Automated follow up systems exist for a variety of services and purposes. They are extremely helpful for reducing the labor required to communicate effectively with customers.
Automated Follow Up as Advertisement
Many companies use email to advertise their businesses, whether they are offering services or products. Whether they are prospecting for leads by sending to private email addresses of individuals, or they are targeting businesses, nearly every company uses email to attempt to make sales.
However, it is tedious to send follow up emails to potential clients. Many clients may not express interest until they receive several emails, meaning that someone has to compose and then send those emails.
The entire system can be automated, and many companies do this. This is especially true of very large companies, who send out massive numbers of elaborate advertisements via email to thousands of people on their mailing list.
However smaller businesses may not have this capacity. Moreover, they may want their initial email to be tailored to the individual client. Receiving an advertisement that is clearly designed to appeal to your individual needs is probably more compelling.
Of course, that doesn’t guarantee interest. While it may be tempted to craft individual follow up emails, this is simply not practical for many businesses.
These businesses instead benefit from automated follow up email systems, which can continue to send emails to potential clients reminding them of the benefits of the company’s services and products. This allows the company to focus on other things, such as prospecting for even more clients. Because they will sometimes make sales off of these additional follow up emails, they effectively make additional money without having to do additional work.
According to Infusionsoft, the majority of deals are closed between the 5th and the twelfth email, meaning that having an automated follow up system can really pay off.
Automated Follow Up as Stewardship
Have you ever gotten a thank you email because you purchased a product or made a donation?
Stewardship, in this case, refers to the cultivation of a relationship between an organization and a customer or donor. Nonprofits often use the concept to refer to how they thank people for making donations. People who are shown appreciation for their charity are likely to donate again in the future. Extra attention is often paid to big money donors who give huge sums.
Most people, of course, give a little bit here and there. Giving $25 might not result in your name being put on a building, but frequently organizations will at least acknowledge your gift. While some may do it via a postcard, a digital thank you also has a positive effect.
Of course, companies can use this model to help cultivate repeat customers. People who buy products online may receive automated emails confirming their purchase, but most of them at least also thank the customer for their business.
Many online businesses will continue to send occasional advertisements to their customers in the hopes that they will become repeat customers. They may continue to receive automated email advertisements by being placed on a mailing list.
Automated Follow Up as Reminders
In many cases, the purpose of automated follow up systems is to simply remind people of their appointments. It is common nowadays for doctors’ offices to use automated appointment reminder calls to make sure that patients know when they are supposed to go to the doctor. This helps reduce absenteeism and tardiness, and doesn’t place any additional strain on office staff.
Calls also have an important advantage. In the event that a patient does not answer their phone, the automated system can be programmed to leave a message with the important information so that the individual may hear it later.
Automated reminders are not limited just to phone calls. They can also be done via email. Companies that use email reminders have to be careful due to the fact that they can be placed automatically in spam folders if the patients email client thinks the email is malicious. Certain precautions can be taken to help make sure that such emails do not trip spam protection in people’s inbox.
It is also increasingly common for people to receive appointment reminders via text message. Some of these reminders even have interactive features, such as instructions that can be followed by texting back certain things. For example, a patient may be asked to confirm an appointment by being told to text back either YES (that they are going to make it to their appointment) or NO (that they wish to cancel their appointment.)
While this does not necessarily approach the level of interactivity that is present in phone conversations, automated text message reminders are convenient and unobtrusive. Many people don’t check their email every day and people who own cell phones generally carry them wherever they go. Of course, not everyone is necessarily responsive to text messages. Older cell phone users may prefer their reminders be communicated by calls. Millennials, however, who grew up with texting and other forms of digital communication and are less inclined toward talking on the phone likely prefer to receive text message reminders.
Feature Image via Promoter