Five steps to email marketing automation success

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Setting up automatic emails to go out in response to a specific customer behaviour, or dates, means that customers receive highly targeted communications.

Years ago, all of this would have to be done manually, but now email marketing platforms are so remarkably sophisticated, they can literally save any business owner hours and hours of time.

When dotmailer launched back in 1999, it was fairly innovative for any retailer to send out an email or even have a database of customer email addresses. Now ecommerce customers are deluged daily with email newsletters, offers and communications so that only the very best and most relevant hit the mark.

By setting up an automated system of targeted emails to your customers, every business can see a massive return on the investment time it takes to set it up.

Here’s my top five best tips to really make the most out of marketing automation.

1) Start small

The best tip that we give our customers is to start small. Do not try to set up automated emails for every single variation of customer behavior or stage of the sales funnel that you can think of.

Start with one or two simple emails targeting, perhaps, shopping basket abandonment or a voucher code on a customer’s birthday, and test the results before you create any more emails.

Set something new up every week or every month, by the end of the year you will have a sophisticated program which will be the envy of all your competitors.

2)Identify your business problems

Take a good look at your analytics and statistics and decide what key problems you would like to target. Do you have a high percentage of abandoned baskets, or do you have a large proportion of customers who haven’t opened an email for more than six months?

Work out which problem you want to solve and go from there.

3)Understand your customer lifecycle of purchase

Your customers’ relationship with your business and your products is totally unique to you. You must understand this customer lifecycle in order to establish the correct key trigger points for marketing automation.

Questions to consider are: how often do customers purchase from your website, do they repeat purchase one product or many complementary products, how often do customers visit your website, for example.

4)Really think about the email content

Once you’ve set up the automation system and decided on the correct segments, you need to think about getting the content right.

Every business already has existing marketing communications content that you can dip into but consider your type of customer, the business tone of voice and getting the right sales pitch.

Test, test and test again to find out which email content gets you the best results.

5)Measure the results – regularly

Of course, any marketing activity should be set up with clear objectives and goals which can be measurable. In reality, this is often easier said than done, especially when you are a small business.

But it is really important to work out the increase in sales, once you have completed a test phase.  Always look at improving your email communications but remember to test that your conversions are going up and not down!


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