Expert Tips on Leveraging The Power of Automated Email Marketing
The experts at Anchor Digital share their advice on crafting successful email automations without using cookie-cutter templates.
Imagine yourself browsing an online shop and filling your shopping cart with items that you don’t end up purchasing. Maybe because you get distracted or fall asleep on your couch. Next thing you know, a sympathetic cart recovery email lands in your email inbox, reminding you of a missed opportunity. What you’re witnessing is the work of a crafty digital marketer, who uses email automation to encourage you to come back and finish what you started.
But email automation wears many hats and serves a multitude of purposes: Onboarding emails after signing up to a newsletter, birthday wishes or anniversary emails, product reviews post-purchase, reminder emails and many, many more. Welcome to the eclectic world of email automation!
Email marketing has been an essential part of companies’ digital marketing efforts for over three decades. More than 59 per cent of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. That makes email automation the biggest workhorse of digital marketing solutions.
But how exactly do successful marketers use this game-changing tool to their advantage? How can you too set up effective email marketing campaigns? Keep reading to get all the answers to your burning email automation questions!
In today’s post, we’ll share the following insights on effective automated email marketing:
- What is email automation?
- The benefits of email automation
- Creating automations that convert
To set you up for success, you need to know the ins and outs of automated email marketing. Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, let’s make sure you have a clear understanding of the tools you’re working with. Let’s dive right in and get started with the basics!
What is Email Automation?
Email automation implies that emails are automatically sent to your customers, according to clearly defined triggers or a set schedule. Let’s say, if a customer does this, then that happens next. Accordingly, we can divide email automations into two categories: Trigger emails based on the customer’s behaviour and drip-feed emails, that follow up on trigger emails and deliver content in set intervals as defined by you.
Just remember our example from a moment ago. You abandoned your shopping cart and half an hour later you receive the following message – a trigger email:
“Hey, XY! We noticed you left something in your cart.
We understand life’s full of distractions, so for your convenience, we have saved your shopping cart.
If you would like to complete your order just click here.
Most likely you’ll receive a second email in the following days, if you haven’t returned to finalise your purchase by then. Besides the standard abandoned cart reminder, automated emails can also include welcome emails, discount codes, friend-referrals, newsletters, emails for the specific times of the year, such as Christmas and new years wishes, birthdays and anniversaries and much more.
And whilst they’re very useful for e-commerce, they’re also continuing to prove their worth for all other business types. In a world with 5.6 billion active email accounts, you’d be missing out on major opportunities to engage with your customers if you ignored the power that lies in automated email marketing.
What Are the Benefits of Using Email Automation?
- Email automation supports your business goals, drives brand awareness and conversions.
Successful brands commonly use email automations to increase their customer engagement, to drive business awareness and conversions on a consistent basis. How many people without email addresses do you know? While you’re probably struggling to name only a few, you’ll also realise that a huge part of our daily communication is based on emails. 99 per cent of those of us who have email accounts, check their email every single day.
With 73 per cent of millennials preferring communications from businesses to come via email and, it would be foolish to miss out on this unique opportunity.
- Email automation helps you to personalise your customers’ experiences.
Research tells a unanimous story: 91 per cent of consumers favour individualised recommendations and offers. An astonishing 72 per cent of email recipients respond to messages that target their specific interests. No other type of digital marketing solution offers personalised experiences to the extent email automation does.
Tip: We highly recommend bringing an experienced copywriter on board to create bang-on copy for your email automations and keep a consistent tone across all emails you’re sending out to your customers.
- Email automation can increase your customer retention rate.
Getting that first dollar from a new customer can be time-consuming – and expensive. Expect it to cost you five times more to acquire a new customer, than it would to sell to your existing customer base. All of a sudden, nurturing your email lists becomes a huge factor in the success of your business.
As a rule of thumb, expect that 80 per cent of your future profits will come from 20 per cent of your existing customers. Loyal customers that have made great experiences with your products and services are likely to do business with you again. So make sure that they never go too long without hearing from you.
- Automation improves your employees’ overall productivity.
Automation changes the way we all do business. It can also save you and your marketing team valuable time and improve your productivity. You won’t have to worry about sitting around waiting for the perfect moment to send an email. Your automation software takes care of it for you, giving you time to focus on the many other aspects of your job.
- Email Automation allows you to track responses and collect useful information.
