Anyone who has manually managed an email campaign, knows that staying on top of all of the related tasks like updating contact information and scheduling can be a nightmare. So spend the time and budget now to implement email automation as a part of your marketing technology stack - and you'll be saving time, money and your sanity in the long run.
Need convincing? Here are the top 10 reasons adopting email automation should be at the top of your to-do list.
This blog post is part of "Your Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing" blog series.
1. Email is a Major Component of Your Lead Nurturing
Email remains an effective method for nurturing leads. While blast emails are a good start to a campaign, drip emails cultivate long-term relationships by delivering the right content at the right time to the right people. Drip email campaigns not only automate the process of sending emails, sparing you the manual work of scheduling, they also allow you to send emails tailored to people at different stages of the Buyer's Journey. This ensures that each lead gets the information that is most relevant to them, making the lead nurturing process more effective. And the best part, you can set it and forget it.
To learn more about what it takes to graduate from blast emails to drip marketing check out our article on the subject.
2. Unique Opportunities for Personalization
Some marketers hear “automation” and imagine robotic-sounding, highly impersonal messages that get sent straight to the spam folder, when in fact, automation offer just as many, if not MORE, opportunities to customize, just at a larger scale.
For example, a team sending out hundreds of emails by hand simply doesn't have the time or energy to add every recipient's name to the heading of every email! But an email automation software allows you to insert customized fields like [first name], [company name], [industry], hell, even the last thing they ate, into emails, as long as that data exists in your CRM.
The result? A customized email with a higher open and click-through rate. A personalized subject line alone can increase your open rates by 22%.
3. Great Reach Through a Highly Accessible Platform
Despite some doomsdayer cries that email marketing is dead, the statistics show that email remains one of the most accessed forms of digital media, set to top 3 billion users worldwide by 2020. While you may look to social networks and your website as the main channels for increasing awareness, when it comes to lead nurturing, they can't compare to sending a truly tailored and personalized message directly into a contact's inbox.
4. Planning for the Long Term's Never Been Easier
Email automation tools simplify time management by enabling you to schedule your campaigns days, even weeks ahead of sending time. Many platforms also provide recommendations on the ideal sending quantity, frequency, time of day and even proximity to special events and holidays, based on your and external sources of data.
Get even more sophisicated with email by creating a Lead Generation Campaign. Learn how in your free Introduction to Lead Generation Guide.
5. Low-Hassle Revision and Continuous Improvement
With an automated system, you have a bit of a sandbox environment with regards to tinkering with A/B testing. Marketing automation gives you freedom to revise, revise, revise. You could run an A/B test at every stage of every one of your campaigns, allowing you to micro-refine your campaign like never before.
And email marketing automation software allows for easy tracking of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as: Delivery rate, Open rate, Click-through rate, Unsubscribe rate and more.
6. Cut Costs Strategically and All Around
Using email automation software, a small marketing team of 10 can do the work of 50 people. The time saved with an automated campaign versus sending out manual emails (and especially more outdated methods of lead nurturing, like cold calling!) can save you a great deal of money labor.
While the automation software itself has a monthly cost, varying based on the complexity of your campaigns and your contact list size, the emails themselves cost nothing to send, making for impressive ROI on this investment. As of 2016, email delivered a return of $44 per dollar spent - that's nothing to scoff at.
7. Boost Traffic and Even Promote SEO
Traffic to your website can definitely be increased through strategic email automation. If your placement of links to landing pages, articles, and in-site resources is appropriately and thoughtfully distributed in emails that actually hold some value for your contacts, the click-through rates will reflect it.
And while the emails themselves don't hold much SEO value, explicit calls-to-action within your emails can influence actions like sharing/reposting/liking on social media and leaving comments— and all of these drive SEO!
8. Keep Your Company Top of Mind
Email campaigns keep you top of mind. Even if your emails are never opened, the sender name and subject line function as touchpoints which make your contacts more likely to recognize your brand and remember your name.
Whether your campaign is for an online promotion, an e-book offer, or to wish clients a happy holiday season, a regularly delivered personalized message will nurture your relationship. For old clients, this indicates that you care about them and would like to reward them for their loyalty; for new ones, it's a good way to guide them toward conversion at a steady rate.
9. Capitalize on Segmentation and Keep Lists Clean
Making the best of your email automation system generally requires implementing lead scoring and segmentation processes. For example, segmentation based on lead score can allow you to tailor the types of offers you send to leads and how often you email them, based on whether they are “hotter” or “colder.”Lead scoring criteria can include:
- Organization type
- Job title
- Past email activity
- Lead source
And if your marketing database has the tendency to become cluttered with inaccurate or outdated data you can use marketing automation, which syncs mutually with your CRM to keep your contacts up-to-date, rather than spending money on list-cleaning services.
10. More Free Time for the Important Stuff
Finally, the time (and indirectly, budget) that you and your company save on the technical mundanities of your email campaign clears more resources to spend on creative and strategic activities. After all, this is what automation as a whole is all about— saving resources wherever possible so you can boost productivity and focus on the things that really matter.
If you are looking to take your email marketing to the next level we suggest creating a lead generation campaign. Learn step by step how to create one in your free Introduction to Lead Generation guide.