5 Ways to Boost Your Email Marketing Strategy with Automation

2024-03-13

In the digital marketing world, where efficiency is currency, the key to supercharging your email marketing lies in one word: automation. Imagine laser-focused emails reaching your audience at the right moment to nurture leads and drive conversions. 

Email marketing automation is your business’s secret weapon, saving money and time while turning your email campaigns into revenue-generating machines. Here are some tangible benefits of using email automation:  

  • Save time and increase productivity¬†
  • Personalize customer experiences
  • Help with brand building
  • Increase customer retention rates
  • Scale marketing efforts¬†

In this article, we unravel the best ways to leverage automation to improve your email marketing strategy.  

Decide on your automation workflows and rules 

With email automation, it's all about setting up workflows and rules that best serve your business objectives. For example, e-commerce businesses invest in automated abandoned cart emails and personalized product recommendations to encourage visitors to purchase. On the other hand, a software-as-a-solution (SaaS) company may use an automated email series to send tutorials to new users once they set up their accounts. That way, they guide them through the tool's core functionalities.

Automated workflows help brands establish a series of predefined actions triggered by specific events. Depending on your goals, you can invest in trigger-based automation rules, meaning dispatching automated emails after a certain action or event. For example, you might send a follow-up email once your webinar is over to thank participants for their time and perhaps share the presentation slides. Or, you can leverage special occasions like birthdays to send personalized messages and enhance customer loyalty. 

There's the option of investing in time-based automation criteria, too. These rules allow you to dispatch automated emails at specific time intervals. It could be a drip campaign that you'll schedule to be sent during a predefined period to nurture your subscribers gradually. Among the most common scenarios is using automation to boost seasonal sales during holidays or other peak times throughout the year. 

There's no limit to the types of workflows you can create with automation. But there's a limitation in how you create them. To set up and send automated campaigns, you need a robust email marketing automation platform. When looking for the right software, you should keep in mind your specific goals. 

Constant Contact, for example, is one of the most popular players in the email marketing game due to its user-friendliness. Leveraging a pre-built automation workflow or creating a custom one from scratch is straightforward ‚ÄĒ thanks to the intuitive automation builder. However, Constant Contact might not be the perfect choice for brands that want to get more out of their email automation.

To use advanced automation functionalities like multi-step automation workflows and a wide variety of triggers, you should consider one of the most robust Constant Contact alternatives. These email automation services give marketers access to more sophisticated and complex automated workflows, combining multiple actions and conditions. What's more, some of them let you do so even in low-tier plans, which isn't possible with Constant Contact. 

Segment your recipients 

Email automation goes beyond saving time from repetitive tasks. More importantly, it ensures the right message reaches the right audience at the right time. After all, not all recipients are interested in the same things. So, they expect their favorite brands to care enough to customize their messages based on their unique needs. List segmentation allows you to divide your email list into smaller groups and specifically address their pain points.  

With email campaigns, you gain access to a ton of information regarding your audience that gives you a better understanding of them. You're able to keep track of who opens your emails, which links they click on, and what type of content they interact most with.  

By creating targeted segments, you ensure that your automated emails resonate with subscribers, leading to higher engagement and conversion. List segmentation opens several opportunities for your automation, such as setting up behavior-based triggers in your automation workflow. For instance, you can trigger automated emails based on past interactions like clicking a link or making a purchase.  

Different segments probably follow distinct customer journeys, too. Segmenting recipients helps you build customized automation paths that align with each group's needs. Plus, recipients in different groups may have varying preferences regarding email frequency and timing. Through segmentation, you can set up your automated emails to land in their inboxes at the optimal time and frequency, avoiding email fatigue.  

Build automated workflows for every stage of the customer journey 

For your email automation to hit its mark, it's important to determine how you can guide your customers to act depending on their stage within your sales funnel. Plus, automated workflows get them back on track in case they stray away from your ideal path. It's time to dive into how to create different automation workflows for different stages of the customer journey.¬†‚Äć

Welcome emails 

Why do marketers consider welcome emails the cornerstone of email marketing? That's because automated welcome campaigns are your trusted ally in introducing your business to your recipients and setting the tone for future communication. It's best to send such an email within the first 24 hours ‚ÄĒ when recipients expect your welcome. Avoid generic messages and add personalization elements to show your appreciation.¬†¬†¬†

You could start by using the recipient's name to give your email a personal touch or tailoring your content according to their location. If you've gathered data on user preferences during the registration process, you can tailor your content to align with those preferences. Plus, in case they've viewed certain pages on your site, consider analyzing their browsing history to personalize your welcome email. 

Lead nurturing emails 

Once you have your readers’ attention, it’s time to get them to keep your brand top of mind through a lead nurturing email series. The goal of these emails is to establish personal connections with your audience. Also, you need to showcase the unique benefits of your value proposition and how it meets your leads’ needs. This type of email campaign is key to building trust and rapport with them. 

When it comes to the content you incorporate in your lead nurturing emails, there are many ways to go about it. Here are just a few to get you started: 

  • Include an overview of your products or services and highlight key features. You could even add a CTA directing them to an informative demo.¬†
  • Provide educational content related to your recipient's interests. It might be a blog post or some type of downloadable material that addresses a common pain point.¬†
  • Increase engagement by incorporating a quiz, survey, or other type of interactive content. Not only will you grab attention but also gather insights into user preferences.¬†
  • Use social proof to build trust. Adding real-world examples like testimonials or case studies is a foolproof way to show how your offering addresses customers‚Äô challenges.¬†
  • Offer access to exclusive content or limited-time discounts to incentivize readers to act on your message. This is the perfect time to create a sense of urgency to increase conversions.¬†

Re-engagement emails 

At some point, all marketers and business owners face the reality of customers leaving. Often, they stop purchasing because they feel your products or services aren't relevant to their needs. The good thing is you can turn things around. You must remind them of your offer's value with a re-engagement email.  

