As we explained in Chapter 2, there is no limit to number of categories to organize your audiences. You can categorize them by gender, pain points, occupation, income, job title, location, and so much more. You then have to write targeted, personalized emails for each audience segment.
Even if you had all 24 hours in a day all to yourself, you still wouldn’t have time to send personalized emails to everyone on your contact list. We’ve touched on this point in this guide before, but it must be emphasized.
You’re trying to run a company and maybe even enjoy some personal time away from the job. You have to take care of yourself too.
How can you send personalized emails to each segment without foregoing your sleep? Well, email automation is the topic of this guide. So, we will try to answer this question.
Let’s start by defining automated email templates.
An automated email template is a kind of like a game of mad libs. With mad libs, you get a paragraph with certain words blanked out. These may be nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Your job is to come up with amusing words that fit those blanks to make your own unique prose.
The same concept applies to automated email templates. There is one key difference here.
Instead of trying to be funny or amusing, you’re trying to convert leads and get sales. The blanks in your email might be based on following details about the lead:
With email automation, those blanks may be automatically filled in via the software. As long as your lead and customer contact information is accurate, the emails essentially write themselves.
Because these emails are written automatically, there might be concerns of them being too mechanical or "devoid of soul". However, these emails are far from stiff or robotic. They can be as creative and enticing as you want. By browsing various templates, you can decide what kind of copy you’d prefer in your emails. You can even customize the copy of these emails to craft a perfectly targeted message. Once the blanks are filled in, simply set up a sending schedule and the emails are sent automatically to the leads' inboxes.
First, you’re not sitting there typing emails to everyone in your contacts list. That frees you up to go home, sleep, eat, and refresh yourself. Most importantly, you free up a lot of time to focus on true marketing tasks
You can also ensure that your emails go out exactly when they’re supposed to. For example, let’s say a customer in another country buys your product. Since their time zone is different than yours, it’s morning for them and the middle of the night for you. They don't know it, they just want a confirmation email as soon as they finish their purchase.
If you send the confirmation after you wake up, the transaction confirmation would be delayed. They might think something went wrong with their purchase or they lost their money. You don’t want to be up all night sending out such emails.
This is where automated templates are very useful.
Before you start to use email templates, you must know the function of each type of template. Let's explore various types of automated email templates and the appropriate times to send them.
The following 10 types of automated email templates are the most common ones. Depending on your own company’s marketing needs, you may be able to identify fewer or more types . We’ll also delve into when you should send each template type.
Autoresponders are the instant emails your leads or customers get when they perform an action. These actions include signing up to an email list, buying a product, or registering to an event/webinar. So, autoresponders are, essentially, confirmation emails.
Obviously, these emails must arrive within seconds or minutes after the transaction completes. This way, the lead/customer is not worried about his contact information or hard-earned money.
These are extremely repetitive emails. Their content doesn't need to be personalized beyond the first name and details of the transaction. The majority of the content in these confirmation emails would be the same to all customers. Since, these are the lowest priority and highest frequency emails, it makes sense to write them once and reuse them as and when needed.
Fortunately, most email automation software have already written these emails for us to reuse. We just have to tweak them for our brand and start using them as autoresponders.
A welcome email is self-explanatory. It may arrive shortly after the autoresponder email. Essentially, you send this email once a lead gives you their contact information. We already touched on welcome emails in the first chapter of this guide.
A Welcome email includes a short message welcoming the new lead into your list. It is also advised to include some freebies and/or links to your best content as a welcoming gift.
A content upgrade is an opt-in form that promises free content upon signup. For example, when a visitor (i.e. a potential lead) is reading your blog, you’d give him valuable, free content that’s relevant to what they’re already reading about. You offer him a content upgrade in an opt-in form halfway down the page.
This is a great means of increasing the size of your email list. You will have to create several content upgrades based on the topics you write about most on your blog. The effort will be worth it once you see more leads on your email list.
