If you’re a service based business or independent professional – a consultant, doctor, lawyer, attorney, contractor or you work for one, this article will give you six automated email ideas you can easily implement in your business.
Each email idea included can give you an easy email marketing idea to easily put in place. Without needing to be a copywriter or marketing automation expert.
Implementing even one of these ideas in your practice can help save a ton of time and allow you to grow your practice or service based business.
Why would you want to automate your email follow-up?
It takes a lot of time and effort to send out emails manually for everything going on. Whether it’s you or an assistant doing this, these could be emails being sent out about…
Scheduling, rescheduling appointments, collecting past due payments, following up with leads , asking for referrals, following up with clients for info you need from them. The list goes on here…
That’s all time better spent serving clients, growing your business or time spent on whatever else you’d rather be doing than sending repetitive emails.
Automating certain types of emails in your practice can save you (or your team’s time) that can then be better spent. All this time really adds up as your practice grows. It’s also really easy to set up on your own with all the marketing automation tools available.
Let’s dive into the automated email ideas all service based businesses should have in place…
6 Automated Email Ideas for Service Providers – Follow Up Ideas for Consultants, Accountants, Attorneys, Doctor’s, Independent Professionals & Freelancers
Scheduling Your Appointments, Sessions and Meetings with Clients Automatically
Appointments are the lifeblood of your business and can also be a double-edged sword. Going back and forth with a client about what times will work for them for an appointment can be downright painful at times.
Worse, if a client doesn’t get back to you quick enough, lets say they wait two days with what time works for them and your schedule changes after. You then have to restart the whole process over. You or an assistant probably has to do this multiple times with each client you’re working with. Worse when they don’t show up at the correct time.
How automating Scheduling Your Client Appointments with emails can help…
You can automate this whole process by using an appointment scheduling tool. Here’s how it works…
The client is sent an email with a link that takes them to a form with available times for appointments they can choose from. Your assistant could also instantly trigger off this link being sent to a client instantly through a text or email.
The client gets to choose the time that works best for them based on your existing calendar and picks a time to meet.
Automated Reminders About Appointments Help Increase Show Up Rates
The client then gets automated emails and texts reminding them ahead to show up for the appointment, which can dramatically increase your show-up rates for sessions. You can also give them an option to reschedule or cancel the appointment automatically.
There can be an optional time limit, where you can allow them only to cancel or reschedule if it’s 24-48 hours ahead of the appointment.
Your assistant can even use this tool for scheduling your appointments by phone if that’s what your clients prefer. This then helps make sure that person gets automated reminders for their appointment.
Just having the email reminders before each appointment with a client is an easy way to add automated emails in your business.
Compared to manually doing all of this, if you could imagine, this can save your business a ton of time.
Let’s dive into some examples of how you could implement scheduling appointments in your business.
Examples of Automating Scheduling your appointments & Automating Appointment Email Reminders
Having Meeting Scheduling Links Ready to Send Anytime Someone Requests a Specific Type of Appointment…
The simplest way to use this in your business is having different meeting links ready for the main types of appointments and services that you offer.
Is it a meeting for a 60 minute consultation, a 30 minute meeting, a service appointment, or another appointment to fulfill a specific service a client purchased?
Anytime someone needs to schedule a specific type of appointment, you or your assistant can just send them the meeting link they need and that takes care of everything and sends reminders to them about that meeting. If it’s a virtual meeting, it will also automatically include the details about how to meet.
It can also tag them in your email platform based on the type of appointment they booked. This allows you to segment your list of clients using tags based on past actions they’ve taken.
Fulfilling a Specific Type of Service or Product for A Client or Patient
If you’re an established service business, there’s repetitive appointments you or your team needs to schedule with clients.
For example, you could have a specific consultation kick off call once you sign a new client. If you’re a doctor there’s scheduling specific types of appointments or procedures. Normally this requires a receptionist to schedule manually.
With an appointment booking system and the right type of CRM this can be scheduled automatically through email. Additionally you can send out appointment reminders or allow clients to cancel or reschedule automatically. Without anyone needing to schedule it manually and no more playing telephone.
Do you have an appointment scheduling tool yet in your business?
It’s time to get one if you don’t yet and will make scheduling your core appointments so much easier.
The platform ScheduleOnce allows you to do everything I’ve mentioned above through a free account. You do have to pay for credits if you want to send out text reminders for meetings that’s well worth it. It also has a lot of direct integrations with popular marketing automation platforms that you can connect to. The other most popular tool is Calendly.
Keap also recently came out with their own appointment booking tool that can help you accomplish everything I’ve mentioned above plus also being able to start and stop different sequences based on an appointment being booked.
Key Additional Points to Consider With Your Appointment Scheduling
Do you constantly have no shows to your appointments? Evaluate what reminders are sent out for your current appointments?
If you already have an appointment scheduling tool setup, how many email reminders do you have in place now that get sent out after an appointment is scheduled? Are they working? Would adding more help? Can you add text reminders? Automated calendar invites?