Remember, these people have already bought from your brand. So, you have enough data at your disposal like their purchasing history or website activity. This kind of information helps you use specific triggers that will set your automation campaign in motion.  

For instance, a re-engagement email can be triggered by a user not logging in for a certain period of time. You can leverage the occasion to provide an incentive, such as an exclusive discount, to encourage re-engagement. Whatever you choose, email marketing automation allows you to streamline the process to dispatch laser-focused win-back emails based on your customer's preferences.  

Cart abandonment emails  

Cart abandonment, meaning consumers leaving items in their carts without completing the purchase, is every e-commerce business owner's nightmare. Most online stores use abandoned cart series, typically 2 or 3 emails, to recover customers who made it so far as to add items to their cart but didn't reach the finish line. However, there's no golden rule here. Make sure you experiment to figure out what works best for your strategy.  

With the right email marketing automation tool, you can build an automated abandoned cart workflow to get those lost sales back. It's an excellent opportunity to direct visitors back to your site and their shopping cart and move down the finish line. Let's see an example of how to manage a three-email abandoned cart sequence: 

  • Reminder email: This email is a friendly reminder sent shortly after the user abandons the cart, ideally within 2 hours. Focus on bringing their attention back and nudge them gently towards completing the purchase.¬†
  • Incentive email: Marketers dispatch this email 12-24 hours after abandonment. It usually introduces an incentive like a discount or free shipping to sweeten the deal. This is also your chance to highlight the benefits of purchasing your product or service.¬†
  • Urgency email: Send the third email within a time frame of 2-3 days. You should add a sense of urgency, including scarcity elements such as limited stock or time-sensitive offers. This leads users to act quickly to secure their items before they're no longer available or the offer expires.¬†

Integrate email marketing automation with other channels 

On its own, email marketing automation is highly effective. Imagine its impact when integrated with other marketing channels. By merging the capabilities of email automation with diverse channels, you establish a smooth and unified customer experience while boosting the reach of your campaigns. To help you through this process, we'll delve into some essential strategies for incorporating email automation with other marketing channels.¬†¬†‚Äć

Social media
Your social media channels offer an excellent opportunity to increase brand visibility with your emails. You can create automated emails that share social media highlights, urging users to follow you on social media. It works the other way around, too. Use your social media posts to promote your newsletter content and encourage your followers to join your email list. Also, manage the data coming from your social media accounts to inform list segmentation and email personalization based on your subscribers’ social interactions.  

Retargeting ads 

One of the most effective methods to re-engage consumers who have already interacted with your business in some way is leveraging retargeting ads. Automation allows you to employ email-triggered retargeting ads, showing customized content to users based on their email engagement. For instance, if a subscriber clicks on a specific product link in your email but doesn't buy, you can retarget them with personalized ads showcasing the product to urge them to complete the purchase. 

Website 

Email automation gives you the tools to make the most of the power weapon that is your website. Set up triggered emails, such as product recommendations or follow-up emails after a purchase, based on user website behavior. Setting up automated workflows that guide recipients from your emails to relevant web pages is key to creating a seamless customer journey. Not to mention that website interactions like pages visited or actions taken help you further tailor your email content. 

SMS 

Integrating email automation and SMS marketing ensures consistent messaging while maximizing the impact of your automated campaigns. By asking for email addresses and phone numbers on your opt-in forms, you can combine your emails with timely SMS messages. There's the option of automated SMS alerts triggered by email interactions such as sending a text message for order confirmation. Plus, leveraging email data helps you tweak your SMS messages based on subscriber behavior. 

Conduct A/B testing and optimize performance 

A/B testing is a crucial aspect of successful email marketing automation since it contributes to consistent optimization. A/B testing involves sending two email variants to different audience segments to check which performs better.  

Email automation allows you to run A/B tests on different email elements, ranging from subject lines and call-to-actions (CTAs) to visual components or even email timing. For example, consider dispatching emails at specific times of the day to track when your recipients are more likely to interact with them. Just remember to test one component at a time to have a clear picture of which change made an impact on your email performance.  

Email marketing automation platforms automatically segment your audience and dispatch different variations to each group. Then, all you need to do is analyze key performance metrics that help you identify the best-performing elements. Based on the findings, you'll be able to refine your email marketing strategy. But keep in mind that A/B testing is an ongoing process, so make sure to regularly test different email assets to optimize your emails and drive the best results possible. 

Increase recipient engagement with email marketing automation 

As the digital marketing world moves forward, email marketing automation proves to be a crucial aspect of reaching your target audience effectively. It's the secret sauce of creating and delivering relevant emails that align with your subscribers’ preferences and needs.  

Sure, it may sound like a lot to take on at first. But the good thing with email automation is that you can set your workflows once and then let them run on autopilot. All you need is a reliable email marketing solution with sophisticated automation features. The right tool, along with the strategies shared in this guide, will power up your email marketing with the help of automation.  

Tags:
Email and SMS Follow-Up
Automation
E-Commerce and Retail
Written by Maria Fintanidou

Maria Fintanidou works for email marketing automation software Moosend, having created the FAQs and oversaw the platform’s translations in Greek and Spanish. She loves exploring new cultures and traveling.

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