How to Triple Your Email Marketing Results Using Marketing Automation
Many companies believe the best way to achieve results using email marketing is to email your entire email list the same message using the most popular email campaign platforms. While this is better than sending no email campaigns, there is much room for improvement that would allow you to improve your email engagement and conversion rate.
Here is how marketing automation can help you improve your email marketing results:
- Email Suppression – Best practices in email marketing state that it is becoming increasingly more important to remove contacts that have not interacted with your email marketing campaigns in some time. Contacts that receive emails but do not engage with your email campaigns mathematically drive down your engagement rates, which can affect the deliverability of your emails into your recipients’ inboxes. By removing contacts who would be very unlikely to engage with your emails, you are increasing the engagement rate which allows you to be much more likely to reach the inbox of the contacts who are likely to buy from you. Many email marketers remove these contacts by manually reviewing your contact lists every few months. However, this presents an issue that you could be removing a customer who may need your product or service in the future, but don’t have a need at the current moment. Many marketing automation systems have a built-in email suppression feature which automates this process. If the contact become re-engaged, they would then be automatically removed from the suppression list. You could also opt to use your email suppression list for most your emails to focus your email marketing on engaged contacts, and send your best emails to those in your suppression list in hopes of re-engaging some contacts. Of course, you would not send emails to any unsubscribed or hard-bounced contacts.
- Personalization – Think about how you respond when someone verbally greets you by name. As it naturally builds rapport with you, you are more likely to pay attention as compared to if they did not use your name. This effect is very similar when done on email. Marketers often use merge variables to personalize emails by their contacts’ first name, but you can utilize merge variables to insert any type of field that is stored in your contact database. If you do not have information of the field for some contacts, you should not worry as many marketing automation platforms allow you to insert default text. For example, you could personalize an email by including a merge variable for your contacts’ first name, and use “Greetings” for contacts when no first name available.
- List Segmentation – 83% of companies use marketing automation to increase the relevance of email marketing. The companies that decide to segment their email campaigns see 14.3% higher open rates and 101% higher click-through rates. Keep in mind that everyone is unique, and you may want to segment your list by purchasing behavior, interests, and demographics. For example, a business that sells golf and ski equipment may want to deploy list segmentation by creating different messages for those who have expressed interest in the respective type of gear. Email list cleaning is just as important as segmentation and it’s always a good idea to run your contacts through an email verifier to check for abandoned or invalid emails.
- Automated Rules – Many mainstream email campaign services allow you to send automated follow-up emails based on a certain amount of time that passes after someone registers for your email list. Marketing automation takes that one step further by triggering automated email campaigns when your tracked users visit certain pages or interact with social media posts. One very effective strategy is to send out transactional emails, such as a purchase confirmation, that contain certain information that the user is expecting. However, you should also include a method for customers to take the next step, which may mean that you include a “Recommended Products” section at the bottom of a purchase confirmation email. You may also want to create automated rules that trigger email campaigns in line with your customers’ purchasing cycles of specific products. For example, if a customer purchased a month’s supply of razor blades, you would want to use marketing automation to trigger a reminder email about three weeks after that purchase. For more sales-focused businesses, you would want to use a Drip campaign strategy to keep your business top of mind for people who are interested in your product or service but are not ready to purchase today.
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