Email Marketing: An Introduction to Automation

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Create and send a sequence of email messages containing relevant information, to leads and contacts at just the right moment. Use automated messages to nurture leads, win back customers who haven't made a purchase or engaged with you in some time, to send appointment or event reminders in the weeks and days before.

What is automation?

Email automation is all about identifying key milestones in your audience's journey, and targeting them with the right message at the right time based on those milestones. But what do you do when there's more that you want to share with a customer than can fit in one email, or when it may be some time before they reach their next milestone, or when you want to send timely reminders about an event or milestone that's still on the horizon?

This is where automated email series can play a critical role in your strategy. An email series can shift businesses from sending simple Welcome messages to sending an educational Onboarding series. Here are a few of the ways you can automate an email series to strengthen your customer communication:

  • Onboarding series for new customers
  • Lead nurturing series for new leads and potential customers, providing relevant, helpful content
  • Appointment reminder series in the weeks and days before an appointment
  • Event registration and attendance (or non-attendance) follow-up series
  • Loyalty rewards series for customers who qualify for VIP programs
  • Win-back series for customers who haven't made a purchase in some time

Email series automation may be comprised of individual emails, but marketers tend to think of their series automation in terms of the performance of a series or workflow. Automation can help you estimate the performance of your series as a whole by reporting metrics that look at the entire series as well as the individual emails.

How does segmentation come into play?

Segmentation and automation are perhaps the two foundations of modern online marketing, and for good reason: Marketers have long known that the more you can target your message to individual recipients, the more likely that message is to resonate with them. If automation is about identifying the key moments in your customer lifecycle to automate your messaging, segmentation is about having enough information about your customers to create messaging that will feel uniquely tailored to them when they reach those key milestones.

You can send automated email series to segments of your audience. Here are a few ways that you can leverage segmentation to send smarter, more successful automated series:

  • Send different welcome series to male and female customers who sign up in your store
  • Send a nurturing series that will only be delivered to subscribers who are in the "lead" stage
  • Send nurturing series targeted at different roles within an organization
  • Send different educational series to new users in different industries
  • Send different re-activation campaigns to lapsed subscribers who have been members for years and to lapsed subscribers who have just joined recently

Ready to get started? Go to Email Marketing: How to Use the Automation Workflow Builder

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