For a considerably long time now, email marketing and automation have been one of the most reliable forms of getting in touch with the customer for marketers across businesses. As you would agree, the end goal of any marketing activity is to encourage more sales, and email marketing is one impactful way to acquire new customers or to even retain existing ones.
Moreover, giving importance to the fact that the clutter in the market today, be it any industry or vertical, is exponentially rising, impactful marketing automation is the key to many problems. Now, some would argue that sending frequent emails can land you in spam folders- which is true. However, with new and advanced tools coming up, you can efficiently personalize these mailers and happily reach the intended Inbox!
In fact, successful email marketing as part of the overall marketing automation is so popular that marketers across industries almost swear by it. Also, they don’t do it because it appears jazzy or lets them spread the word about their business, but also because it’s a useful brand exercise. Email marketing helps yield results!
But, if you’re still not convinced about including email marketing in your marketing automation strategy, these six reasons should do the trick:
1. Keep in Touch
For any brand, today, out of sight is out of mind. It is entirely critical to not only keep your customer informed but also to be present in front of them. Creating a brand recall is essential as the competition has just become more fierce and holds the potential to sneak away from your customer base. Hence, before any of that happens, staying in touch with your customers would be a great idea, and keeping them informed always works out for the best!
2. Real-time Updates
Did you know Mobile email will account for 22 to 77% of email opens, (source). When the numbers are this promising, it gives you an excellent opportunity to keep your customer base informed in real time. With the majority of your recipients opening their emails as they get them, your message is being sent across to them in almost real time! This means no missed updates, voluntary consumption of information and significant visibility for your brand!
3. Measure Results
Email marketing is always part of a marketing campaign which means the success and failure of the exercise are measured at the end. The good thing about email marketing is that there are tools available in the market that not only help you execute your marketing strategy and send emails but also allows you to measure the success. You can quickly track delivery rates, bounce rates, open rates, and some other aspects that when combined give an insightful picture of the entire exercise. Measuring the results is a great way to quantify your efforts as it lets you take a better shot and make better-informed decisions.
4. Stick to the Budget
Marketing teams are most often tied to a stringent budget in which they not only have to drive a number of tasks but also yield results. Owing to the budget constraints. Most marketing teams have found email marketing to be an affordable exercise that requires optimum effort and delivers significant results.
5. Targeted Messaging
Spillover of efforts is seen almost across every vertical of running a business. Especially in marketing, where there is not much control over what goes in front of which audience, email marketing is a blessing! On using an email marketing tool, you would come across a feature that asks for a recipient list- which means you can control who can see what before you hit Send.
6. Expand Reach & Awareness
It’s true that social media has recently come up super well when it’s about increasing a brand’s awareness. In fact, every other business that you might know, big or small, is on social media, promoting themselves. But, promoting on social media is one thing and reaching out to your customer via email is another.
The fact that you have somebody’s email ID itself says that they have some interest in you- which makes the whole exercise of sending them mailers much more relevant and meaningful. This is one reason why email marketing has been able to churn out favorable results for most businesses.
How many people do you know who don’t use an email address? The answer itself is the biggest reason for you to also include email marketing in your marketing strategies right away!
Now, to begin with, impactful marketing automation you must first be aware that there are already a bunch of marketing automation tools available out there. All you need to do is, go through them and analyze what fits your business requirements the best. However, to quickly kickstart weighing your options, let’s move with MailChimp and Aweber.
Both MailChimp and Aweber are leading email marketing automation tools and come with their pros and cons. Let’s take a deep dive into them before you decide to choose one for your business.
MailChimp is a reasonably popular email automation platform that almost every marketer is familiar with. I would say It is their excellent marketing activities as well as the charming mascot that has been able to do the trick. However, over the years, MailChimp has evolved and improved itself as a platform. They no longer call themselves an email marketing platform but a robust marketing automation tool.
