New to automated emails? The good news is that they are an incredibly effective tool when blended into your larger marketing strategy.
The bad news is that you might not know where to start.
But that’s okay!
Depending on your brand and business, there are a number of “low-hanging fruit” type of automated emails that you can begin with and go from there.
Automated emails have a 70.5 percent higher open rate and 152 percent higher click-through rate than generic email newsletters, according to Epsilon.
Here are 17 types of automated emails that you can start using today. Let’s get to it!
The idea behind a welcome email is probably pretty obvious: You want to confirm an opt-in and greet your new subscriber.
Of course, welcome messages don’t have to be limited to a single email. You can set up a series of welcome emails that can pace out introducing your brand, your team, customer experiences and so on. (Learn more about setting up a welcome email series that gets you leads.)
Welcome emails are a critical type of automated email because they serve as your first impression. They lead to higher engagement and boost customer conversion.
In fact, welcome emails generate an average open rate of more than 80 percent and a click-through rate of more than 25 percent, according to GetResponse.
Just remember that you also can remind users what they will get from your emails (exclusive content or content highlights, special discounts, so on). You also can share where users can review their subscription settings (and make adjustments).
This type of automated email is all about educating your new customer.
Onboarding emails typically share product or service features, as well as hidden benefits people might not be aware of.
You can consider these a series of training emails in which you’re helping your customer get the most out of your product or service. Perhaps you want to educate them about how to download and use your app.
Whatever the purpose, when customers fully understand everything you’re giving them, you’ll see better customer retention and fewer refund requests.
Engagement follow-up emails
These automated emails are intended to follow up on a subscriber’s actions, such as whether a recipient opens and clicks your original email (or not) can trigger an automatic follow-up email within a certain period of time to “seal the deal” or help convert that subscriber.
For example, if you send a promotional email out, you can have an automated follow-up email set up to send to anyone who didn’t open the original email, featuring a more targeted subject line and/or even a free, limited-time offer.
Special event emails
A really popular option is to set up birthday and/or anniversary emails for your email database.
You’re essentially sending well wishes for a birthday or other special date.
It not only helps build a relationship with your subscribers but also can help lead to conversions depending on what deal or discount you might additionally offer.
Personalized, targeted emails have a higher open rate as well.
Make sure that your automated email service can support custom-value triggers, such as birth dates and opt-in dates, depending on what type of special event you want to automate for.
Cart abandonment emails
This can be critical to increasing your revenue.
The rate of online shopping cart abandonment is reported to be at almost 70 percent, according to the Baymard Institute. Imagine if you can capture even a fraction of this for your business.
Typically, this type of automated email expresses that not only has the user left items in his or her cart and leverages something to help secure the sale. Sometimes, the reminder alone is enough, but you can also offer a discount, free shipping, etc.
About a third of cart-abandonment email clicks result in a purchase, according to SaleCycle.
You have the opportunity to turn this automated email into a series as well if you desire, timing your reminders and potentially increasing your incentive for recipients to complete the purchase.
Just be aware that you’ll want to confirm that your automated email service can integrate with your e-commerce website in order to trigger these emails.
Depending on whether you have retargeting pixels installed on your website, you can set up an email automation that reminds users via email of a product or service they were viewing on your website but did not purchase (or add to their cart).
This can be more advanced to set up but still very effective.
Order notification emails
These automated emails include receipts, invoices, shipping updates, refund confirmations and even order cancellations.
They are entirely dependent on your customer’s purchase activity and can either be fairly basic in design and messaging or encompass a little flair, depending on your brand.
Content download emails
If you’re using content marketing for lead generation, then you should already be familiar with this type of automated email.
In general, you offer some sort of content that a user can download (be it an ebook, webinar, kit, so on). In exchange for this free content, the user gives you his or her contact information. You then use this information to both add the user to your database and send your free content to his or her email inbox.
This is a common practice that you’ll see used on many websites by businesses.
Thank you emails
These can result from almost any action a subscriber takes, depending on your business.
Whether it’s a first-time purchase or an interaction with your customer service (“Thank you for contacting us”) or something else, it’s critical to express gratitude to your subscribers and/or customers. You do value them after all.
Think through interactions people typically have with your brand. Where is it important to automate a considerate thank you message?
Of course, your messaging can include a discount or other offer as well if you like.
These differ slightly from “thank you” emails because the idea is to reward your best or most loyal customers.
You can take this opportunity to offer a special coupon, heartfelt message, exclusive content, etc.
If you have a feedback survey system integrated with your email service, it’s possible to create automated emails related to the satisfaction of your customers.
One email would trigger if the customer is happy, and another would trigger if the customer is not.
It’s key that you put yourself in the shoes of the customer when creating these messages. An email automatically sending to someone who is not happy (or perhaps even angry) cannot sound fake or inauthentic.
Feedback, review emails
When you have any amount of customer retention, you’re missing an opportunity if you’re not automating emails to solicit their feedback or customer reviews.
Everyone appreciates being heard and acknowledged, so give your customers that opportunity. What you end up hearing from them could help improve your product, service or even your marketing strategy.
Every business wants to see more positive reviews on Yelp, Google and so on. Simply asking can work better than you might assume. However, you can consider an escalating automated series that asks at first and then offers an incentive (such as a discount, gift card, free shipping, etc.) in the follow-up.
If you have customers who purchase on any sort of cycle (such as a prepaid year of membership, for example), it’s helpful to have automated reminder emails that let your customer know it’s about time to purchase or renew.
Anything you can do to elevate this messaging can help with the retention and/or conversion. For example, you can include a list of the benefits they’re currently enjoying, as well as a sneak peek of anything new coming in the future.
Of course, reminders can be tied to events, webinars, product launches, you name it.
What’s better than snagging a new customer? That customer referring you to his or her friends, of course.
Perhaps you have an ongoing referral incentive for customers, or maybe you offer referral incentives periodically. Either way, you should communicate that to your customer base.
Referral promotion can be included in a welcome or onboarding automated series or set up separately once a customer has been with you for a certain period of time.
No matter what, customers will fall off, so it makes sense to have an automated email that sends out after a certain period of time to help win your customers back.
This can include a “miss you” message, as well as an offer to help promote the conversion.
You can choose the frequency. One suggestion is that the first automated email can send 120 days without any purchase activity, a second email 240 days without any purchase activity and a third email 365 days without any purchase activity. The messaging (and even the offer) can differ depending on the length of time.
Traditional ‘drip’ emails
A drip campaign is a common phrase in email marketing and refers to a method of nurturing your leads to help convert them over time to customers.
True, many automated email workflows can be considered drip campaigns, but we would be remiss to not single out the concept separately since there are a number of variations you can employ to nurture your leads, such as upselling.
The idea is that you map out a series of emails that slowly build up the value of your product, service and/or brand to the recipient in order to ultimately result in securing a new client or purchase.
If you offer a service that customers can opt out of at some point, it’s worth considering an automated farewell email.
The idea behind it is transparency, gratitude and customer care. It is your opportunity to make a “last impression” on your customer, so be authentic in your messaging. It could very well result in his or her eventual return (or second thoughts about leaving in the first place).
For example, you thank them for the time (perhaps years) they’ve spent with you.
When starting with email automation, list your priorities and start with whatever is the most simple. Monitor that campaign’s performance, and when you feel comfortable, you can add additional automated emails and campaigns.