How automated emails can help your business

Do you ever sign up for something and wonder how you get a quick email response from that person or business? And because you had such a quick response- were you inclined to open the email and read it? That’s because new leads are more likely to take action within a few days of sending a request for information. The window of opportunity is small and with a competitive market, you want to make sure you have a foot in the door. Creating an automated email can have a big impact on your conversion rates along with saving your business time and money.

 

So what is an automated email, you ask?

Automated emails or workflows are a series of emails that are pre-designed and set on triggers so that when a client or prospective client takes a pre-determined action, they automatically receive an email based on their action. The email is also set on a timer.

 

For instance, you might have an appointment form on your website. When a prospective client schedules their appointment, you then have an email that is automatically sent (and personalized) confirming their appointment. You also can take it a step further and have a reminder email scheduled to go out a day before their appointment. Another example is having a newsletter sign-up form on your website. When someone signs up, you have a series of emails that are sent to help them get to know you better, such as:

 

“Thanks for signing up” (sent immediately)
“A little about me” (sent 2 days later)

 

How do automated emails help your business?

Think about the emails you send to people. Are you spending time emailing every new client their confirmation or paperwork each time they schedule with you?
Do you answer common questions with each person and how much time does this take out of your day?
What if you could make a template of what you often email and have it set on a trigger so that those emails can go out automatically?

 

With an automated process, each client or potential client is getting a response from you promptly and you’ll notice you not only have more time to use towards other important parts of your business but you’ll cut back on getting asked so many questions. An automated process can also save you from needing an additional person to handle these tasks!

 

What’s the cost?

Luckily, we have come a long way in the last year on services available for setting up automated systems. There are many options out there and depending on the size and needs of your business will determine what’s best for you. Systems start as low as $11/month and can be up to $100s/month. My favorite email system is called Flodesk. The reason why I love Flodesk is that they charge a flat fee and allow unlimited email contacts and automations (also called workflows). Some platforms will charge more as your email list grows or nickel and dime you on additional automation features. Flodesk is easy to use and has email examples and automated emails to help you get started. I’ve also noticed after switching to Flodesk from other platforms such as Hubspot and Mailchimp that I had a much higher open rate. This in itself makes the switch worthwhile! Use my affiliate link here and try Flodesk  to try it for free and receive 50% off their subscription price (I receive a small commission)!

 

If you are interested in setting up your automated emails, reach out -we love setting up automated systems for small businesses!

person using a calendar app to schedule
How to automate scheduling with online calendar tools

Scheduling clients for services can become a time suck. If you schedule through email, it can be a trail of back and forth messages to find the right time. When scheduling by phone, you might strike up a long conversation that can also take time. Time is precious in a growing business and your time needs to be streamlined so both your time and your client’s time are respected. There are a few calendar apps out there that can help you streamline your services, schedule appointments, collect a payment, and send follow-up emails. There are free calendar apps that will be sufficient for some businesses and there are others that have a minimal monthly fee. It all comes down to your needs. The other great feature of most of these apps is being able to embed them into your website.

 

Calendly

Calendly is a popular scheduling tool used by service providers. If you have one type of appointment you are scheduling such as a massage or a meeting, the free version of Calendly will be sufficient to set up. It’s fairly simple to set up your appointments and plan your schedule with your availability. Plus all you need to do is give out your scheduling link for a client to schedule an appointment with you. There is a paid feature of this app that offers more for a growing business.

a screenshot of calendly schedule with Lifecoachforyou
This is how Laura Pollard, Lifecoachforyou uses Calendly for scheduling free consultations. We set up her scheduling system when we built her website in 2021.

Acuity Scheduling 

Acuity Scheduling is one of my favorite tools as its $15/month service offers a lot of customization. I recently created a scheduling page for my other business, Link, so a new client can easily schedule a bike fitting service or bike repair. I also set up a comprehensive Acuity Scheduling calendar for Maroon Bells Shuttles, a seasonal shuttle service. This scheduling system allowed clients to schedule to have their vehicle shuttled over to Aspen from Crested Butte or from Crested Butte to Aspen. There were more customizations, a waiver, detailed follow-up emails depending on where the shuttle was going, and a way to handle cancellations. I was impressed by how much the software was able to cover for a low monthly price.