To top it all off, Mailchimp is relatively simple to navigate through and understand on the whole. It has been built to hook a user on the first go, and the occasional humorous takes on the messaging are working well for them. Not only is the product sophisticated and robustly built but it has some serious analytical capabilities that completely trumps other products in the market.
Let’s take a look at some of MailChimp’s features that have continued to do the magic for so many years together.
Email Templates– Email creation often takes the most amount of time, however, with MailChimp’s email templates, you can quickly and seamlessly communicate with your audience. Without giving in much time, you can select a template and start building on it to create beautiful emails that put your word across in the most impactful manner. All you have to do is, choose a template basis your business goal, go on to select a theme and add your message to it. And if you’re not a fan of the existing templates, you can also code one of your own- and it’s pretty simple to execute!
Email Designer: The email template you start working on will have content and photo blocks.
You can move these block as and where you would like them to be. You will also have the option of photo editing in ca you decide to put in some images. Email designing on the template is a great way to have your online store or any business showcased in the most attractive yet professional manner.
Landing Pages– Landing pages are an essential part of any marketing campaign as this is where you can add a strong call to action for your customers. All you have to do is select a template, start filling it in with your messaging, add images if you like, and get to publishing the page. Next, send it to your audience!
Ads- Google Remarketing Ads – retarget your customers after they visit you and leave, with Google remarketing. Next, get insightful reports, so you know whom to target with what.
Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns – Since social media is also an important platform to target customers, you can create and publish ads on MailChimp for your FB and Instagram accounts. Again, choose a single photo or multiple to create a carousel, add your messaging and choose your audience. It doesn’t end here- start getting analytics and reports for your ad performance as well.
Manage- Email marketing is all about sending informative emails to the right people, and list building happens only when relevant audiences start signing up as subscribers. To achieve a good number of subscribers, it always helps entirely to add a ‘SignUp’ button which the recipient can access easily. These signup forms are customizable; you can even add times popups on the mail to jazz things up a bit. Not only this, but Mailchimp also offers a list of tools to track your List growth.
Segmentation– If you have some subscribers and they are all different, segmenting them in groups is a good idea. To make your email marketing efforts more impactful, you can segment these subscribers basis their profiles and send targeted emails with relevant content.
Subscriber Profiles– MailChimp offers a functionality where the tool tags your recipients basis their activity on mails sent by you. It then prioritizes and lists them as VIPs and tracks their activity- like purchase history and publicly available social media profiles.
Abandoned Cart- Research has shown that as much as 67% carts are left abandoned while their customers leave the online store. What most marketers don’t realize is that these are the people who have the highest potential to
buy from you! So, if you do have an online store, all you have to do it set up an automated workflow for abandoning users, for effective targeting and impactful messaging. This feature, in particular, can come quite in handy and pay off where it matters.
Product Recommendations- Another great feature for those of us who own an online e-commerce store. As per this particular functionality, you can send product recommendations to your visitors with an automated email. You can further offer them with an incentive to buy the products that caught their attention.
This is one feature that can up your sales by truly personalizing they way businesses are interacting with their customers these days. Remember, personalization is the key to increased sales, and it is what is going to keep you ahead of the game.
Marketing Automation- Since marketing automation is the essence of an effective marketing strategy, Mailchimp entirely takes care of this aspect for you. If you combine all the features of this product, you would see how they all come together to automate your marketing efforts and fetch the best of numbers for you.
Right from connecting with new contacts, to building your brand with the right mail designs and messaging, automating communication for repetitive visitors, recovering abandoned carts and the whole bunch of other critical activities- MailChimp gets it all for your marketing team.
Integrations- As personalization is a significant aspect of MailChimp, they have put their mind and effort into integrating with the best. If you are an online e-commerce store on Shopify, Magento, Woo, PrestaShop or BigCommerce, you can seamlessly integrate with MailChimp.
This will help you personalize your marketing efforts much better, grow your sales and drive higher revenues.
