- The promise of automation is to make marketing easier by using apps to fill in communication gaps and continue conversations.
- Email marketing automation uses transactional messages based on website behaviors to re-engage or inform customers during their journey.
- Today's tools from Klaviyo and others personalize these automations to increase deliverability and make the automations more valuable.
With the ever-increasing popularity of ecommerce, it’s no surprise that the competition is getting fierce. It’s no longer enough to just have a great product or service. Nowadays, you also have to market your business effectively and efficiently to set yourself apart from your competitors. One way to do that is by using the right email marketing automation strategy.
Knowing how to automate your emails is an effective way to boost conversions, drive revenue, and increase customer loyalty. But with so many tools out there, how do you know which one to choose?
In this guide, we’ll look at what email marketing automation is and how it can work for your business. We’ll also talk about different automation tools and give you tips for getting started with email marketing campaigns.
What Is Email Marketing Automation?
Email marketing automation is the process of automatically sending a series of outbound emails to a customer or prospects based on their actions and behaviors.
When you use email automation, you’ll be able to personalize each customer’s experience and send follow-up emails to customers based on their interactions. Not only does it help you build trust with new customers but also generates more sales, leads, and subscriptions.
Email marketing automation can be used for everything from sending welcome messages to customers who have just purchased to following up with new leads.
When to Use Email Automation
Email marketing automation is an important tool in the modern marketer’s toolkit. Here are some of the most common types of emails that you can automate:
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Autoresponders are used to send a series of follow-up emails after someone signs up for an email list or requests information from you. Autoresponders are ideal for collecting leads and nurturing them until they're ready to buy something from you.
Behavior-based emails are triggered by specific actions taken by visitors to your website or app. For example, if someone visits a certain page or clicks on a particular button, they can receive an email with more info related to that action.
Transactional messages are triggered when someone completes an online purchase. One example of this is an order confirmation or shipping notification email that’s sent immediately after making a purchase. These emails are usually short and simple with only one call to action (e.g., “Click here to track your package”).
Cart abandonment emails
Cart abandonment emails are sent when someone adds items to their shopping cart but doesn’t complete the checkout process before leaving your site. These emails encourage them to complete their transaction before leaving the site altogether.
Order confirmation and shipping emails
Customers love getting updates on their orders and knowing when they can expect to receive their products. This is especially important if you sell physical goods or items that take longer than two days to ship.
Re-engagement campaigns are another popular use of email automation. These emails are sent after an extended period of inactivity from a customer, usually after 30 days or more. The goal being to get them back into your sales funnel again by reminding them of your product's value proposition. You can also use them to offer discounts, freebies, or other incentives to entice users who have abandoned their shopping carts in the past.
Newsletters are an excellent way to keep your audience up to date on new products, promotions, events, and other developments related to your business. Unfortunately, they can quickly become overwhelming if you’re sending them too frequently (i.e., more than once per month).
Product nurture campaigns
Product nurture campaigns are another popular form of email automation. These emails help companies keep in touch with their customers well after they've made their initial purchase. This type of campaign is often used with ecommerce platforms like Shopify as well as SaaS platforms like Salesforce or Zendesk. These nurture campaigns help companies build loyalty among existing customers by reminding them about products.
Promotional drip campaigns
If you run seasonal promotions or discounts, a drip campaign could be a good way to remind past purchasers of your latest offer. These campaigns usually start with an initial email that provides information about the promotion, followed by several subsequent emails that provide additional details about their availability.
Benefits of Email Marketing Automation
The main benefit of email marketing automation is that it allows marketers to scale their efforts and save time by automating routine tasks. Some other benefits are mentioned below:
Personalized emails are more effective than generic ones because they show that you understand your customer’s needs. By using email marketing automation, you can send targeted content based on previous purchases or other actions taken by subscribers. This makes it easier to build customer loyalty and develop a relationship with each one of them. Research shows that personalized and targeted emails increase revenue by over 760 percent.
