In a world dominated by social media and pay-per-click ads, many small business owners and marketing managers decide to forgo email marketing. But those marketers may be missing out. A personal contact in an email campaign and a steady build into a call-to-action (CTA) can be more effective at converting leads than any of the fast-paced forms of digital marketing. While social media campaigns often require constant fiddling, as well as back-and-forth contact through direct messages and comment sections, you can start a completely automated email marketing campaign, leave it to do its job, and then watch the action happen.
The Versatility Of Automated Email Marketing
An automated email campaign doesn’t have to be all about sales. Any CTA can be part of your campaign as long as you can break it down into a few points that can expand into an email. This is what is known as a marketing funnel.
There are many types of funnels, from simple three-email campaigns to campaigns that range dozens of emails long. Like most digital strategies, it depends on your brand’s marketing goals. Other ways you can use emails are to:
· Engage potential leads.
· Welcome new customers and teach them about a product or service they recently purchased from your business.
· Introduce past buyers to a referral program for a special or credit you’re offering.
· Celebrate milestones with special offers, such as birthdays, annual or semi-annual join dates, or special recurring sales.
Automated Email Marketing Campaign Lingo
The ways to use email marketing mentioned above are known as triggers. They are used to let an automated email campaign know when to start. Drip marketing is about sequential emails that bring a user to an eventual call to action. Your initial email goes out to a lot of people, then they drip down in smaller groups to the next email, the next, and so on until they reach a landing page with your call to action. Drips are more often used to create funnels.
You will notice many big companies use these techniques in their email campaigns. Craft stores like Michaels and JoAnne Fabrics frequently send out emails for coupons. Big chain restaurants send out birthday emails to claim a free meal or dessert. Companies like Blue Apron and FabFitFun offer referral codes to people that will bring more new customers to them, and they have automated email campaigns to do it all.
The Metrics Informing Your Next Automated Email Marketing Campaign
Most automated email campaign platforms offer analytics that shows you how your campaign is doing using key performance indicators (KPI). You can find out things like:
· Are your emails arriving at the users’ inboxes? This tells you your delivery rate.
· Are your emails being opened? This is your view rate, and it can tell you if your subject line is effective.
· Are users clicking on your CTA? This is called the click-through rate (CTR). A high percentage CTR shows you that the body of your email is engaging enough for people reading it to click your links and directives. This lets you know they’re reading the emails.
· Are users taking the action prompted by your call? This is your conversion rate. Remember, this doesn’t have to be a sale – a conversion can be your lead contacting you, registering for an event, following your brand’s social media channels, or whatever your goal of the campaign is.
Analytics will tell you how successful your campaign is and inform you about how you can change it to be more effective next time.
Top Automated Email Marketing Platforms
All of these points help you figure out what you want your automated email campaign to do and how you can measure its results. But to get started, you’ll need to choose an email automation service to build and send your email campaigns from. Some of the top platforms available are Mailchimp, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, and Mailjet. There are many others and the one you choose will depend on the features needed for your campaign goals, audience quantity, your budget, and how the interface works for you and your marketing team.
Pro Tip: The best plan is to look for platforms that have a free trial and try them out by using a short campaign on trusted, loyal customers. Tell them you are beta-testing a new software and you’d like their feedback. Customers love knowing that the information they give you will make their experience better!
As part of our digital marketing services, we serve as extended support for both the strategic and tactical arm to executing your digital marketing campaigns, such as the planning, scheduling, and development of ongoing email campaigns to nurture your connections. You can learn more digital marketing tips by reading our blog or listening to our 10 Minute Marketing podcast. Please contact us if you have digital marketing topic suggestions or if you’d like to request a free consultation for your brand!