Every company should be investing in marketing automation regardless of industry. But even if you are investing, are you really taking the fullest advantage of it?
As I proceed in writing my dedicated chapter on marketing automation for my upcoming 5th book, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the power of marketing automation for your business and help you see it in a more strategic manner.
This episode is all about unpacking the myths surrounding marketing automation and revealing its true potential to enhance customer relationships and increase profits. I'll share insights on how to maximize its potential.
Using data from customer life cycle stages, preferences, and locations, I'll guide you in crafting personalized, targeted emails that deliver value to your customers. Discover strategies to increase revenue, meet customer expectations, and positively influence retention. Listen in to understand the power of preference and location targeting, and how to re-engage inactive subscribers.
This episode is a must-listen for marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, or business owners looking to make the most of marketing automation.
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Marketing automation. When I say these two words, a lot of marketers, a lot of businesses, have preconceived visions that it's too technical, too expensive or not relevant for them in their industry. I wanna help reset your understanding of marketing automation so that, regardless of how big or small your company is, no matter what industry you're in that, you can take advantage and reap all the benefits that are possible. And it's all coming your way on this next episode of the your Digital Marketing Coach podcast.
Digital social media content, influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, vlogging, tiktoking, linkedin, twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube, seo, sem, ppc, email marketing there's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional, entrepreneur or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil on your side, because Neil Schaefer is your digital marketing coach. Helping you grow your business with digital first marketing, one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach and this is Neil Schaefer.
Hey everybody, a sunny, good afternoon or good morning or good evening to you wherever you are in the world. This is Neil Schaefer, your digital marketing coach, and it is an honor to serve you today with this next episode. If you are new to the podcast, I am a fractional CMO marketing consultant, digital marketing, content marketing, influencer, marketing, social media marketing, author, consultant, speaker, educator. I try to cover a lot of ground in this podcast because your business needs to cover a lot of ground as well if you want to best digitally engage with people and businesses throughout the world and grow your business. With every single episode I try to provide you actionable insight and advice to grow your business. If you are a loyal listener, I hope by now you've hidden that subscribe button. And if you've hidden that subscribe button, I also want to ask you would you be so kind as to consider reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts Now? I've been waiting until the end of my podcast episodes to mention this, but today I just want to say by the end of the year, don't even know if it's possible. This is episode number 338. On Apple Podcasts and Apple being the place where I get the most listeners, I am currently sitting at 58 ratings. So I'm really on a mission to try to get to 100 by the end of the year, and I could use your help. And if you'd be so kind as to write a review and leave your name, I would love to read that review here on the air Today. I want to thank Lynn Hoban, who calls the Digital Marketing Coach podcast the best podcast for digital marketers. I first met Neil and he was my professor at Rutgers University back in 2016. I was earning my mini MBA certification in digital marketing. Since then, I have been a super fan. Neil is a font of digital marketing expertise I wonder what font that is and provides advice that marketers can put into action. He is smart, interesting and fun to listen to. If you're serious about improving your digital marketing knowledge, start listening to Neil's podcast now. Lynn, thank you so much, and if you'd like to share even just a few words, I would really be honored, and that is that's really the gasoline that fuels my podcasting engine. All right, so today I'm gonna continue the conversation about email marketing that I talked about two episodes ago, in episode number 336, when I talked about rediscovering the power of email marketing through nurturing customer relationships and maximizing profits. So today I'm gonna focus more on the automation and yes, if you were wondering, this is in preparation in developing and fleshing out content for my next and fifth book, which I'm hoping it becomes a definitive digital marketing playbook, and in any sort of digital marketing playbook you cannot publish a book on the subject and not talk about marketing automation. But although this subject tends to be very, very technical in nature, I'm gonna do my best to focus on the non-technical aspects of this so that you best understand it, can best leverage it, because the technology has truly become less expensive and easier to use over time. So let's take a step back. There is a natural progression in communicating with our customers and prospects. That begins with building an email list, often done through the strategic deployment of lead magnets or other ways of giving incentive for people to join your list. Once we have that list, there are a myriad of communication pathways that we can and should use on a frequent basis to deepen our relationships, build trust and ultimately win their first and or repeat business. That was really the topic of episode number 336. So if you are a new subscriber, I highly recommend you first listen to that episode and