Email Automation: Definitive Guide for 2022 [15+ Campaigns & Tools]

Summra Ahmad
Summra Ahmad

Last updated on

June 16, 2022

If you are like most marketers, falling in love with email marketing is inevitable. It's a foolproof way to enhance your relationship with the customer and encourage them to buy from you. While sending newsletters and one-off campaigns will have a prominent use in email marketing strategy, the smartest companies place their bets on automatic email marketing campaigns. 

If you are reading this blog right now, you’re probably in need of learning about email automation, its use, and workflows. Many teams find it frustrating to lose time when switching between apps to be counterproductive. 

Does that sound familiar? Then it’s about time you need to save time on repetitive emails, automate your outreach, gain higher visibility with each recipient, streamline the workflow, and automate email pipelines. Email automation is here to help. 

Want your subscribers to keep opening your emails? Email automation is a neat trick that increases conversions by 70%! An easy-to-use feature that helps regulate the email campaigns 45x faster is what you need to stabilize the sales.

What is email automation?

Also referred to as triggered emails or behavior-driven emails, a message sent automatically from an email service provider (ESP) to an individual based on their activity on the website is email automation. 

what email automation looks like
Sending real-time, one-to-one messages to strengthen customer relationships by encouraging engagement, retention, and loyalty is what email automation is all about.

Email automation follows up with every individual, similar to transactional emails, allowing more robust messaging opportunities. It bridges the gap between transactional and marketing email, one of the most scalable and efficient methods to send user-specific messages. 

You need to use the right email marketing tools to capture the new leads and send them to your mailing list. 

What is an email automation service?

Approximately 3.9 billion people worldwide use emails every day for business and personal reasons. Businesses looking to automate their marketing emails need to use a tool or a platform that enables them to send thousands of emails with one click. To leverage email marketing strategy, email automation services help to connect your brand with the right customers at the right time to engage higher sales. 

Some of the popular names in the books include Mailmunch, Mailchimp, ConstantContact, etc. We have discussed some of the important email automation tools you will find later on this blog. 

How does email automation work? 

All email automation tools have a unique selling point (USP) that makes it easy or difficult to use them. Every tool works differently based on these solutions. However, the basic flow can be illustrated in this way:

email automation process

Talk about the email automation example: 

  • Recently a person visited the Mailmunch website and downloaded the eBook about Welcome Emails. He must have filled out the form sharing his contact information to download the eBook.
  • The shared contact information (the name and the email address) is added to the Mailmunch email-marketing database.
  • The database segments the audience based on their interests, actions, buying behavior, etc.
  • The marketer (Mailmunch user) can create an email campaign, set the triggers, create the drip campaigns, schedule emails, etc. 
  • The subscribers will receive the emails based on the triggers (conditions) set by the marketer. 

Why should you use email automation? 7 Benefits

I know - email marketing is awesome! But what makes it even better is the ability to automate all actions. Besides, marketers can streamline the following benefits. 

email automation benefits

1. Personalizing user experience 

What customer does not like personalization? None! 90% of the customers find personalized content appealing, while 91% are more likely to be persuaded to buy from recommendations and offers. 

With email automation, marketers can create a series of automated emails, improving customer relationships. It enhances the marketing efficiency and completes the sales funnel.

2. Engage marketing team 

Sadly, 69% of the people think automation is a complete waste of time. They couldn’t be more wrong! The less time spent on compiling the email lists in email marketing teams, the better. Team members can focus on other crucial tasks working on customer relationship building. 

With the email automation team can get more things done and of higher value. 

3. Increase customer retention rate

Of course, selling to an existing customer reduces the cost - hence it's a cost-effective strategy. You can rejuvenate the bond between the customers and the products with email automation. Emails are a perfect way, and automation makes it easier to reengage with the subscribers. 

Whether you are focused on reengaging the customer, a new offer or recommendation email automation allows an increase in customer retention rate. 

4. Save the time 

It’s a no-brainer not to use any email marketing tool. The more updated tools you have, the better email automation. Automated emails are easily sent to several subscribers at once - saving time. 

It allows marketers to personalize the content in a lesser time and fasten the campaign process. 

5. Scalable communication 

Want to make the most of email marketing? Email automation is one of the many features of the email marketing platform. Creating automated email workflows means better communication with as many subscribers as possible. 

It helps increase sales, boost conversions and complete the sales funnel quicker. 

6. Ease of results 

Email segmentation goes only so far. But personalized email automation reflects the segments you created for each email campaign. Without proper segmentation, email automation’s impact will be limited. 

However, a carefully scheduled email automation can also help build a dynamic subscriber list improving the campaign performance.

