Email Marketing Automation- Drawing the Line between Robotic and Human
Using email marketing automation software is a move that requires you to understand its benefits and its pitfalls. Email marketing has evolved over the years from being just emails sent to all and sundry to a sophisticated system which is intrinsically tied to the marketing strategies of companies.
Email marketing has progressed, no doubt, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of the automation processes have rendered the human element obsolete. Email marketing is surely a medium which needs to be automated. It has a lot of scope for doing the same. There are various aspects of email marketing that have become completely automated. We don’t even remember the time it wasn’t!
Need for email marketing automation:
The most successful email marketing automation initiative will be an integrated approach. This approach allows the email marketing machinery work, gets more done and allows for a faster turnaround time. Automation needs to be selected in such a manner that you are able to control the entire process even though it may be automated.
Lead management should be incorporated since all leads are not at the same level in the sales cycle. Lead management can be a fully automated process that allows you to focus on closing deals rather than creating the content and offers that need to go out to the various leads at various stages
The important point to remember here is that we need to be smart with the rules that we assign for the automation to work well. Lead scoring is essential and this should not be automated. We need to have a firm grasp of the market, how the customers are reacting to your email campaigns and then assign lead scores. Here marketing metrics play an important role; identify the leads using data to understand their behavior and then design campaigns exclusively for them.
The data angle to email marketing automation:
Data fuels email marketing. Although email is the single most important asset of value for running email campaigns, there are various facets of data that come in handy for email marketing automation processes.
For example, having demographic information about your target audience allows your tool to segment and send out emails to the right audience at the right time. Today, many leading automation tools have the added advantage of processing data and extracting information from it.
In year’s bygone, this used to be a manual process. It took a significant amount of time and resources to crunch data, extract valuable information and apply it to your sending list. Today, data can be directly uploaded onto these platforms. They can also connect with your CRMS and use only specific data you want it to. The next logical step is to have data as an integral part of the platform, decreasing the steps necessary for successful campaign execution.
The advantage to this process is that every step becomes inclusive of all the other processes, allowing for faster campaigns, efficient campaign management. It also gives you flexibility since you don’t have to toggle between various logins.
Giving the Human touch:
Emails are read by a human and not by a robot, so ensure that it is created with a lot of personalization. Email marketing automation should not be used for creating the email. Impersonal emails will surely put off any lead for good, decreasing your chances of a sale and increasing your chances of being marked spam. Carefully thought out content, clear call to actions, personal salutations are some small but powerful personal touches. That does not mean that some mails need be created from scratch.
This is why templates are available. Order confirmations, upgrades, subscription verification and success mails and many more can be created via automation. They are all of course sent out automatically, decreasing the time to send and reach gap, it also minimizes the use of good talent in places that do not need it. Leveraging these mails can also help with increased engagement. Automation should help you in increasing the engagement rates of such mails.
For example, it should be predictive enough to judge the receptive nature of the reader. If the reader takes action on certain elements of your email, the system should recognize it and follow up accordingly. It should be sending out surveys and polls instantly. All of this has to be done after it analyzes data. This is the true use of automation today. All of this requires us to a certain amount of back end work. The inputs that we give based on superior judgment and understanding of the market allows automation to complement human intervention.
Dos and Don’ts:
Never let an email marketing campaign run on its own. There is a lot of work that needs to be done after it is rolled out. Do data analysis from a human perspective, by understanding where your leads are placed and how interested they are in your products and services. Software can only give you data, it is upon us to understand and use it.
Finding the right balance between email marketing automation and a personal touch ensures a successful email campaign. Use email marketing automation where it is an absolute must and only if it makes the job easier. Let the reader know that you have put in the effort to create it and want them to be a part of your client list.
Authentication – Technical standards through which ISPs and other mail gateway administrators can establish the true identity of an email sender
Blacklist – A list of IP addresses believed to send spam
Bounce – A message that is returned to the sender because it was not deliverable
Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) – Controls the design and format of a document written in HTML
Deliverability – The ability of an email message or campaign to reach the intended recipient’s inbox, which is affected by spam filters, client-side filters and junk folders
Delivery Status Notification (DSN) – Also known as “bounce message”, a system that informs the sender of a delivery problem
DNS Records – The database records stored in the domain name system
Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) – A method for email authentication that allows an organization to take responsibility for a message in a way that can be validated by a recipient
Domain Name System – A naming system for computers connected to the Internet or private network
Email Service Provider (ESP) – A company that provides email services, including batch email and email marketing
Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) – A number assigned to each computer or network in order to distinguish each network interface and networked device
Internet Service Provider (ISP) – Sometimes referred to as Internet access provider (IAP), gives customers access to the Internet
ISP Feedback – When the ISP forwards complaints of recipients to the organization that sent the email
List Fatigue – A condition producing diminishing returns from a mailing list whose members are sent too many offers, or too many of the same offers, in too short a period of time
Phishing – Sending email that claims to be from a legitimate organization to trick recipients into providing personal information
Role Accounts – An email account that is associated with a department, office, position or task
Seed Email Accounts – Accounts created by a monitoring service with each of the ISPs
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – An email validation system that is used to prevent spam
Sender Score – An indication of the trustworthiness of an email source
Spam Traps – Old inboxes that ISPs reactivate specifically to trap spammers. Because these addresses have never been registered to receive email, any mail that lands in the trap inbox is labeled as spam
Spoofing – A fraudulent email activity in which the sender address and email header are changed to look as though the email originated from a different source
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