A Guide to Email Marketing Automation

Posted by Chris Donald On February 6, 2023 in story time I 0 Comments

If your business has been struggling to keep up with email marketing, it’s probably time to invest in email marketing automation. Automation is one of the best ways to streamline email campaigns and boost their effectiveness. In addition, our email marketing agency can help you get more out of it while saving time and money.

According to recently published global datacollated on an e-mail marketing automation platform, in 2021, the automated welcome e-mails sent out by e-commerce players had an open rate of 30.45 %. On the other hand, the open rate for automated cart abandonment emails was 32.1%.

These findings are indicative of the potential email automation holds.

In this guide, we’ll explore email marketing automation and how it can help you take your email campaigns to the next level.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing is the practice of sending targeted emails to your subscriber groups. For example, the emails could be sent as a weekly newsletter, information updates related to your products or services, or general company information.

When you implement email marketing automation, these emails are sent without requiring constant supervision. Email automation is created using predefined rules which trigger email messages once a particular action has been initiated.

For example, you can set up automatic workflows. When your customer signs up for a lead magnet or completes a purchase, they will automatically receive an email or a series of emails from your company.

In this way, depending on the action taken by your customer, for example, sending a payment confirmation email once your user completes a transaction, you can send personalized and highly-targeted emails to your subscribers relevant to their interests and needs. This increases your chances of getting a response.

In sum, if you link your website analytics and email marketing platform, you can target your audiences based on their behaviour, preferences, and previous purchases. Access to this data enables the personalization of customer experience and enables brands and companies to increase the relevance of their automated campaigns.

How does Email Marketing Automation work?

How does Email Marketing Automation work

Email automation allows businesses to create automated email workflows for their email marketing campaigns. Events, actions, and conditions can be added to automated workflows. And when a criterion or condition is met with the desired action being completed, the email gets triggered.

You can trigger email automation triggers for a range of conditions, including; welcome emails, abandoned carts, page/product views, post-purchase, subscription expiry, cross-sell/upsell, and even for events like a milestone achievement.

These triggers are among the most popular email marketing automation triggers because they make email campaigns more efficient and effective.

Benefits of Email Marketing Automation

Benefits of Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation has a lot of advantages. Understanding how email automation works and its benefits can help you make the most out of email marketing. Here are some of our top picks:

1) Saves time and resources

When you reach a particular stage in your business, sending out emails manually is no longer convenient. Having the sales team constantly track and engage with leads by sending emails at the right time can become a time-consuming and tedious task. Moreover, there’s always a possibility that a critical lead goes unnoticed.

In such circumstances, email automation removes manual emailing, allowing you to focus on other tasks and increase productivity.

Even better, it enables you to seamlessly scale your marketing initiatives and improve your reach without increasing your workload. In sum, by automating all sales emails, your team can align toward closing the deals! 

2) Re-engage inactive customers

Some customers on your list may likely not have been availing of your brand products for some time. With email marketing automation, you can create automated email campaigns to reach inactive customers. This helps gently nudge them by adding them to your list and returning them to the fold.

Re-engagement using email automation can be highly targeted and personalized, allowing you to send email campaigns tailored to each customer’s preferences.

For instance, you can create a list of all your customers who have been inactive for, perhaps, 2 -3 months or even 6 months, depending on your business. Then, from this list, you can create email campaigns that are relevant to that particular segment of customers.

3) Send relevant information to a specific target group

You can leverage email automation to create workflows for even actions a customer takes and send out automated emails specially customized based on those particular triggers. This helps ensure the email reaches the right person with the most relevant information.

For example, if you want to greet a new customer who recently signed up for trial usage, you can implement email automation to send a welcome email automatically. Subsequently, the automation will begin working depending on the subscriber’s actions.

By increasing the relevance of your emails, email marketing automation helps you establish trust and build relationships with your customers.

4) Enhances customer experience and promotes brand loyalty

With email marketing automation, a customer’s behavior influences the type of emails they receive. For this reason, automating emails benefits you and makes things more convenient for your customers while enhancing their overall experience.

For example, if a customer signs up for your email list and makes a purchase, they will automatically receive emails with special offers. This will encourage them to keep coming back for more.

Thus, subscribers feel valued by receiving email communications tailored to their interests and needs, i.e., product launches, special offers, event reminders, etc. By implementing such a practice, you can stay in touch with your customers and retain them for a long time.

