An email string, or email flow, is a series of emails sent in support of an email strategy triggered by subscriber interactions along the engagement path. They’re far more effective than the typical “one-off” email because they maintain a dialog with customers that continually reinforces your message and achieves your campaign’s goals.
Indeed, email strings bind customers tightly to your brand. Most customer relationship marketing systems and email platforms support automated strings of emails, and marketers have developed a number of effective ways to make the most of them. Here are a few ways you can, too:
The “welcome aboard” string
This series of emails begins after a website visitor signs up for a service, subscribes to a newsletter, joins a group or buys a product. The series should break down the many features or advantages the customer has unlocked by taking the “trigger” action, presenting calls to action with each email to learn more, explore another resource and try another product
The lead nurturing string
You know who your best leads are: they’ve downloaded resources you’ve provided, they’ve completed a form to provide you with more information, they’ve participated in webinars. It’s a good bet they’ll respond well to email about the product or service they’ve already shown an interest in.
The email string these behaviors trigger should contain additional information and calls to action to move a lead into “qualified lead” status – meaning not only do these recipients have an interest, they’re in a position to act.
To move customers to that status, you’ll need to confirm they can make the purchasing decision. Try offering case studies, free trials or client endorsements while you ask them to complete a more definitive survey that helps you ascertain their authority to make the purchase decision.
The “we miss you” string
If it’s been a while since a customer has visited your website or purchased a product, it may be time to reach out. This is even more important if the customer previously purchased a consumable product that they’ve almost certainly used up, or a product that has or will expire, such as membership in a group.
In this email string, try to include a special offer. Remind the recipient of the benefits they previously enjoyed, and hint at what they might be missing if they fail to take prompt action.
The “abandoned cart” string
Don’t ignore abandoned carts. Users who took the time to shop your online store are a very engaged lot. There could be many reasons they didn’t complete their transaction, and they came as close to doing so as anyone could. Don’t give up on them now!
Remind users of the forgotten item, and ask them to finish their purchase. You can offer a discount on an additional item as a reward for immediate action, helping to increase basket size. You may even wish to gather feedback regarding why the cart was abandoned to uncover issues that are costing you sales.
The “tell me more” string
If you’ve tagged and categorized your website’s content, you can begin to develop interest lists for logged-in visitors who revisit specific subjects often. Set up email strings that match the contours of your site’s content, then
By automating these emails, you can generate and schedule subject-specific emails based on new content published in the subject category. It’s an easy way to keep users engaged in your content while keeping them in the loop.
There are a host of other triggers to consider for serialized email strings. Which ones are you using?
Pull the Email String
was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.