Guest Post by: Alessandra Gyben, GreenRope.
Email marketing is still the most effective way to reach and convert your target market. According to this study we saw on SocialMediaToday, every $1 spent on email marketing generates $38 dollars in revenue! That being said, the same study revealed that personalized emails improve click-through rate by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%, plus a 50% increase in email revenues for trigger-based programs. Overall, we’d say email marketing, and more specifically, personalized and automated emails see the most significant ROI.
In order to send personalized and automated emails, you need two things: marketing automation and CRM. CRM provides your team with a plethora of contact data to better personalize your messaging, while marketing automation gives you the power to trigger automated messages based on actions and behaviors. Together, these two give you the power to significantly improve your email marketing strategy.
CRM (customer relationship management) is at the core of any great business process. A CRM is both a technology and a strategy for developing and managing your client relationships. It houses data about your contacts that you can use to segment and personalize your email messages. CRM is your overarching data management system, but must be synced with marketing automation if you want to use that data effectively for your marketing efforts.
Marketing automation is the tool (and strategy) that helps you systemize and automate your marketing efforts based on specific predetermined triggers. It’s important that your marketing automation be connected with your CRM, so you can easily use the data from your CRM to personalize your automated correspondence.
Integrated platforms that offer both CRM and marketing automation out of the box will give you the most bang for your buck. Plus, integrated systems mean ONE database. One integrated solution helps you better manage your data and makes sure it’s up to date across departments.
Another tool necessary for better email marketing is of course, an email validation service. Data plays a key role in email marketing success, and as the old saying goes, “you get out what you put in.”
Now, that we’ve established the core tools you will need for successful email marketing, let’s dive into some best practices on how to use the two to improve your results!
CRM stores a plethora of data about your contacts. You can use that data to send highly personalized messages to your leads and customers. Personalizing emails results in higher read and click through rates.
For example, location is a great data point to help you send tailored content to your audience. A contact living in the US might receive different messaging than someone living outside the US, for example. You can segment even further using city, state, urban, rural, etc. Each one of these segments presents an opportunity for you to tailor the content and make it more relevant to the recipient.
Another example of a useful data point is gender. If you send out a newsletter, you may want to send specific content to each segment as it relates to their gender. Think about how a retailer or ecommerce store might use this.
If you don't have this information from your customers, consider supplementing your data with additional third-party customer demographic Email Intelligence data.
Great marketing is effective because it accurately targets the right audience. However, how do you really know who the ‘right’ audience is without data? Use your CRM to identify trends within your database and develop specific buyer personas to help you personalize your email campaigns.
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal clients. Start by creating 3-5 groups, each representing a different type of customer. What pain points does each group experience? How does each use your product or service? Do they fall into different job titles, industries, etc.? Use as much data as possible to develop in depth customer profiles.
Marketing automation helps to automate otherwise manual tasks. While increasing overall efficiency within an organization, it also helps deliver tailored and timely messages to your ideal client.
Most CRMs come with the ability to score your leads. Lead scoring is helps you determine who your most engaged and “hottest” leads so you can focus on those most likely to close. You can send specific messages to these hot (or cold) leads depending on their score. For example, if a lead has not opened an email in a while or has gone cold, you can automate a message to go out that encourages them to re-engage with your brand.
Stages in your sales funnel
Just like lead scoring, you can send tailored messages to your leads based on where they are in your funnel. A new lead just learning about your company would receive different messaging than a lead who is well into the consideration phase and has developed a relationship with your brand. Using stages to segment your email marketing is an effective way of driving leads down your funnel and keeping them engaged throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Again, a CRM tracks where your leads are in your funnel, so syncing CRM with marketing automation is critical for this type of personalized email marketing to work properly.
New signups on your website or landing pages
Triggering automated emails when a contact fills out a form on your website or landing page is a great way to get started. Sending out an immediate email following a signup is an effective way to keep the contact engaged from the very beginning. It also presents an opportunity for you to build trust with the contact. Use the data you collected via the form to personalize the email with content that’s relevant to who they are and their specific needs. This is where buyer personas come into play. Without having to collect a ton of data initially, you can use basic information to group the new contacts into one of your buyer personas.
When someone is visiting your website, they are actively engaging with your brand. For example, you can trigger an email when a lead has looked at a certain number of pages or if they visited a specific page.
If someone clicks on an email you send, they have taken an action. Use this as an opportunity to follow up on that action with another tailored email marketing message. For example, if a contact clicks on a link to download an ebook or to learn more information about a specific product or service, use that action to send personalized content.
As a general rule, you don’t want to bombard your contacts with emails. Quality over quantity. While I provided you with a number of different ways to use CRM and marketing automation to improve your email marketing efforts, it is important to first establish a set process and strategy to execute the level of personalization and automation you want to achieve.
Set a strong foundation by making sure you have accurate, up-to-date data. Then, you can start to build our your strategy for personalizing your messaging and automating your marketing efforts.