Email automation matters to your marketing

6 minute read
Email automation matters to your marketing

Any smart business has already discovered the power of email automation.

But it’s not too late to dive in and level up your email marketing as well.

Despite possibly being considered an “old” medium, the number of global email users is still growing. According to Statista, there were 3.7 billion email users worldwide, while 4.1 billion users are projected by 2021.

In addition, 89 percent of marketers identify email as their leading marketing tool for bringing in leads.

What is email automation?

Email automation is a series of emails you automatically send to your prospects or customers. Using a tool, such as DailyStory, you can schedule emails to send based on your audience’s interactions with your business, respond to a user’s actions that were made or not made, or automate the delivery of a sequence of emails.

In other words, emails are sent when triggered by what happens with a user.

Automated emails bridge the gap between transactional emails (like receipts or password resets) and traditional marketing emails (like promotions and newsletters). They enable you to automatically follow up with users individually with the bonus of customized content.

And, unlike email newsletters and one-off campaigns, email automation allows you to create a campaign one time and then automatically reach individuals when certain triggers are hit. That means emails will continue to send long after you set up that automated campaign without you lifting another finger.

An example would be signing up for an account (whether it’s Twitter, Netflix or anything else) and then immediately receiving a confirmation welcome email.

Of course, when done right, that automated email is encouraging you to act or engage in some additional way. In this case, it could be a request to complete your profile.

Why does it matter?

Email automation enables you to both save time and be more effective in the timing and point of your messages.

Just set up a campaign initially with automated triggers included. That’s it. Then, your brand is meeting your customers and potential customers wherever they are in their purchasing journey with your business. It’s about scalability within your own business as you continue to grow.

This leads to a greater return on investment (ROI) for you efforts.

With about 64 percent of businesses using email automation, it truly is the most popular form of marketing automation currently.

And while businesses are often focusing their marketing efforts on getting new customers, email automation can do the work on nurturing and engaging with your existing ones.

This is important because it costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep your existing ones.

Examples of email automation

There are almost limitless ways to engage with your customers and potential customers through automated emails, depending on your goals and the nature of your business. These 14 examples can help inspire you to get started:

  • Welcome new customers (or subscribers)
  • New customer onboarding
  • Abandoned shopping cart reminder
  • Gather feedback on your products or services
  • Inform customers of upcoming expirations (or renewals)
  • Birthday messages
  • Anniversary messages
  • Appointment reminders
  • Milestone messages, such as the 100th visit for example
  • Nurture your leads with drip campaigns
  • Promote new content, such as blogs or videos
  • Offer an email course
  • Event or webinar reminders
  • Replies to customer complaints that explain your complaint process and ensure you’re working on fixing the issue

If that’s not enough to consider including email automation in your digital marketing, here are nine reasons why you should.

Save time

Just as the description implies, email automation is based on the idea of setting up a trigger-based email workflow only once, and then letting your email service do the rest.

It’s not practical to manually create and send a welcome email for every new customer or subscriber you get, so email automation allows you to both look like you’re on top of things while not having to be in real time.

Who doesn’t want to be more effective while saving time?

Become more relevant

Because an automated email is triggered by an action taken by the recipient, that email becomes super relevant to him or her.

This means that recipients are more likely to open and even click within the email.

Businesses that use email automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50 percent, according to eMarketer.

Increase engagement

The purpose of email automation is to hit recipients at the right time with the right message. We mentioned earlier that an automated email can be triggered by what someone does or does not do.

Whether it’s a lapsed customer for determined period of time whom you want to entice back or a follow-up email with tips on getting the most out of your app after being downloaded, you’re meeting your users where they are, which naturally drives engagement.

Build up your brand

Email automation is an obvious extension of your brand.

Because of the increased engagement, you have the opportunity to build trust with recipients and elevate their perception of your brand.

Boost customer retention, loyalty

A challenge for all businesses is to live, breathe and think through the user experience of our customers.

Consider your own experience with automated emails. Perhaps there was a “Thank You” and/or “Welcome” email after you signed up for a newsletter or a “We Miss You” email when you haven’t visited a particular business in a few months.

Did any of those make you feel special or cared about?

It’s that experience that helps not only retain customers but creates a brand loyalty as well. The sky is the limit on what you can do with email automation, but think through every step of your customer’s journey with you as a starting point for identifying all the opportunities to automate.

Improve your responsiveness

About 69 percent of consumers in the U.S. feel customer service is “very important,” according to Microsoft.

And this is no surprise to businesses who strive to be more responsive to the needs, questions, concerns and actions of customers.

Email automation is a clear helping hand when it comes to being more responsive. Depending on the workflow you create, you can easily address questions before the customer feels the need to reach out to ask. For example, a Welcome 101 email thanking the new online customer for creating an account with you but also guiding him or her on how to use your website.

Scale up your email campaigns

Another advantage to email automation is the ability to scale up your email marketing campaigns with only the initial up-front effort.

This relates to the time-saving factor. When workflows and campaigns can be automated on a number of different fronts, your time is freed up to build on top of that.

Help your bottom line

With any marketing channel, a business has to evaluate its ROI (return on investment).

The good news is that email automation can help boost revenue. This could be a prompt to update billing information or an invitation to return as a customer. There are, of course, a number of direct examples that go beyond the likely action that could be taken.

A measurable tactic

Related to ROI, the effectiveness of your email automation can be measured just like any other email marketing campaign.

Factors to consider:

  • Your cost in acquiring a single customer
  • The average lifetime value of a customer
  • How much it costs to set up (and maintain) your email automation. Maintenance could involve an automated platform subscription and/or any time spent updating automated content over time.

Then, you can review monthly (depending on the goal of each automated email campaign), how much profit you’re making.

Email automation is powerful, but also easier to do than you might think.

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