then come back here Now, once you've built up these communication pathways and are starting to see the fruits from your labor, you might be thinking what the next steps are in evolving and growing this asset. Fortunately, you've already put in a lot of hard work. With an active list and engaging email community in hand, we can begin to orchestrate what we want the customer journey to look like and architect our ideal communication with our community through the use of marketing automation, a common feature that is included in more and more email marketing software tools with each passing day. In doing so, we can automate the customer journey while building funnels that are personalized for whoever is engaging with us, in whatever way they engage with us. In other words, we can literally be communicating and building businesses and growing sales while we sleep, based on an ideal, personalized and, most importantly, automated communication path. Intrigued, I assume you are, so let me continue. Marketing automation is a big word that is often associated with large B2B enterprises creating massive campaigns to engage B2B buyers, like the IBMs and the Deloids and the Salesforce and the Oracles, and maybe 20 years ago that is what it was. But this technology, similar to other marketing technologies, has become more and more accessible through the many tools that are including it as part of their core software offerings. In fact, many of the email marketing that your business might already be doing might have some aspect of marketing automation tied to it that you might not have realized before. So the purpose here in this podcast episode is to open your eyes to the potential to passively grow engagement and business with your list through the proper design and implementation of a sophisticated marketing automation system. The DMA reported that 75% of email related revenue comes from this type of triggered campaigns that I'll be talking about here. This means that generic promotions are far less effective than ones based on consumer interest as indicated by their actual purchase and other behaviors that they digitally demonstrate. More on that in a bit. We begin, then, where we left off, talking about the various ways in which we can communicate with our list. I want to divide the remaining types of communication that can be automated to one transactional emails and two triggered emails. Transactional emails, as the name implies, revolve around transactions. In other words, they assume that there is a purchase happening on your website from a shopping cart and often that there is something being physically shipped to a customer. While some of these transactional emails can apply to B2B businesses, as well as the provision of services. They will be especially fruitful for direct-to-consumer B2C brands because of the additional details that a consumer transaction usually entails. Let's begin with perhaps the most valuable type of automated message in this entire chapter the abandoned cart email. The abandoned cart email is an example of a digital, behavior-based automated message that can reap dividends for your business. You've worked hard, mastering everything that I teach you in this podcast and when you read my book, getting people to your website and, hopefully, to take action by making a purchase. However, contrary to popular belief, a full shopping cart doesn't necessarily guarantee a sale. In fact, data suggests that nearly 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts without finalizing the purchase. The reasons vary from exploring other options, considering shipping costs too high, to facing payment issues. Without intervention, these abandoned carts often spell the end of a potential sale. But here's the good news abandoned cart emails can be your game changer. If you've already captured your customer's email through your marketing efforts, why not use it to learn them back? If you don't know their email address yet, you can design the purchasing process so that someone has to enter their email address in order to proceed further. Either way, whether they were previously on your list or not, you now have access to their email address. The secret now lies in offering incentives that are too tempting to resist. Some brands offer generous discounts on a single item, while others opt for a smaller discount, say 10% on the entire order. While you might hesitate at the thought of discounts, the technique proves successful. With an effective strategy like abandon cart emails, you could see a conversion rate between 10% to 15%. That's a significant portion of sales you would have otherwise missed. So are you ready to turn those abandoned carts into completed purchases? A little nudge with a well-crafted abandoned cart email or a sequence of emails. I know a lot of companies that might have two, three or four emails in an abandoned cart sequence. That could be all it takes to generate more revenue from something that would have been lost. The abandoned cart email is effective because you've acquired their email address. The remainder of the transactional emails I'm going to now introduce are similarly effective, because there are certain communications to send out that are natural to the purchasing process. But rather than thinking of each of these as air quotes transactional however, I want you to try to think about how, at every step of the communication cycle, you can work to deepen your relationship with your growing customer base, to foster trust, loyalty and, ultimately, advocacy. Let's dig a little deeper into the power of these emails and their benefits and then introduce you to the various types of them for you to work on. So let's begin with an overview of the power of transactional emails that you might not have realized. So transactional emails once again, these are triggered by a customer specific action, and the abandoned cart is an example of an almost action, but it's still an almost purchase, but it's still an action. It could also be something like making a purchase, signing