Would you click on this? – Dear [first name], Do I have a GREAT deal for you!

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I recently got an email with a 24 pt headline “Special Mortgage Interest Rates for 1st Time Home Buyers!” My first thought – why is the bank that owns my mortgage sending this to me? Clearly my email address got on ‘some list’ and was subject to a blanket email blast. With that poor experience, I have a negative impression of my bank. Even if they have some other banking product that might be interesting to me, I didn’t finish the email after feeling spammed. And I’ll likely skip future emails not related to my mortgage.

Some days my inbox overflows with more junk mail than may regular mail box. Many of those emails are perfectly fine pieces of communication. They look good, are well worded, and provide great information on a variety of products and services. The problem – they aren’t products or services I care about. I delete these emails without even opening them. And I know I’m not the only one who does this.

With today’s technology, a company doesn’t have to spam their customers with junk email they aren’t interested in. Customers will open interesting email and marketing automation software can help a company send the right email to the right people based on the customers’ demonstrated interest. If they just bought software send them your collection of free how-to-videos.  After a few months, offer them the advanced software package. Communications that are relevant to the individual and provide value leave favorable impressions on your customers.

This is true of prospects as well. With marketing automation software you can track which areas of your website a prospect find most interesting – which videos they watch, which whitepapers they download, and which customer page they read. The system arms you with enough information to invite them to a webinar featuring that customer or to send them a follow up article to the video. And the marketing software can automatically nurture your leads for you, based on the rules you set.

Small and mid-sized businesses can keep in touch with more leads in more meaningful ways when using marketing automation. Their marketing staff can focus their time on new content, like the 3-person brokerage house that just sent me a video link on option for refinancing. Now that’s an email I’ll open.

To learn more about how marketing automation can help your company watch the Top 5 Benefits of Marketing Automation from Dell Cloud Business Applications.

Full Disclosure: The bank that holds my mortgage did not actually send me an advertisement intended for a first time home buyer. The bank that holds my mortgage is also my lender for a graduate student loan. They sent me direct mail about getting another UNDERGRADUATE loan. Since I earned my bachelors degree and paid off my undergraduate student loans a long time ago, I think they need a better marketing automation system. 

About the Author: Helen Shaughnessy

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