June 26, 2017

How Do Your Email Marketing Automation Efforts Score?


How Do Your Email Marketing Automation Efforts Score?

Thanks to the rise of analytic dashboards, email marketing automation is easier to measure after the fact.

However, what if you want to measure your email marketing automation efforts from the bottom up? How do you know if you’re using the most effective techniques to capture leads and encourage conversions? You can read a hundred online articles to find out or, you can use the handy scorecard from the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report below:

Click to view a larger version…

Email Marketing Automation Scorecard
Source: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report

Breaking Down the Email Marketing Automation Scorecard

Moving from left to right, columns two through six indicate a maturation in both an business’ email marketing and marketing automation techniques. While it may not be necessary for your small business to move all the way to “Optimised”, moving as far as necessary will surely boost the results from your email marketing efforts.

Pray and Spray

Every small business has to begin somewhere and the red column is the one that most occupy at the start. This is the “dip your toe” stage of email marketing, the time when you take your first foray into using the channel and the period when you’re likely learning the most about the basic tools, actions, and techniques that you’ll build upon in the later columns.



Targeted Emailing

Most small businesses move to the yellow column when they begin to realize the value of email list segmentation. Once you begin to segment your list, you can incorporate different templates, multiple campaigns, and test different offers/value added benefits to see which works best with each segment.

Starting to Automate

The yellow column adds a lot of complexity to your email marketing efforts. That’s why many small businesses begin to look for ways to automate the process as they move into the blue column. This can get pretty powerful as email marketing automation enables you to set up triggers to automatically:

  • Send targeted emails for purposes such as abandoned cart recovery;
  • Vary the content sent within each email based on specific list member factors; and
  • Personalize the offer/value added benefit at the subscriber level.

Starting to Integrate

Some of the activity in the purple column focuses on the continuing the email marketing automation process including reactivation of past subscribers as well as the automation of the journey across their lifetime as your customer.

A good chunk of the rest of the purple column activities focuses on integration. Integrated marketing enables you to boost the effectiveness of your efforts by linking multiple channels, like social media and offline approaches, into one campaign.

Finally, the purple column introduces A/B testing, an automated methodology used to discover which email design and/or content is most effective at driving results. A/B testing tests one thing at a time so only one factor will be different between the emails your subscribers receive.

Integrated Lifecycle Targeting

The green column is the ultimate form of email marketing automation. Here, your small business has automated everything it can, integrated it as tightly as it can across channels, and continuously monitors customer interactions for opportunities.

The green column also marks a step up in your email marketing testing. Multivariate testing is similar to A/B testing except you test more than one variable at a time. For example, you might test variances in both the design and the content at the same time to see which version of your emails is more effective.

Measuring Up

While it may seem like the goal here is for every small business to reach the green column, nothing could be further from the truth.

The blue column is where many small businesses stop, and rightly so, in their email marketing automation journey. Moving forward to the final two columns is a big undertaking and frankly, the smaller the business, the less necessary they’re likely to be. Using your valuable time to move forward just isn’t worth it if the return does not equal the effort.

That said, if you have a large customer base, or want to try to see if it’s worth your time to move forward, there can be a lot of value in moving ahead.

Email Photo via Shutterstock

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Matt Mansfield


Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s and lists of small business resources.

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