Email While You Sleep - Top 5 Emails To Automate

Who wouldn't want to have their email marketing running on autopilot; I would. It allows you to continually send email messages that are high performing, allowing you the time to work on the important stuff.

So what types of automation are there?

  • Scheduled: email sent at a specific time and day to the desired recipients
  • Triggered: email that is sent based on an action (or lack of) performed by your recipients
  • Lifecycle: this is a combination of the above and includes email messages sent at a specific time based on a action

Here are 8 email programs you can put on autopilot:

1. Welcome Email

The welcome email is the easiest and most effective email that can be automated. It is an email sent to new subscribers when they sign up to your email newsletter via a web form on your site, or via other channels. This email should arrive immediately in the recipient’s inbox and contain a welcoming message and content that is informative and useful.

The welcome email can also be a series of emails send over a 2-5 day period. Find out more about how to setup a more advanced email welcome series

2. Cart abandonment

Cart abandonment is a classic that we have all heard about. This email is sent 1-3 days after someone has abandoned their shopping basket. The email should contain images and description of the items left in the cart and should be very customer service friendly. Include an offer? Not always. Some of our customers have had great success not including the offer - why give it away if it is not needed.

I recommend sending this email to recipients only once a month. This will prevent serial-abandoners (those that leave items in the cart just to get an offer) from abusing the email. Also, some people do use the cart as a reminder of what they want to purchase.

When setup correctly this email generates excellent open and clicks rates, not to mention a RPE (revenue per email) that rocks.

3. Re-engagement

This is an email sent to recipients that have not opened email for a certain time period; normally over 6 months. The email is designed to get a response; it would normally contain a stronger than normal subject line and a call-to-action in the content.

Automating this email is a good way for continued list-management of unengaged subscribers. Remember that continually sending email to subscribers that are not engaging can harm your IP reputation and ability to deliver email to the inbox.

4. Renewal

A renewal email is one sent around the time of a product renewal and is a highly effective marketing tactic. Automating a process that solicits your customers continued used of your product is the goal.

The timing of the email is very dependent on your product. A well-timed renewal program will inform your customers about the benefits of renewing without the ‘selly-selly’ aspects.

At Kickdynamic we have a cancel-at-any-time policy; therefore we actually based the renewal email program around a cancellation.

Don't stop with one email. A renewal series is important to bring back customers whose renewals have lapsed. Email content in this case could showcase new product features and success stories from other customers.

5. Review solicitation

Review solicitation is a transactional message encouraging customers to write a review of the product they have purchased. It is normally sent 2-4 weeks after a purchase (depending on delivery times) and is a great way to get user-generated content on you website.

An incentive works well here. I have successfully used the chance-to-win incentive in review solicitation emails to get maximum reviews per email.

6. Web visit

This is a highly effective automated campaign, but can be one of the trickier ones to setup. It uses your customer’s web-browsed behaviour to send a trigger email. Triggered emails are sent to recipients who have browsed your website but not purchased the intended products. The content should contain images of those products or product categories that were browsed.

To send this email you need to track the web visit via a few lines of JavaScript that is on your website. This is normally provided by your ESP and Analytics company.

When setup correctly this automated email really performs and can generate an excellent RPE.

7. Clicked no purchase (or action)

The clicked no action trigger is a message sent to recipients that click and are therefore engaged - but have then not taken any other action. It is very similar to the Web visit, however requires less integration.

All you need to know is if the recipient has not taken action and then they are included in the segment.

8. Birthday email

Everyone loves a treat on their Birthday and an email is a great way to reward your customers on their birthday. Very easy to setup and highly effective; all you need is the day and month of your customer’s birthday to automate the email.

As well as generating a high engagement rate this email program also boots loyalty with your customers.

That's it. Eight great emails to automate. Got any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments.

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