Email automation is a huge timesaver for businesses that send many emails to their customers.

It takes time and work to write, send, track, and reply to all the emails that you need to.

If this sounds like something you deal with regularly, it’s time to look into email automation. This post will go over a number of ways email automation can save you both time and money, read on.


“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency” – Bill Gates.

This email automation article will inform you about –

The Value Of Email Automation For Business
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Email Automation
The Key Principles of Email Automation
Email Automation Best Practices
Is Email Automation Expensive?
Email Automation Success Examples
Your Emails Done Right

The Value Of Email Automation For Business

Email Marketing Automation is designed to allow businesses to market to their client and prospects by automating repetitive tasks at scale, personalise communications, intelligently analyse recipient behaviour and act accordingly to a pre-defined marketing roadmap. Supply the right message at the right time to the right person.

It often takes only minutes to set up an automated email workflow, but once it’s done, your emails will be sent out automatically for days, weeks or even years – without any extra work on your part.

This means considerably less writing and more replying to hot prospects, so you’ll have significantly fewer messages to write each day – what could be better?

Automated email workflows will save you from having to write emails manually to every prospect, every reminder, product update or just a reminder to check-in. Instead, your software or system will automatically send out the correct emails at whatever interval you choose, more often than not based on the recipient’s behaviour or where they are in your sales funnel.

This saves you a huge amount of time because it allows you to only be dealing with incoming customer leads, instead of taking hours each day trying to generate them.

With this in mind, who wouldn’t want email automation. It’s as easy as setting up some templates and letting them run against a pre-defined marketing roadmap. All that has to be done now is to decide which business tool is best for automating your messages.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Email Automation

Some business owners are afraid of email automation because they think it is too complicated or make things less personal. This isn’t true at all though.

Email automation works best if you have a clear, tested, workflow and then set up your emails in the correct way to follow this roadmap. Everything is still personalised to each customer’s needs and wants, even if it is an automated response –

“Hey [Firstname],
A quick nudge; that discount I offered you last week for [amount]% off expires tomorrow, to use it today visit [product_CTA] or give me a call on [AcctMgr_tel].

Speak soon,
[AcctMgr]

Another thing about email marketing automation is that you can use it as much or as little as you want. Some organisations rely on this system all day, every day for sending out several thousand messages.

Whilst other businesses will fire off single automated messages based on survey responses, previous purchase behaviour, link clicks to newsletters or re-engagement if the prospect has not interacted with the business in X weeks or months.

The best part about all of this is that many automation tools let you try them out before investing any money, so it’s a great way to test out their features and see if they’re right for your business.

If you’re writing prospecting emails all day every day, then this is the perfect opportunity to switch over. Jot down what triggers you to reach out and when you would normally send a reminder and then use these rules to fire off your automated emails – best of all, you can trigger an email send when they’ve clicked a link which you wouldn’t normally know about if you’d sent it manually.

With email automation software, there are so many different ways that you can benefit from more efficient workflows. Not to mention, increased communication, and lots of extra free time in your schedule – why not get started?

The Key Principles of Email Automation

There are a few main steps to setting up an email automation workflow once you have a tool for it. The first step is deciding which trigger will automate your emails and what they’ll say.

This sounds like it would take a long time, but many tools offer pre-made templates that make this process as simple as clicking on the one you want to use.

The next thing that has to happen with any good email automation system is choosing how often your messages get sent out. Whether daily, weekly, or monthly, it all depends on your business needs, so choose whatever makes sense in terms of productivity.

Finally, consider when enough is enough. If you have not converted your prospect by a series of three to five emails triggered by behaviour or timings then perhaps you should let them go – or take a breather and send a new re-engagement workflow a few weeks or months later.

Don’t forget to send from a monitored mailbox as there should always be an option for manual responses if your email recipient replies to you directly – noreply@YourDomain should never be used. Nobody wants their workday interrupted by a business that doesn’t want to hear from them if they respond after all.

Once you’ve considered these few steps, your workflow is pretty much ready to get started. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the benefits that come from streamlining your email marketing communication.

