With an ever-expanding catalog of marketing tools at your disposal, it can be incredibly overwhelming to imagine the day-to-day requirements to manage a successful marketing campaign. Thankfully, as the industry evolves, so has our ability to manage multiple marketing functions at once.
A relatively new term to the business development lexicon is “marketing automation.” When most hear automation, they think robots. In a sense, marketing automation can mimic the repetitions of menial tasks that some robots may be responsible for on an assembly line.
Using email marketing to build your relationships
We all visit our email inbox as often as we visit the coffee pot each morning. As such, it’s a great place to communicate with your clients and prospects regularly and without bothering them. Email is the perfect place to share news and exciting tidbits about your business and why it is worthy of the reader’s new or continued patronage.
The main ingredient in a successful email campaign, however, requires some work to attain. You must have email addresses. You should have a repository of email addresses for past clients and prospects and it should be maintained and updated regularly.
It may surprise you to hear that your email list is one of the most important assets in your company. Filling this repository should be the primary goal of automated marketing. Many companies opt for a full-service marketing agency to cultivate a healthy list of email contacts. Your business will see exponential growth with an ever-growing list of qualified prospects generated, nurtured, and converted by your marketing automations.
In addition to email addresses you already have, many websites use email address acquisition tools to offer something of value to their visitor in exchange for that person’s email address. Most often, professional service companies offer discounted introductory services, an informative whitepaper, or a contest entry in exchange for an email address. These calls-to-action are labeled as transitional.
A transitional call-to-action provides a prospective client the opportunity to commit an interest in your services without committing to speaking to someone. In the modern marketplace, with the options that abound, an increasing number of professional service shoppers elect to survey multiple companies and websites to make a better spending decision. By providing their email address, the prospect transitions into the lead nurturing phase of your sales funnel and is prepared to receive your email communications.
TIP: Not sure about email automation? Read our explainer: What Is Email Marketing Automation?
Welcome them warmly
Email automation has been around for some time and you are likely the recipient of automated emails nearly every day. Thanks to user-friendly email campaign management tools like Constant Contact, your new prospects can hear directly from you, instantaneously, without any additional action required on your part.
Most times you’ve provided your email address to a company online, you check your inbox to see a “Welcome” message. No, there is not a person in that company tasked with manually sending that email each time the bell rings. Using Constant Contact email automation, the company created an automated welcome email to be sent each time someone submits a new email address to their website.
Welcome emails aren’t the only ways to make a good impression on your new email contact. Drip campaigns are proven to be highly efficient in converting leads, as they keep your company in front of your prospect’s mind all the way through their purchase decision.
A steady drip
A drip email is just what it sounds like, like a steady drip from the faucet. You can set a number of emails to be delivered to your new prospect after the welcome email depending on what specific action they take on your website.
For example, if a prospective client places their email in a form requesting additional information on “small business accounting services,” this will trigger a series of emails sent to that person and referencing content related to small business accounting services. Whereas, if the prospect wants information on “tax preparation,” they would be siphoned into a drip campaign catered to tax prep advice and best practices.
As one of the larger Constant Contact Certified Solution Providers, Solutions for Growth has deep expertise as an email marketing agency to develop automated email programs. These emails should focus on different positive benefits of working with your company and should be set to deliver every few days to a week, depending on how long your clients’ decisions usually take and how many emails you have set to deliver.
The goal of these email campaigns together is to steadily increase interest and trust in your brand so that you will be top-of-mind at decision time. As you get further into your drip campaign, become more direct with your calls-to-action to increase conversions (in this case, converting a prospect to an actual paying client).
One of the more useful tools in organizing your automated marketing and email campaigns is email list segmentation.
You likely have a list of email addresses that don’t belong to any group in particular, or maybe they belong to multiple, like tax prep, small business accounting, and financial advisory services.
List segmentation allows you to move email lists into categories or subcategories, according to the receiver’s behavior. By clicking a link within your email related to topic A, their email will be added to the list designated for further communications regarding topic A. This type of segmentation is called click segmentation.
By dividing your email lists into categories and even subcategories, your company will be able to more accurately develop messaging to target those subcategories. As an example, email recipients that click on a link for a personal injury settlement case study have exhibited interest in personal injury settlements. Their emails should be added to a list specifically designated for personal injury related communications like recent results and articles with helpful tips. Prospects that feel like their needs are personally connected to your brand will be far more likely to select your company when it comes to their purchasing decision.
Amidst all of the noise that can surround a thoroughly developed marketing strategy, there are an increasing number of ways to lighten the load on your marketing team and increase the effectiveness of their time and talents.
In addition to the aforementioned email automations, Constant Contact offers other automated features to streamline your marketing workflow.
Resends are a simple way to send again email communications to those who did not open the email the first time. Since we know this user did not open the email, the content can remain the same. This provides a second chance to make a positive impression on the prospect with the simple click of a button.
The social networks
Each social network provides its own benefits and its own drawbacks. Together, the networks can cast a wide net of influence for your brand in the community. However, the management of several social networks can be a menial and time-consuming operation. For many businesses though, scheduling posts ahead of time can minimize the day-to-day of running multiple networks.
Constant Contact offers social media automation tools by allowing you to create a posting schedule for multiple networks ahead of time. This allows you to focus less on creating and curating social media content and more on engaging with your audience and creating connections.
Just the beginning
With each passing year, new technologies come along to surprise us, and often to relieve us of inefficiencies in the workplace. Marketing automation is no different. The increasing commitment to digital marketing by smart companies worldwide has fostered an environment of innovation that leads to new business.
Processes are continuing to be simplified and workflows will only become more automated over time. It is important now to begin preparing your professional service company for the future of marketing. Streamlining your digital strategy will only serve to increase your return on investment and build your brand with consistency.