The days of doing business via faxed documents are long gone. Thanks to innovations like email marketing, automated mailing lists, and interactive PDFs, businesses can effectively communicate with customers without being tied to a telephone. But mastering the art of email marketing isn’t easy. As a matter of fact, the majority of businesses operate their businesses without really thinking outside of the box when it comes to email marketing automation.
For those businesses that do choose to go the extra mile and optimize their communications via email, they often times find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of data and platforms available to them. And as a result, they simply avoid using email marketing tools altogether.
Thankfully, those businesses that chose to avoid the headache and confusion of mastering the art of email marketing can now use a powerful email marketing automation tool to take the pain out of sending emails and to make the process simple and streamlined.
What Is Email Marketing Automation?
Put simply, email marketing automation is the use of software programs and computers to automate the process of sending and receiving emails. While it’s certainly possible to do much of this process manually, leveraging the power of software drives efficiency and lets you scale as needed.
Why Email Marketing Automation?
According to HubSpot Blogs research, nearly 90% of businesses have adopted or plan to adopt some form of digital marketing, so it should come as no surprise that email marketing is also here to stay. What is surprising is just how much businesses have been slow to adopt marketing automation software and how little most of them know about it.
The good news is that with the right learning curve and some patience, even those businesses that are newer to the game can benefit significantly from implementing email marketing automation.
The Growth Of Email Marketing
As a digital marketing strategy, email marketing has been around for a while. In the early days, marketing through email meant firing off thousands of emails to people who had bought something in the past or were likely to buy something in the future. While this may have worked for those businesses that had huge consumer followings and attracted a large number of customers, it’s a model that doesn’t scale well.
Today, with the development of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s much easier and more efficient to target and engage with consumers via email campaigns. The key is being able to personalize communications and show customers that you actually care about what they think, which is why every business should have an email marketing strategy.
If a business chooses to ignore email marketing, they’re essentially doing so at their own peril. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 89% of businesses that didn’t use email marketing in the past are planning on doing so in the future. As businesses evolve and customers expect to receive personalized communications from brands, the role of email marketing will only become more important.
How Email Marketing Automation Can Help
Email marketing, whether done manually or through software, is a proven method for marketing, and it’s one of the most effective ways for businesses to engage with customers. Still, a lot of effort goes into perfecting a marketing plan and sending emails manually can be highly inefficient, especially if done on a mass scale. This is where email marketing automation comes in.
With the right software and some basic training, businesses can set up automated email campaigns that will blast out messages to predefined lists of recipients based on the data they have on file. This makes it easier for businesses to target their ideal audience and engage with them through relevant communications.
What’s great about this approach is that it takes the guesswork out of sending mass emails. Instead of having to manually input all of the recipient’s addresses and hoping that you don’t accidentally hit the wrong person, you can set up automated emails that will do the work for you. This makes the process much easier, especially if you’re just getting started.
Additionally, some email marketing automation software allows for drip marketing. This type of marketing involves sending out regular emails to existing or potential customers to keep in touch and be reminded of your company’s products or services. Drip marketing can be an effective way to follow up with customers and learn more about their needs, so it’s ideal for placing larger orders or for encouraging repeat business.
The Different Types Of Email Marketing Automation
As discussed above, there are two primary ways that businesses can use email marketing automation: sending out periodic emails or drip marketing. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two approaches and how you can choose the right one for your business.
1. Periodic Emails
The first type of email marketing that we’ll discuss is periodic emails. These are standard, quick emails that are usually brief and provide customers with important information, updates, or reminders about their order. An example of this type of email would be an order confirmation email or a promotional email sent to attendees of a trade show.
Periodic emails should be automated and sent out at regular intervals to ensure that customers are not overloaded with information. Additionally, as orders and sales close, businesses can send out follow-up emails to make sure that customers are still receiving the benefits of their initial purchase and to encourage them to buy more products.
Sending out periodic emails in this way is a simple, straightforward process that is already automated, so there’s no additional effort needed from you as a business owner. If this sounds like something that would be helpful to your company, then periodic emails are the perfect choice.
The only downside to this approach is that, depending on how frequently you choose to send out notifications, some customers may become annoyed at receiving so many emails with urgent information. To avoid this, you could choose to send out these emails less frequently or just once a month, instead of every two weeks or every week. Of course, this depends on how important you consider customer relationship management to be.
2. Drip Marketing
Drip marketing is, in some ways, the polar opposite of periodic emails. Rather than sending out standard, quick emails to remind customers about your business and offer them updated information, you’ll establish a relationship with them and keep in touch through more meaningful communications, such as video tutorials, infographics, or eBooks. This helps create a more personal connection and gain greater trust from potential and existing customers, which is critical for businesses operating in an increasingly digital world.
You can achieve this by regularly engaging with your customers through different digital channels, particularly through social media. By participating in relevant communities, engaging with people, and sharing educational or engaging articles, you can prove that you’re a valuable member of your customers’ social media circles and gain their trust, which eventually leads them to buy your product or service.
Drip marketing is, by its nature, a longer process. Indeed, it begins with getting to know your customer and understanding their needs. After establishing trust, you can take the relationship a step further by offering them additional support or a new service that meets their needs. This helps build a relationship that is both trusted and loyal, as well as demonstrates your company’s competence and ability to accommodate their changing needs.
Choosing the right software for your business can be difficult. For a while, it seemed as though HubSpot had the market cornered with a free version of its software, while others, such as Mailchimp, were limited to a limited number of templates. Thankfully, things are changing, and there are now a wide variety of tools and platforms that business owners can choose from. Still, finding the right solution for your business may not be easy, so it’s important to take the time to do some research and try out a number of different tools before making a decision. In doing so, you’ll be better positioned to make the right choice for your business, the one that will enable you to effectively use email marketing software to grow your business.