This post contains a transcript from a webinar hosted by Campaign Monitor’s former Head of Content Marketing, Aaron Beashel.
Today, we’re going to be talking about the five automated emails that will grow your revenue.
Delivering personalized, relevant messages to your customers drives sales & revenue.
But you’re a busy marketer and don’t always have as much time to dedicate to this as you should. So how can you do it in a scalable way that drives ROI?
To answer this question and help you grow your business, we’ll show you 5 of the best automated emails marketers like you can set up to drive sales and revenue.
In this free on-demand webinar, you’ll learn:
- What marketing automation is and why it’s important for your business
- 5 automated emails you can start sending today to grow revenue
I’m Aaron Beashel, and I work on the marketing team here at Campaign Monitor. And in case you don’t know who we are, we’re a simple, elegant email marketing platform that makes it easy for marketers like yourselves to create and send beautiful email campaigns.
5 automated emails you can use
Let’s dive into the first of the five automated emails that will grow your revenue, which is the welcome email.
The welcome email
A welcome email is essentially an email that goes out to your subscribers when they join your list.
So if you’ve ever subscribed to a particular site or to a particular company’s email newsletter, and then you’ve got an email straight away sort of saying, “Thanks for subscribing,” or “Welcome to the list,” then that’s a welcome email.
And they usually have some messaging, as I said before, around like, “Thanks for subscribing,” or in this case, “Hello beauty,” in the case of the Sephora email. And the goal of them is largely to capitalize on the engagement that you’ve shown with the company’s site, and sort of get you to take a desired action.
So in the case of Sephora in this email, that’s to make a purchase on the site. But for your business, it could also be to request a demo, or a scheduled appointment, or whatever kind of action you want your users to take to drive revenue.
So why are these emails important? Although they’re fairly simple to set up and fairly commonplace in the market, they actually are really powerful.
So according to research by Return Path, the average welcome email has a 32% read rate, which is 42% higher than a standard promotional campaign.
So given how easy they are to set up, it’s worth investing some time into making them happen for your business. So let’s dive into how you can do that, and what an effective welcome email looks like.
What does an effective welcome email look like?
The first thing you want to do in a welcome email is to include some sort of like, “Welcome,” or “Thanks for subscribing,” message. The reason you want to do this is it helps set the context of the email for people.
So it relates the email back to the subscribe action that they took on your website. You’re making sure that those two link up in their minds, and that they’re gonna open it, and engage with the email.
The second best practice is to include some sort of like offer within the email itself. So the fact that they subscribed to your newsletter likely means that they have some interest in your products or services.
And so offering them like a 20% discount or something like that like what broadway.com has done here could well be enough to get them over the line and make their first purchase and convert them from just a subscriber to a paying customer.
And to help make sure people do take you up on the offer that you’re putting in front of them, you need to make it really easy for them to do so.
So in the broadway.com email here, for instance, you can see that they include a prominent call-to-action there to buy tickets now. And this makes it super clear, and super easy for the recipient to take the next step, which, of course in the case of broadway.com, is clicking through to their site and making a purchase.
Another best practice that you might want to take into account is sending the email as soon as they subscribe. So this ensures that you’re getting the offer in front of them when they’re engaged with your website.
Like just after they’ve been there, and they’ve been looking around, and they’ve decided to subscribe—as opposed to waiting.
It might be a weekend. You know, they’re definitely less engaged. And tools like our own Campaign Monitor’s own automation features are perfect for setting this kind of stuff up. You can create like the welcome email once, and then set it to send out whenever someone joins a particular list.
This ensures that the email is landing in their inbox in a really timely manner without you having to actually go in there, and create it, and send it out every single time, every single day, or whatever you might be doing.
And the final best practice for creating an effective welcome email? Don’t just limit yourself to one email. This is a mistake that I see a fair few businesses make. In that they’ll just send one welcome email and then forget about it, and then just sort of put them into the newsletter or whatever it may be.
