automating-your-email-marketing-can-save-you-time-and-stress

Some examples of marketing automation campaigns that many companies already use are welcome, abandoned cart, and customer retention campaigns. Using an automation platform allows companies to plug in certain criteria, such as a new subscriber, and create a campaign around them.

From there, the platform takes charge and shares the email content built within the campaign to the user. There’s nothing else the person in charge has to do at this point -- just sit back and let the emails flow. 

But is that really the case? That’s what we’ll discuss in more detail in this article. If you’re interested in reading on, here’s a quick glimpse at what we’ll cover: 

  • Bullets…
  • Bullets…
  • Bullets…

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation isn’t necessarily a new topic, but many companies are just getting on board the automation bandwagon. While saving time is one of the top reasons for companies to invest in a marketing automation platform for email marketing, it’s not the only. 

There are many reasons companies are making the switch to automated campaigns, including: 

  • Increased productivity by eliminating repetitive processes
  • Increases in revenue by nurturing and retaining customers
  • Building a more comprehensive campaign with emails, calls to action, and landing pages to support them

Companies that have adopted automation tactics are outperforming those who have not decided to make the investment. The upfront costs might be intimidating, but the end results are worth it. 

But as with anything, there is a downside to automation. Luckily, it’s something that you can plan for and build into your yearly and quarterly marketing plan.

Revisiting Automated Email Campaigns 

We mentioned how automation is a great tool that makes the lives of marketers easier and that all you have to do is hit go and then forget about the campaigns we’ve implemented. Well, while that is the case, you still need to check-up on your campaigns every once in a while. 

Think about how you positioned the content or even your company when you first launched each of the campaigns you are currently running. There is a good chance you’ve made some changes to how you want to position your company, or maybe you’ve changed your design tactics or even logo. 

Marketing automation, which includes the automation of emails, is important in both customer acquisition and retention. This means you’ll not only retain your best customers, but you’ll also be able to reach new customers to increase sales.

In addition to that, you’ll want to consider what other emails and sales are happening at the same time. Should you consider putting welcome campaigns on hold during the holidays when you’re already promoting deep discounts on your products?

These are all things you want to consider, and why we suggest that you take a look back at least once a quarter at the campaigns you’re currently running. From the welcome campaign for brand new subscribers to the loyalty rewards program -- you need to make sure your emails are still on point.

Let’s take a quick look at one example of an automated email marketing strategy that could have been improved by reviewing the quarterly content calendar and syncing dates. 

An Email Automation Mix-Up

When we mention checking in with your automated emails every once in a while, here’s why. Ann Taylor does a great job at keeping in touch with customers who may be about to churn -- but they didn’t take into account the other sales they were promoting at the same time. 

image

This email from Ann Taylor may have enticed a shopper to click through to their site and see what their special offer was. Because who doesn’t love a surprise -- right?  

The background: A shopper bought a few sweaters from Ann Taylor on Black Friday but hadn’t purchased anything, or even visited the site since then. They then received a re-engagement campaign (the email above) to lure them back to the site.

This retention email came onChristmas Eve. During this time, every other promotional email in a consumer’s inbox talks about last-minute gifts and how it’s not too late to shop. But not this one. It really stands out.

That’s the beauty of re-engagement campaigns. You can set them up and forget about them. They run in the background and drive sales with very little maintenance required.

And they work. Once the shopper clicked through to see what the special offer was they found this:

image
Discounts are always a great option for customer retention -- an extra 25% off might be just enough to bring someone back to your site to make a purchase. That is if you aren’t running different sales on your website…

25%  seems like a great deal, it’s definitely enough to encourage someone to click through to the site and see what’s new.  The problem, in this case, was once the shopper clicked onto the Ann Taylor website, they were greeted with a totally different sale. 

Now, any shopper would be excited to click through and find an even better discount -- in this case, double the discount than they were expecting. But the fact of the matter is, the retention email and the site did not match up. If Ann Taylor would have chosen to lead with the 50% off sale, they may have had the opportunity to entice even more shoppers to their website. 

image

While the shopper is probably happy to see that the discount is actually double what they expected in the email, it does leave some inconsistencies in the email marketing strategy. Leading with the 50% off may have benefited the company more than just sending the standard retention email.

Review Your Automated Campaigns For the Best Customer Experience 

This example is a great reminder to review your automated campaigns quarterly to be sure the offers and messaging is up-to-date and aligned with all of your other marketing campaigns. While this mishap may not have deterred the shopper, nor resulted in a loss of sale, it still reminds us that we need to be considerate of our customer’s time.

Email and marketing automation can change the way you as a marketer manage your time and communicate with your customers. Make sure you’re making the technology and not setting and forgetting campaigns that could be turning new users into loyal customers.  

Marketing automation is a common trend among digital marketers today. From social media posting to email marketing, automation is helping marketers make the most out of their time while still giving customers what they want.