Every Business Needs Email Marketing Automation

Pavel Aramyan

Dec 20 2018

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Email marketing automation allows businesses to automate routine tasks. It also allows them to focus on more notable aspects of their business while boosting customer engagement and increasing revenue.

Email marketing is one of the top lead generation resources that online marketing brings to the table. If your business isn’t utilizing emails to their full extent, you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Even in the light of modern technology like mobile texts, social media, retargeting and native ads, emails remain one of the top performing lead generation channels:

Emails remain one of the top performing lead generation channels. Source: Neil Patel Blog.

In another survey conducted among B2B marketing professionals, email marketing almost topped the charts as the “best, qualified leads generation channel.” This data has been consistent throughout the past six years across 95% of marketers according to Direct Marketing Association’s survey in 2017. The two reasons why email marketing is so effective after 40 years are engagement and personalization. According to Chief Marketers 2019 Marketing Outlook, the top challenges that marketers face today are getting qualified leads and engaging their target audiences. Personalized ads and text messages are only effective to a certain extent. When it comes to engagement and personalization that will truly allow you to bring in loyal prospects, email is the top channel available today.

What is email marketing automation?

Let’s take a look at what email marketing automation has to offer. Just like the name implies, email marketing automation allows businesses to automate a lot of routine activities. With it, businesses can focus on perfecting their marketing strategy, reading and understanding data, and improving the sales cycle.

While this sounds pretty straightforward, it does have a few caveats that you’ll learn the hard way if you’re just starting. Luckily, we’re here to help you avoid all of that trouble.

First off, it’s important to understand that not every automated email is a part of email marketing automation. An example is transactional emails that are sent when a customer places an order, or their order is delivered. Email marketing automation is about engagement and personalization, not notifications.

There are two types of automated emails:

  • Event-based trigger emails
  • Drip-feed emails

These can be used separately or in combination to create a harmonized lead generation workflow with the help of marketing automation tools like ConstantContact, ActiveCampaign or SendinBlue.

Event-based emails

You can trigger these emails according to specific, predefined actions, usually taken by existing customers. Send a triggered email when customers take (or don’t take) certain actions. These actions can be subscribing to newsletters, starting a free trial, abandoning shopping carts, or reaching a particular milestone with your company.

These are the most common types of emails designed to save time for businesses. They don’t require much experience or marketing knowledge to set up.

Based on the customers’ website behavior, you can also trigger event-based emails. For instance, if a lead has viewed an item on your website over three times in two days, an automated email containing a discount coupon for that item’s category will be sent out. This is just one example of what you can do with behavioral email marketing.

Drip-feed emails

These emails deliver a series of messages within a given time-frame or once every specified period. Unlike event-based emails, drip-feeds focus on leads and prospects and help push them to the next step in the sales funnel.

There are virtually endless possibilities regarding how one could utilize drip-feeds and they depend on factors like the industry, target audience, marketing strategy, available consumer data, etc. For example, you could create a drip-feed workflow that would look like the following:

1. A lead added an item to their wishlist.

2. Send an email with alternate products in the same category the next day.

3. If no action is taken, send a discount coupon for select items in the given category two days later.

4. If no action is taken, inform the customer that they will be notified as soon as the item is available at your store.

Email marketing almost topped the charts as the best, qualified leads generation channel. Source: MarketingCharts.com

How to effectively utilize email marketing automation

It’s one thing to understand the basics of email marketing automation. However, maximizing the effectiveness and improving the results can take months of trial and error. To give you a clear idea on how to approach the matter, here is what you should be looking at:

Audience segmentation

Remember that personalization generally leads to better engagement. Different people have different interests and preferences.Therefore, it’s impossible to create a message that would satisfy all of them. This is where segmentation comes in.

Most of the top email automation tools include segmentation features. These allow you to organize your leads and customers into various groups. The most effective ways of segmenting your audience is by industry, purchased products, services or wishlists, geographical location, and how they became a lead.

Personalized messages and content

Once you’ve created the segments, it’s time for the actual offer. When creating a personalized email, remember these two keys:

  • The more personalization you add, the better.
  • Personalization doesn’t have to be too much to be effective.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the idea is that even the slightest level of personalization can deliver significant results. Once you learn more about your prospects, you can add more personalization to your offers.

Email and landing page coordination

It’s important to focus on the consistency between email campaigns and landing pages. Crafting a personalized email and sending customers to an irrelevant or generic landing page would be just a little short of a wasted effort.

Your emails and landing pages need to be well-coordinated in terms of design, messaging, content, and CTAs. This will help make the transition much smoother and get leads to remember and recognize your brand and products.

A/B testing

No matter how good you are, you’re not going to get the best performing automated emails from the first try. At the end of the day, whatever you think is best for your customers may turn out to be irrelevant and click and conversion rates will prove that. Email marketing tools like Pinpointe and Benchmark have A/B testing features that allow to pick the top-performing email variants for each customer segment and focus on improving them.

Analytics and KPIs

Once in a while, you’ll need to take a look at your past efforts and analyze them thoroughly. Hard, cold facts are among the essential aspects of any marketing campaign, and the more you listen to them, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Regarding emails, there are a number of KPIs you should pay attention to:

  • Delivery rates: Make sure that your emails actually land in the inboxes of your recipients. If you notice too many failed deliveries, contact your web host to determine the problem and solve it ASAP.
  • Open rates: Delivering emails is good, but you need to get your audience to actually open them. The subject line is mainly what effects open rates. Tweak this line until you find the perfect one.
  • View rates: Nowadays, most email tools have a built-in preview panel that allows users to read a short description about each email before deciding whether they want to open it or not. Generally, the preview text should shock, surprise or intrigue the reader in order to be effective.
  • Click-through rates: If your recipients consider your overall content good enough, they will click the CTA and redirect to a landing page. This metric is probably the hardest to analyze correctly. Many factors can influence the final decision of leads including design, message, content, CTA, the tone of voice, etc. It’s ideal to A/B test each factor separately in order to find out where you’ve gone wrong.
  • Conversion rates: Depending on your goals, this KPI will vary greatly. For instance, campaigns that focus on sales will most likely have lower conversion rates compared to those that are meant to request a consultation. Make sure to check the average conversion rates for your industry and campaign type before jumping to conclusions.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing automation can become your greatest lead generation and customer retention engine. Make smart use of the features, study your audience and focus on continuously improving your messages and workflows. Before long, you’ll notice a steady upward curve in your monthly revenue chart.

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