But with automation tools, it’s really easy to sort of set something up to say, “If the recipient doesn’t click in the first email, wait two days and send them a second email.” And so the second email could be maybe like a bigger offer, or maybe it could have some different products, or maybe a slightly different offer.
So instead of offering 10% off, you offer free shipping or something like that. So whatever you can do that’s a little bit different from the first email to try to get these people to engage, and ultimately convert from being just a subscriber to a paying customer.
So the second email that I want to talk about is reminder emails.
The reminder email
Now, reminder emails are basically emails that are sent in the lead-up to a particular date. Now this could be the same like in the case of the Nissan example on the right here. This could be the date your car is due for a service, or it could be the date of a conference or an event that somebody has registered for.
Basically, any date that is relevant in your subscribers’ lives. And these emails, they typically contain information or whatever relevant information that the person needs to take action. So going back to the previous example of a reminder for a conference, maybe it could contain the date of the conference, the time, the location, etc.
Really anything that the end-user needs to know to go about that taking on that event kind of thing.
So in terms of reminder emails and why these things might be important, there was some really interesting research that was released a little while ago that looked at the impact reminder emails could have on a clinic. And in this case, it was a chiropractic clinic.
And they found that by sending these reminder emails, the clinic was able to get 1,800 fewer no-shows than the previous year. So off of the previous year, they had x amount. And then in the year of sending the reminder emails, they had 1,800 less no-shows.
And then at $150 per session, that’s around $275,000 in revenue that they were able to get back that they were previously losing through no-shows. That’s a lot of money that can be generated as a result of these reminder emails. So to help you set these up, let’s chat about a couple of different best practices.
The first thing is to consider the timing of the reminder email, and kind of consider it in the context of, I guess, the event that you’re reminding somebody about. So if it’s in the lead-up to a pre-scheduled event, like a chiropractic appointment for instance, then the day before or even like a few hours before the event is going to be the absolute most useful time to send the email.
But then if you’re sort of reminding someone, if you’re reminding them that it’s been like six months since their last car service, like Nissan’s email here for instance, then you could maybe send that a week or two before the service due date.
So that would allow the person to make some plans around it work out how they’re gonna get their car there, what they’re gonna do without a car for the day, etc.
When it comes to the timing of these emails, really think through the nature of the event that you’re reminding them about, and then consider what’s going to be the most useful for the end user.
A second best practice would be to make it really clear what you want your users to do, and then make it super easy for them to take that action.
And again, looking at the Nissan email, they do a really good job of this with that big button there that says, “Book Service.” That takes their user right to a page where they can select a day, select a time for the service, and book it in right there and then without having to do anything else.
I understand that can be a little bit technical. And if you’re not a web developer who can set up some sort of like booking system or something like that, that can seem pretty out of reach. But there are tools out there that are really useful for this kind of stuff.
Setting up an effective reminder email
With the proper tools, you can connect to your existing calendar or your existing booking system. These tools will show your customers sort of any of the available time slots that you have, and will allow them to book in whatever time suits them.
And you can block out time so that if you’re not working at that time, like after 6:00 p.m. for instance, they can’t schedule a time then. But the main reason to do this is that by making it super easy for someone to like take those next steps, you’re really increasing the chance that they’re going to do so.
So instead of having to give us a call to book in your next service (which would require someone to get the number, find their phone, and call up), they have the ability to just click the Book Service button, go on select a time, and confirm the booking is really going to increase the chance that they’re going to take that action and ultimately increase the revenue that you get from it as well.
The birthday email
So jumping into the third email is the birthday email.
So in case none of you have ever had a birthday before and never received a birthday email, it’s an email that is sent on or around the subscriber’s birthday. And the goal of the messaging in it is to wish them a happy birthday and to generally make some sort of like special birthday offer like $10 off your next purchase or something like that.
And the goal of these emails from a marketing perspective is twofold. It’s to make your customers feel special by wishing them a happy birthday and having a bit of a personalized touch, which in turn builds a good relationship between them and your brand. But it’s also to capitalize on people’s willingness to treat themselves around this time and to ultimately drive purchases, I think, as well.
