Salespeople work too hard. Following our article on the evolving nature of email newsletters, we wanted to highlight an area of email marketing that remains very powerful and effective, particularly for the sales professionals among us. That is the use of autoresponder series, particularly those we call “event driven” email autoresponder series. This is simply an autoresponder series sent after some specific triggering event, such as a recent purchase, a website inquiry or download or after receiving a donation. Or, in this specific case, after a meeting with a sales prospect.
What Is An Email Autoresponder Series?
Just to be clear, and before we get any further, I wanted to provide a definition of an email autoresponder series. An autoresponder series is a term for a cohesive series of pre-written emails that are sent to people over a predetermined timeframe, sharing a similar theme throughout the series. This typically happens after a certain event, like a purchase on your website, they become a customer, they download something from your website, or some other initiating event.
Note, that an autoresponder email is different than a typical newsletter type email which is typically an email sent to all – or one group - of your subscribers.
Email autoresponder series, particularly the “event driven” email autoresponder series, are tremendously powerful for a number of reasons. First, they are typically tied to a specific event so there is less of an unexpected or unfamiliar nature in this form of communication. Another favorable characteristic of autoresponder emails is that you can take readers through a series of coordinated emails which provides an opportunity to build a relationship with the reader. We’ll get into more of these details below.
Using The Email Autoresponder Series
There are a number of great uses for email autoresponders. Just think about what you would like to say to people – if you had the chance – if you knew that they had an interest or need in your products or services. What would you want them to know about your company or other products?
Here are a couple cases, where an event driven autoresponder series would come in useful:
Showcasing products complimentary to a recent purchase.
Following an inquiry or download, educating customers about your company’s products or services
Onboarding new customers
For non-profit organizations, providing information about your services, success, photos of the people you help and use of funds after receiving a donation.
After a sales person meets with a potential customer.
In this article, we are most interested in this last case, the post-sales prospect follow-up situation.
Sales Prospecting & The Email Autoresponder Series: A Match Made in Heaven
In many industries, the sales cycle can take time. Successful sales also need a certain level of trust. This is particularly true as the complexity, cost and importance of the goods or services being sold rises. This is nowhere more evident than in business-to-business sales situations.
Sales professionals call on lots of people, have lots of meetings with prospects and move on to more meetings. This is the ideal situation for the email autoresponder series.
In a situation like this, the email autoresponder series can help maintain contact, provide useful information (perhaps to educate the prospect), and simply maintain a certain level of visibility with appropriate individuals or contacts within organizations. The autoresponder achieves this with little effort on the part of the sales executive, and it occurs slowly over a period of time without becoming overwhelming (and irritating).
In the past, this same activity of building relationships with new customers by sending short, informational notes over a period of time was referred to as “drip marketing.” Today we can use the automated email autoresponder series.
Author: Erik Bunaes, President, Endorphin Advisors LLC. See www.linkedin.com/in/erikbunaes.