There was a time in which it seemed like emails would become a thing of the past. The world had moved on to quicker communication, and even large-scale marketing campaigns happened in the more immediate setting of social media. But over a decade has passed and we are still using email for almost everything, including marketing.
Email marketing automation has a ton of benefits over social media, and in order to take advantage of it you need to know how to tap those benefits. There are many tools available to facilitate your automation to get the best results from your leads. It is important that you understand which tools will make the difference and which are essentially useless to you.
In order to make the right decisions, we need to discuss the benefits email has over the immediacy of social media.
You control the messaging
One of the reasons brands can use social media so effectively is that they engender engagement. Potential customers can discuss articles that you post, comment on your products, and so on. This, however, is a double-sided coin.
The downside of social media engagement is that there is ample room for misinformation to spread. You may post an update with a link to a page on your website with an interesting headline. Some people will click on the link, but many others will comment on what they assume the post is about. Many people and brands have found out the hard way that a perfectly innocent post can take on a whole new meaning when people comment without knowing the context.
Furthermore, when you invite engagement you always run the risk that you will get negative comments from a disgruntled customer. Big brands can absorb the impact of negative comments, but when you are only getting a handful of comments, one upset client can drive other leads away.
Because email engagement is not immediate, recipients are more likely to read what you have to say. They are not thinking solely about what they can add to the conversation, as you are their only point of contact on this.
Social media was not created as a means of information sharing. On the contrary, it was a way for people to connect with lightness and levity. It has morphed over the years to a point where big ideas get reduced to clickbait one-liners. If there are no funny comments or heated arguments, people lose interest.
With email, however, your message can retain its gravity. Yes, you need to entice people with a snappy subject, but from then on you can properly explain yourself. Of course, this does not mean you should write an essay. But with your concise prose, readers are not going to be searching for the next amusing or dramatic moment.
But perhaps the biggest advantage email marketing has is that you can easily quantify your goals. Your initial goal may be to get a certain percentage of targets to open your email. You can then measure how many of those people click through to a link. And, of course, you can see who makes a purchase and who does not.
Quantifying your goals is crucial to your marketing campaign. It means you can adjust according to your results and improve your campaign. But more importantly, it gives you the ability to track your leads and target each of them according to how they have (or have not) responded.
With these benefits in mind, we can get a better idea of how to find the best email automation tools.
Finding the best email marketing tools
There are various types of email marketing tools, but they really come down to two main categories: automation and content. Content tools will help you design aesthetically attractive emails with copy that converts. Automation does the work of sending these emails out en masse and tracking their progress. You will be drawn to any one or another content designer. Here, we will discuss finding the best email automation tools.
Consistency is key
As discussed, controlling the messaging is one of the main benefits of email marketing. Also important is the gravity you can inject into that messaging. For this reason, consistency is hugely important.
Have you ever received an email from a company that has an “x” in place of your name? You were immediately distracted from the message and probably could not take it seriously. Good email automation tools make it almost impossible to make this kind of mistake. They will flag any emails in which you have forgotten to include a name, promised an attachment or link but have not delivered, or left grammatical mistakes and sentences incomplete.
MailChimp is particularly good at this, providing quality control that prevents damaging emails from being sent.
Good automation tools will not only compile mailing lists and send personalized and quality controlled emails, but will also track them and generate a database that it keeps up-to-date. Essentially, this type of tool leans heavily on CRM capabilities.
For example, Hubspot’s tools will categorize leads according to who has and has not opened your emails, as well as who has clicked on any links. They make it easy to follow up with strategic subject lines to those who did not open the first email, follow up and capitalize on the interest of those who did, and keep track of the leads who have ultimately been converted.
Good email marketing automation tools will not only do what you tell them, but will also help you strategize and proceed with the most effective tactics. Keep this in mind when searching for the best email marketing tools. These are the factors that ultimately make email marketing so worthwhile, and you should use the software that will ensure you take advantage of them.