7. Complements revenue 

Email automation is a brilliant tactic to increase revenue. For instance, automating transactional emails allows you to share more content with the user, increasing the number of subscribers and affecting the conversion rate.

Once the existing customer is leveraged, it boosts the revenue earned. An increase in customers’ lifetime can be achieved by automating feedback requests.

How to automate email workflows? 

Email automation may sound complicated, but it is easy to set up. Once you have chosen the email marketing platform, you can automate email templates and customize them as per your need. 

Learning how to automate emails largely is dependent on the tool you use. Let’s check out the best ways to automate email workflows.

1. Define the email campaign’s goal 

Email marketing goals are highly dependable on the strategy. Be confident about why you need to reach out to a particular set of audiences in the first place. Do you want the audience to buy from you? Increase the number of subscribers? Signup? 

email marketing strategies

Once all your questions are answered, figure out the messaging that will ultimately make your email campaign successful. Also, make plans once your goals are achieved. For instance, your goal was to convert 100 visitors into subscribers. 59 out of 100 visitors subscribe after sending a 10-email series. 

But if you continue to send them the emails telling them what to do, you will lose the converted visitors. At this point, you need to have a post-conversion strategy to move to the next stage of the funnel. 

2.Pick email automation software 

With several email automation software available in the market, selecting one that works best for you is not that easy. A marketer may use more than one tool for different email campaigns. 

For your understanding, I have shortlisted a few email automation tools later onwards in the blog.

3. Focus on enrollment 

You select customers in a specific email list based on certain qualifications. The set criteria are known as enrollment criteria. 

If you are using Mailmunch, creating a personalized automated workflow is easy. It can be triggered differently for each email list. A visitor fills the form for a signup, gets added to the list, submits the information on your website, clicks on a given link in the email, and views the blog page or ads, becoming a qualified lead.

The added content is differentiated based on the information you have in your database. Therefore the list segmentation takes place. 

4. Determine automation process 

Manually emailing each email list is a hassle you do NOT want to entertain. It's about time to think of the email marketing workflows - how to create and use one. Outline each action in your strategy using the email automation tool. 

For instance, Mailmunch recognizes the actions you want the software to recognize, like sending and scheduling emails or even updating and syncing all emails and contact data on your CRM. 

5. Determine email campaign factors 

By this time, you are aware of the number of emails you want to send, the tone of messaging for the emails, and the type of email to send for an email list. 

Ensure your email campaign assets or factors are already added to the tool of your choice. It can be images, GIFs, links, downloadable files, etc. With the intuitive drag and drop builder, such assets are easy to adjust within the email. Take a look at the campaign factors that affect your email campaigns.

email campaign factors

6. Focus on email automation setup 

Before giving the green signal, some things should be considered to implement email automation. 

  • Look at the enrollment criteria for any errors.
  • Confirm the enrolled contacts are what you expected.
  • Consider the steps in the workflow, finding any step that can lengthen the process.
  • Revise the “Send” settings (scheduled or on time).

Once affirmed, nothing is missing, or if any step needs to be eliminated, set the email automation in place.

7. Monitor email automation workflow

Are you happy with the email automation workflow? If yes, it’s great! But even then, you need to monitor the workflow for any anomalies that may occur during the process. Do not hesitate to readjust the email campaign goals and strategies. 

Plus, the automation workflow must also support other business goals like updating a contact’s lifecycle, actions, adding or removing a contact from the list, and so on. 

10 Smart ways to use email marketing automation workflows 

Regardless of the industry, email automation tool grows the business. Some specific dos and don’ts come along with the tool. Consumers do not want irrelevant emails. Keeping this perspective our focal point, I have laid out smart ways to make most of the email automation workflows.

using email automation workflows

1.Welcome emails 

For new subscribers, the first interaction is in the form of a welcome email. Renowned for increasing audience engagement by 80x faster, sending welcome emails is standard practice across all industries. Whenever a visitor subscribes or buys a product for the first, they expect a friendly email, whether they open it or not. 

Welcome emails sets expectations in customers’ mind about your brand. Such emails can even instruct the customers on what they need to do next. 

2. Deliver lead magnets 

After all, a marketer wants to generate more leads than the last time. If you are interested in assisting customers in every sale funnel stage with the end goal of purchase, lead magnets are your good-to-go option.

Email automation allows you to land lead magnets right in the customer’s inbox once they have visited your website looking for information. A lead magnet email consists of success stories, solutions to a problem, and more information that leads down to the conversion. Remember, lead magnets are user-centric content so that you can personalize the emails

3. Product engagement 

Marketers can set up email automation based on behavioral triggers. For example, if you observe a customer browsing a particular category, you can send emails that include complementary products or upsell the product.  Or you can recommend a certain feature to the customer related to their previous purchase.

