Boost Sales and Save Time with Email Automation

System of gears to illustrated automation during the email process.

Generating a side income selling digital products is one of the greatest steps in your journey as a blogger or content marketer. You’re ready to get in the game after hearing from others how awesome it is to have this self-sustaining source of income that practically runs itself. And so you put together a few offerings, maybe a checklist, a How To PDF, or even an ecourse, and start dreaming of what you’ll do with the extra income boost.

Fast forward a few months and you’re tied to your computer, sending one-off emails about products, crafting new sales emails, following up with customers to see if they would be interested in another product, manually tracking which subscribers have or have not made a purchase, and that’s a short list of possible tasks, at best. You’re then doing all of this while trying to develope new products to turn around, promote, and sell.

The self-sustaining income generator you once believed would change your life, has become a monster, consuming your time and attention.

To complicate things even more, sometimes sales are hopping as if it were Black Friday at Bed, Bath and Beyond and sometimes they’re as quiet and desolate as a lone cactus in the Arizona desert. You start to wonder “What is up with this endless cycle of hustle, hustle, hustle? Where’s the flow part? How do other online entrepreneurs make it look so easy? What am I missing?!

The Missing Link: Automating and Increasing Sales with Email

The self-sustaining and automated part of the cycle is what’s missing. Other bloggers or content marketers don’t necessarily have it easier; it’s where they have invested their time and effort.

Automation begins with your email marketing strategy. If you take the time to craft funnels, create tagging options and thoughtfully plan out your follow-up process once,  you’ll need only minor edits and adjustments along the way. The key here is planning. Not only have you created the customer journey for one product, you’ve created a system for your next.

Added Bonus: Your time will free itself up as things start to take care of themselves.

Simple Ways to Automate Your Self-Sustaining Revenue Generator

  • Ask everyone who makes a purchase if they would like to join your email list. Do this during the checkout process via a Parser within FeedBlitz or using Zapier to connect your shopping cart to your FeedBlitz account.
  • Add customers to a follow-up email funnel to ask how they are enjoying the purchase, offer a discount on their next purchase, and / or ask for a review. This funnel reinforces the customer experience with you, encouraging future purchases.

  • Include your Etsy or Shopify accounts in your email template. Every FeedBlitz email template is configured to feature your most recent products in either online shop. This is a great way to keep subscribers informed of what is available, without having to manually send separate emails.

  • Send Etsy or Shopify-specific newsletters to your list. Using a duplicate email list, skip the content altogether and show 1, 2, 4 or even 6+ products in the email. The product images and descriptions are automatically pulled from your shop in the order they are posted. You can create this email and schedule it to be sent on an automatic schedule (weekly or monthly) or send manually when you have a new product you would like to highlight.

Advanced Methods for Next Level Automation

We recommend working with Zapier to connect your FeedBlitz account with your shopping cart for simplified integration. Doing this allows you the ability to access the advanced methods of tracking and follow up some of the biggest brands in the market implement. Two examples of this would be:

  • Tag customers according to the product purchased in order to add them to a purchase-specific funnel. The benefits here are not only asking how they are enjoying their purchase or offering a discount, but you can begin strategically introducing them to complementary products they may also enjoy, without including them in promotions for products they already have.Once you know your customers’ buying habits and really understand their wants and needs, relating products and creating these funnels will become easier. Always lead with the value these products offer and show how they relate to their purchase before going in for the sale. Value first, sale second.
  • Send abandoned shopping cart emails to customers who did not complete their purchase. A gentle reminder a day or two later can be just what your potential customer needs in order to complete the purchase. The key here is having the customer sign up for an account and agree to mailings while on your site.

The Bigger Picture

It is possible for you to have an automated, self-sustaining income generator selling your products. A well-crafted email marketing strategy can help get you there. Imagine the time you’ll save in the long run to focus on growing your business, creating new products, taking up a hobby or spending time with family. There is a good chunk of work required in the beginning, but you’ll break the cycle of hustle, hustle, hustle with not a lot of flow once your system is in place.

If you have any questions when it comes to email marketing or increasing your online revenue, send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

 

 

Funnels 201: Exploring Advanced Features

We briefly touched upon the many capabilities of our Funnels feature in a prior post, and today we are going to explore a few advanced options of Funnels available to our publishers.

