Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 Welcome to the 4 Ecommerce Automations that are going to create sales and generate good will with your customers, past present and future. I’m all about creating automation in as many parts of my business as I can and email has been an integral part of that. These 4 automations are going to warm your customers up, educate them, send the specific offers based on their interests and get them to tell you what they want to buy next! I haven’t included all 10 automations that I set up for all of my partners as this post would go on forever.Automation #1 – Welcome To The Family Ok, so welcome to the first automation that needs to be created is the “Welcome to the Family” series. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say in your emails just yet, we’ll be covering a simple framework to get that handled. You’re going to be providing value and speaking directly to your customer in a one to one format. This Welcome email Series will take you and your subscriber from strangers to acquaintances in no time. The welcome automation will give them a much needed introduction and a guide for what to expect from you in the coming months. They’ll only receive this series once, so things to include would be; Who are you Why you’re different as a business What content to expect from you and how often What they need to do next Creating Immediate Engagement A really useful little trick to trigger their immediate engagement with you is by asking them to reply back to your first email in the welcome series. This first email will include 1 or a couple of questions that will help you serve them better in the future; Asking them why they joined your list. What content they’d like to see. or even what they expect from you. This trick also helps with staying out of the SPAM folder in the future too. If someone has replied to an email of yours, their system is less likely to treat your emails as SPAM next time. It’s been noted that subscribers have much higher engagement rate with future emails if they’ve been sent a welcome series. Their responsiveness to your future campaigns increases and that means more opens, clicks and sales as a result. Another little trick for your first email to them would be having something in the subject line like “Welcome to the family (please read)” in brackets for example. The emails that follow on in your welcome series can start to introduce them to what your company is all about: What makes you; Different Special More favourable than the competition etc Then move on to how often they can expect to hear from you; Daily Weekly Bi-weekly Quarterly What do your emails typically include and how often do you run things like promotions? Welcome Email to Transactional Email Turning your welcome series into a money maker is pretty straight forward too. What offer can you make them that would be impossible to turn down? Welcome emails have a surprisingly high open rate, so placing an offer there would be highly recommended. If you’re running an online store, it could be free shipping or a discount on orders over a certain amount. This forces them to spend a minimal amount to even activate their coupon which a clever strategy used by larger organisations. If you’re creating this for a service business, it could be a free consultation or something similar. What ever it is, just make it plainly obvious in your first email and also don’t forget to include things like social media links. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to gain more followers while they’re still open to being a part of your world. If you’ve chosen to use HTML in your emails, make sure you’re double checking how your email looks when images are switched off! This is a big mistake made by a ton of companies. Their offers are photoshopped on to images and as a result, if images are off – their offer disappears. The welcome email series can be spread over 2 3 or even 5 emails that allow your subscriber to really get to know who you are and your business. If your chosen email system allows it, try to have your first welcome email trigger within minutes or seconds of someone signing up. The faster you hit their inbox, the higher your engagement is going to be and the faster they can take you up on your offer. A welcome series is definitely a must for all companies. It sets the subscriber up to expect nice things from you rather than constant sales pitches which get boring quickly. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and craft a campaign that will get your relationship off on the right foot from the very start. Automation #2 – Leading with Value This next automation is going to appear counter productive to your need to make sales quickly. However, it’s only going to strengthen your relationship with your subscribers. This automation builds loyalty and primes them for additional sales in the future. We want to give them a false sense of security with a nurturing campaign. This makes them feel less pressured to buy and provides value before the sales begin. Additionally, what’s the rush to make sales anyway? If they land on your site and purchase immediately, happy days. If they land on your site, don’t purchase and bounce, you’ve lost them. If they land on your site, don’t purchase BUT they sign up to your list, you’re going to have an automated series in place to bring them back to the sales process. There must have been some reason why they didn’t buy in the first place, so we’re going to lead with value and build trust using a nurturing campaign. Another reason to create a nurturing campaign is to train people to open your emails more often. If all you ever send is poorly targeted and non relevant promotions, your