Email Best Practices

Conquer email automation with Software Advice's marketing research

Software Advice's research on Email Automation shows how important automation is in a marketing strategy, especially for SMEs.

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At Mailjet, we always like to be ahead of the game when it comes to email marketing. If there’s something out there we can try or a new feature we can implement, we’re always eager to explore it. Providing our users with the best tips and functions to power their email is at Mailjet’s core, and with that in mind we recently launched Email Automation.

You’ve probably heard about Marketing Automation before, and how a smart email automation strategy can strengthen your customer relationship and increase your ROI. We know many of our customers might be using Email Automation for the first time or might want to learn more about it. That’s why last week we spoke with Craig Borowski, marketing researcher at Software Advice, an email marketing analysis and reviews company, on his latest Marketing Automation research.

Want to know more? Read on and find out what he told us.

Q: Your team recently conducted research on marketing automation trends for small businesses–what were some of the most surprising results?

After analyzing Software Advice’s interactions with a sample of hundreds of prospective marketing automation buyers, we found the vast majority (98%) are purchasing for the first time. Even more surprisingly, nearly half of them (47%) are still using manual methods to manage their outreach. This can be a very time-consuming task that’s prone to human error, not to mention the challenge of tracking and personalizing on a large scale.

When we drilled down into the specific features marketers are seeking out, we found that 73% of prospective buyers wanted email marketing or drip campaign functionality. Email marketing may be a popular choice amongst marketers looking to automate because it, more than other channels, clearly shows when certain goals or targets have been achieved. You know when somebody has opened an email. The ubiquity of email also helps; it consistently has a higher ROI than other traditional channels, making it a solid starting place for newcomers.

Q: More and more, consumers expect personalized content and real-time interactions. How can email marketing software meet these demands?

Email marketing platforms allow users to group contacts or leads by shared characteristics–location, household attributes, buyer stage–making it easier and faster to send targeted outreach. Drip campaigns automatically send email messages over a scheduled period of time or when certain milestones are achieved to help automate the process for already-busy business owners. Considering the fact that so many businesses are just beginning to automate their outreach efforts, it’s helpful when Mailjet or other tools offer built-in templates and drag-and-drop interfaces. These features benefit businesses by making it easy to design and build personalized email campaigns for first-time email marketers and seasoned pros alike. By automating these repetitive processes, email marketers can spend more time building genuine relationships with their customers.

Q: How do small business owners know when it’s the right time to invest in software?

Time and money are the two most valuable resources for small business owners. Often they’re left wearing many hats–the sales and marketing team could be one person trying to juggle it all. As with many business decisions, there’s not a clear, black and white threshold, so the timing can depend on a variety of factors.

Generally speaking, it’s the right time to invest in software when you realize you want to spend less time treading water with manual and repetitive tasks and more time developing, executing and tracking marketing campaigns that build stronger customer relationships.

Q: What are the key considerations email marketers should keep in mind as they compare different options?

When business are evaluating different options, it’s important to know exactly what they need. Email marketing is a vast market, with many different levels of underlying technology. Without a clear idea of your business objectives, it’s easy to get swept away by all the bells-and-whistles out there.

Ask yourself: What mediums are your customers using? Are they viewing emails on mobile devices? Are they active social media users? You’ll want to find a system that caters easily to their habits.

Another key consideration: What degree of personalization would you like to offer? From monthly newsletter blasts to personalized messages based on interactions with your website and everything in between, email marketing software can accomplish a variety of tasks.

Finally, as with all software purchases, consider the future of your company. Will this tool be able to scale with your team?

Answering these questions (and knowing your budget) will help you come up with a list of requirements. With that list, you can compare different offerings until you find one that is an ideal fit for your needs. Reading customer reviews of various email marketing software solutions gives you the real scoop on the tool in action, which can help with the research phase of your software selection process.

Just as Craig Borowski’s research identified, our experience also tells us that more and more customers are now looking for email marketing solutions that will allow them to automate their sendings. This is the reason why we are decided to make Email Automation an accessible tool for all, continuing in our quest to make Mailjet the best email solution for all size companies.

But it’s not all about having the latest features, you also need to get the foundations right. That’s why we continue focusing on providing world-class deliverability for your marketing and transactional emails, and a scalable solution that is both easy to use and extremely powerful.

Have you tried our new feature Email Automation? Do you use any other marketing automation tools? Tweet us your ideas and experience using the hashtag #MailjetMarketing.

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