up for a service. These are not run-of-the-mill promotional messages. They are personalized, timely and highly relevant to the recipient, setting them apart from all the other emails that you might send. I believe that transactional emails are a secret weapon in digital marketing when properly leveraged. What sets these emails apart from regular marketing emails is the personalization and their relevance. So here's some interesting data points for you. Transactional emails receive a staggering eight times more clicks and opens than average emails, and they generate six times more revenue. Those are pretty impressive numbers. So think about it this way wouldn't you be more likely to open and engage with an email directly related to an action you've recently taken, potentially in the last few hours. That's the power relevance. It's no surprise that these emails enjoy a pretty impressive open rate of some say 80 to 85%. But it's not just about opening the email. Transactional emails deliver valuable information that customers need or want, from purchase confirmations to password resets. This drives a high level of engagement, leading to a click rate of some say 10 to 20%. And let's not forget about revenue. Well, the primary purpose of these transactional emails is informative. They do present a golden opportunity cross-sell and upsell. For instance, instead of just thanking someone for their purchase, you can inject recommendations for other related products or services that should interest them. This subtle promotion of your relevant offerings to a hungry audience is what can help lead to increased sales and contribute to that staggering six times higher revenue figure mentioned earlier. In other words, every transactional email gives you the ability to include a promotion. In stark contrast to these types of emails, the average email click-through rate is a meager 1.33%, and although the open rate recently, according to the latest data, is at about 34.5%, it is still less than half of what you'll see from these transactional emails. Now, why the disparity? Well, most emails lack the personalization and relevance that make transactional emails so effective. So, neil, what's the key takeaway here? Will transactional emails offer a unique opportunity to engage your customers on a personal level, drive more clicks and opens, and ultimately ramp up your revenue? By automating and personalizing your communication, you're not just saving time, you're also significantly boosting your engagement and revenue. The beauty of transactional emails lies in their automation. Once you've set up the structure, you don't need to spend countless hours on a daily basis crafting individual emails to your customers. So, to better understand the significance of transactional emails, I want to look at the many ways these types of emails can benefit businesses. I've hinted already in a few, but I just want to reiterate some of these before we get into some actual examples. Number one build trust and develop relationships. As I will describe shortly, transactional emails cover everything from financial transactions and feedback requests to subscription confirmations and query resolutions. By providing these services, you're not just meeting your customers' expectations, you're hopefully exceeding them, offering a positive experience that drives trust in your brand and services. Order confirmation emails, for instance, reassure customers that their order is being processed. These emails serve as both an invoice and receipt, which many customers appreciate for record keeping purposes. It also clarifies and memorializes your relationship. To clear up any potential misunderstandings, adding additional and relevant FAQ information or the contact information of a dedicated customer service representative will send a very reassuring message to your customers. By delivering personalized, timely and relevant messages, you're not just facilitating transactions, you're also fostering trust, bolstering relationships and ultimately driving your business forward. Number two is drive sales. Looking to enhance your customer support and also boost sales. Well, this is where transactional emails can play a big role. As mentioned before, they aren't just automated responses. They're personalized messages that allow you to offer tailored suggestions based on customer's purchases. Think about it how impactful would it be to receive a curated list of product recommendations, all based on your recent purchases? It's this level of personalization and regular engagement that keeps your brand at the forefront of your customer's minds, ultimately driving those much desired sales. So by harnessing the power of transactional emails, you're not just improving customer support, you're also paving the way for increased sales. Number three increase customer engagement. Since you have access to the name and purchasing history of your customer, you are able to personalize your messages to a fairly high degree. Studies show that personalized email campaigns deliver six times higher transaction rates, but only 30% of brands actually use them. Why not be part of that progressive? Third? Transactional emails, as I've been hinting at, are not just a necessary part of online transactions. They are an opportunity to build rapport and increase customer engagement In today's digital first economy. It's not just about making a sale, it's all about building and deepening a relationship. And the fourth benefit of transactional emails I want to cover is the fact that they generate loyalty. Research indicates that a staggering 96% of individuals place customer service at the heart of their brand loyalty. That's nearly everybody. So how can you ensure your brand is hitting the mark? Enter transactional emails. These personalized communications provide your customers with valuable insights about your brand from the get-go, and the benefits are twofold. Not only do these emails enlighten your customers about your offerings, but they also foster long-term relationships. So