More than 90 percent of Americans use email on a regular basis. Studies have also shown that more than half the world’s population has an active email account. In other words, email marketing campaigns are a viable way to reach out to the majority of any company’s customers. This becomes especially important for small businesses that are trying to stand out in a crowded sea of competitors.
What is Email Automation?
Email marketing is a critical aspect of today’s marketing campaigns. After all, people spend an average of 2.6 hours per day reading and responding to emails. This means that your customers are already using email as one of their primary sources of communication, and they’re also used to receiving special offers from their favorite businesses.
With email automation software, you can create templates that are sent to customers based on specific actions they take. For example, Amazon sends out personalized book recommendations based on the titles a customer has already purchased. Taking this approach makes each automated email highly relevant to the customer’s personal interests, thereby increasing the odds of a sale.
As you can see, sales email automation is different from the messages you send to everyone on your mailing list. Yes, you’ll still want to send out newsletters and sales flyers to everyone. However, the odds are high that you’ll get a much better overall response to your email marketing drip campaigns.
What is an Email Drip Campaign?
One of the easiest ways to harness the full power of email automation is through drip campaigns. This email marketing strategy tends to command a lot of attention by staggering out a series of emails related to the same topic.
For instance, drip email marketing is how some companies send out personalized emails reminding you that there are items in your shopping cart. When a customer doesn’t respond to this initial message, the second step in the drip email automation campaign is triggered. The customer then receives a follow-up message, which often offers a sale price or special discount for completing their purchase.
The overall idea behind an email drip campaign is to slowly drip messages in to each applicable customer’s inbox until they take action. You might be wondering if this approach is too aggressive or will turn off your customer base. The good news is that 55 percent of consumers enjoy receiving special email offers based on their personal tastes. Additionally, using behavioral targeting is one of the best email marketing practices because it increases email revenue by an average of 8 percent.
Email Marketing and Automation Options
Clearly, email automation plays a major role in converting leads into paying customers. But how do you get started? Although you could theoretically have someone constantly monitoring accounts and sending out messages, the employee in question would quickly become burned out. There would also be a lot of missed opportunities, along with the increased risk of typos and other errors.
The only truly viable option is to turn to reputable email drip campaign software. This will give you the ability to easily build drip email templates that are automatically triggered and personalized based on whichever perimeters you put in place. Automated emails eliminate the need for constant monitoring, which frees up your employees to work on more pressing matters.
Even better, the best email automation tools embody the salesperson motto of ‘always be closing.’ It turns out that machine-learning automation just might be a better closing tool than live salespeople when you consider that revenues shoot up by 21 percent when this method is utilized.
Of course, not all email marketing platforms are built equally. Be sure to check out your options to help ensure you choose the very best email automation tools to suit your needs. The best email marketing platform should have a robust list of tools that are also user friendly.
Why Small Business Owners Need Email Marketing Solutions
If you’re a small business owner who doesn’t use an automated email marketing system, you’re leaving a lot of revenue on the table. To make matter worse, you’re also wasting a lot of time and money on any email campaigns that you are running. That’s because building emails and newsletters takes a lot of employee time, but it’s not an efficient way to get each customer’s attention.
The reality is that small businesses need to maximize every single existing customer and lead. Big companies like Amazon won’t suffer noticeably if hundreds or even thousands of people shop there only once, but a loyal core of repeat customers is absolutely essential for small businesses. You can’t afford to let consumers slip through your fingers. With a properly designed drip email marketing campaign, you can keep people interested in your products or services.
The primary reason that small companies take a DIY approach to email campaigns is the erroneous fear of spending a lot of money. It’s important to note that email marketing automation tools don’t have to be expensive. In fact, they’re designed to reduce your workload and financial investment. Personalizing each email is the best way to get a positive response, but taking the time to do that for each individual customer is a nightmare. As previously mentioned, it’s just not efficient to have an employee sit at a computer all day sending out emails to customers.
Current studies show that more than half of all U.S. companies use email automation tools to save time and money. Joining this group quite simply makes good business sense. Besides the savings in time and labor, there’s the fact that automated emails actually do a better job of converting clicks into sales.
Broadcast emails, which are sent to everyone at the same time, just don’t have the same impact as drip emails. When comparing the two, we see an astounding 119 percent higher click rate from timed drip campaigns. This on its own is impressive, but the best part is that conversion rates also shoot up by 60 percent.
Getting the Most from Your Email Automation Platform
As the saying goes, junk in produces junk out. Therefore, you need to carefully consider your drip email templates. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using proven automated techniques. Here’s a list of some of the best automated campaign ideas. In true drip email style, you’ll want to schedule three staggered emails for each campaign.
- Welcome Messages – Welcome new contacts and customers.
- Lead Nurturing – Nurture current leads by showing them how your business can suit their needs.
- Engagement – Keep your top customer engaged with special offers.
- Abandoned Cart – Remind customers that they still have items in their cart.
- Educational – Send a series of emails that educates them about specific products or services.
- Events – Sending out emails before, during, and after an event can capture a lot of attention.
- Re-Engagement – Connect with consumers who haven’t bought anything in a while.
- Up-Selling and Cross-Selling Products – After their initial purchase, you can let consumers know about related products.
- Product Recommendations – Automated recommendations based on the customer’s previous purchases.
Why Do Consumers Prefer Drip Email Marketing?
It might seem odd that the same message sent to one consumer instead of all of them could have such a massive impact on sales. To really understand why this happens, you also need a basic grasp on sales psychology.
Every consumer is driven to make purchases based on their psychological investment in each particular product or service. To put this into layman’s terms, people have a strong desire to get what they want at the exact time they want it. That’s why checkout counters around the world take advantage of impulse buying. When consumers are greeted with candy and other relatively inexpensive items at the checkout counter, they’re much more likely to grab something.
You can’t give customers something immediately through an online sale, but you can certainly meet a need when it arises. Email automated platforms that are synced to your online store stats can see when a customer keeps eyeing a specific item. Much like re-marketing campaigns that repeatedly show online ads for the item in question, a drip email can prompt the consumer to commit to a purchase.
Consider for a moment what type of sales emails have the biggest impact on you. Are they the broad offers that go to everyone or the targeted ones that contain items you’re heavily interested in? Your customers are driven by the same psychology, and you don’t even need to feel badly about utilizing this information. After all, you’re merely giving them easier access to a product they desire.
Email Marketing Tools Make Consumers Feel Special
How many companies sent you an email containing a special discount or free item for your last birthday? Those emails have an especially high open rate, which makes sense because everyone loves getting a good deal for their birthday! Again, this level of automation comes with a 60 percent higher conversion rate over broadcast emails.
Even if a consumer doesn’t redeem their birthday discount, they’re much more likely to have a favorable impression of your business. In today’s hectic society when greeting people personally seems to have become a lost art, many consumers are wowed by the simple act of remembering their name and birthday. It doesn’t matter to them that an automated program sent them the email. Instead, they equate these offers with a much-needed human approach to sales and customer service. That’s exactly what you need to stand out in a crowded market.