Speed Matters

Why you need to be automating your emails (and other things)

….how fast are you…partner?

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How Convenient Do You Want It?

A few months ago, I was working off site running a Mailchimp training session.

It was a day’s session focused on some of the more ‘advanced’ aspects of Mailchimp and was going to be relatively full on – I needed to be on top of my game.

As I was setting up the computer and slides, connecting up to the Audio Visual system and so on, I realised that I’d forgotten the mouse for my Macbook.

It was an essential piece of equipment for the day, and because the sessions were intensive, not having one would have put a severe cramp in how things flowed (and how comfortable I would have been).

After a few moments of cursing to myself, I realised that there was a pretty simple solution.

I logged into Amazon Account, went into Prime Now, scrolled until I found a ‘magic mouse’ to use with my Macbook, and ordered it to be delivered to the place I was running the training.

I continued to set up, started the session with the attendees using the trackpad… and about 30 mins in, there was a knock at the door and the venue staff handed me an Amazon package, which contained my trusty new mouse.

Disaster averted… and all within about 90 minutes.

…and since I was running a Mailchimp workshop about automation, I realised something:

Why, in a world where I can order from Amazon and get something within 90 minutes, would anyone want any longer to receive an email they are expecting?

Speed Matters… more than you think

I was checking out some competitor websites for a client recently and signing up to their newsletters/offers which they had on their home page to see what they’re email content was actually like.

I think I signed up to 6 of them (and another 6 didn’t even have a sign up option easily found – but that’s an article for another time!!!), and thoroughly expected a flood of emails into my inbox confirming my subscriptions.

…more of a trickle.

Of the 6 I signed up for only 2 actually sent me an email straight away confirming my signup and ‘welcoming me’ to their world.

The other 4 waited for at least a day or so (and one didn’t even email me!) before an email from them hit my inbox.

If I had been looking for that service as a potential customer, which of the 6 businesses do you think would I have been most impressed with?

…and which ones would I actually be progressing a discussion with?

Nowadays, there is simply no excuse for not automating your response to be sent as soon as someone signs up.

…and if you don’t, you are definitely losing business.

Understanding the Bigger Picture

I’m a big advocate of mapping out the pathway that a potential customer takes to move from not knowing you exist, all the way through to becoming a customer and a fan.

You can learn all about my approach in this article which uses a model I’ve developed called ‘The Path’ to show the individual steps someone can take, and by using it, you can know what you can do at each step of their journey to get them to take the next step.

Although not necessarily appropriate for all businesses, capturing an email is for many an important step on the Path – It’s the point at which someone moves from Suspect to Prospect… or in simple terms, it’s when someone who’s interested in your business makes a step towards you, by giving you something of value – their email – in return for the promise of some information/offer/service.

For many businesses, it’s a critical moment in the customer/business relationship, because it’s the first time the interested person gives you something. Up to that point all they’ve done is taken freely available information from you without giving anything (bar a small amount of time) in return.

…and how a business deals with that enquiry has a big impact on how the relationship can develop, in a good, or a bad way.

Which is why it’s such an important step… and why ensuring that it’s handled efficiently and effectively is just common sense.

…and ultimately why you need to make sure your response is automated and timely.

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Capturing Leads at Events

One of my ‘soapbox’ marketing activities, where I get very passionate about, is how businesses conduct themselves at events.

There’s a whole article I’ve written on the opportunities (and misses) that can be taken from having a stand at an exhibition or expo.

…but it’s a great example of why speed matters, when it comes to responding to an enquiry.

When a potential customer visits a live event, they’re likely to meet lots of different businesses, have lots of conversations, and likely give their email for the businesses to follow up on.

Are you the type of business who’d put the email down onto a clipboard list, wait until you’re back in the office, hand the list to the office junior and ask them to send emails to everyone on the list (and hope they can read the handwriting) after they’ve done the work that they’ve already got on their plate?

…or are you the type who uses a tablet to immediately capture people’s contact details directly into their database, and who’s already got an automated email which pings out to the contact, even before they’ve left the event, or spoken to anyone else? (It’s all in here)

Which do you think will be in a better position to get the enquiry and the business?

If you’re not thinking about it, you’re going to lose out on new customers.

6 Reasons Why Speed is of the Essence

If you’re not convinced yet, then here are 6 specific reasons why you need to be automating your email responses to be sent as soon as a form is completed.

  1. Professionalism
    A business that responds promptly to an enquiry, any enquiry, will be seen as being professional and organised, and someone who can be relied upon to get things done on time. How do you think a potential client would view a business that doesn’t respond for 24 hours?
  2. Competitiveness
    Essentially, if you’re not doing it, others will be… which means that if you don’t respond quickly, a potential client could have already found someone to handle the enquiry by the time you get back to them.
  3. Expectation
    Nowadays, I’d suggest that because of the ‘on-demand’ nature of the world, immediate gratification is what the world expects. I can sit down at my computer and be watching the latest blockbuster film within 2 minutes… why would I be waiting for an email?
  4. It’s Easy to do
    The tools and technology are available to EVERYONE. Lack of understanding is no longer an excuse and even if you don’t want to do it yourself, there are people out there (like us, here at Chimp Answers) who can set it up for you.
  5. It’s a Critical moment in their path to becoming a customer
    When someone gives you their email address, they are essentially saying “I’m interested”. If you were dating and someone said to you “I’m interested”, you wouldn’t go, “that’s cool, can I get back to you in a few days with how I feel?“. When someone is actively saying their interested in you, you want to be reflecting that interest back to them… as soon as possible!
  6. You’re emails will get opened, clicked and have a higher chance of hitting inboxes
    It’s a simple fact that when someone gives you their email address, if you send them an email straight back, they’ll be expecting it – which means that they’ll be more likely to open and click it.
    If you wait for a day or so, chances are the person will have forgotten who you are and so the email is more likely to collect dust. Plus, the more emails get opened and clicked, the more likely future emails will get into the inbox and not the spam folder.

The simple fact is that if you aren’t automating a well written and effective response email to go out to someone who completes a form, it’s highly likely that you are losing business – is that something you want?

Wrapping Up

Immediate gratification is, for better or worse, a part of society today.

People expect to get things now… and not have to wait for them – and that includes enquiries made to your website.

There is no excuse with the technology available today for a business to “manually” respond to a signup form…

…and that’s not even covering the business case for doing it.

Speed matters… more than ever, and I absolutely guarantee that if you’re not doing it… someone else will be, and they’ll be stealing your customers.

Need Help Automating your Emails?

As Mailchimp experts, we know a thing or two about how you can set up and automate email messages to enquiries received.

If you’re not responding immediately, or haven’t even got the option yet of capturing someone’s email address, then why not give us a call and we’ll see how we can help you get more leads and more business.

Book a FREE 30 minute chat with us and speed up your response.

Robin Adams

Robin Adams

Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Chimp, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group. Connect with him on Linkedin.

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