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How to Create an Email Marketing Automation Strategy

Mar 28, 2024 | Latest, Email Marketing Strategy, Funnel Marketing Strategy, Marketing Tips

How to Create an Email Marketing Automation Strategy

Connecting with your audience through email remains one of the most effective methods to build relationships and drive sales. The greatest asset you can create for your business is your email list.

With the right email marketing automation strategy, you can create lead generation landing pages and set up lead nurturing email sequences, reaching your ideal audience 24/7.

By automating your email marketing you’re able to deliver targeted content to distinct segments of your audience at any time. This consistent communication helps to build trust and establish a strong relationship with your email subscribers.

Even though email marketing is a proven effective strategy to generate leads and build trust, many businesses struggle. Either they are not doing anything to grow their email list, or they simply don’t email the list they already have.

This is generally due to lack of time and education, on knowing what they need to do. Let’s explore the steps to help you create an email marketing strategy for your business.

1. Define Your Objectives

Creating a successful email automation strategy needs to start with setting clear, measurable, specific goals and objectives.  

Whether it’s increasing sales, building brand awareness, or nurturing leads, having a clear direction will guide your campaigns and ensure they align with your overall business objectives.

To help you define your objectives consider the following:

Identify Key Metrics

Determine what success looks like for your business by identifying and tracking key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

Analyse Your Audience

Understand who your target audience is and how they interact with your brand to create targeted campaigns that resonate with them.

Map Out Your Customer Journey

Identify the different touchpoints a customer has with your brand and how email automation can be used at each stage to guide them towards conversion.

Set Realistic Goals

Set achievable goals that align with your business objectives, taking into account the resources and capabilities of your business.

Remember to continuously monitor your strategy, as your objectives can change over time.

email marketing automation strategy

2. Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience and segmenting your email list is key to creating a successful email marketing strategy.

By understanding your audience you can send specific and targeted emails that speak directly to them.

Offering personalisation and clarity on how you can help solve your audience’s problems.

By dividing your audience into smaller groups based on specific characteristics or user behaviour, you can tailor your messaging and offers to better resonate with each segment.

This increases the chances of engaging and converting them into loyal customers.

Here are some things to consider to help you gain insights into your audience:

Conduct Market Research

  • Use tools like SEMrush and Google Analytics to analyse competitors, keywords, and market trends. This will help you track website traffic, behaviour patterns, and interests of your audience.
  • Join relevant Facebook groups related to your industry or niche. Observe discussions, pain points, and interests shared by group members.
  • Tap into Answer the Public or BuzzSumoto better understand the topics and questions your audience is searching for.
  • Use Reddit and participate in relevant subreddits to understand your audience’s interests, challenges, and preferences.
  • Follow industry leaders and influencers on social media to stay updated on industry news, trends, and best practices.
email marketing automation strategy

Create Audience Personas

    • Develop detailed audience personas, including demographic information, interests, pain points, goals, and preferred communication channels.

    Gather Feedback

    • Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather direct feedback from your audience.
    • Use tools like Typeform to create and distribute surveys. Ask questions about preferences, satisfaction levels, and areas for improvement.
    email marketing automation strategy

    Analyse Your Email List Data

    • Look at past email marketing campaigns to see which ones have performed well in terms of open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
    • Understand the demographics of your email list,  including age, location, and interests.

    Monitor Social Media Mentions

    • Monitor social media platforms for mentions of your brand, industry, or relevant keywords.
    • Use tools like Metricool social listening to track and analyse these mentions.

    3. Choose the Right Email Marketing Automation Platform

    To be able to create an email marketing automation strategy, you need a robust and easy-to-use email marketing automation tool.  

    These tools allow you to design, schedule, and send out consistent emails to your segmented audience.

    They also offer features such as A/B testing, personalisation, and performance tracking that can greatly improve the effectiveness of your email marketing.

    Take the time to research and invest in quality software that aligns with your goals and business.

    Choosing the right tool will not only make your email marketing more efficient, but it can also help you achieve better results and reach a wider audience. 

    Here are some other benefits to consider:

    • Efficiency: Automating your email marketing processes can save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on other important areas of your business.
    • Personalisation: With the use of segmentation and personalisation features, you can create targeted and relevant emails that resonate with your audience.
    • Analytics & Performance Tracking: These tools provide valuable data and insights into the success of your email campaigns, allowing you to make informed decisions for future marketing strategies.
    • Consistency: By scheduling emails in advance, you can ensure that your audience receives regular and consistent communication from your brand.
    email marketing automation strategy

    Tips for Choosing the Right Email Marketing Tool

    • Research different tools and their features to find the best fit for your business needs.
    • Consider your budget and choose a tool that offers the most value for your investment.
    • Look for user-friendly interfaces and customisable templates that can help streamline your email creation process.
    • Check if they offer integrations with other platforms you use, such as CRM or e-commerce systems, to maximise your automation capabilities.
    • Read reviews and ask for recommendations from other business owners to get a better understanding of the tool’s performance and reputation in the industry.

