Email Automations to Supercharge your Small Business

Almost every website has a basic contact form on it. And when someone comes to your website, they submit the form, and then they wait for a response. But did you know you can set up some automations so that your customers aren’t waiting around for your reply? There are a lot of automated emails you can send to engage with your customers and potential customers.

I know what you may be thinking. “I hate automated emails!” And yes, those “I’m out of the office” auto-responders can be super annoying. But that’s not exactly what I mean.

Let’s start with the first and easiest automated email to setup – an auto response when someone submits your form. However, your email shouldn’t look like this.

Seriously, nobody likes that. However, if your auto-responder is done well, it can be both a benefit for you and your client. Instead of just a confirmation of receipt, you can use that email to create a connection with your potential client, let them learn more about you and your business, and keep them informed about what happens next. I like to think of it as more of an educational opportunity instead of just a “we got your message” email. Your auto-responder should look more like this.

Do you see the difference in these two messages? One just confirms the message got sent. The other confirms it was sent, but also lets the person know you want to do business with them, that you are looking forward to communicating with them. It lets them know how long it should take you to respond and what to do if they don’t hear back, and it gives them opportunities about how they learn more about your business and other ways to connect. Feel free to copy this email and use it for your own business.

This type of email is a much better first impression to your customer than 1) waiting around for your response with no email or 2) the basic “we got your message” email. And it doesn’t take that much time or effort to set up. This is a message you should set up today.

The What to Expect Email

For many businesses, there’s a bit of a lag time between when you sign a contract and you actually start the work. This is a great time to have an automated message (or even a series of automated messages) to educate your customers on your business and what to expect. It’s not only going to save you a lot of time answering questions/emails from customers who aren’t sure how the process goes, but it gives them communication from you so they know you haven’t forgotten about them and you’re looking forward to working with them.

If you are only going to do one email, as opposed to a series of emails, you’ll want to plan carefully what it should say. To plan for this, think about all the questions your customers ask you before you start on any work for you. Is there a theme? Do they tend to have the same questions and have the same answers? If so, that’s typically where you should start.

Begin your message with a note that lets them know the email is automated. There are a lot of reasons why I do this, but mostly it’s because 1) not everything you include may be relevant for this particular customer an 2) you may have already covered things in your email with the client. This way they know that this is standard information that goes to everyone.

What if you have too much information to share in an email?

It’s true, you don’t want to write a book. A message that’s too long won’t be read. So what do you do if you have too much info? I’ll give you two options. One option is to write a series of emails. I do that with my own onboarding emails. My clients will receive one message a day for seven days, breaking up all the information into a series of readable messages. I like doing this because it gives my clients a little bit to read every day, and lets them know they are a priority, but it isn’t overwhelming.

The other option is to create one email that links to more information that would be available on your website. For example, you may have a series of FAQs and including all that in the email would be too much, but you could list the questions and link to where the answers are on your website. This gives them the choice about whether they want to follow up and read more, of they feel like they have all the info they need, they don’t have to.

Another Email Automation to Consider

Do reviews play a part in your business? Do you want to cultivate reviews and get more testimonials? Why not set up an automated email that goes out to your clients after you’ve finished a project with them? This is a great opportunity to request reviews for your business.

This email should include a note about how you enjoyed working with them, how reviews impact your business, and where they should leave their reviews. Here’s an example:


Automated emails can make a big difference in your connection to your clients, and they’ll appreciate that you are keeping them in the loop.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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