When Marty McFly went to the future in “Back to the Future Part II,” October 2015 was the date he set. The late 1980s’ vision of 2015 wasn’t much like reality in some ways; we still don’t have hoverboards, and double neckties haven’t found their way onto runways yet. What it did get right, though, was the sense that the future isn’t totally removed from the past but an evolution of it. If you know where to look, the future is already here.
For email marketers, marketing automation is future technology that’s rooted in the industry’s current needs. It’s a solution that makes sense now while giving companies limitless space to grow tomorrow, and here’s why.
The amount of email your potential customers receive has increased every year since email became available. That means they’re subject to more static messaging and generic offers than ever before. How do you rise above the level of background noise when there’s so much volume? The answer is customization that tells each reader you want to have a one-on-one conversation. Traditional email marketing tools allow only limited customization options such as including the recipient’s name in the subject line, but marketing automation gives your marketing team the power to speak to every lead individually based on demographic, firmographic, and behavioral knowledge. Only software that has the ability to track this data and connect it with customer profiles over time can provide the customization that sets your email marketing apart from the crowd.
Putting Effort Where It Belongs
Another way in which automation is making the future of email a reality is by letting users see where they should focus their attention. Email marketing campaigns that cast a wide net may miss the leads you most want to reach because they lack depth. You can’t spot the people who are most engaged because the measures for engagement are limited. By contrast, marketing automation offers a multi-dimensional view of engagement, showing how a prospective customer interacts with your site, your blog, and your email campaigns to form a clearer image of who’s most interested. When you know who’s closer to making a buying decision, you’re able to deliver the content that lead needs to make that choice an easier one.
The Content Quid Pro Quo
We’re living in the information age, and knowledge is capital. That’s true for you and your marketing team as you gather data about prospects, but it’s equally true for your customers who rely on knowing more than their competition to gain an edge. Content-rich email marketing is a key part of drip nurture campaigns that supply readers with more in-depth and focused content as they forge ahead in their buying journey. Entry to a webinar featuring industry leaders, an email offer of a mini-course, a subscription to a newsletter, gated access to an in-depth white paper – all of these and other types of content are powerful persuaders because they’re part of an equal exchange. Instead of advertising hyperbole, your emails give something of value to readers. By establishing yourself as an expert source, they’re more likely to return to you when it’s time to buy.
Where do your customers receive and read your email messages? Chances are good they’re choosing to read on mobile devices rather than on a standard desktop. Responsive email design lets your marketing team place images, calls to action, and text in modular fields that resize and reorganize themselves to suit any device the reader uses. That’s important not only for the tablets and smartphones they use today, but also for what devices might evolve from them tomorrow.
With its high ROI and nearly unlimited reach, email marketing is too important to leave to outmoded tools. We’re living in the future today, and companies that want to embrace it are already moving to marketing automation for their email campaigns.
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