How to put your marketing on Autopilot
Marketing is a vital component of business - and it can also be a complete pain in the arse. There is good news, however - it’s now possible to save yourself hours of work by putting large chunks of your marketing on autopilot.
Yes, it takes a little bit of time to learn and set-up, however it's a one-time job and once in place it will save you hours and hours of work, while still achieving your marketing goals.
So, Let’s get started.
How does automated marketing work?
Automated marketing is actually surprisingly simple.
Step 1: Create a rule
Step 2: Write an email template
Step 3: Sit back, relax and enjoy the increased sales, decreased churn, etc.
Important Note: Proper automated marketing only works if you have some sort of loyalty program or CRM. We’re going to proceed with this article presuming you’re using Piggy - which provides loyalty, data collection and marketing in one software package - however these ideas will work with some other platforms too.
Automated Message 1 - A Warm Welcome
When someone joins your marketing program, it’s a good idea to say “hello”. This is the very first automated message you should set up - and it’s also one of the easiest.
This is the perfect opportunity to introduce your brand and products to your new member. You can also tell them what they can expect from your marketing program - and possibly even offer them a welcome gift.
Ideas for your Automated Welcome Message
Welcome messages perform better when they are written by a real person - rather than a company. If you're a smaller company this should be the company owner. For bigger companies it could be anyone who fits with the brand. It could even be written by a fictional company mascot or spokesperson. Use this opportunity to explain who they are and their relation to the company. Consider adding a photo too.
Introduce the company:
This is also a great opportunity to explain the purpose of the company. You want to keep this top-level, so 1-2 sentences should be fine. What do you do, why do you do it, and who do you do it for?
Explain your marketing program
Let your reader know what they can expect as a member of your marketing program - but do it from their point of view, not yours. Tell them what they can look forward to, such as news updates and special deals.
Offer your customer a gift
Get the relationship off to a flying start by offering a special deal, to thank them for joining. This could be as simple as a 10% discount with their first purchase, or possibly a small number of reward points.
Automated Message 2 - Request a review
To succeed in business today, every company needs to have positive reviews, mainly to assure potential customers. While there’s a chance you’ll receive a range of reviews organically, both positive and negative, reviews from members of your marketing program are usually overwhelmingly positive.
The secret here is to ask at the right time. In our experience, you will receive the highest number of positive reviews after a customer has visited your business between 4-6 times.
So, create an email template, and then create a rule that ensures it is sent around the 5th purchase.
Tips for your Automated Review Request Message:
Always respect your readers’ time.
You are asking them to go out of their way to help your business, so be polite and empathetic.
These are customers who have visited your company a few times and returned every time, so don’t ask them to write “nice things”. Instead, ask them to be honest and speak their mind.
Appreciate positive and negative feedback
While everyone wants to see positive feedback, negative feedback can also be a powerful tool for improving your offering.
Always reply to negative feedback
If a customer does leave negative feedback, always compose a reply thanking them for their feedback, and possibly explaining any misunderstandings where appropriate.
Automated Message 3 - Say hello to customers who haven’t visited in a while
While regular customers are always a welcome sight, unfortunately sometimes customers drift away. There could be thousands of reasons for this, and most of them are down to the customer changing their location, lives or lifestyle - rather than any problem they have with your business.
That’s why a lapsed-customer automatic mail can be a very powerful tool.
Setting it up is easy. First you create a rule that customers will receive an email if their account remains inactive for a set amount of time. We usually recommend sending it around 3-months after their last visit. Next, create an email template, and congratulations - you've just created a way to reduce customer churn for the foreseeable future, without having to lift a finger.
Tips for your lapsed-customer automated message:
Keep an open mind
You have no idea why this customer has stopped visiting your store, so try not to make assumptions. Instead simply state that you’ve noticed they haven’t visited in a while.
Add some emotion
Even though this is about commercial transactions, you’re a person and they’re a person. It might help to put some emphasis on how much you would love to see them in your store again - and how important customers are to your business.
Tempt them back with a gift
Another effective technique is to offer your lapsed customers a special ‘welcome back’ reward. This could be as simple as small discount on their next purchase, additional points for your loyalty program - or even the lure of a free gift next time they visit your store.
Automated Message 4 - Happy Birthday
Wishing someone Happy Birthday is almost universally appreciated - provided you do it the right way.
Some companies send bland, boring messages that feel corporate and automated. Not only are these positively lame - but in some cases they could even damage the relationship.
Instead of sending something cold and impersonal, make sure the email feels personal and warm. Also add an element of your business, to ensure the message feels fun. After all, birthdays are for celebrating.
Tips for your Happy Birthday automated message:
Send the email a few days before
People are often very busy on their birthdays, and often don't even check their inbox. One possible solution for this is to send a message a few days beforehand saying “Happy Birthday for your special day, in advance”.
Offer a gift, not a discount
While it might be tempting to offer someone a discount - actual gifts are always more effective. This is because gifts are real - and they give the recipient a story to tell. Discounts, on the other hand, rarely create stories.
Invite them into the store
Saying to a customer ‘To celebrate your birthday, pop into the store, and we’ll give you a present’ is an extremely powerful way of building a stronger relationship. Not only will the customer create a positive association between your company with their birthday - but any other customers in the store will also become part of the occasion.
Does your customer loyalty software have an autopilot option?
Automatic messaging programs can save you a huge amount of time, while also:
Obviously, however, in order to have an automatic messaging program, you must first have a way of automatically collecting data and a marketing program.
Most modern loyalty platforms can help you with this, to a degree, but only the best platforms also offer a comprehensive marketing program to complement the loyalty features.
By searching online you’ll find a range of options - but if you want to speak to a real person, book an appointment with one of our loyalty experts by clicking here.