This month, Fundbox customer and digital marketing consultant Guillermo Ortiz is sharing some of his top strategies to help business owners improve their online presence and get more sales. Guillermo is an experienced SEO and PPC expert and the owner of Geek Powered Studios.
In this first installment of our digital marketing crash course guest post series, he’ll focus on the fastest way to get an email automation campaign going, with step by step examples you can adapt to your own business.
In running a digital agency, Geek Powered Studios, we’ve tried countless strategies to achieve our clients goals. In our experience, there are a few things that have emerged as the foundation for all our campaigns, no matter what type of business our client is in.
One of the most important tools you can use as a small business owner is not particularly new, yet many marketers are still not using it to their advantage. That tool is email marketing automation. Used correctly, email marketing automation can help you create an unbeatable machine and take your business to the next level, whether you’re a local service-based company, or a international e-commerce company.
Email Automation is Easier Than You Think
Email automation is an incredibly easy way to maximize the opportunity of converting a prospect into a customer. I’m sure there have been many instances where you’ve experienced someone fill out a contact form, then never answer their email.
Automated emails are a great way to win them back and start a conversation. Here’s how they work: Once you get a customer’s email, you can set up an automated campaign that will trigger a series of emails. Your automation provider sends those emails to the customer over a period of time that you determine.
It’s a good idea to create an email cadence that roughly reflects your customer’s buying cycle. (For example, larger purchases require more time, so it’s ok to schedule 5 emails over a 6 month period.)
Emails are probably the highest ROI channel you can use. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38. The best thing about this channel is its accessibility: there are many providers to choose from, at reasonable prices. Both the tool and the automation are free with Mailchimp.
How to Build a Great Email Sequence
Sometimes, just getting started with a new tool or communication channel can be daunting. I like to map out my communications with a simple outline, then fill in the blanks.
Here’s a simple email sequence that could apply to many different types of businesses. You can use this example to get started, then customize it to fit your business and customers.
Email 1 (Sends as soon as they complete the form)
- Information about your company
- Speak to how long you’ve been in business
- What makes you unique to your competitors?
- What accolades/awards/certifications does your business have?
- Include a call to action (CTA) at the end of the email to book an appointment, consultation, or something else. Always remember to include some next action that you want that customer to take.
Email 2 (automatically sends after 1 – 3 days and previous email was sent)
- Information about your services
- What are the different services you offer
- What problems do your services solve?
- Include a CTA with an offer or promo that is exclusive to the email
Email 3 (automatically sends after 1-3 days of previous email being sent.)
- Special discount or promo
- Make it time sensitive with an expiration
- Make the coupon exclusive and only available through this email
Even More Ways to Use Email
Once you start thinking about email marketing, you’ll find the possibilities are nearly endless.
You can send one-off campaigns for many different occasions or reasons. For example, you can ask for customer reviews, announce new services, or celebrate a holiday with something special like an event in your store, a virtual event online, or a “secret” VIP discount.
All of these initiatives rely on email to communicate them, and can help you stay top-of-mind with your past customers.
Keeping a well curated list of your customers within Mailchimp or another email provider will also serve you well as you layer on Facebook ads. Facebook will allow you to upload those emails and target people similar to you best customers. This is a great way to expand your reach and generate new ones.
Learn more email tricks: 8 Ways to Boost Email Open and Conversion Rates
Example: Getting Customer Feedback
Here is an example of a dead-simple automated email that goes to customers. In this example, we’ll show an email we sent to a roofing company customer of ours.
We created this using a review tool that automatically sends a customer an email when they are added to the email list. The email asks them to rate their experience and anything rated 7 or above triggers an email sent to the client asking them to leave a review online. Any poor ratings go straight to the business owner, so that they can address the issue right away, before that upset customer leaves a negative review online.
This email can have a significant impact: after receiving it, we’ve seen approximately 10% of customers leave a review. This has helped business owners tremendously, considering that Google looks at number of reviews as a local SEO ranking signal. Those positive reviews also look great to prospective customers researching businesses on the web.
Your Email Marketing Action Items
Ready to get started with email marketing? Or, if you’re already doing it, ready to expand your efforts?
Here are some actions you can take right away to improve your business email marketing:
- Sign up for an ESP or email service provider (eg. Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor )
- Import your customers
- Setup up automation (Free with Mailchimp)