4 Ways to Keep Your Automated Campaign Personal

If there’s one thing small business owners lack, it’s time. You’d like to reach your audience more effectively, but you don’t have the time. Which is why solutions like autoresponders are attractive solutions for your email marketing.

But isn’t email marketing all about building relationships with your customers? Doesn’t running an automated campaign make your marketing less personal? Not necessarily.

A session on automated email campaigns at MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2012 presented tactics for automating your campaign to save time without sacrificing the personal connection consumers have come to expect.

Here are four simple ways to save time with an automated campaign that still feels personal.

Build Rapport With a Conversational Tone

The language you use influences the kind of connection you build with your customer base. If your tone is friendly, your readers will feel more personally connected to you.

We ran a case study on an AWeber customer who uses conversational language in her automated follow ups and achieves high open rates and click throughs as a result. Jermaine Griggs – the presenter who discussed these tactics at the Email Summit – uses such a friendly voice in his emails that even his own grandmother doesn’t realize that his whole campaign is automated. Now that’s effective content marketing!

Keep these points in mind to make your follow ups feel more like a conversation:

Harness the Power of Anniversary Emails

Acknowledging the anniversary of when a customer joined your list is an easy way to make an automated campaign feel personal. You probably can’t keep track of the date each customer signed up, but your follow up series can remember for you. Reward your customers for their loyalty with a coupon or free download and a message that feels personal.

Use Evergreen Content

As you create your automated follow ups, focus on content that customers will find useful for a long time to come. Marcus Sheridan – an entrepreneur, small business marketer and AWeber customer – recommends paying attention to the questions your customers frequently ask, along with the search terms that bring the most traffic to your web site. Address these questions in your automated campaign for content that will feel fresh and relevant for customers who sign up now or a year from now.

Think about other helpful content on your site that you can repurpose for your campaign. This doesn’t mean directly copying; rather, it’s reworking what you have readily available. Things like:

Repurposing content that doesn’t go stale keeps your conversation with your customers feeling fresh no matter when they join your campaign.

Don’t Always Follow the Crowd

Building a campaign that feels personal means expressing your brand’s personality. Sometimes injecting personality means breaking best marketing practices in your industry.

Personality is easier for businesses that market directly to consumers, but that doesn’t mean business-to-business companies should be left out. Your services might be geared toward other businesses, but your emails still go to people who make the buying decisions. Your business can build rapport by striking a balance between friendly and professional in your emails.

It all comes down to tone and what your readers respond to, which you can tell by how many of your customers open and click through your emails. People who are engaged with your emails will open them and click through to your site more often.

If you’re getting good results, keep it up, regardless of what other businesses in your sector are doing. Sometimes different can resonate with your customers on a more personal level.

What Have You Tried?

How do you balance saving time with automated emails while keeping a personal connection with your customers? Have you tried any of these techniques successfully? Share your stories in the comments.

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3 Comments

  1. Great useful ideas (as always.) Thanks for the templates!

    6/1/2012 9:59 am
  2. Great post, I just started my email campaigns – and for the moment, it’s running off my daily blog posts. I enjoy posting inspiring and helpful content for entrepreneurs.

    6/1/2012 11:47 am
  3. Rebekah, thank you!

    I love the “Anniversary Email” suggestion. I’m am in the process of reno-ing my site and I’m working on an e-course and I’m going to add an “Anniversary Email” into the sequence. Love it!

    Thank you again – Theresa :)

    6/7/2012 1:32 pm