Email marketing is a familiar tool that’s easy-to-use, effective and provides a tremendous return-on-investment. Every $1 spent on email results in $40 of revenue according to Campaign Monitor. Virtually 100% of business-to-business prospects have an email address, which makes email great for staying in touch with contacts, nurturing prospects and increasing interest in your company’s products and services.
Despite the various upsides to email, it is really just a batch and blast tool. Everyone usually gets exactly the same content – even though their needs and interests may be different. The result is that prospects get content that isn’t relevant to them – not the right time, nor the right content – which may cause prospects to disengage, or worse – unsubscribe. So while email marketing is powerful, it could use a boost of automation.
Marketing automation builds on basic email marketing by providing a means to deliver mass customization of your messages to reach the right person, at the right time and to track the results. The ability to build emails and landing pages, quickly craft campaigns and automate the management of leads are just some of the capabilities provided. You can also track the activities of prospects as they visit your site, when they respond to an email, and any other page visits that happen (even when not driven from an email), which is something that email cannot do. It makes it easier to further engage prospects with timely, triggered and targeted communications, resulting in a 53% higher conversion rate than simple email marketing.
Marketing automation does cost more than simple email marketing, but it makes marketing far more efficient and provides prospects and customers with a much better customer experience. There is a learning curve, but you can start simply and build sophistication as you learn to effectively leverage the tools. In the end, the gains are worth it.
Marketing automation gives a detailed look into the actions of prospects and their interests. This data helps identify prospects that are active and increases the probability of moving a prospect through to a successful sale by shaping the content they receive based on their activity and interest. Detailed analytics, lead scoring, real-time lead alerts and integration with CRM keep sales informed so they know when best to contact the prospect. Advantages of successful use include an increase of flexibility, productivity, measurability and effectiveness.
Email marketing can deliver information on which emails are opened by a prospect, but there is not much visibility beyond that. Marketing automation goes much further by tracking email opens and the pages that a prospect visits at any time, not just from the email. Every visit by prospect, assets downloaded, form fills, webinars attended and AdWords activity is accessible data. In short, you get a full digital biography and history of the prospect, which email alone does not do.
Email marketing can automatically respond to form fills, but after that, the prospect has to be reentered into an outbound email whenever you want them to be contacted again. With marketing automation, it is possible to set up automatic responses, put the prospect in a drip or nurture campaign, send follow up emails, respond to particular events like visits to a specific page, automatically have those emails come from the sales person, and add the prospect to the CRM system. This takes out a lot of manual work by the sales and marketing teams, by streamlining and simplifying work.
As expectations advance, so should your marketing game. Email marketing is a proven capability. Marketing automation makes email far more effective and brings tremendous benefits. If you want real results, up your effort. Here are a few tips to get you on your way:
The future isn’t optional. It is important to stay relevant with technology in order to gain a competitive advantage in today’s market.