Email Automation Best Practices

The best way to learn how email automation works are by looking at a few examples. So let’s take a look at some different types of automated messages that you can send out.

The first type of message isn’t actually an automated response. It might as well be because there are times when the same question gets asked over and over again.

This is especially true with software products or websites where people aren’t sure about specific features. Instead, they ask for help through messaging even though the company already has FAQs available online.

With this in mind, companies who use email workflows like these should set up templates that explain information clearly. Otherwise, customer support will continue doing all their work manually.

A good example would be if a company offers a product that helps people build websites. One of the templates is an automated response to someone asking what they should do first when building their site.

The question might be something like “How do I get started with my website?” so a great series of templates would explain how there are three steps:

  • Choosing your domain name

    1a) if CTA clicked send email2 in 2 hours.
    1b) not opened after 24 hours – send a reminder.

  • Setting up hosting

    2a) if CTA clicked send email3 in 2 hours.
    2b) not opened after 24 hours – send a reminder.

  • Uploading files through FTP or cPanel

    3a) if CTA clicked send email4 in 24 hours.
    3b) not opened after 24 hours – send a reminder.

  • Congrats – you’re all set, here’s 10% discount on service X (upsell)

Once you’ve sent the first email in the series, you create a decision tree in your roadmap, if they click on the CTA and order a domain name from you (our example webhost) you can trigger sending email number 2 in the series [If CTA link1 is visited send email2 2 hours later] however, they may save the email for later and not act on it when you want them to, in which case you trigger email 1b [after 24 hours email1 has not been opened send email 1b] the reminder.

And so on, your prospect could go through all three steps in a matter of hours, if they open, click and complete the desired task, or the series could go on for a number of days with reminders at key intervals to prompt them to follow the process. All on autopilot rather than an account manager checking, deciding what to do, calling/emailing, setting a reminder for step 2 etc.

This type of automated email is often referred to as drip marketing, which means sending out emails based on customer behaviour rather than one bulk mass email to all prospects.

These can be simple triggers like seeing if someone opened an email you sent them, so you send another one after a few days, or they didn’t open it and you send a different, re-engagement one.

Still, it could also mean something more sophisticated where customers get different offers depending on what they buy in your store. Imagine getting all these great automated time-saving benefits from only creating a few templates once? It’s definitely worth looking into.

There are lots of other ways that companies use email automation besides these basic examples. Still, hopefully, now you have a good idea of how to set up these types of templates within your own workflow roadmap you can now get started with your email automation and quickly figure out how best to optimise it based on your clients & prospects behaviour.

Is Email Automation Expensive?

Email automation has so many great benefits that it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to use it. However, some people still have concerns about whether email automation is expensive.

The short answer is no.

In comparison to multi-touch-point social media advertising or months of GoogleAds, automated email messages are practically free. Well almost, points of pennies at most – and best of all you know who you are talking with, when and their subsequent actions.

If nothing else, email automation is a huge amount cheaper than hiring several full-time account executives just to send emails out prospecting for business to your existing database, automate that part and have senior staff close the incoming leads instead.

Perhaps you’ve heard of horror stories of corporates attempting to create their own email automation software, instead of using professional tools such as EmailOut that have already been built for this very purpose. We have many such companies contact us after an expensive failed software build and are surprised that they went to all the trouble and expense after finding out how little it costs to do it properly and professionally.

It takes a long time and costs a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing because there isn’t much guidance for setting up automated email workflows.

On the other hand, if you look at some companies and what they’re doing with their emails, it’s pretty obvious that automation isn’t too complicated if you’re using the right software and getting the right advice from your platform provider.

It just takes a little time for you or a colleague to create the right series of templates and match those to a predefined set of rules to send the right email to the right person at the right time. Add in a powerful data source such as your company’s sales transactions and you’re already halfway there by sending useful upsell messages and offers to those who already trust your brand.

Once you have the basics down –

  1. look at your existing process(es)

  2. create a roadmap for each process and triggers based on open, non-open, click, no-click, purchase, no-purchase

  3. create a template for each scenario

  4. add the data for the starting campaign (sales, event attendees, previous enquiries)

  5. press go!

