Email is one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques. With the right approach, it’s possible to achieve 4400% ROI (Return on Investment). Email automation can help you improve your entire marketing strategy, enhance cost-efficiency, speed up your campaign, and stay ahead of the competition.
With various tools available, marketers all over the world are streamlining their tactics. With automated email marketing, you can achieve your brand awareness, conversion, and retention goals while keeping the rest of your campaign in top shape.
What is Email Automation?
Email automation is using email marketing software to send automated emails to the right people at the right time.
Email is one of the most effective marketing channels. According to Campaign Monitor, more than 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. However, solid email marketing campaigns require companies to send tens of thousands of emails.
Even if your customer base isn’t large, you still need to send an impressive variety of messages to reach it at different stages of the sales funnel. Crafting these emails by hand can be extremely time-consuming.
That’s where email automation comes in.
Email automation involves using email automation tools to design, schedule, and send different types of emails. You can still customize your content to suit the customer’s needs, but you don’t need to pay personal attention to each separate message.
Benefits of Email Automation
The key benefits of automated email campaigns include:
1. Better Personalization
Some people mistakenly believe that automating marketing emails could lead to a lack of personalization. In reality, email automation contributes to a personalized approach. An email campaign allows you to send messages to the target audience once they take a specific action.
For example, when a person signs up for an email list, you can send a confirmation email. Or when a customer abandons the cart, you can send a follow-up email with better offers.
Your emails accompany the customer through the buying cycle, improving their experience in the process.
2. Improved Brand Awareness
Keeping your potential customers aware of the brand can be tough. Emails make the job easier by providing the necessary information at the right time.
By designing an automated email campaign, you can reach out to both existing and potential customers to streamline brand awareness and prove your authority.
3. High-quality Customer Retention
Once the customer makes a purchase, it can be tough to keep them on board. Many consumers slip through the cracks simply because marketing teams are too busy with lead nurturing and conversion. With time, without regular email validation, many old contacts become invalid, hurting your retention campaign.
You can set up automatic emails to reach out to your existing customers at the right time. This can keep them interested in your offer while encouraging new purchases. With 80% of the sales coming from 20% of existing clients, an automated email retention campaign can have an impressive ROI.
4. Saved Time
Designing, sending, and a/b testing emails is a time-consuming process. Many SMBs (small and mid-size businesses) can’t support a sizable marketing department that has enough time for manual email campaigns.
Email automation software can save a tremendous amount of time for your entire marketing team. Besides helping you design and schedule emails, it often provides highly useful analytics that assists with marketing campaign adjustments.
5. Improved Targeting
Email marketing automation allows you to divide your subscriber list into segments. Targeting each segment separately without automation can be time-consuming and tedious. With the right approach to email automation, you can design marketing emails for each segment and send them out at the perfect time for reaching the recipients.
High-quality segmentation coupled with cost efficiency and time savings is what give email marketing campaigns such a high ROI.
Types of Automated Emails
When setting up your email marketing campaign, you can automate a variety of emails, including:
- Welcome emails – sending an automated welcome email each time a customer signs up for your service, makes a purchase, or chooses to receive a newsletter. A welcome email can be personalized to contain the customer’s name and other available details.
- Abandoned cart emails – each time there is an abandoned cart, you can send personalized emails to encourage users to come back to the checkout page. They can contain special offers, customer reviews, guides, and much more.
- Onboarding emails – these targeted messages can go out each time a customer makes a purchase and needs guidance on using the product. They can also contain directions on how to use the website to help consumers achieve their goals with your assistance.
- Re-engagement emails – these automated email messages are designed to bring old customers back for new purchases. They are excellent retention tools. You can schedule these emails to go out in series.
All these messages are triggered emails. This means they are triggered by a customer’s actions. However, you can also use email marketing automation to make announcements, send out offers, target leads, create birthday emails, and much more.
How to Create An Automated Email Campaign
Here are a few steps to follow when creating an efficient automated email marketing campaign.
1. Choose an Email Marketing Tool
With numerous automated email marketing tools currently available, it may be hard to choose the best one for your needs. Things to consider when choosing the software include:
- Integration – when it comes to digital marketing, smooth integration is a cost-cutter and time-saver. The tool you choose should integrate with your CRM software so you can review metrics, create personalized content, and manage customer data in one place.
- Templates – you will be creating a variety of emails for your campaign. The tool you choose should have plenty of useful templates.
- Ease of use – the tool you select must be straightforward and easy to use. Spending too much time on tackling the learning curve instead of working to generate leads and tackle new customers is out of the question. Many easy to use tools have free trials so you can check them out before buying.
- Bulk emails – when setting up drip campaigns, you want an option to send bulk emails. Make sure the tool allows you to do it.
- Contact list management – consider what the contact list management looks like. You would need to segment your list so easy management is a must-have.
- Reporting – a high-quality tool should be tracking your campaign’s performance, including open and delivery rates.
- Support – find out what kind of support the software you choose has. In many cases, if you use a free tool, customer support may not be too great.
- Automation features – a powerful tool should have a variety of features to help you improve your automated marketing campaign.
Once you choose the software, look at the email service provider. You need to make sure it can handle all your email-sending needs, including bulk emails.
2. Segment Your Audience
Audience segmentation is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Whether you are sending promotional messages to new subscribers or creating drip emails, you need proper segmentation.
Depending on your marketing goals, you can create different contact list segments. Categorize your customers based on the actions they take or on the actions you want them to take. Then you can create automated workflows to suit each segment.
3. Personalize Your Emails
Just because you are sending out bulk or triggered emails, doesn’t mean they can’t be personalized. Gather all the information you have about each segment of your target audience and use it to create high-quality content.
When you set up automated campaigns, you can use the software to insert clients’ names into emails automatically. This way, you can fully automate the personalization process. However, you would still need to do an in-depth study of the audience in order to personalize messages further.
4. Test Your Messages
Before sending out any automated emails, check them first. You need to make sure that the message looks appropriate on the desktop and mobile screen. You also need to check fonts, colors, and media.
For drip campaigns, you need to test each email in the series. A simple typo or a mixed up video asset could turn a subscriber away.
Once all the tests are done, you can launch the campaign.
5. Analyze the Campaign
The key to streamlining your email marketing campaign is analyzing its results. Identify metrics you want to check, such as open rate, view rate, CTR (click-through rate), and conversion rate.
Monitoring these metrics over time can give you valuable insight into the way your campaign works. Making timely adjustments is vital to staying within the marketing budget.
Email automation is an essential part of your email marketing campaign. The ability to automatically send thousands of emails simplifies interaction with existing and future customers.
Today, most marketers use sophisticated tools to improve their automated email campaigns. To stay on top of your game, you need to discover what software works for you.