Email may seem like a somewhat antiquated technology in the wake of Facebook and Instagram. But don't be so quick to dismiss it. Four out of five marketers would sacrifice their social media before giving up their email.
Email is useful for marketing because it targets your prospective customers and no one else. It has an air of formality, getting taken more seriously than an ad or PPC link. And it can do all of this without your hands on the keyboard.
Today, we're talking about email automation. What is email marketing automation, and how can you make use of it? Read on as we discuss everything you need to know about the automated email.
What Is Email Automation?
Email automation is exactly what it sounds like. It's about sending personalized, template emails to specific people when the right conditions are met. It saves you a lot of time since it goes out on its own, on a schedule, even if you are away from the computer.
You see automated emails every day. These are the newsletters, the sales, and the special offers.
Companies make heavy use of them once you take action with them, such as joining a mailing list. It's easy to see why. It's inexpensive and yet highly effective.
However, you can automate email to friends, coworkers, and businesses you are working with. Like marketing emails, you can automate them to go out when certain conditions are met. They are helpful for managing your team or keeping everyone up-to-date.
Benefits of Email Automation
The best automated email campaigns are a keystone in almost every marketing campaign. Let's look at some of the reasons why that is.
Customer engagement is, to put it in a simple phrase, keeping your company at the back of your customer's mind. The more they think about you, the more likely they are to engage and buy.
Emails are great because you can trickle them in over the course of time. Even if they delete the email, there's still a lingering thought about your company and what it offers. That engagement may drive them to come to you on their own or click through in the next email.
Attracting New Customers
Every company needs a steady influx of new customers to keep things in the black. Email marketing is a great way to reach out to potential new customers. Many of them will unsubscribe, but a select few will continue to receive your emails.
Emails are much better than ads because they give you the full center stage. You decide how the email looks from the headers to the margins. You get full control of interactivity in terms of links and scheduling widgets.
It's an excellent medium to onboard new customers - or at least catch their attention. Plus, it enhances your leadership. Accountability, communication, and transparency through email contribute to your trust as a leader.
Promote New Services and Product Lines
Sometimes, your existing customers are blissfully unaware of the new services and products you offer. Perhaps you're a VPN company that's about to offer a new password manager app. Your existing customers might be interested, but they would never find out about it since they don't visit your website.
Email is a helpful little nudge to say, "Hey, just so you know..." about your recent developments. You never know how many existing customers could be missing out on great new deals just because they were unaware.
Have Effective Engagement Metrics
Ads can do a lot to tell you how and what your customers are feeling. Thanks to ad impressions, analytics, and click-through rates, you can get a healthy bird's-eye perspective of how your marketing campaign is working. Unfortunately, though, this data might appear more promising than the reality of the situation.
With email marketing, there is no nonsense. People click if they want to click, not on accident or out of curiosity. They've subscribed to your email list, so if they dig deeper into a newsletter, it's because they actually wanted to.
This provides invaluable marketing information about the effectiveness of your campaign.
How to Automate Email
There are plenty of tools to organize email and rid yourself of spam, but what about email automation? Let's look at how the email automation process works.
Find an Email Automation Tool
There are hundreds of companies out there with solutions for automating email newsletters and mailing lists. Choose one that offers different subscription tiers for your specific needs.
It's best if you get one that can scale up as your marketing campaign increases its outreach.
Decide on a Strategy
Decide what you hope to accomplish by automating your email. Is your intention just to get more sales, or signups for a new product line? The focus of your campaign will decide how and when to send emails.
Factors such as the following will play an important role:
- Time intervals for your emails
- Design of your emails
- Primary metrics for your emails
- Unsubscribe options
For a brand new customer, a daily email may be appropriate to help them get started. For example, each day you send an email with a new, helpful tip for them to use your products. For existing customers, however, daily emails would quickly become a nuisance.
Something as simple as email frequency can make a huge difference in how people receive your campaign.
Segment Target Customers from the List
Naturally, you don't want to send all email campaigns to all customers at the same time. New customers, as we've mentioned, will get a very different experience from existing customers.
Break down your list according to the following characteristics:
- Personal and account preferences
- Previous purchasing behavior
- Frequency of email interaction
Your email automation software should make it easy to maintain a single list that you can divvy up via rules. These are the same rules you might use to keep your inbox clean.
You'll need to divide up your list based on these criteria and others before we go to the next step: automated workflows.
Setting Up Automated Workflows
Rules are a rudimentary form of programming. If a person meets the right criteria, they get an email. Rules do this all automatically, provided you set them right.
Kicking off the process of sending an email can happen after a number of triggers:
- A person downloads your app
- They make an account
- They take action on your website
- They fill their cart without purchasing
In reality, you can automate email for virtually any action that your customers take. It only depends on your imagination.
Of course, be judicious about what reasons you send an email, or how often you do it. As every company knows, it's not a good idea to annoy your customer base. Ending up on their spam list only ruins your sender reputation.
Like all marketing campaigns, it all comes to a clinch when you analyze the data from the campaign. There's a lot you can learn about the effectiveness of your emails here, things such as the following:
- Successful deliveries and bounce rates
- Click-through rates
- Response time
- Resultant sales
It's a process of iterative learning. Take what was effective and apply it to the next email campaign. Conducting A/B testing and using other metric tools can reveal helpful info.
Automate Team Emails
Email automation works for your internal team as well. Feel free to automate email for quality reviews, reminders of upcoming meetings, and so on.
Examples of Email Automation in Action
As we've hinted, the sky is the limit. You can create virtually any email campaign that you can think of. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
New customers and new account makers like a nice welcome email. This could be one email or a series. They all give a bite-size approach for the customer to learn about your company, your values, and your products.
Welcome emails often provide some sort of incentive to open or engage with them, such as a one-time discount code.
Does your product or service take a bit of knowledge to figure it out? Then you might benefit from tutorial emails. These are simple, easy-to-digest guides to get customers up and running.
Sometimes, analytics are not enough. Get your customers' honest thoughts with feedback emails. These can follow a purchase, a customer service interaction, or be randomized.
You can make them simple surveys with multiple-choice answers. Or, you can go all out with a lengthy questionnaire and freeform answers. Get more participation by offering incentives - such as discounts - for participation.
Manage Email Better With Mailstrom
Email automation workflows allow you to send a large volume of emails in a smart, choreographed fashion. Whether it's newsletters or new member welcome messages, use email automation software to supercharge the process. Make sure to track analytics and use them to improve future campaigns.
Mailstrom provides the tools you need to manage your email inbox and keep it clean. Choose one of our plans to keep your email cleaner than ever.