No matter the marketing objective you’ve set for the quarter—whether it’s increasing sales, growing market share, increasing brand awareness or improving employee relations, it relies on your ability to get in front of your audience. Getting their attention, even for a moment. Unfortunately, with so many other messages and media competing for consumers’ attention, it’s no wonder that average email open rates are hovering around 25% and click-through rates are just above 4%, as reported by Smart Insights. Attention is a currency that you need to focus on earning, says Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group, which guides companies through disruptive technologies. “We earn it. We spend it,” Solis says. “But, [businesses] don’t think about it as a precious or earned commodity. They, in many ways, either take it for granted or assume they’re deserving of it based on what they do or what they offer.” With so much at stake, marketing automation has become a critical tool to ensure that you’re delivering personalized messaging to each of your subscribers—delivering them at just the right time in the right format to ensure that you’re increasing the likelihood that you get their attention. In other words, marketing automation allows you to reach your goals more effectively with less effort. Here are 12 types of email campaigns you should be automating to get more attention and engagement from your subscribers.
12 types of email campaigns you should be automating
1. Welcome emails
Your first interaction with a subscriber represents their first impression of your brand. The welcome should be delivered as an immediate response to the subscriber engaging with your brand— more than likely, at the point they sign up to receive your email newsletters. With automation, you can send that response in real-time, delivering a personalized experience that creates a dynamic relationship from the start. Make sure the welcome email reflects your brand and sets the expectation for what’s to come next as part of their relationship with you. With B2B campaigns, this could be a personal note from the CEO of the company. You also can experiment with some creative ways of engaging your audience, especially if you’re selling products. Showcase some popular items or highlight customer reviews as part of your messaging. To enhance the feel-good aspect of joining your community, consider adding a perk as part of your new relationship with your subscriber, as Overstock.com did with this email. You can keep it short and simple.
Whether your subscriber is engaged with you through an internal relationship or external relationship, you have the opportunity to streamline your onboarding engagement through email. For instance, as part of a new employee onboarding relationship, the company’s HR department can send relevant information in phases as part of an email marketing engagement. Marketing automation is ideal for streamlining the process. There’s no need to hit a button to send each email. It will be programmed to automatically deliver messages in phases. In the same way, clients who are new to your brand as part of a long-term engagement should receive information in phases to help them become more familiar with your services and products. Automated emails can be scheduled to be delivered at regular intervals or in response to certain behaviors from your new subscribers that indicate that they are ready to move on to the next series of more advanced content.
3.Thank you email
Think about the face-to-face interactions your brand would have with a customer if they were to purchase something from you or close a sales deal in person. Wouldn’t you train your staff to say “thank you” after every transaction? Of course. It’s a common courtesy to say thanks. That same type of engagement should be used to make your emails more personal. Look for opportunities to simply say “thank you” as part of the customer experience, and let your marketing automation do the work. Some of the most obvious subscriber interactions that deserve a thank you include a purchase, a sign-up for your email newsletter, a donation, a download of an ebook, new membership, a social share or a review. Keep in mind that your subscribers can be distracted by any number of things. Any engagement with your brand should be recognized, especially since they could have easily spent their time engaging with your competitors instead. Set up your email marketing platform to automatically send a “thank you” message as a response to those types of engagement. In this email message, CVS sends a customer a thank you in recognition of a donation made at one of its local stores. This engagement recognizes the many channels that you can engage with your audiences.
4. Confirmation of a purchase
The completion of a purchase on your site absolutely is a customer interaction that deserves attention. An email response serving as a confirmation of a transaction is essential. Not only does it give your customers assurance that the transaction was completed, it also indicates that your brand is paying attention; that you’re engaged and readily available to take care of your customers. Through email marketing automation campaigns, this confirmation can be delivered immediately, as it would as part of a face-to-face interaction in a brick-and=mortar store. It can be simple and straightforward. Your customer just wants to be assured that their transaction has been acknowledged. In this example, Pottery Barn acknowledges a purchase with a “thanks” as well as an anticipated delivery date.
