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Beginners Guide to Email Marketing Automation

email Automation

If you are about to invest in email marketing or if you have already invested and you want increase your ROI.

You will need to invest in email automation and send personalized messages to your subscribers.

If you have an ecommerce store and you invest in email automation, you will have an easy automation workflows that will enable you to send personalized mails to online shoppers at the appropriate time.

Sending messages at the appropriate time will have a positive impact on the revenue of your business.

Email marketing has a lot of potential that cannot be ignored; for every dollar spent on your email campaign you have the opportunity of earning $44 in return. 

Email Marketing campaign

Considering the fact that 70% of online shoppers only respond to personalized emails, you will increase your sales if you invest in email automation tools.

Manually personalizing email messages is a tedious job and most times unthinkable considering the number of online consumers that are needed to scale your business.

This is the reason why you need to venture into email marketing automation, as it makes your job easier for you.

Definition of Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation is a workflow of emails that are automatically sent to business email subscribers based on several of their activities.

Meanwhile, because it is automated doesn’t mean it can be sent to anyone at any time.

You need to properly design and execute your email automation so that the right email messages will be sent to the right subscribers and at the right time.

A lot depends on how creative you are when it comes down to the content that will be used for your email marketing workflow.

You can come with any kind of message to send to your customers, but there are primary types of automated emails.

The very first one is the triggered emails which are popularly known as autoresponders.

These emails are sent after any predefined customer action and they can be sent at a certain time.

For example, you can set up a triggered re-engagement email that should be sent to your customers if they haven’t logged on to their accounts for a certain number of predefined days. 

You can also send an automated email message to a customer that newly created an account (You can send an automated welcome email with the recommendations on the next steps they are supposed to take)

The nearly similar to autoresponders emails are behavioral emails. 

There is only a slight difference between them and the difference is that behavior emails are only sent based on customers' past engagement with previously sent email messages. 

For example, if one of your customers click through your offer in one of your email messages but didn’t complete the purchase, a follow-up email with a discount code could be sent to them.

The third one is automated email drip campaigns; apart from sending single triggered emails and autoresponders emails, you also have the ability to send email drip campaigns that are automated.

A drip campaign email is a sequence of emails that are used for nurturing leads whose main purpose is to convert the leads into paying customers.

These automated emails are triggered by some specific customer’s interaction with your website.

Ultimately, all your automated emails must reflect the exact stage on your customer journey that the specific customer receiving the emails is in.

Your email messages must always be personalized so that they will align with the intent and need of the customer that is receiving the email.

Automated email marketing is similar to transactional email in one way or the other.

 Meanwhile, the main goal of automated email messages is not to share information.

 Instead, it is sent for the main purpose of engaging customers and promoting your business products or services.

Automated email marketing will also save your business a lot of capital and it will create extra value for your customers which will have a positive impact on your business's bottom line.

How Email Marketing Automation Works

Now that you have gotten and insight into the definition of email marketing automation, let's dive into how email marketing automation works.

Automated email software have various ways of connecting your brand to your customers. This is as at a result of your customers online activity on your website. 

Automated emails are triggered based on different factors such as;

1. Preference-Based Factors;

These are automated emails sent out to your website visitors based on their preference. These preferences could be set through your website sign up forms, or if you have an ecommerce store you could gather preference based on customers previous purchases.

These preferences could include;

  • Customer Industry
  • Only having Interest in a certain services/products
  • Company team size/budget
  • Country of Visit, etc.

2. Behaviour-Based Factor;

These automated email messages are triggered when your website visitors complete a certain action. These action includes but not limited to;

  • Filling your website form
  • Downloading any resource from your website, e.g PDF
  • Email list sign-up
  • Adding products to their cart but not completing their purchase
  • Starting a free trial, etc.

3. Time-Based Factor;

These are messages sent out to your email subscribers after a certain amount of time has passed away. Time based messages are good for; 

  • Reminding a customer that some products have been restocked
  • Wishing customers Happy Birthday, if you have their birth date
  • Sending customers a discount during festive season
  • Following up on emails subscribers who didn't reply some important emails
  • Sending customers emails on products that are available for black Fridays

Benefits of Email Marketing Automation

You now have a good idea how email automation works, let's get down to benefits. How does it benefits you and why should you use it.

Benefits Of Email Marketing Automation
  • It brings your inactive customers back to your business, this might be through an offer you sent to them on their favorite product category (Re-engagement Email)
  • It persuades buyers that procrastinate to go finish their purchase and check out the items they abandoned in your eCommerce store shopping cart (Abandoned Cart Email)
  • It also enlightens an overwhelmed customer about the features and benefits of some of your products or services (Informative Email)

Automating your email marketing campaign will let you send emails that are on time, and personalized with customers’ interests, which are more relevant and important to your customers.

Email marketing automation makes it easy for you to grow your business through email marketing, its benefit to your business are numerous.

Let me tell you about the few benefits of email marketing automation.

1. It saves time

The number one most important benefit of email marketing automation is that it saves times. When you automate your email campaign you saved yourself hours of doing your email marketing manually.

