When should you use email marketing automation?

By Tim Priebe on August 30, 2017

By Tim Priebe on August 30, 2017

A lot of emails sent to a subscription list have content that changes each time, like what we call a blog delivery system or BDS newsletter. These emails are a simple way to get your new blog entry in front of people and help drive traffic to your website.

Other types of emails with content that changes every time might include a monthly newsletter, a weekly email reminder of events, or even a weekly email with helpful information that doesn’t link to a blog.

But there’s another kind of email as well–the automated email. What is it? And more importantly, when does it make sense to use it? I’m glad you asked!

An automated email is what it sounds like—an email that sends automatically. Or, as we like to say around here, automagically. In an email platform like MailChimp, you can set specific criteria for when specific emails will send.

For example, let’s say you’re a membership organization, and there’s some specific information you need each new member to know. You can create a series of multiple emails welcoming them to the organization and sharing important information a little bit at a time. Once you’ve created your emails and set up your criteria, the emails automagically start sending out when you add someone new to the list!

Here are a few ideas for how you might use automated emails.

Welcome a new member or customer

In many cases, your welcome message could be as simple as a single email. But there are times when a series of emails makes sense. If you have a lot of information to share and want to break it up a little, or if you want people to take action on things based on a period of time since purchase, an automated series is a good option.

Offer an e-learning course

If you’re in the consulting world, you probably have knowledge that other people want, and an e-learning course is one way to package it. Or, perhaps you sell a particular product and want to offer some customer education about that product. These are both situations where an automated series can be helpful, because you set the information up once and then send it to qualifying customers.

Celebrate with someone

If you collect customer data like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, or even customer anniversaries, you might want to acknowledge those occasions with a special email. With email marketing automation tools, you can create a specific email that’s triggered to send based on the information stored in your email system.

Nudge someone to take action

After you’ve completed a project for a customer, you might email them to ask that they complete a short survey or write a review on social media. With marketing automation tools, you can send a quick reminder email to those individuals who didn’t take the action requested in the first email. We don’t recommend being a pest, but one quick follow-up email (especially if it’s configured to send automagically) never hurts.

These are just a few of the ways you can use email marketing automation to reach your audience. But as with any marketing effort, make sure you’ve clearly defined your audience first and that your efforts are tied to a specific business goal.

Email marketing automation tools are fun to use, but you definitely want to use them to drive business.

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  1. Avatar Jenna on September 26, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Hey Tim,What a fantastic post! This article is probably the best most concise article I have ever seen. Email marketing is one of the most powerful channels for marketing at present because automatic email campaigns trigger a user’s actions! I have been using an automation tool (Aritic PinPoint) for my email marketing campaigns and it has indeed made marketing a cake walk!

    • Tim Priebe Tim Priebe on November 8, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Thanks, Jenna. Happy to help! Email marketing automation can definitely be a powerful tool.

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