Money is often considered the world’s most valuable resource. However, for those who have achieved a degree of success in entrepreneurship, time becomes more valuable than money.

As you scale your business, it’s imperative to remove non-essential tasks from your daily agenda so you have more time to focus on revenue-generating activities. One way to do this is with delegation; another is with technological automation.

Email is an amazing communication tool, but it’s also a notorious productivity killer. In fact, email distractions cost the U.S. economy $650 billion annually. By building automated email messages into your sales funnel, you won’t have to waste time manually re-sending them every time you get a new subscriber. This allows you to work on your business, rather than in your business.

Related: 5 Mistakes Sabotaging Your Content Marketing Success

By setting up email marketing automation workflows, you’ll immediately free up valuable time in your calendar.

1. Onboarding.

When someone opts into your mailing list, you need to have a friendly email ready to greet them. Your onboarding email is the perfect opportunity to convey your values, remind the person why they’ve subscribed to you and start to build rapport with them. People often signup to mailing lists and then forget that they’ve done so — a friendly welcome email keeps your brand fresh in their minds.

Typically, this workflow will be triggered after the person subscribes to your list and should be sent immediately.

I recommend using your subject line to remind the person of what type of engagement they made with your brand. For example, “Thanks for subscribing to (brand name)” works well as an introductory subject line. Also, remember to include your brand name in the email and personalize the message with the recipient’s name. Hopefully you collected this vital information in your subscription form.

Check out this warm and quirky welcome email by internet marketer, Melyssa Griffin. This email is generated as soon as you subscribe to her list.

2. Engagement.

Once your subscribers are acquainted with your brand, it’s time to start sending them educational content in order to build trust. This isn’t the time to go for the hard sell. Use your engagement emails strictly to deliver value.

In the internet marketing niche, inviting new subscribers to attend a free webinar is a popular engagement tactic.

Ben Malol is an internet marketer known for his expertise in Facebook ads. After you subscribe to his list, you’ll receive this engagement email from him soon after.

Malol links subscribers to a video about scaling successful ads and another about dissecting ads that aren’t working. If a subscriber goes on to watch either or both of the videos, it’s likely they’ll be receptive to subsequent marketing for an information product which teaches Facebook advertising skills.

3. Conversion.

When a lead is qualified, you can start sending them overt sales emails promoting your products. If someone browses a sales page, watches a product video and especially, adds your product to their shopping cart but doesn’t purchase, you can push for the sale via email.

Determine which pages on your site would only be viewed by people who’re interested in making a purchase, and add these triggers to your conversion workflow. Typically, if a person downloads multiple pieces of free content (such as case studies, checklists and ebooks), they will be receptive to a sales-oriented email.

I recommend you save your automated sales email until someone has engaged with your free content first. Sending the sales email first is the equivalent of asking someone to marry you before going on a first date.

Related: 10 Tools to Help Automate Your Small Business Tasks

Ezra Firestone, founder of Smart Marketer, sends this email to subscribers who have watched free content relating to his Facebook Video Ads Mastery course, but who haven’t completed the purchase. The email contains a long FAQ list, helping to alleviate potential fears that customers may have.

4. Re-activation.

It’s unfortunate that most marketers focus all of their energy on getting new customers in the door when they could be building profitable long-term relationships with existing customers too.

Research indicates that 25-50 percent of a typical marketer’s subscribers are inactive. In other words, these people have taken an action to engage with the brand initially, but have stopped responding to communication for a duration of time — 90 days is a common yardstick. Because these subscribers are no longer warm to your brand, it’s important to make an emotional impact with your messaging to re-engage them.

Use emotive language and imagery, provide special offers and utilize list segmentation to deliver highly personalized content based on each user’s previous interactions with your brand. Check out this compelling re-activation email by Marketo.

The conversational tone and emotive imagery makes emails like this hard to neglect. After all, who could ignore a sad puppy?

5. Loyalty.

You should always have a workflow for welcoming new paying customers to your brand. However, when a customer makes repeat purchases, this indicates they trust and respect your company — which makes them ideal brand advocates. With a segmented list, you can send your most valuable customers special offers, as well as promote your referral program to them. Someone who has purchased from you multiple times is far more likely to refer their friends to you than someone who is a first-time customer.

Related: The Influential Executive’s Guide to Email Marketing

Betting sites, such as BetVictor, use list segmentation to send special offers to customers who demonstrate specific behavior patterns. For instance, if you primarily wager money on boxing instead of basketball or soccer, you’re likely to receive offers via email which relate to your interests.

When you automate the bulk of your marketing emails, leads will start to move seamlessly through your sales funnel — especially when you combine email automation with Facebook remarketing as a double-pronged attack.

Since you’re not spending your time plugging a leaky funnel anymore, you can focus on bringing in new clients and delivering quality services. Once you, the entrepreneur, are removed from lower level tasks like sending emails, you’ll find it much easier to scale your business.

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