Explore our Email Marketing and Marketing Automation Toolkit

How and why you should use Email Marketing Automation

By Expert commentator 04 May, 2017
Advanced

Marketing Automation was one of the top trends of 2016, here is how to use it in 2017

Anyone who has run an online business, even for a short time, knows that digital marketing offers a wide range of possibilities. A survey of marketers by Regalix tells us that website and email are the most effective channel of online communication. For every retailer email is the primary tool for bolstering sales, however sending generic newsletter campaigns tends to be less and less appealing to subscribers. FreshMail’s research shows that highly personalized campaigns achieve better results and that’s our subject here.

It’s important to get to know the real needs of your customers and to send interesting, engaging content based on advanced personalization and optimization of email marketing campaigns. The potential of Email Marketing Automation (EMA) helps marketers send effective messages suited to the needs of subscribers in a defined contact or communications strategy like a welcome or nurture sequence. With offers tailored specifically to their interests the achievement of your sales goals is just a matter of defining them and allocating the resource to set them up and optimise.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email Marketing Automation is an ecosystem of tools and mechanisms that helps to automate ongoing conversations with customers and maintains delivery of a high degree of personalized content. This allows you to make sure that subscribers receive tailored content they simply want to read.

An important element of EMA is integration of your email marketing system and website with Google Analytics or other proprietary tracking analytics system. For the purpose of this article we will be using the free to use Google Analytics as a working example. This enables marketers to gather information about subscribers beyond the standard metrics that are part of email campaigns. All you have to do after integration is set specific goals in Google Analytics. While monitoring traffic to your site, Google Analytics pairs the email addresses with cookies in the subscriber’s browser. Later, the data of identified recipients is available in the email marketing platform. The information collected this way allows you to create more effective campaigns that are targeted on the basis of user behavior and the preferences of individual customers.

Campaigns based on GA data can be sent using specially designed autoresponders or a dedicated mailing prepared specifically for subscribers who have completed an established goal or set of goals. Both methods are highly effective in supporting the sales process. You can achieve a similar effect through the use of tracking codes - small pieces of code script that you place on an internet page. This enables you to see whether a particular page has been visited and helps to evaluate the conversion rate of email marketing campaigns.

Using data from email marketing campaigns, user behavior on web pages and individual purchase histories, marketers can plan fully personalized communication. They can identify groups of subscribers with common characteristics and target them with messages that appeal directly to their needs. Functionalities of EMA allows you to run a highly effective lead nurturing programs. You can, for example, design a newsletter with a special structure that contains one part with the main offer for all subscribers. Also an additional offer with dynamic content, which is entered automatically according to sales data ascribed to particular personas and email addresses. This way you can be certain that every newsletter contains something interesting for a particular recipient.

How to use Email Marketing Automation:

Campaigns based on behavioral data from your website

Why do visitors spend time on your website? It’s not always to buy something or to contact a company. They often simply want to see what’s new, gather information about a products and services or check a price. The lead nurturing process of turning interest into a sale can last for a few days or many months. Information gained from the use of data from Google Analytics and tracking codes lets marketers craft targeted, tailored messages that match the interests and page view history of individual customers. This makes cross-selling and up-selling much more effective.

Let’s say, for example, that particular subscriber visits your page from time to time to look at televisions, although he didn't buy anything yet. You can send him a special campaign that specifically promotes televisions at a discounted price, larger televisions at the same price, top seller from this category or highly recommended models. You can employ the same strategy in your regular newsletter as well by dedicating part of it to dynamic content that features discounts or rebates on televisions. Remember to carefully monitor your results and to stop this kind of targeted promotion after a conversion.

Autoresponders and automatic follow-ups

One of the best and simplest examples of EMA is the creation of welcoming emails. This is a cycle of messages sent at different time intervals to new subscribers to your newsletter. The goal of the campaign is to encourage recipients to complete their first purchase with unique, dedicated offers. This kind of gradual process not only leads to conversions but allows you to gain knowledge about the preferences of your customers.

Email Marketing Automation

Abandoned carts

Abandoned carts are something we all have to deal with and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each customer is different therefore you have to create personalized, automatic reminder messages that can later be expanded into a sequence of messages. Since price is often the issue with abandoned carts, some kind of discount can be an effective solution for enticing a customer to complete transactions. You can use a static code for all customers or dynamic codes to generate one for each customer.

Product recommendations

Using behavioral data from your website, you can easily create 4 kinds of personalized messages -

  1. “Customers who purchased this product also purchased these products.” Remember not to display products that have already been purchased by the customer.
  2. “Other customers bought this product together with….”. This allows you present related products.
  3. “The most frequently purchased products in this catergory are…”. Show what’s popular and in demand.
  4. Messages dedicated to abandoned carts and recommended products. These are based on products that have been discarded. Customers are presented with top products from the abandoned category together with the product they left behind.

Such recommendations can also be used in cyclical newsletters as a second primary message. It’s important to remember to rotate your dynamic content so that recipients don’t feel that they receive the same offers over and over.

Who should use EMA?

Every business with an online presence needs to automate their promotions with highly personalized product offers to match individual customer profiles. This is absolutely essential to succeed in online sales. You can only reach your sales potential by sending the right offer to the right person at the right time. Regular email marketing lets you personalize your message and your offer to a fairly high degree but using behavioral data about the activities of users on your site makes more precise customer profiles possible and drives conversion rates even higher.

The sales process is multidimensional and implementing as many of the tools and strategies listed here as possible in order to maximize the flow of information between them is ideal. Good email marketing systems offer dedicated integrations with CRM platforms and ecommerce by sharing API codes. Apart from these integrations, you can also sync multiple apps via Zapier through an easy drag and drop interface that doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge.

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

This blog post has been tagged with:

Start the discussion on our community and social networks

Turbocharge your results with our

Email marketing and marketing automation Toolkit

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our Free membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Lead generation?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our Free membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Recommended Blog Posts

Popular Blog Posts