What is Email Marketing Automation and How to Use It?

Email campaigns are one of the proven methods of communication with potential and loyal customers, and the automated email marketing increases the effectiveness of the activities carried out through this channel. Such an approach to promoting a business has many advantages. However, to benefit from implementing the automation, you first need to understand how it works.

What is email marketing automation?

Creating and sending individual marketing emails is time-consuming. Moreover, such activities are usually much less effective than implementing a well-thought-out, complex email marketing strategy. Email marketing automation is a marketing strategy aimed at increasing the effectiveness of email marketing activities through automated actions. This type of marketing can be carried out using special software.

Automated email marketing comes in handy in many ways. It allows sending the customer the most important information about your company, but also for showing your respect for the consumer. In addition, you also save time that you’d have to spend on manual sending of messages without the right tool. Automated email messages can be personalized to look like they were written specifically for that particular customer (e.g. start with a personal greeting, refer to recent purchases or activity on the website).

One of the most important email marketing automation mechanisms are triggered emails. It consists of automating the sending of specific emails. The process can take place entirely without your participation. The sending of the message is scheduled in advance and depends on the fulfilment of a predetermined rule, e.g. subscribing to the newsletter or registering on the web page by the customer. For various groups and campaigns, you can set any condition after the fulfilment of which a specific email will be sent (e.g. setting up an account on the platform may result in sending a welcome email, and a few days after subscribing to the newsletter, the user will automatically receive a free ebook). It all depends on the business goal you want to achieve.

Of course, in order to implement email marketing automation, you need the right software. The systems for managing email marketing campaigns provide their business customers with numerous useful functionalities (e.g. segmentation of recipients or reporting) and tools, thanks to which they can increase the efficiency of their activities. Email marketing automation platforms usually also allow for campaign personalization, that is adapting the sent messages to the individual preferences and expectations of specific customers.

How can you use marketing automation at your company?

With the right actions, you can automate numerous tasks related to running email marketing campaigns at your company. They may be aimed at building a positive relationship with the customer, increasing sales, or reminding the user about an unfinished purchasing process. There are many possibilities. You'll find a few examples of using marketing automation tools below.

Welcoming a new customer

The automation of email marketing campaigns enables sending emails to subscribers automatically, at the predetermined time, and on the day chosen by the campaign creator. This makes the day-to-day work of the person responsible for managing email marketing campaigns much easier. You can set up a number of automatic messages that your customers should receive, e.g. a welcome message that'll be sent each time a new person subscribes to your blog, registers on the website or makes a purchase.

Remember that not all customers who join the newsletter or register on your web page will make a purchase immediately. Some of them are just interested in your offer. Thanks to a warm welcome and personalized message, you immediately build a positive relationship with a potential customer.

Monday.com welcome campaign

The Monday.com brand, offering software for managing everyday work at companies, created an interesting email campaign. In terms of graphics, it doesn't resemble a carefully designed advertisement, but an ordinary email sent from one private person to another. This enhances the impression that it's a manually sent message with establishing a direct contact in mind. Therefore, the recipient is more likely to delve into the contents. The e-mail message is signed by Roy Man, the company's president, instead of a typical, anonymous greeting from the team.

The welcome email from Monday.com is an example of email marketing automation

Source: HubSpot

The welcome email message is warm, friendly, and simple, thanks to which the reader quickly focuses on the video in the message that provides additional information. The campaign creator took advantage of the ability of personalization. We can see that the email message is addressed to a specific person (their name was mentioned). The message is concise and the Monday.com specialist included the relevant information in the linked video, instead of writing it in the message.

Encouraging to make a purchase

Entrepreneurs have many communication channels at their disposal where they can create campaigns aimed at increasing sales and email is no exception. Most sales companies use seasonal occasions (such as holidays or special days like Mother's or Father's Day) to encourage customers to make bigger purchases.

It's worth planning automatic special sales campaigns well in advance, so as not to overlook a good opportunity to advertize your offer. In such messages, you can remind receivers about a special occasion for which it's worth making a purchase or inform about a special offer in a given period. Consider also sending discount codes to use when making a purchase on a specific date, which will additionally motivate the customers to buy something.

Uniqlo sales campaign

The Uniqlo brand took advantage of the human need to buy things and the need to... save money. The company uses automation, the data about the users' activity on its website, and personalization.

