With the heavy focus on using social media to increase business, fully utilizing an email autoresponder often gets neglected. And I can understand why—there’s no excitement that comes from engagement, comments, or sharing.
Instead, it’s boring text. It appears too simple to grab attention in the online world filled with videos and infographics. But as novelist William Gaddis wrote, “the height of sophistication is simplicity.” And the proof is in the ROI (return on investment).
“ROI from email marketing now stands at just over $42 for every dollar spent; a rise of almost $10 since the previous study.” —DMA Marketer Email Tracker, 2019
That’s the power of using an email autoresponder: 42x ROI from a few hundred words of text. No graphics designer or videographer needed. Can you see how this can be a more effective use of your budget?
But with so many social media marketing opportunities, it’s easy to get caught up in the ads-are-the-answer mantra. After all, more leads equal to more customers, right? Yes and no.
Playing the numbers game, more leads does convert into more customers. But with the ever-increasing cost per click, every month your money is getting you less and less.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t continue to use ads to find new qualified leads. And if that’s what you need, you can find some helpful tips here. But I am saying it may not be the most cost-effective solution for your business. Consider this:
“It costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one.” —Invesp, conversion rate experts
This is why only focusing on PPC (pay per click) to get new leads is not the best strategy. So why not get more out of your budget by focusing on converting more of the leads you already have?
You won’t get conversions by sending a single email. You will have to send out many. And this is great because each email provides you with the opportunity to offer one of your products or services. But you have to be careful.
The shotgun approach of bombarding inboxes to convert leads into customers doesn’t work anymore. And even if you get through the spam filter, irrelevant emails are quickly deleted. In fact,
“78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails.” —Disruptive Advertising
So how can you send out enough emails to convert leads into customers, without feeling like spam? Good question.
When your lead signed up for your email, they gave you their email address in good faith that you will provide them with value. So when you show up in their email inbox, they’re expecting to get help—not another distraction. You can use this opportunity to develop a lasting relationship. But what is the best way to approach this?
According to Mailchimp, personalization raised clickthrough rates by 100.95%. But relevant information depends on what part of the funnel your lead is in: Top of Funnel (ToFu), Middle of Funnel (MoFu), or Bottom of Funnel (BoFu). Otherwise, you could end up losing the sale. Here are some simple guidelines to make sure your email autoresponder stays relevant to your audience:
ToFu: Make your lead feel welcomed and appreciated by giving helpful tips.
MoFu: Strategically provide tips that help your prospect with their problems, but don’t completely solve it. This way they will keep coming back to you for more information, making you the authority.
BoFu: Your leads are ready to buy. You just need to provide a little motivation.
If you sent a sales-heavy email to a ToFu audience, they wouldn’t have enough motivation to buy. Conversely, if you sent helpful tips but never offered a solution to a BoFu audience, they’d get annoyed and go look somewhere else.
So for ToFu and MoFu audiences, the goal of each email is not necessarily to make the sale but to advance it. And for BoFu audiences, build motivation and create urgency for when you present the offer. This will warm up your leads and increase your conversions when you present your offer.
So what’s the best way to nurture leads with an email autoresponder?
At first, this concept may sound way out of left-field, but stay with me because this is important.
In Asian culture, big weddings are not uncommon. And it seems every bride and groom gets caught in the trap of trying to do a little more than the previous couple. When my Aunt J and Uncle P got married over 30 years ago, they were no exception.
They had a huge reception, with 673 people packed into the first and second floors of the Pacific Restaurant. It was an Asian restaurant decked out in red and gold to celebrate the big day.
But do you know what else was huge? The dinner service. Would you care to guess how many courses were on the menu? Did you guess 13? Yes, there were thirteen courses on the menu.
But it wasn’t just a bunch of random food like you see at a buffet. Every meal was carefully planned in taste, portion size, and timing.
Why am I telling you all this? I'll explain in a moment.
When a new lead enters your list, think of them as hungry customers waiting to eat. Each one has different tastes and preferences. Some like larger portions spaced out, while some want more frequent smaller portions.
Which customers need 3 large courses, and which want 9 small ones? There’s no definite answer, but I can tell you this. Whatever your lead’s preference, it’s your job to feed them what they want, how they want, and when they want.
Combining your segmented lists with your email autoresponder is the best way to do this. And it provides amazing results. A study by Mailchimp showed significantly better performance across all segmented email campaigns, such as increasing your email opens by 14.31%, and lowering unsubs by 9.37%.
You can set up an email autoresponder tailored to each specific segmentation. This way each lead will get a sequence of personalized emails, containing information tailored to their needs. So, what does this actually look like?
When crafting an email sequence, always focus on meeting the needs of your lead while guiding them to your end goal. Here are examples of the most commonly used email sequences:
This email autoresponder sequence will allow you to establish a good relationship with your lead. Your focus is on providing educational content. In the end, you’ll be able to move them into the correct email segmentation. This way, you can continue to provide them with the personalized information that they want.
As a result, they will be active readers on your email list, and provide you with the opportunity to send relevant offers and upsells in the future.
Email 1: Congratulate your lead for joining your list. Talk a bit about your business and let them know what to expect by teasing value coming in future emails.
Email 2: Introduce your business more and give free value to start building a positive relationship.
Email 3: Provide more free value to let your lead know you have their best interests at heart.
Email 4: Show what your business can do, and back it up with social proof or testimonials.
Email 5: Send a survey and ask them what they want moving forward.
Free value examples: relevant blog articles, relevant social media posts, PDFs, and trials.
When your customer runs into problems with your product or service, they need support. If they don’t get the help they need, they might feel regret, which is the last thing you want.
This email autoresponder sequence focuses on ensuring your customer has a positive experience. It does this by guiding them on how to get the most out of their new purchase. Once your customer sees the value you have added to their life, they will be more open to exploring your other products and services.
Email 1: Congratulate your customer’s purchase, and make sure they know how to get started using your product or service.
Email 2: Provide helpful tips to overcome the most common problems and objections new customers have.
Email 3: Provide information on how to get the most out of your product or service.
Email 4: Ask your customer about their experience, and show them where they can find support if needed.
Email 5: Introduce a cross-sell or upsell that will make their experience even better.
Relevant value examples: guides and tutorials, FAQs, demonstration videos, blogs, upgrades, links to community and support.
The goal of this email autoresponder sequence is to recover lost revenue from leads or customers. It does this by sending emails to those that have stopped interacting with your brand. Usually, it triggers after a 30 or 90 day period of inaction.
Since these leads already know your brand, they don’t need as much convincing. Remind them of the value you can provide to enhance their lives to win them back.
Email 1: Reintroduce yourself and remind your lead that you’re still here to help.
Email 2: Agitate the problem they were facing and provide some value with how they can solve it.
Email 3: Address possible objections.
Email 4: Use social proof to establish your authority by showing how you’ve helped other customers solve the same problem.
Email 5: Reintroduce your offer and increase motivation by using an incentive to buy.
Motivation and incentive examples: discounts, coupons, exclusive offers, limited time offers.
Using an email autoresponder can give you incredible returns on your investment. They provide you with the perfect environment to nurture leads into customers. And compared to PPC ads, they are very cost-effective.
To create the best email autoresponder sequences, consider hiring a copywriter. They are experts at understanding your audience and communicating with them on a personal level. And they are also familiar with email copywriting best practices to ensure you get the highest conversion rates.
Xavier Chang is a certified copywriter. He has a background in engineering and a passion for health and wellness.Hire Xavier