Overheard at The Tea Mavens: Email Automations

In this ongoing series, you get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at The Tea Mavens. In this post, we look at a common question for tea business owners. The topic? Email automations for online tea businesses.

Last week, we got an email from one of our regulars about upgrading email automations for a (primarily) online tea business. There were a few elements involved in the query: How can we integrate it? Which events should trigger an automation? Is it worth it?

While some of those questions are specific to the client in question, one is far more universal for tea businesses who participate in web commerce: Is email automation worth the time and expense?

The answer is, in almost every case, a resounding YES!

Those of you who have signed up for MavenMail already probably know why. For those who haven't, here's how it works:

  1. You see a free offer in exchange for signing up.
  2. You sign up.
  3. You start receiving rewards that connect you with the company, inform you about our offerings and (above all) provide value to you.

That last part (value) is essential. It's the difference between a ho-hum, underperforming automation and a rockstar automation that gets people excited and engaged about your offerings! And the effort on our end? We certainly did put a chunk of time and money into getting the automation started. However, it pays itself off many times over by running automatically again and again to reach potential customer after potential customer with exactly what they want from the business.

In the case of a tea business, the value involved for potential customers could be:

  • a discount code for their first order
  • an ebook on tea / related products (such as better brewing, choosing teaware or tea recipes)
  • an email series that teaches about the different types of tea and includes a discount on each category
  • an email series that introduces clients to your best-selling-teas one at a time and includes a discount code with each intro
  • or (for tea wholesalers) a guide to selling more tea in your target customer base's market (e.g., in cafes or in a retail shop setting)

And this is (literally) just the beginning! It's a way to convert potential customers into engaged, excited buyers. But automations can also be used to KEEP people engaged, excited and buying. For example, you can implement automations to:

  • reward loyal customers
  • encourage them to leave a review of a tea they've bought in exchange for a reward
  • offer a discount on a repeat purchase of a tea they've bought before or on a similar tea to one they've bought before
  • send over a birthday discount code (IF you collect their birthday when they sign up for your list!)
  • encourage them to buy again after a certain amount of time (This is known as a 'win-back' campaign)
  • notify them when a product they've purchased is running low or back in stock
  • educate with relation to products they've ordered (e.g., how to use their new teaware)
  • remind them about an abandoned shopping cart

And these are just general examples! There's much more you can do to target YOUR customer base with YOUR products to engage them around YOUR brand!

So, you might be thinking, 'That sounds like it takes a lot of time. AND I have to offer discounts on all that?' It does take time, and know-how and insight, too. It also saves a lot more time, because it triggers sales AUTOMATICALLY in ways that you only have to really think about during the setup, instead of dealing with again, and again, and again (like you do with most sales campaigns). It's like having a salesperson that you only have to pay once, but who works for you for years after they've earned back the initial investment. The ROI is fantastic and the results are clear: email automations are a fantastic tool for marketing your tea online!

Check back again soon for our next installment on Overheard at The Tea Mavens on events versus processes! And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to MavenMail so you never miss another blog post like this!