Email automation software offers you a lot of insight via real-time statistics. It enables you to monitor trends amongst your email recipients and to track email performance. Find out who opened an email, who clicked a link and made a purchase. Analysing this information helps you understand if what you’re doing is working or not.
Email statistics drive future decisions and help you understand your audience. You can use this knowledge to improve your processes, write more personalised email copy and better designs to create content that resonates with your customers and drives conversions.
Creating Automations That Convert
Now that we’ve discussed different types and benefits of email automation, let’s take a closer look at the basics of creating automated email campaigns that convert.
- Deciding on a message.
Since the options of what you can include in your emails are sheer endless, it’s relatively easy to go overboard. The key is to stay focussed. Write your copy with both your goal and your recipient in mind.
Choose a design that supports your message. Ask yourself first: What action do you want your customer to take? Make sure to make things crystal clear and include an introduction, body or main message and prominently worded and positioned call-to-action in all of your emails.
- Keeping it personal.
You already know how important personalisation is. But how can you make it work? You might want to start by including first names, your customer’s location and products that match their particular interests and previous purchases.
For example: If you own a skate shop and your customer recently purchased a pair of rollerskates, check-in with them to see if they need new wheels or protective gear. If you’re a dentist and a patient hasn’t visited you in a while, send them a friendly reminder and add useful information regarding their oral health.
We can’t say it enough: Great copywriting is everything. Nothing replaces the human touch of a skilled copywriter. We highly recommend assigning one and the same writer to specific accounts. This creates a unanimous tone across all communications and the notion of being addressed by a “real person”.
At Anchor, our talented copywriters are engaged across all of your digital marketing campaigns. In alignment with your brand and marketing strategy, they give every project a personal note.
- Crafting intriguing email subject lines.
We all receive a tonne of emails day by day. What makes us open some, and ignore others? The secret to success is having a solid subject line. There are a lot of different opinions out there on what makes the perfect subject line. Fact is, you’ll probably have to test out what works best for you and your audience.
We’ve learned that oftentimes, you just need to ask the right question to get recipients to open your emails. Using questions in subject lines has drastically improved our opening rates. To get email recipients to respond, click through to products and services or make an appointment, nothing works better than inviting people to respond to an honest question.
Tip: 56 per cent of brands swear by using one or more emojis in their email subject lines. Why not try it yourself? Here are a few examples for how brands are using emojis in their email subject lines!
- Picking the perfect time to send your emails.
You’ve probably noticed that automated emails and in your inbox at different times of the day and week. Some are waiting in our inbox as we’re checking our emails in the morning while still sipping on a soy latte or long black. Others land mid-morning or just as we’re leaving work and are on our way home. But what is the perfect time to send email automations?
Most emails are opened as we begin our weekdays clicking through our email inboxes on our smartphones. A second wave of email openings can be registered in the evening hours, then they slowly dwindle. Trusting this data, the best time to send emails seems to be within the typical working day window of 9 am to 5 pm.
But we can cut it down further. Research and lots of testing have shown that peak open times are just before and after lunch. The best time to send your emails is either 11 am or 3 pm. At 11 am, your recipients have answered pressing work communications, and are more likely to have time to open and respond to your messages.
Believe us when we say, email list segmentation is a pretty big deal. Marketers who are using segmented campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue. It makes a lot of sense: Why send a cookie-cutter message to your entire customer base, when you have all the data required to split them up in segmented contact lists – organised by location, interests, type of engagement and more.
Sending out targeted emails, carefully tailored to match specific recipients, boosts opening and conversion rates. Campaign by campaign, you’ll learn more information about your email recipients and be able to identify new opportunities to craft content your audience will love.
Here a few ways you could segment your email list by:
- Geographic location
- Buyer personas
- Past purchases
- Buying frequency
- Job function
Keen to learn more about setting up email automations? This crash course will help you rock your next email marketing campaign.
Wrapping it up
Email automation can help you establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with your customers, while giving you the time to focus on creating high-quality content. As long as you play by the rules and keep in mind who you’re addressing and why, you’re setting yourself up for success.
We truly hope this article gave you a better handle on what to look out for when creating your first series of automated emails. It may seem overwhelming at first, but the long-term benefits simply speak for themselves.
Now it’s up to you! Are you feeling ready to start incorporating email automation in your marketing efforts? Our team of passionate digital marketing experts, designers and copywriters would love to help you create high-impact email automations using our tried-and-true strategies.
Get in touch with us today! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!