Marketing automation with a personal touch

Marketing automation with a personal touch

Hello, Fname! 
We just wanted to send you a quick note about how we can help you reach your goals. Now for a limited time, you can get this deal that’s hardly a deal, we just felt like we needed to stay top-of-mind and figured an email blast you’ll probably delete without opening is the best way to do it! 
Sincerely, Generic name of a person who probably exists but you have never communicated with via email or any other channel and thinks using a real name makes the email feel less spammy.

You probably have a few hundred of these sitting in your email trash. Much like the waxy paper coupons you take straight from the mailbox to the trash can, these emails don’t offer anything of value, and even if they do, we’re so conditioned to expect trash we don’t even give them the time of day. So, how do you stay out of the trash can with your own marketing messages? Like most people, I’m sure you have something important to communicate to your audience, but cutting through the clutter and getting them to believe that before hitting the delete button is no easy feat. 

This is not to say all marketing emails are destined to the same fate, in fact, according to new research from WordStream, email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, behind colleague recommendations and thought leadership. Email marketing is still a very valuable tool in your marketing arsenal, it just takes a little more thought than typing up a generic message and hitting the send-all button. 

One of the best ways to make people interact with your email is by providing something they actually want to interact with. Simple, right? We think so. But one-size-fits-all is not the way to get it done. Segmenting your list of customers and giving them the type of information they actually want goes a long way, and the best part? It’s much easier than writing thousands of messages to each person on your list. While so many are headed to the airport this summer to enjoy some well-deserved time off, consider how your email list could benefit from a quick refresh to funnel the right people into the right places to get more tailored emails while they’re away. 

1. Know what brought them to your list in the first place

So someone signed up for your email mailing list. Awesome! High-fives. So, now what. Do you add them to a master list you send to every time you create an email? No! Your first hint at what will keep your audience coming back to your emails is understanding what brought them there in the first place. Did they download a guide on the best shoes for hiking during the summer? We’ll go out on a limb here and guess that they are interested in hiking. So what could we provide? More hiking content, or content for things related to hiking. This example from Stitcher shows a ‘personalized’ email. Based on the listening habits, this email gets kicked out to a specific audience member who interacted with similar content in the past. Easy for sending emails. Enjoyable and relevant for the recipient. 

2. Share Content that actually provides value

The beauty of knowing what your clients are interested in is that you can provide even more content they would care about and make decisions based on other topics that might be valuable to them specifically. This adds a layer of personalization that makes a lot of people stay on lists that understand their audience members. This doesn’t just apply to podcasts or a new release of the hottest technology. Even if it’s something like STEM curriculum or stamped metal parts, once you know who you’re talking to, what they care about, and how to reach them, you can build a strong relationship with additional content they can actually use. 

3. Be Strategic

 Timing is everything. This month we’ve been talking a lot about clients taking some time off to enjoy family or maybe just a few days without the incessant sound of the phone ringing. This is a great time to reach them if your product or service could benefit their time off. Say you do offer STEM curriculum and activities like our friends over at StratoStar. A great time to reach teachers is during the summer months when they actually get a break from grading papers late into the night. Additionally, this is probably about the time they’re thinking about planning for next year and looking for ways to get kids even more engaged, Consider your own business, product, service, or offer. Put yourself in the shoes of your client and think about when you would be most open to messages. If you need help getting into the mind of your target audience, we have a whole workshop dedicated to do just that. We can help you get started if you’re curious about who your clients really are and what they really care about. 

4. cut down on time investment

The beauty of marketing technology is that most of this strategy can be accomplished with some forward-thinking and solid tools. Marketing automation should make this easier, not harder and you can personalize messages without spending the entire summer setting up your strategy. 

These examples give us a hint at what people actually want to see in their inbox. Of course, each email campaign you send out should be held under a microscope when it comes back. The subject line gives you insight into why your open rates fell or grew, while your click rate gives hints about what your audience actually wants to read about. If you want to work smarter, not harder for your email clicks, it’s time to shake the dust off your lists and rethink how your email is being received and what can be done to make it better. If you’re ready to get started and check one thing off your list this summer that can help drive sales without you having to pick up the phone and call every time you want a client to know something new, it’s time to overhaul your email process. Not to worry though, we do it all the time around here and know how to walk through the process to make your email do the work! 

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Carolyn Byard

Carolyn is Iconic's art director and office dog handler. She strives to build unicorns, and she is completely obsessed with the fusion of beautiful design with strong strategy for unforgettable user interfaces.