Email marketing and marketing automation are connected, like Tiger Woods and his golf club. Now, Tiger Woods could probably use a pool cue to hit a golf ball and do better than most of us, but having the right tool for the job does make a substantial difference – even to his game. To be clear, in this metaphor, Tiger is Email Marketing, and his golf club is Marketing Automation. For great Email Marketing to make those hole-in-one shots, it needs the right tool to get the ball on the green.* The two combined is a powerfully rewarding combination.
*Your customers are the little spiky bits of grass on the green.
Start at the Beginning: Great Email Marketing
Leaving the land of awkward sports metaphors, a great email marketing campaign will get you far. When done right, you’ll increase sales, leads and website traffic, build brand loyalty, and develop relationships with customers who will come back (with their friends) again and again. The trouble is, it’s a lot of work to do right.
Truly great email marketing offers something of value – or at least of interest – to the right people, at the right time. We worked with a marriage counselor once who sent out free marriage tips in a campaign to buy his new book, and it not only worked to increase his fan base (friends were forwarding emails to friends, wives were forwarding them to their husbands, mothers to their daughters, etc.), but his client base as well (not to mention building momentum for his book sale).
From there, his success relied on responding quickly and efficiently to requests for more information. Problem was: He was a one-man operation. He couldn’t be online every second of the day to answer questions and close deals. Sound familiar? That is where email automation comes in, helping you close the deal every time, all the time.
Timely & Relevant Engagement
At its core, automated marketing is about using all of the tools at your disposal to help people find the solutions to their problems faster and more easily. Marketing automation uses your web analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) system, and email marketing to create personalized engagement that meets your customers wherever they are in the buying cycle, and leads them through to your sales team using multiple channels. In plain English, marketing automation meets your customers where they are, responds according to what they’ve been looking at, and delivers what they’ve been looking for.
Only once customers are ready to buy does a good automated marketing program deliver them to your sales team. But, the journey doesn’t end there. New customers take the most effort to bring in, but returning customers need frequent stimuli to stay engaged as well. Marketing automation does that too.
If you'd like to learn how to get better leads in less time, check out our previous post.
While You Get Other Things Done
If the key to success is time management (we think it is), then how you spend your time is the most important decision you make in a day. Email marketing without automation is time consuming. You have to hand-tweak your email blasts to hit your targets at the right time with the right message, or leave it to chance. Neither is a good option. However, with automated marketing, you can create multi-stage campaigns that respond instantly to prospects, nurturing them through the sales cycle while you focus on other important parts of your business.