What is Marketing Automation?

Inbound marketing is more prevalent than ever.

Customers are over traditional marketing efforts such as television advertisements, spam-like email blasts, and direct mail. Hounding people with useless information is almost a sure-fire way to send potential leads out the door.

Inbound marketing has proven to be a helpful and adaptable solution.

What gets tricky is trying to micromanage and collaborate all of these channels and platforms as one campaign.

This is where marketing automation can be a real time and money saver. Marketing automation, in a nutshell, is a ‘one-stop’ location for all of your inbound marketing materials. These services allows companies to combine newsletters, social media posts, blog posts, and more into one central program where marketers can prioritize and execute their efforts in a much more efficient manner.

As noted above, the buying process can be very delicate. With inbound marketing, marketers are encouraged to nurture their leads by providing worthwhile information that is tailored to individuals- not a mass audience.

There are countless ways this can be carried out. For example, say you place a call-to-action on your web page, such as downloading an informative whitepage. In order to download the free whitepage, website visitors must provide their contact information, such as an email address and first and last name. After they provide this information through an online form, marketers can reach out to these prospects and further determine if these people are real leads or not. After downloading, a ‘Thank You’ email can be sent out or perhaps, an invite to download a case study containing information that is related to the whitepage.

A person who simply opened the ‘Thank You’ email should not receive the same information as the person who opened the email and then took further action, such as downloading the case study. Not downloading the second link does not necessarily disqualify someone as a potential lead; it suggests they are at a different stage of their buying process. Both parties should be contacted- in a timely, appropriate manner.

With marketing automation, these prospects can be easily managed and condensed into smaller groups allowing your sales and marketing team to reach out at appropriate times for the buyer. Both groups appreciate the more personalization from your company.

With hundreds of marketing automation services, it can be difficult to pinpoint which best matches your company’s needs. Determine what your company is looking for, but also keep in mind what you may be open to. Not all services are exactly alike- some offer the basics while others are much more elaborate. Also, be certain that a knowledgeable support team is offered. These programs can be a little overwhelming so having the right personnel to guide you through this transition is key.

While marketing automation may seem challenging, these services are proven to be highly successful. Mango Bay Internet can help design and automate an inbound marketing campaign that will work for you. To receive more information, visit our site here or call (216) 335-9255.  

Also, click here for more tips on how to increase traffic, leads, and sales from your website.

Understanding Spam Email

There are many factors that contribute to how much spam email you will receive. This is some advice and tips, to help limit those pestering emails to a minimum. The first thing to consider is how many email accounts you have. The more email accounts you have, the more likely you are to receive spam messages. This includes aliases of your email account.

For example; joe@example.com is your primary email account, with an alias of joesmith@example.com. Although it is technically one email account, there are 2 email addresses that spammers are able to reach out to. Another thing to keep in mind would be to keep tabs on how many newsletters, articles, blogs, and other websites that you are subscribed to.

There is a chance that when you subscribed to one website, you may have accidentally subscribed to another, just by selecting all of those check boxes that most people don’t bother reading. Most of the time, the fix to some spam messages, is simply unsubscribing to those emails that you no longer read by selecting “unsubscribe” usually toward the bottom of the email. CAREFUL THOUGH! Spammers are getting better each day, and by clicking that “unsubscribe” button, you may have just opened a dangerous website, subscribed to another newsletter, or worse, downloaded a virus to your computer. A possible way to check this, is to hover your mouse over that “unsubscribe” button, without clicking on the link, and see if the website URL matches the business/mailing list that you are unsubscribing from. In most cases it will be the same unless that company is utilizing an email marketing service.

It is key to properly understand what a whitelist and blacklist are, and how they are used. For some, it may be self-explanatory, as the whitelist is for email addresses you trust, while blacklist is for those that you don’t trust. I would highly recommend to familiarize yourself with the whitelist rather than the blacklist and here’s why. I would add all recipients/email users that you communicate with on a regular basis to this whitelist to verify you will always receive their email in your inbox.

The blacklist is great to prevent specific emails/domains from coming into your inbox, however, it is very easy for spammers to change the ‘from’ address and make its way right back into your inbox. Instead, you may want to consider creating “rules” within your email account, if your email provider supports this service (we do!). Rules are great because you can choose to move email messages that come from a specific sender to your trash, or even a specific folder you created for that sender. You may customize rules to filter by subject, from, to, date, message, IP address, Spam score, and more. This is basically a customizable blacklist with more features to limit by. The last item I would recommend is to not reply to senders that you are unfamiliar with. Just a simple delete of the email is the best option, because a reply to the email stating you are no longer interested in the subscription lets spammers know that your email address is valid, is checked regularly, and is an open door to future spammers.

Email delays occur occasionally and the reasons why

Common questions I get for support is why do some emails take longer to receive, hours after they were sent, or Why do some emails get delivered out of order being an email sent at 1:00 PM is received after an email sent at 1:15 PM by 30 minutes or so.

There are many variables in the handling of e-mail that could affect sending and receiving. The average e-mail for the most part is sent and received immediately (within seconds), however it is not uncommon for e-mails to take 15 to 30 minutes to complete the delivery cycle. In very rare cases e-mails can be delayed 24 and up to 72 hours before being delivered/received.

The most common cause is the send/receive cycle of the e-mail program

Internet Service Providers, and or web based e-mail services. Many e-mail programs and services have timed interval cycles for sending/receiving. The most common cycles are from a few seconds to 15 minutes. This can be changed to shorter times in most e-mail programs or services property settings.

The second most common cause for longer than expected delivery times is Anti-Virus/Spam screening programs

For the most part these programs are quick and usually only delay from a few seconds to a minute, however it is common depending on application for this process to take longer, as e-mails are screened in the order they are received and the over-all file size or attachments can cause delays.

The delays of several minutes to hours are usually related to network and or Internet issues. The number of variables are numerous to list here, but typically are related to e-mail spooling. An e-mail server may spool e-mail for several minutes and up to 72 hours, if there is an issue connecting to the internet or processing a large volume of e-mail due to high demand and traffic. When issue is corrected or service is restored the e-mail server starts sending out spooled e-mail, but priority is given to normal traffic first. In any case the normal (current) e-mail traffic flow continues and the spooled e-mails are released when the traffic allows.

An example would be rush hour traffic with each vehicle representing an e-mail message. You and a co-worker live on the same street. You leave work at 5:00 and your coworker leaves at 5:15 while on the freeway there is an accident and traffic comes to a crawl. You are caught in the traffic as you hear the radio station announce the accident at 5:05. Your co-worker hears this and takes an alternate route by passing around the accident and getting home 10 minutes before you. Spooling can be further explained by comparing the traffic lanes. The accident was in the right hand lane which has caused you to stop. You have to wait to move to the left lane as traffic will allow. This may also allow you co-worker who may have left minutes after you to pass you by and get home 10 minutes before you.

E-mails should rarely take extended times from sender to recipient, but should be expected from time to time. If this issue is common or persists and the majority of e-mails are taking longer than 15 minutes to complete delivery there may be an issue and should be reported. Note the default setting for automatic send and receive with most client servers and e-mail applications is 15 minutes, so unless the user is clicking the send and receive button there is a delay of 15 minutes.