How to Use Email Automation & Why You Should

How to Use Email Automation & Why You Should

Email is still the strongest and successful way to communicate with current or potential customers. There are many channels to communicate effective marketing through and online businesses aren’t the only ones benefiting. The brick and mortar businesses are generating a lot of additional ROI through the email channel as well. However, sending out emails to customers can take time that you may not have to keep your program consistent. A great way to consistently send and generate income is through automated emailing. Email Automation, also referred to as drip campaigns or workflow automation, is the process of setting up a series of triggers that cause email addresses (leads) to funnel into an email series that you have pre-setup.

Many ESPs have advanced features to create an email automation series. You can filter on behavior or purchase information and create an email series that contains dynamic content to supply personalized products or information based on past behavior.

Welcome Series

A great way to start using email automation is to build a welcome series that sends initial emails welcoming the new subscriber to your email marketing program. This is often collected through signup forms on your website or through online checkout for purchases.

Have your first email sent to your new subscriber minutes after signing up. Let them know what to expect from your program and the benefits of receiving your emails. Set your Welcome Series to include a second email sent a few days later, perhaps with a coupon or incentive to place their first order with you. Include information that they can find beneficial and educational without selling anything.

Re-engagement Series

Send emails to subscribers who haven’t been opening your mail for a certain length of time. For your emails to get consistent email inbox delivery, one aspect is to only mail to subscribers who are opening or clicking your emails, versus those that never open. Set a workflow series to pull in subscribers who haven’t opened your mail in 3 months. Give them an opportunity to continue receiving your mail or to unsubscribe. Set an action to those that don’t open are removed from your mailing list, or unsubscribed.

Abandoned Cart Series

Create an automated email series with 2 or 3 emails for anyone who adds a product to their shopping cart but does not make a purchase. Send the first email to the customer within 30 minutes of abandoning their shopping cart. If they are shopping around, they could make a purchase elsewhere before receiving your email to sway them back to make a purchase on your website. It may be helpful to include an incentive or coupon code in the second email if they still haven’t made a purchase after the first email was sent.

Include images of the product(s) they have abandoned to make it personalized and easy to click back to the product page or their shopping cart.

Product Recommendations Series

If you have the ability to categorize products through your ecommerce program, you can build an email series that can include other products they can purchase based on a past purchase. Include an incentive or additional information on the benefits of these related products. Make sure to allow some time to pass after they have purchased the original product, to which you will follow up with recommendations to. You don’t want to overmail a subscriber.

Re-order Series

Create an email series that will send out an email after a certain period of time has passed with a historical purchase, allowing them the opportunity to re-order easily. If you sell shampoo and hair products, it might make sense to email them 6-8 weeks after their purchase. Combine this series with a product recommendation and include those products at the bottom of the email.


Each business can greatly benefit in sales from email marketing, especially targeted email automation based on your subscriber’s actions and purchases. Monthly email campaigns are a great way to stay in front of your subscriber and continuously remind them of your brand for a sale opportunity. However, setting up targeted email automation which will reach out to that subscriber at the right time, will help fuel for a conversion and add to your overall ROI.