5. Shipping details
Delivering a memorable customer experience shouldn’t stop after the confirmation of an order. Keep your subscribers engaged right up until the point that the order has been delivered to their doorstep. Through integrations of your delivery service and your marketing automation, you can keep your customer updated about the progress of their package right until it reaches their door.
6. Customer reviews
Asking your customers about their experience with you, whether it’s about your product/services, customer service or shipping/delivery, should naturally follow those interactions with you. Automate this stage in the relationship. Again, showing interest in the customer’s experience with you adds to the overall experience. It makes you come across as more human in a digital world and shows that you genuinely care. In the example that follows, Old Navy further engages subscribers after the purchase has been made, offering an incentive to give feedback.
7. Cart abandonment
“Hey! Where did you go?” “You left some stuff behind!” You need automated email messages like this if you’re battling cart abandonment rates, which are nearing 80%, according to a study by Barilliance, It’s important to keep the messaging light and helpful (not accusatory). Ideally, you should include a picture of the products that the consumer had placed in their cart only to leave before completing the transaction. It can serve as a visual reminder of why the consumer was interested in the items in the first place. Some companies are taking this type of transaction a step further by using marketing automation platforms to identify products that the client clicked through to review. Even if the consumer never put the product in their carts, an email campaign could be set up to encourage subscribers to take another look at those items.
8. Loyalty program
If you have an ecommerce store or a service-based business, loyalty programs can have a huge impact in encouraging repeat sales. Starbucks capitalizes on this type of program by offering freebies based on the number of points customers collect as part of their relationship with the coffee retailer. Updates on the points needed before the customer earns its next reward are updated in apps and emails. DSW also engages in a customer recognition program that captures shoe purchases, whether they’re online or at a local store. This automated response as part of a membership program can encourage further engagement from customers. It shows appreciation and keeps them updated on points.
9. Response to a download of ebook/whitepaper
If you’re giving something away completely free, do you really need to send a thank you note or some type of appreciation? Of course. This type of engagement is another indication that your subscriber is interested in your brand and what you have to offer. Or, at the very least, they’re curious. Take it as an opportunity to further engage your subscribers by sending an automated message that recognizes this step in your relationship. Don’t simply send the deliverable, Make sure your email automation is set up to send a thank you message as a response, as well as other recommendations for relevant material.
10. Sending a reminder
Streamlining your processes always should be a priority when you’re trying to gain efficiencies throughout your company. It can boost long-term profitability. That means you may need to remind customers to make payments or follow through on any other obligations they have made to you. Automation can be the key to helping you get things moving as they should. The bonus? They can deliver timely reminders without much effort on your part on an ongoing basis. Rent the Runway, for example, has a business model that heavily relies on customers returning clothing in a timely manner to ensure that the products can be made available to other customers. The online retail shop uses marketing automation to send out reminders to ensure that customers clearly understand the next steps required to return borrowed clothing.
11. Event updates
Do your subscribers a favor when they sign up to attend an event, whether it’s a concert, seminar, conference, class or webinar. Set up a workflow that ensures that your subscribers not only remain excited about the event but that they receive reminders to ensure that they don’t miss it. Emails can be scheduled to be delivered periodically leading up to the event. Consider adding hotel, restaurant, and parking recommendations if the event requires travel. Or simply send reminders, even on the same day, in the case of a webinar.
Every relationship experiences lags, no matter what you do to keep things interesting. At some point, some of your subscribers will stop engaging with you. They may stop purchasing, opening your emails, visiting your website or downloading materials. Set up a workflow in your automation platform to re-engage subscribers who are showing signs of inactivity. Send emails with offers, surveys, and other compelling emails to try to re-engage these subscribers. These can be triggered based on the length of time that your subscriber has failed to engage.
Through email automation, you can build better experiences with your subscribers, the key to reaching your marketing goals. Talk to our team at Delivra. We’ll give you more insights on how automation can work for you!