Good news, small business owners! Newsletter platforms are more intuitive than ever. Their automated campaigns and workflow features have made it even easier to keep in touch with your clients or prospects.
At DCA Virtual Business Support, we tend to stick with MailChimp and GetResponse, although there are other highly-ranked, affordable newsletter platforms out there like Aweber, Active Campaign and Constant Contact.
In our experience, MailChimp and GetResponse are both simple-to-use and have elegant templates and detailed subscriber profiles. Below we’ll talk a little about how to successfully implement email automation and workflows.
Basic Automation – Auto Responders
For small business owners, it’s especially important to take advantage of these features. We all know that our success requires a steady connection with our former and prospective clients as well as current customers. One of the simplest ways to do that is through a series of autoresponders with evergreen or timeless content.
This is an opportunity to educate clients about your business, introduce key staff, and talk about the reasons why someone should engage your company. Provide a success story or case study detailing how you helped another business. You can also create an autoresponder that highlights any referral or incentive plans you offer to your customers. You can even ask for referrals.
An autoresponder campaign can vary in length depending on the amount of content shared. We recommend setting most autoresponder campaigns at either a 2 or 4 week interval for consistent messages. Unless you have a retail product that has a fast sell cycle, that frequency seems to work best for most business models. Setting your interval to send many messages in a short period of time may irritate the recipients and cause them to unsubscribe or mark your messages as spam.
Advanced Automation – Workflows
With automation, you have the basic messages which are called autoresponders. A workflow is an advanced set of autoresponders. You must first set-up your autoresponders with the messages you want. Then you must identify the call-to-action that triggers a new action.
Generally, the call-to-action is connected to a link that the message asks the reader to click to schedule o call. It can, however, be linked to product information. When clicks on the predefined call-to-action in the message, the rules set-up in the workflow determine what happens next.
Below is an example of how a workflow works.
In this example and for simplicity, the recipients are funneled back into the original set of autoresponders. Your workflow can have rules that are customized to your specific goals.
Features in Most Email Marketing Platforms
Maybe you’re not convinced that an autoresponder campaign or workflow is right for you. Most email marketing platforms offer features such as those listed below that allows you to create professional email campaigns and landing pages.
- drag + drop editors
- tracking and analytics
- landing page creation for lead-gathering
- live chat and email support
- how-to guides and video tutorials
- dozens of apps and integrations
- contact segmentation
- inbox and mobile display previews
There are some differences, however. MailChimp’s Forever Free plan allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. While GetResponse may be cheaper in the long run for companies with larger subscriber lists, MailChimp’s free plan is perfect for small business owners who are just starting up and budget conscious.
GetResponse is, on the other hand, a great choice for those who want to host webinars. It offers cleaner looking templates and more features to start with. You can create landing pages in all subscriptions and A/B test them! GetResponse boasts over 500 templates. MailChimp doesn’t specify how many exactly but indicates hundreds in their marketing materials.
Staying in touch with your customer or client base is crucial to small business success. If you need help developing your email marketing strategy, please reach out to us! You can also visit our website for examples of email marketing campaigns.