The role of email marketing and automation within your customer journey
A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute revealed 87% of marketers use email marketing to disseminate their content. And for good reason: email usage is pretty much ubiquitous. In a Statista poll, an average 75% of internet users aged between 16 and 75 sent and received emails in the week prior to the survey.
So what’s the issue?
Too. Many. Emails.
Badly thought-out campaigns, a lack of segmentation or relevance and a disconnected customer journey is the fastest way to make your audience reach for the unsubscribe link.
So how can you use email to create a great customer experience, and not a dismal one?
In marketing, automation is a cover term for managing processes automatically across multiple campaigns and channels. Effectively, automation series are triggered based on a user’s actions or behaviour, meaning you’ll be delivering the right message at the right time, and, if you’re thinking omnichannel, it’ll be on the right channel too.
Why is marketing automation so important?
Simply, because it supports users throughout their journey. People don’t like waiting around, and therefore it’s important that you deliver the right message when the user needs it, based on their behaviour. For example, let’s take a B2B scenario – a user has just submitted a form on your website, enquiring about your service, and they’ve also enquired with 5 other businesses. You want to get to them first, and therefore a welcome series that triggers confirmation of their enquiry and introduces them to the brand is perfect.
Automation technology is essential for building strong marketing teams as well as amazing customer experiences. Simplifying tasks saves teams time and money, allowing them to focus on creativity.
So what automations should you be delivering? We’ve outlined the most popular ones below.
5 key automations to deliver CX success:
- Welcome programme – also known as a welcome series, this occurs after a user first submits their email address, makes a purchase, signs up for a newsletter, enters a competition or completes an enquiry form. A welcome series is typically made up of a string of one or more automated messages and is the perfect opportunity to make a good first impression.
- Nurture campaigns – often referred to as a ‘lead nurture series’, this is a series of emails that goes to a user if they’ve submitted an enquiry form but haven’t become a customer within a certain period of time. The purpose of this series is to get them back to picking up a conversation with the sales team. A nurture series works perfectly with contact scoring and warming contacts up through the scores (from cold to red hot) with a series of communications.
- Re-engagement – use these to target those people who bought from you in the past but whose interest has waned. The platform should make it easy to divide your database into personas, including those who are ‘lapsed’ customers.
- ‘Helpful’ automations – these are your ‘back in stock’ / ‘reminder of appointment’ / ‘abandoned cart’ automations. Useful, and now expected as standard, so make sure you get these in.
- Post purchase – a successful post-purchase sequence thanks the buyer for their purchase, then sends follow ups to help them use the product or service for as long as possible. A learning series, regular check ins and upsell messages are all examples.