When you first start your online business, it’s generally just you trying to do all.of.the.things. as fast as you can to get up and running.
You literally have no choice but to dive in and do it all, but as your business grows, so does the need for you to pass some things off to other people, or services.
I am going to be writing my next few posts all about things that you can automate in your business to start getting some of your time and sanity back!
Today I am going to be talking about a big issue that most people have – emails.
“Professional emailer” could practically be a job title in any small business, especially in the online world. The majority of entrepreneurs that I have spoken to recently have told me that email is the biggest time-suck that they have in their business. While answering email is an inevitable part of every entrepreneur’s workday, not every message requires you to write an original response, and this is where automation come into play!
Automation can provide a shortcut for the routine emails your business receives. By responding immediately to customer inquiry when they click the “contact us” form on your website instead of their message being routed to an inbox where their email might go unanswered for days, you will see higher conversion rates. Trust me, people want what they want when they want it, and if you don’t get back to them ASAP they will spend that downtime looking for someone else. Waiting even thirty minutes to make contact decreases your odds of qualifying a lead by twenty-one times, as compared to calling or emailing within five minutes, according to the Lead Response Management Study. With automation software, an email response can be sent as soon as the form is completed (or within any timeframe you decide on).
Here’s a tip to make it more personalized, so that your lead or potential client is getting the right response, quickly. You can sort the inquiries coming in by adding a simple drop down menu on your site.
Here’s a quick example of some options you can use on your drop down menu:
- A new customer inquiry
- Request for pricing
You can set up the software to send a response accordingly: While a pricing request could trigger an email with that information, a complaint might send an initial apology email and also prompt you to contact the customer personally to see how you can improve their experience. Thus, you will be writing fewer repetitive emails!!!
Most businesses repeatedly send certain emails, like answers to frequently asked questions, pricing information, product instructions, or policies. Instead of taking the time to type a new email—or even to copy-and-paste an old email from your inbox—you can send replies automatically. Emails can be sent as part of an automated sequence.
For example, a customer’s newly purchased online course or membership could trigger an email that contains the live call schedule. You can also send them a list of FAQs about their new purchase that could limit emails in a few days if they get confused on how the program/product/course works.
Automated emails can also be sent as a real-time response to an incoming email. Let’s say a customer requests pricing for a new service: If you’re an Infusionsoft user, you can apply a note to their contact record, which triggers a pre-written email response—while also recording their request in your database. These automated emails don’t have to seem automated, either. By using a few tricks—like merge fields that replace “Hi First Name,” with “Hi Steve” — the email looks as though you just sat down to write it.
Automation is a big part of growing your business, and I can’t stress enough that you need to get these systems in order sooner rather than later. If you’re ready to make the jump and learn a little more about automation, I highly suggest taking at look at this Free E-Book that my friends at Infusionsoft put together.