 

acuity scheduling bike fit at link
This is how a person can schedule a bike fit with Link using Acuity Scheduling.
acuity scheduling service at link
This is how Acuity Scheduling is used to schedule bike repair services at Link.

If you need help streamlining your scheduling system, contact us to see how we can help set up the right system for your business.

small business owner doing marketing on a computer
Our Favorite Marketing and Email Resources to Grow Your Small Business

At Gnarketing we are passionate about helping small businesses streamline their marketing efforts. There are many free or low-cost resources available to help small businesses with their marketing that we would recommend. Here are a few of our favorites.

 

Canva

Canva has become one of our favorite online graphic design tools. You can create professional-looking ads, social media posts and use stock photography – all for free! The platform is user-friendly so even a mediocre graphic designer can learn how to use the tools. There are many pre-made templates to choose from. Need a logo or infographic? You can do it all in Canva! The premium subscription is only $12.99/month and is worth the value of the tools you can access.

 

Flodesk

Flodesk has become our favorite email marketing platform. They offer unlimited access to emails, email automation, forms, and you pay a flat fee regardless of the size of your email list. With Mailchimp or Hubspot, you pay more as your email list grows or if you send out a lot of emails. Another fun feature is integrating your Instagram account so your recent posts populate at the bottom of the email. Flodesk also has a lot of templates to help you make professional-looking emails. As an affiliate – you can use this link for 50% off your subscription! (As an affiliate, I receive a small commission on referred customers.)

 

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is another great resource for email marketing. With a drag and drop platform, you can easily create professional-looking emails. They have features to create a landing page, add a popup form to your website, and can even create an automated email series. E-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WordPress will also connect Mailchimp to your website. Many of these features are free however, you will need to upgrade to use more features or as your email list grows.

 

Grammarly

Grammarly is a free service that does both spelling and extensive grammar checks on your writing, based on your goals. You can set up Grammarly as a chrome extension and it will automatically analyze your emails, blog posts, and most of your online content. When you are writing a lot of content, it’s nice to have a second set of eyes to find those errors and keep your writing looking professional.

 

These are just a few of the many resources we recommend for you. Let us know if you have others that you enjoy using! If you need help setting up an automated email marketing campaign for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out!

 

If you haven’t already – check out our Free Social Media Posting Guide!

Free online resources to grow your brand

At Gnarketing we are passionate about helping brands streamline their marketing on a tight budget. There are many resources out there that are free that we would recommend to brands.

 

Canva

Canva has become one of our favorite online tools. You can create professional-looking ads, social media posts, and use stock photography- all for free! The platform is made so even a mediocre graphic designer can learn how to use the tools. There are many pre-made templates to choose from. Need a logo or infographic? You can do it all in Canva! 

 

Mailchimp 

Mailchimp is another great resource for email marketing. With a drag and drop platform, you can easily create polished-looking emails. They have features to create a landing page, add a pop-up form to your website, and can even create an automated email series. E-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WordPress will also connect Mailchimp to your website. Many of these features are free however you can upgrade for more features.

 

Hubspot 

Hubspot has become a new favorite for a CRM service. You can do many of the same email features as Mailchimp however, there are more features to keep track of individual prospects and track their conversions. You can really dive into how each person is interacting with your emails. If you have a sales or marketing team, this is a great tool. They have a free version that is sufficient for new start-up companies or small brands. 

 

Grammarly

Grammarly is a free service that does more than spell check, it does extensive grammar checks on your content, based on your goals. You can also set up Grammarly as a chrome extension and it will automatically analyze your emails, blog posts, and most of your online content. You can upload a document to their platform and it will check the entire document. When you are producing a lot of content it’s nice to have a second set of eyes to find those human errors and keep your writing grammar free!

 

Google Analytics 

This is a free tool to help analyze your website traffic. Knowing how people are interacting with your website will help you in your marketing and website development.

 

These are just a few of the resources that we have tested and like. Let us know if you have others that you enjoy using! If you need help setting up these services for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out!