Today we’re going to discuss automated sales emails and the best practices for using that convenient, time-saving technology. It’s powerful if used correctly, but making mistakes with it can cost you and your sales organization revenues and opportunities.
It’s important to note that much of this is related to marketing – that’s typically the department responsible for setting up and controlling the nurturing email tracks that are triggered by online activities taken by the prospect, or perhaps an update to a data field in your CRM. Where this matters for sales is in the area of marketing and sales alignment (see our previous blogs on that latter topic). If, for example, you’re receiving feedback from buyers who are unhappy about the automated email process, you can share that with marketing and work together on brainstorming solutions for process improvement that more effectively targets your buyers.
- Make sure your templates and personalization fields are working properly.
Nothing will kill your credibility and chances of a sale faster than an email that starts with a blank greeting line, or worse, contains the wrong name due to database mismanagement.
So when you put together your templates and create your fields, send an email to yourself and internally to others in your organization as a check to make sure that it’s functioning as designed. You also might want to try throwaway email accounts on popular services to test how it comes through on those servers.
- Check for vague and unclear wording.
While automated emails will by default be generalized rather than specific for the most part, you still need to be certain the text is clear, specific, and relevant to the person being emailed – whether it’s an auto-responder after someone signs up to your newsletter or an inbound prospect contacting you to find out more information about a particular product you sell.
- Consider creating different templates and nurturing campaigns for different types of buyers.
One of the best ways to take advantage of automation’s convenience while still being as personalized as possible is to create separate templates and nurturing tracks for different markets and buyer personas you’re interacting with. For example, say you’re a wholesaler of office furniture. You could create one template for school districts and another for large office complexes – each of which would have different needs and be interested in different product lines you sell. From there, you can create further segmentation within your target audience, for example by identifying influencers, initiators, stakeholders, and decision makers and drafting nurturing tracks that will especially resonate with each group.
- Double-check your criteria for what triggers an automated email.
If you’re finding a lot of your automated emails being misfires, take a look and see what triggers them to be sent. Is there specific information that would help you target more successfully that you aren’t collecting in your contact database? Do you have the right information you need, but are classifying it incorrectly?
Making sure your organization’s automated emails are functioning correctly and that they’re aligning with your buyers and sales process is critical. It can create a shorter sales cycle while freeing up hours for more focused sales and marketing activities. Working with marketing on fine-tuning the automation process and content will also help align sales and marketing, which will likely have a positive impact on your sales pipeline and revenues.