Did you know that email marketing offers an average return on investment of $42 for every dollar spent? Are you fully optimizing your email marketing strategy? If you haven’t embraced email marketing automation then this area needs to be a focus for you and your business.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how email marketing can help your business or the steps you need to take to automate it because you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about incorporating email marketing into your growth plan.
What Is Email Marketing?
Too many business owners and marketing managers still think that sending mass emails to your entire list every time you run a sale is what email marketing is. But today’s savvy consumers demand a more personalized message in their inbox or they’ll unsubscribe before you say click-through rate.
Today’s email marketing involves an interconnected series of emails going out to various prospects and customers throughout their customer journey. And, if you’re not optimizing the customer journey throughout your entire marketing strategy then you risk alienating your best subscribers and losing out on future sales.
If you want to stay competitive in the email marketing arena then you need to incorporate customization, personalization, and segmentation throughout your strategy. This level of content will take a lot of work in planning, researching, and writing your content. And the only way you can scale this level of effort is through automation.
Who Needs Email Marketing
Every business owner needs email marketing to grow their business. You can’t afford to keep all your followers on social media platforms out of your control. And you can’t risk hoping that today’s visitors to your website will remember to come back tomorrow.
That’s why email marketing is vital to growing your business. This is the one platform you can control. And this is the one area where you can reach your readers directly through their inboxes.
Regardless of if you’re in the B2B or B2C market or if you’re a young start-up or an established Fortune 500 organization, everyone needs email marketing. And, regardless of if your goals include increasing sales or brand awareness, email marketing is the answer to reaching those goals.
If you’re ready to nurture your leads and increase your conversions then you’re ready to tackle email marketing. But not all email marketing is created equal. There is a difference between simple marketing and utilizing automation to help you scale to the next level.
What Is the Difference Between Email Marketing and Email Marketing Automation?
As mentioned, you need to take email marketing to a new level if you want to stay competitive and see the kinds of return on your investment email marketing can provide to your business. Writing effective email copy that converts readers and subscribers into purchasing customers takes time and effort. You can’t scale this level of effort without adding automation to your strategy.
The biggest differences that you can begin to incorporate into your strategy when you automate include:
- Behavior tracking
- Customer-centered content creation
- Lead scoring
- Conversion tracking
If you write an email and send it, you can track how many people open that email, how many of them click through to your landing page, and how many sales you make. However, when you automate emails through triggered sequences that nurture your reader through the customer journey then you begin to build a more holistic picture of your subscriber list.
When you build this holistic picture of your subscribers you’ll see patterns and trends you can begin to capitalize on. You’ll see that the majority of subscribers who downloaded your white paper and had an average open rate of 25% of your emails went on to purchase from you.
And when you know this information, your sales team can run reports to get this information at the beginning of the month to call everyone on your email list who downloaded your white paper and had an open rate of 25% or more.
Imagine the excitement amongst your sales team as they see their conversion numbers soar because they’re calling the right people at the right time. And then imagine how quickly you can begin to grow your business as your sales increase month over month.
When to Use Email Marketing Automation
Now that you can easily see why email marketing makes sense for your business, let’s dive into when you should use it. There are several different circumstances in which automation can help you scale your marketing efforts.
Here are the top four most important and valuable situations when automation can help you grow your business.
Behavior-Based Trigger Emails
The beauty of automation is that it works even when you’re sleeping. And in the middle of the night when someone was on your website and filled their shopping cart only to abandon it before purchasing can be a heartbreaker for any small business.
However, when your website is your best employee, you’ll find that it works day and night. And your email should also. This is why an automated abandon cart email can be so incredibly valuable. Leaving your website without purchasing the items in their cart can trigger an automated email to be sent to that customer.
Abandoned cart emails can be very effective. And when sent right away after the cart was abandoned recoups nearly a third of all lost revenue.
You can’t assume that because they didn’t purchase they weren’t interested in what you have to offer. In fact, in today’s busy world, you’re better off assuming that they didn’t purchase because they were interrupted. And a friendly reminder email could be just what they needed to come back and complete their purchase.
