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A Lesson About Email Automation on Christmas Eve

Empty FranchiseHelp Office

It’s 4PM on Christmas Eve, 2015. The FranchiseHelp offices are technically closed, but I decided to stick around NYC this year. So here I am with an empty office.

I was beginning to pack up my stuff. However, today has been quite the day in terms of email. Is it because it’s Christmas Eve? Of course not. It’s because it’s my birthday!

(Yes, I am at the office writing Lead Generation Resource Center articles at 4PM on Christmas Eve / My Birthday.)

Here’s an assortment of emails that I’ve received today simply because it’s my birthday:

Verizon Birthday Email
Bikram Yoga Birthday Email
ZocDoc Birthday Email

(In total, by the way, I received EIGHT of these and counting today!)

It’s simply amazing. Some of these places I never hear from via email, yet today I get a personalized message!

I can’t help but think about two specific things as these emails keep rolling in today:

  • Look how easy it is for anyone to do email automation. (I can promise that these emails aren’t the product of an intern compiling the list of birthdays every day!) Based on what I can tell, I was emailed by a large non-profit, a small non-profit, a yoga studio, a big healthcare technology company, and a Fortune 100 telecommunications company. For as varied as these institutions missions are, the diversity of what their marketing departments look like is wild! Some of these are bound to be one-man shows while others may have employee counts into the thousands. One day, someone at these companies just decided that they’d implement email automation and by gosh they succeeded. We speak about it so frequently here at FranchiseHelp, that it’s incredibly inspiring to see such a massive single example. (By the way, all of you have a birthday, so you should go back and check at what your inbox looked like that day. I’m going to guess that I’m not the only one who experienced all this automated email love.)
  • What a complete and utter waste of marketing creativity. So your company finally decides to invest in email automation and the best you can do is email your list of their birthdays? As you can see from the example above (And your personal inbox from your most recent birthday), there’s no _reason _for these institutions to be emailing you. 10% off a yoga session? 100 reward points from my telephone company? A checklist about what I should do today? It’s so weird. When I think about the difficulty in implementing an email automation strategy, the vast majority of the challenge lies in setting up the technology, not the actual email execution. Yet, these institutions seem to botch it. If you're incredibly perceptive, you'll see the yoga email is even from "automatedemail@mindbodyonline.com." I MEAN COME ON!)

(Let it be noted that I am not completely heartless. I’m very grateful that a human told a machine to detect that it was my birthday and therefore execute code correctly in service of delivering me an ego boost.)

As we think about the implications for you franchise’s lead generation efforts, I think both points should ring true. First and foremost, I promise that you can set-up email automation. If all of these companies can do it, you certainly can. It may be painful as you work through the technical challenges, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Secondly, if you have the ability to send emails in an automated fashion, don’t waste it on something like someone birthday. Just because you can send an email doesn’t mean that you should!

Alright. That’s enough from me on Christmas Eve! I’m going to grab some loved ones and some egg nog!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Birthday to Me!

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