According to a report, the email marketing ROI comes to around $58 for every $1 spent. More than 64% of businesses say that email marketing is the most popular form of marketing automation. A study conducted by McKinsey and Company states that an email marketing campaign is 4000% more effective than social media.
Excited? There is a caveat, though, 7 out of 10 customers won’t respond to email messages if they are not personalized. The average time a person spends reading an email is hardly 13.4 seconds. You have to impress the reader within these 13 seconds, or your chance of a sale is gone. Simply bombing customer with emails is just not enough. Personalizing emails according to the preferences of thousands of customers is not possible if you send emails manually. This is where the role of automated email marketing comes. In this blog, we will have a detailed look at:
- What automated email marketing is
- Why do you, as a marketer or business owner, need automated email marketing
- When to use automated email marketing and when not to use it
- The benefits of using automated email marketing
- The best-automated email marketing tools
Let’s dig deep.
What is Automated Email Marketing?
Automated email marketing is the process of sending emails automatically to subscribers. The idea is to send the right email to the right subscriber every time.
There are three main types of automated emails:
The autoresponders are emails that can be sent at a predefined interval. The autoresponders can also be sent to respond to a predefined user action. For instance, you can send an email if the user has not used your website or app for 30 days at a stretch.
The behavioral emails are sent according to the user actiivities. For instance, if the user leaves the purchase mid-way, you could send them an email nudging them to finish the purchase.
Automated email drip campaigns
An email drip campaign consists of emails sent in a specific sequence. The idea is to convert the email reader into a paying customer. You can set up an email drip campaign to send the emails on a schedule.
Let’s now look at the reasons to go for automated emails.
Why Should You Automate Your Emails?
Automated email campaigns help you achieve scale. It’s impossible to write thousands of emails manually if you’ve got thousands of prospective clients. Through automated email marketing, you can create a series of emails that can be sent according to the audience’s requirements.
These email messages can be segmented in advance based on audience behaviors and interests, and even custom tailored with the user’s name. To the recipient, it appears as a personalized message. But the sender doesn’t have to spend all the time personalizing on an individual basis. Automation, segmentation and data are combined to streamline the whole process.
When to Use Automated Email Marketing
Automatic email marketing can prove to be beneficial in a lot of cases. We have identified the most common ones below.
On average, four out of five people abandon their carts. Automated emails can help you bring the cart abandonment rate down. Whenever the user abandons the cart, you can schedule an automated email that nudges the user to buy. Personalized discount coupons and other lucrative offers can be sent through automated emails.
Automated email newsletters
If you have got the email address of your users, then you can keep them engaged and build a relationship. Sending automated email newsletters is a wonderful way to provide something of value to your subscribers. Automatic newsletters help you to keep your customers engaged with your brand.
One of the most common uses of automated emails is sending promotional emails. Don’t spam your users with too many promotional emails. Instead, try to personalize the experience by providing them with relevant and interesting offers.
Send a nice welcome email whenever someone signs up on your app or website. In the welcome email, you can set the value proposition that your product provides.
Automatic acknowledgments of customer complaints
Send automated email acknowledgments to customer complaints to assure your customers that they have been heard. A simple acknowledgment email can work wonders in terms of customer satisfaction. Your automated email response should explain your complaint process. The email assures the customer that you are taking their complaint seriously.
When is using automated emails not a good idea?
Although automated email responders allow you to personalize your automated emails, it is not best suited in many cases. In automated email marketing, you depend on customer segments to personalize your communications.
There is a limit to which you can personalize an automated email. Take the example of customer complaints. While you can automate the immediate response, the follow-up needs to be done case-to-case. This is where an automated email system does not work.
The key to successful email automation is to know when to address people as a part of a segment and when to address them as individuals.
Benefits of automated email marketing
The following are the major benefits of a well-executed personalized email:
Improved user engagement
According to a Hubspot survey, 78% of email marketers have experienced an improved user engagement rate through automated emails. Personalize your automated emails to improve your conversion rate.
With an email list, you have an independent audience. Your audience is not impacted by changes in algorithms of Google or social media that could alter SEO or other communication factors through those channels. Email marketing automation helps you build and manage a large list of subscribers, on our own terms, unrelated to search or third party platforms and policies you may not fully control.
Improve user experience
According to a report, email automation marketers experience a 451% jump in the number of qualified leads. With modern email automation tools, it is possible to send more personalized and relevant automated emails.
Build a stronger brand with reduced efforts
Your customers will see your brand in a positive light if you send helpful, relevant and engaging emails.
Sending manual emails is a tedious task and requires a lot of human resources. You can free up your human resources and engage them in more productive tasks by automating email marketing.
On-time every time
Timing is important in marketing. You need to send an email when the customer complains, when the user abandons the cart, joins your subscription service, etc. It is impossible to send every email on time with manual email sending. With automated email marketing, you can reach your customers at the exact moment when the message is most relevant and helpful to your users.
