Small business owners generally acknowledge scalability as one of the main obstacles to growth.
Manual processes are error-prone and time-consuming. The wider a surface area they need to cover, the less effective and valuable they become. It’s no secret successful small businesses often make a name for themselves by automating their most critical production tasks.
But whenever you successfully automate one process, a related manual task becomes the next production bottleneck. For many small businesses, email communication is where the entire sales cycle breaks down.
It’s easy to send the right message to the right target accounts at the right time when you have a manageable number of customers to deal with. But as your company grows, this process starts to take up more and more time, leading to missed opportunities and dropped sales.
Large enterprises use complex, expensive email automation software to expand their sales communication processes. For many years, small businesses simply did not have an accessible, efficient option for enjoying the same results.
Email Automation Demystified
Most small business owners implicitly understand the value of email automation. The benefits of focusing exclusively on your most meaningful sales conversations while letting the majority of email messaging run on a predetermined schedule should be apparent.
The trouble comes when small business leaders attempt to use big, clunky email automation programs designed for large enterprises. The most popular email automation names in the industry end up creating more problems than they solve. As a result, small business sales professionals end up renouncing the idea altogether.
But the benefits of email automation are still there, waiting to be leveraged. Triggered emails still have a 70.5% higher open rate and a 152% higher click-through rate (CTR) than generic newsletters. The ability to personalize email campaigns in a scalable, reproducible way has been shown to significantly increase conversions.
It just takes the right technology. Email automation software built for small businesses can jumpstart sales success in ways manual processes — no matter how efficient — just can’t compare.
What Small Business-Friendly Email Automation Looks Like
There is a need for an automated email solution that does away with the complexity of enterprise-level tools while delivering exactly what it promises. Email automation is too powerful a tool to be left out of the sales and marketing equation for want of a more direct approach.
The bottom-line benefit of this approach is that small business owners don’t end up paying for technology and services they don’t need. Why shell out thousands of dollars a month for a sophisticated campaign builder (that requires separate training fees just to use) when you can run an efficient, no-nonsense automated email campaign with highly targeted, bloat-free software?
The key to achieving this level of functionality is plug-and-play integration. The vast majority of small businesses already use powerful customer relationship management tools. What they need is purpose-built software that fits perfectly into their existing workflow — not brand-new workflows that demand hours of training and advanced technical knowledge.
The characteristics that small business owners and sales managers need to look for include:
1. Robust Sales Tracking and Communication
For many small business owners and marketing managers, the primary problem that email automation solves is keeping track of sales conversations. The ability to reliably position every customer in their appropriate place along the sales funnel is a critical strategic advantage.
That advantage loses its luster when you have to do it manually, and keep track of complex communications using the digital equivalent of a quill and inkpot. Small business leaders need to be able to track the progress of their email campaigns, analyze the success of their messaging according to industry-standard performance metrics, and spend less time writing emails that don’t directly influence customer purchase decisions.
2. Multi-Step Sequence Programming
It’s easy to establish a robust sales funnel when you plan out long-term email sequences and let them run automatically. The ability to program complex email sequences easily is a significant time-saver, empowering sales professionals to build scalable campaigns that generate predictable results. Your sales team needs to spend more time working on high-impact, end-of-the-funnel messaging, and multi-step sequence programming is how you get there.
3. Scalable A/B Testing
A/B testing has proven itself as one of the best techniques available for fine-tuning sales and marketing messaging. However, it is a time- and labor-intensive task that requires the ability to keep track of multiple conversation threads while comparing their results according to key performance metrics. Manual processes simply cannot produce scalable A/B results in the way an automated approach can.
4. CRM Integration
You don’t need all of the bells and whistles that an enterprise-ready email automation platform offers. Your CRM already gives you the right balance of sophistication and accessibility — integrating your email automation software with it should only improve your capabilities. Enterprise-level email automation software often demands that users learn brand-new workflows. What small businesses need is a software solution that enhances and augments existing workflows.
Spend More Time Doing What You Do Best
These are the core features that small business owners expect from their automated email solutions. If your main problem is identifying how to be successful in sales without investing in complicated, expensive enterprise automation software, there are streamlined software options out there for you.
Email automation does more than improve the scalability of email communication. It empowers sales teams and marketers to invest more time in completing high-value tasks that cannot be automated. Supercharge your sales and marketing campaigns by delegating high-volume, automation-ready tasks to a simplified, streamlined email automation solution like PersistIQ.