We all know that the strongest relationships are built on the foundations of personal connections. The same holds for marketing as well – according to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers have claimed that they only deal with personalized messaging. If you’ve been wondering how to personalize your messages on a large scale, you’ll be pleased to get acquainted with email marketing automation.
Experts have observed that automated emails generate much more revenue than non-automated ones. After all, an automated email campaign is a specific practice in email marketing personalized to the customer instead of simply a mass mailing with broad messaging.
In this guide, I will help you learn all the important aspects of email automation and how to use it to grow your business.
How to Use Email Automation to Grow Your Business?
What is email automation?
Basically, email automation is a way to create emails that get to the right people with the right message at the right moment. It is a strategy whereby marketers send out triggered or timed promotional emails to both customers and prospects on their mailing lists on a schedule, or when certain conditions are met.
By linking your website analytics to your email marketing platform, you can target people based on their preferences, behavior, and history of previous sales. Thereafter, you can personalize every customer’s experience and make your automated campaigns more relevant.
Email Automation vs Drip Campaigns
Many people feel that automated email marketing is synonymous with a drip campaign. However, there are subtle but significant differences between the two of them.
A drip campaign is predetermined differently from the way automated email marketing is, in terms of both the approach and the email content.
Drip campaigns are essentially generic, blanketed emails scheduled for regular intervals with broad messaging. They are sent out to every customer regardless of where they are in the sales funnel or their interaction with the brand so far.
On the other hand, automated email marketing is an automated series of emails that are only dispatched after qualifying thresholds for each customer are met.
Automated emails are personalized to each customer’s unique interests and requirements. For example, if a customer abandons their shopping cart, an email is sent out with a discount code and a prompt to proceed with the purchase.
How to use email automation to grow your business?
Now that we know what email automation is, let’s see how you can use it for the benefit of your business.
1. Select an email marketing automation tool
The tool you choose serves as the foundation for your email marketing automation. Thus, it is important for you to select one with features that will serve your needs the best. The key features you must look for in an email marketing automation tool are:
Email automation capabilities
Obviously, the most important feature is the ability to automate emails based on customizable triggers. Several email platforms either lack this vital capability altogether or offer very simplistic automation that doesn’t include customizable triggers.
As we’ve already discussed, the ability to personalize is crucial to both email marketing automation and company growth. To accomplish personalization, you need to go for tools that integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Email templates that are easy to use and customize
Attractively designed, user-friendly, and optimally personalized templates help you save team time that you can better use to connect to customers. You should go for a tool that has readymade and easily customizable templates.
Real-time analytics help you keep a close watch on all the aspects of your business’ performance. For example, you can know if something isn’t working properly and where your opportunities for growth lie. Processes that are unable to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) will be limited in their long-term impact.
E-commerce integrations for transactional emails
This is a particularly important ability for users who own an e-commerce store. It will be quite difficult for you to create timely emails unless your email marketing tool integrates with your e-commerce platform. You need a comprehensive view of your customers in the same platform to curate highly targeted marketing campaigns.
Dynamic list segmenting
Your email list segmentation plays a crucial role in personalized email automation. It should reflect every defining characteristic of the subscriber. Unless these characteristics are defined and segmented, the automation tool has nothing to personalize your emails from.
According to Adobe, nearly 81% of all users check emails on their phones. Thus, you must never take mobile optimization for granted in the user experience.
Based on these, I suggest these email marketing tools:
2. Segment your subscriber list
A segmented subscriber list plays a pivotal role in everything else you do regarding email marketing. You must produce multiple list segments based on customer data such as interests, location, devices used, and gender.
An ideal email automation platform allows users to create custom fields and integrate them with their e-commerce platform and CRM for dynamic segmentation. These custom fields let you enter specific data that will dictate subscriber segments. Thus, you can segment your subscriber based on whatever is most important to your specific audience.
Dynamic list segmentation is an essential part of a targeted email experience. By dynamic segmentation through integrations, you will be able to send out massive campaigns that are still specially tailored to every individual user experience.
Don’t forget to include an email preference center to let subscribers dictate how their information is used. This will help you maintain transparency and gain their trust. Also, a preference center can offer additional details about their interests and allow for more accurate segmentation.
3. Set up automated workflows for each stage of the customer journey
When your list segments are in order, you can start creating campaigns to target various customer journey stages with personalized emails.
No matter how amazing your product is, you’ll have a hard time convincing a stranger to give you their money. Instead, you should just ask them for their email address. Once you have that, you can build a rapport with them, earn their trust, and use an automated lead nurturing campaign to keep your brand on top.
