As you can probably guess, automated emails are email campaigns set up to send automatically. They typically start with some sort of action by the customer, whether that’s signing up for your email list, browsing a product online, or making a purchase.
In a previous blog, we talked about the basics of email marketing and the four different types of emails: promotional, informational, automated/triggered, and transactional. While they’re all useful formats, automated/triggered emails consistently show a better return (measured in revenue per email) for companies that are selling a product. They also tend to have higher engagement rates (opens or clicks) for all types of businesses because people are expecting them.
Let’s take a look at two of the most common types of automated email campaigns used by small business. These are sometimes also called drip campaigns because you’re sending multiple emails over a period of time.
Welcome email series
A welcome email is your opportunity to introduce someone to your brand. Open rates for initial welcome emails tend to be high, especially if you’re an ecommerce company and customers want to see if there’s a discount in that first email. But open rates are high for welcome emails from professional services companies, too.
For ecommerce companies, sending a series of welcome emails instead of just a single welcome email could yield an average of 51% more revenue according to email data from Mailchimp. Even if you’re not selling a tangible product through email, a welcome series creates an opportunity to introduce your brand and start building a relationship with that subscriber.
For most companies, a welcome series of two or three emails over a week or two is sufficient, then you can add people to your regular promotional emails. The first email can be a pretty simple “Welcome! We’re glad you’re here.” The next email can provide some background about your organization and your team. The third can be more focused on the products or services you provide. Your final email might include a special offer or promotion to convert subscribers who haven’t yet purchased from you.
Client onboarding email series
Congratulations, you have a new client for your company! If you’re a professional services company, a client onboarding email series is a great way to answer some common questions and set clear expectations. As you develop this email series, you want to keep in mind your overall client process and the conversations you’ve already had with prospects before they convert to clients. You don’t want to be too redundant or create confusion with an onboarding series, but you do want to ensure everyone has the information they need.
Your client onboarding email series is unique to your company and your processes. If a new client has already signed up for your marketing emails and received your welcome series, you want to keep that in mind as well. This onboarding series might include a brief welcome email, a quick recap of background information about the company/team, and any key details you need the client to know or actions you want them to take. Do they need to complete a new client profile form? Do you want to remind them about turnaround times on projects and the hours you’re open?
Small businesses and nonprofits both can benefit from a welcome email series and a new client (or new donor/volunteer) onboarding series as part of their email marketing strategy. Once everything’s set up to send automatically, you simply need to keep an eye on your email stats and plan to review and refresh your content periodically. It’s also a good idea to set calendar reminders to sign up for your own email series every few months with a test email address to verify the automation is working as you expect.
If you need help developing an email marketing strategy or setting up an automated email campaign, the StoryPath team would be happy to help.