Why email marketing automation is so important
We’ve all attended seminars, workshops, conferences, and online discussions, which focus on improving customer retention, boosting engagement, and getting those all-important recurring sales.
And you probably need an extra hard drive just for all of those e-books and checklists promising to demystify email marketing.
We’re told the importance of the customer journey; that we must be more relevant; that by being more relevant and improving the journey, we’ll increase customer engagement; that this is the key to our future business success… but what all these seminars fail to cover, is how.
Marketing automation is that ‘how’.
Let’s pretend you’re a small retailer and you’re building an online shop. You need to be able to input products, process deliveries and orders, and highlight your top products to customers as they visit your site.
That all takes time if you try to do it by hand. That’s time you could be spending making or sourcing products. Or getting yourself in front of new customers.
So you choose an ecommerce solution like Shopify, which still gives you manual flexibility. With a finite number of products to sell, a small number of suppliers, and a moderate number of orders to process each week, a manual-input solution is completely fit for purpose.
But now let’s say you’re a global retail corporation. You’ve got multiple suppliers and centres for distribution and fulfilment centres. You’re handling thousands of orders, from a range of points of sale. Add the global destinations of your products into the mix.
You can’t possibly input all of that information by hand. It’ll take too long – and the sheer volume of data leaves you open to errors.
So instead, you’ll opt for a heavy-duty solution like Magento, which coordinates all of these supply-chain steps to provide a seamless service for your website visitors. No matter where they access your site, your business solution can deliver your products in a timely, predictable manner.
Similar seamless experiences can be achieved with marketing automation.
Traditional email marketing requires the marketer to decide to write and send an email, to determine the content, and select which list(s) to send that email to.
If you don’t use any kind of editorial process to help plan your content ahead of time, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
But this clunky, manual process delivers an email – out of the blue – to your audience’s inboxes. If they aren’t prepped to receive it, then you’ll find a large proportion of your email list are apathetic. They don’t open, they don’t engage, but – and this is the difficult part – they also don’t unsubscribe.
So sure, the size of your email list looks impressive. But if no one does anything with your emails, then why send them at all?
Most email marketing providers charge you according to your subscriber volume. So this dead-weight on your list is costing you money.
If you’ve been in this position, then you’ll know what happens next. You get low open rates, next to no click-throughs, and lower than possible Return on Investment (ROI).
Yet you keep doing it because you know you must send email marketing communications. Throw enough mud at the wall and some of it has to stick, right?
But if you keep doing the same thing, then you’ll get the same results. In other words, you’ll get lower results than you could be seeing.
Perhaps it’s the message that drives the response or perhaps is the management of the audience.
But get the right message across to the relevant people – and your email marketing will gain superpowers.
In other words, you need email marketing automation.
It uses the intricacies of customer or prospect data as they interact with your site, store, and other contact points, to trigger email communication events.
You’ll have come across them yourself as a customer. Ever put things in an online shopping cart, then clicked away before hitting ‘purchase’? And then received an email reminding you they’re still there?
Amazon are the best example of this sort of marketing automation. And it’s not surprising.
On average, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned during transactions. The reasons are beyond the scope of this post, but just think; if you reminded even half of those people about their potential purchases, you could definitely see a difference in your bottom line.
Research shows that almost half of these emails get opened, and of that half, over a third of clicks lead to sales.
But you don’t even need to remind them yourself! You can set up a trigger to automatically email the potential buyer within a set time period after abandoning the cart. That’s the beauty of email marketing automation – you probably don’t even know when it’s happened because it doesn’t require your attention.
And it doesn’t just end with abandoned cart emails. You can set up triggers based on any actions that your subscriber performs. That trigger sets in motion a series of emails that you decide in advance.
By automatically responding to their actions, the result is a personalised communication story with your existing and potential clients. It’s fuelled by your strategy but it’s ultimately based on either the data they have shared or the behaviour you’ve tracked (e.g. a purchase).
No more emails out of the blue!
So by aligning your marketing automation with your overall business and marketing strategies, you can trigger desired responses from your audience.
And they win because they receive communications that make sense in context of their recent behaviour. That might be;
- logging into your website,
- having a face-to-face with a brand representative,
- speaking to your call centre,
- or a specified time period has lapsed since their last interaction with you.
By delivering these timely, consistent, context-based messages, you’ll increase customer loyalty and see a marked improvement in audience growth and retention.
Remember when we talked before about the 80/20 Principle? If 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, you want to make sure that 20% feel like royalty.
So automating your emails so they receive content that’s relevant to them at that moment makes them far more likely to buy.
All of this adds up to fantastic ROI and measurable results for your marketing team.
Not to mention happy customers. And that’s what’s important, right?
If you want any help in 1-Upping your business using email marketing automation, we’re standing by to help.
Click here to sign up, we’ve got the platform you need to put your strategy in place and help revolutionise your business.
This post was brought to you by Saul Gowens and LJ Sedgwick, Newcastle’s answer to Run DMC. Just don’t ask which is which.