This gives you the opportunity to focus on more important task. Email automation can save you 6 months of manually doing your email campaign yourself.

2. It Increases user engagement

The very first thing is that email marketing automation increases your business user engagement.

If you send personalized emails that match exactly the interest of your customers, you will likely see an increase in your email open rates, and call-to-action and they are more likely to end up making a purchase since you are sending them an offer that interests them.

3. It Improves your brand reputation

Email marketing automation will also improve your brand reputation and create a stronger and lasting customer relationship for your business.

If you send personalized, relevant, informative, and engaging emails to your email subscribers, they will view your brand to be a reliable brand that meets their needs.

With this, they will be happy to return and if they love your service they are more likely to recommend your brand to their loved ones.

4. It scales up your business strategy

Email marketing automation makes it easy for you to scale your business email marketing strategy.

If you automate your email campaign, it doesn’t matter if you are sending emails to 500, 5000, 50,000, 500,000, or 5,000,000 subscribers.

If you are a novice you might find it difficult to create templates but if you are lucky to do it, your email automated software will do the rest for you which will save you time and help you grow your business.

5. Help you build interpersonal relationship with your customers

Email automation marketing will also help you to build interpersonal relationships with your customers

This is because of the fact automated emails that are sent to customers are more personalized and relevant to their interests.

Your customers will be satisfied with your business if you send them automated emails with promotions or references to their products of choice.

6. Improve customer retention

When you increase customer experience you will be able to improve your customer retention and make more money while spending less.

With automated email marketing you will be able follow up on online users after successful purchases, and if you own an online store you will be able to follow up when online users abandon their cart.

This is reason many automated email tools have a cart abandonment feature, for follow up on online customers that procrastinate before buying.

Also, some customers will not buy from you not because they procrastinate but because they get busy and need to attend to something important.

Sending them a reminder mail on the products that they abandon will increase will likely encourage them to complete their purchase.

7. It will increase your bottom line

Email marketing automation will increase your business revenue.

For example, automated cart abandonment emails have open rates as high as 50% and can increase your eCommerce store's average revenue.

When you send automated messages to your website visitors based on their activity on your website.

It will encourage them to buy from you because the automated follow-up messages you are sending to them is a sign that you remember them.

8. Sending email messages at the right time

Another benefit of email marketing automation is that it makes it easy for you to always send email messages to your customers at the exact moment the email is relevant and helpful to them.

For example, when an online user successfully completed a purchase on your online store, you can send them email messages containing the details of the products they purchase, including their receipt.

9. You can generate leads on auto-pilot

Unlike a physical store with a closing hour, your website works 24/7 presenting you with the ability to acquire leads at any time of the day even when you are sleeping at night.

When you set-up your email automation campaign, you have the opportunity to acquire and follow-up on new leads.

If someone order a product from your online store on Sunday that is not a working day, they don't have to wait till Monday that is the next day before there order can be confirmed.

Their order will be processed and confirmed immediately unless your store is out-of-stock.

10. You can use it to cross-sell

With email automation software it will be easy for you to cross sell your online store products or services.

Cross selling is when you sell related or complimentary to your customers while sending them a confirmation email of the successful product that they purchase.

Example of cross selling is sending an order confirmation email message with an option to buy ear piece to a customer that just purchased a mobile device. 

Why You Need an Email Marketing Automation Software?

Why You Need an Email Marketing Automation Software

1. It is suitable for all type of online business

Every type of business can benefit from using automated email software, it doesn't matter if you are a B2B, or B2C business. 

The kind of industry your business also serves doesn't matter.

As far as your business have an online presence, you will need to invest in email marketing.

You will use email marketing to communicate with your customers and reach your marketing goal.

Email marketing also have an influence in your customers buying decision.

2. Results are Immediate

Automated email campaigns shows immediate results.

The result will show you your mail delivery rate and how your customers are interacting with your messages. 

When you are able to get immediate results for your email campaign you will be able make the necessary adjustment if needed.

3. Adaptable and scalable

You don't need to have a certain amount of subscribers before you start using email automation software. You can make use of it even if you have a small business audience and adapt as your business acquire larger audience.

You don't need to wait for your email subscribers to hit a certain number before you begin to run your email campaign with automation software.

When you start with small email subscribers by the time you acquire 30,000 subscribers, your automated techniques will have been perfected and you will have no problem handling 30,000 mailing list.

How to Start Your Email Automation Campaign

As you see yourself, email marketing automation has many benefits it can do for your business.

Before you reap these benefits you must first have a goal and framework in place.

How to Start Your Email Automation Campaign

Now, how do you start email marketing automation for your business?

Listed below are the necessary steps you need to get started;

1. Plan your marketing goals

The very first thing to do is to set your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve with your automated email marketing efforts?

I guess your ultimate goal will most likely be to increase your sales and revenue.

Meanwhile, this goal also breaks down into other common email marketing goals:

  • Increase your website traffic
  • Improve your email open rates
  • Acquire new customers
  • Build relationships with existing customers
  • Promote your brand image

You should keep in mind that there are many goals you can set for your marketing than the ones I have listed above.

