What is Email Marketing Automation? [Part 1/6]

introduction to email marketing automation

More and more companies are using email marketing automation – but what exactly is behind this buzzword? How does newsletter automation work, and is it really as effective as everyone claims? In our six-part blog series, we will answer these questions and many more. In the coming articles, we will take a look at various marketing automation campaigns – and show you how to implement them yourself.

Email marketing automation blog series:

What are the benefits of email marketing automation?

The idea behind email marketing automation is simple. You create and set up an email once, and then it is sent automatically in response to certain user actions (or triggers). For example: a customer makes a purchase and receives a confirmation email.

Within the email marketing industry, a variety of different terms are used to describe this function. Serial campaigns, autoresponders, trigger emails, lifecycle campaigns or email marketing automation – whatever you call it, the principle is the same. Essentially, it is emails and newsletters that are sent automatically. Email marketing automation is therefore not to be confused with “classic” newsletters, which are sent manually on a regular basis.

Email automation is much more about entering into a direct dialogue with both existing and prospective customers at the most crucial moments. This means responding to certain actions with the relevant email. For example, if a customer registers for a certain software, they might receive an email explaining the next steps. Likewise, customers may receive a special discount code on their birthday.

What are the typical open and click rates for automated emails?

The great thing about automated emails is that they directly relate to a specific event or action (purchase, birthday). They are therefore always highly relevant and, in many cases, anticipated by the user – meaning they are more likely to be opened, read and clicked than a standard newsletter. In fact, you can expect open and click rates that are twice as high in comparison!

Aside from this, lifecycle and trigger campaigns are top performers when it comes to efficiency. Once set up in the newsletter software, these campaigns run automatically, sending the right email to the right recipient at just the right time. After the initial effort of setting up the email, you can sit back and let the software do the work.

Who should use email marketing automation?

In order to send behavior-based emails, it is of course necessary that certain actions take place. As long as you have this information to hand (.e.g. date of birth, date of last purchase, date of registration), there’s no reason why you can’t get started. This data should be available in your ecommerce store or CRM / CMS system. Automated campaigns are certainly worthwhile for the following industries:

Software ProvidersEcommerceClubs & Associations
Automated first-steps email following registrationWelcome email when a new customer signs upBirthday email to members
Birthday email containing a discount codeWelcome email to all new members
Reactivation email 90 days after the user’s last purchase

Conclusion

Email marketing can be a real hit if you are able to analyze and respond to user data and behavior. Automated email campaigns contact the customer as a direct response to a particular action or event – meaning they are highly relevant and well-received. When devising an email marketing strategy, do not hesitate to include automation. To find out exactly how to do this, stay tuned for the next post in our six-part series.

About the author

Emily Stevens

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