More commonly referred to as ‘email marketing autopilot’ or ‘triggered emails’, email auto responders are by no means a new concept, but in some cases they are still greatly underutilised.
The truth is though; they do save you a lot of time and they can be used for many different functions. Also, once they’re set up, you don’t have to worry about them again (bonus), they just quietly carry on about their business (double bonus).
Commonly, auto responders are used for welcome emails, as confirmation or receipt of a purchase, to schedule email campaigns, to manage subscriber lists, and also to keep subscribers informed and up to date if they’ve registered for an event or seminar.
With this post however, we’re going to look at a few places where auto response emails should be used more often, but for some reason aren’t.
- Abandoned cart messages
According to www.emailstatcenter.com, abandoned cart emails get 20 times the transaction rates and revenue of standard email campaigns and also people who purchase after receiving cart abandonment emails spend 55% more than those who buy straight away. It really is a wonder why these aren’t optimized as much as they could be. You do, however, need to plan these types of messages carefully. You don’t want to send them the minute a potential customer leaves your site, but at the same time if you wait too long they might lose interest. Ideally, you should aim to send it 2-3 days later, while it’s still fresh in their mind and while they’ve had a chance to think more about the purchase. Sometimes, customers need a little coaxing, so why not help them along? You could offer free shipping or a 10% discount on the product if they buy from you within 2 days, or you could give them a free gift if they spend over a certain amount. It’s also a good idea to include similar products in similar price brackets as an alternative to what they were originally looking for, in case they haven’t quite made up their mind about what they want.
- Subscriber’s birthdays
Laugh all you want, but the fact is that only a small percentage of marketers take advantage of this perfect opportunity to make their subscribers feel special. Whether this is because the relevant data isn’t captured during sign up, or not included as part of a progressive profiling, or whether it’s because marketers simply don’t segment or target their customers accordingly, there is a huge gap in the market here. The offer doesn’t have to be mind-blowing; once again, here it can be a discount, voucher, free shipping, or even an instantly redeemable gift at a store that’s convenient for them.
- Loyalty Programmes
These also aren’t a new concept, but are you doing what you can to keep people aware of yours? Automated response emails can let them know how many points they have accumulated month to month, how many points they would be eligible for if they buy such and such a product or spend a certain amount. You can also let them know what products or services they can buy with the points they already have. It may require a bit of segmenting and personalizing, but it’s definitely worth considering setting up this type of auto response email.
- Offer your expertise
Show them that you aren’t just a product or service provider and that you are actually an expert in the field. Whether you have particularly green thumbs, are a DIY hero, a digital ninja or a budding chef, share your knowledge with your subscribers and keep them engaged. This ‘knowledge sharing’ can be in the form of how-to’s or video tutorials, and it doesn’t actually have to be included in every newsletter you send. Instead, you can keep them to use as a ‘special feature’, which is great for if you’re short on content or your campaign needs freshening up.
Of course it might not be feasible to set up all of these auto responder emails up at the same time, so start with what you think would work best for you and your brand/product/service and monitor it from there.