  6. analyse response and conversions – tweak email copy and subject lines throughout

  7. enough-is-enough – don’t overdo it, allow prospects out of the automation and follow-up with a re-engagement campaign weeks or months later perhaps with a discount to onboard them again.

With the right email marketing software, this process is not difficult, you will not necessarily require an additional dedicated member of staff, we have many clients where the existing salesforce handles their own prospecting automation – and if a salesman can do it, anyone can. 😉

You’ll be surprised by how much time, energy, and money automation saves as long as you start with simple tasks first and then, once understood, add more complicated processes into the automation program.

That being said, if you still aren’t sure about email automation, it’s okay to go with a more traditional approach for now. Remember that you can always start small by just doing a single send email campaign with perhaps a simple autoresponder if one rule is met. Do this to get comfortable with the process and the benefits that pre-planning the customer journey can bring.

Email Automation Success Examples

The best way to learn how email automation can save you a lot of time and work is by looking at some case studies with actual examples.

Take a look at these companies using simple 3 step automated messages as part of their marketing strategy and see if they’re making any efforts that could be relevant to your business.

Drift

One example comes from Drift, which helps businesses manage conversations online through chatbots. They send out a welcome email once someone subscribes to their list, thus they already know there’s interest in learning more about what their company has to offer.

Once people visit the site or sign up for a free trial from that email, Drift sends them another message to get survey feedback on why they came in the first place.

Knowing that they’re already newly engaged creates a feedback loop where Drift finds new sources of engaged prospects from previous prospects and then by further promoting themselves in the places the survey suggests they gain more new leads and then follow the same process over again.

This lets marketers like Drift intelligently know what kind of content to create and where to send it in future without guessing.

By monitoring their click-through-rate (CTR) it also allows them to track how effective their follow-up automated messages are and so benchmarking them for further improvement over time.

CoSchedule

CoSchedule uses email automation to help marketers keep their social media and editorial calendars up-to-date. After someone subscribes to their free trial, they automatically send a further message.

This asks recipients what kind of content or topics they might want more information about.

This allows CoSchedule to know if there are any particular blog posts, videos, or other content that they should create and highlight to that lead in future. This is also done for their bot to learn from these responses and make sure everyone is on track with whatever type of outreach campaigns should be planned into their calendar.

With simple automation in place, CoSchedule is intelligently updating their content calendar ensuring that future content is precisely what their users want, just by asking.

Just a couple of examples show how email automation doesn’t need to be too complicated to get great business intelligence back in return, if planned properly it will not only make the prospect feel welcomed and engaged but also fix another business process, such as a content creation calendar, which would otherwise have to be guessed at.

With just a couple of templates and a way to monitor customer behaviour online, you’ve got an easy way for non-tech employees to extract valuable business data leading to exponentially more leads in future – nice.

These examples prove that even the simplest of automations can have a big beneficial impact on your business processes if done right.

Your Emails Done Right

In conclusion, email automation can save you a lot of time and effort as well as terrific results as long as it is started with simple tasks until everyone is comfortable using different kinds of triggers and series length to get the desired outcomes, whether that be conversions, re-engagement or content creation ideas with marketing funnel sources such as the examples above.

Remember that if your company could benefit from this strategy, it’s okay to go more traditional for now by only sending one email campaign with a simple single autoresponder responding automatically to see the increased engagement before hiring a huge marketing department to automate every business process you’ve ever thought of with a 12 point email series!

If you’re interested in exploring email automation, get in touch with us, and we will happily walk through your requirements and show you how to set it all up in a freeforever email account.

Highly recommended further reading –

Free Email Marketing Software to Automate Your Marketing Efforts

Investing in automating your email campaigns is an essential part of modern marketing. There are countless ways that email automation can encourage prospects to move along your sales funnel, therefore helping to generate more sales and a stronger company.

At EmailOut, we’re here to offer a fresh approach to email marketing. Our software is free for life, giving you powerful tools without irritating you with restrictions or sneaky upsells. You can register for your free account here.

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