Email Marketing Automation or the Emperor’s New Clothes?




  • by Mike Parry May 3, 2016
    May 3, 2016

    I’ve avoided writing about marketing automation for a while now because, if I think about it too much, it is just “The Emperors New Clothes”. Don’t misinterpret that statement as me saying I don’t think it is a wonderful tool in the eMarketers arsenal or that you shouldn’t be doing it – it’s just that I think it’s the same thing it was 15 years ago. As email marketers, or as I like to call us now ‘marketing automatons’, we have packaged it in a much more user friendly and functional way, making it possible for the time strapped eMarketer to implement the ideas and plans that they have long since held. Using email marketing automation to positively engage your customers would seem a no brainer but the barriers to entry over the years in terms of financial and labour resource have been difficult to overcome. For small marketing teams with multiple channels to run, trying to manage the entire email automation process often meant it didn’t get done. However, now that things have changed, I am going to have a really top level discussion about our new Email Marketing Automation Platform or EMAP!


    At display block, all the functionality of our new marketing automation suite has always been available but what hadn’t was a simple workflow tool enabling the marketer to conceive, plan and implement an automated marketing program in a simple drag and drop environment using prebuilt pathways or the ability to create bespoke ones.


    Picture outlining email marketing automation workflows


    In the olden days of 2013-2014, this functionality was available to the marketer but it had to be conceived and mostly developed outside of the email platform or Email Marketing Automation Platform as we now like to call it! All of the elements needed putting in place separately and then tying together by the marketer. The database then had to be connected to the email platform via an API, meaning IT involvement and the associated delays. Nowadays things are much easier. The drag and drop workflow tool in our Email Marketing Automation Platform gives you a blank canvas to work from or some prebuilt pathways to follow.


    email marketing automation prebuilt workflow


    This makes putting together your email marketing automation programs simple and allows reporting on them within the same environment in which they were created.


    Email Marketing Automation is essentially just putting workflows and rules in place that trigger appropriate emails at different points in your customer’s journey. The benefit of sending the right message to the right person at the right time would seem simple but quite often the average eMarketer doesn’t really know how best to do it or even if they should do it at all. The central theme here is engagement. Your user is engaged, whether positively or negatively whenever they are on a journey with you. Take the opportunity to improve that engagement and brand them by sending them the right message at the right time. People are more likely to interact with you and they have been positively branded even if it’s at a subconscious level. Do nothing and you could find your brand ignored or worse still the effect may be negative. Engage your users, brand your customers, drive more ROI and reduce churn. Marketing hasn’t changed because of the web it’s just a rose by another name!

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