Complete email automation guide – Step by step guide on how to start email automation and increase your conversion rate
What is Email Automation
Email automation simply means setting up your emails to be sent to your subscribers either when they perform a specific action or at a specific time. It’s not the same as sending a one-time email campaign to your subscribers. Instead, you create a workflow (a sequence of emails) once, and your contacts receive an email every time the specified action is performed.
Email automation allows you to spend less time on tiresome efforts of sending emails and focus on building stronger relationships with your prospects, new customers, and long-term customers.
If you are new to email marketing, you may consider checking this Email Marketing Ultimate Guide before proceeding
Why Should You Automate Your Email Marketing?
You’ve probably heard the big claim that “email is dead. However, research shows that by the year 2021, more than half of the world’s population have an active email address.
Brands continue to consider email as one of the valuable tools for communicating with their new and current customers. Every day, over 293 billion emails are sent. This number is predicted to rise to over 347 billion by the end of 2023. And, of all the marketing channels, email marketing has the highest ROI (Return on investment).
With such a high number of emails sent per day, it’s evident that sending emails the normal way won’t bring you any results. Colorful Images, use of names, and flashing call-to-action buttons don’t impress clients anymore. What matters to them is what you’re saying and the value you’re delivering, not how your email appears. Prioritizing the quality of your emails over quantity will give you a high return on investment and build an authentic relationship with your email subscribers.
Email advertisements, promotions, and sales messages in emails create a bad customer experience.
Advantages of using Email Automation?
Improve the Customer Experience
You can use email automation to send emails only on specific days or times. The goal is to make sure your subscribers are receiving your emails at the right time, so you should do whatever you can to give them the best experience with your emails.
If a subscriber decides to opt out of your emails, your email automation system should automatically remove them from receiving the automated sequence of emails. It assures that your customers will not continue to receive emails if they have already unsubscribed.
Keep your company’s name in front of people’s minds.
You want to keep your email subscribers engaged so you’re top of mind when they’re ready to buy, not send them an email on day one trying to upsell your products.
The process of nurturing your customers’ journey is much simplified when automated workflows are created. Scaling with automation, however, does not imply sending impersonal, generic emails; instead, personalized communications to smaller audiences (Email segmentation) get the highest interaction. You can, for example, send automated emails to contacts based on their interests, intent, and sales stage.
Boost Your Response Rates
The purpose of email marketing is to create a dialogue with your subscribers in order to establish and strengthen customer relationships. As a result, the most essential email marketing metric is the reply rate. The email wasn’t designed to be one-way broadcasting. Rather, it was meant to be two-way communication. As a result, conversations in your email campaigns are more important than clicks.
Replies will come naturally if you treat email marketing in the right way and only send timely, valuable, and highly relevant automated emails.
A quick tip: The optimum time to send an email and get the highest click-through rates is between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesday.
Use automation to effortlessly Manage Your Email Replies
How are you going to respond to all of those thousands of responses now that they’ve flooded your inbox? Email automation systems ensure that no lead or client response gets lost in the shuffle. Email autoresponders will automatically reply to your subscribers whenever they reply to your emails. It’s like having a personal assistant who is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Isn’t that cool?
You can also make it simple for your potential customers to transit from an email to having a real-time conversation by connecting your email to chat. As a result, you’ll have a smooth purchase experience.
Respond quickly to the needs of prospects and customers
Prospects and customers demand quick, individualized responses, and email is no exception. Responding to inquiries in a timely manner helps to nurture your prospects into loyal consumers. With the correct email marketing automation, your sales people may receive real-time alerts when one of their prospects responds, allowing them to respond quickly.
Ensure you email list is up to date
Your email database must be kept up to date at all times in order to be useful to your brand. When someone unsubscribes from your emails, your email automation software should remove and update your list for you, allowing you to focus on your customers. Also, smart filters in some email automation tools restrict you from sending marketing emails to users who have already interacted with your sales staff.
Know If Your Email Marketing Campaigns Are Working
Email automation software helps you to track the results of your A/B testing and experiments so that you can improve your automated emails in the future.
While the reply rate is the most important measure, you should also keep track of open rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, and your total campaign ROI.
How to set up Email Automation
What is the best way to send automated emails? You must first plan your automated email campaigns, regardless of which marketing automation solutions you employ.
First, think about how your prospects and customers interact with your business. Create a different workflow for each individual case. Here are some instances of automatic email series that might be sent in response to certain events.
Emails with content
Sent when someone subscribes to your newsletter or a blog
Send a welcome email to your subscribers in your first message. Let them know how happy you are that they opted to join and what kind of emails they may expect.
You can send a follow-up email a few days later to share some of your most popular pieces and update them on what’s new. Concentrate on keeping your clients happy and interested by providing new material every week (or a few times a week depending on your schedule).
Emails promoting an event
Sent when someone registers for an event or a webinar.
Invite your contacts to your event, and make sure they understand how they will profit. Don’t start telling your new subscriber about how much effort, sweat, and tears went into preparing the event; instead, tell them what to expect on the day of the event and why you selected to invite them.
Share the crucial information such as time and location, and advise them to mark the day on their calendars. Also, share the agenda if it’s a live event, and the log-in information if it’s a webinar.
You can send a pleasant follow-up reminder email a day before your event (or 15 minutes before if it’s a webinar). This can significantly improve your attendance rate.
After the event, you can send a follow-up email with additional content, such as a blog post or a customer case study linked to your event’s theme. Let them know right away if you have another event planned, or email them again closer to the day.
