For years, email has been the go-to choice for marketers searching for the biggest bang for their buck. “Compared to traditional marketing strategies like direct mail, print advertising or trade shows, email marketing costs less and drives a higher return,” Marketo says. In fact, in one experiment, HubSpot found the return on investment of an email-only campaign to be 95x higher than that of a direct mail-only campaign.
Not only can email yield higher ROI, it is also easier to measure success than with offline strategies. “With TV you do not know who is watching your ads. Ditto with print. Even with direct mail, you cannot be sure your mail has been delivered, or that anyone reads it when it gets there,” says Arthur Middleton Hughes on the HBR Blog Network. “With email, you know within 24 hours exactly which messages have been opened, by whom, what links the openers clicked on, and what part of your messages was working.”
So when a marketing team implements email marketing, but sees little ROI, it can leave them wondering, “What went wrong?” The fact is simple-email marketing is not always effective for all businesses. There are many cases where marketing automation is essential to increase the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.
What is Marketing Automation?
Let’s take a step back and define marketing automation. Marketing automation, according to Marketo, is technology that allows you to nurture leads through automated campaigns. It allows you to build content assets, like emails and landing pages, and deliver them to potential buyers at the right time in their buying cycle.
“This ‘right time’ is based on knowing your potential customer by capturing demographic information, capturing their interactions with your brand through website visits, social interactions as well as more traditional touchpoints with your sales team,” says David Held on ExactTarget.
For many marketing teams, marketing automation can increase your email campaigns’ effectiveness while saving your organizations resources in the long run.
Is Marketing Automation Right For Me?
In order to determine if marketing automation is right for your marketing team, ask yourself the following:
- Are my resources wearing thin? A marketing team’s most precious resource is time. It’s simple economics: Time spent painstakingly deploying website forms and landing pages is time wasted capturing qualified leads and passing them onto sales. If your marketing department does not have enough time to do everything it needs to do with their current resources or it needs a quicker, easier way to create and send multi-touch email campaigns, marketing automation may be for you.
- Is our buying process complex and lengthy? “If your customers go through many stages in their buying process, your buying process is complex,” Marketo says. “When you have a complex buying process, your customers will not make a decision immediately after their first interaction with you. They will need time to do research, reflect on their options and ultimately come to a decision that makes them feel comfortable.” If your customer buying process lasts longer than a week or you sell different products/services to different demographics, marketing automation may be for you.
- Are we getting desired results? As mentioned above, according to industry statistics, your email marketing efforts should be one of your most cost-effective marketing programs. So if your salespeople are complaining you’re not delivering quality leads or sending emails alone is not driving sales, marketing automation may be for you.
- Are we allocating budget intelligently? Budget is a sensitive topic in marketing, arguably more so than other departments. Why? Many CEOs still do not understand the value of marketing in relation to the bottom line. That’s why it’s crucial marketing departments are allocating budget intelligently. If you can’t tell which of your marketing campaigns are most effective or if you should be asking the C-suite for more or less money to spend on marketing, marketing automation may be for you.
Email Deliverability Before Marketing Automation
Did you determine marketing automation is right for your marketing team? Great! But before you begin exploring your service provider options, remember: Marketing automation cannot return results you desire if you’re not successfully delivering emails to the inboxes of your customers and prospects.
Join us for tomorrow’s webinar Email Deliverability and Marketing Automation. We’ll cover best practices for maximum deliverability, how to integrate automation into everyday email marketing, personalizing email delivery based on buyer behavior and email enhancement and much more. Click here to reserve your space!
Photo Credit: Beat Küng