Using marketing automation to create successful email programs in 2017
Is marketing automation part of your email strategy? Columnist Scott Heimes explains how to choose the marketing automation tool that's right for your email program and how to maximize the data it produces.
Marketing automation technology is designed to automate portions of the marketing process and provide data that helps marketers and brands determine who to target across multiple outreach methods. But it’s not just a tool; marketers use automation technology to strategize and implement business decisions.
When using marketing automation platforms to maximize email efforts, marketers need to choose the correct tool with the proper features and use the data produced to its greatest potential. Once marketers are able to gain insight into how recipients are engaging with their brand through marketing automation, alongside the insight gained from the email program, the user’s experience is significantly improved.
So, how can you use marketing automation to create an effective email program? I’ll walk you through some basic steps, from choosing a marketing automation tool that works for your business to using the data it produces to bring you actionable insights.
Choosing the right platform
There are certain considerations to take into account when choosing a marketing automation tool. When searching for the right platform, marketers need to ensure it allows them to segment the data, including sessions, percentage of new sessions, bounce rates and engagement rates, which are relevant to the success of the program.
After choosing the best tool, marketers should maximize the data it produces in tandem with the program’s raw data.
Properly using the data
To be successful, every email marketing program requires raw data to produce actionable insights. Email service providers provide marketers access to that data. Marketing automation tools, however, provide insight into the recipients’ interactions with the brand.
Therefore, when marketers have the ability to use those raw data insights, alongside recipients’ interactions at all touch points, they are able to expand the recipients’ spectrum of interaction.
For example, if a brand sees that a user doesn’t open their emails but makes purchases soon after the message is received, they obviously used the email as a reminder to interact with the brand. But inbox filters don’t understand this, because if the user never interacts with an email, they will likely be removed from the recipient list. This means you risk losing a potential customer.
Inbox filters base most decisions on direct interactions with an email. But when deciding to fully remove a user from a recipient list versus slowly sunsetting them off a list, additional information around brand interaction generated through marketing automation is crucial to making an informed decision.
The future of marketing automation
Automation of marketing processes will continue to grow because the tools provide relevant insights into granular user interaction with a brand — just through the email relationship. Marketing automation tools that provide user interaction data, as well as the recipients’ impression of the brand, will continue to increase in popularity because the tools help marketers understand who to target with their email programs.
This is why developing a targeting strategy is best optimized through a close relationship between email stats and the other website stats, such as visits and conversions, found in many marketing automation platforms.
If you haven’t taken advantage of marketing automation already, be sure to implement the tips above to help you create a successful email program for your business this year and beyond.