Steps for email marketing automation
To reap the phenomenal benefits of automated email marketing, you first need to set the whole thing up. We have mentioned the steps to set up an effective automated email marketing system below.
The first step toward effective automated email marketing is to set clear and concise goals. Most people will say the goal is to increase the business’s profitability. While this is true, you need to break down this goal into several other email marketing goals:
- Acquire new customers
- Increase the number of website hits
- Build a better brand image
- Improve the email click-through rates
These are general goals, and you need to set time-bound and measurable goals to build an effective email marketing strategy.
Plan the content
The next step is to plan the kind of content that your emails will contain. The content to include will depend on your goals. You should set up automated birthday-greeting emails if your goal is to build stronger relationships with your customers.
If your goal is to sell people an online course, you should start a drip-email campaign. You could offer last-minute discounts to people to nudge them to sign-up for your course.
Choose the correct automated email marketing tool
Once you are sure about the kind of emails that you want to send, the next step is to find the correct automated email marketing tools for your campaign. Choose the easy email marketing tool to use, fulfill your needs and has important features.
A sampling of important features and capabilities of email automation tools:
- Ability to add email contacts in bulk
- Ability to ensure high deliverability of emails
- Marketing automation tools
- Detailed reports
- A/B testing tools
- Email segmentation tools
- Campaign management tools
Understand that if you start an automated email marketing campaign, basic tools will do the job. Don’t break the bank to get sophisticated email automation tools with fancy CRM or Facebook integration features.
Most email automation tools provide a trial period. Test the tools and see whether they fit your email marketing plans before buying them.
Get an email contact list
The fourth step is to proceed with obtaining an email contact list. If you already have a list of subscribers, just bulk upload their email addresses into your email automation tool. If you don’t have an email list, set up a lead capture form on your website and social media to get more email contacts.
Giving out freebies like eBooks and discount vouchers can be a good way to encourage your visitors to give their email addresses. It is essential to include an unsubscribe button to ensure that your users can unsubscribe from your emails at any time.
Create the content
Once your email list is ready, now is the time to craft the actual content of the emails. Select an appropriate email template, or you could build one from scratch. A lot of email marketing tools will provide you with drag-and-drop editors. Using these drag-and-drop editors, you can ease the email design process.
Be sure to customize every email copy according to your email marketing goals. It is a nice idea to build new social media content, blog posts or even landing pages that complement your email marketing campaign.
Automate, analyze and test
Once all the five steps mentioned above are complete, now is the time to set up an automation system for your emails. Follow the instructions mentioned by the specific email marketing tool that you use. Most modern email marketing tools have intuitive workflows. Hence this step is an easy one.
If you find difficulties, then you can always contact the customer care of your chosen email marketing tool. Once you have set up email automation, be sure to keep track of important email marketing metrics:
- Conversion rates
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
To understand how well your emails are doing, always compare these metrics with the industry averages. If your email marketing campaign isn’t going as planned, you can test various email bodies, send emails at different times and do A/B testing to figure out what works best.
Automated email marketing examples
Here are some real-life examples of brands using email marketing automation to their advantage.
Send a welcome email that greets your new subscribers and provides them with a small introduction about your product or service. You could choose to send a series of welcome emails to onboard new subscribers. You could even start a welcome email drip campaign to introduce your customers to new products and services. Here is a nice example of a welcome email.
Abandoned cart emails
Abandoned carts are a key issue to address for ecommerce businesses. According to research, ecommerce brands worldwide lose around $18 billion annually in sales due to abandoned carts. A study shows that users opened around 45% of abandoned cart emails. Another study shows that sending three abandoned cart emails results in a 69% increase in sales. Here is a good example of an abandoned cart email.
Notifications about expirations and renewals
An upcoming subscription expiration is a wonderful opportunity to nudge the subscriber to resubscribe to your service.
Instead of sending a boring “your subscription is about to expire” email, send more motivational messages that could include promotional offers, upgrades, explanations of benefits, testimonies, etc.
Tips to improve the effectiveness of email automation
Here are some tips to ensure a better email click-through rate and a better email open rate.
Earn a reputation for your IP address
Improve the deliverability of your emails by increasing the number of emails you send. This way, you will warm up your IP address if it is a new one.
Bypass spam filters
Ensure there all your email recipients have opted to receive your emails. Always send emails through verified domains.
Timing has a huge impact on the open rate of your emails. Perform A/B testing to identify the best time to send emails to various customer segments.
Although setting up an automated email marketing campaign might sound like there’s a lot to it, it’s actually pretty efficient and the time it saves compared to other forms of communication is invaluable. Start small and send only a few types of automated emails to find out what works for you. Once you start seeing positive results, gradually scale up regarding the number and complexity of the emails sent.
An effective automated email marketing campaign can ensure that your emails are timely, compelling and on brand.