One of the top buzz words circulating in our conversations is: Automation. Everyone is looking to automate – across all channels possible – in order to provide the most relevant and targeted materials to their customer base. While automation is contributing to countless wins for so many companies and we look to it every day and breathe its success stories, there are times when we have to take a step back and take some caution.
Automation sounds so simple and yet, when it’s not looked after and cared for by experts – it can go wrong. Very wrong.
Here is a perfect example of an automation failure. It is an example, where the company was not timely with their messaging. They should have been performing more of an automation review periodically. Since they eliminated some of the process and reviewing, this scenario took place for a friend of mine:
Recently, a mother of twins (boy and girl) sent me an email she received from a company which she used to frequent and shop at online. The email received was for potty seats that she might be interested in for her kids based off of other products she had been purchasing via the website. The email was automated to target her for these seats in blue and pink. This automation might have worked about 4 years ago. However, now her children are grown.
It was 4 years off of the mark. Her twins are now 6 year olds and very much past the potty training stages. She opened the email and laughed to herself at how long it had been since she has had seats like this in her home. She was receiving baby offers now for her kids as they were growing up. She explained that she found it cool for the first year – but now a little silly in the years following as they are so far past this stage in life & no longer needing baby products.
Without the proper platforms and people behind them, it becomes common for marketing fails to present themselves. It is critical that databases are maintained, updated efficiently, and that you are confident in the information and people supplying the data.
Automation can deliver greater efficiency and success, but only with the proper care and strategy. At Hallmark, we advise considering all touch points and mapping them out in a strategic session – preferably on a white board – in order to get the entire picture before they are moved into production. In looking at your current automation plan as well as reviewing new ones, you can ensure timeliness and future success.
One of the key factors to establishing effective communication with your audience hinges on your welcome email. If your audience is not engaging with your initial email and doesn’t find value in it, they are not likely to open your following touch points – and worse, could opt out of future communications. There are many lists of best practices for email optimization. However, this article points specifically to how you can optimize this very first and critical communication: The Welcome Email Touch Point. In “11 Ways to Optimize Your Welcome Email for New Subscribers” on business.com there are many strong points which we have also covered in past webinars.
We especially want to highlight 2 tips as we find them increasingly relevant:
Number 9: Make it Mobile Friendly. Creating email that opens on smartphones is imperative. 85% of people say that mobile devices are a central part of everyday life. – ExactTarget “2014 Mobile Behavior Report.” As soon as the user isn’t able to read the email, it is often ignored or deleted.
Number 11: Establish Trust. While this point seems obvious, it isn’t always top of mind or understood how best to establish trust and execute on it. In communicating with your audience the benefits of subscribing and defining expectations, they are able to understand and anticipate what to find in the next set of emails. We have found that indicating the frequency as well is very valuable in this first touch point. Gaining your audience’s trust will prove beneficial as you deploy second and third touch points.
When we speak with clients, we often get the question, how can I grow my email list. Different strategies work for different publishers. Much depends on your audience, the content they prefer and their engagement preferences. However, we recently found a study on the subject that we wanted to share…
The #1 Tactic for growing your email list is …
…Overlays. According the Email Marketing Benchmark Report study from Subscription Content, executives reported that overlays are among the best tactic for growing your email list organically. On page sign-up box and free downloads followed closely behind.
Through Hallmark’s Drag-and-Drop form builder, Dragon, we’ve worked with clients to support any of the top 5 models.
Read more and view the chart for other effective modes for growing your lists!