What is email automation?
Email automation has many applications. For example, you can welcome a new customer or someone subscribing to your newsletter. You can email an instructional video after someone has bought a particular product. This lets you be very creative because you only have to create the email once, and then you don’t have to worry about it. Of course, you can always tweak it as you need.
What's needed for automated email marketing to work?
You need five fundamental things to create your automated email marketing:
1. The recipient’s email
This may seem obvious, but without their email, there is no email marketing. Emails are often captured by offering something in exchange – newsletter subscription and archive, access to a video, creating an account for your store when they check out, an e-book they would like you to send, and so on. One thing I recommend is sending a confirmation email right away with a link to verify. That ensures you get an accurate, correctly spelled email.
2. A trigger
A trigger is a rule or event that determines when to send an email—a new purchase, a newsletter subscription, or an email that was or wasn’t opened. There are more examples of triggers later in this blog.
3. A campaign flow
A campaign flow determines a series of emails you are going to send and when. You can even use logic, like “if they opened the last email I sent, then send this email and if they didn’t open it, then send that email. Campaign flows let you stay engaged with your audience in a more natural, behavior-based way.
4. Customer/Prospect Information
You can use a name, a birthday, or other information to make the emails more personal. It can also be the date a contract or subscription ends, products purchased, the number of years someone has been a customer. The key here is to keep it relevant.
5. Campaign Content
Campaign content includes things like texts, images, attachments, videos, and so on. Stick to your branding style and ensure your “sent from” email has your company email address. You also want to make sure that the email has a clear call-to-action or message, so the recipient knows why you are contacting them and what you want them to do. Including links and content to click allow you to use those clicks (or non-clicks) as triggers. Triggers are what determine when and what emails get sent.
What kinds of variables can you use for triggers?
You can use the date someone subscribed to a product or mailing list, birthdays, a specific date, such as an appointment or when it is time to renew a membership.
Actions from an earlier email
One of the best ways to deliver the content your customers want is to use actins from earlier emails as triggers. However, for that to work, all emails need to be sent from within the same campaign.
- The previous mail in the series has been received
- Previous mail in the series was opened
- Previous mail was not opened
- A link in the previous email was clicked
- A link in the previous email was not clicked
- A specific link in the email has been clicked
You can include multiple links in one email, each with its specific trigger. For example, let’s say you are sending an email with four different products, a demo video, and a customer success story. Each of those can have a link to see more, read more, or watch. That will let you take action based on what they click. They might not click anything, they might click everything, or they might click a few things. So in your campaign flow, you will have something that works like this “if they click product one, do THIS. If they watched the video, do THAT.
If you have a Red OnX eCommerce site, you can send emails about your store, such as product information. In addition, you can use actions in your store to trigger emails. Triggers that you can set based on customer actions in your store are:
- Purchased a product (thank first-time customers or loyal customers)
- Purchased a specific product (order notifications, follow up purchases)
- Purchased product of a specific category ( you can suggest similar or related products)
- No product purchased
- Abandoned shopping cart (Remind customers they have items waiting in their cart)
- Email retargeting
More examples of triggers
There are many more options for setting triggers, especially when eCommerce is part of your Red OnX site.
- Download an eBook: This action can be a trigger to help capture or follow-up on a lead. You can use this to deepen the relationship to help you convert the lead into a sale. You can also use this to increase customer loyalty.
- Number of years someone has been customer: Boost loyalty by thanking your customers for staying with you or renewing their subscription.
- Contract extension: This can be to remind people their subscription needs to be renewed, and also to thank them for remaining a loyal customer.
- Consumption of the product: You can request people give you’re their email before having access to a video or other content. Then, you can automatically send them an email if they watched it or send them a reminder.
Don't overdo it
The key for great automated marketing is not to send a constant barrage of emails but to thank, remind, and guide your customers in a natural, unintrusive way that adds value. Sometimes carts get abandoned because the customer just forgets to hit the confirm button, or maybe they meant to update their card later and simply forgot about it. Or perhaps you have a customer that buys a particular type of product and you think there is something else they may like as well. Automated emails are a great way to keep your customers engaged. Engaged customers tend to be more loyal. And loyal customers are what keep your business growing.