This is a great example of behavior-based emails. Other examples include when someone signs up for your next webinar or when a new user watches your onboarding video. When your emails interact with your customers at these key points along their customer journey you’ll see your engagement increase which will lead to more sales.
Nurture Sequence for New Leads
Another great example of a behavior-based email is a series of emails sent to a new subscriber after they download a free offer on your website or social media channels. This is also called a welcome sequence or a nurture sequence. And when you nurture new leads in this way you’ll build a relationship with them that can translate to increased engagement and sales.
One important key to remember when building engagement with new subscribers is to offer valuable information in all your emails. Direct new subscribers to the best articles on your website further showing them your authority in your industry. You can also send information that’s only available to your subscribers showing them how valuable it is to be on your email list.
This type of gated content can include videos showing how to use your product. Or it can include case studies of previous clients and their results after working with you. The key here is to provide great information, build your authority, and establish a relationship with your new subscriber.
Onboarding Sequence for New Buyers
Just as it’s important to send automated emails immediately after someone subscribes to your list, it’s also important to send emails right after someone purchases from you. Don’t rely on watching your sales and sending this email yourself after someone purchases.
This needs to be automated so that the first email in the sequence gets sent less than five minutes after purchase. Again, your website and email service need to be your best employees and when you take advantage of automated features these two tools in your digital toolbox can work around the clock.
Remember, a happy customer will purchase again and they’ll tell everyone they know about you. This is why providing extra information after the purchase can cement a successful relationship with each new customer.
Some ideas to send in these onboarding videos include detailed videos walking your new customer through how to use their new purchase. If you have a frequently asked questions page on your website you can also send them the link directing them to this information.
The key to this series of emails is to remember that people are busy and to keep them short, 120 to 150 words are long enough. And this can be considerably less if you include a link to a video.
In your first email, you can simply explain to them that they’ll receive a series of emails over the next five days and that each one is short and to the point. This will set the expectations to watch for your emails as well as reassure them that they have the time to open each one.
Weekly Subscriber Emails
The final type of automated emails in our list of most important types you can’t afford to miss is your regular communication emails with your current subscriber list. These are the consistent emails sent to all or most of your list.
The first tip here is to stay consistent with your schedule so your readers can know when to expect to hear from you. It doesn’t necessarily matter how consistent you choose to communicate with your readers but don’t let it go too long between emails or they’ll forget about you and might send you to spam.
Second, be sure to segment emails for optimal conversions. We’ll talk more about how to do that in the next section. But you don’t want to send mass email blasts to your entire list when not everyone might be interested in the same offer.
Finally, always create emails that offer real value to your readers. Respect the fact that they’ve shared their contact information with you and make it worth their while to open and read your emails.
How to Best Use Email Marketing to Get Leads
More than likely you already have a system in place to gather contact information from readers on your website. And you’re probably already sending regular emails to your list. But as you grow your business you’ll need to take full advantage of these readers trusting you with their personal information.
And if you’re wondering how to get leads with email then it’s time to evaluate your strategy. When you work from a cohesive strategy you’ll begin to see how you can turn a casual website visitor into a marketing qualified lead. And if your sales team could benefit from consistent new leads then you need to automate your email marketing strategy.
The fact is that an informed reader becomes a more qualified lead making your sales team’s job a lot easier to convert those leads into buyers. To best show you how to get more leads through email marketing, let’s look at a common example.
The Perfect Example
In our example, your company is in the B2B market in the SaaS industry. And your website offers a free two-week trial of your product to all visitors. If you simply sign up new users without any automated onboarding emails then you’re losing out on potential revenue.
However, let’s say that after a new visitor signs up for the free two-week trial they then receive an automated email every day for the entirety of their two-week trial. And in each email, you provide a short 3-5 minute video showing them one new feature each day.
Finally, as the trial period ends your email sequence dives into several frequently asked questions that current and previous users have. You can quickly see how much better of a conversion you’ll have when your sales team reaches out to each new subscriber offering an annual membership to your software program.
Your automated email sequence has built up trust with your reader and shown them that you value customer experience and education. This level of trust can’t be bought. It can only be earned through offering valuable information to your prospective buyers. And when you automate the delivery of this valuable information you’ll start to see how quickly you can scale the growth of your business.
