Stop sending automated emails that sound…well, automated

Stop sending automated emails that sound…well, automated

Email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp and Aweber are great tools that make your email marketing a breeze. They allow you to collect subscribers, build lists, send email effortlessly, and then analyze the data to improve your performance. They make your automated email marketing so easy that it often results in your emails sounding exactly that – automated!

Why do emails that appear to be automated fail to perform well?

If you are building an email list to market to in the future it is going to take several communications before a lead converts. It is very rare that an email prospect will convert via the very first email, which is the reason you need an effective email marketing funnel. It can take several communications before you turn leads into conversions, so you need to make sure you do everything possible to prevent your list from unsubscribing.

While it may sound like common sense to some, not everyone is aware that their email marketing reeks of automation. Here are a few tips to create a more effective automated email marketing effort.

Personalize your list and campaign as much as possible

Most email marketing platforms allow you to personalize your email list and address it to the name of each individual subscriber. It literally takes three seconds to initiate this option when sending an automated email. Do you think your recipient will respond better to an email addressed to his or her name or to their email address? Every little bit of personalization helps.

This is why it is so important to collect their name and email address at the very least. Some prefer to just collect an email address, but this prevents you from being able to personalize the email with their name. If someone isn’t willing to enter in their first name they aren’t serious about subscribing to your list.

Experian email marketing study – 2014

Also, make sure that you create a name for your list that will make sense to the recipient. If you leave a default name such as “email marketing list #1” or create something like “landing page – pay per click split test” it will quickly remind your subscribers that they are on a marketing list. They can see the name of your list, so keep that in mind. For example, if you are selling green widgets then you could name your list “Green Widget Newsletter.”

Another thing you will want to personalize if the “From” email field. I can’t tell you how many times I see marketing lists that arrive in my email inbox from a marketingnewsletter@companyname.com or email-list@companyname.com – this is a guaranteed way to get your list to unsubscribe quickly.

Don’t be so predictable with your delivery schedule

If you are like me you probably receive marketing updates from companies that you do business with and some of them arrive weekly or monthly like clockwork. After a while you see them come at the same time and they become predictable. When you deliver at the same time every time your recipients will trash it and automatically associate it with automated marketing emails.

Split test several different times and put together a list of your best performing deployment days and times. You can then take this data and rotate your delivery schedule and constantly change it up. It is also a good idea to send out an occasional email that is strictly helpful information. If there is breaking news within your industry this is a perfect time to send out an informational email that doesn’t have any calls-to-action. Slipping in an email like this here and there keeps your subscribers interested and you will see a higher open rate across the board.

Segment your list into categories to deliver more personalized information

My company (Market Domination Media) recommends mailchimp for email marketing because of the great features available, like the ability to create general lists and then use that data to create more targeted lists based on the subscriber activity.

For example, you can pull your most active subscribers that open every email you send and put them in one list, creating a super responsive list that you know will open anything you send. You can then also break your list into groups based on their click activity. If you can pinpoint the subscribers on your list that tend to open everything you send and click on links within the email wouldn’t that be a great list to send emails to with very strong calls-to-action? Of course it would be!

You can also send emails to your non-active list with very aggressive attention grabbing titles in an effort to turn them into active members of your list. If you have a dead list that hasn’t opened anything you have sent what is the harm in sending something with a subject like, “Hey [Name] – Stop Ignoring This – You Are Missing Out!” They will either unsubscribe and leave you with one less non-active subscriber, or they will connect with you.

These are just a few ways to help make your email marketing appear less automated. What else do you do to make your email marketing more personal? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credit: flickr user notoriousxl

Jonathan Long is the Founder and CEO of Market Domination Media, an online marketing agency that develops custom online marketing strategies utilizing outside the box thinking. The company specializes in inbound marketing (SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, paid search marketing), website design, and nonprofit marketing.
  • http://www.marketingsuccessreview.com/ Rahimah Sultan

    Hi Jonathan. These are great tips for using automated emails. I use an
    autoresponder that allows for personalization, and a form that requests
    full name and email. I do not use the technique of daily emails which
    personally annoys me. I update via broadcasts. I love your suggestion
    for the “dead” list.