In the old days of email marketing, batch and blast was the most effective, not to mention the only, way to reach thousands of contacts at once. It was a reliable method, but it’s no longer as practical or beneficial. Contacts are inundated constantly with messages and ads – whether it’s in their inboxes, on social channels or the Web. Impersonal, irrelevant messages will receive a quick delete without a second thought.
Because buyers today are more than 50 percent through the buying cycle before they speak with a sales rep, marketing messages must be targeted and personalized to each buyer’s specific needs and interests. If you find that you are still preparing and sending batch and blast emails for the vast majority of your marketing communications, you must make a move to new approaches.
It’s time for marketers to get their email programs organized, and the best way to do this is to make the most out of your marketing automation solution. Marketers today should be sending one-off emails only when necessary and setting up automated programs for virtually everything else. Not only is this a huge time saver for marketers, it also ensures that your messages will stand out from the rest. Most importantly, it will drive more revenue for your business.
Check out these three areas where you can get more organized, and more efficient:
1) Transactional/Triggered Messages. This is where marketers can really use the powers of marketing automation. These types of messages can be triggered emails like event registration confirmation, white paper download, or more personalized communications like browse abandonment or a follow-up to a video viewed. Marketing automation solutions allow for marketers to track the Web behaviors of site visitors — providing valuable information on that buyer’s interests. With that information, automation allows messages to be delivered based specifically on that contact’s Web behavior.
These triggered messages do a great job of keeping your brand top of mind as each individual gets closer to a purchase decision. These are processes that would be impossible to perform manually – one Silverpop client has set up 24 triggered and transactional programs, sending more than 50 unique automated mailings each day. Plus, these messages can be automatically tailored with dynamic content so that each message is personalized with any database or rule-based content. Once marketers understand the power of triggered messages, they will wonder how they ever managed without this important capability.
2) Lifecycle Programs. Lifecycle programs are essential to any effective marketing department. These programs include welcome or onboarding programs, nurture programs or reactivation programs for inactive subscribers. The best part about any of these programs is that you can create one for a recipient at any point in the buying cycle – whether it’s their first interaction with your company or if they are in the final stages of their buying decision. They can even be incorporated for your current customer base – use these types of programs to upsell or cross-sell additional products or services. Every time a contact interacts with your brand across any channel, that behavior will be added to their profile in your database – allowing you to place them into a nurture that’s specific to their interests. Once the sale has taken place, marketing can also play a continuing role in helping their support and services organizations by designing and implementing automated onboarding programs.
Each time they take a certain action, whether it’s downloading a white paper through a newsletter or registering for a Webinar, you have more information about that contact’s needs and interests. With each additional interaction, you’re able to deliver more relevant, personalized messages that meet each customer’s needs with automation. For the contact that downloaded that white paper? Automation drops him or her into a nurture program specifically designed for individuals who have consumed that piece of content. You can even design recycling programs to reengage those clients who are not yet ready to buy, and make this type of program available for sales reps to initiate from their CRM system.
3) Promotions. Some emails will remain as one-off sends. These include promotional emails like monthly newsletters or one-time offers. Although these messages aren’t part of a larger program or nurture, they are definitely areas where you can gather more information about your customers and prospects. To make these initiatives as efficient as possible, consider using dynamic content, personalization and even content scrape processes. This will allow you to send many different versions of your promotional communications, be much more relevant to the recipient, and increase your production capabilities. Silverpop clients have been able to dramatically increase the effectiveness of their newsletters by using these capabilities, sometimes reducing newsletter processes from seven hours to 15 minutes!
So if you’re overwhelmed by all of your one-off batch and blast email to-dos, take time to step back, organize your communications into the three categories described above, and begin one-by-one re-architecting your static emails using rule-based communications that can be automatically sent based on the specific needs of your prospects and customers. You’ll free up production time and get better results.
1) Tip sheet: 10 Ways to Make the Case for Marketing Automation
2) Blog post: The Evolution of Marketing Automation (Video)
3) Blog post: 4 Signs It’s Time to Graduate from Your Entry-Level Email Marketing Provider