Automated Email Marketing, 6 Steps That Lead To Increased Sales

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Building a sustainable advantage over your competition can be as simple as starting with email. Investing in an automated marketing system like MailChimp, Hatchbuck or Hubspot can help you better manage these emails, and the leads they are sent to. Automated marketing aims to segment, nurture, educate and personalize these messages to better target your skills to the right customer.

Workflows are a series of automated actions that you can trigger to occur based on a person’s behaviors or contact information. Using workflows can save you time and better target your message. But before you dive too deep into creating workflow, these six steps can help you make your workflows more efficient:

Step 1. Understand who you are targeting and develop a persona.

Kim Goodwin in Designing for the Digital Age, writes that "personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behavior patterns among your potential users and customers."

A persona you create might be all the potential customers looking for a complete kitchen remodel, or those who have never hired an interior designer but want to do so now. Realize that not all potential customers are the same, or that they might be at different stages of making a sales commitment. Talk to regular customers, or people who might be interested in your services but haven’t signed on yet. Find out what they are looking for, and the problems they need solving.

Step 2. Set a goal for your campaigns.

Aim for a 10 percent click-through rate for emails sent. The industry average is 3-8 percent, but how many leads can you make into customers? Set a sales goal, or aim to add 10 new customers by the end of the year.

Step 3. Create Lists by Persona.

My lists include Residential Architects, Interior Designers, Design/Build Contractors, and Suppliers such as subcontractors, and interior décor manufacturers. There is no one-size-fits-all customer, and there are usually several ideal customers for any given business. If you own a plumbing company, for example, you might cater to the landlord of a big apartment building as well as the owner of a single-family home. You might want to create a persona, for example, for corporate clients and one for residential clients.

Step 4. Write emails before you need them.

Instead of hastily putting together a landscaping promotion email every spring that you blast out to everyone on your email list, try crafting a few key emails you will want to send in the next few months. Write different versions of emails to target your different types of customers, making sure to personalize the messages accordingly. Through automation, you can send emails customers want to receive at the right time of year, and that focus on the information they are looking for.

Step 5. Build a lead-nurturing workflow.

Think of the emails as a narrative. A first email goes out followed by another in three days followed by another three days later. They educate your potential client while keeping your business at the front of their mind. Make sure to offer information relevant to the group you’re targeting in each email. Provide the prospective client premium content such as a white paper, slide show of a high-end project or a free estimate by using a well-designed call-to-action button that links to a landing page.

Step 6. Analyze and update the campaign regularly.

Not getting the feedback you were looking for? Don’t sit back and watch your strategy flounder. Try something new or tweak your message.

Lastly, remember Spam is a canned meat product by Hormel that's loved by Hawaiians. Send emails people want to receive and keep all of your Spam for a lunchtime snack.