The Complete Guide to Email Automation

Why email marketing is important

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for marketers, delivering high ROI, high conversion rates, and opportunities for personal engagement with customers. Automation takes your email marketing to the next level by enabling you to scale up and personalise your campaigns.

So what is email automation and why should you use it in your email-based campaigns? And how can you create an impactful campaign?

At a basic level, email automation means emails are scheduled and automated according to triggers, preset criteria, or a defined schedule. Automation is useful because it requires little manual input after setup, allowing you to personalise emails and capture analytics to keep refining your campaigns. You can use email automation for everything from initial sign-up and introduction, to after-sales support and engagement.

Learn the steps to take to create a high-impact email marketing campaign and explore real-life examples of effective emails in our beginner’s guide to email automation.

Why your email campaigns might be failing

Understanding why your email campaigns might be falling short means you can take corrective measures and turn your campaigns around.  

One of the top mistakes marketers make is neglecting to fill the top of their funnels. Contact lists naturally depreciate over time, so your list needs to be topped up and weeded out on a regular basis. Create new offers to incentivise new subscribers, like ebooks, competitions, and useful content. 

Another common reason for failing email campaigns is poor content. Make sure your content is personalised, relatable, relevant, and focused for your reader. Additionally, if you’re not focused on boosting click-through rate, your email campaigns won’t be effective as they could be.

Other common reasons include sending too many emails, sending only sales messages, poor design, poor timing, and using clickbait-style subject lines. Lack of segmentation and personalise can also hold you back, as could lack of integration with other channels.

How to grow your email database

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for marketers, delivering high ROI, high conversion rates, and opportunities for personal engagement with customers. Automation takes your email marketing to the next level by enabling you to scale up and personalise your campaigns.

So what is email automation and why should you use it in your email-based campaigns? And how can you create an impactful campaign?

At a basic level, email automation means emails are scheduled and automated according to triggers, preset criteria, or a defined schedule. Automation is useful because it requires little manual input after setup, allowing you to personalise emails and capture analytics to keep refining your campaigns. You can use email automation for everything from initial sign-up and introduction, to after-sales support and engagement.

To learn more about growing your email database, click here to access the 10 proven strategies for boosting your email subscriber list.

Why you need segmentation

Personalisation drives greater engagement and in turn transaction rates. Segmenting your list allows you to personalise your messages while automating and scaling up your email campaigns. By applying what you know about each list member, you can send targeted messages to subscribers at the right times.

Segmentation allows you to avoid sending generic emails and email blasts. Instead, you provide relevant content to subscribers, leading to greater interest, loyalty, trust, and engagement.

To successfully segment your list, you need to have already collected a level of customer information. Use an email marketing platform to organise your segments and to automate your email sequence. You’ll want to spend some time working out your buyer personas and segments, by reviewing your data and identifying the most relevant data points for segmenting.

Keep reviewing and updating your segments, and segment as much as you can so your list gets relevant emails that adds value to their experience.

Learn more about segmentation in our guide, How to Segment your Database for Targeted Email Marketing.

Why use triggers in your automated email campaigns

The most compelling reasons to use triggers in email campaigns are relevance and timeliness. By setting up triggers in your email sequences, you’re taking account of customer behaviour to send the most relevant content at the right point in time.

You can set up triggers for things like specific product pages viewed, emails viewed, or products purchased. This can lead to more personalised marketing messages, more effective lead nurturing, and higher click-through rates. Additionally, your segmenting and scheduling can be faster and more efficient.

Examples of trigger-based email sequences include welcoming and onboarding subscribers to your list, shopping cart abandonment, inactivity, and lead nurturing. So triggers can be used to target list members to move them along the funnel. You can also base triggers on dates and special occasions to boost engagement.

To find out more about using triggers in your automated email campaigns, read our guide here.

How to nurture your leads to customers

Acquiring leads is one of the first steps, but how do you turn leads into buying customers? Email automation offers significant advantages for marketers in this area because you can use lead-nurturing sequences to educate, build trust, and drive stronger sales. Instead of trying to sell outright to customers who aren’t ready to buy, you engage with leads who could buy in the future.

Automated email lead nurturing involves a well-timed sequence of targeted, personalised emails. To design the right framework, start by considering your business and goals. By knowing your goals, you can choose one of the popular lead-nurturing-sequence models to get started. From there, you continue to refine the model until you get the perfect framework for your goals and business.

Key considerations include using personalisation and segmentation, using evergreen content that’s highly relevant, and basing your sequence on the buyer’s journey.

To find out more about how you can design a lead-nurturing framework that’s aligned to your goals, learn more about our top seven strategies for creating the perfect nurture sequence.

How to improve email open rates

So you have valuable content and a great message to share with your list, but what if it’s not getting through because subscribers aren’t clicking on open? Without a good open rate, you’ll likely have fewer shares, click-throughs, and sales. Marketers have around three to four seconds on average to appeal to readers before they decide to open or bin, so you should track your open rates and implement a strategy for addressing them.

Getting whitelisted, mobile optimisation, sender names, and managing expectations can all improve your open rate. It’s also important to segment your list so your subscribers are getting the most relevant content. Using a well-designed email sequence, avoiding spammy language, and working on your subject lines are also great strategies to implement.

Click here to discover a good email open rate to aim for and to learn about the top 16 strategies for boosting your email open rates.

Lead scoring and campaign optimisation

Lead scoring can help businesses identify the best leads and focus precious sales resources on converting these leads. With an accurate lead scoring system in place, your business can design targeted campaigns, shorten buying cycles and sell more. You can also use lead scoring to identify low-scoring prospects who need additional nurturing and test your current assumptions about your target market.

To optimise your campaigns with lead scoring, define your buyer persona and list all possible lead behaviour. You can then decide on a lead-scoring system with characteristics, qualities, and lead behaviours. Work out your scoring model, and make sure you’re tracking for interest, which indicates readiness to buy. Your system won’t be perfect from the start, so once you start tracking and assigning points, keep testing and refining it.

Key considerations include using personalisation and segmentation, using evergreen content that’s highly relevant, and basing your sequence on the buyer’s journey.

To learn about the benefits of lead scoring for campaign optimisation and how you can implement it, read our guide here.

An all-in-one automated marketing solution

Email automation can deliver exceptional results for businesses, but to fully leverage it, you’ll want to take advantage of a range of different tools and elements. For a start, you need to understand where you’re current falling short, replenish your database, and use segmentation.

Integrating triggers in your email campaigns and learning to nurture leads are also pillars of successful email automation campaigns. If you also focus your email open rates and use lead scoring to prioritise, you’ll have an all-around, multifaceted email automation strategy that sets your business up for success.

TractionNext provides industry-leading, next-generation marketing technology that doesn’t get in the way of your business. Our product helps you automate campaign workflows, trigger conversations, and accelerate conversions on one single platform.

For more information about giving your customers a more relevant, engaging experience, subscribe to our mailing list for updates receive the best marketing automation tips and techniques.

Do you want to have seamless email integration?

If you’re looking to combine email automation, SMS communication, viral competitions, split testing, and customer relationship management in one easy-to-use platform with advanced reporting, then TractionNext is the powerhouse tool you’ve been looking for. We easily integrate with your existing tools so that you get all of your customer insights in one place.

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