open rates are going to start suffering. So again value first and sales later! If you think back to the last few emails that you received from online stores or a business, can you remember the last campaign that didn’t try to sell you something? There are a tonne of companies that just don’t nurture their subscribers. They’re constantly pressuring you into a “buy now or get out” scenario. The aim of the nurturing series is not to sell, at all, but to provide your subscriber with value. Here’s how it’s done In another post that I talk about having a blog on your website but removing the date of publication. This tactic ties in perfectly with the nurturing series we’re talking about here and i’ll explain why. A quick method of creating a Nurturing series can simply be blog posts from your website, delivered to your subscribers as a form of education. So for example. Let’s say again you sell sunglasses. Your blog posts can include; 10 Reasons why sunglasses will protect your eyes The history of sunglasses from 200 BC to now How cheap sunglasses destroy your vision How to match sunglasses to any face shape and so on. All of these blog posts can be used as nurturing content to educate your subscriber. It shows them why your product or service is of value to them. The reason I say to remove the date on these blog posts is that this is an automated system. It may last for months or years. It doesn’t matter if the content that you wrote in 2012 is still valid today. Dated content turns people off. it’s not fresh or new and internally it makes people believe it’s irrelevant. If you content has no dates, people can’t quantify the age of your content and it can be promoted for as long as you like. Can you also see how these pieces of content lead the conversation to a pitch for your product or service? If you were selling sunglasses, the post can contain several links to the strongest UV protection lenses that you offer. Yes, we are technically selling here, but it’s a soft sell. Not a direct pitch. We’re helping your subscriber become a savvy buyer of your stuff. If they do happen to buy during the nurture process, they would feel that it was totally off their own back and not at the hand of your forced promotion. Space out the Promos with Nurturing If you’re sending routine promotional campaigns each month, intersect these with nurturing emails at least once a week Alternatively a good rule of thumb is three pieces of content followed by a pitch. When you’re sending nurture campaigns, don’t give them the full content in the email. Seeing a wall of text in an email is enough to make anyone ignore it. Lead in with a bit of a teaser, like a movie trailer for your blog post. Pique their interest and get them to read the full article on your site. This also helps with tracking that we’ll talk about later on. Once they’re on your site, you’ll be able to tag people that have read XYZ article, segment them within your list on so on. The nurture sequence is a must have for any business, it removes friction from the automated sales we’re looking to achieve. Again not having dates on your blog posts allows you to promote them in your automations forever. This saves you the effort of having to constantly have new content each month. Build up a backlog of undated blog posts and stick them in the automation. Automation #3 – First Time Customer Now it’s time we made a hard push for some sales using automation. In this section we’re going to get your subscriber to take another step closer to making a purchase. So right now we have a welcome series of 5 or so emails, a handful of education or nurture emails to build rapport and deliver value. By now your subscriber is fully up to date with who you are and knows that you’re a provider of value. Now we want them to buy. Promotional emails are pretty straight forward and something that you’re probably already doing, but maybe not on autopilot. I’m going to assume that you typically create a promo email each month and blast it out to your entire list? If I’m right, it’s ok. If I’m wrong, you’re already ahead of the pack. Your email marketing system should be set up with some standard list segmentation. Hopefully you’ve done this and also organised your tagging rules. If your email marketing system is sophisticated enough, you should definitely have site tracking enabled. If you don’t, you’re missing a lot of potential data and revenue. During the nurturing automations, we’re teasing subscribers back on to your site, the links they click and specific emails they show an interest in will give us the first bits of data we want. The site tracking will give us the rest. (ActiveCampaign is the most cost effective email automation software I recommend to all of my clients and partners. It also has a wicked easy site tracking feature.) We’ll be able to see what pages they’ve visited, categories they’re interested in or even down to the specific products they repeatedly look at. All of this combined allows you to create promotional emails that are hyper relevant to your subscribers. You can craft a promo email that is just for people interested in product or service X, you know they’re into it because your tagging has marked them as part of that demographic. Giving them an offer on something that they keep checking out is going to be like having telepathy. Telepathy Example in Real Life. Let’s say you walked into a shop everyday for a week and looked at the same pair of shoes, then walked out without buying. Then on day 5 of doing that, the shop owner comes over and gives you a discount specifically for those shoes….Would you buy them? Probably. That’s what we’re looking to achieve without even speaking to your subscriber using Site Tracking (offered