Email automation frees up your time and checks things off your to-do list.

All the repetitive emails you’ve been sending out manually should now be handled by your email automation software. 


“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell” – Seth Godin

But, what exactly is email automation? How can it help take your business to the next level? In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about email marketing automation.

With the average person spending around five hours each day looking at their emails, sliding into your customers’ inboxes is a great way to connect to them and stay relevant. Sending one-time campaigns and newsletters should be a key component of your email marketing strategy, but what about the emails you want to be sent to customers based on their actions?

This article covers the following topics on the what and how of email automation:

  • What Is Email Automation?
  • Why Use Email Automation – The Benefits
  • How To Grow Your Business With Email Automation
  • How to Build a Customer Roadmap
  • Email Automation Examples
  • How Automated Email Drip Campaigns Work
  • Tips for Awesome Automated Emails
  • Email Automation Roundup

What Is Email Automation?

With email automation, or an automatic email campaign, you set it up once and it’s good to go. An email or series of emails is sent to an individual based on a certain trigger or behaviour. The email is sent automatically from your email service provider.

With email automation, you can target potential or current customers based on their:

  • Previous purchases
  • Preferences
  • Behaviour

By doing this, you can personalise their experience by increasing the relevance of your automated emails. This helps move them along the buyer’s journey and, hopefully, get them to complete whatever call to action you’re looking to achieve.

Why Use Email Automation – The Benefits 

There are more email automation benefits than simply taking to-dos off your plate. Let’s talk about what some of the other benefits are.

Scale Your Marketing Strategy

If you’re sending out an email series manually, the number of customers you’re able to reach is dependent upon how big your staff count is. Would you be able to stay on schedule if the number of customers you have doubled or tripled?

Sending out automated emails allows you to scale your marketing efforts. If you work with an email automation platform, you can ensure a welcome email gets sent out to an individual anytime they sign up for your mailing list. You don’t need a staff member to complete the action.

Customers are automatically integrated into your system as soon as they complete any of the triggers or actions that you’re tracking. Their behaviour will tell your system what email to send them without making any additional demands from your staff.

Free Up Marketing Time

Email automation will change the way you do business. It can improve the productivity of your employees and save them time. Your team members will be able to focus on other aspects of their jobs, like building customer relationships.

Truly Personalised Messaging 

With email automation, the right message is sent to the right person at the correct time based on pre-set triggers and behaviours. Everyone loves receiving a personalised email. It makes them feel special and that there’s a person behind the brand.

91% of customers are more likely to spend money at businesses that remember them and provide them with relevant recommendations and offers. Emails are a great way to personalise the experience for your customer base.

When you create your automated emails series, you’re able to grow and nurture relationships with your customers.

Building Better Customer Relationships – Engagement, Loyalty, Retention, and Relevancy

Marketing isn’t always about attracting new customers. It’s also about keeping your existing customers interested in your brand and product. A great way to boost your revenue is by maintaining a loyal customer base that will continually buy from your business throughout their lifetimes.

Email automation makes loyalty and retention strategies much easier. You can automate requests for feedback, send your customers exclusive offers, and send out re-engagement campaigns if your customers aren’t purchasing as often. All of these tactics work in tandem to increase your customer’s lifetime value.

How To Grow Your Business With Email Automation

Since email automation functions from a trigger and action system, the only thing that limits you is your business’s needs and creativity. You can create your triggers and their corresponding messages based on the individual’s journey. A trigger can be an event, activity, or specific date.

How to Build a Customer Roadmap

Building a roadmap will help you visualise how to build out your email automation series.

For example, if the customer does action A, then you send them email X. If they do action B, then they get sent email Y. If instead, they do action C, they’ll get sent email Z.

The emails they’re sent are based on their behaviour, purchases, and even email open/non-open/click and so on. Now that you understand what email automation is and how it can benefit your business, let’s go over some examples.

Email Automation Examples

Below are some email automation examples you can implement into your overall marketing strategy.

The Welcome Autoresponder

Some of the individuals who go to your website aren’t always ready to buy. However, they’ve shown interest in the products or services you have to offer. That makes them perfect candidates for communicating with so you can encourage them to purchase something in the future.

A great way to hook them is to have them subscribe to your newsletter or email list. It’s a smaller conversion for a potential customer to take than making a purchase. That makes it an action more likely for people to do.

Once they’ve subscribed, you can send them an email welcoming them to your subscriber list. You can include a thank you message and a coupon that’s good for their first purchase.

One action that you’ll have to take is setting up an email subscribe box on your website. People will automatically be added to your subscribers list when they enter their email, and the initial automated email will be issued to them.

Welcome Series

Instead of sending out a solo welcome email, you can create an entire welcome series that’s comprised of the following emails:

  • Welcome
  • CTA reminder
  • Discount offer

This is a great opportunity to acknowledge your subscribers and show them what you offer. The first email in the series should be short and to the point. It should greet your new subscriber with a simple CTA to start shopping.

