How Email Marketing Automation Can Solve Your Top Sales Problems

BY: ON FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015

Over half of all B2B companies cite email marketing as their most effective marketing channel for generating revenue, according to BtoB Magazine. Would you agree? If your business is failing to maximize email marketing’s potential, a lack of automation may be to blame.

Eighty-nine percent of businesses say email marketing is the top feature of marketing automation, according to Regalix’s “The State of Marketing Automation” (2014).

Triggered email messages had a 151.9% higher click-through rate than "business as usual messages" according to Epsilon’s “Email Trends and Benchmarks” report for 2014.

That’s a pretty significant difference!

Failing to utilize email automation is akin to still sending your most important marketing messages via snail mail. Manually creating, scheduling and sending emails can be a waste of valuable time and resources that could be better spent with your sales team focused on closing high priority leads. Worse, your business could be failing to capitalize on a key sales moment and not even realize it.

Automated email marketing makes it easier to manage all your targeted email campaigns through one centralized service. And since triggered emails are the result of customer activity, these emails tend to have both higher open and click through rates. Still not convinced? Here are five easy email marketing automation solutions to common sales problems:


Problem: Your lead downloads a whitepaper or signs up for a webinar, but your marketing team fails to follow up in a timely manner – missing out on a possible sale.

Solution: Schedule an automated follow-up email one week later to touch base.


Email marketing plays an important role in any robust lead nurturing program, but without marketing automation, it can be difficult to know when to send an email to a lead. With marketing automation, your business can automatically respond to a lead’s evolving need for action-based messages. These automatic messages are triggered by a specific event, such as a white paper download or a webinar sign-up. For example, you could schedule an automatic follow-up email one week after a lead downloads a whitepaper or signs up for a webinar. Use the email to follow up on your lead’s experience and invite the lead to consider other complementary products or services with a special discount code.


Problem: Customers are abandoning their shopping carts when shopping on your mobile site.

Solution: Automated re-targeting email when a customer is most likely to be at their desktop.


While mobile shopping is on the rise, completed mobile checkouts still need to catch up. Many consumers visit storefronts on their mobile devices but fail to finalize their purchase, oftentimes because they’re on the go and easily distracted. Automated re-targeting emails invite consumers to re-visit their shopping cart. Study consumer shopping patterns for your storefront to determine the optimal re-targeting timeframe when customers will be at their desktops (e.g., mid-morning) rather than on their mobile phones (e.g., during morning or evening commutes) and more likely to complete their purchases.


Problem: Your lead goes quiet for six months with no activity; stops moving through the sales funnel.

Solution: Time-based email campaigns that are responsive to your lead’s action (or, in this case, inaction).


Time-based messages such as “reactivation emails” prompt leads to get back in touch after a fixed period of time with no interactivity help to keep leads moving through your sales funnel. Subject lines are critical for time-based messages, especially if leads have not interacted with your business over a significant period. For example, reactivation emails with the words “miss you” in the subject lines
achieve a 13% read rate, according to a study conducted by the email marketing company GetResponse.


Problem: Your business has leftover seasonal inventory that needs to be sold – and your current email campaign is not getting the job done.

Solution: Tell your customers exactly how much money they will be saving in the subject line of the email.


Word choice can make all the difference between your email being opened or ending up in the trash bin. If you have leftover inventory that you’re looking to clear, include a savings price point in the subject line rather than a discount percentage.

“Emails with “$ off” were nearly twice as effective as emails with “% off” discounts”, according to GetResponse.


Problem: Your click-through rates are stagnant.

Solution: Add the recipient’s first name to the subject line.


When advanced list segmentation and targeting isn’t making a difference for click through rates, it’s time to get back to basics. Personalization is one of the oldest marketing tactics in the book and it’s tempting to assume that today’s customers are too savvy to be affected by personalization. However, as a recent A/B test by Marketing Sherpa demonstrates, personalization still works. The team tested personalization on seven biweekly emails during the month of February. Despite the team's initial skepticism, personalized subject lines (e.g., “Jennifer, Email Marketing Advice from 2 Guys” versus “Email Marketing Advice from 2 Guys”) resulted in a 17.36% higher click-through rate.


But personalization goes beyond just including a recipient’s name in the subject line. Consider the role that personalization can play in customer retention. Email marketing is already considered to be the most effective communication channel for customer retention. Adding small personalization touches, like an automated birthday greeting with a discount coupon can increase the number of leads by as much as 20%, according to Venture Beat.


Bottom line:

Email automation can save your business time and money while still delivering a personal touch to potential leads and current clients. Autoresponders, for example, can increase engagement, deepen relationships and boost conversion rates by matching the content of emails to information subscribers are searching for. What role does automation play in your email marketing program? I invite you to share your best practices for email marketing below.



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About the Author

Brian Hughes

Brian is a seasoned digital marketing expert who loves to write about subjects that help small businesses grow their brands and increase their rankings online.

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