How to Create an Email Automation Strategy

How to Create an Email Automation Strategy

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, new trends are always on the rise. One trend that’s currently heating up and is projected to explode by 2023 is marketing automation. Marketing automation includes emails and automated messages and responses on social media, websites and even customer service chats. Why do we say this trend will “explode” by 2023? This bar chart by, Forrester Data, is the first ever marketing automation forecast by the distinguished data company and it predicts that spending on marketing automation will climb from the 15.6 billion we’ll spend in 2019 to a whopping 25.1 billion by 2023.

So how can you use this hot new marketing trend effectively?

By creating the right strategy, of course. We could quite literally write a book about marketing automation strategies, but today we’ll focus on email automation.

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What works

Now, the first thing you should know is that the purpose of marketing automation is to reach the right person at the right time. This includes potential customers, recently converted customers and those customers who have been with you for a while. In other words, marketing automation is for every customer you have…you just need to know where they stand and how you can meet them where they are.

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For instance, new customers benefit from receiving automated messages before, during and after the purchase process, including a welcome message. We recently created an email automation sequence for a medical client designed specifically for first-time emergency patients. The point of the sequence was to welcome those patients to the clinic’s patient family and then to inform them about the other services offered by the clinic, and, in turn, convince these patients to return to the clinic for all future services. In this instance, those receiving emails had already received services from the clinic but automated email sequences can be used to snag potential customers, too.

One way to get email addresses from potential clients before they make a purchase is through a pop-up ad on your website offering a coupon or discount code to visitors who enter their email address. You can also get email addresses through inquiry or appointment requests from your website or social media. If a potential client shares their email address with you, an automated response may include a welcome message and invitation to request information or ask questions about your products or services. If possible, you may also offer special deals or discounts for email list subscribers to encourage potential customers to stay on the list.

But you don’t want to send long-time, faithful customers a message designed for new clients. That could leave the impression that their business isn’t valuable enough to remember they’re already part of your customer base. You do, however, want to include those tried-and-true customers in your automation strategies. For these folks, automation for reminders to schedule an annual appointment, renew a subscription or simply to check in and see how well your products are services are working for them. Like with new customers, you can also send special discounts to longtime customers to thank them for their loyalty.

How to Get Started

So you know that you want to start an email automation sequence for your business, but do you know why? Figuring out the why answer is the first step to creating your strategy. Are you like our client that wanted to retain first-time emergency patients? Or do you want to devise a plan to stay in touch with clients and send out reminders when necessary?

Once you’ve figured out your goal, it’s time to map out how to reach it.

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If your goal is to simply touch base with regular clients, your best way is to keep them informed. Send out a series of informational emails regarding your products or services. These emails could include discounts, tips, tricks or just good old fashioned need-to-know information, like upcoming events or holiday closings.  

Beginners of email marketing automation may want to start out simple with one goal like the one we just mentioned. But we strongly recommend developing multiple strategies for clients and customers of all stages. Today’s email services allow you to segment subscribers into different lists so it’s easy to send the right message to each contact. You might have a list of contacts who are potential customers, another of customers who have been with you for less than a year, and another list of clients or customers who have been around for longer than five years.

Once you’ve developed the content you want to share, it’s time to design and schedule your emails. Most email services like Constant Contact and MailChimp offer suggestions like how often a new email should be sent following the initial “trigger”. Pay close attention to these tips, especially if you’re new to marketing or email marketing automation. These companies use their own data to determine when their services are most effective for your client base.  

Is your mind blown yet? Don’t worry. Nobody becomes a marketing expert overnight, but we’ve been practicing at it for years. We can help you organize your marketing goals, understand the tools and practices we’ll need, and develop a plan to make sure we reach them. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.