In one of their email marketing campaigns, Uniqlo shares the information about price changes with the subscribers who liked a given product. The data collected thanks to cookies is used to automate and personalize this message. As a result, the person who expressed an interest in the product (by viewing it, adding it to the cart, or adding it to their favourites list) receives a message that the price is now lower. Sometimes, customers won't make a purchase, even though they feel strongly tempted. Such information about a discount eliminates the reason they were holding back from buying something.


The automated email from Uniqlo encourages the customer to make a purchase

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

Cross-selling is also used in this campaign. Below the main message, you'll find the examples of other related products that the customer might be interested in.

Offering a new service

A pre-order campaign consists of one email or series of messages announcing the launch of a new product on the market. One of the next messages in the cycle may be one that informs the customer that there's a moment incoming when they'll be able to take advantage of a specific offer or presents the advantages of a product. This type of message is intended to motivate the recipients to preorder an upcoming product as soon as possible or immediately after its release to the market.

Such a campaign, created using email marketing automation, may describe the features and benefits of a new product or service. These types of messages are sent to the people with a special interest in the product, who are likely to expect this offer to enter the market. It's worth keeping in mind that a presale campaign should be time-limited in order to increase the sense of urgency in the potential customers and motivate them to preorder the upcoming product.

ReMarkable pre-order campaign

ReMarkable is a startup that offers modern electronic notebooks. The company has been running a pre-order campaign for a long time, within various communication channels, also in the form of mailing. In one of these messages, the company informs the recipients that the presale of the product is approaching. The author encourages the receivers to order the product in advance so as not to lose the chance to take advantage of a specific offer.

The pre-order email sent as part of reMarkable's email marketing automation campaign

Source: Really Good Emails

The message includes the Pre-order now CTA. This allows for taking advantage of the recipient's strong emotions and convincing them to make a purchase when they're reading the email. Further down the message, we also see what a person buying pre-order gains (free delivery and free items for the product).

Invitation to share the opinion

Customers, however, rarely share positive comments about the product on their own initiative. They become much more active online when their expectations aren't met. Your personalized, automated email message may be an invitation to express the opinion via a form or questionnaire, to which the customer will be redirected after clicking the link included in the message. Both positive and negative reviews about the company and its products are important. The former may be put in the testimonials section of the website, while the latter provide the information necessary to improve the quality of the service.

A customer who has no negative feelings may be open to sharing their opinion if they receive a direct request to comment on the quality of the services, or if they receive a reward (e.g. points in a loyalty program or an individual discount). Sharing a negative opinion is also good. This is valuable feedback for the company, thanks to which it's possible to learn what needs to be improved. If such an email is sent properly in advance, there's a chance to solve the problem and turn a dissatisfied customer into a grateful and loyal one.

In the message with a request for a review, created using an email marketing automation tool, it's worth putting a button that takes the person directly to the form where they can write a review. It's good if a client can see comments from other customers in their browser or application window, because that gives the reviewers a starting point. They don't have to start from scratch. Many companies promise discounts, a free next delivery or participation in a raffle for completing a service satisfaction survey.

Request for an opinion about Chewy

The process of expressing an opinion should be simple and easy to implement. The customer will quickly get annoyed and ignore the request for feedback if they'll have to click through a large number of subpages to leave a short comment. The Chewy brand, which sells pet food and supplies, knows this. The message from Chewy is the perfect example of a concise, automated campaign for requesting to express opinions. Its author created a simple way to publish a review for the customer.

An automated email from Chewy, in which the company is asking for reviews of purchased products

Source: WordStream

In the message, the recipient sees the graphics of the recently purchased products and the links to a place where they can express their opinions. All they have to do is select the appropriate button and write a review. It's a quick and easy process of expressing customer’s opinion on the services provided by the company.

Drip email marketing

Drip marketing got its name because it brings to mind falling raindrops. This type of a campaign is one of the forms of automation. It's based on a series of emails planned for particular days at a specific time. The moment of sending each email in the campaign depends on fulfilling a predetermined rule. This way you convey your message gradually, adapting your communication strategy to the behaviour of your audience.

A drip marketing campaign can be used as one of the campaigns described above (a campaign aimed at welcoming new customers, increasing the sales, engaging the customers, reminding them about an unfinished transaction). A drip email marketing can be used to achieve any business goal of a given company. These types of activities are expected to generate greater engagement and conversion than the standard email marketing activities.

