Lead generation is the name of the game in B2B marketing. Is your B2B company attacking the sales funnel at every front?
One of the key lead nurturing tactics is email marketing, and if you’re not automating your efforts, you’re missing out on a huge lead generation opportunity.
So how do you go about creating email automations?
We’ve got you covered.
1. Choose your audience
Who are you talking to? Personalizing your emails is one of the best ways to get a lot of engagement. If you’re using your database the right way, you can send strings of automated emails to specific segments in your list.
So what’s the point?
The point is, if you can segment your contacts correctly according to your objective, you can garner higher levels of engagement and design higher converting campaigns. If you know your audience, you’re halfway there.
For example, if your objective is to welcome new prospects, your audience is brand new contacts who are getting added to a database based off of some action (think newsletter sign-ups, ebook downloads, etc). But if your objective is to inform your audience of a new product or offering, your audience should be existing contacts that are already in the middle of the sales journey.
The beauty of email automation is that you can filter these criteria by highly specific factors like job title. Always personalize! Don’t let your data go to waste.
2. Determine the goal of the campaign
So you’ve got your targeting down. Now what?
Figure out what the purpose of your campaign is. Is it sales? Branding? Do you want them to take action?
These factors determine the messaging you will use in the campaign.
Once you’ve created messaging that aligns with this goal, you have to determine what happens after your contact reaches your goal. If they’ve made it to the end of the series and scheduled a meeting (like was the goal of your campaign), then it’s time for a separate follow-up and a new automation.
Have a goal and design the aftermath.
3. Select the right triggers.
How do you get the right contacts in the right automation? Triggers!
In other words, enrollment criteria. These are the requirements that need to be met in order for a contact to enter an automation. The best triggers align with your campaign goal. For instance, it would make no sense if an existing client who downloaded your ebook got entered into a welcome series. This would confuse your contact. That’s a recipe for an unsubscribe.
Instead, sending an appropriate follow-up with middle of the funnel messaging is what makes sense. It nurtures your contact further and positions you as an authority. This builds the trust you need for your contact to go from lead to client.
4. Identify the flow of the campaign
Now that you’ve figured out your audience and the triggers needed to enter the automation, you have to determine the flow of the campaign. What should the journey be like?
Should they get two emails? Seven? One after the other, or spread out across a few months? What if they take one action, and not the other?
A well-formed workflow is intricate and considers all of these factors. Before you send your contacts along for the ride, make sure it’s a good one!
5. Build the assets
Once you’ve figured out all the structural and logical components, it’s time to build! This means designing the workflow within the CRM of your choice (MailChimp and Hubspot are popular ones), loading in the copy, the graphics, setting up tracking parameters, links, and more! Many unseen elements that go into making an email stand out, and users expect engaging interactive content. Build thoughtfully!
6. Always test
You’ve loaded in your contacts, triggers, and content. Are you ready to launch?
It’s time to quality assure. That means double-checking your contact lists (any wry stragglers from different campaigns), send settings (subject line personalizations, time of send, from and reply-to emails), and of course, testing!
Always send email tests to yourself to know that what you’ve built looks good once it hits an inbox. It sounds tedious, but in reality, it’s one of the most important elements of setting up any marketing effort. What you design on the backend isn’t always what it looks like on the frontend, so always test!
7. Send & analyze reports
It’s time to launch! Now what?
Observe the performance of your campaign. What’s getting the most clicks? Use more of those elements in other emails. Is there a high bounce rate? Time to revisit your lists. Is there a stage of the journey that people barely make it to? Maybe it’s time to shorten the workflow. Are some emails getting killer open rates while others hardly hit the mark? Rewrite some subject lines!
Marketing is all about analysis and revision, and the wonderful thing about email automation is you can alter and edit your workflow as you go. If you get this part right, you’ll be engaging more contacts, getting more leads, and closing more clients. Email automation is a powerful tool. So use it!
Is your B2B company looking for marketing support? At Ajax Union, our team of marketing experts specializes in all B2B lead generation tactics, such as content marketing, account-based marketing, paid search, social media management, sales funnel creation, cold email campaigns, email marketing, and beyond. Learn more about what we do here.
To discuss your company’s email automation strategy, contact us here.