We’ve all wished for our work to be easier, to do itself, and to make us more productive without adding to our workload. Well, that is absolutely possible with email automation.

What Is Email Automation?

Email automation is a series of digital marketing tasks automatically triggered when a prospect performs a specific action. It’s managed by software that executes repetitive or constant tasks so no human action is required.

With email automation, you can set up a sequence of tasks one time and let the software run it hundreds or even thousands of times without any effort by you or your marketing team. Email automation is typically executed through autoresponders and sequences.

Autoresponder: An autoresponder is an email set to go out when a user performs a specific action. For example, a brand may have an autoresponder set to deliver a welcome email when a when a new person joins their list.

Sequence: A sequence is a series of emails that go out when a user performs a specific action. While autoresponders only include one email, a sequence includes multiple emails that go out over a set period of time.

How Do You Set Up Email Automation?

To use email marketing automation in your business, you need a few things.

Email Automation Software: Email marketing software or a customer relationship management software (CRM) will enable you to set up email automation. As you research to find the best software, look for a tool that includes triggers, tags, and drip campaign capability.

Trigger: A trigger is an action that tells the automation software to send an autoresponder or sequence. A trigger could be a big action, such as a user signing up for a webinar, or it could be a small action, such as a user clicking on a specific link.

Tag: A tag is a label attached to a user once they perform a trigger action. Tags are useful because they allow you to go back and see which users took a specific action and/or received an autoresponder or sequence. Having this information allows you to create more strategic campaigns in the future as you can segment your audience.

Drip Campaigns: A drip campaign is a strategic plan that designs a sequence of informative or persuasive emails intended to educate audiences and/or initiate a conversion. Drip campaigns may include a few or up to dozens of emails that go out over a few days or a few months. Drip campaigns are the most powerful element of email automation.

Email Marketing automation

When Should You Use Email Automation?

When you have the tools listed above, you can set up email automation autoresponders and sequences to make your marketing job easier and more effective. Here are a few ways you can use automated drip campaigns.  

  • New Subscriber: Welcome new list subscribers by providing a sequence of emails that introduce your brand and educate audiences about your industry or business.
    • Interest in Offering: When a prospect shows interest in a product or service (by viewing a product page, clicking a sales link, requesting a demo, etc.), send them a series of follow-up information that leads them through the buyer stages.
    • New Customer: Once a prospect becomes a paying customer, welcome and inform them. Use a new customer sequence to provide the details they need to use their product/service. Or, share upsell and cross-sell offers that relate to their initial purchase.
    • Event Registration: Help attendees prepare for an event by sharing details and reminders leading up to the big day.
    • Abandoned Cart: Maintain the connection with a shopper who placed an item in their virtual cart but then failed to buy it. Follow up with an email sequence that includes incentives for making the purchase.
  • Educational Series: If your audience shows interest in a topic (by downloading an ebook, signing up for a webinar, etc.), continue to offer them the knowledge they crave. Create a series of educational information that provides a deeper look at the topic.

These are just a few of the ways you can use email automation for your business. There are almost endless options and opportunities for using an automated marketing email series.  

How Can You Make Email Automation More Effective?

It’s important to remember that while email automation is a powerful tool that makes your life easier and your marketing more powerful, it can’t do everything on its own.

Email automation needs to be a part of a bigger digital marketing strategy. It’s most effective when paired with content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO strategy. To learn how to combine your automated email marketing strategies with these tactics and make your overall marketing more effective, download our free digital marketing ebook.

Digital Marketing Guide