Byte-Sized Value

marketing automation h. john oechsleIntegrating marketing automation with your email marketing campaigns is absolutely essential to give your small or mid-sized business (SMB) the competitive edge it needs, especially with the amount of email sent out these days. The information in your customer relationship management (CRM) system is incredibly valuable, and it’s time to tap that value via complementary marketing automation technology to enhance your email marketing.

Email marketing can be as powerful a tool today as it’s ever been—it just can’t exist on an island anymore. Instead consider the following tips for maximizing the value of your business’ email marketing campaigns with integrated marketing automation technology.

The standard email campaigns of yore.

Back in the day, it was enough to simply have an email campaign. There wasn’t much expectation from customers other than letting them know about updates or special offers. SMBs could reach out to their customers with a generic subject line and greeting such as “Dear Friend,” and the message would get across.

Now that email capabilities and our target audiences have matured, so too must our email marketing tactics. Targeted email marketing with personalization that leverages marketing automation and the data from your CRM will put your SMB in the best place to secure click-throughs and even grow revenue.

Actionable customer data and measurement.

Your CRM is full of fantastic, juicy data just waiting to be analyzed and used to help you grow your business.

Here are a few types of information gathered through marketing automation and likely found in your CRM that could help you build stronger email campaigns: open rates (the percentage of people who are actually opening the email you sent); click-through rate (CTR) (how many people not just opened your email but clicked on the link inside to navigate to your Web site or landing page); and navigation (follow the customer’s journey and track where they visited on your Web site and how they got to each page, length of visit, and whether the customer dropped out and left your Web site or completed a purchase).

By pairing this captured and stored information with marketing automation, SMBs will be able to take additional steps to catch their customers’ attention and build upon the relationship.


One of the most impactful ways in which marketing automation allows us to improve the email marketing experience is through personalization. Customers today expect a lot from the companies they purchase from, and an effective lead nurturing program can provide a completely tailored marketing experience to meet each customer’s needs.

Statista notes that emails without personalization showed an open rate of 13.1 percent, while those that included personalization boasted an 18.8 percent open rate. Personalization can include anything from using the customers’ name, inquiring about performance of a recent purchase, or individualized product suggestions based on their search history and interest.

Segmentation and testing.

With the information collected from their CRM, SMBs will also be able to digest and spot similarities between their customers. This will allow for segmentation (or grouping) of customers with similar traits including demographics, purchase history, and even open or CTRs. Separate campaigns can then be developed for each segmented group, targeting specific actions or interests for
each email.

Blending segmentation with marketing automation allows you to adapt to customer needs and test different approaches. Creative or alternate subject lines for a specific group of customers can be released as an A/B test.

Customer retention can be addressed by attempting to engage customers who have stopped opening emails by testing a new and refreshed email template. This will allow SMBs to potentially cultivate a relationship, retain customers, and secure purchase where previous marketing efforts may have been falling flat.

Identifying trends.

All of this data and automation can help SMBs identify trends in their customers and business cycle. Perhaps emails that announce a special offer or sale have the largest open rate and lead to the biggest boost in revenue. Or maybe it will be discovered that the CTR is the highest when an email links to a blog post with interesting and useful information.

Through use of marketing automation and your CRM, these trends can first be identified and then used to predict future performance of email marketing campaigns and can even help set ROI goals and expectations.

Open for business.

Email marketing campaigns will continue to grow and thrive over the next several years—as long as they are accompanied by the right complementary marketing automation technology to help gather, analyze, and utilize information and create robust and effective campaigns that target the customer and stimulate business growth.

By H. John Oechsle, president and CEO of Swiftpage.