Most companies use email marketing to connect with their customers, yet few know how to maximize their time invested. Marketing strategies that use a free email service provider instead of dedicated email management systems that are integrated into a marketing automation system are missing out on some of email’s best benefits.
Email solutions that only send mail are as outdated as CRT monitors and almost as cumbersome. Even elementary email systems allow you to merge and purge email addresses, retry soft bounces from filled in-boxes, and eliminate hard bounces from invalid addresses, but automation goes further by enabling you to use cross-referenced information from complete customer profiles to match the right offer to the right prospect. When your email marketing software is an integral part of a total marketing automation package, you’re able to tailor your messaging to the content that best interests your prospect. A dedicated email marketing system has intelligence baked in; it knows the demographic and psychographical information that’s already contained on your database, and uses progressive profiling within forms and website page tracking to gain incremental data on your prospect. You can easily customize standard templates by inserting phrases and personalization from the data you collect.
Think of the traditional sales funnel model. At the top, you have your pool of prospects, a certain percentage of whom move on to increasing levels of interest until a few of them trickle through the funnel’s narrow end as customers. In this model, you have two options: Broaden the top of the funnel, or increase flow to turn a few customers into a torrent. Email marketing is already a low-cost option for reaching a broad audience at the top of the funnel, but with marketing automation to amp up its value, you get a far better return on your investment where it counts at the point of sale.
Customers respond well to having options, and that includes choosing how they interact with you. Email fatigue is one of the most commonly cited reasons for opting out of email marketing, but when your email recipients get to pick their level of involvement, they typically opt down instead of bowing out entirely. Build in preference pages that give your customers the choice to hear from you on their terms, and they’re more receptive.
Flexibility also puts your brand’s unique stamp on everything you send. Set up your email with a custom template, company logo, sub-header, images, links, calls to action and any other details you choose for the widest possible range of options. Customizing and personalizing everything from subject lines to text to images gives you and your marketing team complete creative control.
Analytics can tell you volumes about your email marketing program, but only if your software can crunch the necessary numbers. Powerful software tools use real-time creative optimization that sends multivariate testing options to a test audience and delivers the winning version automatically. Attribution, the ability to trace your leads from their source and see what motivates their buying decisions, is a key part of improving your ROI, and with a dedicated email marketing system, you see where your customers come from as well as where they’re going. You can’t maximize the value of your email marketing program until you measure it; marketing automation makes it simple to see how your email marketing solution affects your bottom line.
Traditional email marketing sends messages on the company’s schedule; marketing automation also lets you send email on your customers’ schedule. Triggered emails go out when recipients take certain actions – or sometimes when they take no action at all, such as when they abandon a shopping cart or drop off your radar. It would be impossible to allocate enough resources to respond personally to these triggers, but automated email marketing software lets you link behaviors with triggers so email goes out automatically.
It Makes Your Next Campaign Better
Chess players work on developing their vision so they can think more moves ahead. Email marketing systems that are integrated with marketing automation software give you the same advantage, giving you insights into what your next move should be. The improved control you have over every aspect of your email marketing program lets you do more of what works and tweak what doesn’t for a more effective campaign with every generation.
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