So why are these emails important? Why do this? Well, birthday emails actually have some really impressive engagement and conversion statistics. In fact, according to some research, birthday emails get 179% higher click-through rate than promotional emails.
They generate a 481% higher transaction rate, and they generate 382% more revenue. So in comparison to a standard promotion email, a birthday email is 1.7 times more likely to get clicked. It’s 4.8 times more likely to drive a purchase, and will generate you 3.8 times more revenue than a standard promotional email.
Those are pretty impressive stats for a fairly simple email to set up. So how do you get started, and how do you create a good birthday email? Well, first, you want to start by wishing them a happy birthday.
Now I know that sounds really, really obvious, but what it does is it firstly makes them feel really special, and that you’re thinking of them and it builds that relationship. But it also helps them understand why they’re receiving that email, and sets the context for that email landing in their inbox.
When someone knows why they’re getting an email and this context around it, it leads to higher open rates, and higher engagement rates, and ultimately, higher transaction rates from it as well.
Secondly, in your birthday emails, you want to make some sort of special birthday only offer. Something like 10% off the next purchase, or free shipping, or a free gift with their next purchase, anything like that that is going to increase their chance of clicking through and taking the desired action that drives revenue for your business.
Third point is there is… don’t be afraid to send one email. But as sort of shown by those statistics before, birthday emails are such a great opportunity to build a relationship with customers and to drive revenue.
And too many marketers I see just send one email on the birthday, hope that iit gets seen amongst the 15 other birthday emails that they get in their inbox, and hope that they take action. And there’s never really any follow up. But I love what Birchbox has done here in this example.
So instead of just sending like one email on the customer’s birthday with the discount and then just forgetting about it, they’ve slightly repositioned the offer so that it’s available for the entire month.
So this offer isn’t just available as a one-time thing, the $10 off is available for the entire month. And what this allows them to do is send multiple emails, and that’s both before and after the birthday. So imagine that someone’s birthday is on the 15th or the middle of the month.
They can start sending them emails at the beginning of the month, and they can continue to send them emails through to the end of the month, like, which gives the end customer much more chances to actually take the offer, and make a purchase, and drives revenue for Birchbox as well, which I think is a great idea.
Birthday email best practices
Some more best practices for creating a great birthday email: Try sending different offers to different segments. So research that we’ve done shows that segmented email campaigns with really targeted relevant offers and messages drive 760% more revenue than just generic mass distributed same campaigns.
And I think Monica Vinader does a really great job of this in their birthday email here.
Beyond just using the customer’s birthday to trigger the campaign, they actually use the birthday to segment the email as well. And as you can see on this example here, they show like a more classic style of jewelry to their more mature customers, and then show a more contemporary style to their younger customers.
So they’re making sure that the offers that they’re making and the messaging that they’re giving out as relevant to the end-user as possible, and ultimately increasing their chance that that end-user is going to click through and make a purchase.
And the final tip for creating a great birthday email is to personalize it. You know, I’ve seen birthday emails that say ridiculous things like, “Happy birthday, customer.” And that, to me, just makes absolutely no sense, right? Like if you’ve got someone’s birthday, and you’ve taken the time to set up an automated campaign that goes out to them on their birthday, then why not take the time to insert their first name into the email as well?
It’s very likely that you have that piece of data. And it kind of just saying like “Happy birthday, customer,” you know, really just ruins any sort of good feelings or positive kind of brand relationships that you get from sending the email.
So either don’t mention their name at all and just have generic messaging like, “Happy birthday,” or go that extra step and say like “Happy birthday, Kim” or something like that to really make it a really personalized email that gets them engaged, gets them opening, and clicking through, and making a purchase.
The VIP email
So the fourth type of automated email that I want to chat to you guys about is the VIP email. So a VIP email is an automated campaign that gets sent to your most valuable customers.