Nurturing leads is all about building relationships founded on personal connections and meeting the requirements of potential clients. Thus, finding an email service provider (ESP) with an application programming interface (API) that can provide highly personalized emails is necessary.
Also, automation cuts down the time your team needs to spend following up with potential leads without compromising on a personalized experience. Thus, your team will be spared the hassle of sending repetitive emails and have more time to close deals.
Welcome new customers
When a lead finally turns into a new customer, you need to show your appreciation with something specific to every user. Using email marketing automation, you can have each welcome email acknowledge the customer’s individuality in some manner. For example, you can add a curated collection of products based on the customer’s browsing history.
Let’s consider Brightly in this regard. They don’t simply personalize their emails based on an algorithm; they ask their readers what they want to see in the first email. That information is subsequently integrated into every email that goes on to deliver highly personalized content.
Increase product adoption
This is basically about two things – showcasing the value and promoting action. Email marketing automation accomplishes these tasks by sending out highly personalized content directly to your customer. You can use it to curate emails highlighting the immediate importance of particular products to each customer. When your consumers see the value, they’ll automatically be encouraged to take action. For example, you can demonstrate your product’s value by highlighting a feature some customers haven’t used.
Getting feedback directly from your customers is the best way to improve products and curate social proof. Not asking your customers about their requirements is very much akin to taking a shot in the dark when it comes to serving them. Moreover, the biggest thing that potential customers want to know is whether you are delivering on your brand promise or not.
A survey by Bizrate Insights has revealed that social proof is so important that 91% of respondents read at least one review before deciding to purchase a product, business, or service. It also revealed that positive reviews impact purchase decisions more than discount codes and free shipping.
Email marketing automation is a great way to get regular and timely customer feedback. You can use it to send out highly specific requests for feedback on products, experiences, and much more. It will not only give future customers confidence in buying your products but also give you valuable tips on how to improve.
Surprise and delight
Based on a vintage adage in the hospitality industry, “surprise and delight” refers to the moments in your product experience that set it apart in a competitive landscape. They are those seemingly little things that leave a lasting impression and motivate your customers to keep coming back for more. Think of a glass of refreshing beverage handed to you as you enter a classy hotel – isn’t it alluring?
In marketing, email automation lets you “surprise and delight” your customers whenever they take an action or have an experience with your brand. For example, they might receive a birthday surprise or a thank-you email for buying a product.
Email is your very own marketing platform where you have direct access to your customer and a thorough understanding of their current position in the customer lifecycle. You can make your promotions optimally targeted by automation and a segmented email list based on CRM integrations.
For example, if you are hosting an event targeting only a particular business sector, you can send email invitations to those relevant subscribers. Likewise, you can segment your list by interests or purchase history before promoting a product that may not interest everyone. By doing this, you can ensure that you don’t waste others’ time or yours unnecessarily.
Increase brand affinity
Brand affinity essentially refers to how people feel about your brand. It is very much like meeting someone who shares your values and makes you feel understood and cared for. Automated email marketing lets you send personalized emails highlighting key brand pillars that help your message resonate better with your customers.
For example, you can identify shopping preferences among your e-commerce customers based on their geographical location. You can then use email marketing automation to tailor your emails to each of those segments accordingly. Thus, there’s a greater chance of your customers feeling that your brand is a good choice for them and their lifestyle.
Win back lost customers
Customers who feel that your product or brand isn’t serving them well tend to leave. In that case, you must remind them of your product’s value. Email automation also comes in handy here; you can set up an automated re-engagement campaign tailored to every one of such individuals. For example, such campaigns can trigger when a customer hasn’t logged into their account or read your emails for a certain period.
You need to include something that reinforces your value to the disinterested customer in your re-engagement campaigns. Doing so could allow them to re-enter the consideration phase in your marketing funnel.
4. Collect data and optimize
After running a few automated email series, you may start uncovering trends in customer engagement and behavior. The number of emails you should send before trying to identify trends depends on various factors such as the audience size, baseline conversion rate, diversity in content, and sensitivity of the tested elements.
Thereafter, you should start analyzing the outcomes of your campaigns and make necessary adjustments. Effective email strategies take an expansive view of their customers and regularly iterate to serve their needs better. Thus, your customers will be encouraged to keep coming back, increasing your bottom line.
I recommend using an email analytics dashboard that gives you a detailed view of each campaign element and its effect on your marketing efforts.
Email automation has become an integral part of marketing in the contemporary world. It is extremely effective for lead nurturing and driving sales from potential customers as well as existing ones. Also, it saves you the hassle of creating and sending new emails whenever the need arises. I hope this article helps you learn how to use email automation to take your business to new heights of success.