Seamless Sales Funnel Creation
Once you know your customers’ interests, you can use this information to create automated sales funnels that help them convert.
Increased Conversion Rates
Sending automated emails about sales or promotions will help increase sales. After all, people are more likely to act when they’re already thinking about making a purchase. This is a great tactic to use during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales events. You can also use email automation to remind customers about their past purchases (For instance, “Did you know that these headphones have been marked down?”). This encourages them to make another purchase before it’s too late.
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Different Types of Email Automation Tools
Here are some of the best email marketing automation tools that can help you grow your business, save time, and generate more sales:
Mailchimp is a premium email marketing solution for small businesses. The platform offers a variety of templates, analytics, and automation tools to help you build your business. You can also use MailChimp to design email newsletter templates, track clicks and open rates, and schedule emails in advance.
The great thing about Mailchimp is that it’s so easy to use, even if you have no experience with email marketing. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create stunning emails with ease. The reporting in Mailchimp is easy to follow and it does a good job as a “data hub” to pull in paid advertising and postcard mailing as well.
Mailchimp is free for up to 10,000 emails per month, which is more than enough for most businesses. If you need more emails, or require automation then paid plans start at $11/month. These offer email and landing page templates, custom branding, A/B testing, and a 10x plan’s contact limit.
Don’t be fooled by their postcard automations – they’re not very good. While you can schedule post cards manually to send monthly or every 6 months, we’re not really sure why this is a useful feature. If you plan on sending postcards it’s going to be a manual process…there’s no way around it. It seems like a feature that they built with good intentions then stopped iterating once it was done.
Win recommends MailChimp for lead generation companies and companies with light ecommerce needs. It’s tools for email creation are best in class but it lacks in browse abandonment features unless you employ the MailChimp Automation features through an API.
To unlock e-commerce growth potential via email marketing, Klaviyo is the way to go. Klaviyo is a marketing automation tool that helps e-commerce businesses send emails, manage subscribers, and track analytics.
The platform has an easy-to-use interface and sets of pre-built behavior trigger automated emails, including welcome emails, price drop,back-in-stock announcements, order and shipping status, and more. With 200+ integration tools, this tool can also be used to nurture retention and increase revenue over time.
Klaviyo offers three different plans: A free plan, an email plan costing around $45, and an email and SMS plan that allows you to send 15,000 emails/month while giving you the flexibility of customization for just $60 per month.
Win at Ecommerce recommends Klaviyo for all of our e-commerce clients…that says a lot. If we didn’t believe in this tool we would use another one. All the other email marketing platforms that focus on e-commerce follow Klaviyo’s lead.
HubSpot offers a robust set of email marketing tools and automation features that will help you grow your business. In addition to it’s CRM capabilities, the platform includes everything from email templates to social integration to landing page creation. It can completely run your entire customer relationship operations.
HubSpot’s CRM allows for 1st party prospect tracking features. This allows you to customize the automation of customer messaging precisely. Since it’s CRM-first (while the other email-first systems have limited CRM ability) you will also have an incredible amount of prospect behavior data that your sales team can use to gauge intent.
All of this comes at a price. Though the Marketing Starter package begins at $18/mo/user (for a year paid up front), the scoring feature and other “real” automation happens at the $800/mo Professional level. We have engaged with clients to bring some of the more advanced features into the Marketing Starter edition at a much lower price. Contact us for details.
OptinMonster is one of the most popular email marketing automation tools available today. It has a drag & drop editor which allows you to create high-converting landing pages, pop-ups, and lead generation forms with ease. It also offers different opt-in types including float bars, exit intent, scroll box, and countdown timers which can be used in your landing page campaigns.
The best thing about OptinMonster is that it’s advanced, real-time behavior automation engine identifies visitors’ activity on your website and sends personalized emails accordingly.
SendinBlue is an all-in-one marketing solution that helps businesses increase their email marketing ROI. You can use this platform to manage all your email campaigns from one single dashboard, including transactional emails, welcome campaigns, newsletters, and more.
