Challenge: How to tailor your automated email messages to maximize engagement.
Marketing automation systems have made it really easy to spam new prospects with your marketing collateral. However, you must remember that you are in the very first phases of developing this new relationship. Prospects come into your systems with a variety of interests and most drip programs treat them all the same. While it can accelerate those that are most interested in your solutions, it can also turn off others just as quickly.
You need to take time to create a process and program that adjusts your messaging to the right audience. The first step is to ensure that you categorize your prospects appropriately. The most basic step is to separate customers, partners and prospects (a separate topic on this task). This way you can tailor your messaging to the right audience. There’s nothing worse than sending an automated email series promoting your products to an existing customer or sending partner-oriented messages to prospects.
With a reasonably clean list, identify the general interest area of each prospect. Customers will purchase your products often for different reasons. Identify a limited set of these common reasons and you will be able to customize your messaging around these prospects. A great place to start is to look at your Google Ad Groups. These are designed around search terms used by your prospects when looking for solutions to their challenges. It’s very likely that your messaging and even your products are designed around these value propositions. Ideally you can limit these to between four and eight benefits.
With a limited set of benefits, you can use key word insertions into ‘standard’ emails – both the subject line and the body text – to tailor these messages to your audience. This can be expanded to completely different sets of messages to these groups. By doing it this way, you’re tying your welcome email series to your audience. The results will likely be higher open rates and higher click-thru rates.
Complete your customizations with automated weekly reporting so you can closely monitor the effectiveness of this program. In every case, I have had to optimize the program based on actual results. This last step is often just as important as the upfront design work in creating the message series. Monitoring open rates, click-thru rates and more will pay off well in the long run.
Lesson: While adding complexity to your marketing automation program, taking the first step to customize messaging will optimize the relationship you develop with your prospects, paying dividends over time.