What is Email Marketing Automation and What is Possible to Automate?

What is Email Marketing Automation and How Much Can You Actually Automate?

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If you own a business, you have to wear many hats: sales, IT, marketing guru, etc. You likely do not have the time and resources to track every customer’s preferred method of contact, history of sales, birthday, and occupation and to remember to put these specific details into your marketing messages to them. However, with email marketing automation, you can narrow down on who to email, what to talk about, and when to send the message. 

Here, we discuss what email marketing automation is and why it can be a total game-changer for you. Endless possibilities exist when you incorporate email marketing automation into your communication strategy. 

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation takes all of the valuable data you have collected about your customers and organizes it so that when you send a message to your customer base, you target them based on this culled data. Simply, email marketing automation helps you to create highly personalized emails that reach the right audience with a targeted email message at the optimal time, without you having to put in extra time or effort to do it. 

You probably already have all the tools and information you need to get started with email marketing automation. You can connect the analytics you gather from your website with your email marketing platform in order to target your audience based on their previous sales, buyer preferences, and customer behavior. As a result, you send timely, relevant, and highly personalized marketing messages to your customers through email. 

Through automated email marketing, you can choose the order of your messages, how often you will send messages, and to which segments of your customer base you will send messages. Gone are the useless emails that go out to everyone in your email list. Instead, they are replaced with highly informative and timely content that is targeted to your specific customers. 

Why is Email Marketing Automation Important for ALL Businesses?

Email marketing provides the highest return on investment of any type of marketing.

marketers make $40 for every $1 spent on emails

Email is the most widely used form of communication throughout the world and allows you to access a global audience that is equivalent to half of the world’s population.

there are currently 3.9 billion active email accounts

It is estimated that number will jump by another half a billion by 2024. Since your customers are probably already using email, so using it yourself can help you meet your customers where they are. 

80% of professionals say that email marketing helps them get and retain customers. If you are a small business owner, using email marketing can help you leverage the existing customer base without having to blow up your marketing budget. 

Further Reading: The Top 38 Compelling Email Marketing Statistics for 2024

Email marketing automation makes it possible for you to harness the power of these driving forces. You do not have to sit behind your computer screen and draft the perfect marketing message. You do not have to go through endless data points of customer data to determine the best marketing strategy for each customer. Email marketing automation does this work for you, saving you time and money in the process.

As a small business owner, you already have enough to do between making sales calls, improving your products, finding new revenue streams, and keeping up with the daily operations of your business. As your business continues to grow and you are servicing more customers, it will become increasingly more difficult to keep up with every customer’s specific information. Yet, you still want to be able to provide a personalized touch to your marketing. Email marketing automation helps you take care of your existing customers, as well as introduces you to new leads. When done properly, email marketing automation helps you convert leads into new customers and existing customers into loyal repeat purchasers. 

Benefits of Email Marketing Automation 

In a major research project that surveyed 585 people, 30% of professionals say that the biggest benefit of email marketing automation is the time it saves them. Other benefits include:

  • Generating leads – 22% of those surveyed said that lead generation was the biggest benefit of marketing automation. When a new user signs up for your email list, your email marketing management tool can begin sending targeted messages to them. 
  • Increasing revenue – 17% of those surveyed said that increased revenue was the biggest benefit of email marketing automation. Each message you send to your customer provides a new opportunity for them to purchase your products or engage with your business, ultimately leading to more sales. 
  • Retaining customers – 11% of those surveyed said that customer retention was the biggest benefit of email marketing automation. Sending customers a steady stream of messages shows that you know they are existing customers and want to continue your relationship. 
  • Tracking or monitoring campaigns – 8% of those surveyed said that tracking or monitoring campaigns was the biggest benefit of email marketing automation. For example, they said that they could track mid- and low-funnel responses by segment and report on responses by segment for each email campaign. 
  • Shortening the sales cycle – Email also helps you reach your customers as fast as possible. 21% of opened emails are opened within the first hour of receiving them and 41% are opened within three hours of delivery. 
  • Creating better customer experience – Another major benefit of automation is the ability to personalize your customers’ experience. 

