Auto responders – the secret weapon of e-mail marketing
Our clients often ask us what is so special about e-mail marketing. Surely any secretary knows how to send an e-mail to 200+ addresses.
E-mail marketing is a long-distance run. It’s basically about following the responses of an individual recipient and then acting on them: we use carefully targeted e-mails to encourage recipients to carry out an action (purchase, attend an event, view specific content, agree to a meeting, etc.). The more we know about our customers’ habits and preferences, the easier it is to put them into groups and the more relevantly we can address them. Here, it is helpful to use auto e-mails that are triggered automatically subject to a specific condition or action of the addressee or website visitor.
If John Smith repeatedly clicks on gardening-related content in the special offer of a technical goods retailer, the ingenious retailer will call Mr Smith’s attention in his next message to a special offer for lawn mowers and throw in a €5 gift voucher. Of course, it is impossible to personally follow the behaviour of each single person from a multitude of users; this is done for you by a special programme. The programme sends a previously prepared offer to all addressees who clicked on the link “gardening products” in their e-mail for example more than twice. The messages are personalized and Mr Smith is very interested in the content, which will make him feel that the special offer applies to him alone. And such an opportunity is hard to resist …
This may apply to all bank clients interested in a housing loan or hotel guests who spent their last year’s Easter holidays at the hotel. The auto responder can send each (registered) customer a birthday card, help “activate” former customers or remind a club member 7 days before his membership runs out to renew it. The possibilities are endless.
No software can replace human invention and knowledge
What type of information about the customers is relevant and when our message will be understood by our customers as welcome advice, a pleasant surprise or an invasion of privacy is a matter of common feeling and practice. For a start, always offer your addressees a simple way to unsubscribe from your mailing list in every e-mail. Dealing with people who are not interested in your offer is a waste of time anyway. Instead, devote your time to all the others.
In approaching your customers, it is important to follow a previously prepared scenario that anticipates their responses, where the content of each message is carefully studied, accessibly designed, tested and ready to be launched.
That is what we call E-Mail Marketing. With capital letters.
According to data from Marketing Sherpa, a properly designed e-mail marketing strategy can boost the effectiveness of your website by as much as 70%.