Why Email Automation?
So: let’s take a look at what makes email automation so powerful.
First things first, you have to use email segmentation to make your email templates more interesting. Consider the nature of your contact’s business, their level within the organisation, and any other details like geographical location. This is going to help you personalise everything you send out, both in terms of using your client’s data (name, business) and in terms of the industry they’re a part of (using sector-specific language). You might also group your clients by how much they spend on your services, which services they purchase, and what part of the world they’re from (if yours is an international business).
Follow-up emails are a B2B marketer’s secret weapon. Once a trigger has been triggered, an automated email will be sent based on your client’s activity/order: say for example that it’s a week since you sent them a piece of finished work, but they haven’t got back to you to let you know if they’re happy with it. You could set up an automated email to check back on them and make sure that the work didn’t get lost in their spam folder. Depending on the kind of business you run, this could really help: if you have hundreds of clients, you won’t have to waste any more time chasing them up!
Marketing automation technology has the power to track every step of the client’s journey, and can make a lukewarm lead much warmer. Sequences of emails are effective in establishing positive customer journeys that help move them along your sales funnel. Customers who are ready to make additional purchases or invest in more services are more likely to go back to a brand which they trust, and a consistent flow of engaging content is the perfect way to establish that trust and bring them back.
Content is Key
No matter how perfectly penned the content of your email is, it’s never going to resonate with a full 100% of your audience. The key to creating a killer email automation strategy is through A/B testing and finding out what your audience REALLY like.The art of automation can’t be perfected overnight by any business. It takes time to gauge your audience’s response and tweak your campaigns for the best possible results.
The beauty of automated email strategies is the data which businesses are presented with after they’ve ran a campaign. Using this data eliminates any guess work and transforms the art of automation into a genuine science. So it’s vital that you don’t expect to get your content perfect from day one.
Evaluate your content prior to it reaching your recipients by asking yourself these following questions:
- Does the tone reflect the culture of my company?
- Is it helpful in resolving the segmented recipient’s common business challenges?
- What is the goal or call to action I’m looking to achieve through this content?
- Will it inspire the recipient to move forward in their customer journey?
- What is the content indicating my business provides that they won’t receive from my competitors?
If you can answer these questions positively, you’re well on the way to building an email sequence that’s going to win you more leads.
Hints, Tips and Strategies
If you’re a new contender to the arena of automated B2B email marketing, we’ve put together a list of the most effective strategies in use by the most successful B2B businesses operating today. If you aren’t using these, you’re falling behind.
Internal Workflows – Save time by allowing an automatic internal workflow to follow up on all of your leads for you. If a prospective client fills out an enquiry form, don’t wait for your sales rep to get around to responding. Set up your workflow to send a warm welcoming message. You can use the opportunity to let them know how long they might have to wait for a response. That’s expectation management in action!
Educate your Audience – The content that you include in your emails doesn’t always have to be about your business and products: there’s no I in sales, right? Educational emails are the perfect way to build brand trust, allowing your clients to see that you and your brand are a leader in the industry. As long as the content is relevant to your audience you can use anything from videos, to articles, to upcoming educational events your clients may be interested in.
Follow Up on Previous Clients – This idea basically comes from the B2C idea of following up on abandoned carts. Have you ever had a regular client who fell off the radar for a while? Of course you have. Maybe in the middle of getting plenty of work done, you even forgot about them for a while-- it could happen to anyone. Well, with email automation, you could automatically get in touch with them after a week or two to ask if there’s any problem with your latest work together, or whether they’re still looking to book future work. And all without having to think about a thing!
Remember to be realistic when it comes to your B2B automated email strategy. Not every customer or client will be excited by every piece of content that you send their way, but that’s okay! Everybody’s different, and even if clients ignore your emails that’s only going to help you to develop a more concretely intriguing stream of automated emails for the future.