Friday, 19 February 2016

24/7 Marketing — The Smarter Approach to Marketing Automation for SMBs

When are you planning your next email campaign? Do you know what time of the day your subscribers are at their most engaged? Could your emails be languishing in overflowing inboxes simply because they are sent at the wrong time? Does your own work schedule dictate the time and frequency of sends?
It’s time to get smarter with your time management.
Best practice dictates that the most successful email campaigns will always be relevant, engaging and timely. Timely does not mean sent at a time to suit the marketer. So, if you want to be a more successful email marketer, you better get to know your subscribers’ schedules a little bit better and ensure your campaigns are sent at the right time of day.
Note: Mobile technology has completely changed the email landscape. You now have the opportunity to engage your subscribers anytime, anyplace, anywhere. But this doesn’t mean you should not give real thought to the time of send. Even in the 24/7 mobile environment, an ill-timed email will deliver poor results.

Time Management

Simple segmentation based on customer type and time zone can be a good starting point. For example, a national restaurant chain targeting mid-week diners may wish to send a discount voucher to their subscribers at 10:30 am to increase lunchtime trade. If the restaurant marketers don’t stagger their sends by time zone, they run the risk of sending too early or missing their opportunity altogether depending on which time zone their subscribers are based in. If that restaurant chain is global, the problem increases dramatically. Let’s face facts, an email sent in the middle of the night will very likely be ignored or lost.
This approach to segmentation is fine if you have just started building your subscriber lists and can figure time zones into the segmentation process. But if you are working with an existing list, the process can be quite labor intensive (if not impossible).

Marketing Automation: A Smart(er) Way

Smarter marketers don’t second guess when their customers are at their most engaged. Marketing automation technology like iContact Pro can help marketers send the right message to the right person at the right time based on previous engagements. This could be the time of initial subscription, geographic location (time zone), the quality of the lead (based on lead scoring criteria such as domain name, job title, etc.) or other engagements such as website visits or social media engagement.
This approach ensures that your campaigns are laser-focused and have the greatest chance of success.

Laying the Foundations

Marketing automation isn’t a silver bullet. It will only succeed if you take the time to build proper foundations by building appropriate content and setting criteria.
Don’t let your work schedule dictate your marketing output and the time of sends. It’s time to get smarter and deliver a more strategic approach. iContact Pro is now available on a free 30-day trial.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.
Photo: Faith Keay

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