There are four plans available. The first is a free plan that allows you to send 300 emails per day. Next there is a monthly plan for $25 that provides exceptional email support and advanced statistics for managing your campaigns.
There’s also a premium package for $65/month including marketing automation and landing page creation. Finally, there’s an advanced enterprise package that is priced according to the features the user wants.
ConvertKit is an affordable solution (starting at $9/month) for bloggers looking for an easy-to-use tool that will help them grow their audience. ConvertKit has powerful automation features that allow you to build out autoresponder sequences based on subscriber activity, resulting in increased customer interaction and sales.
Convertkit also has integrations with other popular tools such as LeadsTunnel, Stripe, and deBounce so it can do almost everything for you. If you’re just getting started with email marketing, Convert Kit’s free plan is a great way to test drive the service before making any major investments.
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing automation tool that allows you to create and send professional emails, manage contacts, and track your results. With Campaign Monitor, you can send mass email campaigns via a drag-and-drop editor. You can also choose from pre-built templates or create new ones from scratch.
Additionally, you can also send targeted personalized emails based on customers’ location, gender, interests, and more. You can also use it to manage event invitations, registrations, and tickets as well. This tool also has a mobile app that makes it easy for you to stay on top of your email marketing.
Emma is a comprehensive email marketing automation tool that helps you create, send, and track emails for your campaigns. You can also create beautiful emails with their drag-and-drop editor and schedule them to send at the right time. This tool also has built-in landing pages for collecting leads and offers reporting tools to help analyze engagement rates and overall performance over time.
Mistakes to avoid while using an email marketing campaign
Automated email campaigns are a great way to reach your customers, but if you don’t take the right steps, your campaign can backfire.
Here are five common mistakes to avoid when using email automation:
1. Not segmenting your audience
Segmentation is a key component of any type of marketing, but it’s essential for successful email automation. Segmenting your audience means dividing them into groups based on their interests and preferences. For example, you can create an email campaign that targets only people who have downloaded a white paper or watched a video in the past month. This will help you avoid sending irrelevant information to people who aren’t interested in it.
2. Not testing before sending an automated campaign
You should test every aspect of your automated campaign before sending it out to customers — from subject lines to content placement. Always include at least one control group in each test so that you can evaluate how different factors affect performance rates later on.
3. Using the same template for all emails
Your first email in an automated campaign should set expectations for what’s coming next — but don’t use the same template for all subsequent emails! Each message should be tailored to its recipient’s needs and interests (based on previous interactions).
4. Sending too many messages in a short period of time
Sending too many emails in a short period of time (e.g. three or four within 24 hours), can make customers feel like they’re being spammed. And this could lead them to unsubscribe from your list altogether. To avoid negative feedback, make sure you give your subscribers enough time to read the emails that you send them before hitting them with another one.
5. Not making the content interesting
When using email automation, you can create funnels where each message leads into the next one and builds up excitement over time. But if you’re sending out boring newsletters full of sales pitches and product announcements, then why would anyone want to keep reading?
To keep customers engaged, make sure that you’re sending them useful or entertaining information about your products. You can hook the reader with a compelling subject line or you can grab the attention of your audience by using a relatable hypothetical situation.
How You Can Win at Email Marketing
Email marketing is a surefire way to boost your ecommerce business. But if you don’t want to go through the hassle of exploring every other tool, then try Win at Ecommerce’s email marketing services instead. We’ll work with you to develop an email marketing strategy that will help you reach your business goals while staying within your budget and timeline.
With our help, you can develop a multi-email drip campaign that will convert leads into customers. Our team of experts will handle the process from start to finish — from strategy development to writing and designing emails. With our help, you’ll be able to focus on what matters: growing your ecommerce business! Get in touch with us today to talk about your future email marketing strategy.
Would you like to improve your campaigns and increase sales?
The team at Win at Ecommerce would love the opportunity to talk with you. We can give you a free evaluation of your technology and help your business win.