They have further integrations, similar to the ones mentioned above, with- Drupal, UberCart, X-Cart, BigCartel, and Miva. With these integrations, you can capture order information, create targeted campaigns, automate product follow-ups, and send personalized order notifications.
Analytics and Reporting- You can aim to improve your mailing performance by A/B testing your content. By understanding when and which type of content appeals which audience, you can increase the opening rate of your mail exponentially.
Mailchimp’s reports are another aspect that wins the game. They not only track various parameters but also represent them in the most consumable fashion. They offer interactive graphs that depict your growth over a period, measure and represent engagement across geographies and different times of day, or what kind of content your recipients like and lots more.
Subscriber activity reports is another one that helps a lot- you can easily see which subscriber open an email at what time of the day or, what did they click on, what more were they looking for. Not only this you can get a clear picture of open rates by location, time and even bounce rates so you could delete old email addresses from your database.
Pricing: MailChimp offers to start with a free account where you get a basic package of its features. Although these features are basic but they are self-sufficient for most small businesses. The next level of pricing starts with $10 a month going up to 200$ a month.
Digital and online marketing has taken a whole new meaning in the last couple of years. In this chaotic race of continually making a mark amongst some of the leading brands becomes quite a task, especially for the marketing teams.
Since it is the marketing team that has to support sales and brings in the numbers, setting objectives and the methods to achieve them is critical in any given business. Sometime back, most companies identified this need and have come up with streamlined strategies to make the most of market opportunities and drive sales with effective marketing.
However, the one question that most marketers were left asking was- how do you streamline so many online marketing activities where the very nature of the tasks was real time and thus cumbersome!
This was when marketing automation took birth, and a lot of marketing automation tools started sprouting up, claiming to help businesses in their endeavor of generating more leads and driving higher sales.
If you are starting out as a marketer and are looking to automate, you must first understand what the whole deal is all about. Automation is all about optimization- of efforts, of your team, of your tasks and your processes. But this is not all that you should know. It is vital that you compare tools and see which one works best for your business.
So here we are, comparing MailChimp and Aweber, two of the leading marketing and email automation tools in the market. Let’s begin with what makes Aweber a competing platform when it comes to choosing the right marketing automation tool for your business.
Marketing Automation- Let’s start with the most popular requirement amongst businesses which is marketing automation. With the help of features that come together to fuel your marketing automation on Aweber, you can rest assured that you will get the process quickly and see the results as quickly.
The first step here would be to create an email with HTML templates available on the tool. You can further edit these templates with the ever so simple drag and drop editor and customize the template while making it responsive as well.
Not just this, you can also automate email creation out of your latest blogs by using the ‘RSS-to-email’ feature.
Subscriber Collection: One of the most critical tasks of an effective email marketing exercise is to collect relevant subscribers who would end up receiving and opening your emails. A great way to start off with this activity is by creating a customized sign up forms which are doable on Aweber. You can use flexible display options, pull ink subscribers from Facebook or WordPress or even create multiple versions and test their success.
Next up, it’s time to import your recipient list. Since you have these email addresses with you beforehand, it means these are all the people that want to be notified by you whenever there is an announcement or an update to share. However, it is still extremely critical to keep your list clean and healthy, and you can maintain a healthy list by regularly weeding our inactive email addresses and saving the active ones.
Subscriber Management: Once you have your subscribers ready and waiting to hear again for you, it is essential that you keep them managed and organized correctly. Sending targeted emails is what keeps successful marketing, and email marketing campaign is going and delivering favorable results, hence, this is where subscriber management plays an important role.
With the tool’s analyzing capabilities, you can quickly identify who opens your emails, who does not, which addresses do the emails bounce off from and the likes. You can use all of this information to manage your subscribers efficiently and divide them into lists for organized segmentation.
By keeping your audience organized and segmented, you can fasten your marketing automation even further and give a chance to your team to perform much more efficiently.
