It’s every marketer’s dream.
To lay your head to rest at night with the knowledge that when you wake, your bank balance will be just that little bit bigger.
The passive income dream is common enough among marketers and entrepreneurs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch their bank balance grow as they sat back with their feet up enjoying a cold drink?
But it’s always been an elusive goal. The dream of making money while you sleep often remains exactly that, a dream.
It’s difficult, but definitely not impossible. There’s countless examples of solopreneurs, small businesses and huge corporations that have automated much of their income.
Much of this proliferation is down to continuing advancements in technology. I mean, you’re now spoilt for choice if you’re considering taking implementing a source of passive income. You could:
- Create an online course and self-publish or upload to a course website like Udemy
- Create an Amazon eBook and watch the dollars roll in
- Set up a niche site and earn through Google ads
- Or a niche site with affiliate links
- Make an online store that sells physical products packaged and delivered by third parties
All viable methods you can employ to help earn a little extra pocket money when you’re on the golf course, down the pub or getting your 40 winks.
But out of all the methods you could explore, there’s one I’d recommend above all others.
Why should this hold the top spot in the methods to achieve the dream of earning while you sleep? Simply because it’s the most versatile.
Sure, we all know that email still offers the greatest ROI, but it’s also one of the most versatile methods for automating your income. Take a look again at the above bulleted list. Each listed method could be improved, bolstered or given more reach through an automated email campaign.
Email is still the great leveler for success. You can embrace it and live your passive income dreams, or ignore it and continue to work hard for little to no reward.
I’m going to explain a couple of different automation campaigns you could implement to generate a solid passive income stream of your own. But before I do, let’s take a look at some email automation best practices.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Automated Email Campaigns
Email automation is a pretty exciting topic. Optimized correctly it could grow your business, establish your authority and keep a steady stream of revenue coming your way. All while you’re busy focusing on other areas of your business.
However, you’ve got to be careful. They say power corrupts. And I’m sure you’ve noticed how the power to increase income is often abused by slimy internet marketers looking to make a quick buck. .
Below are some of the underhanded, clandestine or just plain poor tactics that might tempt you, but should always be avoided.
I. One email, One Goal
Just as with landing pages, each email should have it’s own specific goal. You’ve got to avoid trying to do many things in one email. Choose a single goal for each email and focus on it.
If you include numerous unrelated CTAs, you’re going to piss people off. No one’s going to click them and you’ll end up turning people away from your business. Keep things simple and follow the one email, one goal rule.
II. Don’t Pursue the Sale in Every Email
I’ll be giving some example flows later in the article, but as a general rule you should understand that you’re not trying to make a sale in every email.
Your customers need to be wooed. They need to know and trust you. They need to convince themselves that purchasing is the right decision.
Screaming “BUY FROM ME” at every opportunity isn’t going to help convince them.
III. This Isn’t a Set It and Forget It Campaign
Sure, automation can take a lot off your plate. But you’ve still got to keep an eye on the success rate of each email. If you want it to keep your campaigns performing over time, you’re going to have to keep on top of your ongoing optimization.
IV. It’s All About the Right Message at the Right Time
This isn’t an opportunity for you to shove messages and testimonials in front of your prospects in a vain attempt to get them to trust you. Just like content marketing email automation is about delivering the right message at the right time.
Right, let’s get onto the various types of campaign.
1. Cart Abandonment
We’ll begin with the elephant in the room.
The topic of cart abandonment has been done to the death. We all know it’s a big problem causing trillions in lost revenue. You’ve already heard how 68% of carts are abandoned. And you know that cart abandonment can help recover much of these lost customers and revenue.
However, whilst the need for a cart abandonment campaign is pretty much universally known by marketers, how to implement a successful campaign isn’t.
Fortunately for us all there’s a good number of businesses out there who know exactly what it takes to implement a successful campaign. To save you from signing up to various sites and abandoning a cart to see what they’re doing, I’ve detailed the simple process most retailers use to bring abandoning customers back to their business.
2. Welcome/Nurture Campaign
Welcome emails are some of the most opened and engaged campaigns around. Here’s the proof:
- Over 74% of users expect a welcome email (source)
- Real-time welcome emails see more than 10x the transaction rate over batched emails (source)
- Over three times the number of unique opens (source)
Welcome emails are rocket fuel for your brand.
There’s a lot of advice focusing on the initial welcome email. Advice that advocates communicating everything in one go. But trying to include all the below in one email is too much:
- Intro to the brand
- Set future expectations
- Potential offer to bring them to the store
- Request for Social Connection/Referrals
One email. One goal. Trying to include everything from the above is going to create an incredibly dense, confusing email.
Turning your welcome email into a series is a great way to overcome this and should help communicate the full benefit of your brand in bitesize, understandable chunks.
3. Post Conversion Emails
So you’ve got the sale! Congrats. But your job doesn’t end when the purchase button is clicked, in fact, in many ways it’s only just beginning.
Of course knowing how to keep your customer’s around is the real key.
Implementing a post-conversion campaign is a must. It’s going to save you a hell of a lot of time and hassle. Not just because you’ll no longer have to keep chasing new customers, but because those customers you are keeping happy are more likely to refer their friends.
4. The Straight Cross Sell
There’s only one thing better than landing a new customer. Getting your current customers to increase their spend.
Your current customers don’t need all those wonderful trust building emails and authority establishing messages. They know you, they know your products and they’ve already made the commitment to purchase.
To get the most out of repeat customers you’ve got to find the deal that’s going to best appeal to them.
As a current customer you should have records on their past purchases. This data is key to creating a personalized offer that’s not only appealing, but useful to the customer.
- If a customer has bought a new dress you might want to recommend a pair of shoes that complement it
- If they’re slowly purchasing various items within a single category why not bring their attention to the categories must haves
It’s basically a case of finding which product will offer the most value to that customer and suggesting it to them.
5. Re-engagement Campaign
As time goes by, a user’s interest in your brand or products might diminish. These users will open fewer emails and will rarely, if ever, click on links.
The low engagement is a problem in itself. No one wants a list that doesn’t engage. But the problem can be much larger than throwing off your statistics.
Email servers target emails they believe to be spam. They pass judgment based on the level of engagement and opens. Increasingly low engagement could lower the rating of your emails to a point where your emails end up in the promo tab or, god forbid, the dreaded spam folder.
So, what’s the solution.
Ideally, you want to bring non-engagers back into the fold. You want to get them back on board and engaging like they used to. However, it’s not always possible to bring every user back so you’ll have to be prepared to cull a few who really aren’t interested.
The quality of your list is first and foremost. Numbers count for diddly squat if no one’s opening your emails. Would you rather have an audience of 20,000 uninterested people, or 200 who always opened, clicked, bought and replied?
No question, right?
A re-engagement campaign is a great way to sort the wheat from the chaff. To bring the non-engagers who have mistakenly overlooked your emails back into the community.
At the same time, it can be used to cut dead weight from your list and ensure that your emails continue to retain the high ranking you need them to.
Email Automation Is an Amazing Way to Drive Revenue
It’s really the versatility of email automation that makes it so useful. You can adapt a campaign to pretty much any need.
The above are just a taster of what’s available through email automation. Depending on the service you use you can even implement automated sequences to target:
- Those who abandon whilst browsing
- Key decision makers in a company that frequently checks your website
- Users who took one action in a series but not the next
- Those who mention your business on SM
At the risk of sounding overly cliché, the possibilities really are endless. You can implement automated campaigns to handle so many areas of your business taking a hell of a lot of work off your plate.
The only question is, where are you going to start?