We see success stories like this every day with our clients. And we can help you realize this same level of success in your business.
Top Email Marketing Tips
While email marketing can provide amazing results and help grow your business, it isn’t always easy. To help out, we’re sharing a few of our top tips that will make your next campaign a success.
Drive Clicks to Your Landing Page
Once you have your funnel in place you need to have a plan and a system for consistently driving traffic to it. This can be done in several ways including paid advertising as well as search engine optimization and content marketing.
Regardless of how you fill your funnel, the first tip to growing your business is to consistently drive traffic to your landing page and grow your email list. From there you can nurture each new prospect with an automated nurture sequence and guide them through your mapped-out customer journey.
Make Use of Personalization
Second, you must take the time to personalize your emails. Automation is great in that it saves time and money allowing you to scale your efforts. But when done incorrectly your customers will see right through impersonal messages.
The key to this is to use segmentation. This is when you divide up your email list based on certain parameters. Then you send an email that only interests these readers on your email list. You don’t need to send information for a free webinar to customers who’ve already purchased your signature product or service.
Likewise, you also don’t want to send a sales email for your signature product to a brand new subscriber who hasn’t yet been through your nurture sequence. Take the time to segment your list and send only relevant information to your readers.
This will not only improve your conversion rates but your open rates as well. And that can have a lasting impact on the deliverability of your emails over time.
Focus On Engagement
As you create each email, remember that this isn’t one-way communication. You need to focus on engaging with your readers. Encourage them to reply with questions. And always end every email with a clear call to action.
A great way to drive clicks to your website is to use a button at the end of your email instructing your subscriber to click on it. People are busy and they don’t want to think about what they need to do next. Make it clear for them and guide them to the next desired step in your customer journey.
Track Your Metrics
Last but certainly not least is to track your metrics. Don’t take the time to put in the effort of building your next email campaign without knowing data from your previous ones.
You need to know which subject lines get the best open rates. And you need to know which free downloads and nurture sequences get the best click-through rate to your sales page. This information will drive your decisions in the future and help you to improve your conversions over time.
The best way to learn which copy performs over the rest is to A/B test everything you create. Take the time to create two subject lines for each email and see which ones get the best open rates. Then use more of that in the future to improve your marketing efforts.
Best Email Marketing Tools
In the end, the success you have with automating your email campaigns will always come down to the tools you use. The right tools will help you to automate and scale your marketing efforts. These are the top three tools you must have to get started with email marketing.
The first tool you need when building your email marketing strategy is an automated way to collect contact information from visitors to your website. There are several free options, however, a paid tool will offer you many more features. This is an important first step in bringing in consistent new leads for your business.
You can test which types of opt-in forms convert best on your website. As much as everyone hates them, exit-intent popups do convert very well and are worth a try. Also, include inline boxes throughout your key articles on your website to garner hot leads interested in more information.
Email Service Provider
The biggest takeaway from automated emails is that you need a service provider to send your emails to you. You can’t rely on memory or checking reports each time you want to send an email. You must sign up for an email service provider that can automate your email if you want to scale your business.
Again, there are several free options as well as freemium and paid options. To choose the best provider for your business you’ll want to find the one that offers the features you need. Some key features to look for include:
- Automated sequences
- Ability to segment and have customers in several segments at once
- Integration with your e-commerce tool of choice
An email marketing platform will save you time and money throughout your marketing campaigns. And without the right program, you won’t be able to automate and scale at the level you want to.
Lastly, you must have a customer management program to help you build lasting relationships with your customers. This is a central database to organize your customer list and track points of contact, sales, and activity.
When your CRM tool and your email platform sync with each other you’ll find it much easier to personalize your emails based on segments and actions taken. You must have a well-rounded marketing toolbox to ensure all your marketing efforts align with your goals and help you reach them.
Redesign Your Email Marketing With the Help of an Expert
As you can see, email marketing automation is a vital component in growing your business. But you don’t have to tackle your email marketing alone. When you work with an expert you can shorten the curve to begin scaling your business today.
If you’re ready to start building your brand so you can grow, connect with me today.