Marketing Automation is not a buzzword. It’s an industry standard at this point.
If you have signup forms on your website, blog, social channels or anywhere else, you should have an automation to at least welcome those new subscribers.
Time is of the essence here, and when someone is showing interest in your company, it’s extremely important to engage with them ASAP.
Some of you may say, “I know, I know. I need to set up Automation… but I just don’t have time! It’s too complicated” or whatever excuse you want to use.
The Case for Marketing Automation
The bottom line here is that creating an automation will save you time and when it comes to the idea of it being too complicated well, that’s why I am writing this blog. To demonstrate how any business can create simple automations to at least welcome new subscribers, leads, contacts, etc. The days of sending an email once a week/month to your newly added subscribers for that time are over. People want your information as soon as they sign up. If they don’t get it from you promptly … they will find someone else.
Marketing Automation has proven to drive excellent ROI and experience to businesses and subscribers.
A study by Nucleus Research shows that businesses who use marketing automation see an increase in sales by 14.5% and a reduction in marketing overhead of about 12.2%. A quick calculation of email ROI makes that a… well… at least +15% increase in ROI by only starting with marketing automation.
Start with “Welcome”
On top of saving you time and money while increasing sales you are also providing an excellent experience to your subscribers.
Having a welcome series automation allows you to set a standard for the user experience.
This means that every time a new visitor goes to your website and subscribes, you know exactly what they receive and when. This sets a clear standard and will help you identify issues when optimizing your marketing efforts. If you see your open rates are low, you can work on adjusting the send time or Subject line and From name of your automation. If you see low engagement rate, you can work on adjusting the content of the email and CTAs.
Sending welcome emails manually opens up a huge issue when trying to identify where to optimize since each email is sent at a different time from the moment your subscriber signs up and may even include different text.
I don’t want to hear, “I have a reminder that notifies me every day at 9:00 AM to send my welcome emails…” What if you are sick? On holiday? Or snooze the reminder to “do it later?”
Save yourself time and stress, and get rid of unnecessary reminders and create a welcome email series. You have no excuse to avoid this.
Marketing Automation Made Easy
We have heard it all! We made sure to make your experience creating a welcome series extremely easy.
With Marketing Automation Pro tool, we created a few templates to get you started right away.
I clocked myself using the Welcome Series template, and I was able to create a full welcome series automation (with tips and tricks) in under 15 min. Your first time around may take a little longer than that, but trust me, you will be so proud and happy once it’s done!
Get Started with Marketing Automation
If you are reading this blog, you are already a step closer to getting on board with Automation.
The next step is to login to your Benchmark Email account (click here if you don’t have an account) and get to work! We even created a downloadable PDF that explains our Welcome Series Template and how to use it:
Final tips and thoughts on the Welcome Series Automation:
- Keep it simple. If you are just getting started with marketing automation, one email is enough to welcome your subscribers. You can edit your automation later on as you gain experience.
- Warm Welcome. Remember the purpose of the email. It’s to welcome your new subscribers. Unless you state it at the point of signup, avoid selling in a welcome email. Think of building a long-lasting relationship. The welcome email is intended to give a warm welcome and to connect with your subscribers.
- Calls to Action. As most, if not all emails, avoid too many calls to action but most definitely include at least one! To help build a long-lasting relationship it is important to do this from day one. Include a link to your website, social channels or a really interesting blog. This will help your subscriber get used to clicking on your emails so when you start sending promotional emails in the future, your subscriber is already familiar with engaging with your messages. It also tells your subscribers email provider (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) that they like to engage with your emails, resulting in a higher priority to ensure your emails always land in the inbox.
- Reporting. Once you create the welcome series, set yourself a timeframe to review the results. If it is your first automation, a 30-day window is great. That doesn’t mean you have to change anything. It’s just a time to review the automation and think of improvements. You may find that it’s working great and no changes need to be made! If that is the case, check back around in another 60 – 90 days. Don’t forget about Holidays and other events within your company. You may want to make a special welcome series depending on the time of the year.
- Welcome Series Per Channel or Signup Method. Start with your most influential channel or signup method. If most of your subscribers come from your blog or website, start there for your first welcome series. As you nail down the most important one, you can go on to the next one. This may be your social channels or other avenues you may have. Can you have just one welcome series for all of your channels? Sure! But I recommend giving somewhat of a custom experience based on where the subscriber came from. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, just play with the wording or message to match the place they came from.
- BONUS: List Management. This is optional, but I highly recommend keeping your “New Subscribers” separate from your “Existing Subscribers.” This may not apply to your single email welcome automation, but it makes much more sense when you have a longer welcome series with multiple emails. Doing this allows you to separate new subscribers from the rest. Why is this important? Two main reasons:
- Filter freebie signups. If you are giving something away in exchange of the signup, (e.g. A free report, pdf, infographic, etc.) you will get a lot of signups looking for that free asset. But when it comes to potential buyers… you will want to filter the freebie chasers out. Having a longer welcome series can help you identify quality subscribers who may show interest in your product or service by tracking the engagement with your emails. Towards the end of the welcome automation series, you can add conditions to check who your most engaged subscribers were and automatically add these to your “Main Subscriber” list for more aggressive sales follow-ups later on. It’s a good way to weed out “junk” signups and focus on real interested signups.
- Promotions. Imagine it is your slow seasons and you want to send a special promotion to try to boost sales for that month. Keeping your lists separated allows you to target new subscribers with specials to earn their business and avoid sending to subscribers that may have already purchased at the full price.
You can learn more about using goal-based lists for marketing automation in a post we recently published.
As mentioned, marketing automation can seem intimidating, and many times you give up because you just don’t know where to start.
Take it with bite-size pieces and start to automate what already works for your business.
This is why we highly recommend to start your automation experience with a welcome series. Its simple, has value and its an excellent way to get your feet wet and see the power of automation.
Join Us For Automation Fridays
If you have a welcome series to share with us, or a success story after implementing automation for your business, please post it below in the comments or join us for Automation Friday! We meet every week to discuss automation tips, strategies and examples.