Resources Hub » Blog » A Video Guide to Marketing Automation and Customer Journeys

Article first published October 2016, updated May 2019

When we launched our all new marketing automation features and Visual Journey Designer, we had a simple goal: to make marketing automation accessible for everyone.  

Marketing automation enables companies to send highly targeted messages because the emails are triggered off a data point or action unique to the individual subscriber—such as a birthday or a purchase activity.

How do you automate email marketing?

However, traditional marketing automation platforms can require massive budgets and manpower—two things most businesses don’t have.

Marketing automation: What is an email journey?

An email journey is the process of aligning your marketing automation with that of the customer journey, and it looks a little something like this:

a video guide to marketing automation

Source: Campaign Monitor

An email journey is the mapping process of how your campaign will go once your subscribers hit specific triggers. The trigger will define where the customer goes in the email journey. For instance, in the example above, the email journey begins with someone becoming a subscriber to the shop’s email campaign. The next trigger then determines which email journey the subscriber will be placed into next.

Will they become a VIP subscriber or a “regular” subscriber? Depending on which they choose, one of the following email campaigns will be triggered:

  • VIP signup – 20% off
  • Welcome signup – 10% off

Depending on which segmentation list the subscriber chooses, they’ll be moved into the next email journey. However, before marketing teams can move the subscriber, they need to get more detailed with their customer mapping.

How do you do customer mapping?

Before you can truly define a customer’s journey through your marketing automation, you need to map out the customer journey. This simply means having a visualization of each step your customer will take as they move through the marketing and sales funnel.

With so many journey designer tools out there, choosing the right one can be an overwhelming process. Clients with Campaign Monitor get full access to our visual journey designer, which can then help them create email campaigns that deliver real results.

5 powerful ideas to get started with marketing automation

Campaign Monitor’s Visual Journey Designer is a simple and affordable way to set up automated campaigns based on any data you have about your subscribers.

In this post, we’ll walk you through 5 marketing automation campaigns that growing businesses should use to drive massive ROI. Each campaign is visually illustrated in a short video so you can see it in action.

1. Convert more customers with a Welcome Series

The leading online ticket retailer,, grows their email list by embedding a signup form right on their homepage. When someone signs up, they’re added to an automated Welcome Series, chock full of enticing content and an offer for their first purchase.

2. Reward your VIPs

Once a customer spends a certain amount at beauty retailer Sephora’s online store, they are automatically added to an automated series of special offers just for VIPs. These offers reward their very best customers and keep them coming back again and again.

3. Keep your customers engaged with a date-based reminder

By capturing their customers’ car purchase date, Nissan can automatically send a service reminder exactly 6 months afterward.  Not only is this excellent customer service, but helps Nissan reach its service revenue goals.

4. Wish your customers a Happy Birthday

Jewelry retailer Monica Vinader collects customer’s birth dates at checkout, so that they can automatically send a birthday greeting on their customer’s special day – and include a special offer toward a purchase. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.


5. Re-engage lapsed customers

Research shows that attracting a new customer is 5x more expensive than keeping an existing one. With this in mind, St. Jude’s Hospital tracks when their donors last made a contribution, and automatically sends a re-engagement email exactly three months after that date.

Why you should use automation to revamp your email marketing

Marketers who take advantage of email automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%, and now 80% of marketing teams are sending welcome emails and other similar campaigns as a part of their marketing automation. So, if you haven’t taken the appropriate time to check out email automation, then you’re severely missing out.

According to research, 50% of leads generated by a brand are qualified, but not yet ready to make a purchase. This is why the customer journey is so vital—because it nurtures your subscribers and carefully encourages them to take action. While that action could simply be checking out a new blog post, most of these actions occur around a purchase, which helps in increasing your ROI.

Need a few tips to get you started on revamping your email marketing? Try some of these:

  • Write actionable and relevant subject lines.
  • Structure your email for scanners.
  • Keep your copy relevant to your readers and their needs.
  • Make good use of your call-to-action button.
  • Monitor your results and alter your campaigns as needed.

Remember, nurturing your leads will make them feel as if they matter to the brand—and, when they feel like they matter, they begin to trust the brand. With that trust built, they’ll be more likely to take action and make a purchase.

Wrap up

If you already have a Campaign Monitor account, make your way to the Automation tab to get started! And if you don’t yet have an account, sign up for free today to see just how easy it is to build a targeted customer journey that’s guaranteed to drive engagement and revenue.

Need a little extra help? Check out our guide of 4 Steps to Awesome Email Automation.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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