Do you remember the heyday of email chain letters? It was considered good luck to send an email to 25 of your closest friends, or else there were (silly) consequences. Email chain letters were the early 2000s version of “viral” content before social media existed.

We may not forward emails for good luck anymore, but the magic of that process has stayed with us because of its effectiveness. Marketers want customers to take action and either forward or respond to their marketing emails, so how can we harness the power of the email chain? 

Around 60% of consumers say they’ve bought an item because of a marketing email, so the reward for investing in email marketing is clear. Whether you run a small business or work on a small team with few resources, email automation can increase your team’s overall efficiency. 

Getting started with email automation may feel overwhelming at first, but like the famous phrase says, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” 

Getting Started With Email Automation 

Instead of using the “batch and blast” approach of sending endless junk mail to your leads, you can automate your email marketing to send the content that interests them at the best times possible. Not only will this prevent you from losing subscribers, but it’ll also result in many more sales for your business.

Successful email marketing involves using the right software. Benchmark Email provides a suite of powerful tools allowing you to create colorful, engaging emails that’ll engage your client from the moment they subscribe to their first purchase. Even after that, you can automate your emails to encourage repeat purchases and enhance customer loyalty for your brand.

Upon signing up, you can use these tools to build your email list, collect data on your subscribers, and set up a stream of consistent emails, timed perfectly to keep your leads engaged. You might want to start gaining subscribers by offering a special discount for every user that signs up to your email list. Adding pop-ups and website forms to your landing pages will also help entice casual visitors into becoming subscribers.

Having a way to sign up for your emails is just part of it. You have to prepare for the opportunity where your customer is going to want to buy your product by outlining an email marketing strategy to reach them effectively.

Establish an Email Marketing Strategy 

Create an email marketing strategy document with a workflow that’s clear and actionable, with objectives for you and your team along the way to meet your end goal. Even if the document isn’t 100% perfect, it helps to have an outline to refer back to in case anyone loses track of the overall goals of your email campaigns

Study the data in your CRM to determine your audience. Look at statistics on your customer’s industry, region, job type, and spending habits. When you have a detailed profile of your customers, you can better understand their problems and build your strategy to provide solutions or even pre-empt those issues altogether. 

Make sure you write down specific, reachable goals for your email marketing efforts. For example: increase email open rate, drive more traffic to the site, improve conversion rate, or increase click-through rates. 

When you have your strategy and goals set up, you’re ready to assess how you’re going to measure the success of your campaign. Connect your goals with specific metrics that illustrate how close you are to reaching them. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you should focus on raising your conversion rate. 

Identify the Right Type of Emails to Send

A strong welcome email ensures that your subscribers won’t be tempted to unsubscribe anytime soon and can also make them feel valued and appreciated. You can even personalize your emails to address each subscriber by name – Instapage found that personalized emails increased transactional rates by six times. 

Figure out what types of emails best serve your strategy. Welcome emails typically have high engagement, but there are other types of emails you should consider as well, including promotions and newsletters.

Promotion emails provide an opportunity to interact with your customer regularly with special offers or discounts. The more they engage with your automated emails, the more promotions you can send to get repeat sales. 

Newsletters will keep your customers up-to-date on your business, as well as offer special how-tos or news links that are relevant to your audience’s interests. This is also great for loyal customers who want to know about new products as they roll out. 

Segment and Streamline Your Leads  

Email automation has the benefit of enabling you to target specific segments of your email list. It can trigger emails to customers based on data such as how they interact with your website or respond to your initial touchpoint. For example, if you send them a welcome email and they click on multiple links, they’re showing high interest. They’re likely to engage with your emails in the future.

Major companies often customize the content they send to their subscribers based on factors like age, gender, and location. Hubspot notes that segmented email campaigns can boost revenue by up to 760%. 

For example, you can significantly enhance your open and click-through rates by sending promotions for male products to male users and likewise for females. Similarly, you can send them blog posts and videos that are likely to interest them based on their age, background, and website activity.

You can enhance your email automation strategy by sending an introductory survey to users asking for some basic details and what kind of products they’re interested in. You can then use this information to create refined segmented email campaigns to keep every subscriber engaged.

Use Email Templates for Efficiency 

Marketing automation will do a lot of work for you, but one thing it can’t do yet is write your emails. To make the best use of automation, you can’t sit down and write personalized emails to all of your customers. You would be writing single-use emails all day!

As you experiment with your email marketing strategy, remember to stay agile. Figure out how much of your process can be automated and stay ready to make changes to fit your customers’ needs at any time. 

Find email templates created to reach specific audiences and goals and try them out on your audience. If they’re effective, great! If they’re not, try a different approach. 

You can also automate your reporting, setting up your automation software so that you get regular emails with reports about the progress of your campaign. The data you receive can be integrated and tracked with a program like Google Data Studio.

After all the effort you’ve made to build up your automated email campaigns, you don’t want a small mistake to turn off potential customers. Automate QA testing that scans your emails for spam trigger words. Litmus Checklist will walk you through how to check your emails for load time, accessibility, and content validation. 

Use Enticing Content to Keep Customers Engaged

Many consumers unsubscribe to email lists because they find the content boring or unnecessary. If you want to keep your leads engaged and convert them into customers, you need to send them content that’ll catch their attention and keep them reading.

It’s best to send your subscribers content that relates to them. For instance, if you’re trying to sell running equipment, use enticing subject lines like “These Discounts Will Enhance Your Running Workouts This Winter.”

Your leads are also much more likely to open an email if they receive some kind of reward, such as a 10% discount voucher for your business. Vibrant visual content such as high-quality images and videos can also keep your leads engaged and encourage them to buy something.

Email automation software helps you track which kinds of emails have the best open and click-through rates so you can refine your strategy. You can even use A/B testing to test two different emails against one another.

Time Your Emails for Better Results

Sending your emails at the right time is just as important as sending the right kinds of emails. Email automation software makes it easy to time your emails perfectly so your subscribers never feel like they’re being spammed nor ignored.

After your welcome email, you could start sending emails every couple of days. You can also send your emails at times when your leads are the most likely to open and actively engage with them, such as first thing in the morning and during the lunch hour.

Remember to end each email with a persuasive call-to-action encouraging subscribers to check out your latest products or reminding them not to miss your latest sale. This can help boost click-through rates and enhance your sales.

Automation can free up valuable time for you and your team. As you get more comfortable with the process, use the data to further target specific segments of your list. Not only will automation make you more efficient, but it will also provide you with vital information you can use to increase your open rates, conversation rates, and website traffic