From mass marketing e-mail to marketing automation e-mail

E-mail marketing has come a long way since 1973. Often claimed to be over, e-mail is a veteran, but not obsolete by a long shot. Since its creation, e-mail marketing has evolved, as we’ve gone from mass marketing e-mail to marketing automation e-mail.

From mass marketing e-mail to marketing automation e-mail

What is mass marketing e-mail?

Mass marketing e-mail consists in manually sending the same e-mail to a large list of recipients (one-to-many). It’s a marketing strategy used less and less today because it generates a very low conversion rate.

Mass e-mailing usually has little or no personalization and is often sent to a non-segmented audience. 

It’s more often newsletters, advertisements or other information about the company not directed at a specific client.

Good to know: if your e-mail is unanticipated and irrelevant to your recipients, it risks generating complaints and being classified as spam by ISPs. E-mail personalization, (among other good practices), is therefore a major asset for good deliverability.

What is mass marketing e-mail?

Sending personalized mass e-mails

Personalization is one of the success factors: personalized e-mails actually have an open rate that is 50% higher than other types of e-mail. (Source: Marketing Dive 2017).

Today, consumers are used to having their inbox flooded with spam and useless messages. And nowadays, it’s all about personalization. Your recipients expect targeted and personalized messages that answer their immediate needs.

To stand out from the crowd, you can personalize your mass e-mails.

Steps for personalizing your mass e-mails

  • Categorize your profiles into homogenous groups according to their buying habits (RFM segmentation), behaviors (such as segmentation per e-mail activity or browsing habits), preferences (product preference, promotional interests, etc.) 

  • Personalize your e-mails with dynamic content (according to age, sex, interests, behaviors, etc.)

  • A/B test your mailings (according to content, subjects, preheaders, commercial pressure, time of day, tone of voice, etc.). To test your e-mails efficiently, define the test parameters and the statistics to be analyzed by changing one variable at a time.

These personalized mass e-mails are more often used to send communication about flash sales, promotions and other sales.

Sending personalized mass e-mails

What is e-mail marketing automation?

Let’s get back to basics! E-mail marketing automation is not marketing automation.

In a broad sense, marketing automation is a marketing technique, a concept that refers to the automation of repetitive marketing campaigns. Software that offers the functionalities to automate these tasks is called a ‘marketing automation tool’. It requires defining a set of predefined conditions in order to be able to launch campaigns.

E-mail is an important channel in a marketing automation strategy. Contrary to mass marketing e-mail, marketing automation e-mail enables sending automatically targeted e-mails (one-to-one), which are triggered by specific actions from your contacts (according to collected data, their actions and behaviors, etc.).

E-mail marketing automation will allow you to communicate the right message at the right time to the right client.

The different types of automated e-mails:

  • E-mails triggered by a client’s recent action: abandoned cart e-mail, product recommendations based on a recent visit, cross-selling opportunities following a purchase, etc. These messages have a commercial goal.

  • E-mails triggered during the life cycle: anniversary e-mail, post-purchase satisfaction survey, reactivation following inactivity, etc. The goal of these messages is to improve client experience.

  • E-mails triggered following a transaction: welcome e-mail, order confirmation, delivery information, etc. The goal of these messages is to reassure clients.

What is e-mail marketing automation?

Examples of marketing automation e-mail uses

Welcome e-mail Welcome e-mail Background

Welcome e-mail

A welcome e-mail helps you welcome new clients/subscribers by reminding them of the advantages of your CRM program, brand values, etc. It is the type of campaign your clients expect, which explains the average open rate of almost 57% (source: Experian 2018), improving engagement estimated at 33% (source: ExpertSender 2018)The scenario trigger could be subscribing to a newsletter or a first purchase. For example, at Actito, a welcome e-mail sent after a first purchase accounts for an open rate of 45%. (Open rate average observed in 2018 with our clients having implemented these programs on the e-mail channel).

E-mail anniversary E-mail anniversary Background

E-mail anniversary

The anniversary e-mail is a classic of the client relationship that focuses on the emotional aspect. The open rate average observed is 45% with a conversion rate of 3% (source: Omnisend 2018). Here, the trigger is the contact anniversary date. In a more advanced scenario, you could picture sending a campaign with the offer of a discount suited to client preferences. For these active contacts, this type of anniversary e-mail has an open rate of 34%. (Open rate average observed in 2018 with our clients having implemented these programs on the e-mail channel).

E-mail about the expiration of loyalty points E-mail about the expiration of loyalty points Background

E-mail about the expiration of loyalty points

This e-mail helps you remind a client whose loyalty points are about to expire. The trigger can be chosen 30 days before the loyalty points expire, so that the client has the time to use and enjoy their points on time. Resending to non-openers can also be scheduled a week after sending the first reminder.

Cart recovery e-mail Cart recovery e-mail Background

Cart recovery e-mail

This one has proven its use, as 70 to 80% of carts are not validated during the online buying process (source: Fevad 2017). Yet, when sending reminders, the click conversion rate is almost 10.7% (according to businesses - Moosend 2017). At Actito, this type of cart recovery e-mail campaign has an average open rate of 58%. (Open rate average observed in 2018 with our clients having implemented these programs on the e-mail channel). This type of message reminds the client that their cart is still active and that they can make their purchase at any time. Associated with reassuring information (about delivery, payment process, after sales service, etc.) or a promotional voucher, a reminder has every chance of being successful. To determine the right timing for reminders, you can perform an A/B test on the hours at which you send your messages.

Reactivate inactive contact’s e-mail Reactivate inactive contact’s e-mail Background

Reactivate inactive contact’s e-mail

This e-mail helps reactivate your formerly engaged readers and contacts. It also enables you to identify the reasons for inactivity of some of your contacts (channel preference or content having evolved, etc.). The trigger here could be a profile moving into an inactive segment. From there, you can push a form (preference center or satisfaction survey) in order to better identify the expectations of your inactive clients and their potential dissatisfaction (irrelevant content, too much commercial pressure, etc.). At Actito, we’ve noticed an average open rate of 27% for reactivation e-mail. (Open rate average observed in 2018 with our clients having implemented these programs on the e-mail channel).

Purchase confirmation e-mail Purchase confirmation e-mail Background

Purchase confirmation e-mail

This e-mail helps reassure the client and informs them on all data and delivery transactions. It is an e-mail clients expect that does not require marketing consent. It is therefore an e-mail to be sent quickly. At Actito, we’ve noticed an average open rate of 80% for such e-mails, which proves how important it is! (Open rate average observed in 2018 with our clients having implemented these programs on the e-mail channel).

In short

The best strategy would probably be to combine mass marketing e-mail with marketing automation e-mail. However, knowing the difference between the two will help you better understand the advantages and inconveniences of each one and guide you in your decision-making process.

Regardless of the solution that seems the most suitable to your e-mail marketing needs, as your business continues to develop, you will probably find advantages in automating certain parts of your e-mail strategy.

Would you like to learn more?