Marketing automation is a huge part of the way modern SMEs conduct business. If you haven’t heard of marketing automation, it is essentially a software that helps to automate your marketing tasks. Simple, right? Not only that, but it also helps to improve efficiency and customer service with timely and relevant emails and lead gen offers. So what’s the down side? Well, some people might argue it takes the human touch away from marketing. After all, we are always told we need to be real and on the same level as our buyers, so is automating our work really keeping us human? The short answer is yes, if done correctly.
Adding the Human Touch
Just because your content is automated doesn’t mean it is written by machines. You – a human – are the person who creates the strategy and logic of these automated emails and you are the one writing them. Whether you write the content or someone in your team is the dedicated wordsmith, make sure whoever is writing the copy has a good grasp of the powerful nature of automated messages and understands how to craft persuasive copy that will resonate with the reader.
Marketing automation is possibly one of the best things to ever happen to email. The irony is that automation has put marketers closer to the ultimate goal of marketing communications – the 1:1 messages but without having to manually send a message to each of your subscribers. Instead of sending one messages designed in the hopes of appealing to everybody, we can now use data-driven automation to craft highly personalised messages. And yes, they can still have the human touch. It just takes a little more planning and consideration. Here are 5 ways you can give your marketing automation a human touch so that your buyers keep coming back for more.
1. Segment Your Customers
Do you only have one email list and send the same email to every subscriber? This is one of the biggest mistakes businesses can make when trying to connect with their customers on a personal level. When it comes to talking directly with your customers, tailoring the message to suit a specific audience with specific needs and goals will lead to higher open rates and conversion. The goal of email marketing is to make your customers feel special rather than part of a crowd. So how do you segment your customers and create lists? When crafting your signup form on your website, make sure it includes a variety of fields (demographic, geographic location etc.) that will help you get to know your new subscriber and tailor your emails according to their needs.
2. Offer Them an Easy ‘Out’
If you do not have a clear ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of all your emails, now’s the time to add one. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving regular emails you can’t easily opt out of and this is something customers will remember. Just because they don’t want to be on your email list doesn’t mean they won’t buy from you in the future, but you’ll certainly lessen your chances of them returning if you make it hard for them to unsubscribe.
Also, you don’t want to be wasting your time emailing cold leads anyway. Keeping a list of people who have unsubscribed is equally, if not more, important than maintaining your list of subscribers. Like we said, you don’t want to create a negative experience for customers by continuing to communicate with them after they’ve asked not to be contacted.
3. Give Customers Some Space
In order to market your business effectively, you need to get in front of your target audiences. However, there is such a thing as too ‘in your face’. Buyers do not enjoy being harassed and the more you try to invade their space, the more likely they are to walk away. Say for example a customer was engaging with your website on a Friday night. Are they likely to be checking their emails that night or over the weekend? Probably not. It might be worth giving the customer some space and popping into their inbox on a Monday morning to remind them you’re available if they need any help or additional information.
4. Go Beyond Email
Automation also extends to social media. There are some great tools out there to help you stay on top of who is engaging with your company, sharing your content, talking about your competitors or asking questions about a problem you can help with. The next step, engaging with these people however, should be done directly, and personally – not using machines or automation. This is your opportunity to build a rapport with your leads or improve the customer experience with your customers and keep them loyal.
5. Keep Your Lists Up to Date
We talked about the importance of segmentation at the beginning of the article, but what’s equally as important is keeping those lists up to date. It is essential you keep your lists organised by each email marketing campaign and that your subscribers are actually interested. In this way, when you’re ready to target a sale, you’re actually targeting the right audience. Also, if someone requests to be unsubscribed, do not under any circumstances re-add them or continue to send emails. You’re basically spamming their inbox at this point, and that will only leave a bad taste about your business in their mouth.