4 emails you should be automating

Consumers respond to relevant, personalized emails. In fact, they crave them.
Research shows customers are so in love with the idea of personalization, that they're 56% more likely to buy from a company who knows their name and 58% more likely to buy from a company who can suggest relevant products.
Personalization is a big deal, and yet our own research shows 39% of marketers almost never personalize emails.
The trouble is, personalizing emails can be tough. It's time-consuming to craft emails that create a 1:1 feeling. But, there's a solution. You can start automating emails.
By automating emails, you can craft great campaigns that deliver automatically. You simply pre-make your email and set a trigger. A trigger could be a specific date, like sending a Halloween-themed email on October 31st. A trigger could also be a subscriber's action, like when a subscriber joins an email list that action could trigger a welcome email.
If you're new to automating emails, don't worry. We've got you covered. We've prepared a list of four emails you should be automating. Take a look:

1. Welcome email (Trigger: Subscriber action)

When a new subscriber joins your list, it's time to roll out the red carpet – fast. You only have a small window of time to make a good first impression. Ideally, a welcome email lands in the subscriber's inbox within hours of signing up.

 How do you make that happen? Consider automating emails to welcome newcomers to the group.

Simply create a welcome email for your new guests and set up an automated workflow that triggers the email to send when a subscriber joins online.

 Aside from making a good first impression, you'll likely see great response rates too. Welcome emails typically have a 50% open rate, making them one of the most effective emails to send.
You're in the driver's seat when it comes to design and copy. You can keep it simple with a basic welcome message and a nice promotional offer like RINGLY does here:

Ringly – Automated Welcome Email – Promotional Offer 

Or, you can take the opportunity to outline the perks of joining the group like JetBlue does with this welcome email for new loyalty members:

Jet Blue – Automated Welcome Email – Loyalty Members

No matter what you decide, just make sure you're automating emails that welcome and delight your newest subscribers. You can learn more about creating a welcome series in our previous post.

2. Birthday and holiday emails (Trigger: Date-specific)

Everyone loves a birthday. Even if your subscribers lie a little about their age, their birthday is a time for celebration. Why not join the party?
As a business, you can start automating emails that celebrate their big day. Most birthday emails have a nice greeting and a promotional offer for the birthday boy or girl to use in the next few days.
What kind of promotion should you send? Good question. Here's a look at which promotional offers earn the best revenue. You'll notice mystery coupons and gifts with purchase (GWP) are the most popular:

Birthday Offer Email – Discount Advice

And, here's the best part: subscribers love birthday emails. Open rates for birthday emails are three times higher than promotional emails, and enjoy click rates that are typically five times higher than a generic promotional email, according to information relayed by MarketingProfs.
Here's a great example of a birthday email from Wine.com. The company personalizes the email with the subscriber's first name, Kim, and gives her 10% off to enjoy as a gift.

Wine.com – Automated Personalized Birthday Email 

Automated birthday emails are effective, but you don't have to stop there. Consider automating emails for additional holidays as well, like Halloween, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and even obscure holidays like National Margarita Day (as long as they are relevant to your business).
Here's a great Halloween email from Birchbox:

Birchbox – Email Automation – Holiday Email

When you're automating emails like this, whether they're for Halloween or a birthday, they're triggered by a specific date. You'll make the emails ahead of time and schedule them to deliver on a certain date and time.

3. Personalized product offers (Trigger: Web browsing history)

Ready to step up your automation game? Start automating emails that provide specific product suggestions. By tracking a subscriber's browsing history, you can see what subscribers are interested in.
By tracking browsing behavior, an online retailer notices Susan spends a lot of time browsing the shoe section, for example.
With this information, you can suggest products via email that subscribers actually like. Susan gets a beautifully designed email that showcases four pairs of shoes, two of which she looked at while on your site.  
Zenni, an online eyeglass store, did something similar. The company tracked a subscriber's browsing history and suggested these great frames based on her viewing behavior.

Zenni – Automated Offer Email – Browser History 

This subscriber gets personalized product suggestions delivered right to her inbox. You know she'll like them because she's spent time checking them out on your website. It doesn't get more relevant than that.
If your company doesn't sell products, not to worry. The same concept applies to service-based businesses.
When a subscriber started surfing Flight Centre for vacation inspiration, the travel site took action. After a customer searched for flights, lodging, and activities in Europe, Flight Centre used that browsing history to curate an entire email based on the subscriber's interests.
Take a look. All of the content focuses on specific European destinations, and the flights suggested even fly out of the subscriber's home airport in Ottawa. That's personalization at its best.

Flight Centre – Automated Offer Email – Browser History

4. Promotional reminders (Trigger: Email activity)

It's common to send coupons or discounts to your subscribers. In fact, 58% of consumers say they receive coupons via email, but how many actually use them?
To get more subscribers to redeem your coupons, consider automating emails that remind customers about the deal. Sure, you can set up a schedule, and send a reminder email each day during your three-day promotion, but that's a lot of emails.
Instead, send reminder emails only to subscribers who are interested. How? By monitoring their email activity.
Let's look at an example. Bath and Body Works ran a promotion for a free item with any $10 purchase and promoted it with this email:

Bath and Body Works – Automated Offer Email

The next day, any subscriber who opened the email received this reminder email:

Bath and Body Works – Automated Reminder Email

Later that night, any subscriber who clicked on a link in the previous email was sent this final reminder:

Automated Final Reminder Email

The idea behind these reminders is to gently nudge the subscriber to make a purchase. Sometimes customers just need a little reminder. Remember, consumers are busy, but if they're showing interest in your promotion by opening the email and clicking links, a reminder email is a natural way of automating emails to close the deal.

Wrap up

If you're one of the 50% of marketers who aren't automating emails yet, it's time to start. Automation can help you create the kind of personalized emails that your customers want, and you can do it at-scale with the automation tools that Emma offers. Start today and see how your subscribers respond to your new hyper-targeted messages. 

About the Author

Miles  Price

Miles Price is a Product Marketing Manager at Campaign Monitor.

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