5) Boosts business revenues

Email marketing automation enables you to create multiple campaigns conveniently. These marketing campaigns help push sales, re-engage with inactive customers, facilitate word-of-mouth publicity, and create opportunities for revenue growth.

For example, email automation allows you to set email triggers for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and more. Likewise, cart abandonment email campaigns can help encourage customers to complete their purchases, while campaigns that showcase new products can help drive more sales. All this helps to increase your customer’s lifetime value.

6) Gain Valuable Customer Insights

Email marketing automation can help you collect data about your customer’s email behaviors, such as opens and clicks. This information is invaluable for refining campaigns and targeting specific customers.

Also, email automation allows you to measure the success of email campaigns which can again provide valuable insights into customer preferences and email content.

7) It makes marketing more scalable

When sending out an email series manually, the number of customers you reach broadly depends on the number of employees tasked with the job.

Suppose your customer base suddenly doubled in size. In that case, scaling up email campaigns would be a near-impossible task. Automation eliminates this problem by taking much of the manual work out of email marketing while scaling your business. So every time you get a new customer, email automation is ready to send, regardless of the size of your customer base.

How to Automate your Emails

How to Automate your Emails

Automating your emails is incredibly efficient for keeping your email list engaged. These handy hints can help you get email automation up and running:

1) Identity a suitable email automation provider

You can choose from the broad range of email automation software options available in the market, offering unique advantages and service capabilities. Nonetheless, research and ensure you factor in business and goals when finalizing the option.

It’s worth mentioning that you’ll likely not require to implement enterprise software solutions with extensive features that eat into your budgets. Instead, selecting a provider that allows you to start small but offers seamless scaling up as your business grows is advisable.

2) Research the issues of your existing customers

Proactively try to understand the challenges existing customers encounter viz-a-viz your brand. These insights can help you improve your product/features and customer satisfaction.

Working on the existing issues can help you retain more customers and provide an enhanced experience to new customers.

3) Define your goals

Your marketing strategy can be effective only once you have set email marketing KPI’s and desired outcomes based on your interaction with your audiences. For example, the goal may be to facilitate a purchase, educate the customer, and other such goals.

Answers to these questions enable a better understanding of the type of messaging that needs to be sent to the contacts. It also helps plan for the next level.

For example, suppose you implement a series of 5-email to get your contacts to request a consultation. If a contact converts by the second email and you continue sending further emails pushing for a consultation, you’ll likely see a drop in email engagement.

4) Formulate your email strategy

It’s a good idea to keep your email strategy simple. A compelling, well-conceptualized email can motivate customers to convert or the various basics to subscribe.

Create a sequence or order of emails to determine which emails will be sent and when. Obviously, you will have to organize the email series based on the services you offer and your target audiences.

A typical sequence for email marketing automation is:

  1. ● Day 1: A welcome email to be sent immediately
  2. ● Day 3: A follow-up email to be sent after sending the welcome email
  3. ● Day 5: Send a discount offer
  4. ● Day 7: Send an offer reminder email

For starters, until you get used to the software, focus only on minimum types of triggers and resulting messages instead of having multiple, different emails to send out.

Also, one of the standard messages every business is likely to send out is a welcome email when a new customer signs up to receive email communications. Including an offer coupon/discount can promote follow-up sales from existing customers.

5) Road map your workflow

Start by mapping out how you want emails to flow based on different user behaviours. This could include email triggers when they sign up to your email list, on their birthdays, or just to check-in.

Create a map at the very start depicting how your customer will reach the CTA. You can maintain quality and consistency in your communications by having a clear idea of your workflow, from how to start an email to the layout, design, proofreading, and other processes. Both are key to developing and maintaining credibility amongst your customers.

In addition, a roadmap will help you allocate responsibilities to the team for each element.

You can also set up your email workflows based on details information you have about your contacts in your database, such as page views, downloads, email and/or social media clicks, contact properties, a combination of these, and more.

6) Identify the processes you want to automate with your workflows

Email marketing workflows are like blueprints that outline each action your tool will take for you. When automating your emails, specify the activities you want the software to take.

Actions such as: sending/scheduling/delaying an email, if/ then email branching, updating and syncing all your email and contact data to your CRM are examples of automatable actions.

7) Create segmented lists

List segmentation enhances opportunities to send personalized emails to customer groups based on demographics, preferences, and prior behavior. Therefore, customer and market segmentation are critical to businesses seeking optimum returns from their overall email list.

