Is Email Marketing Automation Worth Looking Into?
Email marketing has been around for quite some time, but it is far from dead! Marketing automation could be a gold mine and time saver for your business and you might not even know it. This service has only been a buzz phrase for the last 5 years, but unless you have your ears close to the tracks of the internet marketing world it might have passed you by.
Everyone that has a seasoned business knows that reminding clients you exist and reselling to current clients is a huge part of the job. Marketing Automation Software can be a game changer with reaching out + keeping the conversation going with prospects and clients.
Think of it as a system that monitors your interested parties and performs scheduled tasks based on their activity. Once you have funnels and automatons setup correctly, you can sit back and spend the rest of your time doing what you do best, perfecting your services and products.
Besides being just a sales funnel you can use it for a slew of other things like nurturing leads, confirming email delivery, newsletter optimization and scheduling to name a few. Think of is as a CRM that keeps track of all your contacts and their interest in what you offer, bundled with intuitive email and SMS marketing automation platform. It doesn't take much time to figure out the nuts and bolts of it, so it could be a Win - Win.
There are quite a few providers offering this service in various flavors now, Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, Click Funnels and Hubspot to name a few. I wanted to find the best solution looking at both cost and functionality as key points. I did not want this to be a review article, but when looking at setup fees, monthly cost and ease of use, Active Campaign seemed to come out on top. It only took me a few days to get my initial campaigns and pipeline setup and so far we are incredibly impressed with the service. I was able to get our WordPress website and landing pages integrated and connected without any hookup.
Active Campaign uses a system of tags, goals, deals and activity in order to keep track of your contacts and where they are in your communication pipeline. You can also connect Active campaign to a multitude of API connection options that can help you with your sales funnel. For example GoToMeeting, Woo Commerce, Facebook Custom Audiences, Basecamp and Slack, to name just a few.
I think the best way to explain the automation implications would be with a simple reference and process list. Here is a simple but powerful example that was the first automation we created using Active Campaign's service. In this example, I have a basic setup for prospects opting in for more information on our web development and marketing services from a specific form on our website.
The visitor fills out the form with their name, number and email address. The prospect is then tagged as (Prospect) coming from my service inquiry page, so I know that they are already interested in what we have to offer.
- A Notification email is sent to me or one of my team regarding the new opt-in sign up and details.
- The visitor enters the automation because he or she has been tagged as (Prospect) from the landing page form options.
- I then have a (Thank You For Your Interest) email template that is already set up with a PDF brochure attachment, video, and next step information. This email is written asking the prospect to schedule a quick call or meeting regarding their project using a Calendly API connection to Active campaign.
- A (Wait) node can be dropped in where I have added a 1 day period of time to pass before executing the next condition.
- We then have an (If Then) process. In this case if the email has been opened and the appointment request link was clicked on it will send a reminder notification and create a task for one of our reps to follow up on that contact. Otherwise, if those conditions were not met the system will wait another day before sending a follow up email with a different subject line.
- After the second follow up email is sent out that contact is tagged as (Unresponsive) but added to a different automation that is sent out after 3 days in case they were just preoccupied. To control the hygiene of my list after 2 weeks pass and a final follow up, I have the contact removed from the list.
You can get really creative with the CRM functionality of Active Campaign as well. They make it easy to customize, colorize, rename and invent goals, deals and tasks so you can keep your sales team on track. My best advice is to sign up for the 14 day free trial and play with it for a week. This platform defiantly has potential to be used for a multitude of solutions. The team at Active Campaign have great support and they are adding features to their platform every month.
If you are interested in learning more about what marketing automation can do for your company, feel free to reach out to us. Blue Light Labs offer Marketing Automation consulting and solution design.