Box drip campaign

The Box cloud data storage application uses drip campaigns in order to teach people how to use their product. This campaign, in conjunction with the welcome campaign, undoubtedly brings the customer closer to the brand and its values, helps with getting to know the basic and advanced functionalities of the application, and also engages the user.

One of the messages within the drip email marketing campaign by Box

Source: Zapier

Box uses a drip campaign to guide the customer step by step through the different parts of the application. The company doses the knowledge by sending from time to time short messages explaining the advantages of the product and encouraging the customers to learn how to use certain functionalities (e.g. file sharing or collaboration on documents).

Benefits of email automation

By opting for email marketing automation, you have a chance to significantly improve the effectiveness of your mailing campaigns. The advantages of implementing automation include:

  • Time saving – the number of cases when it's necessary to manually create and send an email multiple times is reduced.
  • High level of mailing personalization – the possibility of using the data about the activities and preferences of customers makes the messages more accurate and tailored to the customer's expectations.
  • More effective targeting – a good email marketing automation tool allows you to quickly select the people who are really interested in following the news about your company and to prepare an appropriate marketing message for them.
  • Improved campaign efficiency – running an email marketing campaign obviously costs money. Investing in a good email marketing automation system will give you the opportunity to make better use of your advertising budget.
  • Shortening the purchasing process – by offering a discount or reminding about an abandoned cart or unfinished payment, you help the customer to complete the transaction faster.
  • Building a positive relationship with the customer – useful and properly formulated mailing messages containing references to positive shopping experiences, personalized phrases, or including the information about discounts – all have a positive impact on the customer's relationship with the company.
  • Ability to monitor the campaign – email marketing automation tools collect the data on the effectiveness of the campaign and the behaviour of recipients. They usually have built-in tools for analyzing and creating reports based on the collected data.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should look around for the right automated email marketing tool.

Email automation tools

Some marketing automation software has functionalities that'll allow you to manage contacts and automate mailing campaigns. Do you want to gain access to a tool designed specifically for effective email communication for business? It’s worthwhile to calmly review the solutions available on the market and analyze their advantages and disadvantages. Many programs of this type offer a free trial period during which you can check how the system works and whether you are comfortable working in it.

ActiveCampaign email automation

ActiveCampaign is a multitasking software for conducting marketing activities. One of its most important features is automation. In addition to sending autoresponders and triggered emails, which may be based on a variety of conditions, you can automate the management of your lists and contacts. This system also allows for adding notes to contacts, scheduling appointments, sending direct messages to customers and much more.

An example of automation in the ActiveCampaign marketing automation tool

Source: ActiveCampaign

The tool offers great reporting capabilities and access to the recommendations section, containing useful suggestions on the actions you can undertake with the platform.

Constant Campaign email automation

Constant Contact is one of the comprehensive marketing platforms that allow you to carry out automated activities within various communication channels. The big advantage of using this tool is access to over a hundred email templates, optimized for mobile devices. The work on composing messages is also made significantly easier by the "drag-and-drop" editor. It's possible to integrate this platform with the solutions such as WordPress, Shopify, Quickbooks and Salesforce. Constant Contact allows you to track the results of your campaigns in real time

Scheduling automated mailing in the Constant Contact tool

Source: Constant Contact

Mautic email marketing automation

Our suggestion is Mautic - the open source system. The program itself is free and anyone can use it. Despite the fact that it's a highly developed marketing automation system, its operation is relatively easy, even for a novice user. It facilitates lead generation and campaign personalization. It also allows for creating advanced patterns of operation for various campaigns. The next message to be sent to the recipient depends on their reaction to the previously sent email. Do you want to address different messages to different customer groups? Mautic gives you almost unlimited possibilities to group your contacts.

Creating an automated sequence in Mautic, the email marketing automation tool

Source: Knowledgebase

The tool also allows for using numerous message templates. You can modify them or create your own.

Email marketing automation – summary

Without a well-chosen email marketing automation tool, it'll be difficult for you to run highly effective email marketing campaigns. Marketing automation gives you great opportunities to shape your campaigns and saves a lot of time. We have extensive experience in implementing automated email marketing software. We'd be happy to advise you on the implementation and use of the Mautic tool in order to increase the effectiveness of your image-building and sales-related activities.