Email marketing for small business is by far the most powerful marketing tool in terms of cost and return on investment. Email has stood the test of time (it’s been a long time in modern day technology terms) as the number one marketing channel for ROI and its ability to reach a very targeted lead. To follow is a simple email automation for general lists designed to add a level of personalisation and professionalism to your small business newsletter, or general email list subscribers.
This is not an email list building tactic
First off, the automation I outline below is not designed to build your email list. Instead it’s designed to treat your new subscribers in a way that shows them your professional and are grateful they decided to join.
There are many email list building tactics out there, but those are for another day.
Types of Email lists/Automations
As a small business it’s likely that you won’t have multiple lists working together to develop leads for specific divisions or products. That’s OK. But here’s a couple of list types that require different types of automations compared to our simple email automation for general lists.
- Events (Product launches, events held by you/your business)
- Sales (product and service specific lists)
- Customers (your current paying customers)
General Lists can be used to handle regular newsletters, or community management, and the irregular stay in touch kind of emails. These are most likely the type of list you have in place already as a small business. This is the type of list that we’ll build our automation for below.
Many email marketers will tell you this kind of list is not ideal. In a way I agree. But for some businesses the power of your community will be increased through a general list. Especially if you have a business that is built around a social issue, or you have a community that cares to hear from you on a regular basis (like a celebrity would).
A simple email automation for general lists
It’s important to understand that the people who sign up to your general list are generally interested in what you have to say and what type of content you indicated you would provide in the future.
With that in mind, the automation is designed to personalise the automated emails, welcome your new subscriber to the community, and begin building a level of trust with your audience.
I’m going to leave the exact copy for you. You know your business and your businesses persona better than I do. So I’m going to list out the objectives for each email in the email automation sequence. So it’s up to you to talk to your subscriber how you wish.
Email #1 – Once confirmed and on your list
To get started on a simple email automation for general lists, send the first email as soon as your new subscriber is confirmed and on the list.
If you’re like me and live in Canada, you are required to perform a double opt-in procedure. If you’re in the USA, for example, you can send this email as soon as they submit the signup form.
Welcome your new subscriber using their name
It’s important to use the power of your email tool to create an initial welcome using the subscribers name in your simple email automation for general lists. The subscribers name is typically entered by your subscriber on signup. Make sure you are collecting the first name at a minimum on your subscribe form. Most email programs provide this capability.
Try and identify your subscriber type
In the event you server different types of customers, try and identify which type of customer your new subscriber is.
Through the use of automation in ConvertKit (the tool I use to perform my email marketing – Find out more here), I can create an automation rule that places a link in my emails. If a user clicks on that link I can automatically tag them with a certain tag.
At A Marketing Podcast I have three types of customers, Business Owners, Marketers, and fans of the show. So I provide a link to a landing page for each labelled to clearly identify which link is for which user. So clicking the “I’m a business owner” link will tag you as a business owner in ConvertKit.
Why do this?
It allows you to segment your list and deliver super targeted communication down the road. It’s not part of this initial automation, but at a later date when I have some great content for business owners, I can send it to anyone tagged as a business owner. Allowing me to not deliver that content to a marketer.
Prompt your new subscriber to reply
Try and get your new subscriber to reply to the first email with something that you may be able to help with. How this takes shape will requires some thought by you, but getting a new subscriber to reply and in turn you replying back with some valuable insight, will only increase that subscribers trust in you and future potential of becoming a customer.
Identify the perks of being on your list
It’s important to close out the email with what you plan to deliver to the list and instil confidence that they signed up for what they thought.
Close the email like your writing a personal note to a friend
This is something I would recommend as it indicates a level of sincere interest and thanks for the new subscription. Of course if you’re operating as a business that would rather be more corporate in tone, then finish it with something like “Sincerely, Company XYZ”. The point is, don’t just finish your email with identifying what they will get now they’re on the list. Sign off.
Email #2 – The “Have you taken any action” email
Deliver this email at least one day after the initial welcome email. Depending on your business and what you provide (product/service/content/etc) you may need to wait a few more days and actually give your subscriber time to make use of what you provide.
For example, I delay this email 7 days. Mostly because I know another podcast session will be released in that time, but also because of the tools and resources on the website take time to implement and execute. But don’t wait too long. Air on the side of less time vs. more time between emails
Welcome with the subscribers name
Again, make sure you start the email by using the subscribers name. It keeps it personal and if nothing else, shows you care enough to take to them as a human vs. a potential lead.
Add at least one link to your site
As this is your first touch point since the subscriber was definitely on your website, it’s time to ask them to come back.
You can do so in a number of different ways, but make sure your providing value and that that value can be improved, or obtained, on your website via a link.
At A Marketing Podcast, when you join the AMP community, the link I use in this email is the Marketing Strategy Template download link. Here’s the exact text:
” Check out the Marketing Strategy Template if you haven’t already. It’s a great tool to help you create your first strategy or fine tune your current one. As with everything I do, it’s designed to be simple yet comprehensive, and from what I’m hearing from other community members, it’s just that!”
Email #3 – Last call to get them back to your website
This automation only has 3 emails in the sequence. That’s because we will communicate with our general list subscribers by virtue of the regular newsletters or broadcasts. So there’s no need to make this a long drawn out process. Plus it keeps the “simple email automation for general lists”, simple.
Once again wait a few days (I wait 3 more days) to simple ask your subscriber how they’re doing and if they need help with anything related to your business product/service.
Welcome with the subscribers name
Goes without saying by now. In fact this should be the case for all simple email automation for general lists, and other automation as well.
One more link
Provide your subscriber one more reason to visit your site.
As I mentioned in the previous email I placed a call to action (CTA) to my marketing strategy template, and this time round I provide a link to the resources page of the website. It is:
” I’ve put together a list of Resources and tools to help you streamline some of your marketing, and even business related processes. Click here to view the resources page.”
So make sure you create a value proposition and provide the link!
Close with some insight on what’s coming
As this is the last time we’ll send this specific personalised email as part of being on the general list, it’s a good idea to let them know what to expect next.
If it’s a regular newsletter, or a blog post, or a podcast session release, give them the heads up and it will be seamless once it arrives and moving forward.
That’s it – A simple email automation for general lists
So there you go. A pretty straightforward email automation setup to welcome your new subscriber and start building trust and generating some additional website traffic.
The best part is, once you set it up, it runs itself and you personally welcome everyone that joins without doing a single thing. The beauty of marketing automation and setting up your simple email automation for general lists.
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