Email Marketing Automation

Email automation is the process of using software to automatically send emails to your subscribers based on triggers, such as actions they take on your website, specific dates, or behaviors within your email campaigns. The goal of email automation is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time without manual intervention.

Email automation allows you to create a series of pre-written emails that are sent to subscribers automatically when they meet specific criteria. For example, you might create an email automation sequence that sends a welcome email to new subscribers, followed by a series of educational emails designed to help them get the most out of your product or service.

Some common triggers for email automation include:

  • Signup forms: Welcome emails, confirmation emails, and other follow-up emails that are sent to new subscribers after they sign up for your list.
  • Website activity: Abandoned cart reminders, product recommendations, and other messages that are sent based on a subscriber’s behavior on your website.
  • Date-based events: Birthday emails, anniversary emails, and other messages that are sent based on specific dates or milestones.

Email automation can help you streamline your email marketing efforts, save time, and increase the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns. By sending targeted messages to your subscribers based on their actions and behaviors, you can improve engagement rates, increase conversions, and build stronger relationships with your audience.

The Benefits of Email Automation

Email automation has several benefits for businesses that want to streamline their email marketing efforts and improve the effectiveness of their campaigns. Here are some of the main benefits of email automation:

  1. Saves time: Email automation allows you to create a series of pre-written emails that are sent automatically to subscribers based on triggers or specific criteria. This saves you time by eliminating the need to manually send individual emails.
  2. Increases relevance: By sending targeted messages to subscribers based on their behaviors and actions, you can increase the relevance of your emails and improve engagement rates.
  3. Improves efficiency: Email automation allows you to set up and run campaigns 24/7 without the need for manual intervention, which can improve the efficiency of your email marketing efforts.
  4. Increases conversions: By delivering timely, relevant messages to subscribers, you can increase the likelihood that they will take the desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or downloading a resource.
  5. Enhances customer experience: Automated emails can help you deliver a consistent, personalized experience to subscribers, which can improve their overall satisfaction with your brand.
  6. Provides valuable data: Email automation tools often provide detailed analytics and insights into subscriber behavior, allowing you to better understand your audience and improve future campaigns.

Email automation can help businesses save time, increase engagement and conversions, and provide a better customer experience. By using automation tools to streamline and optimize your email marketing efforts, you can focus on other aspects of your business while still driving results through email.

Email Automation examples

Email Automation examplesHere are some examples of email automation that businesses commonly use to streamline their email marketing efforts and improve engagement with subscribers:

  1. Welcome series: A series of automated emails that are sent to new subscribers to introduce them to your brand, provide helpful resources, and encourage engagement.
  2. Abandoned cart emails: Automated emails that are triggered when a subscriber adds items to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase, with the goal of encouraging them to come back and complete the transaction.
  3. Birthday or anniversary emails: Automated emails that are sent to subscribers on their birthday or anniversary with your brand, offering a special promotion or discount to celebrate.
  4. Win-back campaigns: Automated emails that are sent to subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails in a while, with the goal of re-engaging them and bringing them back into your sales funnel.
  5. Re-engagement campaigns: Automated emails that are triggered when a subscriber hasn’t opened or clicked on any of your emails in a certain amount of time, with the goal of re-engaging them and reminding them of the value of your brand.
  6. Post-purchase follow-up emails: Automated emails that are sent to customers after they make a purchase, thanking them for their business and offering helpful resources or product recommendations.
  7. Upsell or cross-sell emails: Automated emails that are triggered based on a customer’s past purchases or browsing behavior, with the goal of encouraging them to make additional purchases or try related products.

These are just a few examples of the many ways that businesses can use email automation to streamline their marketing efforts and improve engagement with subscribers. By using automation tools to deliver timely, targeted messages to subscribers, businesses can improve their email marketing results and drive more conversions over time.

How to automate your emails

Here are the general steps to automate your emails:

  1. Define your goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your email automation campaign, whether it’s to nurture leads, onboard new customers, upsell products, or re-engage inactive subscribers.
  2. Identify your target audience: Decide who you want to send your automated emails to and segment your email list accordingly.
  3. Choose an email marketing automation platform: Select an email automation tool that fits your needs and budget, and integrates with your other marketing tools.
  4. Create your email templates: Design the emails you want to automate, including subject lines, content, and calls-to-action.
  5. Set up your automation workflows: Create the automation rules that trigger your emails to send, such as a new subscriber signing up or a purchase being made.
  6. Test your email automation workflows: Check that your emails are being delivered and formatted correctly, and that your automation rules are functioning as intended.
  7. Launch your email automation campaign: Start your automated email campaign and track its performance using key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
  8. Analyze and optimize your email automation: Review your email automation results and use data-driven insights to improve your email content, design, and targeting for better results.

