Are you a local business owner or blogger? You’ve probably heard the term ‘email automation’ before, and you might be wondering what it means, and why it’s useful for business owners…
Ultimately, it saves you time. In this post we’ll explain how, using a FREE online program called MailChimp. But first….
What is email automation?
Email automation is kind of like having your own personal assistant robot…let’s call him Ted. Ted’s sole purpose is to help you connect and engage with your mailing list, so that they will feel more secure with your business and trust you more…
All you have to do is program Ted with the right commands (we’ll show you how below), and he will never let you down.
Alright, but why is email automation useful for my business? Do I really need a Ted?
An automation done well will help you to retain your clients, and engage them with your business…
Some important things to remember are:
- Serve, don’t sell.
- Be helpful.
- Give value.
This doesn’t mean send out discounts and specials every week, it can be as simple as saying a quick ‘hello’ when a new client signs up for your mailing list, and letting them know where the best spot to park is, or what to bring to their next appointment…
Think of useful knowledge that will make their life that little bit easier, and build trust between them and your business…
Ok, that all makes sense, but I still don’t know what an email automation does?
‘Email automation’… I guess that means it will automatically send my emails for me, right?
Yep, you guessed it. A great feature of email automation is its ability to deliver an email, or a series of emails, to your mailing list without you physically needing to be there when it sends.
The automation will send whether you’re at your office desk, at home, or out for a day at the beach – no fuss, no stress, and it’ll NEVER forget to do it, even if you do!…
This frees up time and headspace for you to focus on other aspects of your beautiful business – too easy.
Simply set your preferred trigger, and you’re done…
Great! But hang on a moment please… what the heck is a trigger?
A trigger is a command to take action
Triggers are what makes email automation a little different to a standard email campaign. A trigger tells Ted when to take action, for example when someone joins your mailing list.
With triggers you can drip-feed the same content to your whole email list over time, regardless of the date/time they subscribed.
Without a trigger, you have to manually go into your MailChimp account to tell it when to send your emails. With a trigger, it can happen automatically.
Triggers help you maximise your messages
Wondering why triggers are so useful? Or still a little confused about it all? Think of it like this:
Jane is the owner of a beautiful florist business, and likes to send out an email at the end of every month to share a useful flower tip with her mailing list…
This is great for the subscribers that are already on Jane’s list, but what if she gets a new subscriber in April?
The new subscriber will have missed the emails from the previous months… January, February, and March…
That’s three useful tips that the new subscriber would find interesting, and valuable. And three emails worth of time and effort that Jane could be benefiting from.
For the new subscriber to receive these tips as well, Jane could do a few things…
- She could manually send each of the previous months emails to the new subscriber – all at once.
This is a little inconvenient, for both Jane, and the new subscriber. It’s a bit much to receive four emails in a day… and what if the new subscriber joined in September…? That’s nine emails! Jane doesn’t want to flood her new subscriber with too much information… her emails are intended to be helpful and exciting – not overkill.
- Instead of starting with the April email, Jane could manually send the email from January to the new subscriber, and then the following month send the February email, and then the March email, and so on and so forth…
But this is a lot of work for Jane to manually keep track of – and this is just for ONE new subscriber… what if she received a new subscriber every day?
Yikes. It’s not a practical use of Jane’s time or headspace… she would start to dread every new subscriber that signed up for her mailing list!
So then, how can Jane’s new subscriber receive the emails from January, February and March, without her having to manually send them all through at once, or keep track of what email each individual subscriber is up to…?
Here’s where automation makes Jane’s life easy, with the handy little trigger feature…
Jane can design an automation sequence, which includes say six emails initially, to welcome her new subscriber and share information about her floristry services.
She can set the “trigger” to automatically start drip-feeding this sequence to every new subscriber who joins her list.
She doesn’t have to be at her desk. Or remember to send out the emails. Once she’s designed the sequence once, Ted will handle the rest.
Quick and easy.
Great! I get it now, but what information should I send in an email automation?
How do you write a good automation series?
First, choose ONE goal for your automation… This is the value that your audience will receive from your emails. A great one to start with is called a welcome series. The goal is to welcome your new subscribers to your beautiful business.
The “trigger” for this automation is simple – it is set to send as soon as a subscriber signs up to join your mailing list…
The next part comes down to your content, and tone.
Content is King.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes and imagine you are taking their client journey with them… They’ve just interacted with your business for the first time…
What questions are they likely to ask? What won’t they know, yet? What value can you offer to help them continue doing business with you?…
Start by answering the top FAQ’s about your business, and drip-feed this useful knowledge to your mailing list.
Remember, automation should never annoy, or overwhelm your audience… the aim is to give value – ‘serve, don’t sell.’
You want your emails to excite and delight them!
Keep it conversational.
When you’re writing your emails, imagine that your client has walked into your office, or strolled into your store, and you are talking to them face to face – keep your tone friendly and helpful.
And that’s that.
So, are you ready to create an automation sequence?
If you’d like a hand creating an automation sequence, we have two ways we can help.
We run a three-part workshop in Perth, Western Australia called Grow Your Business With MailChimp Automation. The next series starts on the 16 November 2017.
If you’d rather outsource it, have a chat to us. We can write the program for you and / or upload it into your MailChimp account. Prices start from $455.