Mailchimp, which we love for e-newsletter marketing, has just made automation available on its free plan, and this could transform the way small businesses communicate with their customers.
What do we mean by automation? It’s the process of sending out predetermined emails when certain events or triggers happen.
You could set up a standard email thanking a customer when they have made their first purchase, automatically send out a shipping confirmation, send a follow up email to subscribers who have (or haven’t) opened a particular communication, or even a “Happy Birthday” message or offer – you set the triggers to whatever is most effective for you, it could be an action or an inaction (i.e. those who click on a link, or those who don’t click on it). You can send a series of emails if that’s appropriate, at whatever intervals you require, or on specified days or dates.
The key to making your automated communications welcome to your customers is making sure the content is relevant, the frequency is appropriate, and that they don’t sound like they’ve been generated by a robot! Although everyone loves the efficiency automation can create, no one wants to feel that they are part of a conveyor belt of automatic emails, so make sure your content is personal, friendly and above all useful.
Nicola, from Pink Spaghetti Bishop’s Stortford and Surrounds, was approached by a customer about using automation following a Mailchimp training class Nicola had given.
She wanted to send a series of informational emails to customers who had purchased a set of 10 different products. The emails were set up to be delivered one per day to the customer: beginning with a ‘welcome’ email, followed by 10 explaining the uses of each product, and finally a ‘thank you’ email to finish.
The open rate for these emails, at around 66%, has been very encouraging, and she has had positive feedback about the informative nature of the content.
There are many other uses for automation – if a customer enquires and the enquiry doesn’t result in a sale, a series of follow up emails could, for example, offer further information. If you have an idea what may be putting potential customers off making a purchase, you could address these possibilities in a series of emails – information which may seem too detailed in one follow up can be sent gradually in more manageable chunks which are easier to read.
Remember, as with all promotional emails, you have to give the recipient the option to unsubscribe, and one of the advantages of using software such as Mailchimp is that this is done automatically.
Pink Spaghetti can help with every aspect of Mailchimp automation – from setting up templates to running your whole campaign, contact us for more information or for a free Newsletter Health Check.