Interestingly, the debate surrounding automation in business is one that has continued ever since the Industrial Revolution. It was at this time that businesses began to recognise the importance of time and its impact on profitability, forcing them to seek out ways of creating more efficient and productive working processes.

While initially relevant to the manufacturing sector, automation has since become a hot-button topic in more diverse realms such as marketing and customer service. In fact, we are now seeing automation play a pivotal role across multiple markets and disciplines, as companies look to reduce operational and labour costs in a bid to optimise their profit margins.

The Rise of Email Marketing Automation and How to Make This Work for you

If there is one area where automation has had a truly seminal impact, however, it is the field of email marketing. Last year alone, more than 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase as a consequence of targeted, electronic communications, with the automation of personalised messages central to this success rate.

Automation is also thought to have had a direct impact in transforming email marketing from a moribund practice into the king of online communication, with an impressive ROI of 3800% ($38 for every $1 spent by brands).

These statistics herald the rise of email marketing automation and also highlight it influence, but brands learn how to leverage this technology effectively if they are to achieve success. Here are some considerations that can help them to achieve this: –

Organise Email Campaigns According to Segmentation

There are numerous insights that have been drawn from email marketing studies, but one of the stand-out observation is the importance of sending segmented emails. This is a practice that results in a significantly higher click-through rate, with the most recent figures estimating an increase of approximately 63.03%.

This means that prior to sending out automated emails, you must categorise your customer lists according to segmentation. The precise nature of segmentation will depend on your industry and the purpose of engaging customers, but factors such as lead source, location and demographics are used to created separate, targeted audiences.

You can then create separate emails for each segment, tailoring personal messages to optimise impact and achieve the highest possible ROI. This is central to the success of your automated email campaigns, as the content used to engaged targeted demographics is just as important as the timing of the communication itself.

Use Tense and your Customer’s Name to Drive Higher Levels of Engagement and Open-Rates

While it is widely accepted that personalisation is key to any successful automated email campaign, creating customised and engaging content is an art-form in itself. There are several effective steps that can increase the impact of your personalised messages, enabling you to capitalise on a far-reaching, mass marketing tool.

Let’s start with the basics; as repeating the recipient’s name throughout the email is proven to increase initial engagement by 22%. So while featuring this in the subject line of the email helps to initially engage customers and optimise your open-rates, for example, repeating it naturally and regularly throughout the remainder of the content helps readers to absorb your primary marketing message.

Importantly, this tactic also helps to build trust and familiarity between brands and customers, while you can enhance this by also including a conversational tone and the individual name’s of relevant company employees within the content.

The email itself should also be written in an active tense where possible, as this is an effective copywriting tactic that delivers messages in an energetic and direct manner. This is something that creative writers use when penning their work, as it is far more effective at engaging readers and keeping them immersed in a particular narrative.

When combined, these tactics make your email communication eminently more engaging and more effective at sharing primary, secondary and even tertiary marketing messages.

Build your Automated Emails Around a Clearly-defined Call-to-Action (CTA)

The idea of writing in an active tense is also something that should be adopted when creating your CTA, which in an ideal world would always serve as the focal point for your automated emails. Make no mistake; the need to optimise your marketing ROI and achieve your underlying goals relies heavily on the impact of your CTA, which ultimately directs recipients towards a desired action.

This is why CTA optimisation remains such an important consideration for modern businesses, with more than 41% of marketers ranking this practice as being extremely valuable.

Of course, the question that remains is how else can you optimise the impact and visibility of your CTAs (apart from using active, simple verbs such as buy, get and order)? In terms of technical considerations it must be located above the fold (depending on the devices that your customers predominantly use) and easy to see, while the use of clickable or actionable icons that can direct consumers is also recommended wherever possible.

The execution of your CTA is also important, particularly in terms of copy and delivery. Simple and concise language is a must, for example, as is language that translates product or service features into direct consumer benefits. You may also want to consider using visual aids and variable colour shades to help the CTA stand out within the body of the email, as you look to create a striking contrast that catches the reader’s eye.

With these tips and a detailed understanding of your customer segments in mind, you can hopefully build a successful automated email campaign that dramatically enhances your marketing ROI over time.