Learning Hub | E-Mail Marketing
Stay Away From Crazy: An Email Marketing Automation Guide
August 26, 2016 | Jon Teodoro
The Ease of Automation
Want life to be easier?
This is not a ruse. No, I’m not going to babysit for you or pay your bills…sorry.
But, I am going to give you some advice on how to make your life easier (really!), and it all starts with email marketing automation. This technology will make it possible for you to automate the repetitive task of sending emails.
So, how does it work?
Examples of Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing automation can be very, very simple or a little more complex, but regardless of what degree of automation you are using, it’s never hard for you. Essentially, you set up certain parameters and let the machines take over.
Let’s say that you have an eBook that you make available to certain site visitors in exchange for their email address. We’ve all seen something like this, most likely. Now, let’s say that our imaginary visitors go the extra step and fill out the form.
You’ve set up your site so that once someone clicks submit on the form, an email is automatically sent to his/her inbox with the eBook. This is a basic example of email marketing automation.
A certain action designated by you – in this case the submission of an email address on your site – triggers the automatic send of a message. You’ve completed a transaction (i.e. someone reading your eBook), and you could have been asleep the whole time!
Gone are the days where you have to be tethered to your phone or desk at all times, constantly afraid that you are going to miss out on crucial email opportunities.
Contrary to some people’s belief that email has gone the deathly track of the cassette tape, it is actually alive and well. Email campaigns are a valuable tool because they can be personalized, and email has a longer shelf life than other forms of marketing. That message is there until it is either read (hopefully) or thrown in the trash bin (hopefully not). Either way, eyes are getting on that message.
If an email campaign is done correctly, it can generate site traffic and sales. The keyword here is correctly. When most people think of email marketing, they think of spam. This is not what we are talking about here.
We are talking about a well-thought-out and constructed campaign that sends the right messages to the right people at the right times. Spammy, fraudulent or annoying emails are useless as a business tool, and they will end up in the trash.
Unsuccessful campaigns are the reason that people think email is dead.
If you want to learn about the basics, shoot on over and read our blog about what email marketing is and how it works or keep reading below to look at a more advanced example of automation.
Behavioral Email Automation
Behavioral automation is exactly what it sounds like. This is when you set up certain emails to be sent when certain actions are taken on your website. This is the same idea as the example above, but you can customize the automation so that specific emails are being sent to specific people at specific times.
For example, popular email marketing software from MailChimp allows you to track what people are doing on your website and automatically send them emails when they do something like visit your site for the 10th time or view a landing page without clicking through to download your eBook.
Let’s take this latter example. If someone clicked on one of your landing pages, but did not decide to download or sign-up for whatever offer you have there, it would be an opportunistic time to send them an email outlining why they need the special offer.
Your message could say something like “We saw that you thought about downloading our free eBook on how to create great styles for your home. We think you would find a lot of interesting information on cheap DIY projects that will make that new home of yours truly unique and personal. Click here to finish downloading your eBook.”
Or something like that, you get the idea.
You can personalize your email automation to do whatever you like. Some other examples of behavioral automation are:
- When someone places an item in his/her shopping cart, but doesn’t purchase it – trigger an email that reminds them they only have one more click to get that fabulous jacket!
- When someone downloads a free shopping list to start eating healthier – trigger an email to see if they’d also like to sign up for a newsletter that outlines healthy recipes they can make from the list they received.
- When someone signs up for a class or appointment – trigger an email that confirms their appointment and gives them some things to know before coming into the office.
You can go on and on with examples. Creating successful email automation is unique to your business and the products that you sell. A doctor’s office would obviously use automation in a different way than a fancy retail boutique. But, that’s the great thing about automation – you get to design it to best suit your needs and goals.
Incorporating what you know about your buyer personas and their place along the buyer’s journey with your business knowledge and creative thinking will lead to successful email campaigns that will increase your site’s visits and clicks.
In Conclusion – Does it Work Well Enough to Try it?
The short answer is definitely.
I wanted to regurgitate some stats here so that you could see just how well marketing automation is working for businesses (both B2B and B2C). Through my Internet travels, I found a recently published resource titled The Ultimate Marketing Automation statistics overview on emailmonday.com.
Email Marketing Consultant Jordie van Rijn outlines all kinds of stats in this interesting post. We don’t want to take away from his compilation so please click the link above if you are interested in learning about all of his collected data on marketing automation.
We do, however, believe there are some stand-out stats on the list, such as:
- “On average 49% of companies are currently using Marketing automation. With more than half of B2B companies (55%) adopting the technology.”
- “91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing across channels. – Marketo & Ascend2 ‘Marketing Automation Strategies for Sustaining Success’ (2015)”
- “There are nearly 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation now than in 2011. – SiriusDecisions ‘B-to-B Marketing Automation Study’ (2014)”
- “Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform. – Aberdeen Group ‘State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce’ (2014)”
- “Nearly two thirds of companies surveyed (63%) expect to realize the benefits of their marketing automation system within six months of implementation. – Ascend2 ‘Marketing Automation Trends Survey’ (2016).”
- “Marketers say that the biggest benefits of Automation are Saving time (74%), Increased customer engagement (68%), More timely communications (58%) and Increased opportunities including up-selling (58%) – Adestra ‘Marketer vs Machine’ (2015)”
- “80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase. – VB Insight ‘Marketing Automation, how to make the right buying decision’ (2015)”
One of the coolest things about marketing automation is that you can test out many different ways of doing things and actually measure and compare your results to see what works best for you.
Automation allows your company to minimize time spent on repetitive tasks, generate more leads, minimize marketer (human) error and target specific customers at specific times along their buyer journey.
Another great thing about automation is that many email marketing software platforms are cheap. Some of the most popular ones, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, offer free plans up to a certain amount of emails.
Another gem about email marketing is that, though it is growing in usage, a lot of companies don’t use their marketing budget to focus on automation. This means that if you choose to, and you do it correctly, you can really stand out from competitors who aren’t taking the time or making the investment.
If you’d like to compare pros and cons of some of the email marketing platforms available, check out our blog “What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?”
If you have any questions about how our team can help you with automation, please fill out our contact form or give us a call at 586.806.6693.
Do you have examples of how email automation was successful for your business? Comment below. We could talk about this stuff all day.