn’t give you open and click rate information, then you need to find another service.
The hardest question to answer when you’re just starting out with an automated campaign is: what’s a “good” open and click rate?
Many things contribute to open rate…Industry, subject, type of content, time of day, day of the week, etc.
That’s also why you need to run tests.
Vary your subject lines and email content between recipients. Find out which emails get you the best response and then run with those.
Determine your baseline, test and improve.
According to Smartinsight.com, “Across all industries the average results for UK SME email marketing campaigns were: Open rate: 22.87% (2013: 21.47%) Click-through rate: 3.26%.”
So that should give you a starting point.
Start Your Email Automation Now!
Email automation offers the best of both worlds. It gives you a way to stay engaged with people in your market while simultaneously giving you more free time to focus on what’s most important: growing your business.
If you need help with email marketing or automation, let us know.