Automated email marketing is the best option for sending personalized messages. Thanks to automation workflows, you can send personalized offers to customers at the relevant time, laying the groundwork for increased revenue.
In this article, we’ll take a look at:
- what email marketing automation is
- the benefits of email marketing automation
- the steps you need to take to launch email marketing automation workflows in your own company
We’ll also discuss the most popular email marketing automation software options to help you find the best one for you. And at the end, we’ll take a look at specific examples of emails that you can start sending out to your clients in a short time.
The Potential of Email Marketing
The potential of email marketing can’t be ignored. Email ROI has risen to $58 per each $1 spent, according to the Marketer Email Tracker 2019 report.
But, considering that 72% of consumers only respond to personalized digital marketing messages, simply sending emails manually isn’t enough.
In fact, personalizing emails manually is unthinkable with a decent amount of customers or plans for scaling your ecommerce venture or small business.
This is where email marketing automation makes its grand entrance.
What Automated Email Marketing Is
Automated email marketing is a workflow where emails are sent to subscribers automatically.
However, these emails aren’t just robotically sent to anyone at any time.
If your automated email marketing strategy is properly designed and well executed, the right email is sent to the right subscriber at the right time.
When it comes to the content of automated marketing emails, a lot depends on your creativity. You could come up with almost any kind of email to send to your users. But technically, there are three main types of automated emails.
First, there are triggered emails, also called autoresponders. These can be sent after a certain set time or after any predefined user action. For example, you could set up a triggered re-engagement email that’s sent when a user hasn’t logged on to their account in a certain number of days. Or, when a new user creates an account, an automated welcome email with recommended next steps could be sent.
Similar to autoresponders are behavioral emails. The difference is that these are sent based on a user’s interactions with previously sent emails. For example, if a user clicks through your offer in one email but doesn’t complete the purchase, you could send them a follow-up with a discount code.
Besides single triggered emails and autoresponders, you can also send automated email drip campaigns. An email drip campaign is a sequence of lead nurturing emails that work together to convert the lead by the end of the sequence. These automated emails can be triggered by a particular user action, but you can also send them on a schedule.
Ultimately, all automated emails should reflect the point on the customer journey that the specific user receiving the emails is in. The emails should always be personalized in some shape or form, to match the subscriber’s intent and needs.
In a way, automated marketing emails are similar to transactional emails. However, their main goal isn’t to share routine information. Instead, automated email marketing aims to engage the user and promote your products or services.
And luckily, automated email marketing is easier to implement than it might sound. If you take the initial time to do it, you’ll end up saving a lot of time and creating extra value for your customers.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
If done right, a well-executed and personalized automated email can:
- give an inactive user a reason to come back to your service, thanks to an offer on their favorite product category (re-engagement email)
- persuade a hesitant buyer to go through with their purchase and check out the items they left in the shopping cart (abandoned cart email)
- enlighten an overwhelmed user about the features and benefits of your complex service (informational email)
When you automate your email marketing efforts, you’ll end up with emails that are on time, more personalized, and therefore more relevant to your customers. In short, email marketing automation lets you grow your business and you’re bound to benefit in various ways. Let’s take a closer look at what you can achieve if you set up email marketing automation.
Increase user engagement
First of all, automated email marketing increases user engagement. If your user sees an email that’s personalized to exactly match their interests, they’re more likely to open the email, click through the offer, and finally end up making a purchase.
Improve user experience
On top of that, email automation improves the user experience. This is thanks to the fact that automated marketing emails are more personalized — and therefore more relevant. In fact, if you send automated emails with promotions or even just references to the kinds of products that a specific user is interested in, they’re more likely to feel satisfied with your service.
Build a stronger brand
Next, automating marketing emails helps build your brand and create stronger customer relationships. Following from the previous two points, if you send your email subscribers personalized, relevant, and engaging emails, they’re bound to view your brand as reliable and helpful for meeting their needs. This way, they’ll more likely return and even recommend your brand to others.
