For business owners, especially the ones who are still in progress of making it big, it’s essential to maintain regular, ongoing communication with the consumers. They need to know what your services have in plat for them. What new pricing plans, discounts, offers, and most importantly, “newness” you are planning to offer them in the future. Email is one of the most common mediums to convey these messages from the company to the consumers.
You must have noticed all those emails from many service providers, and vendors usually clutter up your email inbox. We ignore a number of them but then some are pretty useful if the timing is right. But how can one manage to send these emails to the consumers daily? How can this communication chain be maintained when the consumer base has crossed thousands in numbers? That’s when email automation comes in.
What is Email Automation?
Email Automation is a process of Email Marketing, where vendors and businesses establish a method of sending automated email messages to their consumers. The content or subject of emails can be pretty much diverse and versatile. It can be:
- Regarding new updates on products and services.
- Personalized messages based on user activity on a particular website/app.
- Welcome emails for new consumers.
- Even a mere birthday email attached to some special deal for individual consumers.
- Reminder emails for products saved in delivery carts [mostly in the case of e-commerce platforms].
- Acknowledgement emails and of course, bills, delivery reports, and activity reports.
We all have gone through emails like this. These aren’t self-typed mails but are all sent and managed using email automation, which helps in maintaining rapid, timely, and favorable communication between businesses and consumers.
Why is Email Automation Important?
Benefits of Email Automation are countless if one decides to categorize and further analyze each individually. But here are the few major ones that relate to business owners and are directly linked to their brand management, brand reputation, communication, and consumer relationships:
1. Consumer Relationship Management
Acquiring a consumer is tough, but what’s more challenging is to retain a consumer in this hyper-competitive business environment. To keep consumers, you need to give them a reason to stay with your brand, and that can only be managed if you communicate with them.
Automated emails help your business maintain regular contact with your consumer. You can track their activities, buying patterns, and preferences and then, target promotional and marketing email messages accordingly to retain consumers successfully.
2. Segmentation and Personalization
You can’t target all consumers with common marketing plans. Consumer behavior varies on a large scale, and this behavior is separated by their location, their psychology, their buying habits, preferences, and even lifestyle.
An email automation platform allows business owners to segment their consumers based on the aforementioned parameters and then, help them set individual algorithms to send specific automated emails that can adhere to their behavioral patterns.
An automated email marketing system can help business owners cover a broader audience at a time, which will be challenging to manage if one has to resort to manual marketing methods. With Email Automation, none of your consumers is left out of your sight.
Business owners resort to social media marketing, outdoor marketing, and many other paid advertisements to promote their business and reach out to consumers. Via Email Automation, they can save a lot of their marketing budget released to consumer retention. The only thing requiring money is subscription and maintenance of an Email Automation platform.
5. Performance Metrics
So you printed an ad in the newspaper about a new service/product you’re planning to release to your consumers. How do you know who read that ad, and how many consumers you retained or converted through it?
Since it’s all online and digital, email automation allows business owners to track how well their email messages are doing and how helpful they are in consumer attraction and in managing their overall management efficiency.
How to SetUp Email Automation for Your Business
Setting up an Email Automation system in your business requires several steps from the selection of a suitable platform to deciding how targeting parameters will be decided. It is a process that requires effective brainstorming, consumer behavior research, market research based on past results, and upfront through processing. Preparing a model for your email marketing process in advance will help business owners get better results and reduce chances in errors.
Step 1: Choose an Email Automation Software
There are many suitable options out there that can help you set up Email Automation for your business. While most share similar features, there are some among the top charts which you can choose from our list below in this piece.
Remember not to invest too much in the service at the initial stage of your business. You can always shift from one platform to another as your business grows and so as your need for more extensive email automation software.
Step 2: Formulate a Plan
Email Automation software allows you to create different emails that would be sent to the users based on their activities on your website or app. Those activities will trigger an email automatically. For example, you must redirects welcome email to all new sign-ups.
You must set a few triggers at a time and then, gradually create more as you get the grasp of the platform and understand how it all works on a practical note.
Here are some emails you can automate at the beginning of the set-up:
- Welcome emails for new sign-ups.
- Confirmation mail post-registration.
- Re-engagement emails for those who are not active on your site/app [attach an offer with the same].
- Security-related mails when a user changes passwords or usernames. You can also automate emails to acknowledge logins from different devices.
- Reminder emails for those whose subscription is about to end.
- Bills and Delivery reports for any service or product required by consumers.
Step 3: Workflow Establishment
As you plan for choosing email messages for different triggers and user activities, you must create a set plan to execute the automation task successfully without errors.
A workflow will require you to establish ground rules for various factors that come into play while forming an email, for example, its layout, design elements, content, proofreading of material, etc. A workflow plan will also include establishing rules for monitoring the delivery of emails and analyzing the output generated from them.
You may require a team of people to ensure that these criteria are met, and no errors are made while delivering automated emails to targeted users.
Step 4: Segmentation of Consumers
Here things get tricky, especially for those who have established their business in multiple locations, domestic or international. Here, you’ll be segmenting your emails based on the location and consumer preferences in different areas.
The segmentation can also be based on demographic parameters such as gender and age-group of targeted consumers. Besides, this is the step where you segment your email list based on different triggers received via user activity on your company website or app.
Step 5: Performance Analysis
When everything is set, start delivering emails accordingly and keep an update on the returns generated as well as user activity on those emails. This way, a business can learn from errors and mistakes and make its email marketing campaigns more effective and consumer-friendly.
This is the step where all things begin to revolve in a cycle with new emails created and new plans established while the other processes keep on running as they were.
Best Email Automation Service Providers
- Drip is one of the best email automation software, which is best for retail e-commerce businesses.
- It supports all integrations and plugins supported by websites build upon different CRM platforms such as Magento, Shopify, and WordPress.
- Drip allows for extensive personalization where users can be targeted based on their preferences with discounts, recommendations, and price-drop notifications.
- It collects all user activity data categorically from name to what method of payment a consumer prefer while making a purchase. It monitors every cursor movement from the consumers’ end.
- Drip offers a statistical and comprehensive analysis of engagement returned over automated emails.
2. Constant Contact
- Constant Contact is for businesses which are over and above the start-up stage in their operations.
- Have a pre-defined set of emails for new users, non-openers, etc. Use a click-based algorithm to track user activities and triggers to send emails are set on these activities.
- Contacts are effectively managed. Subscription terminations, bounce rates, and inactivity on emails are closely tracked to re-target such users with new offers.
- Contacts are segmented automatically as the software learns the parameters.
- Sent emails and returns are statistically monitored.
- Again a perfect fit for small businesses, Mailchimp offers a variety of features for perfect email automation.
- It has several tools to identify audience responses over emails and then eventually resort to heavy personalization for better returns.
- MailChimp segments users on the different criterion and then personalize automated emails based on different activity triggers.
- Besides, MailChimp has tools to design signup forms to be sent to targeted consumers to engage them in a two-way conversation, where they’ll fill in their responses in these forms.
- Set landing pages for different emails sent and for the links provided in the email content.
- You can also create social posts to be attached to automated emails.
Choosing an email automation software heavily depends on the business size, size of the user base, and of course, the budget. But business owners must have one to aim for the big and expand the reach of their services/products. Once you get hold of how email automation works, the software itself begins to understand your preferences and ways you want to pursue future email campaigns. So, choose one for you and start retaining consumers without hassle.