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Beginners Guide to Email Marketing Automation

With all the new trends in digital marketing, email is still among the most cost-effective channels for promoting your business today. In the US, the average returns on investment for email campaigns is $42 for every dollar spent.

While one-off campaigns and newsletters are always going to be an essential part of your email marketing tactic, most businesses are starting to implement automation in their email campaigns, which triggers a specific response based on the customer’s actions.

In fact, a study by Hubspot shows that about 49 percent of marketers use email automation.

Why? This is because automated emails are customized, timely, and quite relevant to the reader. Consequently, they’re opened and clicked way more frequently, thereby driving visits and capital for your business.

So if you need a way to step up your email campaigns, then email automation is the answer.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to how you can leverage email automation to create relevant, timely, contextual, and personal messages that increase customer engagement and drive brand loyalty.

Email Automation: What Is It?

Unlike one-off campaigns and newsletters that you devise and send to multiple subscribers at once, email automation lets you send emails to a particular subscriber based on a predetermined event or trigger. For example, when you get a new subscriber, you can email a welcome message automatically.

Manually creating and sending emails to every user that subscribes to your email lists would waste a lot of your time, so instead, you can use automation to send welcome emails automatically whenever a new user joins your subscriber’s list.

As such, the email will be sent to everyone who meets your pre-defined trigger automatically, and you won’t even have to do anything. It essentially automates marketing for you.

The following data shows that marketers will be investing more in automation solutions that help them do real-time communications, pre-purchase nurturing, resource management, and more.

Graph showing expected marketing spending going up each year starting in 2017 with $11 billion to $25 billion in 2023.

Email Automation Types

There are two major variants of email automation:

  • Behavior-based
  • Time-based

Automation based on time lets you send emails on a time, date, or delays as programmed by you. E.g., you can set up a welcome series of 5 emails and schedule it to be delivered once for 5 weeks after a new user joins your subscriber list.

On the contrary, automation based on behavior is way smarter and enables you to deliver customized emails. For instance, you could keep track of your welcome series and see if anyone clicks on a particular link, and using that behavior, you can deliver a separate email that notifies them regarding a special offer.

Advantages of Email Automation

By setting up email automation, you can improve many aspects of your marketing. Let’s check out some of the benefits of utilizing email marketing automation.

Higher Open & Click-Through Rates

By using email marketing automation, the chances of your subscribers opening, reading, and clicking on links available in your email increases. According to a study, automated emails generate 50.4 percent more open rates and 106.3 percent more click-through rates as compared to conventional marketing messages.

Delivers Emails at the Right Time

Email automation enables you to deliver email campaigns to the right subscriber at the most appropriate time based on the trigger events. Plus, you also send emails based on different time zones.

For instance, if you want to make sure that your subscriber receives a particular email at 9 am local time.

Saves Your Time

Email automation allows you to create an email or a series of emails and then let it run automatically, thereby saving you time. It eliminates the need to create a new email every time a new subscriber signs up.

Automate Loyalty Programs

Email automation solutions can gather customer loyalty data and send real-time, personalized incentives and deals through multiple channels, irrespective of whether a buyer is in a physical store, on a site, or even social media.

Trigger Email Offers

Essentially, an automation tool is a solution that delivers actions and results.

Customer’s behavior triggers these campaigns and creates a non-stop cycle of engagement between brand and consumer. Email marketing has always been an essential part of every business marketing strategy, however, when paired with the right tool, it becomes much easier to attain optimum results and drive higher ROI.

Email Automation Tools

The critical difference between a standard email marketing tool and an email automation solution is the price and the functionality. Email marketing tools let you send regular emails like newsletters. On the contrary, email automation tools allow you to build automation within those emails.

Here are some features of an email automation tool:

  • Tracking online behavior: email subscribers landing on your site.
  • Program management: control marketing campaigns for multiple channels.
  • Analytics
  • Landing page builder
  • Email sequence builder and more

Fortunately, if you need an automation tool, there are several options available. Some of the popular automation tools are as follows

  • HubSpot:  Comprehensive but expensive
  • InfusionSoft: Efficient but with a steep learning curve.
  • GetResponse: Growing functionality, however, not as powerful compared to other tools
  • ConvertKit: Designed mainly for bloggers
  • Constant Contact: Affordable, intuitive, reliable, and very powerful.
  • Popup maker: Precision user targeting, multiple trigger types, premium extensions.

How Can Email Automation Help Your Business?

Once you have picked your preferred email marketing service, you can begin using the automation features. Here are some ways email automation helps businesses grow and generate more revenue :

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are the most common automated emails. It’s the email that you send every time someone signs up to thank them for signing up and notifying them of what to expect. Additionally, you can either make a welcome series or merely a single email.

Here’s how Beardbrand welcomes its new customers.

Example welcome email that include brand name, a "Welcome to the community" heading, and a video thumbnail.

Thank-You Emails

With automation, you can send a thank you email every time a client purchases your product/service or donates. It’s an effective way to build a healthy long-term relationship with your customers.

Here’s an example of how JustGiving thanks their supports when they donate:

Example thank-you email saying "Thanks again for donating" with some accompanying text.

Online Course Emails

The best way to get people interested to join your subscriber list is by providing free email courses. Here’s an example:

Example email course opt-in saying "Free 16-Part Snackable Writing Course" with extra info and button to signup.

Check out some other content upgrades and opt-ins in our “11 Easy Content Upgrade Ideas To Help You Grow Your Email List” article.

Re-engagement Emails

With automated re-engagement emails, you can target inactive customers or contacts. You can have workflow conditions like the last time they clicked or visited your site. You can also include an exclusive coupon or offer to get them interested in your services or products again.

Here’s how Grammarly presents inactive customers with its re-engagement emails:

Example re-engagement email that has some text trying to get user to come back and use Grammarly again with large button saying "Go" at bottom of email.

Upsell Emails

With automation emails, you can deliver automated upsell emails, which includes special offers to users who make regular purchases or a membership scheme.

Abandoned Shopping Cart Email

If you operate an online business, you can trigger an abandoned cart email automatically when a customer adds a product to their cart yet leaves without purchasing. Study shows 69 percent of shoppers leave their carts without purchasing.

By sending triggered emails automatically to those who abandon unpurchased products in their carts, businesses can help minimize cart abandoned rates. Such automation solutions can help you in determining the most appropriate time to deliver reminder emails, and even help create the most captivating subject lines that encourage more open rates.

Renewal Emails

No business would want to lose their existing clients, especially the ones that pay recurring subscriptions. So the most efficient way to avoid losing them is by sending automated renewal emails to remind them that their account, policy, or subscription with you is going to expire soon.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for a way to optimize, organize, and respond to all the customer data efficiently, email marketing automation solutions offer organizations the ability to transform how it operates.

With the constant cycle of testing, fine-tuning, and feedback, email automation solutions ensure that the workflow of your company is always evolving and expanding for optimum impact and effectiveness. Such solutions help in streamlining your workflow in terms of productivity, revenue generation, and efficiency, thereby enabling your team to work on creativity, strategy, and content.

Robert Jordan, a seasoned marketing professional with over 10 years of experience, currently working as Media Relations Manager at InfoClutch Inc, which is a leading supplier of most sought after technology database. Have expertise in setting up the lead flow for budding startups and takes it to the next level. Have a deep interest in SEO, SEM & Social Media related discussions. Always open for new ideas & discussions.

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