think about it A customer interacts with your brand for the first time and receives a customized, informative email in return. They're not just learning about your brand. They are beginning to experience the commitment that you hopefully have to exceptional customer service firsthand. So are you ready to transform your transactional emails From a mere touch point into a powerful tool for customer retention? Make the most of each communication with your customers and watch your brand loyalty floors. So, as you can see, when transactional emails are strategically leveraged, there are many, many benefits to them. But outside of abandoned cart emails, what other transactional emails can you leverage, and how can you specifically leverage them? Well, I'm going to follow now with a list of potential transactional emails to leverage, with some specific, actionable examples. Only your imagination really can limit you here. So it's about transforming a passive, automated email into an active way of deepening your relationship with those that are important to your business, those that are either your customer or have expressed potential interest in doing business with you. Remember that the similar thread between all these emails is that they can be 100% automated, personalized and injected with relevant information soon after a triggered event, which is most often a purchase, but could also be a lead magnet, download or other type of action. This section on transactional emails will specifically consider the purchase as the trigger, while the latter half of this episode will go into non-purchasing events as triggers. Let's dig in the order confirmation or thank you email. Order confirmations, as you can imagine, are the most prevalent type of transactional communication and they offer a golden opportunity to drive further sales and enhance your customer relationship. But how? So consider this. A customer makes a purchase on your site, along with their order confirmation, they receive a tailored coupon or product recommendations that complement their recent purchase. Suddenly, a simple transactional email has been transformed into a personalized shopping guide, making your customer feel valued and appreciated. But the benefits do not stop there. By including shipping and tracking details in your order confirmation emails, you're providing customers with instant reassurance that the purchase is being handled efficiently and accurately. They can follow their order's journey from the warehouse to their doorstep, knowing exactly when to expect its arrival. There are follow-up emails you can also send that I will discuss shortly. That can further extend upon this goodwill. These thoughtful touches do more than just streamline the shopping process. They foster brand loyalty. Customers who feel engaged and informed are more likely to remain loyal to your brand for the long haul. And let's not forget about the open rates. With their high relevance and practical value, these emails are often eagerly opened and acknowledged by customers. Now the next type of transactional email could be part of that order confirmation email, or it could be something separate, and I call these receipt and invoice details. So receipt emails are often overlooked communications and they can be more than just proof of purchase. They are a valuable touch point to build trust and strengthen your relationship with customers. When a customer makes a purchase from you, they're not just buying your product or service, they are investing their trust in your brand. By promptly sharing detailed invoice information via email, you're not just fulfilling the transaction, you're reinforcing that trust. But how, you ask, can this simple act foster customer loyalty? Well, the answer lies in personalization and security. By personalizing these emails and reiterating your commitment to safeguarding their information, you're showing customers that the trust is well placed, and in today's digital landscape, where data breaches are all too common, this assurance can be a powerful differentiator. The next type of email is the account activation and confirmation email. Many businesses have not harnessed the full potential of these emails as part of their digital marketing strategy. These emails are often the first point of contact after a customer makes a purchase or subscribes to your service. But are they just a formality, or could they be something more? So if a new customer receives an email from your brand, it doesn't have to just be a thank you note. It can be a comprehensive message that confirms their account, provides monetary details, asks for a confirmation that they opened an account, including crucial company contact information. This isn't just another email. It is a personalized introduction to your brand and, as part of this process, you may have double opt-in emails. These messages request additional information or confirmation for a customer's subscription. Although it might seem like an extra step, it's actually an opportunity to ensure the accuracy of your user data and maintain a clean, authenticated database. Why is this important? It's simple accuracy leads to trust. By ensuring that your customer data is accurate and up to date, you're demonstrating your commitment to transparency and reliability. This not only builds trust, but also paves the way for more effective and personalized marketing efforts in the future. The next type of email is the shipping confirmation email. These communications, which you might think are the second most common type of transactional email after the order confirmation email, offer more than just logistical information. They are a golden opportunity to drive further sales and enhance customer satisfaction. A shipping confirmation email should not only provide them with a convenient link to track their package as it's being shipped, but it can also once again include personalized product recommendations or a tempting discount for the next order. Suddenly, the standard transactional email has been