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Email marketing automation – a guide

A guide for you to help you master email marketing automation so you can save time and increase your sales.

Email marketing automation is a great way to send relevant, personalized emails to your customers efficiently and at the right time. Automation streamlines processes so you can communicate with your customers at scale to delight and retain them. Not to mention, it will encourage them to continue purchasing from you.

But where do you start when it comes to creating an effective campaign and how do you go about it? If you're new to email marketing automation, this guide answers the most common questions and will help you save time and increase your sales. We will not only answer the question of what email marketing automation is , but also why it is necessary and how you can ensure your business uses it effectively.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation is a way to engage with your customers via email without going through the lengthy and tedious process of sending them manually.

Many companies already have some level of automated emails in place. For example, when a customer buys a product on your website, you will definitely send them an automated confirmation email with the order number, delivery time and other relevant information. Or when a customer writes an email to you, they receive an automatic response saying someone will get back to them within three business days. Both are a variant of email automation.

Why should you use email automation for your marketing?

We've already touched on this, but email automation has a variety of benefits that will undoubtedly be important to you too. If you're not doing it already, you may be wasting time, money and resources. 333 billion emails are sent worldwide every day , and automation can help you stand out from this staggering number.

Below are some of the reasons why your business should automate marketing emails.

1. Personalize your communication

Every marketer knows that personalization is the key to engagement. The more personalized and relevant something is, the more likely your customers are to engage with it. This also applies to email marketing - perhaps even more so in this area.

Personalized emails go far beyond addressing the recipient by name. It's about sending them the right message in the right way and at the right time - and automation helps achieve this. Personalization strengthens your content, which leads to more engagement, greater loyalty and - ultimately - more sales from you.

2. Improve customer experience

With greater personalization, customers are more likely to receive relevant content that speaks to them because it matches their interests, goals, problems, browsing and purchasing behavior, and more. This gives the customer a much more positive experience that ensures they continue to engage with the company.

3. Make your marketing timely

Automation ensures you can take care of your customers without you or another team member having to monitor trends or data to send timely communications. Manual processes can result in long delays, which means you're more likely to lose out to your competitors.

4. Reduce costs and increase sales

When your marketing team no longer has to manually send emails, make phone calls, or keep track of data, they have more time for more important tasks. This increases efficiency and productivity and ensures that your employees can do more of what they do well and enjoy doing. Additionally, email automation workflows are extremely effective at nurturing leads, which can have a positive impact on your conversion rate.

All of these factors contribute to reducing costs and increasing sales, which alone is reason enough to implement email marketing automation.

5. Improve customer retention and loyalty

With so many options at your disposal, your customers could easily find the solution to their problems elsewhere. However, one thing that can stop them from leaving your company is making them feel valued and like they are being listened to. Automation helps achieve this. Personalized emails that support your omnichannel strategy help improve customer engagement and build loyalty.

6. It is scalable

The great thing about automation is that it can be scaled very easily - in contrast to manual implementation. This also applies to email marketing - if your customer base doubles, the amount of work remains relatively the same (and one could argue that the increase in data makes it easier and more effective).

How to automate your email marketing

Now that you know a little more about what email marketing automation is and why you should consider it, it's time to take steps to automate your company's own efforts.

Below are some of the steps you can take to implement an email marketing automation strategy.

Choose a software platform for email automation

The first step is to find the right email marketing automation software for your business. Because every business is different, there is no one-size-fits-all solution - but there is certainly a solution that is tailored to your goals.

Do your research, read reviews, and request demos. Find the right software for your business so you can automate workflows, increase sales, and make more money.

At Apteco, we have efficient and easy-to-use campaign automation software that ensures your emails are seen by the right customers at the right time.

Segment your customers

Once you have your email marketing software, you can use it to analyze data and organize your customers into segments . You can segment your customers based on a variety of criteria, such as: B. by age, location, interest, purchase history or requirements.

By segmenting your customers, you can create highly targeted campaigns that are relevant to your target audiences. This way you will be as efficient as possible and have a much higher chance of better conversion rates.

As you target customer segments via email, you can also collect additional data to refine future campaigns and make them even more effective.

Set your goals

Determine the goals of your email marketing campaigns and consider how automation can help achieve them. It goes without saying that your goals will revolve around sales, but they should be specific and measurable so you can determine the success of your campaigns.

Examples of goals you set for email marketing automation could be:

  • Nurturing leads
  • Improve open rate
  • Improving click-through rates
  • Reducing cart abandonment
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing upsells and cross-sells
  • Improving engagement

Understand what automation you need to set up

Your company sends countless emails to your customers every day. Many of these are sent manually, but the vast majority can be automated to make processes faster, easier and more efficient. Some examples of email automation are:

Confirmation emails

When a customer places an order, signs up for your newsletter, or receives a notification when an item is back in stock, they can be sent an automated confirmation email. This is common practice and you should do this to increase your customers' trust.

Post-purchase workflows

Post-purchase workflows are a series of emails sent to the customer after the order is placed. It starts with the confirmation email, which can then be followed by a shipping update, delivery notifications, customer feedback requests, and future product updates and changes. You can also send cross-selling and up-selling emails with offers, reorder reminders, product information, and loyalty program details.

This ensures a positive customer experience that remains relevant for the customer. It also builds trust and loyalty, ensuring you offer personalized and open communication that the customer is happy to receive and engage with.

Cart abandonment emails

In Germany, 70-86% of potential customers add items to their shopping cart but do not complete the purchase. Emails can be automated to encourage order completion, which can be personalized with offers and discounts, such as 10% off or free shipping. This is an efficient and cost-effective way to increase sales and increase the ROI of your automated email marketing strategy.

Nurturing workflows

Nurturing workflows can streamline communication with customers and prospects, regardless of where they are in the sales pipeline. Thanks to segmentation, these workflows can be highly personalized to build relationships and drive sales.

Reactivation emails

Customers will always come and go - it's an unfortunate part of the customer lifecycle. However, automated reactivation emails can help you win back inactive customers and restore their loyalty.

Set inclusion criteria for these workflows

After you set your goals, you can set inclusion criteria for specific customer segments. These are workflows that are triggered when a customer does something specific, such as: E.g. if he signs up for your newsletter, a welcome email will automatically be sent.

Examples of workflows you can use include:

  • Lead nurturing workflows
  • Cart abandonment workflows
  • Reactivation workflows
  • Onboarding workflows
  • Event/event workflows
  • Workflows for celebrations (like birthdays or anniversaries)
  • Recommendation workflows
  • Feedback workflows

Create your content for email campaigns

Automation can help you send the right email to the right customer at the right time, but you also need to make sure it contains personal, relevant and well-designed content. This includes clear and concise text, visual elements such as images and graphics, interactive elements and a strong call to action.

They also need to be mobile-friendly and fit seamlessly into your other marketing strategies.

Test your email marketing campaign

Before you send a single email to your customers, you should test it to make sure it is fully optimized and that personalizations and links are working correctly.

A/B testing is also recommended to learn more about your customers and increase customer retention and conversion.

Track the campaign, review results and tailor future content

Data is one of the most valuable assets your company has. So make sure you track your campaigns, analyze the data, and make changes to improve future emails. There will always be room for optimization in marketing, so continually improve your strategy to achieve better results than the previous campaign.

The original version of this article by Apteco GmbH is published in Marketing Boerse.