Now how you define most valuable customers really depends a lot on your business. But it could be if they’ve spent over a certain amount, or maybe they’ve made over x number of purchases, or really whatever criteria you decide.
Again it’s gonna be very specific to the type of business you are, the kind of customers you have, the kind of revenue you’re generating from them, so on and so forth.
Now in this email, we usually include some sort of message around like, “Thank you for being a loyal customer,” and it has everything you can see sort of on the right there. And often, they’ll make an offer as well. Like a VIP only offer, like 20% off or something like that, or the chance to join some sort of VIP Club.
And I think from a marketing perspective, the goal of these emails is twofold. The first one is to, I think, increase loyalty amongst this series of VIP customers by making them feel really special, and appreciated, and really just thanking them for being part of your community. And then secondly, to grow revenue by encouraging more repeat purchases from that select group of customers.
And I say those two things in a really particular order. I think if you focus in this with the VIP email. I think if you focus on number one, which is increasing… like making your customers feel really special, then number two, like which, in growing revenue, is gonna come from that.
Because by making them feel really great, and by making them feel appreciated and part of your community, they’re gonna continue to come back and purchase from you, and you’re gonna see that revenue as a direct result. So in terms of why these emails are important, why is it important to create loyal customers and drive repeat purchases?
Well, according to research, you’re 15 times more likely to be able to sell a product to an existing customer who has experience with your brand and your product than you are to sell a product to a brand new customer who’s never purchased anything from you.
And then when you do manage to get people to make repeat purchases, the value of that customer, of that individual customer, the value of them to you goes up considerably. In fact, as you can see here, research shows that the value of a loyal customer is 10 times that of a one-time purchaser. Which is the huge difference in terms of the value of a customer, and what that does to your overall revenue.
So how do you create… Let’s dive into this. How do you create a good VIP email? Now one that sort of shows appreciation for your customers, and also encourages repeat purchases, and drives revenue for your business. And I think the first thing is to make sure that you acknowledge that they are a VIP, and thank them for being so.
And again, not only does this make them feel special and build that relationship up between you and them, but it also helps them, as I mentioned before, to understand why they’re receiving the campaign. Which in turn increases the chance that they will open, read it, and engage with it.
The second thing I think you need to do is include some sort of special VIP-only offer. Something like, again, 10% off their purchases, or free shipping, or something like that. Something that only applies to them that they’re going to really benefit from being part of the VIP club.
And then as part of this offer that you’re making them, I think it’s really important that you include a clear call-to-action in the email. So as you can see, Campaign Monitor customer Sephora does a great job of this. They have this prominent black call-to-action button that really stands out against the blues and the greens that are in the background.
It makes it really clear to anybody that’s receiving this email what the next step they should take is. Furthermore, in order to increase engagement with this VIP email, increase the chance that somebody’s going to make a purchase, you really want to start to use tools like segmentation to send different offers to different segments.
Now as I’ve mentioned before, but I’ll recap it again because it’s such an insane stat, research has shown that sending segmented email campaigns with targeted relevant messages drove 760% more revenue than generic mass distributed campaigns.
So depending on your business and your audience, I suppose, this could go a lot of different ways. You could show different products to the mail VIPs versus the female VIPs, or you could show different products or different imagery to VIPs in different locations because maybe it’s a different season sort of thing.
So there’s a lot of different ways you can segment your audience and make sure the messaging is more targeted to them, but the first step is actually getting started doing it and starting to see the results from them.
And finally, again I touched on this before, but don’t be afraid to send more than one email to your VIP customers. With automation tools these days like the ones in Campaign Monitor for instance, it’s super easy to set up some logic that sends the first email.
And then if they don’t open or click on that second email, it sends them another one with a slightly different offer. So you could potentially start with your first VIP email that says, “Thanks for being a VIP. Have 10% off your any future orders.”
And if they don’t click and engage with that, then maybe you try sending them another email that offers them free shipping or something like that, and changes it up to the point where maybe they’ll pick up on that next email.
