What is email automation?
Email automation is a series of emails you automatically send to your prospects or customers and use extensive personalization.
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.
- With about 64 percent of businesses using email automation, it truly is the most popular form of marketing automation currently.
- This is important because it costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep your existing ones.
Marketing automation platforms, such as DailyStory, are used to send emails based on:
- Your audience’s interactions with your business;
- Respond to a user’s actions that were made or not made;
- Automate the delivery of a series of drip emails.
In other words, automation enables you to send emails triggered by what happens with a user.
Compliments transactional email
Automated emails bridge the gap between transactional emails (like receipts or password resets) and traditional marketing emails (like promotions and newsletters).
Often used in evergreen campaigns
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. Known as evergreen campaigns, these emails will continue to send automatically with no action required by you or your team.
An example would be an email that is sent after a purchase:
- Order confirmation
- Order delivery
- Post purchase follow-up
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 saves time and is more effective at engaging the recipient. Below we’ve put together 9 reasons why you should use it.
It’s not complicated to use
Using automation with your email marketing campaign is not difficult – so don’t think it’s something you can’t do. It’s as simple as:
- Creating a new campaign.
- Creating an email.
- Creating an automation to send the email when people are added to the campaign.
For example, when you add a customer to the “new customers” campaign automatically sending them a welcome email. We’ve provided some more examples below.
Automation is how you scale your business
It’s about scalability within your own business as you continue to grow. You don’t have the time to individually send each email or text message. Using automation your brand is meeting your customers and potential customers wherever they are in their purchasing journey with your business.
This leads to a greater return on investment (ROI) for you efforts.
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.
Why you should automate your business email
Below are 9 reasons why you should use automate email for your business.
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.
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.