Autoresponders — also known as drip email or triggered emails — can be extraordinarily powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal when they are executed well. If they are executed poorly, however, an autoresponder campaign can cost you subscribers and sales opportunities.
Being that this is #emailmarketingweak, we’re here to tell you what NOT to do and help make your autoresponder campaign a success.
1. You didn’t personalize your message
We all receive enough form letters — both electronic and printed — to understand that it’s a fact of life and sometimes there isn’t going to be a “real human” behind a message. By the same token, though, it isn’t necessary to create message that SOUND like form letters. Do you like receiving letters at your home that start with “Dear Occupant,”? Likely not, and starting an email with “Dear Customer,” will likely evoke the same feeling.
It doesn’t take any additional time or effort to make your triggered emails read like a personal message.
2. You actually managed to “overpersonalize” it
Yes, it’s possible to go too far. When your quest to make your autoresponder as personal as possible results in silly mistakes like details that don’t add up or awkward/incorrect grammar, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with form letters and the job of an autoresponder is to help nurture a relationship, not manage it for you.
3. It didn’t look like a personal email
Consider for a moment the type of traditional mail you’re most likely to read… A business-sized envelope comes in the mail from a company that you do business with and you open it. We’re starting with the assumption here that you are likely inclined to read the message inside. But what changes if, instead of a personalized note on company letterhead, there’s a full color glossy brochure inside? You’re probably less likely to read it because you recognize it immediately as a sales message NOT and informative one.
Email is no different.
The graphics and pizazz are likely not helping you in an autoresponder. We usually recommend using plain text/HTML emails for this purpose. And here’s another helpful hint if you want your drip emails to look more like standard emails: add a few hard returns underneath your signature to push the opt-out message further down below your text. The mandatory unsubscribe option is still there and it isn’t hidden, it just has a decreased visual impact.
4. You got your timing wrong
As with most things in life, timing is everything with email marketing. Autoresponders are no different.
Make sure that your emails have a “natural” pace… Don’t be too aggressive in pushing emails one after the other, the job of an autoresponder campaign is to nurture your customer or prospect, not irritate them or pressure them. Likewise, though, your message needs to be timely — don’t be pushy but don’t wait too long to follow up either.
It’s also important to remember that, because autoresponders are triggered by a timing mechanism (i.e., 1 day, 4 days, 30 days after someone is added to a list), your messages may end up going out on a Saturday, Sunday, or national holiday. Not that this changes the strategy, but don’t add details to your message that only make sense within the context of a work week.