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How to turn leads into customers using marketing automation

I want to talk about marketing automation. It’s a subject that gets a lot of attention but not enough specificity. What I mean is that while we see all sorts of mentions regarding automation, there is still only a 3% adoption rate across all businesses.

That’s striking, and means that there’s still a lot of education opportunities for companies who have adopted automation or are thinking about adding it. People simply don’t know how to effectively use automation, and because of that a lot of opportunity goes to waste.

Today I want to show you a simple 4-email template for following up with email leads using automation that is adopted from what we’ve seen to work with our customers at Interact and has resulted in millions of dollars in verified sales.

Email #1: “Thank You” and “Welcome” (bonus points for referencing their opt-in method) (immediately after opt-in)

Immediately after someone gives you their contact information, send them a welcome email. The key to an effective welcome email is to reference the method by which they opted in. For example, if they entered a giveaway, mention that, if they downloaded an E-book, mention that.

opt-in thank you email

Email #2: Content related to your opt-in method (4 days after opt-in)

The second email in the automation sequence should still reference the opt-in method, but also include some fun content. At Interact we tell people to send the other personality types for people who opted-in through a quiz, but this could also be content related to an ebook that someone opted-in to download.

email follow-up

Email #3: Here’s what our company does (10 days after opt-in)

In the third email of your sequence, tell people what you do, but don’t say it directly. Instead say it through a story about one of your customers. Highlight a brand you’ve worked with and had a lot of success with, then send their story in an email. Ideally they participate and contribute their side of the story as well.

marketing automation email sequence

Email #4: Entice a purchase (14 days after opt-in)

Not until the fourth email do you present an offer, and even this incentive should be indirect. If you are a retail brand, offer a discount, if you are a software company, invite people to a webinar, if you are a non-profit, let people know about your donation drive.

Ideally you can tie this offer back to the original opt-in reason. For example, if the person gave you their contact information in return for a free download, tie that in to this CTA in a fun way. This will allow you to personalize the offer, and personalized offers convert 42% better than non-personalized.

marketing automation email

Beyond the 4 emails: A Newsletter (if it’s good)

After this initial sequence, it’s a good idea to continue communication with your prospects. One way to do this is with an email newsletter that goes out periodically. Now let me stop right here and warn you against sending out a bland newsletter. If you are even thinking about sending updates which contain feature notifications and achievements you’ve made as a company, stop. Your newsletter should contain relevant and engaging content just like the 4-email sequence you started with. Each blast should be crafted with care and contain customer stories, fun lists, or case studies.

To wrap things up:

When someone opts-in to your list, they don’t deserve to get a monthly newsletter full of uninteresting information. Instead, follow this 4-email sequence and watch as people have a much more positive reaction to your brand.

By Josh Haynam

Marketing guy, pickup basketball guy, likes to learn guy. hit me on twitter @jhaynam

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