According to the Direct Marketing Association , 21% of email marketing revenue is derived from automated campaigns.

The buzz surrounding marketing automation has been building for some time now, and that’s little wonder when you consider the amount of time it can save, the customer loyalty it can build and, clearly, the amount of revenue it’s likely to generate.

Getting automation right with email marketing isn’t easy, though, and it requires a fair bit of trial and error to create campaigns that really make a difference to your business.

As with anything, it all starts with the planning, and we think there are three strategies you need to call on to ensure automation becomes a central part of your marketing plan.

1. Build an engaged list of subscribers

You’ve heard this a million times, right? Absolutely! But, nowhere in email marketing is engagement more important than when it comes to automation.

Think about it: you’re asking your email marketing client to automatically send out emails to people without any input from you. It’ll do so based on triggers you set up and the email content you devise, of course, but you’re still leaving software to do the hard work for you.

Without an engaged subscriber base, those emails will quickly disappear into the ether. Automation simply can’t take place effectively without an audience that is waiting for your next message.

To start the process of building an engaged list of subscribers, make your newsletter sign-up forms simple and place them in the following places:

  • above the fold on every page of your website;
  • within staff email signatures;
  • within the footer of your website;
  • on your Facebook page; and
  • at the end of blog content.

2. Collect the best data about subscribers

What do you need to know about your subscribers? Their birthday? Probably not. Their preference of a product category you sell? Almost definitely.

As noted above, you need to keep your sign-up forms as simple as possible, but make sure you ask for the data that will give you the best insight into what makes your subscribers tick.

Email marketing automation relies on knowledge about the personal presences of your audience. And, as time draws on and the layer of trust starts to build, you can ask for more information from them, enabling you to increase the relevancy of the automated emails you send in future.

3. Use segments

We talk about segmentation a lot on this blog, but for good reason. The more you segment your subscriber database into little pots that contain highly-targeted audiences, the more effective your automation will be.

This will enable you to have individual, automated campaigns that are precisely aimed at each segment. If you need to target geographically, for instance, segments based on counties will make the world of difference.

Segments will stop you from sending one-size-fits-all messages that do nothing more than alienate the vast majority of recipients.

Wrap up

The three strategies above apply to all areas of email marketing, but are particularly effective when it comes to automation.

If email marketing automation is a phrase you keep reading about but are yet to act on – now is the time to do so!

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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