In this day and age, marketers rely heavily on automation, and for good reason. There’s simply too much to get done and not enough time to do it, so any processes that can be streamlined through automation should definitely be. That being said, automation is not a fool-proof concept — when it isn’t done right, consumers commonly tend to hit the unsubscribe button without delay. Poorly automated campaigns come across as robotic spam, which is never a good thing. Although subscribers commit to a brand because they’re ultimately interested in the products or services they will receive, they still want to feel like their having a human exchange with the company throughout the process. Thankfully, the following tactics will help even the most automatic campaigns seem useful and informative to customers.
Automated Emails can be Personal, Too
Just because an email marketing campaign is partly automated, doesn’t mean that it can’t be personal. Marketers are advised to sculpt a personalized list of emails based on what their consumers have window-shopped for or purchased in the past. “For example, if you’re in retail and your customer has recently bought shoes, stick with footwear,” writes Huffington Post contributor Siva Yenneti. “If they’ve browsed an appliance, let them know it’s going on sale, or that it’s still available at a discounted price. The personal touch keeps customers interested.”
Maintain Quality of Content
It’s a simple point, but it bears stating: solid, useful content is the fundamental bases of good content management. While social media posting and blogging and great tools, marketers shouldn’t simply stop there. “You should have an expert in charge of the copy that goes into your marketing emails as well,” offers Yenneti. “Misspellings, grammar errors, boring copy, or copy that’s not engaging and informative falls flat. Keep your customer interested by keeping them engaged. Including links to relevant news stories or blog sites is also a plus.”
Expand Automation to Social Media
Marketers should actively be looking for new tunnels leading to prospective consumers, such as social media. Automation can be applied to social posting as well as email marketing. “For example, do a Twitter search. Group together a list of people by either location or tweet content. Ask them a personal question via Twitter,” says Yenneti. “Often times, direct messages don’t work. Instead, send an actual tweet. More often than not, you can get a conversation going. While the roots of this are in automation, you will need a team of social media gurus to keep the conversation flowing.”
Lists Should be up to Date
Yenneti writes: “It’s imperative that your lists are organized by campaign, and your contacts are actually interested. That way, when you’re ready to target a sale, you’re targeting the right audience.” Of course, if a consumer asks to be unsubscribed, marketers should cease all interaction with them. If not, the emails will almost certainly come off as spam.
Keep the Team Focused
Every team member should be focused on excelling in their specific task. However, the success of the team as a whole depends entirely on whether each member’s actions synchronize optimally with the rest. For that reason, it’s crucial that marketing and sales teams maintain an open line of communication in order for the content to remain consistent. “If the sales team is doing one thing and the marketing another, spammy, robotic emails or marketing strategies are sure to ensue,” offers Yenneti. “If you can’t sit down on a weekly basis together, try a Skype team meeting or a group email to ensure that everyone’s on track.”