    3 Email Marketing Automation Platforms to Consider

    To help you get started with choosing the right email marketing automation tool for your business, we outline three of our favourites below.

    Each of these tools offers unique benefits depending on your business needs and goals.

    Choose a tool that best aligns with your objectives, budget and ease of use. Remember, the most powerful tool is the one that fits seamlessly into your workflow, making the entire process easier.

    1. MailerLite

    MailerLite stands out for its ease of use and affordability, making it an excellent choice for small businesses and individuals just beginning their email marketing journeys. 

    It offers a user-friendly interface, along with features like a drag-and-drop email builder, landing page creator, and automation workflows that help you send personalised content effortlessly. 

    email marketing automation strategy

    With its detailed analytics to track your email campaign’s performance, you can better understand your audience and optimise your strategies. 

    What we love about MailerLite, apart from its simplicity, is the features you can get access to on the free plan!

    You can sign up for free and start building your first automation without handing over your credit card! This is a platform to definitely consider. 

    email marketing automation strategy

    2. ConvertKit

    ConvertKit is tailored for creators and bloggers looking to grow their audience and monetise their passions. 

    It emphasises the power of personalisation with advanced segmentation and tagging capabilities, allowing you to send highly targeted emails to different segments of your audience.

    email marketing automation strategy

    ConvertKit also offers a unique visual automation builder that enables you to map out and automate the entire subscriber journey, ensuring each subscriber receives the right message at the right time.

    This tool is great if you are just starting out and looking for a user-friendly platform with robust features. One of the standout features of ConvertKit is its ability to easily create forms and landing pages to generate new leads, that integrate seamlessly with your website or blog.

    This makes it an ideal choice for creators who want to grow their email list and drive traffic to their content. 

    email marketing automation strategy

    3. ActiveCampaign

    ActiveCampaign is the go-to tool for businesses aiming to leverage more sophisticated email marketing and CRM capabilities.

    It offers a powerful suite of features, including advanced automation, segmentation, and personalisation options, alongside a comprehensive CRM system. ActiveCampaign is what we use and love, along with many of our clients.

    email marketing automation strategy

    ActiveCampaign’s automation capabilities allow you to create highly targeted and personalised email campaigns based on specific actions or behaviours of your subscribers.

    This means that you can send the right message, at the right time, to the right person, resulting in higher engagement and conversions.

    There is a steeper learning curve with ActiveCampaign, but it is well worth it given the features and flexibility that this system offers.

    email marketing automation strategy

    4. Create Engaging & Relevant Content  

    When creating emails, it’s crucial to create email content that resonates with the reader right from the subject line to the email body.

    Ensuring that your brand’s unique voice and message are consistently reflected in all communications can help build a strong connection with your audience. 

    Think about the following to help you get started with your content creation: 

    • Focus on creating content that resonates with the reader from the subject line to the email body.
    • Think about the type of emails that will resonate with your ideal audience from tone of voice, visuals and length.
    • Use the recipient’s name in the subject line and email body to make them feel valued and increase open rates.
    • Segment your email list based on demographics, interests, and behaviour to send targeted and relevant content that is more likely to resonate with each segment.
    • Always offer value as the main content of your emails.
    • Include a clear and compelling CTA that tells the reader what action you want them to take after reading the email.
    • Maintain your brand’s unique voice and message consistently across all communications to establish a strong connection with your audience.

    5. Develop Automated Email Campaigns

    There are many types of automated email campaigns that you can use in your business.

    By implementing these types of campaigns, you can engage your audience effectively, nurture leads, and drive conversions while saving time and resources through automation.

