Are you in charge of digital marketing for your business? If so, you are lucky to deal with the most dynamic and technology-driven part of the marketing world. To keep pace with the demands of the industry, you should have enough time for professional development, creative experiments, and the introduction of innovations.

One of the best ways to carve out time is to automate as many processes as you can and minimize your routine. Every branch of digital marketing offers opportunities for automation. Where to start? I suggest starting with email marketing.

Email remains the main customer communication channel for online businesses. That’s why automating your email campaigns can significantly streamline your lead generation, nurturing, and conversion processes. However, managing email marketing automation can in itself become a challenge, as no technology works without a good strategy.

I analyzed the experience of online businesses that achieved remarkable marketing ROI. For many of them, a smart combination of email automation and traffic generation strategies became the key to success. When done thoughtfully, email automation provides a shortcut between acquiring a new lead and getting them to complete a purchase.

Email Marketing Automation in Action

What can you count on when you tap into email marketing automation? How exactly does it help generate and convert leads?

Email marketing automation allows making every message more personal, on-time and relevant. This is where the key advantage lies for both businesses and customers. Thus, the right approach to communication as a whole helps you convert leads into loyal customers, as every single message creates new sales opportunities.
Round-the-Clock Lead Generation

People get into your email list via newsletter signups and account creation forms. To encourage sign-ups, adopt such best practices as adding clear value propositions, lead magnets, and first-purchase special offers.

Make the opt-in process as easy as possible. Providing name and email should be enough to submit the subscription form. However, when it comes to choosing between single opt-in and double opt-in, it’s better to bet on the latter. Although it requires additional commitment from a potential subscriber, it’s a way to assure that your email marketing aims the right audience.

Customer Lifecycle Automation

Collecting data during customer lifetime expands the power of automation. Data feeds from the website, CRM and other sources enrich customer profiles in your email automation platform. Every new piece of meaningful data uncovers new opportunities for segmentation and personalization.

This also means that you can understand what stage of customer lifecycle each person goes through, and take into account such important KPIs as purchase frequency and average purchase value. Segment your customers based on these parameters and send more relevant messages to improve customer LTV.

Email marketing automation systems also can identify inactive subscribers who stopped opening messages. You can set conditions to start a re-engagement campaign after a certain time of customer inactivity.

Creating Sales Opportunities in Emails

Transactional email messages have the greatest potential for boosting sales. They get into inboxes right after a customer has taken an action on your website or in emails. At such moments, people expect you to contact them, hence the engagement rate for transactional messages is the highest.

Among the proven techniques that raise conversion rates for such emails are branding, adding personal product recommendations and banners that announce special offers.

Upselling and cross-selling techniques also work great in transactional emails. When you add a bit of marketing content to shipping notifications, account updates, order confirmations, receipts, these emails start generating additional sales. Remember to keep the transactional content first and primary in the email body and subject line in order to comply with regulations.

Automated cart abandonment emails are known to boost sales and improve the ROI. According to SalesСycle, cart abandonment emails boast open rates of more than 40% with conversion rates of up to 3%, which is greater than for many other conventional email campaigns. Whatever distracts a potential customer from completing a purchase online, you can bring them back with a timely, relevant, and personalized offer.

Software that Bridges Expectations and Abilities

Unless you hire an email marketing agency for a quick launch, you would probably start email marketing automation with the basics and then gradually develop and extend your strategy.

First, you’ll have to choose a marketing automation platform. For instance, if you start with the cheapest basic solution, later you’ll have to jump to a more powerful one. Each time you change your email service provider, you’ll inevitably experience time losses and struggle with new interfaces and logic. Alternatively, you’ll have to integrate other single-purpose pieces of software with your basic solution. In this case, every new integration will make it more and more difficult to manage your marketing software toolset.

It is better to choose a solution with a comprehensive set of capabilities that offers an easy start and allows activating more and more sophisticated features as you go. Consider several solutions for email marketing automation, such as eSputnik or Emarsys, and choose one that fits your budget.

Automation for Timesaving, People for Creativity

The Internet has a lot of useful information on how you can improve your email marketing: best practices, examples of killer email marketing campaigns, and sales-boosting email marketing tricks. Still, it’s the unique knowledge you have about your business that gives you the major advantage. Applying this knowledge when making decisions is your way to stand out.

However, to focus on the things that really matter you should first get rid of routine that takes too much time and energy. Automation is what can make your marketing work smarter. It optimizes your day-to-day work and allows time for creativity and strategic planning.