The idea is to rely on email automation to send emails instantly the product seems relevant to the customer’s interests. It helps in product engagement and increases the likelihood of customer retention. 

4. Reengage inactive subscribers 

During a pandemic, websites saw an increase in traffic. Physical stores closed, and online stores were the best way to buy a product. But what about now? More than often, even a frequent buyer may fall off the face of the planet. Email automation is extremely useful in such a case. 

Reengaging emails is time-triggered based. It helps marketers wake up the sleeping beauties (the customers) and sprint them into action. To reengage these customers, you can share a new product, give smart recommendations or send a brief about the shipping policy. Also, a hefty discount works like a charm. 

5. Survey feedback 

Customer feedback can make or break the product’s goodwill for any online store. Survey feedback is user-generated content that works in the best interest of SEO. What doesn’t search engines love a good bout of fresh content? 

Set up the email automation workflow on specific days after the customer receives the product. Wait for 24 hours before sending the email asking for feedback. Otherwise, it will be awkward for customers to get a feedback email when they haven’t received or used the product yet. 

6. Cart abandonment campaigns 

Cart abandonment rates increase due to unexpected costs. It could be the taxes or shipping costs. So, if the cost is stopping a customer from making a purchase, then an automated cart abandonment email can do the trick for you. 

With this email workflow, you can create an email sequence to remind the customer, encouraging them to complete a sale. Always add an image or GIF in an email about the product in question. Try creating an email sequence at 1 hour, after 12 hours, and for the third email at 24 hours.

7. Order confirmation emails 

Does it make a customer antsy if a confirmation email does not land in the inbox after making a purchase? Even if they receive an SMS confirming their purchase, email generates the sales authority. If you fail to automate a confirmation email, the customer may never buy from you again. 

Confirmation emails and shipping notifications are the two most common forms of email automation - a standard practice that improves a customer’s experience on a website. A friendly alert reassures the customer that the sales process is smooth. 

8. Limited-time sales offer 

A good discount offer never disappoints. Some customers may visit the website only at the time of the yearly or seasonal sales. Noticing the customer’s behavior, you can target them when they are most likely to make open an email and make a purchase. 

For instance, a customer who hasn’t purchased for a while due to hiked prices will wait for a discount offer. They will keep visiting the product’s page of their interest. Without waiting for a seasonal offer, you can trigger an email or a discount popup on their third visit in a week, making it time-limited. 

9.  Remember milestones 

Several brands cater to their existing customers by remembering important dates or events like birthdays, purchase anniversaries, etc. Such emails make customers feel important and looked after. Isn’t it easier to remember birthdays for your Facebook connections? The reminder/notification is automated. 

Whether it's a birthday or any other important milestone, a discount offer is never wasted - they just need to be well-time, so they are never left unopened. 

10. Split testing 

Once you’ve gathered the content in the email, after running a few automated email series, conduct the split testing. Marketers must learn from previous emails the dos and don’ts that will work for their next campaign. 

split testing

Split testing allows identifying the trend and evaluating the best version of the personalized email that should be sent out. Email automation is part of the email marketing strategy; therefore, you can serve your customer with a more comprehensive view of the email that represents their interests in the best way.

Tested strategies for choosing email automation software

1. Determine your goals

Email marketing automation software comes in a variety of forms and sizes. To narrow your choice to just a few tools, you have to understand your online business purposes clearly.

If you are just starting, you may not need all-in-one software like SalesFusion, which costs around $700 per month and offers sophisticated things like lead scoring, nurture automation, event management, and CRM integration.

While choosing a solution, pay special attention to the pricing and packages they offer. If the price is too high compared to your budget, you’ll go into the red. Also, consider the number of leads the system can handle for that price package and if you can easily grow without breaking the bank. 

Find out if it’s scalable enough if it has the level of security that meets your company’s standards, and if it can do more than simple email blasts.

2. Analyze your target buyer's personas

As we all know, email marketing is not just sending random email campaigns to your customer base, hoping they will convert someday.

Your email automation software should be good enough to let you create various user lists, group your website visitors based on their interests, and send different types of emails to each list.

Mailmunch email automation software, for example, allows you to fiddle with user lists easily — create groups and segments, bulk import and export contacts, and even tag them the way you like.

3. Find out how email automation software works with other tools

No matter how good the chosen software is, it should integrate with other tools you already use, such as eCommerce platform, CRM, and analytic tools.

This should facilitate your marketing activities and help you avoid inconvenient roadblocks.

