What Is Email Automation?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published September 10, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published September 10, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you are looking for ways to better nurture incoming leads and save your marketing department time, you may want to consider email automation. Email automation allows you to send personalized emails to subscribers based on rules that you set up. Learning about the many benefits of email automation can help you decide whether you want to set up automation workflows within your own organization.

In this article, we discuss what email automation is, its many benefits, examples of email automation and steps you can take to make it more effective.

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What is email automation?

Email automation is the process of sending emails to individuals or multiple people at a specific time in the future or based upon specific actions that those individuals take. Email automation allows companies to set up campaigns and then send emails to subscribers based on specified business rules. It's a popular strategy that brands use to convert leads into customers or regularly engage with subscribers.

Read more: Marketing Automation: Definition, Tips and Examples

Benefits of email automation

There are many benefits of email automation, including:

Saving time

Once an email automation workflow is set up, it runs on its own without anyone needing to write and send individual messages to subscribers. The email automation workflows run automatically 24 hours a day.

Nurturing new leads

Email automation allows companies to easily contact new subscribers and provide engaging, helpful information before the sales team ever approaches the lead. This can help the lead to more fully understand the business and its products before being approached by the sales department directly.

Improving personalization

Email automation allows you to automatically send personalized emails based on information that the contact provides. Companies can also personalize emails based on the interests of the subscriber, sending them content that they're more likely to be interested in receiving.

Increasing the accuracy of emails

When messages are sent to subscribers using email automation and information that the subscriber provides, there is a reduced likelihood that the company will have spelling mistakes or typos. Companies can carefully proofread and review emails before making them live within the workflow.

Reducing costs

With email automation, companies can regularly contact potential or current customers without needing to utilize valuable personnel resources to ensure emails are sent out regularly.

Improving reporting

Email automation makes it easy to see how a company's marketing efforts are working. The marketing or sales team can see which emails were opened, which links were clicked on and which ones produced sales. Knowing this information can help them to improve their sales pipeline and get better results.

Related: 41 Marketing Terms To Know

Examples of email automation

Here are some examples of ways that you could use email automation within your company:

Welcoming new subscribers

When people visit your company's website, you can encourage them to subscribe to your email list. Once they've done so, you can then use email automation to welcome them to the list and make them a subscriber-only offer to encourage them to make a purchase.

For example, you could offer them a coupon code for a certain percentage off their first purchase. By engaging your new subscribers with an immediate offer, followed by a series of automated email messages, you can keep your subscribers engaged and interested in what you have to offer.

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Reminder emails

A reminder email based on a specific date can encourage your customer to make a purchase. For example, dealerships use reminder emails to let car owners know that it may be time for their next service appointment. You can also encourage them to take a specific action by offering a limited-time-only coupon code.

Anniversary or birthday messages

If you collect your subscriber's birthday when they subscribe to your email list, you can send them a coupon code on or around the date of their birthday automatically. This is a great way to encourage customers to purchase from you. You could also send this type of message on the anniversary of the date that they made their first purchase with you or subscribed to your list.

Re-engagement emails

You could set up your email workflows so that if a certain amount of time passes where they haven't purchased from you, you automatically send them an email encouraging them to buy. For example, if a subscriber hasn't purchased in six months, that inaction could trigger an email to be sent that offers a coupon code for 10% off, encouraging them to make a purchase.

You could take the same approach if they haven't opened or clicked a link in an email within a certain amount of time. You could also ask them if they would prefer to unsubscribe from your list. By removing people from your email list who are likely to never buy from you and possibly never open your email, you actually will increase your open rate. This can actually improve the deliverability of your emails since the recipient's email service provider will be more likely to put the message into their inbox than their spam folder.

Feedback or survey emails

Another great example of email automation is sending out automated surveys to get feedback about products and services. Many companies send these out automatically after someone purchases a product or service. This type of email allows you to get direct feedback from the customer, which can help you further improve products or look for other ways to improve the customer satisfaction rate.

How to make email automation more effective

Here are some steps you can take to make your email automation more effective:

1. Consider the timing

If you're sending a series of emails, it's important to consider the timing of the messages. You want to space them out in a manner that your customers will find helpful without overwhelming them with too many in a short period of time.

2. Think about volume

Carefully think through the number of emails that you should send to have the desired result. All of your emails should be relevant to your customers. Focus on what is most meaningful to your customers and what information they will want to hear from you.

3. Look for segmentation opportunities

In general, the more customized your emails are for the customer, the more likely you will be to get the results you want. Email segmentation refers to the act of dividing all of your email subscribers into smaller segments based on specific criteria. For example, you could segment them based on the web page they were on when they subscribed, the free item they subscribed to receive, their purchase history or other criteria.

Look for ways that you can segment your list and deliver content that's personalized for those segments. For example, if your company sells fitness equipment and someone subscribes to your list to receive an e-book about how to set up a home gym, you should then create a series of emails relevant to someone who is considering putting together their own home gym. The more segmented your list, the more likely the subscriber will be to open and engage with the content since it's relevant to their interests.

4. Measure the results

When you're done setting up your workflows, you should monitor the results you're getting and use the information from the reports to make educated decisions about what changes you should make. For example, if you see that you have a poor open rate for a specific email, you may want to change the subject line or test two different subject lines.

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