Advanced email automation

Advanced email automationAdvanced email automation involves using more complex and sophisticated automation workflows to deliver targeted and personalized messages to subscribers based on their behavior and preferences. Here are some examples of advanced email automation:

  1. Behavioral triggers: Set up automation rules that trigger emails based on specific user behavior, such as abandoning a shopping cart, clicking on a link, or watching a video.
  2. Dynamic content: Use dynamic content in your emails that changes based on subscriber data, such as their location, behavior, or preferences.
  3. Lead scoring: Assign scores to your subscribers based on their actions and behavior, and use this data to trigger personalized email campaigns.
  4. Drip campaigns: Set up automated email campaigns that send a series of emails over a period of time, such as a welcome series for new subscribers or a re-engagement series for inactive subscribers.
  5. Predictive analytics: Use machine learning algorithms to analyze subscriber data and predict future behavior, such as likelihood to purchase or open an email, and use this data to trigger targeted email campaigns.
  6. A/B testing: Test different variations of your email content and automation workflows to see which performs best, and use this data to optimize your email automation for better results.

Advanced email automation requires a sophisticated email marketing automation platform that can handle complex workflows and data analysis. It also requires a deep understanding of your audience and their behavior, and the ability to create personalized content that resonates with them.

Email marketing automation tools

There are several email marketing automation tools available in the market. Here are some popular ones:

  1. HubSpot: HubSpot offers a range of automation features, including workflow automation, lead nurturing, and triggered email campaigns.
  2. Mailchimp: Mailchimp offers automation features like welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, and post-purchase follow-up emails.
  3. Active Campaign: Active Campaign provides advanced automation features like conditional workflows, split actions, and goal tracking.
  4. Drip: Drip offers a range of automation features, including behavioral triggers, dynamic content, and personalization.
  5. Campaign Monitor: Campaign Monitor offers automation features like drip campaigns, triggered emails, and advanced segmentation.
  6. Convert Kit: Convert Kit is an automation tool for bloggers, creators, and online businesses, with features like visual automation, segmentation, and personalization.
  7. Pardot: Pardot is a Salesforce product that provides automation features like lead nurturing, behavior tracking, and email templates.
  8. Marketo: Marketo is an enterprise-level automation tool that offers advanced features like AI-powered personalization, lead scoring, and account-based marketing.

Each of these tools has its own unique features and pricing plans. It’s important to assess your business needs and budget before selecting an email marketing automation tool.

Are there challenges or downsides to email automation?

Yes, there are some challenges or downsides to email automation. Here are a few:

  1. Technical issues: Email automation tools rely on complex technology, and sometimes technical issues may arise, such as emails not sending, emails ending up in spam folders, or the automation sequence breaking down.
  2. Lack of personalization: While email automation can help save time and effort, it can also lead to a lack of personalization. If you’re not careful, your emails may come across as robotic and impersonal, which can hurt your engagement rates.
  3. Overautomation: Over-reliance on automation can result in a disconnect between your brand and your subscribers. If your email automation sequence is too rigid or impersonal, you may come across as inauthentic and robotic.
  4. Data issues: Automation relies on data to trigger actions, and if that data is incorrect or incomplete, it can lead to errors in the automation sequence.
  5. Spam complaints: If your subscribers receive too many automated emails or feel like they are being bombarded with irrelevant content, they may mark your emails as spam, which can hurt your deliverability and reputation.

It’s important to be aware of these challenges and downsides and to address them in order to get the most out of your email automation strategy.

Using email automation to grow your business

Using email automation to grow your businessEmail automation can be a powerful tool to help grow your business. Here are some ways to use email automation to achieve your business goals:

  1. Lead generation: Use email automation to deliver lead magnets to new subscribers, and then nurture those leads with targeted content.
  2. Sales funnel: Create an automated sales funnel with email automation that guides subscribers from initial interest to making a purchase.
  3. Customer onboarding: Use email automation to onboard new customers and provide them with the information they need to get the most out of your product or service.
  4. Upselling and cross-selling: Use email automation to offer relevant upsell or cross-sell opportunities to customers based on their past purchases or behaviors.
  5. Customer retention: Use email automation to send personalized messages to customers, such as birthday or anniversary emails, to build relationships and improve retention.
  6. Abandoned cart recovery: Use email automation to send a series of emails to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, with the goal of encouraging them to complete their purchase.
  7. Re-engagement campaigns: Use email automation to re-engage subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked on your emails in a while, with the goal of getting them back on board as active subscribers or customers.

By using email automation in these ways, you can save time and resources while also improving the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts.

What is the difference between automated email marketing and a drip campaign?

Automated email marketing and drip campaigns are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two.