    Here are some suggestions:

    • Welcome Series: Create a welcome series to introduce new subscribers to your brand and build trust.
    • Abandoned Cart: Use automation for cart abandonment emails to remind customers of items left in their online shopping cart and encourage them to complete the purchase.
    • Drip Campaigns: As part of your sales funnel, set up a series of automated emails to nurture leads over time. Drip campaigns can be tailored to different stages of the customer journey, providing relevant content and offers to move subscribers closer to conversion.
    • Re-Engagement Campaigns: Target inactive subscribers with automated re-engagement emails to encourage them to rejoin your active audience. Offer incentives, promotions, or exclusive content to entice subscribers back to your brand.
    • Birthday or Anniversary Emails: Send personalised emails to subscribers on their birthdays or anniversaries to make them feel valued and appreciated. Offer special discounts, gifts, or exclusive perks to celebrate the occasion.
    • Educational or Onboarding Series: Provide educational content to new customers to help them get the most out of your products or services. Break down complex topics into easily digestible lessons or tutorials delivered through a series of automated emails.
    • Cross-Sell & Up-Sell Campaigns: Recommend related or complementary products based on a customer’s past purchases or browsing behaviour. Use personalised product recommendations to encourage additional purchases and increase average order value.
    • Review Requests: Automatically request feedback or reviews from customers shortly after they’ve made a purchase. Include a link to leave a review, along with a thank-you message and any incentives for leaving feedback.
    • Post-Purchase Follow-Up: Send automated follow-up emails to customers after they’ve made a purchase to thank them for their order and gather feedback. Provide order details, shipping updates, and customer support contacts to ensure a positive post-purchase experience.
      email marketing automation strategy

      6. Personalisation and Testing

      The effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns can heavily depend on the level of personalisation and testing that you do.

      By personalising your emails, you can make your messaging more relevant and tailored to each individual customer.

      This can include using their name in the subject line or body of the email, referencing their past purchases or interests, and segmenting your email list based on these factors.

      Testing is also crucial in optimising your email marketing strategy. A/B testing allows you to compare different versions of an email (such as subject lines or call-to-action buttons) to see which one performs better with your audience.

      This data-driven approach can help you refine your emails and improve conversion rates.

      email marketing automation strategy

      Consider the following:

      • Know Your Audience: Begin by gaining insights into your subscribers’ needs, preferences, and behaviours. Use surveys, feedback forms, and analytics to develop a deeper understanding of your audience.
      • Segmentation: Divide your audience into smaller, more targeted groups to enable personalised content that resonates deeply with each segment.
      • Content Relevance: Ensure your content offers value. Personalised emails that offer value are more likely to be welcomed and acted upon.
      • Subject Line Testing: Experiment with various subject lines to identify what attracts attention and leads to higher open rates. Use questions, emojis, and personalisation tokens.
      • Optimise Send Times: Test different days and times to determine when your audience is most likely to engage with your emails. This can vary based on your audience demographics.
      • Email Layout and Design: The visual presentation of your email is crucial. Test layouts, colours, and call-to-action placements to identify what prompts the best response.
      • Performance Evaluation: Continuously monitor your email performance. Analyse open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to measure success and pinpoint areas for improvement.

      7. Ensure Compliance with Regulations

      As the online space becomes more complex, it’s vital to understand and adhere to the laws that govern email communication to protect your audience and your brand.

      Here’s how you can ensure compliance and maintain trust with your community:

      • Understand the Spam Act:  Adhering to spam regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act in your own country is crucial for maintaining trust with your audience, demonstrating respect for recipients’ privacy, enhancing email deliverability, leading to increased engagement and higher conversion rates.
      • GDPR Compliance for EU Audience: If your audience includes members from the European Union, make sure your email practices comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This includes obtaining explicit consent before sending emails and providing clear information on how their data will be used.
      email marketing automation strategy
      • Implement SPF and DKIM Records: Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) are email authentication methods that help protect your domain from being used for email spoofing or phishing attacks. These steps are crucial in building trust with email service providers and ensuring your emails reach the inbox.
      • Stay Up-to-Date on Regulations: Email regulations are constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to stay informed and up-to-date on any changes or new laws. Regularly check reliable sources, such as government websites or industry bodies.

      Conclusion

      Email marketing automation is more than just a convenience; it’s a strategic approach that when done right, enhances your customer’s experience, drives engagement, and increases sales.  

      With the right tools and knowledge, you can create effective automated email campaigns that benefit both your business and your customers.

      Remember to continually analyse and optimise your campaigns, stay informed on regulations, and use authentication methods like DMARC.

      By following these best practices, you can build a successful email marketing strategy that will help your business thrive. Start implementing email automation into your email marketing efforts and see the positive impact it can have on your business.

      Next Step

      Turn theory into practice – download our email marketing automation checklist and get started on reshaping the way you connect with your audience. 

      Need help? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to help you create your email marketing automation strategy and implement it to boost your business. From choosing the right email platform to writing engaging emails, we can assist you every step of the way.

      Book your free discovery call today to learn more.

      Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.

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