In a previous article we looked at email marketing basics for single email broadcasts. This time we look at how sequenced email campaigns can influence recipient behaviour with multiple messages. These email marketing messages can be dispatched over a set period of time (hours, day or weeks). They can also be triggered by recipient actions (clicks or lack of clicks).
Types of Sequences
There are many different types of sequenced email campaigns that can be created depending on the maturity of the relationship with your recipient. The stage they are at in the purchase journey is also an influential factor when structuring your sequence. For new prospects you will need to carefully build a rapport with them.
Over time you will earn their trust and be able to ask them to take actions. These actions could include providing further data or making a purchase/download. For existing customers or lapsed customers you can be more direct as you have already built that relationship. We will now look at some different uses of email sequences in different circumstances.
Newsletter Sign-up Sequence
Following an opt-in on your website, how does the new subscriber begin their reader relationship with you? Does your sign-up solution offer the ability to send a welcome email to them after a set duration? Your welcome email could either just thank them for subscribing or could offer further refinement to their opt-in. Do you have content groups that they can choose from to tailor the newsletter content they receive (improving future click-through)? This email also confirms that they have provided a correct (legitimate) email address.
Cart Abandonment Emails
This wouldn’t be a sequence of emails, but we include it as we regard the shopping cart as the first step in the sequence. A follow-up email would be counted as the second step in the sequence. There can be many reasons for abandoning a shopping cart before checking out. Whilst changing your mind or having second thoughts are common reasons, there could be technical reasons too. With ecommerce systems that require a login/registration or an email address, this gives you the chance to try and recover the sale. Some ecommerce systems can send a dynamic email to that prospect giving them a link to the cart to complete the sale. This saves them having to locate and put the product in the basket again.
Dormant or Lapsing Customer Sequences
For products or services with a fixed expiry date (or use-by date), email sequences can help encourage repeat purchase. Likewise, with customers that haven’t purchased recently, sequenced emails can help encourage repeat purchases.
- Dormant Customers – has a customer not purchased from you for a while? An email sequence is a great way of reminding the existing customer of your current products. Use a sequence of emails to introduce new products and encourage them back with offers or discounts
- Lapsing customer – does your product or service have an expiry date (such as a fixed-term subscription or known use-by date)? A sequence of emails timed prior to the expiry can remind the customer of the value of your product and the benefits of renewal
Product Experience Sequences
Other sequenced email campaigns can help customers to get the most out of your product or service. Do you have top tips for using your product? Do you have links to a user manual or updates to the manual that they can download? Are there upgrades and enhancements that can be showcased after an appropriate amount of time? Or do you offer a support service or live chat facility that could answer any questions? Each of these can be structured into a broadcast sequence with timing starting on the day of purchase.
Free Sample Sequences
Companies that send out free product samples often use sequenced emails to progress the conversion path. With the fulfilment date known, they can schedule a sequence of messages starting with confirmation that the sample should arrive soon. The next message could be to check if the sample has arrived and support resources if the recipient has any questions. Then after a sufficient time for usage to begin they could provide a coupon for a first purchase.
Tag your links in each email in the sequence to monitor effectiveness. Tracking email marketing with Google Analytics is easy using UTM URLs in Google Analytics. You can set events to determine the number of conversions and optimise the sequence.