Although not the sexiest part of marketing automation, and despite being around for a few decades now, email marketing is still the top lead generation medium in the B2B space according to a 2017 report by Chief Marketer.
So what core features do you need to look for in Marketing Automation software?
1. Easy to use email editor
An easy to use email editor, and if you don’t have a developer on hand, a large collection of easy to edit templates that are either free or can be bought. An easy to used email editor will allow you to build emails fast and make quick turn-around on edits to make them unique and appealing.
Image source: HubSpot.com
2. Event-based trigger emails
The ability to trigger emails based on contact properties and interactions with your website, content & promotions is very powerful. Types of emails that can be sent after a trigger action include welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, refer-a-friend, and milestones like birthdays and anniversaries.
3. Scheduled Emails
Being able to deliver sequential messages based on a specified time frame allows you to nurture and extract revenue out of your client or prospect base. The major component of scheduled emails is drip-feed emails. These are most commonly used to deliver things to subscribers/prospects/clients that have signed up for a free ebook/video/webinar — and the scheduled email is designed to take the next step in your funnel.
4. Segment your subscribers
Too often digital marketers kick off their email marketing campaigns by sending every subscriber on their list the very same message. This makes no sense as your contact database is generally a mix of subscribers, prospects, customers and even your staff. Any serious email automation software includes the ability to segment your subscribers based on unique criteria to make them more likely to respond to a personalised email. Segmentation criteria could be location, buyers' life cycle stage, industry, etc.
Image source: neilpatel.com
Now that you know the basic four elements that any good marketing automation software includes, you might want to have a look at this article that explains the current state of marketing automation in South Africa.