Email Tracking and Analytics: What is all the effort worth if you don’t know the results it is fetching you? Aweber understands the need to deliver performance reports for all your marketing effort so you can make changes accordingly in the next round and yield better results.
This is another reason why online and email marketing, as well as marketing automation, has taken off so well in the market- everything you do is measurable, and nothing goes unnoticed!
With Aweber’s email tracking and analytics feature, you can segment your audience and see which segment performs better regarding ‘clicks’ and what do they choose to click on. Further, once you know which audience responds better to what kind of content, you can develop more content on similar lines and bring better results to the table.
Not only this, since you also have the option of creating customizable forms and buttons, you can start including a switch to visit your website and drive the traffic there- and even track all of it! This will help you first with increasing your overall traffic and second, with your sales numbers too!
Autoresponders: Keeping your customers engaged at every step is very important and a critical aspect of a good email marketing strategy. As part of the whole automation system on Aweber, you can quickly set up a series of emails that would go one after the other.
These emails are sent to the selected audience and are sent at a regular period, chosen by you. On using this feature, you get to create custom drip campaigns that give your brand a chance to interact with its customers and keep them hooked for long.
One of the leading reasons for customers to stop visiting e-commerce websites is that they mostly tend to forget about them. Drip campaigns are a great way to keep in touch with your audience at all times, without being repetitive. Moreover, this activity also gives a chance to keep your audience informed without bombarding them with too much information all at once.
User Training: Aweber has a fantastic offering where its users get free access to live tutorials, webinars and other educational material like video guides. The idea here to help users make the most of this platform and see the results for themselves at the end of their campaigns. They offer an excellent support service which does not match up to any other service available out there.
Aweber Mobile Apps- Since all sales and marketing activities are now on-the-go and no longer restricted to the four walls of a real office, Aweber has come out with mobile applications to help out your marketing teams at every step.
While most businesses feel the need to go completely mobile, they haven’t been able to properly embrace the idea. This can partly be because there aren’t any products available on the market that could give a 100% support to such teams.
Aweber, on the other hand, has managed to take a shot at giving mobile support to their users with the help of 3 efficient mobile applications. Let’s explore these three apps a bit more, and then you can decide if they do the trick for you- together, the three apps go by the term the ‘Mobile App Suite.’
- Aweber Stats– You can download this app to keep a real-time track of all your marketing automation statistics and numbers. Being a marketer, it is essential to know have your numbers right, so that you can put in the right amount of effort in the right place, at the right time. Many would agree that marketing is a number game disguised in creativity! In fact, this particular app is so efficient, that you can easily keep a tab on your follow up messages and make sure they are delivered at the right time. In case of a response, especially on a follow-up message, it is essential that you reply on time, without causing much delay. The AWeber stats application helps you do just that.
- Atom App– This is a sign-up form which is essential for any marketer to include their emails. You can use the Atom App to have your recipient fill up the signup form and add them as subscribers on to your list of recipients. What’s more, on adding them as a subscriber, an automated follow-up email would be sent to their email ID to ensure that the beginning of a healthy relationship is kicked off right at the start!
- Curate: With this app, you can quickly collect all of your content- newsletters, emails, etc.- personalize them and send them across to your desired list!
Aweber has plenty of integrations available with the online app ecosystem, this includes, Divi page builder, Bloom Pop-up forms, Salesforce, Agile CRM, FreshBooks, Freshdesk, Helpscout, Intercom, Prospect.io, Shopify, Chargebee, Gumroad, Sellfy, Leadpages, Clickfunnels, Hello Bar, Outgrow, Basecamp and so on.
Pricing: Aweber offers a 30-day free trial, after which they start charging you an amount of $19 per month. Other than this, they also have other packages which can cost up to #149 / month, depending on the features you choose to take.
While both the email marketing automation tools are a popular choice amongst many, you need to look into what suits your immediate and future needs the best. Choose a tool that doesn’t just merely solve the purpose, but will also help you keep up with customer interactions in the near future.
Have you tried any of these tools yet?