Email Automation: The Future of Email Marketing

When a new customer signs up for your email newsletter, what action do you take? Do you directly send them the newsletter or, do you thank them for signing up with automated emails?

The ideal way to engage the customer would be to thank them for signing up and continue to offer them some value against their opt-in throughout their customer journey.

However, the most difficult aspect is ensuring that every customer receives the right email according to their previous interaction with your brand. That’s precisely why you need to use email automation. Automation sends out the relevant email to the subscriber as soon as the trigger is met.

You just need to define it once, and then the rest is taken care of by the workflow. This way, you won’t miss out on a single email that needs to be sent to the subscriber or the customer.

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of email automation.

Benefits of Email Automation

  • With email automation, you can correctly address the needs of the prospects and nurture them. You won’t have to nurture every lead that comes your way. You just need to focus your marketing strategy on the leads that are likely to convert and show interest in your business. For instance, if you see someone who has not opened your emails in a long time, you can follow them up via automation and ask whether they want to stay subscribed to your emails or not. You will get to know the credibility of your email list and the leads you have generated so far.
  • It will also help you to know what the customer is interested in, what their preferences are, and what stage of the buying journey they are in. It will let you understand the audience in a better light so that you can create high-converting email campaigns. You can personalize the email campaigns to suit their preferences, thus enabling faster decision making. Personalization also helps increase engagement.
  • You can reduce the hiring costs as you won’t need a resource to look after the email marketing campaign. Your email campaigns will be attended to by the automation software. You just need to define the triggers, create the workflow, and you should be able to kickstart the campaign. Anytime the trigger is met, your users are sure to receive the email.
  • It is important to nurture the leads before you can connect your sales team with these leads. Email automation allows you to build lead nurturing campaigns that set the right expectations and creates awareness about your products or services. You slowly make the leads move from knowing your brand to acknowledging its presence and finally making the necessary purchase.
  • You can also make the task easier for the sales team. These emails will inform them when the lead is ready for the first contact from the sales executive. Once that happens, the marketer will pass the lead to the sales team, and they can take it forward.

The Automation Emails You Should Send

#1 The Welcome Emails

This is a must for both the eCommerce stores as well as the service-oriented companies. The first email in this series is about thanking them for subscribing to your newsletter. It could also include a discount coupon, a resourceful ebook or something similar. In case you are sending a series of welcome emails, the next email will contain the value addition for the user.

These emails not only set a certain expectation level with the subscriber but also the tone and frequency for the future emails.

The welcome email also mentions the other channels where the brand is active and offers an opportunity to the user to connect with them across these channels.

Here’s an email example to inspire you.

automated welcome email from craftsman with a red background

#2 The Lead Nurturing Emails

You know your leads are ready to buy. What would you do in that case? Wouldn’t you want to prompt them to make the purchase and convert them? The lead nurturing email series is your best bet at converting the leads into customers.

Considering 96% of the visitors who come to your website but are not ready to buy, it is inevitable to send them persuasive lead nurturing emails that build a sense of trust and move them deeper into the sales funnel.

These emails begin their job by educating potential customers about the products or services offered by the brand. Right from talking about the benefits to the usage, everything needs to be mentioned in these emails. You can offer them guides or other gated content to make them aware and relieve them of any apprehension they could be facing.

Once they know about your products/services, they need to know why your brand, and how your brand views these aspects differently. Mention the mission, vision, USPs and other points of differentiation for your brand, which can entice the customer.

Nurturing is trigger based. You should always send the next email based on the user behavior, level of engagement, click-through and other rates as well as the actions taken by the user. Don’t follow-up if you believe that the user is not going to take any action after receiving the first email in this series.

Process.st sends a series of interesting nurturing emails to entice the subscriber to purchase their premium version.

The first email addresses the need of a scheduled checklist and prompts the user to set up the first scheduled process.

automated email from process.st

The next email shares the link to their process library to help the prospects who are too tied up to write their own processes.

follow up automated email from process.st

The last email in the series promotes the premium version of their Business Pro plan with a clear call-to-action button that asks the subscriber to add billing details.

last automated email reminding the subscriber about their expiring trial

#3 Re-engagement Emails

If you feel that the user has been lying dormant for a long while, and you want them to engage with your brand and make a purchase, then connect with them via re-engagement emails.

