Email automation for startups… it’s a must-have.
Email automation software is far more accessible today than it was 10 years ago. Historically, only enterprise software affordable to larger firms offered automated triggers, segmentation and resulting actions. But that’s no longer the case.
As well as specialised automation and personalisation software, most popular CRMs have in-built automation functions (usually included in the mid-tier package and up) too. So why do I see so many startups failing to exploit these tools? Usually prioritisation of other channels and/or knowledge gaps.
In this article, I’ll take a look at some of the benefits of automated email sequences and why every startup really must embrace them sooner rather than later.
There are two over-arching reasons why I advocate automated emails so fervently. There’s some caveats of course, but generally speaking an email automation sequence will:
- Help your business to re-capture lost leads (no check-out, no conversion from trial to paid, incomplete profile etc)
- Increase your conversion rate (from lead/enquiry/whatever to customer)
Now let’s dig a little deeper into the reasons why email automation can be so effective. It’s worth noting at this point that really I’m just talking about decent email marketing, but if they’re not being automated then they’re not scalable. Who wants to send non-newsletter emails manually? Exactly. Moving on.
Reinforce primary USPs
There’s a reason(s) why your potential customer made contact in the first instance. They want what you have. That original, compelling and irresistible USP that your website conveys so eloquently. Is it your users fault that they got distracted by shiny things and dropped out half way through the sales cycle? Yes it is. But we can forgive them and use automated emails to remind them of what attracted them to your brand in the first place.
Emails offer an opportunity to reinforce the benefits of your product/service. Talking about features has it’s place, but eyeballs don’t linger on emails for long, so focus on the benefits and keep it punchy.
Directly address known pain-points
The benefits of your product or service should generally be addressing the pain points of your target market. But it’s not necessarily possible to address all them on a landing page. An automated email is a good opportunity to show not only the benefits of your product but also to address potential barriers to conversion.
As an example, it’s possible that switching supplier might be time consuming or complicated, and the buyer decided it’s not worth it. An email sequence is an opportunity to address this known pain point and turn barriers to conversion into buyer motivation.
Offering a free trial? Help your customers to succeed!
Automation can be a fantastic tool for onboarding. Particularly when offering a free trial, you should make it extremely easy for your customers to discover the value in your offering. You can gamify the onboarding sequence, offer onboarding checklists and tours, or simply use emails to provide supplementary info that will help your customer to win. Seems obvious, when you think about it, but a frictionless onboarding sequence is one of the best ways to maximise conversion rates.
Amplify the reach of your blog content
Now this one may not necessarily impact conversion rates directly, but it should still add value for your users (hopefully you had your users in mind when you produced the content in the first place).
Gaining organic traction can be difficult, so utilising email sequences to get eyeballs on your valuable content is a no-brainer. And if it contributes to moving users along the conversion funnel, even better.
Promote your referral programme
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Referrals are one of the most cost-effective acquisition channels in a startup marketers arsenal. An automated flow of emails let’s you reach out to those users that weren’t aware of your referral programme, or just weren’t ready to refer initially. Remind them of the incentive and how easy the process is. By this point, they should have seen enough of your product/service to decide to make the referral.
And the end result, an overall reduction in CAC (customer acquisition cost). Yay!