The second email should be a reminder of the CTA and can include any additional information about your products. You can showcase some of your most popular offerings and offer an incentive to new buyers.

The final email should include a discount offer, especially if you haven’t talked about one already. If you have a VIP program for your customers, highlight it here.

Many email automation tools will allow you to completely customise the emails you distribute. You can include your branding, company colours, and product images. This allows you to create eye-catching designs that will engage your customers.

We Remembered Your Birthday!

Birthday emails are a very common automated email. They can also be one of the most effective ones if you do them correctly.

The email should, of course, wish the customer a happy birthday. The customer should be offered a relevant discount or offer that’ll encourage them to make a purchase. Adding in high-quality imagery coupled with an effective call-to-action will help drive conversions.

If you have your customer’s date of birth, this type of automated email is simple to set up. You can easily set up an email that reoccurs based on a date. The email will be distributed automatically when that date happens.

Event Promotion Series 

If your company runs webinars, meetups, or events, having people attending them is critical to increasing your revenue. A solid way to increase the number of people that attend your events is to issue reminder emails before the event. After the event, you’ll also want to distribute a series of follow-up emails.

Once an individual has registered for your event, they’ll receive several reminder emails in the weeks and days preceding it. After the event has occurred, they’ll automatically get sent any relevant information. This can include links to videos, PowerPoint presentations and webinar recordings.

When someone registers for your event, their name, email and the date of the event gets immediately added into your email marketing tool. You’ll then create an automated reminder email series that’ll go out on predetermined days leading up to the event.

Once the event is over, you’ll use the same data to send out your follow-up email series. This type of email series will help grow your business. It’ll ensure the most amount of attendees possible and follow up with the event materials to those who could not attend, substantially increasing the return on investment.

How Automated Email Drip Campaigns Work for EmailOut

A drip campaign ensures that customers receive a constant flow of marketing materials over a certain length of time. Since customers will usually interact with your business a few times before they make a purchase, a drip campaign will ensure they gradually receive useful content about your company. These types of campaigns work well with customers that have shown interest in your products or services.

Drip campaigns are often used in the following instances:

  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • Not making a purchase for a while
  • Registering for something on your website
  • Making a purchase

The great thing about drip campaigns with EmailOut is that they’re completely mapped out to key engagement points. They’re distributed to a pre-set schedule in conjunction with a strategic automation plan.

Let’s look at how EmailOut uses drip campaigns with our own set of customers.

Email List Uploaded, but No Email Campaign copy

For people who have uploaded their email lists but haven’t created their first campaign, we’ll send an encouraging email to them. We’ll showcase how easy it is to use our software to create an eye-catching email campaign. The goal of this email is to have them log into EmailOut and create their first email campaign.

Email Campaign Created but No List Data

If a person has created an email campaign but hasn’t uploaded their list, EmailOut will send out an email that prompts them to upload their initial email data. The goal of this particular email is to encourage individuals to log back into EmailOut and finish sending out their first email campaign. The email will also include a strong call to action, in addition to tips for building email lists.

No Email Sent in 28 Days

For those who haven’t sent out a campaign within 28 days, we’ll send out another reminder email. We’ll give them tips and tricks on how easy it is to get their first campaign up and running. The goal of this campaign is to reengage their interest with EmailOut and to start sending their emails again.

Tips for Awesome Automated Emails

Once you’ve set up your automated email campaigns and have your lists uploaded, there are a few tips and tricks you should keep in mind before activating them.

Volume

Sending relevant messages to your database is the key thing to keep in mind. Large quantities of emails aren’t always better as they can turn people off. Focus on the triggers themselves that are more meaningful to your business and customers.

Timing

Think about when it’s the best time to send out an email based on the content and the triggering event. If you’re distributing an email series, ensure that they’re adequately spaced apart. You don’t want to overwhelm your customer.

Test

Once you’ve set up an email, you’ll need to test it. You want to optimise your:

  • Messaging
  • Subject lines
  • CTAs
  • Content
  • Layout

Have multiple team members review the emails before they’re given the all-clear for customer use.

>>> Check out the Ultimate Email Checklist here <<<

Allow Customers to Unsubscribe

You really don’t want your customers to opt-out from your emails, but there’s one thing worse and that is having frustrated customers that do not want to be on your list. Make sure your unsubscribe options are easy to access. You want to provide a seamless experience that doesn’t infuriate potential customers.

 

Email Automation Roundup

Email automation should be a key component of your email marketing strategy. Think about all the work you could accomplish by setting up multiple email series, all without having to lift a finger. Keep your customers engaged while increasing your revenue with email marketing automation.

You can signup for a free email automation account here and get your email series setup today.

Recommended further reading:

1. Email Marketing Automation: Busting common myths
2. How Automation Can Help Turn Newbies into Your Biggest Customers
3. 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Email Newsletter Service
4. Free Email Marketing Tools For Your Company
5. The Ultimate Email Campaign Checklist or [PDF Download]

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