transformed into a strategic sales tool and a token of customer appreciation. But the potential of shipping confirmation emails goes beyond sales. By asking customers to confirm receipt and satisfaction with their order, you're taking an active interest in their shopping experience. This simple step can help you identify any mistakes or areas for improvement, enabling you to continuously refine your customer service. Moreover, by including options for product replacement or refund under certain conditions, you're demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction and trust. This not only reassures customers, but also strengthens your brand identity. Now, related to the shipping confirmation email is the how was everything email. So if you ever wonder what customers think about your brand, well, you're not leveraging the full potential of email marketing to gather this invaluable feedback. So we all know that regular communication with our customers in this ever-evolving landscape of digital first marketing today is non-negotiable. It's not just about selling. It's about understanding their needs, and there's no better way to do this than by seeking their feedback. So send an automated email X days after a product ships, or X days after a product should arrive, and ask for their genuine opinion. Ask them how they feel about your product or service, what changes they'd like to see and whether they appreciate your efforts. This isn't just a survey. It's a demonstration of your commitment to their satisfaction. An email is the perfect way to do this, because it offers scalability and automation like no other channel. It allows you to reach a wider audience and automate this process, freeing up valuable time and resources. What's more, these emails, once again, don't just have to be about gathering feedback. With the compelling subject line and an appealing design, they can also serve as an opportunity to drive further sales. Offering incentives or prizes for completing the requested survey or answering your questions can only boost response rates, but also present yet another chance to showcase your products or services. The next type of email is the Ask for Reviews email, so this can be together with the previous how Is Everything email, or it could be separate. But think of an automated email sent a few days after a customer receives their product that not only asks them about their experience, like I talked about in this how Is Everything email, but also incurs them to leave a review, complete with links to an ever site. You want to prioritize at the time to build up reviews. This isn't just another follow-up. This is a strategic move to boost your brand's reputation and visibility. Now, hopefully, you know why customer reviews are so important. They are a form of word of mouth marketing, one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to spread the word about your products. By offering a small incentive, you can encourage more customers to share their experiences, thereby enhancing your brand's credibility and reach. But the benefits don't stop there, because customer reviews also provide you with invaluable insights into what you're doing right and where there's room for improvement. They give you a glimpse into your customer's minds, helping you better understand their needs and preferences. Now, in addition to that type of transaction email, we also have the ask for referrals. The idea here is to send a message requesting your customers to refer your brand to friends and family. In return, they receive a small discount for each successful referral, as do those they refer. Suddenly, your customer isn't just a consumer. They are now a legit brand ambassador. But why exactly is this approach so effective? It's really simple. It's a variation of affiliate marketing, one of the most powerful tools in your digital and, I would say, influencer marketing arsenal. By incentivizing referrals, you're essentially turning your customers into affiliates, who then spread the word about your products and exchange for rewards for them and rewards for their community. That customer becomes an influencer. Not only does this approach boost your customer base in sales, but it also enhances customer loyalty and engagement. After all, nothing speaks louder than a personal endorsement from a satisfied customer. Next on the list of transactional emails to leverage is the product availability email. Now, this type of email is only relevant when you have an e-commerce store that carries inventory, but it can be an extremely powerful type of communication. Sometimes you simply run out of stock when you wait for the next shipment to arrive. Now think about it from the website visitor perspective. Has your customer ever found the perfect product in your website, only to be met with the dreaded out of stock message? Has this led to a decrease in their purchasing enthusiasm? If so, it's time to rethink your strategy. In the world of e-commerce, product availability is a crucial factor that influences purchase decisions. While you can't always control stock levels or speed up restocking processes, there's one thing you can do keep your customers informed. So, instead of leaving consumers disappointed and in the dark when you're out of stock, you ask them to sign up for product availability updates and send them an email. Upon sign up, you explain the situation, provide a tentative date for when the product will be back in stock and assure them they'll be the first to know when it's available again. This isn't just a courtesy. It's a strategic move to retain their interest and loyalty. You can enable this type of automation by adding an email when in stock option to your product page purchase button when an item is out of stock. This way, interested buyers can choose to receive updates about the product's availability, thereby increasing the chances of them returning to make a purchase and turning a potentially negative situation into a positive one. If you think about it, your being out of stock for popular