Companies take ages to acknowledge a problem that the customer has reported. If they email the problem, they would have to wait for 24-48 hours for your support team to acknowledge. Instead of making them wait, the company could send them an immediate automated email acknowledgement. This way, customers get an assurance letting them know that their complaint has been received.
It doesn’t need to be detailed or personalized. Keep the copy quick and short. You want to mitigate the customer’s anger, letting them know someone will get back to them soon. That’s about all you need to say.
With a social email, you’re trying to get your subscribers to follow you on various social media platforms. The sooner you send this email, the better it is, according to marketing suite Sumo.
When they subscribe, the leads are generally hesitant. They’re doing their research about you. So, you might want to include a line or two about following you on social media in your welcome email. It provides a great way for the leads to see how a company interacts with its audience on social media.
The more they get to know you, the more they will trust you. The faster they trust you, the faster you can start selling them your products.
Bombarding them with purchase links won’t work as well as a social email (or a welcome email with social links) could.
Feedback emails are sometimes called question emails. That’s because you can use them to ask for feedback or other general questions as well. The other types of questions could be varied: a thought-provoking query about your industry or you want to know more about the needs of your customer. Many companies use question emails as feedback emails to gain insights into the leads' needs and their purchase process.
These emails must capture information at the most personal level, only then the insights would be of any use to marketers. Also, customers tend to ignore feedback mails because it doesn't give them anything helpful, only takes their time.
Hence, these emails must be the most personalized ones. You can still use an automated email template, but you’ll be filling in a lot more blanks than usual.
Feedback is an invaluable part of growing your company, you can't grow if you don't listen to your customers. It’s worth taking the time to get it, even if you have to put a little more effort into your emails.
Once your lead becomes a customer and buys your product/service, you should send them a review email. You must time it away from the date of purchase to give the customer enough time to use your product/service and form a credible opinion. So this email may go out days, weeks, or even a month after the purchase, depending on the type of product/service sold.
With automation, you can schedule to send these emails at just the right time.
As you probably guessed, you’re asking for a customer to leave a review on the product or service they bought and used. You want to make it as simple as possible for them to do so. In your email, provide a link or a button taking them right to your reviews section.
Like feedback emails, reviews are also, often, last on the priority of customers.
If you’re hosting a webinar or speaking at an event, you would want your customers to sign up for it. This is when registration emails are useful.
As a recap from Chapter 1, registration emails need to be clear with short, crisp copy. Use this email to tell the customer exactly what they’re in for, when they sign up. Your copy can be benefits-focused, but don’t overdo it on the length.
In this case, adding buttons to your emails instead of links is recommended; the buttons will stand out. You might even add two buttons to the same registration link: one at the top of the email and another towards the bottom.
If you’ve just made an app or released a new program, you expect your customers to use it. You can send one of these automated emails to your customers asking them to try out your new program or your app, before it is released to the public.
You don’t have to be too sales-y in your copy. Your customers have already tried and loved your products / services. They’re probably willing to give your app a try, especially if it’s free. Make sure to include a download link or button in your email.
This is a great way to beta test your new program/app with your existing clients. They already love your products, so there will be minimal resistance to your trials. Use these trials to collect feedback and improve your program/app.
If a customer found that he could get a 10% or 20% discount right off the bat just for signing up, he would find it hard to resist. That’s what marketers are hoping for.
The last automated email template you might send out is the discount email. This also came up in the first chapter of this automated email marketing guide. Discount email templates can be a little different, though.
For instance, you might use a templated opt-in form that promises a discount upon signup. Once a customer gets your confirmation autoresponder or welcome email, the coupon code would be in one of those messages.
Automated email templates help you send the right emails to your various audience buckets at just the right time. They also allow you to manage your personal life and maintain your health. No human can sit at their computer around the clock. With templates, there’s no need to.
From autoresponders to registration emails, content upgrades and support emails, there are plenty of templates you can use. We recommend implementing each of the ten types for a comprehensive customer service experience.