Emails for onboarding
Sent when someone sign-ups for a new product.
Send a series of welcome emails to everybody who has signed up for your service. Depending on your client journey and the complexity of your product/offer, your onboarding schedule will differ. But, as always, keeping things simple is preferable. Instead of bombarding users with instructions and links right away, ask them why they joined up in the first place. You’ll be in better shape to give a fantastic onboarding experience if you understand more about them and what they want to achieve with your product.
You can send a couple more emails after that first welcome email to educate your users and help them realize the full value of your product. Share any helpful tutorials or videos that show how your product works, as well as any integrations that are accessible. You don’t want to send out 30 emails in the first few days to overload your subscribers. Instead, send simple messages and keep in mind that they probably have a lot of other emails coming to their inbox.
You can include a “P.S.” at the end of your emails to let them know that if they have a query, they can simply respond.
Emails of abandonment
Sent when a customer abandons a cart or because of an unfinished account setup.
Send different notifications to your users based on whether they haven’t finished downloading your product, customize it to fit their business, or are simply idle. The idea is to keep your emails brief and to the point.
A great example is how eCommerce companies send out abandoned cart emails to encourage customers to finish their purchases.
Renewing your account
Sent when a plan they had purchased expires.
When a customer’s free trial or subscription is about to expire, send them this email. Remind consumers to renew their accounts, and if your business allows it, offer free trials or give them a discount code.
Email to Promoters
Sent to your brand “promoters”
Customers that give us a score of 9 or 10 are referred to as “promoters”. Why not ask your most satisfied clients for a quote or if they’d be interested in participating in a case study? All you have to do sometimes is ask, and they may be more than willing to help.
Email to “dissidents”
Sent to people to under review your product
These are customers that give us a score between 0 and 6. You don’t want to overlook these clients. Instead, ask them how you can improve, and offer them to send you an email or give you a call to share their suggestions. This is an excellent technique to obtain feedback that will assist you in improving your product and service for future consumers.
How to Create Automation Sequences
In order to create an effective email automation campaign, you will need to create a visual Email Automation Flow Chart. Flow charts help to visualize your automated email workflow. For example, let’s say you have a new subscriber on your newsletter or blog. The first email that they will receive is the welcome email. Once they receive your welcome email, there are three options (maybe fewer or more for your case, but we are going to use three actions). The new subscriber may:
- Not open your Welcome email
- Open your welcome email
- Click a link in your welcome email
If you are wondering how we will know if our subscriber opens our email, don’t worry. Modern email marketing systems such as Get Response allow you to track all these parameters and will track whether someone opens an email or not or even clicks a link. You can get a 30-days risk free trial here (No credit card required)
Also, creating workflow chats with GetResponse is easier than you think, you only need to drag a few elements here and there. The hard part is designing these automated emails. However, once you set them up, you won’t have to do it again as the workflow will apply to every new subscriber who signs up for your list.
After this first email, the emails that follow will depend on the action that your new subscriber performs (Not open email, open an email or open the email and click the link in the email). Let’s discuss the three actions that they could take:
They don’t open your welcome email
Let’s say this new subscriber has not opened your welcome email. In this case, you may need to set your email automation workflow to wait for a specific time e.g., one day, and if they still haven’t opened your email, you may choose to send a slightly altered version of your welcome email. For example, you could change the subject line and add more information such as how frequently they should expect your emails. If still they don’t open your second email, you may choose to resend the email after a few days to see if they’ll open your email. However, this is entirely up to you.
They open your welcome email, but do not click on the link in the email
For this case, you will not have to resend the first email because you know they already read your first email. You can set your email automation workflow to wait say a day or two before sending your newsletter. Again, you may choose to resend emails to those who do not open your first newsletter after some time just to see if this time they will open it. Again, remember this is just a guide, so you will have to create the workflow that will work best for your brand.
They open your email and click on the link in the welcome email
Just like the two scenarios above, you can decide what you will send to people who clicked on the link in your email. For example, because you know that these people have already seen your blog (or any other page your link directed them to), you may send them an email asking them what they think about your blog. This is entirely up to you though, just create a workflow that’s convenient both for you and your new subscriber. The worst thing you could do is fill their inbox with emails not bothering whether they have read your emails or not.
Remember, even though these emails are automated, it does not have to sound like they were sent by a robot. Improve your email reply rates by being warm and conversational in your outreach.
A quick tip: While there are no specific rules, shorter emails perform better in general. Depending on your target audience, product, and email type, a mobile email will account for 25 to 77% of email opens. When consumers read an email on their phone, they don’t want to see 6 paragraphs of text.
Pro Tip: If someone does not open your email after several resends, you may choose to stop sending them emails altogether. Re-engaging inactive or lost accounts is a terrific way to increase revenue. Why? They are already familiar with your company but they may not be interested. Sending them more emails won’t help.
Best Practices for Email Automation:
We covered a lot of ground in this guide, so here’s a handy checklist to help you get started with email automation without missing a step.
Plan your workflows
Keep your email list clean
Write compelling email copy
Stick to plain text emails (if possible)
Schedule your emails for optimal times
Connect your email to chat
Test out new email tactics
Analyze and optimize your results
Looking for an email automation solution? Try GetResponse, the world’s most powerful and intelligent email marketing software. You can get a 30 day free trial with no credit card, just your name, and email address. Try all the autoresponder and automation features and see if it’s the right option for your business.