Maintaining the periodic sending of email marketing campaigns is now part of the routine of companies seeking to create a relationship with their contacts. In addition, this is one of the most important actions in a Digital Marketing strategy, which also involves building a solid presence in the digital media. From this point on, the need for a specific management was felt, capable of preparing your consumers up to the moment of purchase, that is, until they are converted into leads.
Email marketing is not limited to sending campaigns to your entire contact base. First you have to understand their interests and evaluate the behavior of each of them, one by one, which will produce a reorganization of the content of the mail according to each profile. Now comes the main point of the post: no matter how efficient the practice, executing it manually becomes completely unfeasible. In order to avoid that and, on top of that, save time, Marketing Automation was born.
A little bit of history
The term Marketing Automation is a technology that refers to software platforms designed to turn repetitive demands into an automatic process. Therefore, it is not a question of sending mails en masse, nor of messages segmented only by lists. The campaigns sent will be guided by user behavior.
Moreover, by automating processes such as the collection of customer information and lead qualification, the routine tasks of the marketing department, previously executed manually, become automatic. This facilitates the application of a more specific approach, taking into account the status of each contact within the sales funnel and optimizes the time for better planning of content strategies to prepare the lead to the commercial approach.
The intention, besides saving time, is to minimize human errors and increase outreach efficiency, maintain continuous interaction with contacts and send well segmented messages to educate them until they become qualified, completing the purchase cycle.
Its main objective was the B2B market (business to business), but today it also includes B2C (business to consumer). What changes is the approach and the focus. The first acronym is used in e-commerce to define commercial transactions (resale, transformation or consumption) between companies, while the second acronym refers to commercial transactions (consumption only) between the company and the final consumer.
There are three types of approaches: Lead Nurturing, Lead Scoring and Lead Management. The first serves to inform users by sending relevant content until they become customers. The second separates consumers who are close to making a purchase from those who still depend on a product information process. The third takes into account respect for lead management, that is, understanding who they are and, from that information, offering relevant content to generate conversion.
Knowing how to communicate with your contacts at every stage of marketing funnel sales will make campaigns more assertive and less costly.
Marketing automation for B2B has as its main focus management, which is directly related to Lead Nurture for the final conversion through the marketing funnel (from top to bottom). Already for B2C, the focus is on segmentation through the delivery of highly customized content, in order to increase delivery rates, openness and clicks and on reducing shopping cart abandonment.
Looking to the future
Now that we’ve introduced you to the technology, it’s time to analyze the differences between a traditional email marketing campaign and marketing automation. This issue is common between small and large companies. The most important item to consider is scalability. If your business is growing, or you want it to grow, consider the change for marketing automation. The technology offers advanced resources with list management, campaigns and reports, making your email marketing strategy even more effective.
In sending email marketing, there are a number of adjustments that must be made manually in order to certify that your campaigns reach your target audience at a given time. Through the automation of marketing, you can pass that work to automatic mode, without the need to develop individual mails, but without losing, either, the personalization applied to each message.
The resource allows you to concentrate on the flow of mails that will be sent through automated campaigns, which will have as their main focus the nutrition of leads. In this way, you will have control over the purchase cycle and over the contacts on your list that will be predisposed to buy.
Besides that, it is also possible to prepare the sending of mails according to the interaction of each one with the campaigns or, for example, based on demographic characteristics. This is where the segmentation comes in, which will lead your potential customers through the marketing funnel. You can create diversified campaigns to involve them, and create a direct and personal relationship.
In terms of analysis, by linking marketing automation with email marketing, you will have access to reports with detailed metrics, tracking interactions through opening rates, clicks and conversions, for example, by learning about the campaigns that were most effective.
Trends for the market
In the coming years, although signs are already being shown, the dispute for consumers will have as its main pillar the way in which the brand relates to them. That will determine a good ROI (return on investment). The market, therefore, still needs to mature, not only in the use of email marketing combined with marketing automation, but also, in the way professionals conduct it.
The tendency is that the solution becomes less complex with the passing of time, since the professionals of the area will be naturally more prepared. It is the natural evolution.
Regardless of the branch of your business, marketing automation means understanding and acting in a personalized way with the users who interact with your company through different online channels, whether through the site, mail or social networks. It is to understand and offer them what they are looking for. If the client, still, was not predisposed for the purchase, that predisposition will be given little by little.