Using tags based on their actions can ensure you send your customers relevant information. For example, if your customer signs up for your online event, you can use the tag webinar registration. Tags help segment the audience. They provide individual data for each of your campaigns.

Further, unlike welcome emails that are sent to all new contacts, segmented lists should ideally focus on repeat customers who have made the most purchases. This is because, in most cases, a customer is more likely to make yet another purchase with each successive purchase.

8) Organize your campaign assets

Now that you’re well into the process, you’ll have an idea about the number of emails you want to send, the messaging, and the customers to whom the emails will be sent.

Ensure all your email campaign assets have been created to plan and are available in your email automation software. This can then be added to your campaigns.

9) Track your progress

Once your workflow goes live, monitor for anomalies. Email automation is a repetitive process. If you observe any, resolve the issues, review your email automation workflow, and make the necessary improvisations.

In addition, you can continually scale your workflows to manage your other business goals. For example, automate actions such as setting or clearing a contact property value, adding/deleting a contact from the list, and other administrative tasks that enable more targeted, effective marketing to your contacts and customers.

 10) Analyze the data

Analysing your collected data is one of the most critical steps in email marketing automation. Examining past email campaigns, customer demographics, and engagement patterns can help you identify which email types work best and how your contacts interact.

The key metrics to track include delivery rates, bounce rates, open rates, click-throughs, forwards, and shares.

A/B testing is another way to assess two iterations of the same email to find out what works best. Don’t be afraid to experiment with email design, wording, and CTAs, as they can help you learn more about your email recipients and optimize email content for future campaigns.

Email Automation Best Practices

Email Automation Best Practices

If you’re trying to automate email marketing for your business, it can be to get everything just right. It’s easy to miss something essential or overlook a detail that could cost you your email list. To help, we’ve compiled a guide to email marketing automation that will provide helpful hints and best practices when implementing automated emails.

1) Ensure there are CTAs:

Provide every email with a call to action. It does not imply that you should constantly look to get your subscribers to make a purchase. In fact, overselling is one of the top mistakes marketers make. Instead, a simple CTA inviting readers to read a recent blog post or following your business on social media can be equally effective.

2) Optimize emails for mobile:

According to studies, in 2018, mobile devices accounted for 43% of e-mail opens. This highlights the significance of optimizing every email marketing automation for mobile devices.

3) Maintain constancy:

Consistency is one of the critical factors in any email marketing success. Once you’ve identified your email marketing process, keep to it as much as possible. Ensure that email content is consistent in terms of structure, branding, message, and language.

Automation makes it easier for email marketers to keep a consistent email schedule and helps reduce the risk of overlooking key email opportunities.

Moreover, it lets your subscribers know what to expect, when, and how often. This way, you can leverage email automation to build a strong relationship with your audience and increase email engagement.

4) Be mindful of anti-spam laws:

Automated email marketing campaigns should still adhere to the same email laws that any other email would. Before rolling out an email automation campaign, know your country’s email laws and regulations.

For example, the Federal Trade Commission’s anti-spam laws in the US require that email marketers include opt-out options and that email content is truthful. Violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 can result in fines and penalties, so it’s best not to risk it.

5) Prevent automated emails from going into spam folders

To prevent your emails from going into the spam folder, our top recommendations are:

● Write suitable subject lines: Readers often mark emails as spam based on the subject line. In addition, spam filters recognize subjects line as spam based on their content. For example, email subject lines which are written in all caps, containing “RE:” or “FWD:” and other promotional-sounding words are more likely to be marked as spam.

● Get whitelisted by customers: Some users use the spam feature to mark emails and get them out of their inboxes. This practice can affect your business. To prevent emails from going to the recipient’s spam folder, request your email contacts to whitelist your emails. The more you get whitelisted, the more reliable your company appears as an email sender.

● Choose reputed email marketing and automation tools: Go with a reliable and reputed email marketing automation tool to ensure they don’t end up in the spam folder. It will be more convenient to comply with CAN-SPAM and spam filters and ensure your emails are sent to your desired target audiences.

● Review your HTML code: Finally, since broken HTML or different HTML versions in emails can result in them reaching spam folders, clean up the HTML you use in your emails. Regularly check your HTML code and make sure it’s good to go.

Notably, fixing emails to avoid spam folders can be a long-drawn process. If several emails have been marked as spam by your customers, depending on your automation tool, getting your emails to reach inboxes may take some time. For this reason, it is advisable to go with a superior email service provider from the start.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is email marketing automation?