*Please note: If you are currently not using a Funnel with your email marketing, please read both our introductory post and our post on creating your first Funnel before continuing.

Setting Triggers for Funnels

We’ll start with something simple, adding a trigger to your Funnel. A trigger is an event that sparks a secondary action. When working in FeedBlitz it’s helpful to think of triggers as an “if this, then that” situation. For example, if you would like a subscriber to be added to your main list after finishing the Funnel, you can use a trigger to automate the process.

Select the Funnel from your Dashboard you would like to work with and scroll down to Subscriber Management.

Triggers can be found in the Subscriber Management box in your FeedBlitz Funnel Dashboard.

Select Triggers and you will receive the following pop-up:

Adding a trigger to your FeedBlitz Funnel to subscribe or unsubscribe to another list once the Funnel has been completed.

From here you will be able to select the actions taken and completed. This eliminates the need to manually move subscribers between lists when they meet the specified criteria.

Adding Tags to Funnel Subscribers

When working with Funnels, you may find yourself wanting to quickly sort subscribers based on their subscription history, choices or actions. This can easily be setup by using our tagging feature. Tagging subscribers can also better help you segment your subscriber list as well as target particular subscribers for advanced email marketing and product offers.

To tag a subscriber you will first need to create a hidden custom field. A refresher on how to do that can be found in our prior blog post here. Once created,  select the Funnel your would like to work with and click the light grey Edit Articles and Sequencing button to be taken to the following screen:

 Screenshot showing the tagging icons in the Funnel dashboard.

From this screen, you will press the tag icon next to the email icon on the step of your series where you wish to add the tag. When you click the icon, a pop-up will appear which you will be able to select the Custom Field from the drop down menu. As this Funnel series was created as a Test, we created the hidden Custom Field of AR_Test_Subscribers to tag to all subscribers.

Your subscribers will not be aware of the tag as it is solely used for publisher tracking purposes. You are able to add a tag at any stage of your Funnel, this is useful if you are noting when subscribers drop out of a particular series.

You are able to use these tags when segmenting subscribers for new mailings or when creating new lists and groups.

Pro Tip: Automatically add subscribers who complete the Funnel into a new Group for targeted email marketing. You can do this by selecting the group icon next to the tag.
Delayed Start Date of a Funnel

There are times where you wish to start a Funnel for a set of subscribers at the same time. It could be an ecourse or a bootcamp where you want everyone to move at the same pace. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Set up a new list, set to the On Demand schedule, as a placeholder. This list’s only job is capture the subscribers as they sign up for your product or course.

  • Prepare the Funnel separately, making sure that the first email has a delay.

    • *If the first email in a Funnel is set to immediate, it will not be sent to people who do not sign up directly to the Funnel.

  • When ready to begin the series, use the Move / Copy feature, found in the subscriber management tile of the placeholder list, and copy everyone into the Funnel.

Jumping Emails in a Funnel

There are cases when you may want to speed a particular subscriber through a Funnel. To do this, first you will want to create a Custom Field, such as Jump, and then manually tag the particular subscriber with this field under Subscriber Management. Before adding this subscriber to the Funnel, you will need to add the Jump to each step in the series. When you select the Jump icon, the following popup will appear:

For this purpose, we simply used the custom field of “ s “ to note a skip. This signals the Funnel to Jump from the first email to the second email when the Custom Field of s is equal to YES (i.e. when it has been found on an email address).

Please note that in order to successfully move through an entire Funnel sequence, a jump will need to be added to each step along the way. You can also use a jump to skip further along the sequence if they take a specific action.

Here you can see we have zero delay set, but you are able to set your delay between emails as you please. This is useful if someone requests all of the emails in a series up front, or prefers a weekly delivery series to arrive on a daily basis. Our publishers have found this is not common, but should a subscriber request it, it can indeed be done.

Diving into the advanced features of Funnels can seem overwhelming, however, we are always here to help! If you would like to work with some of the features mentioned above but would like further assistance, send us an email to support@feedblitz.com. Or you can chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Did you find this post useful? Let us know! We enjoy hearing feedback on how we can better serve you. Send an email with your thoughts to support@feedblitz.com. Thank you in advance as we look forward to hearing from you!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!