Any improvements here can help increase your appointment show up rate and help you make the most of your time.
What follow up needs to happen after an appointment occurs with a client? Are the emails automated? What about the next steps you want a client to take after an appointment?
Automating any follow up before or after an appointment can help make things much more efficient for you. Doing it in the right way can also lead to more repeat sales and happier customers.
Need specific info from a client before the appointment happens? You can use a CRM like Keap or ActiveCampaign to follow up with them automatically, so they submit it to you ahead of their booked time.
Automating your appointment booking process by adding a simple appointment scheduling tool like we’ve talked about is an easy win if you haven’t done that already for your practice.
Automating Collecting Feedback, Reviews and Testimonials from Clients
Showing reviews and testimonials from past happy customers are a great way to market your business to new prospects. They help demonstrate that you can deliver what you promise and have happy past customers to back you up.
Collecting reviews and feedback manually, however, can be time consuming and inefficient. Queue using this automation to help automate that process in your business…
Why Collecting Public Reviews Is so Important For Your Practice…
Before I dive into how automating collecting reviews can work, here’s why this is important.
If your professional service business has little or no public reviews on Google Reviews, Yelp, TrustPilot or other relevant review sites to your industry, this can make your business look like a ghost town to new prospective clients.
If a new client is considering doing business with you for the first time, they’re most likely going to do their research on your business first by Googling you and seeing what past clients have had to say about working with you.
If they see zero reviews, or only a few that were posted a long time ago, that could make some people reluctant to work with you. Having more public reviews can help serve as a marketing asset you can use to close more customers and generate more qualified organic traffic to your business.
The more public reviews you have, the more of a ranking signal that sends to Google and helps you rank higher on Google Maps and Google for the terms you want your professional service business to rank for.
Let’s dive into how you can automate collecting more reviews for your service based business…
Ways you can Automate Collecting Reviews or Feedback From Clients…
After you’ve delivered your service and all the work is completed, this is the perfect point to ask for a review. Here’s some different ways you can go about doing that for your service based business…
Ask For A Review After A Certain Amount of Time Has Passed
Ghandi once said, “if you don’t ask, you won’t get it.” The same applies to reviews for your business. This is the simplest approach to gain reviews.
After a certain amount of time has passed after you’ve fulfilled and delivered your service. Check in and ask them to leave a review if they had a positive experience or contact you if they weren’t happy for some reason so you can help them.
After, and a certain amount of time has passed, an email automatically goes out, encouraging your customer to leave you a review if they had a good experience.
Here’s an example of the type of email asking for a review you could send like this:
Ideally your CRM will be able to have a customer get tagged once you’ve fulfilled and delivered the service they bought. This triggers a timer and then the email once the set amount of time has passed.
One downside of this approach is you could end up with some potential negative reviews if they didn’t have that great of an experience. Having a mix of positive and negative reviews also isn’t a bad thing. It helps make your good reviews more believable.
Post Service Fulfillment Feedback / Survey Request
As your service business and team grows, you’ll want to collect feedback from customers. After a service appointment or job is fulfilled, you can send out an email asking what customers thought of it automatically. Here you can ask what you could’ve done better and any feedback they had.
Another option could be sending an NPS survey asking how you did on a scale of 1-10. If they rate you positively, you can then follow up asking for a review or testimonial.
If they give a negative rating, you can ask them for additional feedback on why and trigger off someone needing to follow up with them to try to see if there’s anything you can do to make them happy.
Direct Request for a Testimonial – Just Ask
If you don’t want to generate more reviews on a review site, another option is to ask someone to leave you a testimonial that you can use in your own marketing. Once your service has been delivered, you can queue up an email to go out automatically asking them to leave a written review, video, or ask them if they’d like to participate in a more in depth case study interview talking about their experience in working with you.
Do you have a marketing CRM to automate this currently?
All of these emails asking for reviews can be sent out automatically when you have the right type of marketing CRM for your service based business.
Have a Library of Pre-Written Email Templates to Quickly Answer Your Most Common Questions & Issues
This would be one of the biggest time savers here. Having pre written templates to send for the most common questions that you get from clients should be a must have for any established business.
You’ve most likely already written them out and can turn past emails you’ve already sent into templates like this to use. Or for your team to use so they can answer these same questions as efficiently as you can.
This allows you to deal with your most common customer service questions and answer pre-sales questions quickly. Instead of typing out the same answer over and over again. If they’re question is somewhat different, you can modify or add to the existing template to address what they’re asking.
Ideally you should have a support desk ticketing system that allows you to create and organize email templates like this. Zendesk or Fusedesk make this really easy to do and handle a high volume of tickets efficiently.
If you use Keap they have a built-in template library you can use when sending out emails to individual clients.
ActiveCampaign also has a similar function that allows you to save templated “Saved Responses” that you can quickly select and then send quickly to clients. Without having to retype out each time.
Even if you don’t have a fancy helpdesk or CRM that can automate saving email templates like this, I’d highly encourage you to create a master Google doc that has all the most common questions your clients and prospective clients ask. This can be shared with your team or used to copy and paste the answers from whenever you get these questions in the future.
