Geeks around the world are eagerly awaiting the December release of the new Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens.” In addition to watching their heroes back in action, many look forward to seeing the new robot (or “droid”), BB-8, and the capabilities it brings. (While this robot appeared at first glance to be a fictional character of computer animation, in reality, it usesinnovative balancing technology that surprised many when it made a recent appearance at a convention.)
This new droid got me thinking about the latest advances in email automation technology. After all, just as robots – whether real or fictional – are designed for jobs they can do better or faster than humans, there are several email automation technologies that can empower marketers in a similar way. Here is a quick look at four of them that have the potential to improve and advance your email campaigns in the coming year:
- Automated Response Messages: While marketers tend to focus on creating catchy emails designed to interest potential new customers, they sometimes fail to fullytake advantage of the relatively simple, easy-to-automate emails that can serve a myriadof purposes. For example, most marketers have auto-response emails delivered to those prospects who complete a form or landing page on their websites. Others may use automated responses for new product warranty registrations or service requests. These messages will not only administer the desired content, but they can also be used toreinforce your brand ordeliver a cross-sell message. In addition, automated emails can support sales nurturing, invitations to a regularly scheduled event (e.g. a user groupmeeting or webinar) or buying stage identifiers. (See more on this topic in my blog post, “5 Automated Emails Every B2B Marketer Must Master.”)
- Optimized Content: In the interest of employing the best language to create email communicationsthat are as compelling as possible, a new field is emerging that uses statistics to automateemail subject lines and content. Persado is a company whose technology classifies words and phrases into distinct categories that can be leveraged to create emotional content and call-to-action language. Its platform generates messages that are optimized to be the most persuasive possible for a given audience being mined by an email marketer. Its technology can eventargetspecialized industries, such as financial services, retail, gaming, fashion and numerous others. While some are skeptical about the effectiveness of technology like this, many say it’s the next frontier in content development.
- Responsive Design: This automation technology changes the layout of your email (such as graphics and font sizes) to create the best viewing experience possible for the size of the screen being used by the reader. It’s ideal for the growing numberof screens sizes and mobile devices in use these days. There are numerous vendors who offer technologies that can manage this, as well as templates for do-it-yourself marketers. In any case, marketers will want to test and preview messages on a myriad of mobile devices to ensure messages render correctly.
- Email Platforms: For marketers who send larger amounts of messages, it’s not practical to use standard email systems (e.g. Outlook, Gmail) for mass email communications. Instead, they should leverage a robust email delivery platform that can systemize and automate their email program, add personalization capabilities, ensure higher delivery rates, and provide robust reporting and measurement tools. I often recommend Act-On for such a platform, but there are numerous others on the market.
Automation can be used to create better messages, ensure communications are delivered and read on various devices, and fuel an overall successful marketing program. With ever-increasing competition for attention, as well as seemingly constant marketing budget pressures, it’s important for marketers to keep abreast of the latest technologies that not onlylend creativity and appeal to their communications, but also make their jobs easier and more efficient.
If they can accomplish that, The Force will almost certainly be with them in the coming year.
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