Email is still an efficient method of communicating with your prospects and customers.
Its efficiency can be significantly enhanced, however, if it’s automated. Today’s marketing automation software allows you to eliminate time-consuming tasks of writing and sending emails.
Not only will automating emails improve your team’s productivity, but it will also eliminate the chance of sending poorly-written emails composed by individual team members. Wouldn’t it be great to have the confidence that a prospect would never again receive an email message with spelling or grammatical errors or with messaging outside the corporate brand parameters?
Which types of emails should be sent with an automation tool?
Of course, not every email should be automated.
Some emails require customization by the sales team. This is especially true for interactions later in the sales journey or for organizations that have complex solutions they’re selling. Conversely, emails to support the early stages of the sales process can usually be automated. Often, your message doesn’t need much (if any) customization in these common sales scenarios.
1. TOFU CTA Form Submissions
Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) calls-to-action (CTA) on your website may include offers for educational whitepapers or eBooks. Completing these forms are typically your prospect’s first interaction with your company. They’re demonstrating interest in learning about your unique perspective, and they’re “raising their hand” to learn more. Automating your reply will ensure that they get the information they’re looking for without delay.
2. MOFU CTA Form Submissions
Your automated response to form submissions on your website should accomplish more than just providing the information your prospect is looking for. It should also lead them to the “next-best-step” in their buying journey. Your interaction should take them by the “digital hand” and escort them through the sales process.
If your prospect is at the top-of-the-funnel, then you want to offer them middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) calls-to-action (CTA). These may include buyer guides, case studies, and webinars. And if they’ve responded to a MOFU CTA, then you want to offer them bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) CTAs.
3. BOFU CTA Form Submissions
Getting a prospect to respond to a bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) offer is one of the primary objectives of all digital marketers. Examples of BOFU calls-to-action (CTA) may include:
A request for a sales consultation call
Schedule a sales presentation
Set-up a product demo
It’s imperative that these requests receive prompt responses, letting them know the message was received. If they don’t hear back from you quickly, they may just move on to your competition. The best response is to offer them access to a calendar, so they can control the process by scheduling the next step immediately.
4. Blog Subscription Submissions
Blogging is a great way to share your thought leadership and subject matter expertise with your prospects. It’s good when a prospect visits your website to read your articles. It’s even better when they subscribe to get your published content sent directly to their inbox.
Automate a “thank you” for their subscription.
Include additional calls-to-action in the email.
And then automate the fulfillment of newly-published content so that whenever you publish something, it’s automatically sent to your prospects.
5. Lead Nurture Emails
Not every lead is ready to buy today, tomorrow, or even next month or this year.
Enrolling your “not-ready-to-buy-yet” prospects in automated workflows will ensure that these valuable leads don’t go into a black hole. Automating these workflows means you don’t have to rely on the human intervention of your sales team to remember to follow up next month or next quarter.
6. Lead Notification Emails to Sales Team
The workflows you design for your lead nurturing activities don’t have to be limited to communication with your prospects. They can also facilitate communication with your sales team. Use automated emails to notify the sales team of the digital behavior of their prospects. Let them know when their prospect has revisited your website, opened an email, and downloaded additional content. This will ensure that the sales team knows not just who they should be calling but when they should be calling them.
Automation isn’t just for factories and driver-less cars. Automating the common, repetitive elements of the sales process will increase productivity and efficiency. More importantly, automation can help you drive more leads into the sales pipeline and accelerate their movement through the sales funnel.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in 2020 and has since been updated.