I attended a workshop run by ActiveCampaign, a provider of email marketing automation software. Here are some easy takeaways smaller manufacturers can implement to help save time and grow their businesses.

1. Use an autoresponder for every form completed

This applies to an RFQ, contact form, employment application, whitepaper request, and more. Use these autoresponder emails to acknowledge receipt and to complement your thank you pages a visitor is taken to once they submit the form.

For example, send the prospect a copy of the detailed RFQ information they submitted and the expected wait time for you to respond. This email may be useful for them to refer back to later and gives the prospect reassurance that their information has been received.

You have the opportunity to make a positive first impression and stand out amongst your competitors.

Auto-responders could also be sent some time after they have been received or between business hours, rather than immediately, to give them a more human feel.

2. Immediately send the latest newsletter to new subscribers

Instead of making them wait for up to a month, make the most of their attention while you have it. Alternatively, they could be sent a welcome newsletter with “best of” content from recent issues to introduce the format.

3. Send a series of timed after-sales care emails after a purchase

Depending on the type of product or service being provided, this could be a reminder to re-purchase, maintenance information, asking how things are going or how satisfied they are.

You could also send a relevant FAQ or recommend complementary products.

Internal emails could also be sent to sales reps at set times as reminders to call or visit clients as part of your after-sales care.

4. Ask one quick question to your mailing list with buttons to click directly in the email

For example, use a 5-point scale asking them how satisfied they were with your product or service. The survey is done right in the email with one click, rather than being taken to a webpage to complete it. Fast, simple, and not overwhelming.

Based on the clicks registered in the email, your list members’ answers are stored in your mailing list and targeted emails can be sent based on their response to the question.

Another example would be to ask one question which helps you learn more about which persona your list members fall into (e.g. job type or industry), so you can better target your future emails to them.

5. Automatically remove certain email addresses from your mailing list

This way you get better deliverability, better open rates, and pay less for your mailing list.

For example, automatically email people who have not opened any newsletter in the past six months asking if they wish to remain on the list and instructing them click a link within the next two weeks. If they do not click the link, automatically remove them from the list.