Everything you need to know about email automation

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Email automation is an effective strategy for increasing customer loyalty and trust. It helps businesses send personalised emails to customers about certain business news or upcoming products. If you want to grow a business's leads or sales, then it's important to understand how automation works. In this article, we define email automation, discuss how to make it more effective and give examples of its benefits.

What is email automation?

Email automation is the process of sending relevant and personalised emails at specific times to individuals or groups. Businesses leverage this marketing automation tool to keep in touch with their customers and send them news based on their preferences or specific business rules. An automation tool is often self-operating or pre-built to serve different functions. Hence, it delivers automated messages to customers, who can reply through a company's email or website.

Read more: How to use automation testing in 5 steps

How to make automated emails more effective

There are different ways to ensure that automated emails accomplish their goal. Below are a few tips for sending out a more effective email:

1. Humanise messages

Consider sending emails with a friendly tone of voice. Keep in mind that you're conversing with humans, so your tone of voice can communicate a lot to customers. You can personalise messages to make the tone of voice more natural and engaging. Sometimes, customers who may not be regular subscribers to your brand can have a different automated-communication approach. With this in mind, make sure all messages are official, friendly, human and satisfying to customers.

2. Categorise subscribers

It's necessary to categorise subscribers into different segments based on their individual needs. Choose to prioritise customers' needs over the business's needs. You can do this by researching the products customers need the most, their subscriptions and their purchase history. You can then channel resources to meet customers' needs. Also, keep in mind that the more segmented your automated email list becomes, the more opportunities you give your subscribers to engage with their preferred content. Likewise, more responsive customers may increase sales.

3. Offer discounts and track responses

Discounts are a good way of gaining new buyers and keeping old customers. You can send out discount promo sales to customers alongside automated memos and track responses to get more information about their preferences. By doing so, you can track opened emails, the number of people who clicked on the reference link, the level of patronage on the goods offered and the number of customers who left a review. Getting this information can influence a marketing strategy, next action line and automated emails' effectiveness.

Related: Tips on How To Start an Email

4. Pay attention to the structure and timing of emails

It's important to make emails comprehensible and easy to read. Consider structuring a message to make it clear and concise. When building structured emails, consider the best layout for the information you're conveying or how content may appear on phones or laptops.

Headers are preferable for lengthy content, while a one-column layout works well for a short message. Scheduling time for the basic routine maintenance of automated emails helps inform the relevant content changes.

5. Try not to set and forget

Once you have automated your emails, avoid making the mistake of setting them up and abandoning them. A typical automated emailing system can reveal important insights about your business that can help you refocus your strategies. Hence, it's essential to keep track of the clicks, opens and every email metric. Also, ensure you understand the results of certain data like conversions, site visits, revenues and new customers. A good understanding of this can make your automated emails more effective by optimising the efforts put into engaging your recipients.

Related: 4 types of internal email templates

Benefits of automating emails

Below are several benefits of automating emails:

Benefits team members

Automating emails helps a company's sales team to increase the customer base. The team can use emails to effectively track the factors influencing sales or the services generating the most clients. This impacts how the team can launch its next strategy and helps it discover areas of improvement. The email service provider application can also handle repetitive tasks without external aid, thereby helping team members to save time and concentrate on other important tasks.

Improves brand awareness

Automation portrays a brand as being professional, organised, meticulous and responsible. Emails help customers understand what a brand stands for. They also familiarise customers with a business's products and services. Hence, when customers receive a business's emails, they're fully aware of what to look out for. This clarity improves their trust in a brand and helps them to make informed choices quickly.

Reduces costs

With automated emails, companies can save several hours, which helps them save money too. They can increase productivity and reduce costs by equipping employees with automated email tools. Employees can then contact prospective and current customers at no extra cost. This ensures that even less experienced marketers can manage workflows, reducing overhead costs.

Increases sales

Automated emails are a good way of influencing prospective customers before a salesperson contacts them. Informative and relevant emails can increase their desire to learn more about a business. By updating them with the latest information about a business's products, prospective customers can become motivated to buy a product.

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Eliminates the risk of possible errors

Email service providers help businesses crosscheck information before sending it out. An automated email can reduce the chances of human errors, such as misspelling customers' names or filling in the wrong details. Being accurate regarding customers' details shows a company's ability to pay attention to details, improving customers' trust in the brand. It also reflects corporate transparency, which can promote a healthy customer relationship.

Relevant to the email recipient

Using automated emails, organised companies can structure their email campaign to be relevant to every recipient on their list. They ensure each recipient receives personalised emails that resonate with them. You can do this by identifying your customer's preferences and programming your emailing system to send the relevant messages. For a better user experience, try not to send only deadline warnings and payment reminders. Rather, you can also send emails as reminders, onboarding series and incentives. Doing so can help you build a better relationship with your customers, increase click-through traffic, attract new subscribers and increase your conversion rates.

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Examples of automated emails

Below are some examples of automated emails that can help a company structure its policy:

Welcome emails

Welcome emails are sent instantly to new subscribers who have identified with a brand or company. These messages create a sense of belonging and show customers the next action step. A company can encourage customers to subscribe to its newsletter to receive notifications of upcoming sales, relevant information and company policies that could benefit them. The aim of newsletters is to update customers weekly or monthly. Companies can send customers different emails per their preferences.

Transactional emails

Buying a company's product often activates a transactional email. This could be a receipt accompanied by a "thank you" message. Keep in mind that it's in a company's best interest to have returning customers. Therefore, it's good practice to appreciate customers no matter how little their purchase may seem. This shows customers that a company values and respects them.

Another kind of transactional email is to verify the status of an individual who performs a particular transaction. A company can do this through a confirmation email, password reset, registration confirmation and feedback request. When customers complete these transactions, companies can send them an automated email requesting them to confirm a particular transaction.

Event announcements

Event announcements are important for updating customers about current company events. They can include upcoming sales, change of coupon dates, company anniversaries and celebrations of customers' birthdays. A company's ability to notify its customers on such occasions can increase trust in the company's integrity and encourage old and new clients to buy products.

Related: FAQ: What are the 5 stages of event planning?

Survey or feedback emails

Customers can trigger feedback emails when they purchase a product or download content from a company's website. Surveys and feedback emails from customers are great ways to improve products and services. These emails give customers the opportunity to provide feedback and contribute to a company's growth.

Re-engagement emails

A company can set up re-engagement emails to notify customers who have been inactive for six months or more. Consider the message's tone as the aim is to reach out to customers and find out the reason for their reduced engagement. These emails also encourage customers to make purchases by letting them know about ongoing sales or discounts.

A company can use re-engagement emails to reach out to customers who haven't responded to emails or links for a certain period. Emails that are unopened for a long period could be in customers' spam folders. Thus, regularly updating a company's email list could improve the delivery rate.

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