You can offer them a reminder of the discount or sale that you have introduced. Offer them some more discount or an incentive to make the purchase. In case they have not been on the site for a long while, tell them how much you have missed them in this time.

If you feel that they are not interested in your emails, offer them an option to opt-out of your emails. Let them know that they have been dormant for a long time, and they don’t seem to be interested, and that’s why you are removing them from the list. Give them an option to stay, if that is what they want.

Tortoise just nails it with their re-engagement email.

automated email from tortoise trying re-engaged their email subscriber by listing the benefits

#4 Feedback and Repeat Purchase Emails

This is an excellent email automation series that every product-based company should opt for. It allows you to connect with the customer immediately after a purchase has been made, to get them to buy again.

You should send an email two days after the delivery of the product to see how satisfied they are with the product and get their feedback on the same.

See how Taylor Stitch does it.

automated email asking for feedback from taylor stitch

After this email is sent, you should make some personalized recommendations based on their purchase to get them to buy again.

Amazon sends an email stating: “people have bought these things along with the product you have bought”.

It connects with the buyer, and they may purchase the new things recommended to them.

Take a look at the email by Bellroy.

automated email from bellroy asking for feedback from the subscriber

 

#5 Cart Abandonment Emails

This is typically an important email for the eCommerce websites. A lot of times people tend to add things to the cart, and not complete the purchase. You need to make them complete the purchase so as to increase the conversions for your website.

Cart abandonment emails do the job.

You should send an email within 24 hours of the abandonment telling them what they have left behind in the cart. The second email should talk about the reasons for the abandonment and discuss it in detail. You can also attempt to resolve them. Finally, you should offer some incentive so that the users complete the purchase.

Rudy’s sets a nice example for cart abandonment email with perfect preheader text.

automated abandonment email from rudy's showcasing what the subscriber has left in the cart

Email Automation Best Practices

It is important that you abide by the best practices for the results that you aim to achieve through email automation.

Timing is everything

You need to set the time for the email campaign so that it is appreciated by the subscriber, and the action is taken. Research on what time works best for the specific type of email and send it accordingly. It depends on the email type, the target market demographics as well as the action you want them to take.

Segment the List

When you are sending automated emails to the target audience, you need to make sure that they fit the workflow demand perfectly. Whenever the subscriber completes onboarding, and you believe they need to be nurtured, add them to the nurturing list. When they have been dormant for a while, add them to the re-engagement list. Those who have completed purchase should be added to the list of existing customers or repeat customers according to the data. You need to take the action according to their buying stage and past interaction with the brand.

Personalize the Email

Apart from adding the sender’s name and reply-to address, you should also make the content and design relevant to the buyer’s preferences. A personalized campaign has more chances of converting the subscriber as against other types of campaign.

Keep it Simple

When designing the campaign, always focus your efforts on keeping it simple and straightforward. You need to make sure that the design has a good amount of white space and the message is readable and scan worthy with no clutter at all.

Set Auto Responses

When the subscriber responds to a particular email, they expect an answer from you. If the real answer is going to take time, make sure you have set up certain autoresponders to keep the waiting time shorter and sustain the subscriber’s interest.

Measure the Metrics

When you set up email automation, the goals need to be set along with the campaigns. Make sure you monitor the metrics and measure the success rate of the campaign before planning the next one.

Wrapping up

Email automation is an excellent way of connecting, engaging, communicating and converting the visitors to your website. You can educate them, nurture them, and make them complete their purchase decisions by setting up behavior-based emails.

Each email campaign should be thought through right at the start, and you need to plan the messages as well as the autoresponders for the email carefully so that you can convert effectively. Apart from designing the campaigns, you also ought to test them, ensure you send them at the right time, and finally monitor the success rate. It is important for you to keep up with your analytics to build insights that can help you with your next campaign.

Author Bio:

Chintan is Head of Operations at InboxArmy LLC. He has been into email marketing domain from last 7 years. Chintan is connected to InboxArmy, a professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing services from email production to deployment. Chintan’s success track record covers building email programs at competitive email marketing pricing and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.


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