cheaply by ActiveCampaign) Another type of promotion could be to give them a discount once they’ve spent a certain amount. This guarantees that you’ll have a fixed amount of revenue per sale once their discount kicks in. If you have too much of one product, you could target people in segment X and make them an offer they can’t refuse. You’ll have much more luck shifting an overstock to a targeted segment of people that you know are interested in that stuff – than you would if you did an email blast to your entire list. So to Recap Your welcome email can contain an offer, just for joining your list Your nurturing series is a soft sell behind a cloak of education And now your promotions are highly targeted. Fool Proof Sales Campaigns I see this time and time again, when a business owner sends out a promotional email and waits, twiddling their thumbs. Not everyone on your list is going to jump the minute your email comes in. We need to build up the promos to make them more desirable. There’s a particular strategy that only a select few people use and it works wonders and I’m sure you’ll understand why. Here’s How It’s Done Ok – Decide what promotion you’re going to run, now or in the future. Send out your hyper targeted email announcing the promotion 4 days before the sale starts, mention why it’s happening and how much they’ll be saving. Send an email on days 3 and 2 at the same time of day, announcing that you’re preparing the stock, or getting excited about this months biggest promo for example. Send an email on the day of the sale 3 hours before it starts and mention how long it’ll be going on for. Finally email them again 4 hours before it ends. Set this up as an automation and see the results you get from that – yes if you email people a lot they’ll unsubscribe. It’s email marketing, people unsubscribe all the time. I do it, you do it, it’s the nature of the business. However, the ones that stay will be your loyal customers and you can rinse and repeat this method to each segment you have every month. Once someone becomes a valid customer of yours, have your system add the necessary tags and segments and track all the data. Don’t forget your personalisation techniques to make these even more targeted and effective. Automation #4 – Auto Segmentation = Sales Telepathy One of the most powerful things you can implement in your email marketing is segmentation. Creating buckets of people in your list that are interested in similar products, have viewed similar categories or have purchased similar things. When used correctly, segmentation allows you to send hyper targeted email campaigns for maximum results. But with new subscribers it can be difficult to segment them without any data. If your sign up form only has one field – “email” then you’re kinda stuck when it comes to segmentation. This can be a problem later on, but I have a solution for you. You’re going to create an automated campaign that is going to make people segment themselves! They won’t even know it’s happened, but they’ll be setting themselves up to receive hyper targeted campaigns. This is almost like having telepathy. Your Subscribers are going to tell you what they want to buy. Then you’re going to have automations send them offers based on their interest. Just for the record – HTML emails are best for this! Let’s say you sell sunglasses, we want to find out which types of glasses your new subscriber are interested in. You need to create an automation that features your “Newest” or “Most popular” products. This gets sent out after your welcome series or to anyone that hasn’t yet been tagged or segmented. Layout the email without any pricing or sales pitch. This is simply a “flyer” type of email campaign. One box will feature blue sunglasses, clicking through to your blue glasses category. Another box will be yellow or red and they’ll click through to their own individual category pages. Whatever image they click on, your email marketing system segment them appropriately. Once they’ve been segmented, the promotional automations can start being sent. If I’d never wear yellow sunglasses, I probably wouldn’t click on any of the yellow sunglasses, but if my favourite colour was blue, I’d take a quick look just to see what you had. I wouldn’t necessarily buy anything, but just by clicking an image, I’ve registered my interest and told you what my preferences are. You can also use this on old subscribers, past customers and lost leads to reengage them. Let’s say you’re thinking of offering a new range of products or services but you’re not sure which stock to get in. Run one of these automations the gather interest and find the most popular item. Automatically tag those people that have shown interest. Then go and get those items and sell them to the people that have segmented themselves! You’re effectively getting people to raise their hands, telling you what they want to buy. Automatic Segmentation is an extremely powerful strategy to keep the sales in your business flowing. Think about the example I just gave you and replace those ideas with your own products or services. Get your subscribers to raise their hands, segment themselves and then sell to them. Easy Writing Framework #1 – Go + Do & Next So, we’ve covered 4 of the 10 most important automations that you need to have set up we can move on to how to write compelling and sales worthy emails. One of the main problems that a lot of people came to me with, was that they didn’t know what to write in their email campaigns. I admit I used to struggle with this too until I came across a number of resources shared by great copywriters. So the first one I want to share with you is the “Got + Do & Next” Framework. It’s a simple list of 3 questions, that