Marketing automation uses software to automate marketing processes, and one of your marketing efforts that will benefit the most from automation is email. There is a lot of value in using your marketing automation software to speed up, track, and improve your email marketing campaign. Below, we’ll discuss the importance of email automation, the best ways to utilize it, and simple solutions to get your audience to open that email.

The Value of Automating Emails

According to a recent report released by The Lenskold Group and The Pedowitz Group, 60% of survey respondents who use marketing automation say it has increased the quality of the leads being passed to their sales team. The use of automations for email communications can also streamline a company’s workflow by:

  • Reducing repetitive tasks
  • Targeting specific markets or users
  • Making it easier to set up marketing campaigns
  • Better measuring and tracking campaign results
  • Developing specific email and sales campaigns to drive revenue
  • Saving you, your employees, and your clients time and money

Best Practices of Email Automation

Email automation is a great tool to use for lead follow-up, but unless properly developed and managed, it can become problematic. The following are best practices on how you can utilize automation software for your email follow-up communications:

Learn the software and Train Your EmployeesLike any new software you add to your toolbox, you need to learn it and train your staff to use it. In order to ensure consistency among your marketing campaigns and email communications, adequately training your employees is key.

SegmentBefore you start any type of campaign or communications, you will need to segment your contact base. Develop those segments and then categorize them in your software for appropriate follow-up.

Customize an Email Follow-Up Process Decide how you want to follow up with each type of contact or segment that is imported into your automation software. Once you decide on a follow-up process for each, you can begin developing communications and actions that will be taken for each.

Develop Customized Email Communication TemplatesNow that you know your segments and your process for each, you can come up with template emails that will be automatically sent to a specific segment based on the actions they take. You will also be able to create campaigns, target users and send out mass follow-up communications to all leads.

Track ResultsBe sure to set up checks and balances to ensure your follow-up emails are being sent and/or managed correctly, as human error can cause the automations to fail.

Test EmailsSend out different variations of emails using your automation software in order to determine which type of wording or length is the most effective. Learn more about testing variations here.

Ways to Utilize Automated Email Communications

It’s not always possible to follow-up with each lead that comes in on a daily basis; therefore, email automation software was created to help you contact all of your leads in a timely manner.

Below are some ways you can utilize automated email communication:

  • Send a series of follow-up emails to each user who fills out form on your website.
  • Send follow-up emails to contacts who have been stagnate for x amount of time.
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  • Send follow-up emails to users with specific browsing patterns.
  • Send a follow-up email to customers based on their purchasing behavior.
  • Send follow-up emails to users based on events or actions taken.
  • Send a follow-up email to those users or customers who have abandoned their shopping cart with something in it.
  • Send email follow-up communication after interactions with clients or users (phone calls, trade shows, online inquiries, etc.).
  • Send any email nurturing communications (for more or lead nurturing click here)

The options are endless – take a look at your current marketing process and determine how an automated email could improve a piece of it. To learn more about tracking those leads that come in, click here.

Getting Your Recipient to Open Your Email

Some say using automations takes the relationship-building and personalization out of the follow-up process. This can occur, but only if you don’t properly set up your automations and templates. Follow these five simple steps to get your recipients to open and engage with your email:

Step 1: SegmentAs mentioned in best practices, come up with the criteria for each segment and the target segments you wish to reach before beginning.
Step 2: Setup an Automated Campaign An example of a campaign would be setting up communications based on customers browsing habits on your website. For example, Amazon will send you emails letting you know when certain products go on sale or send you updates based on products you searched for in the past 30-60 days. Following up with your customers or potential customers based on their browsing or purchase habits is a great way to get visitors to become conversions.

Step 3: Send Emails from YOUR Email AddressPeople tend to ignore emails that are sent from a mass (noreply) email address. There is no need to send emails this way, and are only useful if you don’t intend on taking advantage of replies. Any automation software worth having now has the capability to customize so each user gets an email specifically from an email address you choose.

Step 4: Simplify Your Copy and InformEmail communication should be simple and to the point. Take the time to create a message that is easy to read, gives your reader the information they need, and provides them with a single call to action.

Step 5: Test, Test and TestNot enough people test their email communications. Some think that running an A/B test would be too difficult with an automated email campaign, but it’s simple to create templates and automate them to be sent. You can then make different variations of each and see which ones get the best results. Play with the subject line, closing, images, etc. to see which variation gets more leads. In the end, you will better know your customer base and be able to build stronger, long-lasting relationships with them.

Final Thoughts

Email automation is another tool to add to your marketing process to make it more efficient. As more advanced technology becomes available, we need to decide which tools are worth using and which aren’t.Automation software is one that is a must and should be used for contact management, email marketing, lead nurturing and any other type of sales or marketing communications between your company and your prospects and customers.

“Good design is about effective communication, not decoration at the expense of legibility.” – Author Unknown