Automated email marketing refers to the process of sending pre-written emails to subscribers based on a specific trigger or behavior. For example, a welcome email can be sent automatically when someone signs up for your newsletter, or a follow-up email can be sent automatically when a customer makes a purchase.

On the other hand, a drip campaign is a specific type of automated email marketing that involves sending a series of pre-written emails over a set period of time. Drip campaigns are often used for lead nurturing and customer onboarding. They are designed to move a subscriber or customer through the sales funnel by providing them with valuable information and promoting your products or services.

Automated email marketing is a broad term that encompasses all types of automatic emails, while a drip campaign is a specific type of automated email marketing that involves sending a series of pre-written emails over time to move a subscriber or customer through the sales funnel.

Email Marketing Automation FAQs

Single email automation involves sending a standalone email that provides value without being part of a series. In contrast, email series involves a group of related single emails that are designed to lead the recipient to take a specific action. Deciding which type of email to send depends on the purpose and content of the email. For example, a single email may be more appropriate for announcing a one-time sale, while an email series may be more effective in generating leads and converting them to sales over time. One of the advantages of single email automation is that it requires less effort and time to create compared to an email series. Additionally, single emails are more appropriate for certain situations, such as when the content is time-sensitive or the product is no longer available. By using single email automation, businesses can avoid sending irrelevant emails to their customers and ensure that each email they send is valuable and relevant.
Email automation is widely used in various scenarios, and welcome emails are one of the most prominent examples of this. For instance, when a user creates an account on your website, a welcome email can be triggered automatically. This email can provide essential information about your website and encourage them to start shopping or exploring specific areas of your website. Another significant use of email automation is for surveys and requesting feedback from customers. Customer feedback is crucial for improving your business, and automated emails asking for feedback after a purchase or using your services can help you get valuable insights from your customers. Almost every transaction involves some form of email automation. After making an online purchase, for example, you would typically receive an email thanking you for your purchase and summarizing the details of the transaction. You may also receive an automated email when your order is shipped, containing a tracking number and an estimated delivery date. Some companies use re-engagement emails to reconnect with customers who haven't engaged with them for a while. These automated email campaigns can be triggered when a customer has not made a purchase or logged into their account for several months. They can be used to let customers know about new products, sales, or coupons and can help maintain long-term customers, saving on customer acquisition costs. Email automation can also help in the onboarding process for new customers. It can assist in guiding them through the basics of your website, encouraging action through a call-to-action, or introducing yourself and your team members. There are many other examples of email automation being used for marketing, but these are some of the most common use cases.
Whether or not email marketing automation is the right choice for you depends on your business and marketing goals. If you have a large subscriber list and want to personalize your communications with them, streamline your marketing efforts, and save time, then email automation may be a good fit for you. Email automation can also help you better understand your customers' behavior and preferences, as well as improve your overall email marketing metrics. However, if your subscriber list is small or if you prefer to have more control over each individual email you send, then email automation may not be the best option for you. Additionally, if your business is focused on one-time or infrequent purchases rather than building long-term relationships with customers, email automation may not be as effective. Ultimately, it's important to carefully consider your business goals and marketing needs before deciding whether or not email marketing automation is the right choice for you.
Preventing your emails from ending up in the spam folder starts with crafting subject lines that don't sound spammy. The subject line is the first thing readers see, and if it sounds like spam, they may mark it as such. Additionally, spam filters may flag your subject line if it includes all caps, promotional-sounding words, or certain phrases like "RE:" or "FWD:". Email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM ACT of 2003, must be followed to avoid spamming potential customers. Comply with these regulations when creating single emails or email automation series. Asking your readers to whitelist your emails can also help avoid the spam folder. People may mark emails as spam to declutter their inbox, but if you get them to whitelist your emails, it adds trustworthiness to your company as an email sender. Your email marketing and automation tool choice can also impact where your emails end up. Reputable email marketing tools such as Mailchimp make it easy to comply with regulations and avoid spam filters. Lastly, HTML cleanup can help avoid the spam folder. Broken HTML or unsupported elements can cause email clients to flag emails as spam. If your emails are ending up in the spam folder, double-check your HTML code to ensure it's compatible. Keep in mind that fixing emails to avoid spam folders takes time, and it may take a while for your emails to reach inboxes again. Mailchimp's email automation can help you create high-quality automated emails while avoiding the spam folder.


  • Shivani Adhikari

    I am Shivani Adhikari author of the website Mailersadda, where I write about a variety of topics including digital marketing, SEO, SMO, email marketing, conversion optimization, content marketing, website design and more. When I'm not working on the website, I enjoy exploring outdoors, travelling and painting. I Hope you find my website helpful and informative. Thank you for visiting Mailersadda.