Recently, I had the chance to sit down with a friend who owns a small business. We talked about the different ways he promotes his startup company.

He and his partner are a two-man operation. While they’re doing some great work to reach new people and build relationships, there are some tasks he had to sacrifice for the sake of time.

One of the tasks he had difficulty with, is following up with people he meets at events.

As a company that works with a local clientele, he uses community events as a way to raise awareness and meet new people. At these events he gives people the chance to sign up to receive his monthly newsletter to learn more about his company, and to stay connected.

This is a great way to make new connections and an effective way to grow your email list.

The problem however, is that events rarely coincide with his monthly mailing schedule.

As a result, a lot of the people who sign up and are excited about learning more about his company, have to wait two or three weeks before receiving the first newsletter.

And without the time or resources to create dedicated mailings for these people, building relationships and keeping the conversation going after events, hasn’t been easy.

You may face similar dilemmas in your own marketing efforts.

Maybe you don’t host or attend events, but there are contacts on your contact list that you would be doing more for, if only you had the time.

These don’t always have to be new contacts either.

Think about some of your most loyal customers. Wouldn’t it be great to introduce them to new products or to teach them about the different services you have to offer?

Or maybe you have email subscribers who are highly engaged readers, but aren’t regularly visiting your store or calling to place an order. Wouldn’t it be great to focus on building those relationships, without alienating the other subscribers who are receiving your newsletters each month?

This is where automation can help.

An automated series of emails is a series of personalized messages you create once and then schedule to send to new and existing contacts over time.

Automated email series not only saves you time, but also gives you the freedom to think differently about the ways you communicate with your contacts, build relationships, and do more business.

Take my friend for example.

Before his next event, he could create and plan a series of emails to send to people who sign up at his event.

First he’ll need to think about the goal of his email series.

In his case, it will be to educate and inform new subscribers about what his company has to offer, and why they should consider doing business with him.

Next, he’ll have to decide on the content.

This could include:

  • A welcome message
  • Information about their company
  • An overview of services and offerings
  • Success stories or testimonials from current clients

He will also want to include basic contact information, or links to different social networks where people can connect.

With a content plan in place, he then needs to create and schedule his mailings.

Choosing the right schedule is crucial. You don’t want to overwhelm people with information, but you also don’t want them to forget about you either.

In his case, three or four emails could be perfect for his series because he’s only trying to make an introduction.

Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of your email series might change the frequency of that particular mailing.

When deciding on a schedule, make sure to take a look at your mailings as part of an overall strategy.

For example, if you’re already sending newsletters and announcements on a regular basis, you’ll want to be careful not to flood your contacts inboxes.

Knowing that my friend is reaching out to prospective clients by phone and following up after events, waiting for his automated email series to send before following up, could improve his chances of receiving a response.

This brings us to the final step: track your results.

Like with any successful campaign, you need to make sure you’re tracking your results. This starts with keeping an eye on campaign metrics, like opens and clicks. You’ll also want to look at how your campaign is performing, as it relates to the goals you have set.

Use what you learn to make better decisions about your content, frequency, and marketing strategy overall. Tracking your results will let you know if you need to make any changes to better your reach.

I’m excited to share this plan with my friend to see if he wants to give it a try.

If you’re interested in running an automated email series, simply log in and get started!