• By Minal
  • 21st April 2017

Email automation is crucial to your small business. Learn why!

Email automation

Email automation is crucial to your small business. Learn why!

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You’re thinking that email automation is for big businesses, right?

There’s a BIG reason why you should be using it too:

You’re busy, but you need to get your marketing done. Email marketing should play a big role in that. Email automation helps you get your email marketing done, even when you don’t have the time.

Email automation is your secret weapon!

What is email automation?

It’s when an email gets sent from your email marketing tool automatically, based on an action the recipient has taken. It’s as simple as that.

For example, if you own a coffee shop, you might have a QR code printed on your menus. When your customers scan this, they are taken to a form to join your email list.

Here’s where the magic happens…

Each person who scans that QR code is put into a specific list in your email marketing software. This list is associated with the email automation (or autoresponder) you have set up. And hey presto, each new person receives a series of emails from you welcoming them to your email list.

Simple, isn’t it?

What should you include in email automation?

Let’s take the example of welcoming someone to your email list. Don’t make the mistake of trying to make the sale as soon as someone joins your email list. A welcome automation can help you gently move your readers to buy.

Here’s what I do:

I run a group for small businesses in Hillingdon, where I live. When a business joins the email list for this group, they receive three emails.

Email 1 – confirms that they have joined the email list and gives the reader a chance to get to know a bit more about the group. I organise monthly networking events, so here’s a chance to tell people about them. I also give people the chance to get to know me.

Email automation

Email 2 – I want people to be able to network online as well as in person. So, with the second email, I encourage people to follow us on Twitter and join the private Facebook group I’ve set up.

Email automation

Email 3 – I want to make the group relevant to small businesses in Hillingdon, so the last email asks people to take a quick survey. This will help me find content, organise speakers for events and generally make sure people are getting what they want from the group.

Email automation

How do you set up a welcome email automation?

Well, you need to use an email service provider. My recommendation is Constant Contact. It’s easy to use and keep track of your results. In fact, that’s what I use.

Each email service provider will have its own way to set up email automation. The trick is to plan what you want to do before you get started.

Yep, plan! And if you scroll to the bottom of this post, you’ll find my tried and tested template to help you do just that.

How do you know if your welcome email automation is working?

That’s simple…

There are two things you need to keep track of:

  1. Make sure you look at the reports your email service provider includes. They will tell you how many people opened your emails and who clicked and on what.
  2. If you’ve included a specific action in your emails, track whether people do these. For example, if you include a survey, how many people respond?

Now you know why email automation is so useful for small businesses, all you need to do is get started on yours. Get started with my Autoresponder Planning  Worksheet.


Also published on Medium.

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