If you want to give your sales team a much-needed boost without cramming more hours into your schedule, email automation can do the trick.
That is, if you have the right automation funnels in place.
Business owners and sales teams are notoriously stressed out and overworked.
Trust us – we get it!
That’s exactly why creating automation funnels is such a game-changer.
Rather than chase down individual customers, you can put so much of your email marketing on autopilot. This allows you to engage customers around-the-clock without having to nurture them “by hand.”
Sounds nice, right?
In this guide, we’ll breakdown the automation funnels any business should have in place if they want to score more sales.
oh, and we’ll also highlight how to set them up if you’re a newbie to the world of automation!
Basically, automation funnels allow you to set up triggered email campaigns based on specific actions (clicking a link, filling out a form, visiting a page) your subscribers take. Or on the flip side, don’t take.
Sound complicated? Trust us, it’s actually pretty simple.
Okay, let’s look at an example of an “if/then” funnel.
Say you’re announcing a 72-hour flash sale. You send your initial email to your subscribers and your click-through rate is pretty good, but you also have a significant number of readers that didn’t take any action.
With an automation funnel, you can automatically trigger a follow-up message two days later that reminds them they only have 24 hours before your sale runs out. A sort of second chance to win ‘em over.
Here’s a visual to give you an idea:
Automation funnels allow you to hyper-personalize your campaigns. They also guarantee that you’re consistently making touch points with your contacts as they interact with your business.
And the good news is that setting up automation funnels is arguably easier than ever thanks to Sendlane’s intuitive automation builder! In fact, Sendlane has some pre-built automations that can help you ease into automation in no time flat.
But this begs the question: what funnels do you need, anyway?
Now that we’ve covered what automation funnels actually do, let’s talk about how you can use ’em to score more sales!
The following eight email funnels are fair game for just about any sales team. This particular combination of automations can help keep more contacts in your sales funnel and increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Welcome emails are a must-do for any business and can serve as the starting point for so many behavior-based campaigns.
A welcome email like the one from Casper gives their customers a sense of what they’re all about while also encouraging them to check out their site.
Hint hint: these interactions are exactly how you gather information from your contacts and initiate interactions for future automations!
Think about it. Not all of your contacts are the same, so you need a way to categorize your customers (think: tags)
Tagging is a great way to segment your contacts based on their activity in order to send them the most relevant welcome email or offer possible that aligns with what each specific contact is looking for!
For example, Sleeknote managed to increase their onboarding engagement by over 1000% by sending targeted welcome messages based off segments. Check out how they encourage readers to click a link that best describes themselves to ensure they’re getting the right emails in the future.
Segmentation helps you better serve individual customers based on their specific needs and in this scenario allows you to continue to build a welcome funnel that is perfectly targeted to each new contact. (which takes us to our new funnel)
To learn more, check out our guide on segmentation and automations.
If someone is learning the ropes of your business or product, you need to help them along the way and also hold their interest, too.
That’s why so many businesses create funnels which nurture customers step-by-step. This could be in the form of tutorials, tips and “did you know?”-style messages.
For example, Wistia sends their sign-ups a list of tips to encourage subscribers not only to complete an action but also check out their full service beyond a trial.
A quick survey like this doesn’t need much explanation. It literally takes two seconds to complete and brings you valuable insights!
Another way to get more information out of your contacts is by making your email survey fun and interactive.
Here’s how Expedia does it:
The takeaway here is that just because someone signs up or download something from you doesn’t mean you’re done with them — not by a long shot! With an automation funnel in place, you can nurture them without have to follow-up manually.
Email is undoubtedly one of the best ways to hype up your events. This includes digital webinars and in-person events alike.
One of the benefits of using email for events is the ability to reduce no-shows. For example, an event automation can help you reminder subscribers of an event and make them more familiar with your business.
You can also create an automation that sends no-shows a recap link and a “thank you” follow up to the folks that did tune in. Based on these interactions, you can recommend future webinars to relevant subscribers.
And hey, Sendlane actually has a built-in webinar automation that’s perfect for this funnel!
Sending regular deal and offer emails is a smart move for winning sales and repeat business.
That said, not all offer emails are created equal. With a nurturing funnel, you can further tailor your deals for specific customers based on milestones (think: first year customer anniversary, making their fifth purchase, etc).
This same logic can also be applied for people who haven’t interacted with your business in a while.
With approximately 70% of people skipping out on their purchases prior to checkout, cart abandonment emails should be a top priority.
That said, how soon should you send your follow-up message? This study from Rejoiner notes that an hour seems to be the “sweet spot” for winning back potentially lost business.
Waiting much longer could mean losing interest or even bouncing to a competitor.
This all speaks to the need for email automation which can detect such events and follow up in a timely manner. All that without you having to lift a finger!
If you aren’t upselling and cross-selling, you might be leaving some serious money on the table.
Cross-selling each individual subscriber can be a time-sink, though. It can be difficult to keep track of, too.
But it doesn’t have to be!
The beauty of email automations is that you can upsell and cross-sell customers without having to dig into your customer history. For example, you could tag a customer based on their subscription tier (think: low-medium-high) and send then an automated message over time asking them to upgrade.
This one’s pretty straightforward but definitely worth mentioning.
It never hurts to check in on your customers, particularly new customers or folks who haven’t interacted with your content recently.
Doing so not only shows that you care but can serve as the “Oh yeah!” moment to make another purchase.
If nothing else, this automation funnel allows you to show off your personality without actually having to write each and every one of your subscribers a letter.
Here’s a great example of a message in a customer success funnel from Revue.
Of course, not all of your customers are going to be replying or clicking through each and every message.
But oftentimes there comes a point of “now or never.” After all, it’s important to keep a clean list that’s as engaged as possible for the sake of accurate reporting and your budget.
The good news? Win-back automation funnels can help you revive those would-be lost customers.
Offering a reactivation deal is a low-risk to give your subscribers a second chance to engage. This reactivation email from Zazzle is a fun, spam-free way to do exactly that.
More sales, less wasted time.
Sounds like a win-win for you and your customers, right?
Yeah, automation funnels are pretty awesome.
While the initial process of setting up these automations might seem like a lot to handle, it doesn’t have to be.
Besides, doing so will totally be worth it in the long-run.
This is especially true if you’re using an email automation tool like Sendlane.
In short, Sendlane, allows you to create automation funnels from scratch with a visual editor that’s so easy to use. No complicated coding: just customizable and out-of-the-box funnels to help you win more sales.
And let’s not forget Sendlane’s stellar suite of analytics tools to help you understand and fine-tune your automation funnels to maximize sales.
If you haven’t already, make sure that you check it out by starting your free trial today!