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.