By Bob Milliken
Are your customers abandoning their cart without making a purchase?
Do you have a fantastic welcome email yet still have low conversion rates?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then it may be time to evaluate your email automation process.
But 1st, just exactly what is an email automation process?
Mail Chimp defines email automation as “a way to create emails that reach the right audience with the right message at the right time – without doing the work every time”. Nicely said!
We use email automation to plan, coordinate, manage and measure all our marketing campaigns, both online and offline, and would be lost without it.
Magic happens when you combine the incredible reach of email with the power of automation!
It’s a proven fact. It usually takes 6-8 “touches” to generate a viable lead that will covert. That’s an LOT of emails to write, schedule, distribute and follow-up on if you were doing this process manually. Imagine the time you would need to do all of this with an email list as small as 50 contacts.
Most small business owners that I know are too busy running their business to even contemplate doing this, let alone actually doing it, resulting in massive lost sales opportunities.
An autoresponder service simplifies the delivery of your emails. Just choose the time and date you want to deliver the message, press GO, and you’re done. It’s that easy.
Of course you still have to write the emails. Sorry.
The key to keeping making all of this work without getting complicated is to map out a strategy. What will be your topic this month, who will you be targeting, what will be your offer (information, product, service, event,…?). Once you have all of this defined you can write the content.
Like most things in life, marketing is a process and the better designed it is the better the results will be. Once you have the process down pat, marketing automation will relieve you of the pressure of having to do start over every time and give you the freedom to dream of new ways to grow your business.
Knowing what’s working and what’s not is a cornerstone of any good marketing process.
Let’s not stop there. Knowing what’s working and what’s not is a cornerstone of any good marketing process. In my opinion, there are three key pieces of information that you should always have at your fingertips. Make this a priority and your business will love you for it.
The first thing is to look at your opt-in stats; click through rates and unsubscribes in particular. The click through rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in a given email. If your visitors are not even opening your emails something is not working. Likely your subject line needs a tune-up. Use a subject line grader to guide through this all-important step. I use email subject line grader and will not use a subject line that scores less than 99.
Unsubscribes are annoying, but they are a consequence of this form of marketing. Unsubscribes are not a serious problem until there is a spike on a certain email suggesting there is something your audience does not like with the subject line, the content, or the offer. Find and rework this email until you get it right.
Secondly, you’ll want to look at your opt-in conversion rates. This is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as filling out a lead generation form or purchasing a product. if your campaigns are not converting visitors into sales this too is a serious problem that needs your attention. Play around with your lead magnets, opt-in forms and pages, the placement of forms, the content to see if you can get that percentage to go up. Most auto-responder services give you the ability to split test your forms and pages.
And thirdly, pay attention to the bounce rate. This is the percentage of your total emails sent that could not be successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox. There are two kinds of bounces to track: “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.
Soft bounces are the result of a temporary problem with a valid email address, such as a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server, you should resend the email at a later time.
On the other hand, Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and these emails will never be successfully delivered. These should be removed from your list immediately.
In case you’re still not sure if marketing automation is for you, here are four other telltale signs that suggest you could benefit from this powerful tool.
- Your leads are being handled inconsistently.
- Your sales process is not well-defined.
- Your business isn’t retaining customers.
- You or your team are responding to enquiries manually.
For expert advice on marketing automation I invite you to join me in a free 60 minute consultation at Bit.ly/SimplifyYourMarketing, and we can talk about it