How many hours each week do you spend in your inbox?
Most marketing and sales professionals live there, constantly sending and answering emails to prospects or leads. That’s not counting the clients you may also be communicating with.
Have you ever realized you forgot to send that critical follow-up email or haven’t checked in after a proposal? You’re not alone.
We’re so busy, we even forget to capitalize on the simple, obvious opportunities that exist.
That’s why we need email automation.
If you’re still relying on your memory or a task list to take care of the following, you’re wasting your time and missing opportunities.
Here are four truly simple ways to use email automation to level up your marketing and sales communications.
When Someone Joins Your Email List, Add Them to a Nurture Sequence
Whether you offer a lead generator (ideal), send emails to existing customers (good), add random people without asking (seriously, don’t do that), or ask people to “Join Your Newsletter” (no one wants it), the first thing you should do is warm them up.
They should become accustomed to receiving emails from you. Add value without being sales-y. Give away free resources. Tell them more about your products’ benefits.
You can automate all of this to start going out the moment they type in their email address and click submit.
In ActiveCampaign, we like to write a 6-8 email sequence that goes out over a couple of weeks to new list members. These emails can be the same to every person or personalized based on their form submission.
[Not sure what to write in your emails? Go pick up a copy of Marketing Made Simple or take the course at Business Made Simple University.]
Let’s say you ask them to identify the industry in which they work in the request form. You could provide a completely different Case Study based on their response.
It may be tempting, then, to add a bunch of form fields you can use to personalize the emails. Just remember, the more information you ask for, the better the perceived value of the gift or lead generator must be.
Now, it won’t matter if you get 15 requests for a lead generator at 2 am. You don’t have to respond immediately or remember to reach back out. Set up a nurture sequence and warm them up to doing business with you. Make sure there’s a clear call-to-action in each communication so they can start the process when they’re ready.
When Someone Schedules a Sales/Discovery Meeting, Send them Communications in the Lead-Up
First, if you’re not using an automatic scheduling tool like MixMax (our top choice) or Calendly, you’re likely wasting a ton of time going back and forth over email to schedule meetings. These tools allow you to set your available schedule and let clients or prospects choose a time that works for them.
If you’re using these tools to book discovery meetings, you can create a separate sequence that nurtures them in the lead-up to the call. Depending upon how quickly it’s happening, you may not want to pack this automation with many emails, but you may be able to get one or two in.
Often, you can use these emails to set the stage and add value before you sit down to talk about their particular needs. Use them to frame the conversation around the areas where your clients usually struggle, along with the solutions you can provide.
If you’re getting a ton of meetings with the wrong prospects, provide content that helps people filter themselves out. Let them know the types of customers you can best serve and the ones you can’t.
You can also use this automation to overcome common objections. If you know your price may be higher than other options, identify the additional value you bring over competitors. Head off concerns about the benefits your products or services can deliver.
Using email automation to pre-nurture a sales call could make the conversation more profitable and increase your conversions.
After You Send a Proposal, Follow Up with a Sales Nurture Sequence
Speaking of increasing conversions, how many “Just checking in on the proposal” emails are you sending?
We all hate sending these emails. We hate getting these emails. But we do it anyway because it seems like the logical thing to do.
It isn’t the only thing you can do.
Try sending no-sale follow-ups. These emails may have similar content to your marketing and pre-sales call emails as they should continue to display empathy (we understand) and authority (and we can help).
If you’re in a competitive industry where customers receive multiple bids, let them know why yours should stand out.
- Highlight the other work you’ve done.
- Let them know how easy the process is.
- Show your experience in navigating complicated situations.
- Kick in some extra value to sweeten the deal.
Don’t assume that everyone else is sending the same “checking in” emails. If they’re more proactive, you could be missing out on an opportunity. Using email automation, you can nurture them towards a decision without having to remember to send the emails at all.
You can sit back and wait for the signed deals to start coming in.
Once Someone Signs the Proposal, Automate the Onboarding/Kickoff Emails
Let’s be honest. The day we close the deal is one of the most exciting moments of any engagement.
Then the real work begins.
Most companies have an onboarding process that needs to start the moment the contract is signed.
- Collect billing information and send the invoice.
- Add customer information to the CRM.
- Schedule a kickoff call or the date to begin work.
- Request critical documents or assets.
- Bring them up to speed on the next steps.
No matter your business or particular process, these things need to get done quickly and consistently so your company can begin serving the client.
Some, if not all of it, could be automated.
- If your process requires a kickoff call, what if you immediately sent out a calendar link with available dates? You could use the same tool (e.g., MixMax) to schedule this meeting as you did with the sales calls.
- You could automatically email a link to a form where they can add their customer information and upload any necessary documents for the project.
- You could begin introducing them to the team and the process, all without remembering to do so.
- Internally, you could notify key stakeholders in the project so they can begin preparing.
Automated emails could accomplish any or all of these with the right process and platform. Not only will it make life easier for your team members – they won’t have to remember to send out a bazillion emails – it will ensure the process is consistent and customer experience is positive.
The Right Tool For the Job.
Hi, have you heard me mention ActiveCampaign?
This is our go-to, all-in-one marketing automation platform to help businesses get more done without actually having to do it all.
Does it send out email campaigns? Yes.
Does it have a built-in CRM? That too.
Is there a deal pipeline? Yes.
Landing Page Builder? Yup.
Chat? Hi – how can we help?
Can you automate email communications, notifications, tasks, movement through deal pipelines, etc.? All of that and more.
Does it cost as much as Hubspot? Not even close.
We recommend this tool for every one of our clients, and we use it for our marketing. We’d love to introduce you to it on a call if you want to learn more. Or check it out here.
Want Help Mapping Out One of these Sequences?
Schedule a Strategy Session where we’ll help you design an email sequence with subject lines, content, direction, and the steps necessary to create your own time-saving automation.