How to Use Email Automation to Create Remarkable Customer Experiences

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One of the most overlooked and underutilized opportunities for email automation is to create remarkable customer experiences.

We tend to think of email marketing and automation as being a function of marketing. You coax someone into giving you their email address and then send them down a gauntlet of emails that introduce them to you, your company, and what you have to offer.

But what if you could automate the process of a new customer falling in love with what you offer after they buy? You can. You can also give new customers a solid nudge in the direction of becoming a “superuser.”

email marketing super user

In her book, The Membership Economy, Robbie Baxter defines superusers as those who are “especially loyal and engaged members who leverage the power of the community through their participation.” Superusers help you create value, culture, and connections for other customers.

Superusers create remarkable customer experiences. Becoming a superuser is a remarkable customer experience.

This is key no matter what kind of business model or offer you have. Toms have superusers. Apple has superusers. Moleskine has superusers. Google has superusers.

They’re not necessarily the people who spend the most–but they are the ones who create the best experiences and further your brand in a way just simply can’t on your own.

Okay, but what does this have to do with email automation?

The thing about superusers is that we know what creates them. We know there’s a path that people take to become superusers. Superusers are made, not born.

And, just like any process in your business this can be systematized and automated. Email helps us do it.

Read on for how I use ConvertKit to create superusers and remarkable customer experiences in my own business.

My company runs a membership community for smart, ambitious business owners past the beginner stage–Quiet Power Strategy®: The Lab. Much like a SaaS product, in order to make an offer like this sustainable and profitable over time, you have to engage customers from day one and keep earning their monthly fee over and over again.

So despite the low price tag on an offer like this, it can be surprisingly difficult to sell and reduce customer churn. That makes our email onboarding process an essential piece of how we grow our revenue.

The more we can encourage new users to become superusers or to engage with the superusers we already have, the more likely we are to earn that monthly fee over and over again.

Baxter lists 3 key steps on the path to becoming a superuser:

  1. Remove friction.
  2. Deliver immediate value.
  3. Reward desired behaviors.

In other words, once a new member activates their subscription, our job is to make it as easy as possible for them to take advantage of what we offer, solve the problem that led them to buy right away, and reward them for solving their problems.

Remarkable customer experiences start with the Welcome Email.

When someone starts their free 10-day trial to The Lab, they’re given full access to our community. That means 2 key things: our training Hub and our discussion space.

Those are the things they want to know how to get to right away so they’re the first 2 links in our Welcome Email.

Tara Gentile Kickstart Labs Welcome Email in ConvertKit

We also know that an immediate point of friction for new members is that they’re overwhelmed by everything they have access to–so we point them at our most popular resource first: The Living Room Strategy.

Finally, in case they have an other “friction” with the product, we include the address they should use to get in touch with support.

To create your own Welcome Email, ask yourself:

  • Where do my customers get stuck with my product?
  • What information do they want first about what they just purchased?
  • What information will help them solve their problem (even if they don’t know it)?

The next email we send overcomes another point of friction: adding the Q&A calls that come with their membership to their calendar. We know that if they show up to calls they’re much more likely to stay.

One day later, they receive an email designed to both deliver immediate value and reward desired behaviors. They’re asked to post a question they have about their business in our discussion space.

Tara Gentile's Kickstart Labs Email #2 in ConvertKit

We reinforce why they decided to sign up (answers are just 1 post away!) and ask them to take action. When they take action, they’re rewarded by answers and discussion.

post inside Tara Gentile's Kickstart Labs

Now, we’ve covered all 3 bases: removing friction, delivering immediate value, and rewarding desired behaviors. So that means we’re done, right? WRONG.

It’s a much longer process and needs to be reinforced many times to create your superusers.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The next two emails in our automation sequence are designed to point people to specific training that could help solve their problems. Even if that piece of training isn’t of interest to them, they’re seeing that we have a wide range of training available so that it’s top of mind when they have a problem.

Tara Gentile's Kickstart Labs Email #3 in ConvertKit

The final email before the new members 10-day trial expires is a request for them to share a tool, tip, or business insight they have that could be useful to other members. The idea here is to reinforce that they’re a valuable member of our community (‘cause they are!).

Again, we know that if people share their own experiences and information with the community, they’re much more likely to stay.

Finally, this last email also reinforces the culture that we want to create in the community, one where we treat others as equals, where we all have something to learn, and where we all have something to teach.

Tara Gentile's Kickstart Labs Welcome Email #4 in ConvertKit

post inside Tara Gentile's Kickstart Labs

Because of this onboarding sequence, we average over a 70% retention rate for trial members becoming full, paying members.

While there are other aspects of our member onboarding (i.e. welcoming new members in the discussion space, sending a personal follow-up email after the Welcome Email, and a physical Thank You card for new paying members), email automation is the backbone of the system. Without it, we couldn’t run an effective community.

Ready to make email automation the backbone of your remarkable customer experiences too?

Remember, you don’t need a membership offer or a SaaS product to make this work for you. Just answer these questions:

  • Where do my customers get stuck with my product?
  • What keeps my customers from using my product to its full value?
  • What could my customers learn from other customers?
  • What customer behaviors lead to long-term satisfaction?
  • What could my customers receive from me to reward them for good customer behavior?

Once you’ve answered those questions, assign each answer a desired customer action. Then, design your email onboarding sequence to walk new customers through each of those actions.

Now, go forth and create remarkable customer experiences with email automation!

Tara Gentile

Tara Gentile is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She’s the creator of Quiet Power Strategy®, a business planning system for idea-driven entrepreneurs. She’s also the host of Profit. Power. Pursuit., a podcast that takes you behind the scenes of successful small businesses. Take her free course on how to price your products and services to grow your business: click here.

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