Remember the time when you were at the point of purchase, that tiny ‘already-marked’ checkbox asks whether you would like to receive email newsletters from the company and you do not take the time to uncheck the box. That was consent by the individual to become part of a company’s database. What followed was the recipient receiving numerous emails, where product catalogs or new offers were shared, or the recipient was the first to know about an upcoming event or a big discount.
It is not all deception or spam, as it may appear. As it is, engaging customers in a digital world is a challenge for many businesses.
You would have received an email through an email service like MailChimp, Hubspot, Constant Contact, and SendlnBlue. Using an automated email workflow to convert dormant readers, viewers, and audience into paying and engaged customers is not new. Email marketing is undoubtedly more cost-effective for businesses than other forms of marketing such as advertisements, press, and even social media campaigns. This one marketing strategy can impact the purchasing decision of a potential customer, the decision of a current customer to stay with the business and the decision of a one-time customer to become a raving fan.
Altogether, what email marketing aims to achieve is build trust and brand awareness, expand the customer base, increase sales, and building a personal connection with the customers. The open or click rate says a lot about customer behavior and the potential of a qualified customer or a lead, becoming a paying customer. How do you find out then, whether someone has opened or clicked your email and more importantly, how would you review which among the 300 or 400 email recipients opened or clicked?
Email Marketing Automation: How it all begins?
The signup form on your website or social media platforms and the signup sheets at the store all constitute ways of gathering a database with email addresses of people who are more likely to engage with your brand or buy from you in future. Without signup forms being filled, your email list becomes bigger with leads who either download your white paper from your website or engage with you on social media.
Integrating the emails marketing automation tools with your website or CRM system is an essential step to ensure that there is no double work in creating the list of leads or potential customers. With tags and rules, it is easy to target a specific segment of your database, and it would funnel directly into the tool through your updated CRM system like Salesforce, Zoho, etc.
What email marketing automation does is target the set of people based on their behavior, preferences, and sales history and influence them subtly. This kind of automation will help you reach out to those who abandoned their carts on a website as well as welcome a new customer.
Most Effective Ways to Engage with Leads
- A welcome email sometimes is the first ammo, and a content marketer uses from his or her arsenal of ideas.
- From educational emails that merely inform the potential customer, to creating an ‘act now‘ message, which tells about a solution to a dire problem works many times.
- A case study or customer testimonial further authenticates the expertise of your product, service, or brand. The case study or testimonials can be in the form of video being hosted on your website or social media as well.
- Product recommendation series of email based on the customer’s purchase history is another successful way.
- Rewards for your top customers, supporters, or spenders in the form of discounts does not fail either.
- Drip campaigns are effective, as based on the response to the first set of mailers, the next mailer is sent. Based on the first welcome email, the customer visits your product website and based on this online behavior; you send another relevant mailer or relevant content or product option mailers.
- Monthly newsletters with company updates, product reviews, and customer testimonials.
- Ad-hoc newsletters based on a sudden industry development
- Campaign mailers on specific themes such as ‘the best discount season to buy electronics’ or upcoming event mailer
Other Strategies to Ensure Your Email Marketing Automation Strategy Is Set Up for Success
- Regularly analyze your emails based on what leads to success and what fails to create interest. This insight could mean a change to the email design, content, and regularity.
- The tone and voice need to be personal, and content needs to be relatable, entertaining, and educational, without sounding preachy.
- Paying attention to the subject line and timing of your email is very essential.
- Using subscribers first name in the email multiple times also ensures instant engagement.
- Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly, as 62% of emails are opened on mobile devices. (Source – Adestra)
- Following up on emails, whether on a weekly or monthly basis is a decision based on your business or service. Discount towards the later stage of the email series is better, as a last attempt to convert your unrelenting lead.
- You can segment your audience based on whether they prefer long or short emails, whether they like text-heavy or image-heavy emails.
Biggest Challenge of email marketing automation
Mass emails sent to a large group of recipients may not necessarily evoke a positive response as it is construed as spam and impersonal. This can be sometimes solved with creating customized mailers or setting up custom automation with triggers at regular intervals. A ‘hello’ email on joining by a new subscriber or wishing them on their birthdays, ensures the email catches them at the right big moment. This kind of automation can be set up once and reviewed frequently, thus reaping the benefits later. Personalized messaging means meaningful interaction. An inactive/dormant subscriber is waiting for the right message to land up in their email inbox.
Whether you are getting people acclimated with your product or service or boosting sales, as your business grows, sending each email manually is not the best use of your time. The automation saves the time that you can spend working on your business rather than nurturing your leads, which can be done automatically. While there is a question on the efficacy of email marketing in the age of self-service channels, the statistics show otherwise.
Email marketing is one of the primary channels of marketing, considering the number of email users, which is close to 3.5 billion. Gmail revealed that 68.4% of the incoming emails are classified as promotions (February 2017). (Source – MarketWatch)
When your commercial endeavor is open for business, there are myriad ways in which you can reach customers. Choosing a multi-channel approach by reaching out through apps, websites, social media platforms, phone, SMS and live chats, is essential, but emails in this mix can take up a larger slice than you think.
To begin with email marketing automation, you first need the data of your customers who interact with your products. NeuroTags solutions help brands to collect consumer data and provide automation rules to send outbound emails, push notifications and SMS based on consumer segmentation and consumer life cycle events.