When you’ve entered the big leagues of business, you may need help getting the right email messages to the right people. That’s where marketing automation can come in to save the day.
Marketing automation is a tool that more and more companies are using to personalize emails sent to their subscribers along their customer journeys – from awareness to purchase, post-purchase, advocacy, and retention. It’s an effective way to grow your business—and once it’s turned on, you get all of the benefits without any extra work.
If you’re not familiar with marketing automation, it can be a little intimidating to get started—but it’s well worth the effort. Talk to our marketing experts to help you figure out the best strategy for your email automation.
What is marketing automation?
In a nutshell, marketing automation is a way to streamline business operations when it comes to your marketing efforts—particularly, your email marketing strategy. Essentially, it removes the manual tasks from collecting contact information, sending emails, and other steps in the marketing process for your business. And like all things automated, it comes with some major perks.
Using audience segmentation, marketing automation allows your company to send the right content at the right to the right customers—meaning your readers are always getting relevant messages from your company. For most businesses, that can be a game-changer—especially since relevant emails have been reported to drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.
How can marketing automation help your business?
Whether it’s sending messages during each point of the customer lifecycle or running an annual “update your info” email campaign to ensure that your customer data is up to date, marketing automation can benefit your business in a number of ways. The most important is that it can increase engagement by consistently sending your customers content they care about—allowing you to create a personalized experience for every subscriber.
In case you haven’t heard, delivering relevant information is kind of a big deal to customers—and the numbers prove it. According to MailChimp’s latest data, segmented email marketing campaigns get almost 15% more email opens and almost 60% more clicks compared to non-segmented campaigns.
There is some work in the initial set up—after all, you know your customers best and it’s up to you to set up segmented groups that work for your business. But once that it initial task is over, your marketing moves on auto-pilot. That means you get more of a response on your email campaigns without having to do all the work yourself.
What are some examples of automated marketing campaigns?
Fortunately, the sky’s the limit when it comes to marketing automation. You can create an automated email for any point of the customer lifecycle, but here are some of the most common uses:
Use welcome emails to thank customers for signing up, set up expectations, and offer a special discount or item with first purchase. These messages are proven to be pretty effective with new customers—compared to regular promotional emails, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email.
In addition to welcoming new subscribers, you can also send a series of emails over the course of several days to promote other actions you’d like new or seasoned customers to take. For example, request that they follow your company on social media or download your new app. When timed and segmented correctly, an automated email series can boost engagement and revenue—kind of like what we did for Swiss Chalet.
So, your customer put items in their cart and then just…left them there. That doesn’t do them or your business any good. Whether they’re on the fence about the purchase or just plumb forgot it, you can nudge them in the right direction with an abandoned cart triggered email. After a certain amount of days, they’ll receive a message that they have items waiting in their cart. And don’t hesitate to keep the messages coming until they take action—ecommerce customers are 2.4 times more likely to complete an order if they receive multiple abandoned cart messages, over shoppers who only received one.
Thank You for Purchase
It’s more than just a polite practice—customers are now at the point where an email thanking them for a purchase is expected. So, set up a triggered email for their inbox as soon as they place an order. In most cases, it can help to include a coupon or discount they can redeem on their next purchase—laying down the groundwork for your next sale.
Time for Another Order
This marketing automation strategy is the most beneficial for replenishment products, like contact lenses, or for a regular service, like a car tune up or a haircut. A gentle reminder to your customers could prevent them from lapsing and ensure that they set up their next order or appointment with you.
Find out what your customers really think with a post-purchase survey. Ask a few key questions about the product, their service, or their shopping experience, and use the feedback to improve your business operations while building up your customer profiles.
After your customers make an order, send them a separate email with items or services they may be interested in based on their previous purchases. Segmentation can narrow down what your customers want to see based on preference, increasing the likelihood of a second order. For example, someone who just purchased a pair of high heels may be much more interested in an email featuring your latest wedges—as opposed to the mass email you sent highlighting your newest men’s loafers (no matter how snazzy they look).
For customers on your subscriber list who’ve never made a purchase or haven’t bought anything in a long time, lapsed user emails are a way to generate interest and get your readers active in the customer lifecycle again. Sending triggered emails based on their browsing history or asking questions about what they may be interested in can generate engagement with passive readers—and possibly result in a conversion. Also, an offer like a coupon code can really help drive that conversion.
Sometimes, subscribers may lose interest in your emails—it happens, but it’s still a bummer to your bottom line. To combat inactivity, set up a re-engagement campaign targeted at unresponsive users. Send different content that may trigger engagement, such as polls, surveys, coupons, or just “miss you” emails that show you value their business. If you still aren’t seeing any response from these subscribers, then it may be time to remove them from your list. But don’t look at it as a loss—actively removing inactive users can not only save you money, but also prevent deliverability issues with email service providers that are looking at your customer engagement rates.
Not every email has to be about selling something. Everyone loves to be celebrated, so share those big moments with your customers. Set up triggered emails for your customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, or other milestones to show that they are more than just a number to you. They’ll feel valued and appreciated, increasing their feelings of loyalty and good vibes for your company.
Marketing automation is a pretty big deal—it can boost your response rate and bring more conversions for your business. And while it may be tedious to set up, the right guidance can help you set up the foundation for something amazing.
We’ve helped companies set up their email marketing automation on every type of platform, from MailChimp to Salesforce. Reach out to one of our marketing gurus to see how we can help streamline your marketing strategy today.