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Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could automate all your emails? And never have to type out another introduction email or thank you email again?

Well, now you can.

Sort of.

With marketing automation, you can automate all your business emails. You trigger emails to send based on certain criteria, like sending a thank you email after someone refers a friend to your website. And the best part is you don’t have to type a thing. It all happens automatically and behind the scenes.

Contrary to popular belief, marketing automation is not reserved for the Amazons of the world. Yes, marketing automation can become an intricate web of criteria and outcomes, but it doesn’t always have to be complicated. There are some very simple but powerful ways to use marketing automation to make a difference in your business, regardless of the size.

Here are three marketing automation ideas and an example of a great email for each:

Automate Your Welcome Email

In the early days of your business, new customers or users probably trickled in at a slow pace. You had the time to personally send an email to each person, and welcome her to your platform or thank her for her purchase. While this method is extremely personalized (in fact, you couldn’t get more personalized than an email written by the founder), it is not scalable. And as your business grows, you need to save time wherever you can. Automating your welcome email will jumpstart the relationship with the customer or user and take one thing off your to-do list.

Welcome Email ExampleWhen creating your welcome email, make sure you have a clear call to action. Many companies use the welcome email to move people through the onboarding process (to get them to do certain actions that correspond with high conversion rates).

In this example by SumDay, an online saving and investment site, users must take action (add money) to get value and ultimately use the product.

Show Appreciation to Your Loyal Customers

Marketing automation tracks the activity and behavior of the people in your contact base, so you can easily bucket them together based on different criteria. For example, you could create a group of people who haven’t made a purchase in the last 6 months and send them an email. Or, you could create a group of people who have bought something or engaged with your app/website in the past week. With all these possible segmentation options, where is the sweet spot?

Zappos Email ExampleWe all know that it’s incredibly hard to change behavior and sentiment. In reality, sending one email to a group of people who haven’t purchased anything from your website probably won’t do anything (other than annoy them). On the other hand, it’s very easy to encourage behavior that is already happening (example: when you are already eating one cookie, how easy is it to persuade you to have another?).

Your best bet is to target your loyal, engaged base. They already like your product or service and they’ll be more likely to open your email and take action.

I know that Zappos doesn’t count as a small business by any stretch of the imagination, but this email is just too good to pass up. How brilliant is it to offer even faster shipping to power users

Nurture Leads

Save your sales team from confused or angry customers with lead nurturing. A lead nurturing campaign is when you send helpful and relevant content to your customers to move them through the funnel. It’s kind of like saying, “Hey, remember me?” in a less annoying way than usual. By sending something of value to your users or customers, you build relationships and create an opportunity to reach out and engage with them. And, if you don’t have a sales team, lead nurturing automates the check-in phone calls for you, so you don’t lose a potential customer.

InVision Nuture Email ExampleExamples of leading nurturing emails include event recap blog post, free white paper offer, webinar invite, or demo offer. Depending on how personalized you want to go, you could even create different lead nurturing campaigns based on segmentation. You could have a campaign for people who have specifically bought a necklace from your site, or people who have previously attended one of your webinars. The more customized you can get, the more likely your email is to resonate and make an impact.

In this example, InVision, a prototyping and webflow platform, sends its customers a helpful article on how to make their lives easier and better.

Next Steps

As a small business owner, you could always use an extra hour or two (or more!) each day. You can’t do everything yourself and you need to focus your energy on the activities that will make the biggest impact. And sometimes, that just won’t be a lead nurturing email. And that’s okay, because you’ll know that somewhere in the deep, dark Internet, that email is getting sent anyway.

If you think adding automated emails to your process would improve sales, increase productivity, and help your business, let’s talk! Take the next step and move your business forward today.

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