Email marketing automation is a way of automating email campaign tasks and sending personalized emails at scale. It allows you to set up automated email sequences based on user activity and segmentation.

This helps you to save time, track results, and ensure that the right email is sent to the relevant target audience, thus increasing engagement levels and ROI. It also allows you to send emails based on the user’s behavior, such as email reminders for upcoming events and discounts or offers.

Q2. What is single email automation?

Single email automation is an email marketing automation technique that involves creating a single email campaign and setting it to be sent at predetermined intervals or times. In contrast to marketing emails series, where each email leads into the next, single emails provide value independently.

The main advantage of single email automation is that it allows email marketers to create a steady stream of email campaigns without writing and sending a series of new emails regularly. Depending on a business’s email marketing goals, they are less time-consuming and equally effective.

For example, single email automation is a great way to send promotions, discounts, and offers, which are time-sensitive. This email automation strategy enables businesses looking to keep their customers engaged without investing time and effort into creating multiple email campaigns.

Deciding what type of marketing email you want to create is an important step when email marketing automation, as it will determine which email automation strategy you should use.

Q3. Is email marketing automation suitable for small and medium businesses (SMBs)? 

Absolutely! Email marketing automation allows SMBs to leverage email to reach and engage customers while saving them time. With superior quality, affordable email marketing automation solutions such as HubSpot, Constant Contact, Omnisend, Sendin Blue, Drip, A Weber, Moosend, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, and many other providers available, SMBs can create email campaigns that work for their specific business needs.

Q4. What is the ideal copy length when using email marketing automation?

The ideal length of email copy when sending automated emails is between 50 to 125 words. A brief, concise copy is more effective. According to industry findings, typically, email copy between 50 to 125 generates response rates over 50%.

At the same time, don’t condense the content too much, either. An email with 25 words may not have enough information to build trust or intrigue the recipient into taking any action. And similar to 500 to 2000 words, using minimal content averages a response rate of less than 45%.

Q5. What is an email workflow?

An email workflow refers to automated emails sent based on the subscriber’s behavior, preferences, and contact information. These emails are triggered based on triggers such as email opens, clicks, purchases, or any other activity. Email workflows allow marketers to create automated email sequences that help nurture leads, increase customer loyalty, and drive sales.

Q6. Which are the more popular uses of automated email?

There are several examples of email automation being used for marketing. However, some of the most popular use cases include:

Welcome emails: This is one of the most common use cases of email automation. For example, suppose a user registers on your website and signs ups for an account.

This action can trigger an automated welcome email to their inbox, providing basic information on how to get around with your website and a CTA to influence the user to start shopping or likely visit a particular area of your website.

Surveys and feedback requests: Automated email allows you to send feedback requests to a customer’s email address soon after they complete the purchase.

Post-purchase surveys and feedback are an effective way to understand the customer experience, gauge their overall satisfaction, and leverage insights to refine products, services, and email campaigns, making them more effective.

Transaction emails: By guiding customers through the sales funnel, email automation makes them feel more secure about their purchase transactions. For example, when you make an online purchase, you’ll likely receive an email acknowledging your purchase along with a summary of your purchase.

During the customer journey, you’ll likely receive another automated email indicating your order has been shipped, along with details of the tracking number and estimated delivery date.

Re-engagement emails: This is used by some businesses to reconnect with inactive or lapsed customers. They help retain term customers, which is more cost-efficient than acquiring a new customer.

For example, where a customer hasn’t made a purchase or accessed their account for several months, automation triggers email campaigns to re-engage with customers and update them about sales, new launches, and interesting offers you may have for them.

Onboarding emails: These often run as a series of emails sent to new users or customers to offer a quick overview of the product’s service, features, and value. They also establish expectations for what email the user will receive.

Abandoned cart emails: Shopping cart abandonment is common among online retailers. These email sequences are triggered when a user adds items to a website shopping cart but fails to complete the purchase.

They remind customers of their abandoned carts and provide incentives or discounts to encourage them to complete the purchase.


Email automation is a powerful tool for email marketing. It can potentially increase email open rates and click-throughs, engage customers, nurture leads and drive sales.

By understanding the different email automation use cases, you can leverage email marketing to create personalized email workflows that send timely and relevant emails to your customers and prospects. This will help you create a better email experience, build customer relationships, foster loyalty, and increase conversions.

With email automation, you can create email campaigns that drive automated email sequences and provide an effective way to engage with your customers.

Good luck!

Leave a Comment

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Inbox Group