Summertime is all about spreading your wings and setting your sights on new horizons. So why not take your subscribers with you by setting up a new automated journey this summer.
In this post, Steph Thompson from the VS Email team outlines the benefits of automation and the three journeys that she recommends you set up to give you a taste of automation.
After reading this blog and beginning email automation, you will likely become hooked! There are hundreds of automated journeys you can set up to help optimise your email marketing, but let’s cover the basics first…
Benefits of automation
95% of companies who are already using marketing automation software for other channels are now using automation for their email campaigns, too
The best thing about automated emails is in the name, they are automated.
Once you setup the email, they will send automatically when subscribers meet the criteria that you have set. There is no need to click send every day, you can trust that these emails will send themselves. This can help to save time as once these automated emails have been set up, you can then focus your attention on more responsive, seasonal and promotional one-off emails to make better use of your time.
Automated emails can be tailored to the recipient, ensuring subscribers are sent relevant content. These emails will help to nurture the subscriber through the funnel, as no-one wants to receive emails that are irrelevant and unhelpful. That’s a one-way ticket to an unsubscribe! An automated workflow journey should – and will, if done correctly – help increase subscriber engagement.
66% of people now say that automation is the key deciding factor in choosing their email service provider, even more important than cost!
Welcoming new subscribers
One of the key automated journeys that we recommend here at Visualsoft, and which you should set up this summer if you haven’t already, is the welcome journey.
A recent study by Return Path found that 75% of the top 100 retailers now have a welcome program in place.
This welcome journey is key for welcoming your new subscribers into your brand and nurturing them towards making a purchase. The first email they receive from you should be the welcome email, notifying them that they have been added into your mailing list and will be receiving emails from you going forward. We want this to be sent to them first, rather than a sale or promotional email, as this can make the new subscriber just feel as though they are another address on your system.
The welcome journey is the time for you to showcase what you want the subscriber to know about your brand. What are your USPs which set you apart from your competitors? Do you have recognised brands that you sell which you want your new subscribers to know about? Building brand awareness at this early stage will make these new subscribers much more likely to engage with your brands and your emails.
Add a personal touch, personalise the subject line to show your new subscribers how happy you are that they are now part of your brand. Make them feel special.
Retaining the interest of subscribers
At Visualsoft we also recommend that our email marketing clients use email automation to retain the interest of their subscribers who may not have been engaging with you for a while. It is important to not only focus on your new subscribers, but to remember the ones who have been on your mailing list for a long time!
You can setup automated emails to send to those who have purchased from you before, but not in a number of months. Why have they not purchased from you? Was it because you were sending them emails that they weren’t interested in? You could ask them to update their email preferences so that you can ensure you are sending them relevant emails going forward.
It’s important to remember that these subscribers are not a lost hope. They have purchased from you before and so can again. They may just want a little TLC. Sending them a targeted, personalised automated email can help to just remind them that you are there and still care.
Automation is key to engage with those subscribers who have purchased from you in the past, as automated email messages average 10.5% higher open rates than other emails and 152% higher click through rates.
Rewarding your loyal subscribers
Automated emails can also be great for rewarding your loyal customers. These subscribers should be targeted differently to other subscribers in your mailing list; they are already engaging with your brand, have purchased from you several times and interactive with the emails that you send.
Automated emails can be used in this instance to send emails after a recent purchase, give them a reward such as a discount off their next purchase, let them be the first to know about your new arrivals or sales and promotions, launch a loyalty points scheme, ask them for a review and so much more!
We want your loyal customers to understand how much you value that they have kept purchasing from you. The above emails can help them to understand why they should keep purchasing from you and not move over to begin purchasing from one of your competitors.
Companies who send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that relate to the customer’s purchase journey.
Did your subscribers enjoy their journey?
Once you have set up all of these automated journeys, you then need to decide which elements have been a success. Are there certain elements of the journeys which we think we could improve on to make better?
For example, should you alter the subject line to increase open rates? Should you have sent the email 1 week after a subscriber has purchased rather than 2 weeks? Should you set up separate welcome emails for those who have purchased and haven’t purchased before?
Once set up, all of these little tweaks can be made easily and quickly.
The key point to remember when it comes to email automation is that Rome wasn’t built in a day! Perfecting your automated journeys can take time and will help you to fully understand your subscribers, so it’s worth the effort. Automation should be constantly reviewed to optimise performance, adhere to changes in your industry or just shake up your brand a little bit.
Isn’t it time you got on board?