How much importance do you place on leveraging your email list?
Do you send out a monthly news round-up?
Notify your contacts when you release new products or roll out updates?
Wish your subscribers a happy birthday?
While there’s nothing wrong with any of those processes, you could be making your email list work a lot harder for you.
By creating email marketing automation funnels.
Email automation funnels use triggers to send out emails when a particular action or series of actions occur. For example, when a subscriber joins or leaves your list, or when a visitor requests a piece of content.
The complexity of creating these funnels can vary – from the simple “welcome” email to an email that targets visitors after they’ve completed a very specific set of actions that deems them “ready” to convert.
Whatever type of funnel you want to set up, you’ll first need to get yourself some marketing automation software. Forbes will talk you through some of your options here.
Ready to get started? Here’s five simple email marketing automation funnels you can build today.
1. Subscriber Welcome
Have you ever subscribed to an email list and received a message like this?
Or worse – nothing at all?
It doesn’t leave a great impression, does it?
When someone subscribes to your email list it pays dividends to welcome them properly.
- Thanking them for subscribing
- Confirming what they’ve subscribed to
- Providing them with a reason to revisit your site right away (content, or a discount code for example)
Although these examples don’t tick all of the above boxes, I like this example from FinerMinds:
And I love this example from Social Fresh.
They both serve to begin the process of turning a subscriber into a brand advocate, and that’s really important.
Best of all, the subscriber welcome is a really simple funnel to set up. It’s a simple one-point trigger: new subscriber joins list > send welcome email.
According to ReachMail an average of 60% of subscribers to an email list are inactive.
That means a company with 1000 email subscribers has 600 subscribers who have expressed an interest in their company but are not currently being marketed to.
That’s a lot of untapped potential.
The best re-engagement emails feature a catchy subject line (okay, so the best emails – period – feature a catchy subject line). They also give subscribers a great reason to reignite their interest in the company and its emails, as well as a reason to revisit the website (think: discount code).
For instance, this email from Picaboo offers inactive subscribers the chance to purchase a $50 voucher for the site, for just $15.
While this email from Rue La La plays on the consumer’s FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourages subscribers who *are* still interested in the brand to reconfirm it, otherwise they’ll stop receiving their emails.
This approach might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually pretty clever. There’s little point in having inactive subscribers clogging up your email list (especially if you use customer profile data from that list to inform marketing decisions) so this tactic allows you to filter out addresses that are of no value to you.
3. Lead Development
If a visitor has downloaded content from your site – like PDFs or eBooks, or even taken up an offer – it’s a strong sign they’re interested in your products or services.
Don’t ignore these leads!
Nurture them, instead.
One way to nurture and develop these leads would be to send each one a handwritten email. Thankfully, there’s a far more time-efficient alternative to this: email automation.
You could create a funnel that sends every lead the same email. Ideally you’d want to automate follow up emails for further down the line (unless of course, the lead has already converted).
There’s nothing wrong with this strategy, but you can do better.
The “better” alternative is to set up funnels that trigger different emails depending on the content consumed, and where that content means a customer is likely to be in the sales funnel.
For example, I run a digital marketing agency, Louder Online.
On our site we offer a free download of our Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience.
I understand that most of the people who download this could be placed around the middle of the sales funnel: these are people who are interested in what we do and want to know more about it, but want to try and make a success of it themselves.
That’s fine. But does it mean we’re going to try and reach out to them via email? Hell yes. Their actions simply dictate what we’re going to say and when we’re going to send those emails.
We also offer complimentary site reviews.
Those who request reviews – whether they receive one or not (they’re time-intensive to complete and we’re only human – we can’t give them away to everyone, sadly) – are deemed to be pretty far along in the sales funnel.
They know they need to make changes to their site and boost their traffic, but they don’t know how. This is where we step in.
These people are such strong leads that while they will go into an email marketing automation funnel, we’ll also phone them.
Of course, we understand that choosing a digital agency is a big decision, and not everyone will convert right away. This is why they’re fed a series of friendly follow up emails, just to remind them that we’re still here and happy to help, when or if they decide to work with us.
4. Exit Emails
What happens when a subscriber requests to leave your email list? Do you let them go without a fight or do you try to keep them?
Needless to say, any request to leave an email list should be followed by a reply that, at a minimum, asks them to confirm their decision, and gives the subscriber a reason (or reasons) to stay.
Another great idea is to offer the subscriber the chance to change the type of frequency of emails they receive instead of leaving altogether. You can also leverage this strategy further by asking the subscriber why they want to leave, and using this information to guide future emails and processes.
Image Source: Only My Email
5. Abandoned Shopping Cart
An average of 68.63% of shopping carts are abandoned. This means that if you’re running an ecommerce site and aren’t emailing customers that have abandoned their carts, you’re missing a huge trick.
Customers abandon carts for a number of reasons.
- They were just window shopping
- They found the product cheaper elsewhere
- They didn’t trust the site
- The delivery fee was too high
- They want to come back later
- They simply changed their mind
Some of these problems have an easy fix. If customers are abandoning you because your delivery fees are too high, for instance, either scrap them (and absorb the cost into the price you charge for your products) or – at least – make the fees clear from the get-go so customers don’t have a nasty surprise at checkout.
Many other cart abandonments can potentially be saved with an email. If the customer planned to come back but forgot, for example. Or the customer was window shopping and just needed a little time to mull over the purchase, and a reminder, in order to return and complete it.
What email marketing automation funnels are you currently using? How well do they perform?
If you have a minute to spare, it’d be awesome if you could fill me in on the details in the comments below.
Tip: Hire an email marketing expert or freelancer on Fiverr.com.
Guest Author: Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Target and others, to build their online presence. See more from Aaron at Louder Online, his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+and LinkedIn.