In the era of social networking and mobile messaging, tech analysts tend to predict the demise of email once or twice a year. In spite of these gloomy projections, however, email is still regarded as one of the most useful and widely-used components of the internet.
While it may be true that mobile applications such as WhatsApp do a great job of providing instant messaging enriched with social media features, email is still king when it comes to digital marketing. In fact, if anything, email has become a more powerful marketing force because so many advertisers are falling to the siren call of social media.
Email has grown into a more focused and less frivolous medium of communication than it was in the early days of the internet. In 2015, an Italian IT research firm estimated the number of global email messages sent each day to be around 205 billion, which can be further interpreted as more than two million emails sent each minute. A sizable portion of this traffic takes place on mobile devices; to this effect, smartphone notifications make email more visible and open rates can range from 15 percent all the way up to 70 percent, depending on the campaign.
Modern Attitudes Towards Email
Email has achieved an aura of seriousness and formality that should be very attractive to brand managers and marketing specialists. Members of Generation X were raised on email the same way Millennials have been raised on social media. But when Millennials look for a job or make a major online purchase, they still turn to email. Similarly, when Millennials sign up for an email newsletter sent by a brand they are interested in, chances are that they are serious about waiting for these messages and opening them at their earliest convenience and in a comfortable setting.
With all this in mind, email marketing is seeing strong success rates these days; however, email marketing can be a time consuming process, particularly when compared to working with social media campaigns. That’s why many marketers are turning to automation when they formulate their email marketing plans.
Understanding Marketing Automation
Traditional email marketing campaigns do not offer much in the way of automation. Aside from the ability to launch a massive, browser-friendly email campaign and check the rate of opened and read messages, legacy email marketing is not particularly rich in features.
Modern email marketing automation software offers advanced tools such as an executive dashboard that provides an instant, real-time glimpse at analytics and other information valuable to brand managers. Automation also means the ability to run drip campaigns and other strategies to cultivate leads and guide those leads through the conversion process. Furthermore, leads can be scored and adequately recycled so that they can benefit from CRM integration and Facebook pixel tactics.
Example of Email Marketing Automation
Imagine that an information security firm has a new data loss prevention solution for enterprise clients. Once the mailing list has been prepped, a newsletter about network intrusions and data breaches can be sent out to garner interest.
Since information security products and services usually require a certain sales process, members of the sales team need to focus on leads who are ready to buy. With an email marketing automation campaign in place, leads are constantly evaluated through demographics and certain actions taken on landing pages and social media. This allows salespeople to concentrate on solid prospects instead of trying their luck with leads who only have a passing interest on the subject of preventing data breaches.
Another advantage of automation is that it can easily scale according to interest. If the information security newsletter is being shared among IT professionals, a secondary campaign can be created to target new leads more specifically.
In the end, email marketing automation is too powerful a tool for companies to ignore, whether they focus on B2B or B2C marketing. Automation is exactly what many brands need to achieve marketing success these days
Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in digital media and sales. He’s begun multiple corporations and currently freelances as a writer and personal consultant.