Email Automation: What Is It and Why Does Your Small Business Need It?
3.2 billion. That’s how many email accounts there are in the world. Chances are, your customers use email and are part of the 91% of email users who check their email daily.
How can your small business use this marketing platform more effectively? How can you use email to nurture your leads, build brand awareness and ultimately increase your sales conversions?
In this article, I’ll tell what exactly this email automation tactic is, and give you 12 good reasons why your business needs to be using it.
What is Email Marketing Automation?
Contrary to how it sounds, email marketing automation is about building customer relationships. Through the automation process, you can bring together your customer data and all your marketing channels to build increasingly closer familiarity with your consumer. Email automation can actually be extremely personal - if you do it right.
Email automation campaigns can be as simple or as complex as your business objectives and resources:
A simple email automation campaign can be made of a few emails that are sent out on a timed basis to everyone who, say, enters your online contest.
A complex email automation campaign can be comprised of workflow diagrams, with decision matrices based on the actions taken by your prospects. For example, you can set up an automation campaign with the goal of getting a sale of your product. The email path can vary based on whether they download your ebook, click-through to your coupon page, or, say, register to become an exclusive member.
Why Does My Business Need Email Automation?
Your business needs email marketing automation for dozens of reasons. Ultimately, you need automation to nurture your customer relationships, gain new customer sales and turn your new customers into repeat buyers.
Here are 12 more reasons your small business needs email marketing automation…
1. Nurture your Leads
Email has long been one of the best method to nurture your leads. With an automated campaign, you can send out a series of highly relevant, timely messages that connect with your prospects.
The better you can relate to your customer, the more likely they’ll stay as a customer. And Even better, if you really develop a great relationship, they’re more likely to tell their friends about you too.
2. Send Personalized, One-One Communication
Using a good email automation software and CRM, you can easily personalize your email campaigns.
With Wishpond, for example, it’s very easy to use meta tags to personalize your subject line and email body.
Unlike your social sites, email gives you one-to-one correspondence with your customer. Your message gets delivered directly to them.
3. Reach Your Customer
Speaking of social media, an email automation campaign reaches your customer. We all know that the reach on sites like Facebook is getting lower. With email, you have the control of your reach frequency, and you can be sure that email is going to land directly into your customers inbox.
Twitter is an amazing social site - but let’s face it, most of your Tweets aren’t seen by all of your followers. The same is true for most other platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and even LinkedIn.
4. Email Gets Read and You Get Seen
We all check our emails, just like your customers do. Your emails get read. And even if they’re not opened, your email still gets seen by your prospect.
Every time your email ‘from’ line and subject line is seen, you increase your consumer touchpoints. As a marketer, you know that the more touchpoints you get with a customer, the more likely they are to recognize your brand, remember your name, and buy from you.
5. Easy to Segment and Send Targeted Messages
Studies have shown that segmenting your emails can increase your click-throughs by a whopping 50%.
It pays to setup multiple email automation campaigns, so you can send out highly targeted messages to your demographics.
You could segment your leads by:
Location (to send info about a local event, promotion, or current events in the geo-location)
Age (to tone your emails to the age appropriate lingo, or give age related info)
Interests (to send out automation campaigns relevant to customer likes)
Gender (to write different email copy, or promote different products)
For example, let’s say you own a beauty salon, and your business is offering a 50% discount for an intro spa treatment. You could segment your emails by gender, and send out a series of targeted messages to connect with your prospects.
Get more tips on how to optimize your email segmentation.
6. Streamline Your Sales Funnel
By automating your email campaigns, you make your sales funnel more efficient. You free up your sales team’s time so that they can focus on the quality leads your campaigns nurture.
You can track your click-through rates and other actions customers take when they visit your campaign landing page. Your sales team can then pick the most interested, engaged customers to more easily get the sale.
7. Keeps Your Business Top of Mind
Keeping in contact with your customers means they’ll think of you more often. Email automation campaigns do this.
Send out a triggered, targeted and personalized email automation campaign when someone signs up for an online promotion or other email-gated landing page offer.
You keep connected just when your customer has interacted with you. This deepens your relationship, and keeps your business at the forefront of their mind for a longer time. If you make effective emails to send, you can associate your brand with the positive feelings the customer got when they entered your contest or downloaded your ebook.
Additionally, set up email automation campaigns to keep in touch with your new leads on a daily or weekly basis.
8. It’s Not Expensive
Automating your emails can save your business time and money. That’s what we all want in business, right?
Compared to the costs associated with sending out manual emails, and more antiquated lead nurturing (like those good old cold calls - remember those?), automation campaigns can save you labour, design costs and lots more.
Email doesn’t cost anything to send, either. You might have to spend up to a few hundred dollars a month to use email automation software (your costs are generally based on the complexity of your campaigns, and the number of leads you have). But do a cost/ benefit analysis, and you’ll find the benefits well outweigh the software costs.
9. Reaches Customers on Mobile
Your customers check their email on their phones. Your mobile optimized email campaigns get seen wherever your prospect might be.
Reaching your customer on mobile gives you a huge advantage over your competitors, and gets your email read, clicked-through and converted.
Check out 21 Tips to Optimize your Email for Mobile (an article I wrote for 60 Second Marketer).
10. Drive traffic to your landing page
You can increase your website traffic through email automation. Create emails that develop trust and deepen brand relationships by inviting your customers to visit you on new landing page campaigns.
For example (after organic search) we’ve found that email marketing is the number two driver of traffic to our ebook pages.
Email works to get people to click-through to your website and to your specific landing pages on your website.
11. Set It and Forget It - Well, Almost
Once you’ve set up an email automation campaign you’ll automatically contact your new leads. It’s kind of super simple.
But you do still need to test your campaigns, through A/B Testing to continually optimize your campaigns.
Check out more on how to A/B Test your email campaigns.
12. Track and Measure Results
When you’re using email marketing automation software, you can track, measure and improve your campaign returns.
Track your results for Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as:
Calculate your ROI, and keep building profits for your business!
Email marketing automation campaigns can be hugely beneficial to your online marketing results. Beat your competition, and try it out before they do!
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