Marketing Automation

How to Truly Communicate and Connect to an Overcrowded Audience

By 12 March 2019 No Comments

Having too many subscribers is a good problem to have when you’re an email marketer.

Bigger audiences naturally leads to bigger engagement and conversion statistics. But, marketing to an overcrowded audience can also lead to high disengagement rates overall – especially if you’re simply blasting irrelevant campaigns to your entire database.

With an overcrowded audience, you have the potential for an incredibly successful ROI, if you communicate effectively, in a targeted, hyper-relevant manner.

Leveraging a large subscriber base is all about segmenting your contacts, and targeting them with content that’s of value to them individually. To achieve such relevancy, your company will need to use a marketing automation platform.

Why you need Marketing Automation to truly connect with an overcrowded audience

Marketing automation platforms enable your marketing team to not only accurately segment and target contacts based on their data, behaviour, and past interactions – but they’re also able to automate complete communication journeys; which is important for a marketer dealing with a high volume of content and contacts.

By using automation tools such as trigger-based emails, dynamic content, and personalisation, marketers can connect with their overcrowded audience in a way that is tailored to each individual recipient, increasing your company’s chances of a high conversion rate.

Relevancy is everything in the email marketing world. By utilising marketing automation tools, you can target individual recipients in your massive audience with extremely relevant content, whilst still spending less time, money and resources on your overall strategy.

Sound good? Let’s explore 4 different ways you can use marketing automation to truly communicate with, and connect to, an overcrowded audience:

Use trigger based emails to send the right email at the right time

How do you send extremely relevant emails to the right recipient when they’re most likely to open it? If you’re used to publishing campaigns manually, the very idea of sending individual emails to specific contacts may sound like way too much work.

With marketing automation and trigger-based emails, you can set up campaigns ahead of time and have them automatically publish at the right time, to the right person.

Trigger-based emails are campaigns that send to recipients when specific criteria is met (usually behavioural). For example, you might send a ‘Welcome’ email to new subscribers, which triggers to send an hour after subscription.

Another example is an email with further information on a topic previously talked about on a landing page – this might trigger after a contact clicks on a link on that landing page; showcasing an interest in the topic.

The options are endless.

Use dynamic content and personalisation to avoid ‘batch and blast’ style campaigns

Traditionally, email marketers have used the ‘batch and blast’ approach when it comes to communicating with their audience. Batch and blast refers to spending resources on a single campaign and then publishing that campaign to your entire database. This approach focuses more on a generalised copy rather than relevant copy sent to targeted recipients.

‘Batch and blast’ may have worked in the past, but in the modern age – where the average office worker receives 121 emails a day, generalised content is no longer going to grab attention.

By using dynamic content, and personalisation tools, you can ensure that a single campaign is custom fit for each recipient in your overburdened mail list.

How does dynamic content and personalisation work?

Dynamic content enables your marketing team to create variations of email content for a single campaign. These variations will be set up to display, or not, depending on specific rules.

For example, you may want to have a header image relevant to each of your recipients, the header image will display a famous site local to the city in which your recipient lives. In this example you’d create a few variations of the header image; one shows the Sydney harbour bridge, the other one Flinders Street Station, another one Parliament house – you get the idea. The rule for the header image will specify that each recipient’s home state, or city, will dictate which image appears. You’ve instantly made your email unique to each of your contacts!

Personalisation gives you further options to customise the experience of your campaign; catering to your contacts as individual people. Personalisation merge fields are fields you can insert into the text body of your email. These fields relate to the data fields you collect on each of your subscribers, and when your email is received – these merge fields will automatically show up with the text relevant to each recipient.

You would have seen personalisation merge fields used in emails you’ve received yourself. When an email addresses you by your first name – that’s a personalisation merge field. Of course, this is the most common way to utilise personalisation – but the options are as unlimited as the data you collect.

For example, you may collect information such as membership ID and renewal for your contacts, and an email relating to membership would be a lot more useful and valuable to your recipients if you use merge fields to display the recipients’ unique IDs and renewal dates.

Get creative with how you use personalisation and dynamic content, and watch how relevance increases engagement across your mailing list – no matter how big it is.

Score engagement across your audience to identify different groups for targeting

Some Marketing Automation platforms (like ours at Swift Digital) offer engagement scoring functionality. Engagement scoring enables your marketing team to identify contacts based on their engagement levels, and to seamlessly and automatically segment them for better targeting.

With an overcrowded audience, it’s important to identify those contacts who are at different stages in their relationship with your brand, and to connect with them accordingly.

Highly engaged contacts deserve acknowledgment, rewards, and that final little push to convert. Whilst disengaged contacts require re-engagement campaigns, and a communication strategy that focuses on increasing opens and clicks.

Engagement scoring tools give your marketing team the power to specify what behaviours and actions garner how ever many points. For example, you might assign just 100 points to a contact who opens an email, but a whopping 1000 points to a contact who becomes a paying customer. These points, once tallied up, provide your company with an overview of each contact and their level of engagement.

By treating the members of your audience as individuals who are at different stages of trust with your brand you’ll be able to reach marketing goals easier. By being more specific, and targeting contacts based on where they’re at – rather than where you want them to be – you create a better experience for your contacts, and therefore increase your chances of an improved ROI.

Give your audience the option to tell you exactly what they want to receive

What better way to communicate with your audience than in the way they’ve expressed enthusiasm for? By using a Preference Center in lieu of a traditional subscription form, you can cut through the confusion and get your contacts to directly sort themselves into groups for targeting.

How does a Preference Center work?

Preference centers replace ordinary subscription forms. Where the latter simply asks for contact details and then subscribes the contact to a subscriber wide mail list, the former asks each subscriber to specify what kind of content they want to receive, and are thus sorted into mail groups specific to their interests.

This takes the manual legwork out of segmenting your large audience into targetable mail groups. It also takes the guesswork out of knowing what kind of content your contacts want to receive.

If you’re sending an email campaign relating to just one of your products/services, for example, you can send that email campaign to the mail group which specified their preference for that specific product.

Contacts who are disinterested in promotional content but want event invites will be easily identified by their preference mail group, and targeted accordingly. This obviously improves open, and conversion rates, as the contacts not only expect what the receive, but have expressed a preference for it.

Using preference centers instead of subscription forms also helps to curb your unsubscription rate. It’s not uncommon, when you’re batching and blasting to your entire mail list, to lose plenty of potential customers because they saw a single campaign as irrelevant.

Using a preference center gives these unsubscribers the chance to tweak their preferences rather than outright unsubscribing – which traditionally has been the only option, even for those recipients who want to stay in contact but just don’t like some of your emails.

An overcrowded audience may be an envious problem to have, but an overcrowded audience can fast become a disengaged one. By using traditional strategies to market to your audience – regardless of the individual people within it – you run the risk of being irrelevant, and of alienating members of your audience who otherwise could have become loyal customers.

As relevance becomes increasingly more important in the competitive world of email marketing, blasting campaigns to your entire audience is no longer going to deliver the results you’d hope to see with such a volume of subscribers. By utilising marketing automation tools that help you automatically segment your database, send the right content, and better understand your contacts, you can reap the full benefits of having a substantial audience, without losing the specificity and customisation your strategy needs to properly achieve engagement and ROI goals.

Want to make use of automation when connecting with your audience? Talk with the experts at Swift Digital about the tools mentioned in this article. Call us on 02 9929 7001.