Email has been around for half a century, and it’s still proving to be a formidable force when it comes to marketing. With a better ROI than most all marketing channels, including social media, email marketing is here to say.
In order for your email marketing campaigns to thrive, it demands that you have a growing list of subscribers.
With many businesses having subscriber lists running into the tens of thousands, sending targeted emails becomes a difficult task. This calls for you, the marketer, to practice email marketing best practices that will help them get the most out of their email list.
Enter email marketing automation.
What is Email Marketing Automation?
Email marketing automation is the use of software, cloud services, and other forms of technology to send automated emails to your subscribers.
Email marketing automation is unlike your email newsletter blast whereby you send out the same newsletter to everyone on your list. It is a powerful email marketing strategy that involves setting up a campaign once, and emails are sent out to your subscribers upon setting off pre-determined triggers.
Benefits of Email Marketing Automation
As you can already tell, the ability to automate your email marketing campaign is of great benefit. Besides saving you time and the effort it would otherwise take to send an email to every individual on your email list, email automation has a lot of benefits it brings to the table.
1. Enhances Your Ability to Send Personalized Emails
Because automated emails are sent depending on prescribed triggers, it gives you the ability to craft highly targeted and personalized emails.
Contrary to what you may have heard about personalization, it does not just mean sticking a person’s name in the salutation. Personalization goes further by providing relevant and timely information to your subscriber. This is where email marketing automation helps you to address your subscriber as the individual they are.
Email marketing tools help you gather data concerning your subscribers at every stage of their journey thereby giving you all the information to craft personalized emails. And if you’re wondering why all the hype about personalized emails, consider that research has shown that personalized emails have 26% higher open rates and 41% click-through-rates.
Sending personalized emails must be a priority as you map out your email marketing strategy.
2. Improves the Customer Journey
Email automation is one of the best ways to give your customers a journey they will enjoy. The reason is simple – the journey is determined by the way the customer interacts with your emails. Because each stage of the journey relies on a trigger, it ensures that your customer’s journey is progressive – with all steps being cohesive.
This streamlined customer journey also has an impact on your bottom line. Research shows that automated emails result in:
- 86% higher open rates,
- A 196% increase in click-through rates
- 320% more revenue than normal promotional emails
This is all because of the way automation helps give your customers a journey they enjoy.
3. Enables You to Scale Your Campaigns Easily
You’ve probably heard it said that the money is in the list.
It surely is.
That actually means if you want to generate more sales and drive up your revenue, you will need to grow your list. But managing and growing a list manually is both time-consuming and expensive. In fact, it will come to a point where doing it manually will not just be feasible anymore.
However, when you set your email marketing on autopilot, scaling becomes easy. In fact, with email tools, scaling your marketing campaigns has no limitation.
4. Help You Recover Abandoned Carts (and Lost Revenue)
Cart abandonment is a plague that e-commerce stores have to live with. It has been shown that annual cart abandonment rates are between 55% and 80% depending on the industry. That translates to a whopping $18 billion loss in revenue per year.
With a robust email marketing strategy, you can recover your piece of the $18 billion pie.
Manually chasing after abandoned carts is impossible. But will email marketing automation, you can send personalized emails to remind your customers of their pending carts.
5. Allows You to Generate and Nurture Your Leads Easily
One of the most important parts of every business is lead generation and nurturing. Sadly, however, many times marketers generate new leads only to have them grow cold due to insufficient resources to follow up efficiently.
With email marketing automation, you can easily handle each lead and nurture them to the point of conversion. All without having to beef up your marketing team. All you have to do is enroll your leads into a sequence and set up an email drip campaign that will walk them through your process.
You can’t afford to ignore email marketing automation. It is one of the most email marketing strategies that form the core of a business’ growth strategy.
How to Automate Your Email Campaigns
Having seen the need for email marketing automation, you’re probably wondering how you too can set up your own automated campaigns.
Let’s take a look at how you can do so.
