Why Marketing Automation is an Absolute Must-Have for Modern Business Owners

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It's safe to say that most small businesses understand the benefits of email marketing, but how do you know if you're making the most of your marketing budget?

Sure, emails boasts the highest ROI for customer acquisition and retention versus all other marketing channels used in 2016. Good news, right?

But turning your email marketing into a well-oiled, money-making machine doesn't happen overnight. You have to know exactly what to do with your list once you've begun building. That's where your positive ROI comes from.

How Automation and Autoresponders Can Transform Your Marketing Strategy

Unlike many marketing channels which require your attention in real-time, an effective email marketing strategy can essentially run on autopilot.

Rather than have to chase down your leads and send message after message hoping that something sticks, you can create a series of autoresponders that can reach your customers around the clock. Sounds nice, right?

Automated messages can do most of the legwork for you in terms of email marketing. However, the fact remains that YOU are responsible for coming up with the sorts of messages that make your customers tick. We're here to tell you exactly why automation is an absolute must-have. So, where do you start?

Warmly Welcoming Customers to Your List

Nearly three-quarters of all ecommerce email subscribers expect some sort of welcome message upon opting into a list. Ask yourself: are you welcoming new subscribers with open arms?

The purpose of welcome emails is much more than just fluff. For starters, welcome emails provide an opportunity for your brand to show off its personality. That's exactly what is displayed in this simple “service with a smile” example from HelpScout:

automation is an absolute must-have - Help Scout

Another great strategy for welcome emails is presenting your list with a  coupon or discount code as a way to say “thanks.”

This example from Crocs provides a sense of hype for future messages, including what recipients should look forward to in terms of offers and deals:

automation is an absolute must-have - Crocs

Bear in mind that you're fighting for the attention of your subscribers as they're being flooded with marketing messages day after day. Anything you can do to present yourself as a smiling face or helping hand is always a plus. Welcome autoresponders allow you to set the tone of your future campaigns without lifting a finger.

Keeping Your List Engaged

Although the “optimal” number of messages to send your list varies from industry to industry, bear in mind that most companies are sending between five and eight emails per month according to DMA data.

automation is an absolute must-have - email frequency graph

This often leaves businesses scrambling to figure out what they should send to their lists to keep them engaged.

Don't panic. Beyond sharing your on-site content, something as simple as a check-in or encouraging message to your list can go a long way. Check out this straightforward example from Codecademy which serves as inspiration for subscribers to commit to their coding goals:

automation is an absolute must-have - codecademy email

Sure, newsletters and content updates are fair game as well. However, having a slew of autoresponder messages on deck is helpful for those times when you're short on content or want an excuse to send your subscribers back on-site. Below is a smart example from Evernote that invites subscribers to join their premium service. The savvy subject line “Stop Wasting Time on Mindless Work” isn't spammy or salesy.

Likewise the message remains relevant to any subscribers still using the free version of the product:

automation is an absolute must-have - evernote email

Don't mistake autoresponders for generic, one-size-fits-all messages. The purpose of these messages is customer retention, all the while keeping your business and product fresh in the minds of your list without spamming them.

Connecting Through Promos & Coupons

Think that your deal-based offer emails will fall flat with your subscribers? Afraid of being perceived as a shady salesman versus a legitimate business?

Think again. According to IBM marketing data, transactional emails are more than twice as likely to receive opens versus non-transactional messages. If your offers and deals are being presented to a list of hungry opt-ins, chances are they'll bite when the time is right. This example from Animoto's “Take 20% off Anomoto Professional” campaign ticks all the boxes of a proper automated promo. Between its deal-based subject line, urgent body copy and crystal clear CTA, such a message is simple yet incredibly effective.

automation is an absolute must-have - animoto email

Additionally, time-sensitive seasonal coupons are the bread and butter of brick and mortar businesses via email as well.

automation is an absolute must-have - friendlys email

Whetting the appetite of your list with a coupon and promos never hurts if done tactfully, especially considering that a bulk of your list probably expects deals anyhow.

Sealing the Deal With Drip Campaigns

There's perhaps no better way to build your list than through lead magnets and drip campaigns. Today's business are encouraging email opt-ins  in exchange for e-books, webinars or killer case studies. Considering that drip campaign messages generate three times the click-through rate of a typical email, it's no secret why these campaigns continue to dominate the world of email marketing.

In short, drip campaigns consist of a series of automated messages (or “drips”) in a series. These messages are often educational in nature and serve as “courses” such as ClickFunnels' “Ignite Your Funnel” training which provides receipts a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a sales funnel from scratch.

automation is an absolute must-have - clickfunnels email

Your own series could consist of as many or few emails as you see fit. While there is no “magic number,” the ultimate goal of drip campaigns is to convert your customers after a strong series of freebies.

Either at the end of your series or sprinkled throughout are calls-to-action which encourage your recipients to interact with your product or service. Whether it means redeeming a coupon or hopping on a call, the end result of your campaigns is more clicks, conversions and long-term customers.

The best part about drip campaigns is that they're totally on autopilot. As you send more and more of your list through your series, you can literally turn your list into leads around the clock.

Transforming Fickle Shoppers Into Customers

Finally, one of the easiest ways to take advantage of marketing automation is through cart abandonment emails.

We're all guilty of leaving our shopping carts behind during an online sale. Given that nearly 70% of all shopping carts are abandoned, there's a good chance that your own customers do the same.

Cart abandonment emails represent an easy way to remind your buyers of their potential purchases without annoying them.

automation is an absolute must-have - google express email

Rather than allow customers to sleep on your deals, sending reminders can turn your fickle or forgetful customers into sales.

How Can Your Business Take Advantage of Marketing Automation?

Email marketing is about so much more than just sending messages to your list every now and then. In order to regularly engage your list and monetize that list to it's fullest potential, you're going to need to use autoresponders to your advantage. Not only does marketing automation save businesses time but also allows you to reach your customers around the clock.

Thanks to Sendlane you can craft automated messages that reach your list time and time again. If you want to start experimenting with marketing automation but don't know where to start, give Sendlane a try today!

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