In most cases, “set it and forget” is not the best approach to small business marketing.
After all, your biggest advantage as a small business is the relationships you’re able to build with loyal customers. And those relationships take time, a commitment to detail, and a willingness to put in some serious work.
But there are also ways to automate your marketing, without it taking away from the personal touch small businesses are known for.
An automated email series is a great example of this.
With automation, you can create a series of personalized emails that are sent to a contact, in the order and frequency you decide.
Email automation allows you to be more personal because you’ll be crafting messages that speak to the individual contacts within specific groups of your email list. Each and every contact will go through the same great experience you create for them whether they sign-up to your contact list today or next month.
If you’re still not sure if email automation is right for your business, don’t worry.
Here are five signs that email automation could be right for you:
1. You’re short on time
Every business owner is short on time. And as a result, any business can benefit from putting some of their marketing on autopilot.
While you’ll still have other marketing activities to keep up with, email automation allows you to set up a schedule of mailings once and know that they are being delivered to the right people at the right time.
That way, you can build stronger relationships with the people who opted-in to receive updates from your business, without sacrificing anything from your already busy schedule.
2. You’re having trouble sticking to a schedule
Sticking to a consistent email schedule isn’t easy, especially when you have so much going on.
While you try your hardest to be consistent, it’s easy for emails you expected to send once a week, slip to once a month, or even once every few months.
Email automation helps you overcome this short-sighted approach, by allowing you to set up a schedule that works on its own. You can schedule emails to send once a week, once a month, or on a varying schedule based on what you’re hoping to achieve.
Once your email series is set up, you can add contacts to your series, or have them opt-in on their own.
3. You’re having trouble turning new contacts into paying customers
Sure, you’ve gotten people to join your email list, but how effective is your business at getting those new contacts to make a purchase, visit your store, or call to schedule an appointment?
With automation, you can set up an email series to address that exact challenge.
Let’s say you have a list of prospects that joined your list after attending an event. They are familiar with your business but aren’t quite sure how your solutions can benefit them. After sending an initial welcome email, you could then use an automated email series to help introduce new contacts to the services that you offer.
You can share best practices to demonstrate your expertise, highlight successful clients in a case study, and even include details for contacts to schedule a consultation.
Focusing on delivering a quality experience right from the start, gives you the opportunity to build the same trust and loyalty with a new contact that you have with people who have read and engaged with your emails for years.
4. You’ve lost touch with existing contacts
On the flip side, you may have existing contacts that you’ve lost touch with over time.
This could be the result of a change in contact information, or some other change in their life. But it could also mean that they’re looking for something different from your business.
With automation, you can create a series of emails designed to re-engage existing contacts.
This could include updates on new products or services, special offers or discounts, or helpful content — like blog posts, guides, or videos — that you think they’d find interesting.
You could even include a survey, asking them to share their feedback or ideas.
5. You want to reward loyal customers
Every business has those customers — your biggest fans.
They engage with you on social media, visit your store or sign up for services, and open and read every email you send out. They also talk about your business and have probably helped introduce you to a few of their friends.
An automated email series makes it easy to reward those loyal customers in a way that’s personal and unique to them.
You can also use these emails to introduce a referral program to reward customers for recommending you to others.
Get more from your marketing!
Email automation is all about helping you get more from your marketing efforts.
Whether you’re trying to save time, strengthen connections with existing contacts, or set yourself up for success with new contacts — an automated email series can help.
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Need help getting started? Learn more about creating a successful automated email series.
Have additional questions about using email automation for your marketing? Let us know in the comments below.