Further Reading: 5 Amazing Benefits of Email Marketing No One Ever Taught You

How to Use Email Automation Systems for Better Marketing Results 

You can achieve better marketing results when you use email automation systems to:

Send Triggered Messages

Triggered emails are sent to website visitors after they take certain actions. You can prepare your triggered messages ahead of time and then allow your automation system to automatically send an email once a user takes a particular action. These targeted messages are timely and highly relevant to the website user. 

Some examples of when you may send a triggered message include:

  • To send a welcome email after a user joined your email list or subscribed to your newsletter
  • To send a message about the benefits of certain products when the website user scrolled through your product list
  • To send an email requesting the user explore your website or contact you to take the next step in the sales process
  • To send a thank you message after a user downloads your content 
  • To send an email reminding customers to complete a purchase after browsing your site
  • To send a discount after a shopper abandoned their shopping cart
  • To send a referral bonus after a shopper makes a purchase
  • To send a confirmation email after the user makes a purchase
  • To send an event reminder when the user signs up for an event

These simple messages have been shown to be highly influential. Welcome messages get four times more reads and five times as many clicks as standard marketing emails. About 70% of customers abandon their carts for many reasons, so an abandoned cart email can help you reclaim some of those lost sales. 

Promote New Products and Services 

Promote New Products and Services 

Another way to increase your revenue through email automation is to send product and service promotions to certain segments of your customers, based on their interests. Emails that contain personalized recommendations increase sales per email by an average of 150%.

Remember Important Dates

Everyone wants to feel like they are special. By remembering important dates like your customers’ birthdays or anniversary date of choosing your business for their needs, you can make your customers feel special and more likely to use your business again. 

You can do this easily by collecting your customer’s birthday information when they join your email list. You simply input this information in your email automation system and tell it to send an automated birthday or anniversary email on the special date. 

Create Drip Campaigns

While you are creating single emails, you can also create drip campaigns that you automate to be sent out over a period of time, like once a week for four weeks. These campaigns provide more information about your business, products, or services with each message, building onto the last message. Just like with single emails, you can automate the sending of email campaigns.

Promote Events 

Promote Events 

Add excitement to your customers’ inbox by promoting events, meetups, and webinars through your email messages. Sending a series of messages about your event can help inform and remind your customers of the event. 

You can do this by:

  • Sending a thank you email to a customer for registering for the event
  • Providing an additional email discussing the event and what they can expect from it
  • Sending a reminder email about the event and encouraging customers to add the event to their calendar

These simple steps can help you increase the number of people who participate in your event and are actively engaged with your business. 

How to Make Your Email Marketing Automation as Effective as Possible 

Here are some additional tips to help make your email marketing automation as effective as possible:

Segment Your Customer List 

Segmenting your customer list involves breaker your large email list into segments based on different factors, such as visitors:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Step in the customer journey
  • Stated interests
  • Demographic information

Segmented emails send different marketing messages to different groups of your email list. Recipients are 50% more likely to click on a link in the email

Personalize Your Customers’ Experience

Customers want to feel special, so they especially enjoy personalization. 91% of customers are more likely to do business with a company that provides individualized recommendations and offers. When shoppers know an ad was based on their activity on a particular site, click-through rates increase by 11% and revenue grows by 38%. 

Keep Your Customers Satisfied

Keep Your Customers Satisfied

It costs five times more money to get a new customer than it does to keep your existing ones, so don’t forget to keep your existing customers satisfied while you are trying new methods to attract new customers. Don’t let your customers think you care more about new customers than about their loyalty to your business. Send them an occasional discount, product offering, or incentive to continue doing business with you.