Automating Sending Out Quotes, Invoices and Collecting Payments Owed by Clients
Collecting your payments from clients is arguably one of the most important tasks within your business. Certain systems make this easier to do than others.
Here’s ways you can consider automating emails related to invoices…
- Automatically send email reminders when a client has an invoice they need to pay.
- Send an email receipt once a client pays an invoice.
- Have a recurring invoice automatically bill your clients (on a monthly retainer or payment plan basis)
Keap Pro makes invoicing your clients super easy to do. Here’s a few of my favorite ways you can use it for invoicing…
Set up recurring invoice payments that bill automatically
This allows you to set up a monthly retainer that rebills automatically every month. Or you can set up a payment plan this way until the balance is paid off. Your client gets a receipt emailed to them after each payment automatically. Here’s what this looks like in Keap Pro…
Quickly email or text an Invoice to be paid by a client
This allows you to quickly collect payments on any services that you sell. Once you’ve created your invoice, you can email them instantly or send them the invoice link via a text message.
Keap Pro also has an app you can use to create these invoices on your iphone. Once any invoice has been paid you have a record of all their payments in their contact record in Keap. You can also get app notifications when any invoices are viewed and paid.
Automatically Remind Clients to Pay Their Invoices After It’s been Sent
This allows you to automatically follow up with clients until they pay the invoice. Keap’s new “Easy Automations” couldn’t make this any easier. Here’s a look at how easy it is to setup…
You can add your own custom reminders as you want. Let’s say you want to also add a text message reminding them to pay, you’d just add that like this and that’s also now added as automatic follow up after any invoice has been created.
You can also add additional emails or other automated steps to happen. If it gets past a certain point when they still haven’t paid, you could add a task for someone to manually follow up with this person about their owed balance.
Need help improving this and collecting payments in your business?
We can set up the above automated email ideas for you and improve how your business collects payments from your clients. Schedule a free 15 minute discovery call to find out how.
Automating Your Post Sales Conversation Follow Up / Nurture Sequence
Ever have a phone call or consult with a prospective client only to never hear from them again?
It’s only natural for someone to forget about working with you considering how busy everyone is now. It takes 7–13+ points of contact to turn a prospect into a customer.
Having a default automated email follow-up sent out after a call with a prospect, or after you come into contact with someone, helps turn more of your leads into paying customers. Instead of you manually sending out each of those follow-up emails.
Only 8% of businesses will follow up more than 5 times with a lead.
Which means roughly 92% of the time, businesses will give up right before their chance to make a sale is about to happen.
Simple Email Ideas for Automating a Post Sales Conversation Follow Up Could Be…
- Following up if they have any other questions after your sales call with them.
- An email sharing how you got started and your company origin story.
- An email linking to your company’s sales FAQ page.
- Overview of your past most popular content
- Nurture related content
Automating Holiday Greetings Emails, Birthdays, Anniversaries and More
Sending out a card or email when it’s a special day for a client or holidays is a great way to stay top of mind with them.
Here’s some automated email ideas you can use to implement this in your business.
Set up a master Holiday campaign to send out emails for all holidays throughout the year
I’m a big fan of batching tasks. This is where you’d batch all your holiday emails for the year into one big campaign with emails to go out for each holiday you want to announce. Then you have all your holiday emails taken care of for the year.
Birthdays, Customer Anniversaries
If you can collect your customers’ birthdays and store it in your CRM, you could also easily set up a Happy Birthday email that could be automated and personalized for them. You could also send out a note letting them know you appreciate their business after a certain amount of time has passed of them being a customer
Want to automate a hand written note on a certain date?
Believe it or not there’s now robots that can be used to write handwritten notes that look like they were written by a real person through a service called handwrytten. Taking it a step further, you can automate ordering these cards for your clients with Zapier, Hubspot or other integrations that handwrytten works with.
Celebrate Customer Milestones
Are there any important milestones your clients achieve in working with you? If there is, be sure to celebrate them! Bringing them up this way makes for a great personalized way to build your relationship with your clients and makes for a memorable moment. It also helps reinforce the value a client gets from achieving that milestone.
Conclusion | What Automated Email Ideas Are You Going to Add Now?
If you’re a service based business or independent professional – a consultant, doctor, lawyer, attorney, contractor or you work for one, you now have a TON of automated email ideas you can potentially implement in your business.
Which one are you going to actually implement now that you’ve made it this far?
Implementing even just one of these ideas in your practice can help save time and grow your practice. You don’t need to be a copywriter or marketing automation expert to make these ideas happen. If you’re also interested in improving your digital marketing, make sure you have these five free digital marketing tools in your company toolbox.
Keap Pro makes it super easy for anyone to implement most of the ideas I’ve covered here that I’d encourage you to check out if you need a marketing CRM (or replacement to your current email tool).
If you’d like help implementing any of these ideas in your business, feel free to reach out to me for a free 15 minute discovery call for us to talk.