Imagine a time before email sequencing software. Imagine spying on customer accounts and looking for behavioral triggers to send that perfect email. Imagine retyping the whole thing over and over, mailing it and … oh no, is that a typo?
Oh, well, you’ve already missed your drip window. Rewrite. To repeat. Bad mood.
You can’t live like that. The email automation was sent from Marketing Heaven. Without them, drip campaigns and email sequencing would be nearly impossible, no matter what you’re trying to achieve with them. Whether you’re a marketer, lead nurturer, or sales consultant, you know the value of email automation.
However, you can also have too much of a good thing. In your quest for an easier day at work, the constant drop-drop-drop of engaging, relevant information can turn into a barrage of unreliable, logout-inducing talk.
In email marketing, there is a fine line between being annoying and fascinating. This article will help you stay on the right side of that line.
So let’s take full advantage of email sequences and marketing automation by making sure our drip campaigns are segmented, personalized, timed, promotional, and A / B tested. But let’s also make sure that the purpose of the automation technology we’re using is to make sure they are all of these things.
If you try to please everyone, you are not satisfying anyone at all. Without a segmented message strategy, you won’t send email to anyone who cares. Your message will be watered down and the recipient will eventually die of boredom.
Segmentation helps your emails engage, relate, and resonate. It also improves your open and click rates: the open rates for segmented campaigns are on average 14.31% higher than for non-segmented campaigns.
It is natural to immediately think of “demographics”! when you hear the word segmentation. But to get a head start in your email sequences, segmentation needs to go further.
Technology, like a well implemented, widely used CRM system, organizes and segments your contact base. It can automate the whole process of gathering an audience, segmenting them, and sending campaigns.
It can take your segmentation beyond demographics and provide features to help you do this so that you can segment based on:
- Psychography Look at the values, lifestyles, challenges, opinions, and everyday activities of your target audiences to better understand the types of content they want to receive. Collect data via web form questionnaires integrated into CRM systems as well as on-site interviews that are offered in return for freemium content.
- Customer value. Place customers in groups based on the value they bring to the company. Find out if you can up- or cross-sell them.
- Engagement. This is a subset of psychographic segmentation that takes into account how prospects, leads, and customers interact with a brand in drip campaigns. Track open rates, clicks and specific devices used to consume content.
Personalized & personalized
Now that your audience is in clear and tidy segments, you should have a better idea of who you are writing to. They should know what content they want to open and how they want to be addressed. Answer the question, “What do I have to do to get an answer from you?” Understand them, relate to them, and help them figure out where your business fits into their lives.
Personalization goes beyond a name in the subject line. Personalization means responding to individual problems.
Send whatever content recipients are looking for; Give them release notes for features that you know will help them. Personalization means keeping your finger on the pulse of potential customers and using drip campaigns as a constant reminder that you are getting them.
The personalization personalizes drip sequences. Personalizing drip sequences involves sharing case studies from real customers. This shows the value of a product and creates trust.
Depending on your recipients’ priorities, focus on case studies from companies that are most similar to your own. For example, if you have a segment of recipients in the real estate space, send user reviews from that industry. If you have clients from well-known organizations, their names give you credibility.
If you take anything out of this article, let it be like this: quality before quantity.
A drip campaign is just that: it comes in droplets. Your recipient should want more, and the current drop should always refer to the previous one, but you should never give them too much.
Many companies focus on sending a high volume of emails on a regular basis each month. Just no. Open rates start falling when the number of emails sent in a month exceeds 16. Instead of sending marketing emails every day, consider sending high quality emails for just a few days.
For sales process drops, pre-create sequences for different parts of your sales cycle and use workflow automation technology to trigger the sending of these emails based on behavior. For example, e-mails about leaving the shopping cart should be sent automatically every 2-4 days.
Quality sequences have higher open rates than those with quantity, simply because the recipient trusts the email to contain value.
Sales enablement ensures that sales reps are provided with the variety of resources they need to sell – videos, articles, guest posts, product guides, or anything else. Every piece of content you send out should support your sales reps’ conversations with customers at every stage of the customer journey.
Drip campaigns should be built on the basis of moving a lead from one phase to the next. In the reflection phase, for example, potential customers are most likely to compare your product with that of the competition. So the content is based on decks that you developed for competitive comparison.
You don’t need a completely separate drip campaign for sales enablement content. Instead, it should be an extension of your personalization and segmentation practices for email sequences. The topics covered should aim to help leads overcome common objections. It should educate by highlighting the benefits of your product and the ways in which it is directly contributing to the ROI.
A / B tested
How do you know when something is personalized, at the right time, relevant and promotional?
Do A / B tests and optimize email sequences. They collect data around past emails and visualize it to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Drip campaigns are a process; Marketing is a journey. You’ll need to jig and re-jig all the time as audience preferences change.
Here are the key metrics used to measure email and the components that dictate them:
- Opening rate provides insight into who opens your e-mails, when and how. Anything over 15% is considered a good email open rate. If your rate is lower, then it’s time to analyze your subject line strategies.
- Click rate shows you how engaging your text is, how clear your direction is, and how enticing your call-to-action is. Again, more than 15% is a healthy CTR.
- Response rate enables you to analyze how actionable your CTA is and whether your emails are engaging enough for someone to reply to. There is no measure of response rate; it depends on whether you want to be answered.
- Conversion rate over time is a better measure than the conversion rate of individual emails. If your recent emails didn’t have a lot of traffic, you may have convinced your subscribers to buy early. But if your last email had too much traffic, maybe your message wasn’t clear enough.
- Unsubscribe rate is a big one, and unfortunately it’s always bad news. If too many users unsubscribe from your email, you are sending too often. The closer to 0 unsubscribes, the better.
* * *
Email automation is designed to make your work life easier. The problem is, technology has advanced to the point where it has become too simple.
We mustn’t lose our human touch; we must not over-automate ourselves to the point of irrelevance and deregistration. Segmentation, personalization, timing and testing are necessary.
Most of all … stay real.
More resources on email sequencing
Here’s how to build a targeted email list of subscribers ready to buy from you
What if your email metrics are wrong: who is really clicking on your email?
Are Brands Using Email and Marketing Automation Effectively?