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Have You Fallen into One of These Common Email Automation Pitfalls?... Here's How to Recover

Time is precious these days, especially when it comes to small businesses. There is only so much that can be done on a daily basis, and you need to make sure you are focused on what is important at all times. The best way to keep people coming back? Superior service. It would be great to send individualised messages to each and every customer your business comes into contact with, but it simply takes too much time.

That’s why you’re looking to email automation—but it’s not as simple as setting up your CRM software and ‘away we go!’ There are actually a few common but easy enough to avoid pitfalls that you have to be aware of…

Have You Fallen into One of These Common Email Automation Pitfalls?... Here's How to Recover LG
  1. Sending Too Many Emails
    At the top of the list when it comes to email automation pitfalls is sending too many emails. You may be excited to finally have an email automation platform that allows you to send out lots of emails, but that does not mean you should. I’m sure we have all had a few instances come up where a company sends so many emails to our inboxes that we simply move them to the spam folder and forget we ever knew them. Don’t be one of the companies. Use A/B testing to check how often customers are happy to hear from you.
  2. Not Keeping it Professional
    While it may seem great to send goofy cat videos to all your friends and neighbours, it may not be the best thing to do when it comes to your customer base, depending on your audience. If your audience is on the older side, they might not appreciate you being too personal, although a younger audience might not mind the odd gif of a cat trying to squeeze into a cereal box (if, somehow, it’s relevant to your brand!) And make sure to proofread thoroughly, especially when it comes to the subject and first paragraph. It’s bad enough when one email is badly written; it’s ten times worse if it’s your email template.
  3. Not Sending Relevant or Up-to-Date Content
    Similar to the previous point on cat clips, another common mistake is sending out emails that are not relevant or up to date. Everyone has come across instances where a company sends an email about a special deal, only to find out that it was the wrong product or had the wrong date listed. Make sure all email communication is relevant and up-to-date to keep consumers in the loop. It’s as simple as double checking your email schedule to see if it’s A-OK.
  4. Falling Afoul of Compliance Regulations
    GDPR is nearly here, and it’s changing marketing from the ground up. In particular, the way that you gain a customer’s consent, set out your privacy policy and process/store data may all have to change. In terms of email automation, you have to make sure that all of your emails pass the ‘legitimate interest’ test. Is it in your customer’s legitimate interest for you to message them? Can you safely assume that when they signed up for your emails, they knew that they signed up for whatever you’re emailing them now? If not, you wouldn’t be GDPR compliant, which could land you with a hefty fine.
  5. Not A/B Testing
    Once you’ve got your templates and all your customer data is imported to your brand-spanking new CRM software, you’re ready to go, right? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re done. You just can’t get away with not A/B testing your campaigns. It’s what all your competitors are doing, and it’s what you should be doing too.

So while you should do everything you can to avoid these pitfalls, what should you actively be doing? Consider these simple strategies:

Upselling

the easiest and best strategy to incorporate when first using email automation is to upsell customers. Simply recommend similar products or services that your company may be offering in a “thank you” email after purchase.

Rewarding loyal customers

along with upselling, another great way to increase revenues is to reward your most loyal customers. It could be as simple as a 5% discount on their next purchase of a product or service. It isn’t necessarily the discount but the fact that you are showing how much you value their continued business that matters the most.If you're thinking about how to do this over a seasonal period, you might want to check out this article.

Seasonal newsletters

a great way to professionalise your email automation and to prepare ahead of time for seasonal events like Christmas is to create seasonal newsletters. The sky's the limit as far as how creative you want to be with your newsletter. It’s a great excuse to keep things light-hearted and start building up some real customer/brand relationships.

So what can email automation help you to do?

  • Closer relationships with customers – over 90% of internet users check their email on a daily basis. Email automation helps you get in touch with customers more often, thus building closer relationships over time.
  • Segmentation – what is great about email automation platforms these days is that they allow you to send out emails to certain segments of the population such as age, gender, and location.
  • Saves time and money – email automation platforms are extremely efficient and time-saving. Who has the time to send out hundreds of individual messages?
  • Measures results – many email automation platforms have the ability to track emails to figure out such categories as open rate, conversions, and delivery rate. At the end of the day you want to make sure your emails are getting through to customers, and email automation can help do this.

Email automation isn’t simple, but it’s a lot simpler if you stick to these five basic guidelines—especially compliance. It’s one thing for a particular marketing campaign not to work, but a fine of the likes you might get under GDPR can be up to 20m Euros or 4% of your annual turnover, whichever is more… So don’t say we didn’t warn you!