Back to Basics: Email Automation

In 2019, Upland Adestra launched the 13th Email Marketing Industry Census in partnership with eConsultancy, which revealed that email continues to confound expectations around performance and innovation, but email marketers still need to justify further investment. As a marketing tool it continues to lead the pack when it comes to delivering marketing results, with 73% of client-side marketers ranking the channel as excellent, compared to 72% for SEO and 67% for paid search in second and third place respectively, according to the eConsultancy data.

While email continues to evolve and remains the highest-ranked medium for ROI, the research shows that the channel still doesn’t receive the level of spend that is justified. A combination of unsophisticated monitoring, misconceptions about the channel, and other factors are holding back email from even greater effectiveness.

We want to change that; we want to help marketers harness the power of email and skyrocket the success of their marketing strategy. Our back to basics series will showcase a range of email tactics and best practices to help you drive email strategy success.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be deep diving into the world of automation, personalization, optimization and other tactics, to bring you best practice advice, and expert tips and tricks. So, whether you have 5 minutes, 1 hour or a day, our series is here to help point your email marketing strategy in the right direction.

Don’t hate, automate

Marketing automation continues to be regarded as the most important capability for improving email effectiveness. Sixty-six percent of respondents to the eConsultancy survey highlighted automation as an important attribute of email solutions. As more companies seek to engage prospects and customers with more relevant and personalized experiences, they are increasingly focusing on the opportunity that marketing automation offers. In the context of email, the data is readily available to allow marketers to automate campaigns in a way that increases efficiency, frees up resource, boosts productivity, and improves performance.

The options to automate email are seemingly endless. Website sign-ups, subscriptions, basket abandonment, birthday notifications, and renewals are just a few ways to use automation. While many companies adopt email marketing automation to enhance the customer experience and improve customer retention, there is always room for improvement. Here, we’ll share some areas to consider.

Triggered emails

Research shows that triggered emails have a 70.5% higher open rate than normal emails, resulting in 53% more conversions. Once your visitor‘s email address has been captured, you can send automated communications based on particular behaviors exhibited. This is an opportunity to nurture the relationship at various stages. But where do you start?

If you have…

5 minutes – Identify what business problems you are trying to solve or the opportunity you want to take. For example, NSPCC wanted to reduce admin on the team and provide a better customer experience. So, they developed a set of multi-stage automated programs to deliver the most appropriate journey for participants signing up to their events.

That looked like this:

“A thing of beauty!”

One Hour – Visualize. Map the customer journey across your site and highlight the areas where a triggered message could be launched, e.g. your FAQ page – send an email asking if they found the information they needed and if further assistance is required. Ask the following questions and review the analytics of your website:

Where are you losing customers?

Where is your bounce rate the highest?

Is there an opportunity to ask for a visitor’s email to continue the cadence between you and the visitor when they exit your site?

One Day – Start simple. Identify the trigger event that will ultimately start your email workflow. Create and test a small number of email template/trigger events. This will allow you to understand the responsiveness of your audience in a manageable way. Then, you can highlight where your triggered emails are best placed, perhaps at cart abandonment, on your FAQ page, or for lapsed customers.

Although many companies are doing the basics, there is huge opportunity to reap the benefits of triggered emails. Whether it’s a welcome email to new customers, or a welcome back email to nudge ‘sleeping subscribers’, triggered emails are not to be overlooked.

Getting started with automated email marketing can seem a daunting task. According to eConsultancy data, 38% of companies would agree, saying they are struggling with unsuccessful email marketing automation programs. Automation takes an investment of time and money, and not forgetting that all-important patience. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate the ROI of automated email campaigns to generate more investment internally. Initial success with an email service provider (ESP) can justify further investment and the much-needed resources to get your automated email strategy off the ground.

If you feel like you aren’t getting the most from your automation strategy or you’re looking to maximize the ROI of your email marketing strategy, speak to your Customer Success Manager or contact us here.

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