Solve the most common email problems with email automation Published May 3, 2016 Over half of all B2B companies cite email marketing as their most effective marketing channel for generating revenue, but if your business is failing to maximise email potential, could a lack of email automation be to blame? While newsletters and one-off campaigns will always have their place in your email marketing strategy, the smartest companies set up automated emails that are triggered by a user’s actions and also help marketers make better lead scoring, lead nurturing and generally improve the speed and efficiency of the sales process. Ultimately, the goal of marketing automation is to facilitate and secure sales. If you’re taking your first steps along the road to automation, it will be helpful to know what top sales problems email automation could solve for you. Knowing your audience Automation relies heavily on having a good single customer view, and one of the best ways to get a thorough understanding of your customers’ wants and needs is by asking them directly. The results you get will enable you to prioritise features for your audience more effectively because you’ll know what people are using your product for. Not only that, but you can attract new customers more readily because you’ll know what your target demographic are looking for from your products. Sounds like a win-win to us! A subtle reminder Repeat business is a critical driver of growth for many organisations, and most entrepreneurs would tell you that it costs much more to acquire new customers than it does to keep your existing ones. One of the best ways to generate repeat business from your existing customers is to send them regular reminder emails, which works particularly well for businesses that provide a service people use on a recurring basis, like mechanics who offer regular tune ups. Reminding forgetful customers that you’re still out there is a simple way to generate new business – think about your annual car MOT. A reminder email about that would not only be much appreciated, but is likely to also encourage plenty of new bookings from existing, happy customers. Customer gone AWOL Sometimes customers forget about us. It’s hard to imagine, but sadly true. If you’re concerned that you’re just a distant memory in your customer’s mind, why not send a reactivation campaign? A simple “We miss you!” message will do the trick. Once you’ve enticed them in to your emails, keep these leads moving through your sales funnel by reminding the customer how great you are with personalisation, incentives and great customer service. Don’t forget that subject lines are critical for time-based messages, especially if leads have not interacted with your business for over 6 months or more, and you can test your campaign’s effectiveness using A/B testing techniques. Abandoned shopping carts While mobile shopping is on the rise, completed mobile checkouts still need to catch up. Many consumers visit shops on their mobile devices but fail to finalise their purchase, often because they’re on the go and easily distracted. You can overcome this hurdle by automating emails that target these customers, encouraging them to re-visit their shopping cart or consider similar products. Determine whether your customers are abandoning their shopping carts on mobile or their desktop, and then determine which platform to reach them on in order to increase the likelihood of your customer making a purchase. Study your consumers’ shopping patterns to determine the optimal re-targeting timeframe for when your customers will be at their desktops (e.g. mid-morning) rather than on their mobile phones (e.g. during evening commutes) and will therefore be more likely to complete their purchases. Final thoughts Email automation can save your business time and money whilst still delivering a personal touch to potential leads and current customers, therefore increasing sales and retaining loyal customers. Automated emails can increase engagement, deepen relationships with your brand, boost conversion rates and can be phenomenally sophisticated if required. Whilst the big boys like Amazon have achieved new heights of sophistication with their “recommended for you” automated emails, those of us in the earlier stages of sophistication can still replicate this approach simply by utilising what we know about our customers and setting up triggered messages that work for you.