if you flesh them out each time you need to write, you’ll always have something to say. So first GOT What have you got for them? These are all the features of your product. Start your content with your shiny new object that you’re looking to sell to them. Describe it in vivid detail like size, colour, weight, durability and more. Next is DO What will it do for them? This is where we move on to benefits. Once you’ve got their interest in what it is that you have. Start to explain what this new thing will actually do for them. Will it save them time, money, make them look cooler, taller, sexier? What are the benefits of owning this new thing that you have. How does it bring value to their lives? Lastly is NEXT What do they have to do next? A confused customer will never take action and no action means no money for you. They need to understand without a shadow of a doubt, what they need to do to own this new fantastic thing. Do they need to call you, visit you in your office, claim a coupon at the checkout? When you’re giving instructions, you need to write so clearly that even a 4 year old can understand what to do. Don’t hide a link deep in your content. You need to tell them to “click here” Or if your using HTML, place a contrasty coloured button that they can’t miss telling them what to do next. Use this Framework every time for easy quick content. Each time you have a new product this 3 step framework will give you a few hundred words to play with. You obviously don’t want to send this wall of text to your subscriber but, it’s better to choose from an abundance of words than from a scarce amount of words. Start looking at words and sales copy that you see out in the world. Postcards that come through your door, descriptions of products in catalogues. These are all great educational places when looking for ideas to write. The Very Best Place For Inspiration The very best place to understand what to say and how to say it….. is the shopping channel. I could literally watch it all night. The stories they tell, the benefits that they blow out of proportion, the money back guarantees that are too good to be true. Buy 1 get 1 free, buy now pay later. It’s literally magic in action. Think of how much it costs to run an infomercial for as long as they do on repeat – all day. They have tested their copy and offers 10 times over to make sure that every penny they’re spending is being used efficiently. If their copy wasn’t working, they wouldn’t be running the same ads day in and day out. So, start using the Got Do & Next framework in your promotional campaigns and start taking note of how other people are making you buy their stuff. How to make people take action on your emails Psychological Trigger #1 – Reciprocity – Doing something for someone to make them feel like they owe you. We naturally want to return favours to people and treat others with the same kindness they’ve shown us. What can you do for your subscribers that they’ll appreciate and remember? If you’ve followed the automations that I’ve given you, you’ll already have this in motion with the nurture campaign. The value that you’re providing in your nurturing automations will be considered a “giving action”. Helping people use your type of products better or helping them become savvy buyers of your products. Psychological Trigger #2 – Social Proof – What actions are other people taking that I should be taking. This is how as people, we learn to act in the world. It’s more like social conditioning. If you have no idea how to act in a particular social situation, you simply look around and follow what others are doing. This is why testimonials are used so much in marketing material (think again of the shopping channel. How crazy are their use of testimonials). It builds trust and let’s your customers know that other people, just like them, have made the leap and it’s safe on the other side. If you walk past a restaurant that’s always full of people, this sends signals to you that it’s a good and safe place to eat. You could include customer success stories in your campaigns to help subscribers feel more trust for you. Psychological Trigger #3 – Commitment – As humans we want our beliefs to be consistent with our values. We try to maintain consistent with our personality, morals and standards. So if we’ve publicly stated that we’ll be committing to a 4 week juicing diet, we’re more likely to stick to it. If you can get people to commit to a small favour or action, you can slowly increase the level of ask from them. Bearing in mind that your nurturing campaign is still providing value. An example of this would be starting with an email address to get them to your list – This is a small commitment. Then, maybe a 2 question survey that segments them or possibly asking for a like on social media. Each small commitment they perform can be built upon right through to the purchase phase. Top 8 Best Email Marketing Practices To finish up we’re going to dive into the Top 8 Email Marketing Mistakes made by so many. This is going to save you a lot of time and headache in achieving your automated sales. I include some very specific points like; Dangers of Copy and Paste Templates Why Deleting Subscribers is a good thing The best time to send email campaigns Avoiding Spammy trigger words Best Subject Line Practices HTML Templates vs Plain Text Using Calls To Action The 1 Habit you need to use to see massive results Enjoy. Download this entire Guide in PDF Format for Later Reading (including automation workflows and videos) Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article was written for Business 2 Community by Kane Pepi.Learn how to publish your content on B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?