product can be transformed into becoming its own lead magnet, of sorts. We then have the subscription renewal notice. Now this subscription could be for an annual B2B SaaS software product, a B2C subscription-based service like Netflix, or even a monthly or quarterly subscription to have product shipped to you, such as Amazon's popular Subscribe and Save program. As a business operating on a subscription model, it is crucial to remind your customers about their upcoming renewals, so sending renewal reminders via email should not be thought of as just a courtesy. It really is a strategic move to retain your customers and reinforce their loyalty. It gives you yet another chance to win them over and convince them to continue using your service, by letting them know, for instance, about the latest updates, the latest positive reviews and reminding them of what they'll miss out on if they don't renew their subscription. So here's some strategies to consider to make the most of these renewal emails. Number one start early. Don't wait until the last minute to send your reminder emails. The earlier you start, the more time your customers have to consider their options and make a decision and potentially, for instance, update their billing details. Number two highlight the benefits. Make sure your customers understand crystal clear what they stand to lose by not renewing their subscription. Draw their attention to the updated features and benefits they might miss out on. If you have a public roadmap, let them know what is on the horizon. And then, number three offer referral incentives. Now we're tying the referral email into the subscription renewal email by offering plans that allow your customers to share the subscription with a friend. This not only benefits the customer, but also helps you expand your customer network. May not be relevant for every product or service, but it's really that type of referral incentive that I talked about before. Can you make that part of the subscription renewal notice? All right, we've come to the last transactional email, which is the one that we should all know about. It's the password reset email. Research shows that approximately 58% of email users often forget their passwords. Yes, that's more than half of all email users. Even those who don't shop online or use social media are familiar with the process of resetting passwords. In the digital world, where login credentials are required for almost everything, password reset emails have become a critical part of the customer experience. Think, if you ask for a password reset email and you never receive one right, what does it say about your business? So it's not just essential, it's really your responsibility to provide this service to your customers. But how can you make the most of these transactional emails you ask? For starters, it's important to strike the right tone. You want to come across as assertive yet reassuring, as if you're saying we are here to help. After all, dealing with password issues, as we all know, can be frustrating. The last thing you want to do is add to your customer's stress. However, there's more to password reset emails than meets the eye. With the ever-present threats of phishing and hacking, it's crucial to include a related link for blocking the account or setting a new password. This not only enhances your customer's security, but also boosts your brand credibility. Perhaps you could also offer two-factor authentication as another option for those customers that might be interested in that layer of security. This also gives you another opportunity to provide updates on investments that you're hopefully making in your infrastructure to further enhance security or whatever message you want to add to further increase your credibility and trust. The net net of all these transactional emails that I talked about is that many of the e-commerce CMS software platforms, such as Shopify, already have pre-made templates to facilitate the sending of these. But don't be lazy. Customize each one of these templates or, better yet, use a sophisticated email marketing software and I'll drop a link in the show notes to my most recent article of recommendations that integrates with your CMS platform to be able to further personalize and customize these transactional emails to your heart's content. The beauty is that all you need to do is invest the time upfront to have these transactional emails working for your company's benefit 24-7, 365 days a year. All right, now we're gonna move from transactional emails to communication that is targeted and automated through triggers. So all the emails that I've been talking about until now are based on transactions, whether B to C or B to B, and thus can be automated based off of account activation, purchasing, shipping confirmation, et cetera every step of the buyer's journey, and then follow-ups X days after the shipment was received to further deepen the relationship and even invite advocacy. But what if your customer doesn't buy frequently or you're in a B to B industry where the sales cycle is notoriously long? This is where marketing automation really shines, with its ability to send targeted and triggered emails automatically, based solely off of customer activity or behavior. To better understand the potential of these types of emails, it is important to understand what can be tracked and thus triggered. Now, email marketing automation software usually works off of triggers such as a purchase was made, which are transactional emails, a website page was visited, an email was opened and or clicked, a lead magnet or other asset from your website was downloaded. Now, furthermore, a more sophisticated email marketing solution can also add a score to each person on your email list, and the score can normally be calculated in many ways, utilizing all of the trigger actions that I just mentioned. For instance, one scoring system might be five points every time a specific product page was visited. One point every time another website page was visited, a less strategic