Automation applied to marketing brings extraordinary benefits. When used correctly, it simplifies communications, streamlines work and increases revenue. Email is an excellent channel for content delivery and is also the starting point for any online marketing strategy. Although the golden age of indiscriminate electronic communications is over, the web box is still the central point for talking directly to users. It’s where you connect with your customers and it’s where you need to start if you want to automate a digital sales process.
What is marketing automation?
Automation in digital marketing is understood to be all those actions, usually of a business nature, that are not directly managed by people, but are automatically delegated to a machine, based on specific guidance given upfront.
The digital environment has an amazing advantage: all actions that users perform are tracked. This means that it is possible to track the behavior of potential buyers and to propose personalized offers, calibrated according to their tastes and interests: an incredible sales aid. But how do you leverage this information?
As blunt and provocative as this statement may sound, it’s not far from the truth. The truth is that the more you know about your target, the more you have the ability to deliver direct, personalized messages. Although through fraudulent use, the use of your private information is still a significant risk. Data control is a hot topic these days.
The engagement phase
“Thank you for signing up, you will receive an email shortly. Please confirm your address”. Everyone will have read a similar message after registering online, perhaps at an e-commerce store. Moments after completing the process, an email is automatically sent to the address you entered.
This process is called double opt-in registration and is universally used to verify that the data entered is correct. This is a crucial step: typos are common, especially when you are in a hurry.
Without a clean record, any marketing effort is likely to be tiresome and unsuccessful. Imagine sending offers and promotions to a non-existent address. All your work will have been in vain because no one will ever read the communications sent. Hence the need to be able to contact the target audience in a simple and correct way.
Anyone who works in the field of web marketing, and especially those who run an e-commerce business, knows how important it is to communicate effectively with their customers. A merchant meets buyers every day and can inform them of any news, while online, the most direct form of contact is sending an email with information.
User registration: what data should be requested?
But how can automated emails increase sales? The answer is very simple: they allow you to engage the user in the right way and at the right time to push them to buy. In order for them to work at their best, you need to have as much information about their users as possible: last name, first name, date of birth, phone and residence are basic data that should always exist. You can then ask for additional information, such as your diplomas or interests. The tax code, for example, is extremely valuable because it is unique for each member.
To encourage customers to fill out these fields, you can offer rewards, perhaps coupons or discounts. The more data you collect, the more knowledge you will have about the users. This will allow you to profile your database and create customized offers, promotions or products for your customers. Once you have gathered all the information, you can proceed from a business perspective, and implement the right strategy. Studying the target audience is very important: understanding who the registrants are, how old they are, what recurring actions they perform and under what circumstances, allows you to create a structure that facilitates selling. It is important to have the correct biographical data. It is through them that you can contact all customers for seasonal promotions or to re-engage the audience after a period of inactivity. Imagine receiving a specific offer for your birthday, wouldn’t you at least be intrigued?
Automatic communications with users
Unless the number of customers is limited, this type of activity can also be handled manually, but when the user base starts to fill up, it becomes problematic to meet every deadline. This is why it becomes important to start using technological tools that automate communications. With Double Opt-In, for example, when you sign up, an email automatically starts asking for confirmation of the data entered.
This is perhaps the most important of all the emails that will start in the future, because it acts as a precursor. On the one hand, it verifies the contact information and on the other hand, it introduces itself to the mail provider. In fact, sometimes the confirmation email ends up in the spam box. By retrieving it from there, the user tells his mail to consider all future communications from that address as reliable.
This is the first and most rudimentary automation that can occur through email marketing, but by taking advantage of the infinite possibilities of the network, one can imagine many actions that engage users. The time required to create the rules needed to start the automations can be enormous, but the effort saved in the long run is definitely worth it.
Without automation, you’d have to go through the records one by one and see when the last transaction occurred, which could waste hours and hours of work. Instead, with the tools that technology provides, you are able to set up a structure that manages these events on your own.
Moreover, automation is not limited to sending messages by email. Investing in new technologies and artificial intelligence allows you to set up an efficient marketing automation strategy. Among the known solutions, some companies opt for the grouping of their target in 3 different categories according to their behavior on the site. Each category corresponds to the communication mode to present a product. This type of strategy that uses all available technologies can help you improve your business and sales.