As business owners, it’s easy to feel that automating something can be a saving grace when it comes to time saved, but it can also feel impersonal.
If you had a choice of a full time staff member to answer customers questions, or the option to automate, which would you choose?
Let’s take a look at how email can be the most personal staff member in your business.
Think about the time, effort and money, that it takes to onboard a new team member. Whilst you will have to put in some time, effort and potentially a small amount of money if you don’t already have an email service provider, your email systems won’t leave you, they won’t get sick, and they don’t get all ranty pants with your customers, if they’ve had a bad day.
So if you’re thinking “Sal, tell me more about how email can be personal”, let’s look at how you can make it happen.
First off, you have to embrace automation. Whilst you’re still holding on to negative feelings towards email, it will never be personal. If you’re going to take this plunge, jump in with both feet (or hands, cos you know, you’re going to be a ninja behind the keyboard for this strategy).
When it comes to strategy, there are a few key areas that you need to cover, to ensure that you’re more relatable than robotic.
To be personal, you should address someone by the first name, right? So you’ll need to capture first names whenever a person is opting in on your website.
And once you’ve got your customers name, it’s time to use it in the subject line, and also throughout the email. Don’t get all creepy-stalker when you’re doing this, though! Once you’ve written an email, read it out loud, and see if it gels. If it doesn’t sound conversational, then it’s time to get back to the drawing board and tweak, tweak tweak.
But personalisation is more than just using someone’s name. It’s about sending them information that they actually want to see. By asking your customer a question, you can use their answer segment your customer list, and only send offers and information, to the people who need to see it.
Want to seem like you know more about what your customer wants, than they do? Utilise your point of sale system, or website platform, to automate emails and segment your database, according to items that a customer has purchased. Your customer will be amazed at how intuitive your store is, when you send them the information they didn’t even realise they need, but once they read it, they can see how much better their life would be.
And last, but definitely not least, is the fact that email doesn’t forget. We all have fallen victim to multi-tasking and being overwhelmed. And when this happens, customer follow-up falls by the wayside. Not intentionally of course, but if a fire needs to be put out, it moves to the top of the list.
Email, though, doesn’t have ‘bad days’. In sickness and in health, your customer communications will be sent. No more having to apologise, no longer having to scramble to send out an update.
This is the art of marketing, but with a heartfelt core, one that will have your customers awaiting each email that lands in their inbox. It’s automation – with love.
And when it’s undertaken as a genuine way to skyrocket the customer experience, you’ll end up with repeat customers, less unsubscribes, and there’s a good chance you’ll have more sales.
Of course, you’ll need a great email service provider to do all of this. My personal choice is Convertkit, not only because it has the ability to do fantastic segmenting, but what I love about it over my last provider, Mailchimp, is that each person is only counted once, no matter how many segments you add them to. Whereas in Mailchimp, each subscriber on a segment was counted as an extra person, in Convertkit, I can segment, tag and automate to my heart’s content, at no extra cost.
If you’d like to give Convertkit a try, I’ll add my ambassador link here.