one. One point every time an email was opened. Three points every time an email is clicked on. Furthermore, we can attach expiration dates to the scoring so that we know that these actions have taken place, for instance, in the last month or maybe the last week. So every day you can sort your entire list by this score, in descending order, and then see those people that are actively engaging with your website and emails but for some reason, have not yet made a purchase. The high score indicates they are engaging with your brand at a deep level, so this could be the trigger to send them an email and even a follow-up from your inside sales team once they reach a certain score. This is one example of how powerful setting up the system is, and the beauty is that it is 100% automated after setup. So let's dig into some example scenarios for the use of these messages. We'll begin with customer acquisition or list retention emails. So when engaging in lead magnets, you'll be increasing the size of your list to include your prospects. It's not just gonna be your customers or past customers. You will do your best to win their business through your welcome email and nurture sequence, but over time they still might not convert into becoming a customer. That is where customer acquisition emails come in, usually automated to deliver ex days, weeks or months after email sign up to those that have still yet to become a paying customer. These emails are more than just messages. They can be your golden ticket to winning the loyalty of new subscribers who are still on the fence about becoming your customers. But how can you make these emails as effective as possible? Well, as you can imagine, this type of email usually offers some sort of special deals and or exclusive offers. To win these potential clients offer, you should also provide valuable information about the benefits of being a customer, thereby increasing the perceived value of your brand. So the next time a message is targeting by where that prospect is in a customer life cycle. So the customer acquisition email is an example of an automated email that targets email list members wherever they are in their customer life cycle, which, in this case, is middle of the funnel, considering they've already subscribed to your list. So you already have accomplished the brand awareness. Now this is just one example. This type of email in how, in this dynamic world of digital first marketing, one size certainly does not fit all, especially when it comes to engaging with your prospects and customers. Have you ever considered how the needs and expectations of a first time visitor differ from those of a repeat customer, or how the information you have about a prospective buyer varies from that of a loyal patron. With each stage in the customer life cycle, your interaction strategy should adapt and evolve. This is where the power of automated and triggered emails come into play. So automated emails are not just about saving time. They are a strategic tool designed to deliver relevant content to your customers at the right moment. For instance, an email offering a detailed case study about a product when someone viewed that product page. Maybe, for whatever reason, they never downloaded that case study. But sending them that case study after you know they visited a certain page might tip the balance in your favor. Or a special offer to a high spending customer can enhance their experience and boost your brand's credibility. So while the most popular triggered emails based on customer life cycle are either at the front end, which are the abandoned cart emails, or the back end a re-engagement campaign to reignite interest among inactive subscribers a type I'm gonna cover shortly with the proper design they can and should be sent at strategic trigger points in between anywhere in the funnel that you have a specific trigger activity. This is because the benefits of these emails extend beyond just engagement. They also help improve revenue, meet customer expectations and positively influence retention. So if we can target people by where they are in the customer life cycle, based on their activity, we can also target people based on their preferences. So these are preference targeting emails another type of triggered email. So every email addressing your list represents an individual with unique preferences, habits, behaviors and, in the world of digital marketing, understanding these nuances can be your ticket to success. So think about it this way you have a variety of customers on your list. Maybe one is a bargain hunter who only buys when you have a Bogo sale, while the other is a trendsetter who can't resist the latest and most expensive model. How can you engage with these vastly different customers effectively? By leveraging data such as purchase history, coupon usage, link clicks, survey responses, you can tailor your emails to suit each customer's preferences. For instance, you might recommend discounted items that you wanna clear out before the end of the year to your bargain hunter, or showcase your newest arrivals to your trendsetter. This way, you're not just sending emails, you're delivering personalized content that speaks directly to each customer's interests. And the best part is that preference targeting emails work across industries. Whether you're selling fashion, apparel, tech, gadgets, home decor, the latest B2B technology software. These emails can help you connect with your customers on a deeper level. Now, somewhat similar to the preference targeting emails are the location targeting emails. So, similar to how we can leverage preferences, we can also leverage what we know about the location of our email audience members and create triggers to send them very, very focused and personalized messages. If they have a purchase history with us, we can easily glean this information from their shipping and or billing address. Sometimes their location is revealed in their email address by their phone number, or some email marketing software tools can