Manual is defined as doing or involving hard physical work.
In the world of marketing, tedious and time consuming is a better way to define it.
In a world where “do more with less” is the mantra; some marketing departments have turned into email factories.
99% manual mode is not sustainable. Not sustainable from a bandwidth standpoint and not sustainable from a customer experience standpoint.
In our agency experience, there needs to be a balance between manual and automated emails.
Automation is defined as automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor.
The key….taking the place of human labor. Here is an opportunity to do more with less.
If you are stuck in a manual mode, we recommend advanced lifecycle strategy as a great place to start testing advanced automation. And we understand it’s no easy task. It takes a unique combination of people, process and technology to create an automated ecosystem. It also takes strategy, analytics, creative, sophisticated business rules and integration to make it all work.
But rolling up your sleeves and getting it done, or outsourcing to a marketing agency is well worth it. It minimizes the risk that an organization is leaving money on the table and is working to maximize customer value.
We often see lifecycle programs being secondary to product/promotional programs because of the focus on top line revenues. And that will never change.
The fact of the matter is organizations need both. There will always be seasonal sales, national campaigns, new products, ECT that need to be executed in a manual mode. And there will always be a need for post purchase lifecycle communications; to effectively welcome new customers entering into a brand, messaging them into higher levels of loyalty, preventing defection and winning back lost or gone customers.
Automating lifecycle messages to ALL stages of the customer lifecycle will ensure your organization IS NOT leaving money on the table. And, we have found it’s the ongoing consistency of executing lifecycle messages that drives increases in customer value. (Not simple welcome communications or ad hoc “we miss you” campaigns.)
So the painful truth about manual emails….they are necessary and you will always have resource dedicated to them.
But if you can get 50% of your emails automated and execute 50% manually, I’d say you are in a darn good spot.