Email marketing is arguably the most effective way to engage customers and drive revenue for your business.
Considering email marketing has an ROI (return on investment) of $42 per $1 spent, it’s hard for other marketing methods to compete with.
However, if you have a lot of subscribers on your email list, manually managing your campaigns can be very inconvenient and time-consuming.
That’s where email automation comes in.
Automated emails are an essential part of any successful email marketing strategy, allowing you to deliver targeted, relevant messages to your subscribers at the right time. Additionally, your upfront time investment in setting up effective email automation workflows will save you and/or your team lots of time in the long term.
I’ve explored how to get started with email automation and the benefits of email marketing automation in separate articles, so in this article, we’ll explore some of the more advanced email automation tactics you can use to take your email marketing to the next level.
1. Triggered Emails
Triggered emails are arguably the most important part of an effective email automation workflow, as they are quite literally why email automation is automated and not manual.
Triggered emails are automated messages sent using email automation tools in response to a specific action or behavior by a subscriber, like visiting a page or placing an order. They could also be triggered based on subscriber information, like a birthday or anniversary.
Usually triggered emails are part of a larger, more complex email automation workflow, and are so effective because they’re based on real-time data and are personalized for each subscriber’s behavior.
According to Josh Turner of the Wall Street Journal, 72% of people say they only respond to messages aimed directly at them, and 91% of consumers say they are more willing to do business with a company that provides offers directly relevant to them.
Thus, by using triggered emails instead of a general email blast to all of your subscribers, you can reliably provide a more personalized experience with your brand while automating the work of monitoring subscriber behavior.
2. Drip Campaigns
Now, the polar opposite of triggered emails (at least in most cases), drip campaigns.
Drip campaigns are a series of automated emails that are sent at predetermined intervals to nurture leads and move them through the sales funnel. They are a great way to deliver targeted messages to subscribers over time, building trust and engagement.
Typically the only “trigger” for a drip campaign is the time between emails. For example, you could have a drip campaign set up to send an email every few days as opposed to sending an email when a subscriber behaves a certain way.
However, you can still utilize the triggers associated with triggered emails in your drip campaigns.
For example, you could have an email sent out to a subscriber when they sign up on your website, then wait three days and send out another email.
From there, you could have an interval-based drip cycle that adapts based on subscriber behavior during that cycle. If a subscriber takes another action before the cycle’s time period is up, you could send another triggered email and reset the cycle period.
Overall, drip campaigns are incredibly useful for hand-holding subscribers down the sales funnel; plus, with the amount of interaction your brand has with the subscriber in that time, it’s more likely that they’ll end up spending their money on your products instead of your competitors.
3. Re-Engagement Campaigns
If your subscribers aren’t engaging with your drip campaigns or aren’t doing anything that would trigger an email, then this is the perfect time for a re-engagement campaign.
Re-engagement campaigns are automated emails that are designed to win back subscribers who have become inactive or disengaged. You could do this by reminding your customers about an item they had previously expressed interest in, or by giving your customers an incentive to purchase, like a discount code or a coupon.
The main goal of a re-engagement campaign, aside from retaining potential or existing customers, is to keep your email list clean and as engaged as possible.
In general, when creating a re-engagement campaign, you want to make your messages to those unengaged subscribers as personalized as possible. If a customer feels that they are being catered to and looked at individually, they’ll be much more likely to return to or even make a purchase from your brand.
4. Dynamic Content/Personalized Recommendations
If you’re sending generalized emails to your subscriber base but are looking for some level of personalization, then dynamic content is the best way to achieve that.
Dynamic content is content that changes based on the subscriber’s behavior, interests, or preferences. It isn’t the most personalized form of content, but it is easy to set up and send to your subscribers at scale.
Dynamic content can be in any part of your emails, from the subject line to the body and anything in between. It can be used with real-time information to display certain images at certain times of the day or recommend certain products based on previous browsing or purchase history.
Additionally, you can use data from your other business apps, like your CRM or marketing automation platform, to further personalize your messages based on your subscribers’ behavior and preferences.
Dynamic content is typically the best way to deliver personalized product recommendations, offers, and promotions to your customers based on their browsing or purchase history because you will have a much more comprehensive view of your customer’s behavior from several platforms.
5. Predictive Content
This is kind of an extension of dynamic content, and is an advanced email automation strategy among advanced email automation strategies.
Predictive content refers to the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to predict the type of content that is most likely to engage and convert each individual subscriber.
This approach is based on analyzing a wide range of data points, including the subscriber’s demographics, behaviors, preferences, and engagement history, to identify patterns and predict what content is most likely to be effective.
This prediction can come in several forms as well; not only the content of the email itself, but when is best for subscribers to receive the email can be predicted using machine learning with platforms like Mailchimp and Vbout.
Note: as predictive content and sending is a pretty advanced email automation tactic, not many email automation platforms have it as a feature.
The goal of predictive content and analysis is to get the maximum impact out of every email you send based on who you are sending it to and what their behaviors would indicate they would prefer.
6. Abandoned Cart Reminders
Back to the simpler stuff, it’s obvious that if a customer abandons their cart, then they’re on the cusp of a purchase. Thus, this is the best time to remind them of their purchase intent.
Abandoned cart emails are a type of advanced email automation used by businesses to encourage customers to complete their purchases after leaving items in their online shopping cart without checking out.
Since your customer is at the very bottom of your sales funnel and is only a few clicks from making a purchase, they are some of the most valuable targets for your email automation and email marketing tactics.
Similarly to re-engagement campaigns, the best way to get a customer to complete their purchase is to offer some kind of incentive. This could be a discount code, a coupon, free shipping, or anything else that would benefit the customer if they finished their purchase from your brand.
All you need to do from there is slap a big CTA (call-to-action) button at the bottom where they can redeem whatever incentive you’ve offered, and you’ve just patched a leak in your sales funnel.
7. Time-Sensitive Offers
I want to make a note before I talk about time-sensitive offers: don’t fake them. Creating a false sense of urgency that a customer could figure out is false can harm the customer’s relationship with your brand, so either be consistent and sincere about your time-sensitive offers or don’t use them at all.
Time-sensitive offers are an advanced email automation tactic used to create a sense of urgency and encourage recipients to take immediate action. These offers typically have a limited time frame, such as a flash sale or a discount that expires at a certain date.
Time-sensitive offers can be an effective way to increase sales and engagement for online businesses by creating a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) among customers. By leveraging the power of scarcity and time constraints, businesses can encourage customers to make a purchase decision quickly and take advantage of the offer before it’s too late.
Overall, time-sensitive offers can be a powerful tool in your email automation strategy, helping to drive conversions and increase engagement with your brand.
However, it’s important to use them wisely and avoid overusing them, as this can lead to email fatigue and decreased effectiveness over time.
In conclusion, advanced email automation tactics can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to engage with their customers, drive sales, and build lasting relationships.
By leveraging sophisticated automation tools, businesses can create personalized, targeted email campaigns that are tailored to each customer’s unique interests and behaviors.
From abandoned cart emails to time-sensitive offers and beyond, the possibilities for email automation are endless.
However, it’s important to remember that successful email automation requires careful planning, testing, and optimization.
By continuously monitoring and refining their email campaigns, businesses can ensure that they are providing real value to their customers and achieving their marketing goals.