4. Choose the most suitable email automation platform

Now that you have a clear understanding of your target audience and your business objectives, you should review the features available on the marketing platform.

how to choose suitable email automation tool

Here’s the list of things marketing automation allows you to do more efficiently:

  • A/B testing - A handy tool every email marketing manager should use to find out which idea works best. For example, with the Marketo email automation tool, you can test subject lines, email bodies, addresses, and even times.
  • Landing page creation - Each email promo should have a landing page tailored to that campaign. You can use blog posts for this purpose; you can give a link to your homepage or just create a landing page using your email testing tool.
  • Personalization - The more personalized your email, the better it is opened and clicked.
  • Lead generation and nurturing - This option is also vital for those planning to expand their customer base. Using sign-up forms and other lead generation tools, you’ll be able to turn strangers and passers-by into loyal customers.
  • Measuring conversions and ROI - A robust email automation software has built-in analytics options to let you monitor the results of your email campaigns.

5. Test your email automation tool in and out

Before purchasing a paid subscription for email automation software, sign up for a free trial to dig deeper into the app functionality. This is especially true for low-cost email tools for entry-level users, such as CampaignMonitor or ConstantContact, as the range of features may be quite limited.

Add a couple of contacts to your email list (yourself & your colleagues, for example). Pick a design template for your email, customize it, and add social media buttons.

Is everything working as planned? OK. Then, send a test email to see how your email looks in your inbox on mobile devices.

6. Google for reviews

According to the Testimonial Engine survey, 72% of customers don't take action until they have read reviews.

And they are right — reading customer testimonials is a surefire way to find hidden disadvantages invisible at first sight but vexatious somewhere later down the road. 

Via Google search about review sites (the top-rated) to learn authentic customer testimonials about the products. G2 is a popular review platform where you can read customer testimonials to find the hidden disadvantages that you may not have known about. 

7. Make sure your colleagues are ready  

Using email automation software is sure to bring changes to your business processes.

For example, you encourage your consumers to come back to your eCommerce site and complete their purchases by launching abandoned cart email campaigns.

Improving your checkout process, offering free shipping, and adding the right call to action into your abandoned cart campaigns will increase open rates.

5 Best email automation tools to try in 2022 

1. Mailmunch 

Among the top-tier email marketing tools is Mailmunch, offering marketing automation and more. Users interested in lead capture and nurturing can count on using the free plan and sending email campaigns with a simple click. Email automation is one of the prominent solutions offered alongside cart abandonment tools, white label marketing, forms, popups, etc. 

Free templates for emails are also available that are easy to embed too. Automation with Mailmunch allows users to create their email campaigns faster and efficiently. The best part is you can use a free plan! 

2. OptinMonster

A premium WordPress plugin that allows to automate, collect and segment the email addresses. With OptinMonster, segmentation is based on the user’s activity, geographical location, cookies, and other factors. 

Marketers can create multiple email campaigns with the drag and drop builder feature and 50+ form templates. The software is easy to integrate with leading email service providers, which means you can personalize email automation. 

3. Hubspot 

It's a popular name and renowned for multiple usages. Hubspot saves the spot for email automation campaigns and personalization using their CRM contact data. With Hubspot, markets can select triggers and conditions to send emails to the right audience. 

Workflow goals can be paired with the software so that marketers can track and analyze their performance. Users can enjoy three pricing plans from as low as $45 to $3,200 a month. 

4. Intercom 

Teaching customers and users about an app are possible with Intercom. Users looking to interact with more customers and retain them for a long time can send automated email conversations on the app. 

It gives users the ability to assist their customers in their database. The users (marketers) can write emails worthy of customers’ interest because of the ease of communication.

5. BenchmarkOne

Similar to Gmail, BenchmarkOne allows you to create tags and assign them to the desired contacts based on their interests and stage in the sales funnel. As a free lead generation and email marketing tool, users can make most of the email marketing (and automation) underpaid plan starting from just $79 a month. With their automation feature, marketers can capture leads to engage more and be personalized. Plus, if interested, you can try a free demo. 

Let’s face it; email automation affects conversion rates, sales, and open rates. Give Mailmunch a try to improve email campaign efficiency. The dashboard is user-friendly!

Be ready to automate email marketing campaigns 

So far, we have discussed the workflows, benefits, and tools you will need to make the email automation process smooth. The process is here to optimize the email marketing strategy delivering effective results. 

It is not feasible to give updates and personalize the content without email automation - it’s just plain old school and unnecessary. Any email marketer who wants to grow their audience, boost sales, increase revenue, and nurture the leads should try email automation for their campaigns. 

If you still haven’t started using any email marketing tool yet, begin with Mailmunch!

Author Bio

Summra Ahmad

A bookworm and a pet nerd at heart, Summra works as Content Writer at Mailmunch. She loves to play with keywords, titles, and multiple niches for B2B and B2C markets. With her 3 years of experience in creative writing and content strategy, she fancies creating compelling stories that your customers will love, igniting results for your business.

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