Everything you need to know about email marketing automation
To be successful in marketing, it’s important to get relevant messages across to the right person at the right time. Marketing automation enables this. In this blog, we will explain everything about marketing automation. We will also talk about what kind of role email plays within marketing automation.
The communication channel that’s called email
Almost every adult worldwide has at least one email address. Email is a fast, measurable, low-cost, and accessible online communication tool, with which you have 1-to-1 contact. You can use it to provide information, such as when you’re sending in a job application or when you send an order or registration confirmation. But what is even more interesting, is the fact that you can also use email to drive traffic, boost conversions, increase NPS, or enrich customer profiles. The channel offers an enormous potential, as long as the content and timing are well-suited to cater to the needs of the receiver. This is what makes email marketing an important part of marketing automation.
So what is email marketing automation?
As you are reading this, you probably wonder what email marketing automation is. One definition that largely covers the scope is:
Email marketing automation is the automated sending of one or a series of unique messages based on events in the customer life cycle, such as interactions with your company. The aim is to optimally serve the receiver of the messages in order to win, commit or retain customers, or to optimize business processes.
Email marketing automation is thus trigger based. A trigger could be a birthday, a repeat purchase or a download of an ebook. It’s a situation or occurrence in the life of a customer that you, as a sender, respond to. With personalized content and the right timing, you are more relevant to your receivers. As a result, it will be easier to convert your leads into customers or to retain your customers.
Sending and building an automated email campaign is more efficient and effective than manually building and sending emails over and over again. You set up the campaign once, and everything after that will happen automatically. You just have to monitor whether the process is going well and if the results are good. Email marketing automation is also used to relieve the burden on other departments, such as customer service.
Email marketing automation & lead nurturing
Important goals of many B2B companies are lead generation and lead nurturing. This involves the process of qualifying a lead as interesting by the marketing department (it’s then an MQL) and then passing the lead on to sales (where it becomes an SQL). Sales may qualify the lead as a prospect.
A large part of the traffic on your website isn’t willing to make a purchase immediately. However, when visitors show any interest in your company, you don’t want to lose them. So you want to keep engaging these people or companies.
With a lead nurture program, you can tactically determine how and when certain leads are being approached. To effectively put your lead nurture program to use, you can implement lead scoring.
Lead scoring means that your lead receives certain scores for:
- their behaviour
- their interest
- the stage of the customer journey they’re in
- their company profile
This can either be set up in a very basic way or you can choose for something more complex. The score indicates when a lead should receive a certain type of follow-up action. For example, an email, a direct mail or a phone call from sales (see the visual below the next paragraph). Of course you can also use other channels for this, such as a personalized web page during their following visit.
As a lead qualifies further (because he or she has been awarded more points), it makes sense to use more expensive resources. This is because the chance of achieving a real conversion will then increase. The content you send should match up with the trigger. In addition, of course, it must also connect to the lead’s interest and the stage he or she is in within the customer journey.
Email marketing automation & existing customers
It still costs less money and effort to retain an existing customer than going through the process of converting a lead to a customer. Building up and expanding the relationship with your existing customers is therefore essential.
Automatic email campaigns that have been proven to be effective, are campaigns with triggers such as:
- Becoming a new customer (such as a welcome campaign)
- Being an active customer
- X years of being a customer
- Contract is expiring
- Customer is inactive
Just think of the email you get when your mobile subscription is about to expire. The timing and content of that email partly determine whether you will renew your contract with the provider. The assessment of the service you received, of course, also plays an important role.
Tip: In the B2C market, you can achieve a lot with personalized content. Especially when it’s based on a previous purchase.
Case Study: Tempo-Team (a Dutch employment agency)
As an employment agency, you want inactive customers to come back to you when they need help with filling an open position. Before, intermediaries often called these customers to find out if there was a need and, in terms of timing, this was based on luck. It wasn’t always the case that there was a need at the exact moment that the call was made. For our client in the Netherlands, Tempo-Team, we set up an automated email campaign. This campaign supported the intermediaries in approaching the inactive customer group.
The result? When an inactive customer posts a vacancy online, this customer enters an automatic flow that consists of email and personal contact. With this, Tempo-Team achieved 66% more sales with the inactive customer group!
Email marketing automation & optimizing business processes
Email marketing is not only used to increase sales. You can also use it to reduce costs. Suppose there is a sudden need for information. Take the corona crisis as an example. In many companies, customer service will then be flooded with questions. The costs and frustrations of the waiting customers are increasing. To provide clarity, good proactive communication is important. This can be a trigger following an event in the environment of a customer.
Another trigger could be that a customer indicates on the website that they require certain information. With additional customer data from the system (type of customer, industry, etc.), this customer can enter an email flow with specific information tailored to his or her situation, including future updates. This way, you help the customer proactively and you keep him or her engaged. Additionally, this supports the work of customer service employees, which can lead to cost savings and a higher customer satisfaction.
Email marketing automation & 100%EMAIL
We have built award-winning email marketing automation campaigns for many clients. From simple to more complex campaigns, all of them were effective. With 100%EMAIL you can flexibly complement your marketing department with email marketing automation experts. We work with your own marketing software and can therefore immediately get to work.
We’d love to speak with you about improving your email results. How much email marketing department do you need? Feel free to contact us and let us know. We are here to help!