To get the best results in email marketing, it’s important to send the most relevant messages to your subscribers.

As businesses grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to give one-to-one attention to each customer. With email automation, marketers can easily create workflows to send personalized, timely, relevant emails to the right customers at the right time.

In this post, we’ll explain different types of automated emails and help take you from email automation zero to hero.

What is email automation?

Unlike email newsletters and one-off campaigns that you create and send to a whole list of people at once, an automated email campaign is set up once and then automatically sent to a particular individual when that person meets a certain trigger.

For example, when someone signs up for your email list, you can send them a welcome email and provide more content, a discount or any other information you want to provide them.

Doing this engages your new subscriber from the start and hopefully keeps them coming back for more.

But imagine if you had to manually create and send this email each and every time you got a new subscriber? It would be a significant time commitment, and not something you could probably commit to long-term.

That’s the beauty of automation, you can set up the email once and then as more people continue to meet the trigger you defined (like joining your list), the email will continue to be sent to them without you ever having to lift a finger. It essentially ‘automates’ your email marketing for you.

Why email automation is important

Today’s consumers are bombarded with information, and marketers are constantly looking for ways to cut through the noise. Relevancy is every marketer’s secret weapon. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns according to our latest report, The New Rules of Email Marketing.

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And, automated emails have some of the highest engagement rates of any emails sent. Just look at welcome emails which boast an average open rate of around 50%, according to metrics from MarketingSherpa. A popular retailer achieved a 525% lift in CTR as well as a 220% increase in opens using automated emails compared to the brand’s non-triggered sends.

So let’s tap into how you can go from zero to hero with your email automation.

The different types of automated emails

Automated emails can be used for a variety of messages including welcoming a customer, sending someone a reminder about an upcoming event, or just saying happy birthday, plus heaps of other uses as outlined in our handy Guide to Email Marketing Automation. Here are a few examples:

Welcome Email

This email, or series of emails serves to welcome or onboard a new customer.

A specific date

This type of automated email marketing enables you to send an email before or after a specific date like a membership renewal or a reminder of an upcoming event.

An anniversary of a date

Who doesn’t like being acknowledged on their special day? This type of email allows you to send emails for birthdays or recurring annual holidays with a greeting or special offer.

Content updates

Every time you publish a blog post or other type of content you can automatically email your subscribers driving instant engagement and visits.

How to get started sending automated emails

The great news is that creating and sending automated emails is simple and straight-forward, but you need to get a few things sorted before you can just start sending emails. Let’s discuss some steps to take to get your own automated emails firing.

  1. Plan what you need
  2. Get your data
  3. Create your emails
  4. Measure success

1. Plan what you need

To send automated emails that get results, you need to have a firm grasp on what you want to accomplish with your automated emails. Are you trying to move users through a funnel to purchase, are you trying to reward loyalty, or incent a repeat purchase?

Do you want to send just one email, or a series of emails? For example, you could use a new subscriber workflow to deliver a series of welcome emails to inform a new customer about the services your company offers, then close off with a new customer special.

Once you’re clear on what you want to accomplish, you can map out the emails you will send. Remember, you can start more simply and add more emails to your workflow at a later point.

2. Get your data

Once you know which emails you want to send, make sure you have the right data in place to support it. If you want to have certain actions or user activities trigger an email (like joining a list, a birthdate, etc., make sure you have the right data in your list or have a way to get that data into it. Campaign Monitor customers have a wide range of integrations to choose from and our powerful API, if needed.

3. Create your emails

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Once you know what you want to send and ensure you have any needed data, you can create your emails. Most email service providers offer some level of automated emails, and Campaign Monitor is no exception. You can choose to start with an existing email you have, use one of our pre-designed templates, import your own HTML or go simple with text only.

4. Measure success

After you’ve launched your automated emails and they’ve started sending, don’t just set it and forget it. Take a look at your reporting so you can determine if you need to make any changes. Do you have the right number of emails in your workflows? Should you change the cadence? You can determine these things by looking at your reporting and seeing if there is a drop off in open rate or click-throughs in your series. You can test sending your emails closer together or with more time in between to see how it affects engagement.

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Wrap up

As a marketer, you likely have more and more things competing for your limited time and resources.

However, of all the opportunities available to you to grow your business, email marketing still remains one of the most impactful, and setting up automated emails can help you drive results without having to spend time continuously working on them.

Sending automated emails can increase engagement, build relationships with your subscribers, and drive results for your business, so give automated emails a try.

For more tips on automated emails, grab our free Email Automation guide.

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  • Mark Gibson

    I’m loving the new features you guys are adding. CM just get’s better & better. What would be nice is if we could switch a person from one list to another and have them start a new email sequence. Like when someone goes from being a prospect to a customer. This would be the icing on a great cake.
    Thanks, Mark

  • Kim

    Thanks Mark for all your nice compliments – we love hearing how much you enjoy using Campaign Monitor. I’ll absolutely share your feedback with our Product team as well!

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