Invest in Good Email Automation Tools
One of the biggest reasons to get an email automation tool is that you will have customers at different stages of the customer journey. Manually keeping tabs on them all and knowing which email to send is next to impossible.
Thankfully, you can utilize email automation tools in most customer relationship management software (CRM). A good example is the Hubspot email automation feature in the popular CRM, Hubspot. You can also get a dedicated email automation tool that you can use independently or with a CRM if you so choose.
Determine your Email Marketing Goals
Before you start automating your email marketing, you will have to define what you want to achieve with your campaign. You have to determine why you are sending out your emails.
Is it to nurture your leads? Are you seeking to onboard new customers? Reaching out to customers who abandoned their carts? Or perhaps you are running a new promotion.
Defining your goals will help you determine the content you will create and the triggers that will direct the flow of the campaign.
Determining your goals will also help you to clearly set KPIs that will enable you to track and measure your campaign’s progress.
Carefully Define Your Triggers
In order for your automated email campaign to run smoothly, you will have to define the triggers that will set off the sending of an email. Your trigger could anything from:
- Subscribing to your list
- Purchasing a product
- Abandoning a cart
- Downloading an eBook
Your triggers are defined by your goals, and they determine the sequence your email marketing automation platform will enroll your customer in.
Set Your Rules
While triggers determine what happens in your email automation, rules determine how it happens. For example, when a new subscriber joins the list (trigger), the rules will determine how the welcome email will be sent – that is, how soon after they subscribe. The rules also determine how the subsequent emails after the welcome email will be sent. This is usually so in the case of an email drip campaign.
Segment Your List
In order to increase the impact of your email marketing automation, you have to ensure that you segment your list. Segmenting your list will enhance your personalization and increase the likelihood of subscribers responding to your emails.
Most email marketing software is capable of allowing you to segment your list according to various criteria such as:
- Product purchased
- Downloaded lead magnet
This is only a short list of the criteria you can use to segment your list. Ultimately, the way you segment your list is dependent on your business and marketing goals.
Craft Your Content
The purpose of automating your email marketing campaign is so that you effectively and efficiently convey a message to your subscribers. Your email copy plays a big role in the way your reader will interact with your emails and thus has to be expertly crafted.
Every email you send out has to be crafted in such a way that it not only conveys the message well but in such a way that it makes the reader feel the email was penned for them specifically.
This is email personalization in action.
To pull this off, you need to gather sufficient information about your customers. No, you don’t need to be in the FBI to do this. That’s one of the advantages of using marketing automation tools – they help you gather intel about your customers as you interact with them.
Split Test Your Emails
Once you are done with crafting your email copy, don’t immediately send it off. Split test different critical elements so as to create a high performing email.
Elements like the subject line, CTA button, the layout of the email, and more need to be tested so as to determine which version does a better job of increasing engagement.
Save Your Emails in Your Email Marketing Software
The final stage in your email marketing automation is to save your emails into your email marketing software of choice. Be sure to save them according to your workflow, or the sequence in which they will be sent out. Nothing could hurt your campaign more than sending out the wrong messages to the wrong recipients.
Within your email marketing software, you can edit your emails if need be so as to adapt to the way your subscribers are engaging with your emails.
Once the campaign is underway, make sure to keep an eye on your KPIs as they will allow you to see how your campaign is performing. KPIs also help you know what to tweak in your email marketing campaign so as to improve its performance.
Email Marketing Automation – Powering Your Business Into the Future
Without email marketing automation, many businesses wouldn’t grow as much as they are. Automation is an integral part of any business that seeks to grow and thrive. This is because automation is sustainable and affords you an easy way to keep track of where your customers are on their buying journey.
If you haven’t jumped onto the email marketing automation bandwagon yet, there’s no better time than now to do so. Investigate and find the email marketing automation software that aligns with your business and then invest in it. It could be the best investment you would have made in your business for a long time.
Any thoughts on email marketing automation? Are you on board?
Share with us in the comments below!