“Automation is good, so long as you know exactly where to put the machine.” – Eliyahu Goldratt

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Make sure you get off on the right foot with new customers with these engagement-boosting email marketing automation techniques.

In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • Making it personal
  • Welcome emails
  • Clever list segmentation
  • Getting the tone right
  • Seducing newbies with top content
  • The power of FREE

Okay, let’s dive in.

Before we start, let’s address the elephant in the room (hey Dumbo, what are doing in here?) – automation isn’t always a good thing. Or, at least, if you go about it the wrong way it can do more harm than good, by making customers feel alienated from or frustrated by your brand.

Spare a thought, for example, for the millions of Scots out there, desperately struggling to get Siri or Alexa to understand them:

… and don’t even get us started on automated voice menus.

When you’re bringing new subscribers to your email marketing list, the last thing you want to do is to leave them cold or disconnected. This is your chance to make them feel genuinely welcomed into the fold, and excited about what you offer or what you stand for.

New customers and subscribers tend to be the most engaged on your list because they’re intrigued by the novelty, so whatever you do, don’t waste the opportunity to encourage that enthusiasm.

First of all, think carefully about how you use personalisation.

It’s not just about using someone’s name in your emails, although you should obviously do that, too. It’s about getting to know what makes that person tick, what they’ll be most interested in and when – and using that information to tailor the kind of content and offers you provide them from the outset.

The easiest way to do that is to create a smart segmentation strategy.

When people sign up to your list, ask them a few multiple-choice questions about why they’re signing up. What kind of products, services, advice, experiences or goals they have in mind. How often they’d like to be contacted. What their situation in life is.

You’re not doing this to be nosy. You’re asking so that you can cut them out of the irrelevant stuff and send them the message “we get you” right from the first communication.

That starts with your welcome email.

Don’t just send a boring “thanks for signing up” type thing. Take the opportunity to nurture your relationship with this newbie. Craft a warm, interesting email that tells them what they can expect from your emails in the future, with choice links to really awesome content and/or offers to get them started. Make them feel like they’ve joined a community as much as you possibly can.

A lot of that comes down to getting your tone right.

It’s so important that you do your research to really get into the heads of your best customers, creating buyer personas, figuring out what matters most to them, what problems they’re keenest to solve, and what kind of language they use. Your very first emails and the content you offer them needs to reflect all this.

Last but not least, be generous.

Everyone likes to get something for nothing. Without any prompting, send newbies something for free. That might be a value-packed eBook, access to a behind-the-scenes video series, a free shipping voucher or discount code… anything you like.

The important thing is that you make them feel immediately glad that they took the plunge and subscribed – and as if you’re doing them a favour by converting them into customers, not the other way around.

Final Thoughts: Automation in Disguise

Everything we’ve covered in this article can be achieved with email marketing automation and behaviour-triggered emails, but the reason they work is that they’re designed to make the recipient feel special.

If you do it right, your new subscribers get that warm, fuzzy feeling of being treated like highly valued customers – even though you know, secretly, that the methods you use actually reduce the amount of work your human team has to do along the way.

Ready to start with your email marketing automation?

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