For many email marketers, conversion of a lead stops at the point when it subscribes or opts-in to your emails. However, this does not necessarily mean that the customer intends on a long term relationship with the product or service that you are offering. Automated emails like a thank you or welcome note might not be enough to retain the customer. It would be a very short-sighted marketing strategy. Autoresponders on the other hand, are the nitro boosters of maintaining and keeping your customer interested in you and also growing your business quickly.
What is an autoresponder ?
Put merely. Autoresponders are automatic emails which get sent to a specific group of people on your email list. Events of interest trigger these emails. These events include joining your list, buying a similar product and browsing patterns. You can also create a new list specifically for those who demand your product.
Autoresponders mainly consist of either educational or promotional content. Educational or know-how content might include videos, infographics and free ebooks while promotional content can consist of offers and discounts. Ideally, it strikes the right balance between know how and discount offers. The email sequence should be consistent in addressing the needs of your prospective customer and should always highlight the potential of your product or service.
What is the purpose of an email autoresponder ?
Once you have scheduled your sequence of autoresponder emails and everything is in perfect order, you will gradually observe that the line of automated emails will nurture trust with your prospective customers. The regular presence in the inbox through guide lessons and information on your industry or various features of your product will slowly interest the customer who will gradually start reading your emails in entirety, visit your website and soon start doing business with you. Once a customer has brought your product, you can use an autoresponder to sell similar or complementary products. It is useful to retain your customer.
Nurturing trust and warming up leads
The most popular and straightforward method to start building a relationship with a potential customer is to immediately( or with a short gap) start sending them information material, insights into the industry or the product. These free email autoresponders ensure that everybody on the list would get the best content and have a personalised experience.
Converting leads into customers
You need to convert your email subscribers into customers who pay. Autoresponders are the most effective way of doing so. It makes the potential customer like you and knows you before they buy from you. You can sell a product without being forcible. Also, you can build curiosity and anticipation before launching a product, announcing a new offer or presenting new features and designs on your website. In this way, you can get many subscribers to buy from you.
Promoting cross sells and customer retention
After a customer has purchased a product that you are selling, you can send an autoresponder showcasing or promoting other similar or complementary products in which the customer might be interested. The customer will not only get a quick idea of all the products you are selling but would also find it easier to plan his next purchases with you.
For instance, if someone buys a mobile phone set, you can offer a mobile phone cover, selfie stick and battery charger bank as a cross-sell in your autoresponder sequence. You can either send it immediately or send it after waiting for a few hours. In some cases, you can also send autoresponder offers on products just before the due order date to frequent buyers of products of regular use.
Points to note before sending an email autoresponder
You have to always keep in mind that at the end of the day you would like to see your autoresponder sequence to be a hit to gain maximum conversions. For this to materialise, you must always keep in mind the needs of your audience. So in the planning phase of writing, try to focus on information-oriented topics.
Initiate a dialogue with your readers and ask them simple queries over email. A survey is also an excellent option. Social media forums and groups are potential starting points as well. You will get an entry point into the likes and dislikes of your readers. It would be best if you did not miss out on the latest blogs, hashtags and trends on social media to understand what is influencing the number of likes and shares. One easy way of following this is to keep an eye out for information on your niche or industry on sites like Medium and Quora.
Keywords and self assessment
It is always wise to start from whatever you already have in hand. Go back to your posts and check the analytics- which post performed best, how many comments and shares you received? Based on this, try to make a rough sketch of it. Now, based on the posts, the readers were most interested in, implementing those keywords or very similar popular keywords in your autoresponder.
It would be difficult and time-consuming to maintain and keep track of your complete email list and subscribers. It will also be unwise not to understand your subscribers at a more personal level. For this microanalysis, you can use email segmentation.
It is a method or process by which an email list is segmented into smaller groups based on certain criteria, specific interests of the customer, buyer persona, demographics etc. Such grouping will help in sending more target-specific and relevant autoresponders to each group to yield better results. Email segmentation significantly increases open rates, click-through rates, and decreases unsubscribe rates, thereby bringing in a much higher Return on Investment (ROI).
Reader centric planning
You must always write your autoresponder email with the reader in focus. It would help if you concentrated on their needs and demands. Your writing should offer solutions to problems the encounter and not be exclusively about your product or service. A few things you can take note of are as follows-
- Points of difficulty for my subscribers
- Current aims or desires of my subscribers
- Reason for subscribing.
- Solutions to their problems.
- Benefits of reading my email.
Personalising your email content is probably the most crucial step to implement. It makes the writing relevant and much more valuable to your subscriber. It is not limited to including your subscribers’ first name on the email sent. Including phrases like “5 ways to improve your conversion rate” or “How can I improve my email template content” would have an infinitely more enormous impact than any synthetic phrase without ‘you’ and ‘I’. You always have to remember that the subject line holds the key to increasing your open rates and click rates. If you have a personalised and polished subject line, more than half of your job is done. Personalisation in email creates curiosity in the minds of the reader, leading them to open the email. It would be best if you used this curiosity to drive home a great email and gain business.
Campaign tags in Mailercloud
Added to the email segmentation process, Mailercloud offers the Campaign Tag feature. A campaign tag helps distinguish individual campaigns. It also groups email campaigns based on its purpose and theme. Subscribers who open email campaigns with the assigned tags will be tracked to create further segmentation. In future, these segments would come in aid for creating a campaign targeted at those subscribers.
As an example, let’s say you are sending emails regarding various health insurance plans, and you want them shipped to those contacts who are interested in health-related issues. You can tag your campaign as ‘Health.’ Now you can choose all those recipients who have previously opened your email campaign with the ‘Health’ tag. Mailercloud offers easy filtering of email campaigns with the help of single and multiple tagging options.
What must I write ?
Writing a new content will always be arduous and involve an investment of time for you or your content writer. You might not be motivated enough. However, exciting and exclusive content can interest a lot of readers. The fact that it is not available anywhere else on the internet is reason enough to open and read your emails. However, for various reasons creating an entirely new content might not be possible. For that, you can try the following tips with or without combining with your new and original content ideas.
- Regenerating blogs
Most readers do not read all your content. Regenerating old blog posts is a good way to renew and increase traffic on your page. Search for the posts which have the highest value or which you think might be popular with your new subscribers. These blogs can be based on a topic or can belong to a broad category and make them a part of your autoresponder sequence.
- Free eBooks
Subscribers love to have their information ready-made in a single unit, without having to search on multiple webpages. You can compile many long guide or knowledge base topics about your product or service into an ebook. It will act as a golden egg for an autoresponder sequence and would increase your conversion.
Autoresponder email marketing is an impactful tool for most businesses. It can be beneficial for expanding small and medium-sized enterprises. Autoresponders based on offers and discounts can serve the purpose, but information embedded in it in the form of ebooks amplifies the response. Proper segmentation and features like Mailercloud’s Campaign Tags help in selecting the right set of subscribers to gain maximum results in the form of conversions and customer retention.