even record the IP address of where someone is accessing their email to better understand their location. Of course, if location targeting emails are considered strategic to your strategy, consider asking for this information upfront when people first download your lead magnet. So what to do with this information? Well, let's consider an example. Consider a global outwear brand selling a variety of coats and jackets. While a heavy winter coat might be a must have in Helsinki, it might be unnecessary in a city that sits on the equator like Singapore. So, similarly, a lightweight summer jacket might be popular where the evenings get a little bit cool in San Francisco, but irrelevant in Frosty Moscow. But location based targeting goes beyond just climate and season. It also considers local tastes and preferences. For instance, a style that's trending in Paris might not resonate with customers in Tokyo. So this is where location targeting emails come in. By using data about your customers' locations, you can tailor your emails to suit their specific needs and tastes. For instance, you might promote your winter collection to customers in colder regions while showcasing your summer styles to those in warmer areas. If you're doing in-person events or location specific store openings or product rollouts, one can only imagine how much more boost to your campaigns these emails can add. So we now have the last type of trigger email, and these are the re-engagement or win back emails. So we began really talking about email, of this need to convert people who come to our website to at least becoming an email subscriber. Over time, you end up building a bigger list, but over time the members of that list will include those that stopped engaging with your content or, worse yet, once became a customer but haven't purchased from you in a while. This is just natural. Now, digital first, marketing is about leveraging all of these threads we have at our disposal and seeing how we can continue the conversation to grow our business. So we begin talking about email describing its potential and we end with what might be the ending of our relationships with inactive subscribers the re-engagement, or win back email. So re-engagement emails are a powerful tool for brands that have the potential for recurring purchases. These emails often contain special offers, discounts, gifts with purchase and more to entice customers back to your website. But remember, engaging lapsed customers might require more than just one email. It might require a full blown re-engagement campaign. Now why is this so crucial, you might wonder? Studies revealed that brands typically experience an email list churn of around 25 to 30% per year. While some churn is inevitable. People quit their jobs, industry trends change. Even a children's clothing brand losing customers as kids outgrow clothes is a pretty obvious example. But minimizing this churn is really key to maintaining a healthy customer base. So when customers disengage from your brand for reasons within your control, this is where win back emails come into play. These emails can offer incentives or solicit feedback to understand the customer's experience better. And if these strategies don't work, it may be time to remove these customers from your list to optimize your resources and often, with that, increase your email deliverability. So what about customers who don't purchase at regular intervals? A loyal customer discount could be just the nudge they need to make another purchase. So, for instance, if the average interval when someone purchases your product is every three months and they haven't purchased in six months, you can easily send an automated email trying to encourage them to purchase again. And if this strategy doesn't resonate with them, it might be time to part ways. After all, why spend resources on sending emails to customers who don't convert? So, in essence, reengagement emails are not just about winning back customers. They're about understanding customer behavior, optimizing resources and really enhancing your overall strategy. However, in the world of digital first marketing, reengaging customers is as important as acquiring new ones. Are you doing enough to win back your lost customers? So, in conclusion, as you can see from this conversation on the potential for automated communication pathways as part of your digital first marketing strategy, email marketing automation has so much potential, yet is not adequately leveraged to its maximum potential by most companies that I know. So, while you don't need to include every single one of these types of emails as part of your automated infrastructure, you can see how just adding a few additional elements can have a significant impact on your relationship with your customers and prospects and a healthy bump in sales. So perhaps this episode represents a challenge to those smaller businesses who might not have the technical resources to implement. My advice, like that is you. I will have a dedicated chapter in my book where I talk about how to scale your team. I might record a podcast episode about that. I would love your feedback. Are there certain aspects of what I talked about or certain things like how do we scale our team with outsourced resources, certain things that you think should be included in this digital marketing playbook that I'm writing that you want me to talk about and get a sneak preview of on my podcast? Feel free to let me know. I am Neil Schaefer everywhere on social. You can reach out to me Neil at nealshafercom that's the real Neil at NEAL S-D-H-A-F-F-E-Rcom, and, once again, you could also write a review on Apple podcasts and simply ask me that question, and then I'll respond to you in front of virtually everybody on this podcast. Well, that is it for what, hopefully, you thought was another exciting. I'm always excited by these episodes of the your digital marketing coach podcast. This is your digital marketing coach, neil Schaefer, signing off.
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