Email Marketing Automation – How to Take Your ROI to the Next Level

(Updated June 2017)
Is your email-marketing team short-staffed? Are you under constant pressure to increase revenue? If your answer to these questions is “yes,” here’s how using automation for your email-marketing campaigns is a fantastic solution.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a combination of software and strategy that work together to create relevant, personalized emails. In this way, marketing automation strategy can help you convert prospects to customers more efficiently, as well as keep your current customers engaged and happy. When done right, marketing automation can boost a company’s revenue and dramatically increase email-marketing return on investment (ROI).

As an example, let’s say you spend $2,500 on developing the strategy, copy, design, and HTML code for a typical email campaign that gets sent once or twice. If this email is automated and subsequently sent out weekly, the cost is cut significantly to less than $50 per campaign. Not only does automation cut the cost per campaign, but it also frees up your team’s time to focus on your strategy and other high-impact campaigns that have been on your to-do list for months.

An example of one of our favorite email automation success stories at FulcrumTech involved a publishing industry client. We were able to identify a number of manual emails that were perfect for automation. After building out and implementing the auto emails, FulcrumTech generated a savings of over 40 labor hours each week. That time saved was then spent on other high-priority campaigns and optimization activities. As a result, this client achieved dramatic increases in new subscriptions and revenue – from the automations as well as from the additional campaigns that finally could be developed and launched. And those automated workflows continue to run every day, earning revenue over and over again without any additional labor or effort.

The Many Benefits of Marketing Automation

As automation software becomes more affordable and easier to use, more organizations of all sizes are reaping the many benefits of email-marketing automation solutions. In the Lenskold Group’s 2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, for example, 63% of the companies that out-marketed their competitors used email-marketing automation tools. Additionally, 78% of the marketers surveyed in this study credited marketing automation systems as “most responsible” for improving the revenue contribution from their content marketing efforts.

For the Email Marketing Industry Census 2015, Econsultancy asked companies what they perceived as the main benefits of marketing automation. More relevant communication was rated at the top of the benefits, with 78% of respondents choosing this option. Here’s a listing of the benefits cited and the percentage of respondents who selected each option:

  • More relevant communication (78%)
  • Increased customer engagement (76%)
  • More timely communication (72%)
  • More opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell (61%)
  • Saving time (59%)
  • Increased revenue (51%).

7 Types of Automated Emails to Send to Your Subscribers

Marketing automation is the cornerstone for successful nurturing and triggered email campaigns. It’s also an effective tool for managing communications based on engagement with prospects and customers alike. Is your company using automation tools to effectively streamline your email campaigns? The following are some of the most important types of automated emails you should be sending to the prospects and customers on your email list:

  1. Welcome Email

    Designed for new subscribers, welcome emails are among the most opened emails marketers will ever send. For example, compared to promotional emails, we found that welcome emails generate an 86% lift in open rates, 196% lift in unique click rates, and 320% more revenue per email. That’s why it’s so important to invest time and effort into developing a welcome series strategy that will effectively guide prospects and customers through your company’s conversion funnel.

    Click here for information about how to use an automated welcome email series to leverage new subscribers’ interest in your organization. In addition, find out what it takes to create a great welcome email campaign in this previous NewsLever feature: “How to Optimize Your Welcome Email Campaigns for a Big Boost in Revenue.” Plus, check out the following FulcrumTech Get the Click email reviews for good examples of welcome campaigns:

  2. Lead Nurturing Email

    These types of emails follow up with potential customers and are especially useful for supplementing a company’s sales efforts. Lead nurturing email templates and messages are typically short, sent and signed by an individual, and provide timely and useful information about a company’s products/services to guide prospects through the sales cycle. To help increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your lead nurturing email campaigns, you may want to consider combining them with lead scoring. Lead scoring involves determining scores for potential customers (based on their demographic and behavioral data) to prioritize leads for your sales teams and future email marketing emails.

    Click on the following NewsLever articles for information about how to design and implement effective trigger and drip campaigns:

  3. Shopping-Cart Abandonment Email

    If you want to minimize your revenue losses from abandoned online shopping carts, automated shopping-cart recovery emails are the answer. Numerous studies have shown that by sending a series of reminder emails to give cart abandoners a “nudge,” you can recover a significant amount of revenue that otherwise would be lost. As one analysis showed, nearly half of abandoned cart emails are opened and more than one-third of clicked abandoned cart recovery emails convert to a sale.

    Click here for some best practice tips to help you optimize the conversion rate of your shopping-cart recovery emails. Plus, check out the following example of a cart-abandonment email series that was recently featured in our Get the Click email review.

  4. Post-Purchase Transactional Email

    Post-purchase transactional emails are messages that are sent in response to a customer’s actions, such as shipping and delivery confirmations, receipts, and password resets. These emails are sent at a time of high customer engagement. That means customers are expecting, wanting, and possibly even needing the information. In fact, these types of transactional emails are 8 times as likely to be opened compared to promotional emails. In addition, one study showed that average click through rates were 10.4% for transactional emails compared to 3.2% for nontransactional emails.

    So what can your company do to ensure its taking advantage of this huge opportunity of heightened interest in your post-purchase transactional emails? One way is to cross-sell products that your existing customers may be interested in based on their purchasing preferences. For example, you can populate receipts with items purchased by other customers who bought the same item.

    Click here for additional tips on how to get the most out of your post-purchase transactional emails.

  5. Product Feedback Request Email

    Sending a timely product feedback request email is a great way to stay top of mind with customers. Post-purchase product review emails are also a great tool for helping e-commerce companies build credibility for their brand, boost search engine rankings, and drive more sales. That’s because you’re able to use the product reviews collected from satisfied customers in promotional emails and website landing pages to positively influence prospects considering a purchase. For example, this study showed that products with reviews had a conversion rate 12.5% higher than products without reviews. In addition, products with more than 20 review had a conversion rate about 84% higher than products without reviews.

    For some great tips on how to craft winning product review emails that convert, check out this NewsLever feature: “5 Elements of a Successful Product Review Email.”

  6. Invitation Email

    Whether it’s for an event or webinar, this type of email is designed to drive attendance. And the conversion goal is to get recipients to register for the event. Click here to check out an example of an invitation email sent by Bounce Exchange, which we reviewed in FulcrumTech’s Get the Click series.

    Follow-up emails for an invitation email automated series could include confirmation, date reminders as the event draws closer, and a summary of the outcome of the event, such as content slides or fundraising goals attained.

  7. Date-Triggered Email

    Countdown to an event, seasonal purchase or donation reminders, new product releases, service reminders, subscription renewals, and subscribers’ birthdays and anniversaries are some examples of trigger emails based on a date. In addition to providing the perfect opportunity to stay top of mind, this type of email can also play an important nurturing role to encourage future purchases from customers. For a great example of a date-triggered email, check out this one from Drugstore.com. In addition, we reviewed this birthday email from Panera Bread in our Get the Click series.

    Date-triggered emails are also the perfect type of emails for leveraging dynamic content to help make more relevant and personalized campaigns. Click here for some great ideas about how to use dynamic content in your email marketing to drive more opens, clicks, and conversions.

Is your company using automation software to effectively enhance your email-marketing efforts? FulcrumTech can help you answer that question, as well as identify and implement the automation tools that best fit your email marketing needs. Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 and get started today.

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