I only listed the above goals because they are the most common goals and they are marketing general goals.

Based on your own marketing goals, you should set measurable objectives that will help you to successfully carry out your marketing strategy and make it a success.

2. Choose an email automation service provider

After you have set your goals, you need to choose the best email automation software provider that will help you achieve your goals, and fulfill your email marketing plan.

There are many email automation software providers on the web like Getresponse, Active Campaign, Send In Blue, and Mailchimp.

The one you should choose must be the one that has the features that match your email marketing goals and it must also be easy to use.

As an SEO Expert that has worked with different email marketing services, I will list the essential features that must be included in any email automation software you want to subscribe to:

  • 99.9% deliverability rate
  • Detailed reporting
  • Lead Capture Form
  • Landing Page Builder
  • A/B testing
  • Email Segmentation
  • Campaign management tool
  • Marketing Automation Tool

3. Plan your email content

Based on your marketing goals and objectives, and after choosing the email marketing tool that suits your need the next thing you need to do is to plan your email content.

You would decide on the types of marketing emails you want to send and if it resonates with the interest of your customers.

Let’s say you have a huge list of existing email subscribers and your goal is to build stronger relationships with them and ensure they are loyal to your brand.

With this kind of goal in mind, you can set up personalized company anniversary discounts, based on the products your customers have previously purchased.

Or, let’s say, your goal is to get more sign up from your potential customers for an online course you want to start.

You could send a drip email campaign to your email subscribers about the course plan, benefits, and discounts for early-bird and last-minute discounts.

4. Segment your mailing list

After you are done setting your email marketing goals, choosing the right email marketing software, and creating the perfect content plan.

You will then proceed to assemble your email list if you already have a list of email subscribers.

You will put it in a CSV format on Microsoft excel and upload it to your email marketing software provider.

If you are yet to have a list of email subscribers, you can create a lead capture form from your automated email software provider so that you can put it on your website and start getting people to sign up for your email lists.

Your email lists will increase if you have a valuable offer to give your website visitors in exchange for their emails.

Your offer can be a PDF guide on a challenge they are facing or if you are into eCommerce business you can offer them a discount code and in return.

You will ask for their email address so that you can send the code to their email and also nurture them with email messages in the future.

Your offers can come up in various ways, whichever ways you choose to come up with your offers, you must make sure that your offer is helpful to their interest and not intrusive.

5. Craft your email messages

After you have set up your lead capture form to start getting new leads, then you can start to craft your email content.

You will select a relevant email template that resonates with your business brand or you can design one from scratch.

Most email marketing tools have a drag-and-drop page editor that makes it easy to design pages or you can also go with plain-text emails if it will be good for your email campaign.

You should customize your email design and copy of each automated email you are planning to send so that each email will align with your marketing goals, the stage of your sales funnel that your customers are and your branding.

In addition, depending on your email marketing goal and plan, you might need to create few blog posts if you don’t have any landing pages unless you already have the relevant content that you need to redirect your email subscribers.

6. Automate, review, and test

Once you are done assembling your contact list and also done working on your email design and email write-up, it’s time to set up the automation.

To set up your automated email marketing workflow, you need to follow instructions on how you can set up an automated email campaign which is provided by your email automation software provider.

You can contact their support to get more assistance on any challenges you might be facing while doing it.

After you are done setting up your email automation and you have sent your first email message,.

You can use the built-in campaign tools in your email marketing tool to track your email campaign's most important metrics like email delivery rate, open rates, click-through rates, and others. 

This metric will let you know about how your email campaign is performing, if it doing great or if it needs some tweaks to perform better.

If your email campaign is not performing as expected, you can test different email copies, subject lines, sending frequency, sending time and day of the week and so many more. 

3 Mistakes You Should Avoid in Your Email Marketing Automation

1. Choosing the wrong email automation software

Not choosing the right email automation software that is suitable for your business is the first mistake you will make when running an email marketing.

Yes, email automation tools are good, but not all will suite your business need.

The automation tool you will use will depend on your type of business and your goal.

When you pick the right automation tool your email campaign will be successful because the tool will have all the necessary features that help you succeed.

You can read my article on the 7 seven best email automation software that are available in the market today and choose the best one that will help you achieve your marketing goal.

2. You don't have a clear goal

You need to have goal if you want to be successful with your email campaign, your goal will be the determinant on how you will set up your email automation tool.

Every online campaign need a specific goal, you goal will enable you to measure your campaign success.

3. Overlooking your email performance metrics

To be successful in your email campaign you will need to monitor your campaign metrics to know what works and what doesn't work.

You need to know your campaign delivery rate, open-rate, click-through rate, bounce rate and other important metrics.

Monitor these metrics, and make adjustments if needed.

You can also implement A/B split testing with different subject lines to see the difference in your campaign metrics.

Odebiyi Oladipupo

My name is Odebiyi Lateef Oladipupo, I am an SEO Expert with 5+ years of marketing experience in developing, and executing performance-based online marketing strategies that will enable small and medium-sized businesses to improve their website organic traffic, conversion rate, drive more qualified leads, and improve their return-on-investment (ROI) on their marketing investments.

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