A beginner’s guide to email marketing automation

Email marketing automation may be the secret to a successful marketing strategy, provided that you know how to use it. Here’s how to get started.

Date published
March 02, 2017 Categories

Email marketing automation may be the secret to a successful marketing strategy, provided that you know how to use it. Here’s how to get started.

Email marketing is still a powerful method to boost your marketing goals, but as your business grows, it becomes more challenging to handle all the different types of emails you need to send.

Email marketing automation could be the solution to this problem.

What is email marketing automation?

Email marketing automation is simply the automated process of sending emails to a specific list of people, depending on the predefined triggers. Once the trigger is activated, the email is sent.

The use of email automation software allows you to set all the parameters that will determine when the automated emails will be sent, making the planning of them easier.

In other words, it’s the use of technology for the sake of an improved marketing strategy that may lead to an increased effectiveness.

Why use email marketing automation?

The first reason that marketers turn to email automation is the fact that they manage to save time and effort, by creating the triggers that send the right emails, to the right people, at the right time.

Moreover, the automation of this process is saving them time from future similar efforts, as the triggers can be adjusted to include more people, or additional emails to each action.

This increases the efficiency of their email marketing strategy, in such a way that their creativity is blended with technology for the best possible results.

According to Epsilon Email Institute, automated email messages lead to an average 70.5% of higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than usual emails.

Effectiveness also goes beyond click rates, as automated mails seem to contribute to a message’s relevance for the target audience. In fact, according to Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups, companies that send automated emails are 133% more likely to have relevant messages that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle.

Now the question is, where should you begin with email marketing automation?

6 tips to consider when starting with email marketing automation

1. Think carefully about your lead magnets

The first step is to encourage people to sign up with the right lead magnets that provide them a reason to do so. It’s better to think of a reason that is relevant and useful, rather than an instant reward, as this increases the chances to create a long-term relationship with them.

Lead magnets have to be clear, offering value that cannot be ignored from the target audience. Testing of several forms can help you understand what users find more interesting and this can be the indication that will make the building of the list easier.

2. Focus on the welcome message

Once a user signs up to a list, it’s important to send a welcome message that’s as relevant as possible. Not every user is part of the same customer journey, and this may affect their future relationship with your business.

A proper segmentation of users allows you to send a warm welcome message that addresses their problems, helping them find the right answers while they are also learning more about your brand.

It’s also important to plan the emails you’re going to send, and how the workflow of the messages will work from now on.

What’s the best way to use automation to build a relationship with users who have already showed interest in the value you’re offering them?

3. Don’t underestimate lead nurturing 

Automation doesn’t have to be impersonal. On the contrary, it’s crucial to add a personal touch to your emails, as a way to show your genuine interest in every message that you send.

A personalized communication can be very useful as part of your nurturing process. A warm and welcoming message increases the chances of turning a prospect into a customer, with a smooth and positive inbox experience serving as a great lead magnet.

Once you manage to find the balance between automation and personalization, each email should indicate your genuine interest towards every recipient. Lead nurturing is all about consistency and although automation can be very useful, it’s still important to excel in the segmentation of your audience to ensure that each recipient receives the right message.

4. Set your goals and work towards them (create the right triggers)

Before you start with automation, it’s useful to focus on your goals and your expectations from each automated process. How could automation boost your email marketing campaign? What’s the best way to save time while increasing your effectiveness? What do you define as an effective email marketing campaign?

The ROI from email marketing automation depends on your goals, and it’s useful to be clear on what you expect from the earliest stages of your planning.

For example, if you’re interested in lead nurturing, then you can use email automation to send consistent and personalized messages to your recipients to create a relationship with them.

If you want to use email automation to increase sales, you can create the right set of emails to promote your products in the most relevant and appealing way.

Remember, not every email has the same purpose, and there needs to be a distinction between your goals in order to enjoy the benefits of email marketing automation.

5. Keep evaluating the process

Although email marketing automation aims to help you create a streamlined process among your emails, it’s still useful to evaluate it from time to time to measure its performance and examine whether it needs to be changed.

Does automation bring you closer to your goals? How does the audience respond to your emails? Is there a part of the process that can be improved?

As every audience is different, it’s a good idea to monitor its automated process on its own to test whether it’s contributing to a successful email marketing strategy.

6. Make subscribing and unsubscribing obvious

It’s frustrating for users to keep searching for the option to unsubscribe from an email that they are not interested in. Thus, it’s best to have a clear display with all their available options.

Just as you add a CTA button to encourage further clicks in case they are interested in the email’s content, you should also feature an easy unsubscribe process.

Even if this means that you’re increasing their chances of opting out, it also means that you’re only maintaining the ones that are truly interested in your content.


Email marketing automation can be a very useful ally to your marketing strategy, provided that you find the right balance between automated messages and personalization for each segment of your contacts.

Even if the initial planning may seem time-consuming, the benefits should give you an additional motivation to work towards an effective process that will help you reach all your set goals.

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