Increasing Customer Engagement Through Email Marketing Automation

Mark Middlebrook
Posted: 11/30/2016

When a customer becomes a client for the first time after buying a product or service, many companies neglect to establish ongoing touch points within the first 90-180 days. Email marketing automation can help setup and run multiple common and sophisticated conversations with the client in order to keep them engaged with the company or sales person.

SEE ALSO: How Changing Customer Expectations Have Redefined Branding

Although each interaction should be unique and personalised, and because many interactions with the business may require unique conversations, marketing teams should use email marketing automation to lock down a minimum service standard.

According to an article in B2B Online, “Nearly one in four respondents (to a survey) found marketing automation systems too complex to be used effectively.”

Here is a list of some of the top client touch points I could automate without disrupting any change in interaction the client might have with the company:

  1. Welcome email
  2. Keeping in touch email
  3. How are we doing (survey) email
  4. Thought you should know
  5. Progressive profiling survey email
  6. Happy Anniversary email

Certainly this list of emails is not the only ones you can set up. Depending on your business and service offerings you might find upwards of 10 emails you can automate.

Welcome email – First 24 hours

The purpose of a welcome email is to recognise the value of the new relationship established between the new client and your company. This validation helps confirm with the client that they are important and that the company recognises them as an individual and not just a number. Certainly, it’s up to the company to live up to this expectation. Many do not.

The welcome email should be sent out within the first 24 hours after the first touch has been made with the new client.

Caution: Sometimes validating whether someone is actually new or not can be tough. In these examples, the data element for new may only be defined from an email address.

Keeping in touch email – Day 5

As the welcome email serves more as a confirmation for the new client, the keeping in touch email helps the company introduce how the client and the company can expand their relationship together. It’s important in this email to not sell products or services but rather to:

  • Educate the client on how to use services purchased
  • Provide tips and advice to the client on how to get the most out of their purchase or service
  • List ways the client can interact with the company

Caution: If the company lists ways to contact it, be sure you understand the end-to-end experience of contacting the company so that the copy in the email sets the appropriate expectation.

How are we doing (survey) email – Day 10

The survey email is a critical part of the customer experience feedback loop. This is a simple and standard email to schedule in the automation workflow. Measuring client satisfaction may not seem necessary, you may even feel your gut tells you all that you need to know.

According to Survey Monkey, companies who measure their Net Promoter ® scores (NPS) are a third more likely to have growth rates of over 10 per cent a year.

Caution: Before implementing any feedback survey you must create an efficient follow-up process. For clients who score you low on your survey and highlight a specific poor experience, you must setup an alert system that triggers follow up by a specific person or team.

Thought you should know email – Day 30

Ensuring clients are engaged with your company in the first 90 days is critical to the onboarding process. The purpose of the ‘thought you should know email’ is to:

  1. Remind the new client that you haven’t forgotten about them
  2. Begin to introduce other valuable services that the client may find helpful

Caution: If you are concerned that you cannot populate your ‘thought you should know email’ with relevant information, then consider using this step to opt your client into a weekly email newsletter.

Progressive profiling survey email – Day 180

Progressive profiling is the process of gathering additional unknown information about your client (or prospect) throughout ongoing interactions. Within the first few interactions with a new client or prospect, it’s unlikely that you know everything about them – like dating. Gathering more information over time helps provide better insight to better target products and service experiences.

There are many software tools on the market that help deliver a progressive profiling experience such as HubSpot, Silverpop or Marketo, but there are some things you can start with on the less sophisticated side to enhance your client profile, these may include:

  • Do you prefer email or text messaging to important updates from us (company)? This helps the company understand the opportunity for channel preferences.
  • Which social media site is your favorite (list)? This helps the company understand how much importance to place onto social media communications and advertising.
  • Are you an iPhone or Android user? This gives the company insight on the willingness to buy premium products and inform decisions on app features.
  • On average, how many vacations do you take each year? This can inform the company on disposable income levels.

Happy Anniversary email – Day 365

Certainly, the Happy Anniversary email is one of the easiest emails to schedule. At a minimum, companies should thank their clients for doing business with them for a year and offer some valuable thank you.

Caution: It can be dangerous setting up an automated 365 day anniversary email without checking if the client is still a client before the email is sent. If you’re unable to perform this check then you may consider not setting up an anniversary email.

Not all email automation programs can be linear but the first 180 days above should be able to be placed into a set and forget mode.

This article first appeared on The Digital Standard.

Mark Middlebrook
Posted: 11/30/2016