Easily scale your email marketing strategy
Email automation lets you easily scale your email marketing strategy. With email marketing automation software, it doesn’t matter if you’re sending the email to 100, 10,000, or 1,000,000 subscribers. It’s true that coming up with relevant offers and creating the email templates takes time. But once you’re done with those, the automated email marketing software will do the heavy lifting and you’ll be able to save time and grow your business.
Finally, sending automated marketing emails helps increase revenue. Let’s take cart abandonment emails, for example. According to Klaviyo, cart abandonment emails can have open rates as high as 41.18% and can add an average revenue of $5.81 per recipient. Considering how easy it is to set up abandoned cart emails, it’s pretty much like finding money.
Always be on time with automated emails
In addition to all the benefits covered above, email marketing automation has the perk that you can always send it at the exact moment when it can be most relevant and helpful to your potential customers. If you rely on messaging your new customers manually whenever you get to it, you might either miss the clue or simply send the email too late.
How to Get Started with Email Marketing Automation
As seen, there are huge benefits to gain from automating your email marketing efforts. But in order to reap the benefits, you must first set the whole thing up.
So, how do you get started with email marketing automation?
Let’s go through the necessary steps and find out.
1. Set goals
First and foremost, you should set your goals. What exactly do you want to achieve with email marketing automation?
Most likely, your ultimate goal is to increase sales and revenue. More specifically, though, this goal breaks down into several other common email marketing goals:
- increase website traffic
- obtain new customers
- reinforce brand image
- build relationships with existing customers
- improve email open rates
However, keep in mind that these are only some of the most common goals and they’re quite general. Based on your own general goals, you should set measurable and time-bound objectives that help you carry out your strategy in a successful way.
If you’d like to find out more about this step, you can take a look at this great Mailchimp guide on how to create a winning strategy.
2. Plan the content
Based on your goals and objectives, you should now plan your content. In other words, you should decide which types of marketing emails you’ll send. You can write the actual content a bit later.
Now, is your goal building stronger relationships with existing customers and ensuring they’re loyal to your brand? In that case, you could set up personalized birthday discounts, based on the products and services your users have previously purchased.
Or, if one of your goals is to get more people to sign up for an online course, you could send a drip email campaign before the course starts, introducing the course plan and maybe even offering early-bird and last-minute discounts.
At the end of this post, there are many more automation examples to help you figure out your content plan. On top of that, there are great email templates available, with most email marketing automation tools also able to ease the content planning process.
This brings us to the next step.
3. Choose an automated email marketing tool
Now that you’ve planned which automated emails you’re going to send to achieve your goals, you can choose an email marketing tool to help you fulfill the plan.
As there are many email marketing services out there, you should choose the one that’s easy to use for you, has the most important features, and matches the needs of your marketing strategy.
According to an analysis of different email marketing services, these are the essential features that you should be looking for:
- the facility to add email contacts in bulk
- detailed reporting
- high deliverability
- campaign management tools
- marketing automation tools (of course)
On top of that, A/B testing and email segmentation could be really useful features as well.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s easy to get overly excited about fancy features when choosing an email marketing automation tool. But if you’re just starting out with email marketing, you might not need the most advanced gadgets and features, like a landing page builder, a fancy set up a lead capture form right away so you can already get some new signups while you’re setting up email marketing automation.
In essence, you should come up with an offer so that your website visitors will give you their email address. This can either be a simple informative newsletter or a discount code. Or, if you have the content, you can offer an ebook or toolkit in exchange for the email address. You can even use several offers to ensure a visitor finds one that’s relevant to them.
These offers can be set up in various ways: in the form of a pop-up, banner, or sticky bar, or even a landing page. Whichever you choose, you should ensure the offer is helpful, not intrusive.
You can find out more about how to build an email list from scratch by reading to this helpful guide by Unbounce. But however you decide to assemble your email list, make sure you include an option for users to unsubscribe from your email messages.
Continue reading How to Get Started with Automated Email Marketing on SitePoint.