The re-engagement email
And the fifth and final automated email that I wanted to… that will grow revenue for your business that I wanted to present to you guys is the re-engagement email. So this one’s a little bit less common so I’ll dive in and discuss exactly what it is first.
So a re-engagement email is a type of automated campaign that’s sent to unengaged customers, people that you want to come back and re-engage with your brand. And depending on your business, that could be, you know, by using your SAS app, or your product again.
Or it could be coming back to your online store and making another purchase. Now, how you define unengaged customers really depends a lot on your business.
So if you have, for instance, like a mobile, or SAS app, or a SAS product, or something like that, it could be an unengaged customer could be somebody who hasn’t logged in and used your tool for 30 days. But if you run an online store on the other hand, then maybe it’s someone who hasn’t purchased from you in a few months.
The definition of unengaged customer is something that you need to work out that’s very specific to your business. And the goal of this email of the re-engagement email is really to get them to come back.
So, again, like if it’s an online store, it’s to come back and make a purchase. If it’s a SAS or mobile app, then your goal is probably to reduce churn. But why is this important? Why should you set this up?
So some research that I found around the web shows that you can get 125% increase in profitability by decreasing your customer attrition rate, which, by the way, which means the rate in which your customers leave you, by just 5%.
So to help you wrap your head around that, I created a particular scenario to demonstrate the power of this. So if you have 10,000 customers, either for your SAS, or your mobile app, or even for your online store, even for your physical store, and each one of those customers pays you roughly $500 per year over the course of the year, be that through purchases or whatever it may be, and 15% of them each year stop being customers, then you are losing $750,000 worth of revenue.
But if you can reduce that churn rate, that customer attrition rate to just 5% by doing things like sending re-engagement campaigns, that lost revenue drops to $250,000 per year, and nets you an extra $500,000 in revenue per year.
That’s a huge number just by doing things like re-engagement campaigns for people who are already customers, people who have already purchased from you, and with whom you have an existing relationship.
So how do you do it? How do you create a good re-engagement campaign that helps reduce customer attrition or churn, and nets you that extra revenue?
How to create a re-engagement email
I think the first thing is to tell them you miss them. You know, and make sure to acknowledge that they’ve been absent, and tell them that you’d like to hear from them again.
As I chatted about previously here, not only does this make them special and makes them know that you’re thinking about them, but really it sets the context of the email, and why they’re receiving it.
And that goes a long way in increasing and opens engagement. And that’s absolutely the first step in getting somebody to take the action that you want them to do, which is ultimately coming back to your app and making them purchase or use it again.
The second point is to give them something new. Like these people have obviously stopped engaging with your site, or your app, for whatever reason, and just sort of politely asking them to come back won’t change that.
So in the email, show them some new products that you have in your online store, or if you have a SAS app, show them some of the new features that you’ve recently released that could help you because this is ultimately what’s going to get them to come back, right?
Like there’s something new, there’s something different, there’s something appealing to them, and that’s ultimately what’s gonna get them to come back and re-engage with you rather than just you politely asking them to come back.
And finally, make the next steps super clear. Like, include a really prominent call-to-action that makes it really easy for the recipient to understand what the next step they should take is.
And I think a Campaign Monitor customer, St. Jude’s, they do this really, really well. You know, as you can see in the email below, they have a prominent call-to-action to donate again that makes it really easy for the user to understand what they should do next, and dramatically increases the chance that they’re going to do so.
Okay, so those are the five automated emails that all marketers can use to drive revenue for your business. My favorite thing about all of these, and the reason we chose to highlight these particular five emails amongst the many others that could be done is that they’re really, really easy to set up.
And I think any marketer, regardless of like their technical ability, can use the features of Campaign Monitor, like the automation, and the segmentation tools, and integrations with your online stores, to set up these automated campaigns that you invest in once, you invest time in creating them once, and then you turn them on, and then they just continue to drive revenue for your business even when you’re asleep.