Do you ever find yourself wishing you had remembered to acknowledge a special day or milestone, but the moment passed before you could arrange to get an email or correspondence written, designed, and sent out in time?
Juggling the many anniversaries, holidays, key moments, and business events one at a time can create an endless cycle of hurrying or playing catch-up to get it all done – or worse, a missed opportunity to connect with customers during moments that matter.
We've already written about the importance of starting a conversation with customers, and here we'll dive deeper into the practical aspect of getting started with automated email marketing. Let's begin!
Starting the Conversation
How do you begin the conversation? What should you say in an email? There's more to talk about than you probably realize.
Here are some ideas and compelling reasons to consider when deciding when and why to reach out:
- Anniversary of Death – Show that your business cares and remembers
- New Year – The New Year is often an emotional time when feelings and memories of loved ones rise to the forefront. Keep in mind the start of a New Year across cultures and religions, such as Rosh Hashana, Nowruz, Hijri New Year, Chinese New Year, and others.
- Major Religious Holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanza
- Special Commemorative Days – If the deceased was a Veteran or on active Military duty, consider sending a Veteran's Day, and Memorial Day email to acknowledge service to our country
- Public Holidays – Encourage families to visit when they have the day off from work
- Mother's Day, Father's Day – These days take on new meaning when missing a parent
Other Reasons to Engage
- Pre-Planning – Remind contacts of the peace of mind and financial benefits that pre-planning offers
- Encourage Visitation – Your business is an important part of the community. A visit is always welcome
- Special Events – Announce any Open Houses, Cemetery Tours, Concerts taking place onsite
- Ideas to make any service memorable and special – Share trends and ideas
What's an email drip campaign?
An email "drip" campaign is an email marketing strategy of sending out carefully paced emails to your segmented lists of customers throughout the year, according to a pre-set schedule. The cadence, or length of time between email contact is up to you, but the idea is to keep it up regularly. Drip…drip…drip… you get the idea. A note of gratitude, heartfelt acknowledgment of a special moment in your customers' lives, or new bit of information delivered to their inbox is a welcomed gesture.
Important Marketing Tip: Be sure your recipient list has "opted in" to receiving marketing communications from your business. This means that at some point they have agreed to receive periodic marketing emails from you. Most commonly, opt-ins occur through a newsletter sign up form or similar. If you do not yet have a mechanism for people to "opt-in" to receiving future communications, it's time to consider adding one to your website.
The ideal frequency of email contact
The scheduling of your automated marketing emails may take into account several factors. Your business will want to send enough communications over time in order for your customers to feel a positive familiarity with your company, and win their hearts and minds, but not often enough that it will annoy recipients, or become intrusive. Balance is key.
- It's called an email "journey", because your email flow will deliver an overall experience, taking your customers through a path. Try putting yourself in your customers' shoes to decide what feels best, and map out the course you want them to experience.
- Reliable communication with your customers is essential to growing your business. An automated system is a helpful tool to make sure you never miss a beat.
Get More with Automated Account Communications
In addition to "Marketing" emails, automation can be used to streamline account communications.
Each account generates details to follow up on, and stopping a task to create an email can leave you with tasks, sub-tasks, and sub-sub-tasks. You don't want that!
Creating templated, automated communications that contain the general information you want to convey, will save you time and ensure every necessary email gets sent throughout the account management process.
Examples of Automated Account Communications
Setting up automated account communications start with identifying specific business "events" that will trigger an automatic email to go out. For example, an "event" such as an in-person visit to your funeral home or cemetery can trigger a follow up "Thank you" email to be sent. An unsettled invoice may be set as an event that triggers a payment reminder email to go out. When a service ends, you may wish for a follow up email to be sent automatically. It's up to you to decide when an email will go out, and what it will say.
Here are just a few events that could prompt an automated correspondence:
- Thank you for speaking with us
- Invoice payment reminders
- Booking Confirmations
Reliable communication with your customers is essential to growing your business. An automated system is a helpful tool to make sure you never miss a beat.