There is no denying it – automated email marketing is invaluable to businesses.
In 2019 alone, there were 3.9 billion global email users (with the number projected to skyrocket to 4.3 billion by 2023). Need more proof of the power of email? According to Oberlo, a business can expect a $42 return for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Email marketing, especially when automated, allows a company to maintain and develop relationships with new and existing customers. Thanks to GoPromotional, a leader in promotional marketing visions, both small and large businesses can follow this guide to guarantee success with their next email marketing campaign.
Segment Your Customers
The overall goal of automated email marketing is to reach as many customers as possible, while still making each and every customer feel valued. Segmenting your customer email list allows you to group customers by different data points, such as their demographics (age, location, etc.), to better personalize each message they receive.
For example, customers on the east coast during winter months may view a promotional email on pools and hot tubs as simply SPAM mail – or completely irrelevant to their life. However, customers that live in warmer locations year-round may view that email differently. There are many ways to slice and dice your customer list and doing so allows your company to directly communicate to customers, while ensuring every email is relevant to their life.
“Automated” does not mean “without thought”. Make sure to keep customers and their wants and needs at the center of any automated email marketing campaign.
Get to Know Your Customers
Segmenting customers based on demographic information is helpful but can also be taken a step further. Truly understanding your customers as a business means understanding how each customer interacts with your business.
Tracking how customers navigate your website, for example, can help you understand your customers’ journey before they purchase a single product from you. What pages are customers visiting most? How long are they staying on each page? Is there a specific page or product they seem to visit most?
Use this information to further customize both your customer segments and email marketing content. Highlight the products or pages they visit most or send a promotional code for that product they have been eyeing for weeks.
Branding is Boss
Next, it is time to think about what your emails look like. How can your business ensure customers always know the email is coming from you? Consider these tips:
- Customize your email layout and design
- Include your logo
- Include your company name
- Create a standard email header or footer
- Select a consistent color palette and fonts
Your company likely has some of this already in place! Select colors, fonts, and imagery similar to what you have in store or on your website. Emails with consistent branding build brand recognition, so customers easily recognize your company’s emails from all the rest.
Test for Results
As with any initiative, automated email marketing efforts can never guarantee success without regular testing and feedback. Superior marketing managers and salespeople understand the importance of regular and consistent testing and feedback.
Instead of sending only one type of email at a time, consider sending multiple versions of the same email to understand which gets the most traction. If you plan to send a sale-related email to a segment of customers, for example, try using two different subject lines (“Check out this sale!” versus “All items – 20% off!”). Which email was opened more often? Which generated more visits to your site or more purchases during the sale period?
Customer needs and expectations change, and the type of promotional emails they want to receive will change, too. This kind of testing not only allows you to see which automated emails work better, but regular testing gets you even closer to understanding your customers over time.
Play with Timing
Unfortunately, there is no black and white “best time” to send automated promotional emails. Although we wish there was a perfect formula, the best time varies from business to business and customer to customer.
Similar to testing different email structures and subject lines, also test the timing of your automated emails. Do your customers open more emails at 9AM on a Sunday or 9PM on a Friday? Track email open rates to understand which segments of your customer list respond successfully at different times.
Email timing is just another data point that gets you closer to understanding the different segments and demographics of your customer list.
Automated email marketing really comes down to knowing your customers and having the data to back it up. Individualizing their experience – from subject lines and content to timing and branding – will result in developing longer, more meaningful and successful customer relationships.
The world is reading emails and shopping online now more than ever, so use these tips as a launching pad for your business’s next great email marketing effort.