E-mail marketing is one of the most powerful sources for generating sales leads and nurturing customers. Sixty-four percent of small business owners say that email is the top source for increasing their revenue. That’s a compelling statistic, but it can be tempered by how you go about obtaining those leads and cultivating relationships.
You have to have a plan, and that often includes developing an autoresponder series.
You can build trust with customers by providing useful content via email that builds your credibility in their eyes. Research shows that you’re 70% more likely to increase your open rates with email if it provides helpful information about the topics they care about; this is especially true for individuals in the B2C market. It’s this kind of relevant information that can turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors (and perhaps even increase word-of-mouth referrals).
So, how do you get started with an autoresponder series? Here are three must-haves to help ensure your success.
1. Great Storytelling
There are many ways to tell a story, and you should do it in your autoresponder series. It’s an easy way to build rapport with email recipients and give them the information they need—helpful content that addresses their needs as specific individuals. Just like humans must be able to connect on a personal level if they’re going to develop a relationship, your email must be able to establish that connection.
The stories can take many forms:
- Anecdotes about specific customers and how you helped them overcome their challenges (that is if they’re okay with you sharing such information).
- Case studies of individuals who have had success or failures, and what you can learn from both.
- Content that provides information about your industry or the challenges faced by people who are similar to those in your target market.
2. Consistent Calls-to-Action
There’s a reason why marketers recommend a five-email autoresponder series: if you’re going to follow up with prospects, they must be able to count on you. That means being consistent in your messaging—and most importantly, in your calls-to-action.
If you tell them to contact you one day and they receive an email the next asking for a phone call, it can confuse or even frustrate people. They might question whether you’re legitimate if they should even bother continuing to do business with you, or whether you really know what you’re doing.
On the other hand, an autoresponder series that consistently asks for a phone call (for example) can help establish trust and credibility; people will feel confident in your abilities as a resource. Differentiate yourself from others in your market by setting yourself apart with a consistent autoresponder series.
3. A Well-Designed Series That Is Easy to Follow
Finally, as you develop an autoresponder series that uses storytelling and consistent calls-to-action, it’s important to remember the importance of design. After all, people will be responding to emails that you’ve sent them, and if they’re unable to read the content due to a cluttered design, it will reflect poorly on your brand.
And as much as we’d love to think otherwise, people might not read or open an email from your business unless there is a call-to-action button at the bottom. It can be as simple as a small arrow indicating where to click if they want more information, for example.
The bottom line is that people must be able to trust you and see their relationship with your business as beneficial if they’re going to become loyal customers and brand advocates. Remember the importance of storytelling in an autoresponder series as you develop your business’s email marketing strategy.
A great tool to use for mass email marketing is Gmass, which allows you to send thousands of e-mails a day and set up an auto follow-up strategy.
In conclusion, you must have these three things to be successful with your mass email marketing campaign. You can’t just send people emails without any relevance, consistency, or helpful content. On the other hand, if you use storytelling and consistent calls-to-action in your series along with a well-designed series that is easy to follow, you will grow brand advocates and loyal customers.