Track Responses 

One of the most crucial benefits of email marketing automation systems is your ability to track information related to your emails, such as:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Offer use
  • Purchases after receiving a communication
  • Purchases of suggested products
  • Time browsing your site

Once you have all of this information, you can use it to adapt your marketing to the customer.

Further Reading: How to Improve Your Email Open Rate 

Offer Strategic Discounts

You don’t want to devalue your business by always offering discounts. However, if a slight discount will help make a sale, it may be worth it to send a free shipping offer or promo code. Be sure you strike a balance between offering discounts and not so that your customers do not expect them or simply wait for the next discount to roll in before making another purchase. 

Use a Good Email Template

Another way to ensure that your email messages resonate with your customers is to use a good email template, which should contain all of the following:

1. A strong subject line

The subject line is the first thing your recipient may see, so you need to make it count. Avoid using too salesy of language that can make your recipients’ email filters think they are blocking a phishing scam. A good subject line will:

  • Grab your reader’s attention immediately
  • Explain the value of the email
  • Summarize what is in the message

2. Write a good pre-header

The preheader is the second thing your recipient will see and works sort of like a meta description for a webpage. Provide a pre-header that accurately describes the message and uses keywords. 

3. Maintain an on-brand message

Your email messaging should maintain a consistent branding with your other marketing efforts, including maintaining a consistent tone and voice, including your typical logo and colors, and links to other web pages in your message.

4. Make it mobile friendly  

At least 47% of people use their phone to check their email, so be sure that you use a template that is mobile-friendly. 

5. Use calls-to-action 

Ask hat you want the recipient to do, such as call you or request a free quote. Add buttons that make this request clear.

6. A/B test your design

Try different templates with different groups to see how they perform.


Email automation is a surefire way to boost your sales. Incorporate the tips above to make it even that much more successful and be surprised by how much you can go with just a few tweaks to your email marketing strategy.

Further Reading: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build an Email Marketing Strategy

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Email marketing automation is one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing. Learn what it is, why it's powerful, and how to use it.

Email Marketing Automation FAQs

What is automated email marketing?

Simply put, automated email marketing automates the process of sending emails to subscribers and customers based on specific actions or behaviors they take on a website or app. These emails can be anything from welcome emails to abandoned cart reminders and can help businesses nurture and convert leads into customers. With automated email marketing, businesses can save time and improve their overall engagement and conversion rates.

Why use email marketing automation?

You should use email marketing automation because it allows businesses to engage with their audience in a more efficient and personalized way. With the help of automation, businesses can send out targeted and timely messages, ensuring that their customers receive the most relevant and engaging content. Email marketing automation not only saves time and effort, but it can also increase conversion rates, and customer engagement, and ultimately, drive business success.

How is email automation done?

Email automation has become an essential tool for any business looking to streamline their communication process. The process of email automation involves setting up a series of triggered emails that are sent automatically to your subscribers based on their behavior or preferences. This involves designing the email templates, creating the workflow, selecting the triggers, and integrating the automation software with your email platform.

Is MailChimp a marketing automation tool?

Yes. MailChimp provides a variety of automation features that enable users to deliver targeted messages to their subscribers at the right time, based on their behavior and preferences. With MailChimp, you can set up automated welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and targeted product recommendations to drive engagement and conversions. In addition, MailChimp integrates with third-party tools, allowing users to connect their email marketing efforts with other channels.

Is email marketing a marketing automation?

While email marketing certainly does involve automation components, such as list segmentation and triggered campaigns, it may not encompass the full scope of marketing automation. Nevertheless, its effectiveness cannot be denied, as it allows for personalized messaging and can yield high ROI when executed properly. In the end, whether or not email marketing falls under the category of marketing automation may be up for debate, but its value as a marketing tactic is undeniable.

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Ben Hartwig
Ben Hartwig

Ben Hartwig is an expert in Email Marketing. Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view of the whole system. He authors guides by sharing the best practices and does it the right way!

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