Many of us are familiar with this dance: leads and contacts send in enquiries, show an interest in our products or services…
…and then disappear (or we may not be on top of our follow up beyond the initial enquiry).
But what many businesses don’t realise is that, when used properly, automation can be an incredibly effective tool for reactivating cold leads or previous customers.
In this blog, we’ll be exploring how to use automation to leverage the power of email marketing in creating ongoing engagement with leads, prospects, and customers.
An introduction to email engagement
The first thing we need to know is when and why a lead, prospect, or customer disengaged. For example, perhaps they dropped off right before the point of purchase, which may tell us they have some concerns about pricing. Did they have objections or questions that could have been clarified? We can refer them to our FAQs.
One way we might try reactivating them is via email.
A few years ago, open rates were used as a marker to analyse the success of email campaigns. Unfortunately, following an update on Apple’s iOS software, and since most people favour Apple iPhones, open rates are no longer an accurate indicator of engagement for Apple software users. For more information on this, take a look at this short video we made that explains everything you need to know.
Instead, a more useful measure of engagement is click rates. In the email marketing world, click rates represent the number of people who have actually clicked on an email they have opened.
A good rule of thumb is: the subject line sells the open, the open sells the click, and the landing page sells the product.
The magic question is: how can we do this using automation?
Leveraging the power of our CRM
It’s no secret that The Business Catalyst are big fans of Keap. Keap has some fantastic resources for creating and maintaining engagement via email.
Using Keap’s engagement statuses and last engagement dates, we can identify who on our list has gone cold, who it’s time to reach out to, and who we should cease sending emails to altogether.
Part of this includes scrubbing out our databases. In my last blog, I talked about ineffective uses of software – one such example being not keeping our CRMs up to date. Post-Covid, many people moved professions and companies, meaning their old email addresses are no longer in use. Any emails sent there are just going to gather dust – or bounce.
If an email service provider, the likes of Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, or Outlook, for example, detects that we’re constantly sending emails to people who are not opening them, or that we’re emailing dormant addresses, they will erroneously consider us spam. Our emails may end up in the worst place of all – the junk folder.
There are some fantastic digital hygiene tools available to clean out old or cold email lists. One such example is Klean13. The great thing about using Keap as a CRM is that it has an open API, meaning it’s easy to use software like Klean13 alongside it, dynamically updating the status of the contact’s email address.
If we’ve got a large email list, we may want to consider “throttling”. And I don’t mean choking…
Email providers will be monitoring the consistency, frequency and volume of your sends. It’s not great practice to send hundreds and hundreds of emails in one go unless you have built up the practice of doing so. Doing so risks mail service providers marking us as spam and restricting our inbox privileges.
Instead, we can “throttle” our emails by starting off small and building up the amount we send until we reach a volume we can maintain consistently, without the service provider marking our behaviour as unusual.
What value are we offering?
Reactivating leads isn’t just about sending them great emails. It’s about having an exciting and enticing offer that compels people to opt back in. When they click on our email and the links within it, where do they go? What do they get?
This doesn’t always have to be something promoting our business. It could be a discount, a free video, early access to a webinar, or an informative download. Whatever it is, it should add value to the people who see it.
But how do we get people to see it?
A great technique is the ‘nine-word email’. Developed by successful entrepreneur and marketer Dean Jackson, the ‘nine-word email’ (which doesn’t have to be exactly nine words) emphasises the power of short and to-the-point one-line emails.
These emails should:
- Address the lead’s main pain point or interest
- Have no extra fluff
- Address the recipient directly
- Aim to re-engage, not necessarily make a sale.
It could be as simple as this:
Are you still interested in [product/service]?
When trying to build our engagement, it’s crucial that we remember we’re trying to increase the number of clicks, not the number of people on our email list.
P.s., we have a free download available here, all about the science of getting in the inbox.
From lukewarm to red hot
Once a lead has clicked on an email, we should take this opportunity to continue warming them up.
To do this, we need to take them on an engaging and rewarding journey.
First, we need to map the journey out.
We speak a lot on this blog about breaking down automation into small pieces we can action step-by-step, much like building a Lego® castle.
A general rule to follow when building automation is:
- Where does the automation start?
- Where does it finish? (What is the desired outcome?)
- What happens in between?
- And where is the contact likely to deviate?
Let’s look at an example pathway:
- Start: a lead puts their email into a form on a website.
- Middle: an autoresponder sends a confirmation email to them.
- Finish: a team member is assigned a task to begin the long-term nurture.
When building automations, we need to have realistic expectations. Not every lead, prospect, and customer will follow the ideal customer journey – some will take detours and get lost along the way.
In an ideal world, we’d have automations set up from the first point of contact all the way through the customer journey, with triggers that alert us when leads and customers detour or are getting close to the cold 90 day mark.
Luckily, an ideal world is within reach. Hop on a discovery call with The Business Catalyst if you’re interested in discovering how we can build an end-to-end customer journey that is equipped to handle detours and delays.
Book your free discovery call here