Whether you’re a marketer, a small business owner, or an entrepreneur starting out, automating certain marketing tasks can help you save time, cut costs, and increase ROI.
Three-quarters of marketers say the biggest benefit of automation is saving time, while 68% say its increased customer engagement and 58% say it’s more timely communication.
On average, 49% of companies use marketing automation, including more than half of B2B companies. If your company has yet to make use of marketing automation (or even if you’re already using an automated system) you need to know how to get the most value out of it. When done right, marketing automation can help businesses save time and money, nurture customers, attract new business, and improve conversions. Marketing automation allows you to stay connected to your audience, even when you’re not in the office.
Getting started with marketing automation
The first step to using marketing automation the right way is to set up a marketing automation strategy. Any good business person knows the value of a good marketing strategy. Start by defining your goals and what you need to achieve through marketing automation. Whether you are trying to generate more leads, reach out to past or current customers, or boost your sales figures, each of these goals needs a different strategy. So, you need to determine what your main objectives are before proceeding.
Emailing marketing is still one of the most effective channels for marketing your business, with some of the smartest companies setting up automatic email campaigns to trigger based on actions from the audience. While there are many different types of automated email campaigns you can use for your business, there are simple steps beginners can start taking right away.
Automating your email marketing
These days, many marketers are looking for modern ways to reach their audience, from social media platforms to chatbots and Instagram influencers. But tried-and-true email marketing is still proving to be one of the most effective marketing tactics. With 82% of B2B and B2C companies using email marketing technology, and with an insanely high ROI, email marketing continues to be king. Here’s how to get started.
1. Send a warm welcome.
A welcome email is the first contact your business makes to a new subscriber, so you want to really impress. Your welcome email should include a warm greeting, a “thanks for subscribing,” and possibly a confirmation of subscription. Since this email gets sent to every new contact in your list, it’s good to automate this process. This email can be set up to be sent automatically whenever a new address is added to the list.
2. Don’t forget to send reminders.
As human beings, we consume billions of pieces of information daily, so it’s important to remain top-of-mind to your customers. Sending emails reminding customers of any special offers, promotions, or events should be a part of your marketing strategy, although this process can be time-consuming and taxing.
Creating a series of email reminders in advance and scheduling them automatically can save any marketer loads of time. Insider tip: Always include a link to the relevant page on your site with more information about the offer or event you’re promoting.
3. Nurture your customer base.
One of the main objectives of email marketing automation is to create and nurture a valuable and mutually beneficial relationship with your customers. Create high-quality content and deliver this to your customer base automatically in the most effective and meaningful way.
4. Points for loyalty
On the heels of our previous point, it is just good business practice to reward loyal customers. Create a thank you email that’s automatically sent to your customer base. Include a reward as a token of your appreciation, which can be in the form of a coupon, discount, free trial, voucher, or anything else your business can offer.
Source: Really Good Emails
5. Remember those inactive customers.
While you nurture your existing customers, don’t forget about the inactive ones. Email marketing automation can help you re-engage with past customers. Automate a series of emails to be sent to past customers who are no longer active. The goal here is to potentially get the customer back and boost your sales.
6. Contact list clean-up
When it comes to leads, it’s quality over quantity. While a large email list is great, it may actually be better to tidy up this list of invalid and disengaged email addresses. Use automation to track and determine any invalid addresses or inactive subscribers. Removing inactive subscribers can increase your deliverability rate and keep your sender reputation intact.
7. Saying goodbye
Automation can be used to create emails to send to customers who have canceled their account. While no one wants to see a valued customer go, sending an email confirming their cancellation not only gives the customer peace of mind, but also the confidence to potentially return one day.
Source: Really Good Emails
8. Automate content that engages with social media.
Instead of stopping your message after the body copy, include a link to your social profile, or encourage people to share their experiences with you using a branded hashtag. Taking the relationship outside the inbox can create great brand ambassadors.
Two do’s and one big don’t of marketing automation
Do coordinate with your sales team.
A big mistake marketers make when using automation is not collaborating with their sales team. This lack of communication can affect your marketing strategy and your ability to generate more leads. Potential customers can get inundated with emails and phone calls from both the marketing and sales team, which can leave them feeling annoyed and overwhelmed.
This inundation can lead to them not only ignoring your messages, but unsubscribing from non-sales content as well. By simply collaborating with each team involved in the process, communication will be more succinct and ultimately more effective.
Do create smarter content.
Marketing automation is about more than just sending emails to your customer base. You want to interact with your audience and provide valuable and relevant information. Consider the content on your website. Does it represent your brand in the best light? Does it correspond to the content used in your email marketing campaigns? Having a formal brand voice across all platforms adds credibility that cannot be bought.
Creating different and informational content on your website helps cater to the needs and unique interests of your audience, which will help them take the right steps in their buyer’s journey. Whatever marketing automation strategy you’re using, make sure to include a plan to deliver relevant content across all your channels.
Don’t buy lists.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a list of contacts. While these purchase lists can give you a boost up front, it can be damaging in the long run. The concept is simple: high-quality leads are not for sale. Lists that are available to buy are usually packed with invalid and abandoned email addresses, which results in wasted time and money.
Sending automated emails to a list of questionable contacts negatively affects your business in several ways. You will get high bounce rates, low open rates, abuse reports, and your email service provider may even flag you as a spammer. This will only make it more difficult to get your message to interested, high-quality customers.
Marketing automation email best practices
- Keep it clear and concise. Make your point in the quickest and clearest way. People don’t have time to read long emails, so get to the point, provide a solution to a problem, and highlight how your company can help in a unique way.
- Keep it active. Keeping people engaged can be hard, so write your emails in a way that encourages customers to take action, whether it’s downloading a report, watching a video, making a purchase, or reading a blog post.
- Keep it spam free. Certain things always look spammy in email, including capitalizing letters, the color red, and too many links in the body of the message. There is also a list of spam trigger words to avoid in your email marketing campaign. Don’t use symbols in your subject lines too often and avoid using any words that trigger spam filters. Take a look at the CAN-SPAM Act, which establishes the US requirements for businesses using commercial messaging.
Marketing automation is an effective way to streamline your email marketing processes and reach your desired objectives. By using marketing automation in your email marketing strategy and processes, you can:
- Nurture leads
- Increase brand awareness
- Carefully plan your email strategy
- Reduce errors
- Re-engage with past customers
- Save time and money
Since email is one of the most effective ways to communicate, build customer relationships, and boost revenue, why not look to marketing automation to help streamline the process? Now that you know the benefits of email marketing automation, it’s time to invest in the right technology.
Campaign Monitor makes it easy to create, send and automate your email marketing campaigns. Sign up for free and see what we can do for your business.