How To Set Up Email Automations That Work

August 25, 2022

Author: Harri Sharman

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Back in the mid-2010s, quite a few marketers were loudly proclaiming email to be dead. Everyone was on social media anyway, and people were sick of getting full inboxes, so they said at the time.

Fast forward to the early 2020s, and the digital world looks quite different. After Apple started blocking tracking cookies on their devices, and people started quitting Facebook in droves, we digital marketers have been faced with a bit of a conundrum. How do we keep creating engaging, informative spaces for our audiences, tailoring content to them while still being able to analyze and improve our services?

Enter personalised email marketing. No, not just the monthly newsletter you have to force yourself to sit down and write, but properly segmented email flows tailored to specific trigger events.

In this blog I’m going to cover the basics of email automations, how to use them, and why it should be a core part of your marketing strategy.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a type of direct marketing using personalised emails. It can be a highly effective digital strategy. You can use it to offer education to your audience around products and/or services, persuade someone to turn into a customer, provide sales aftercare or support, and re-engage cold leads or past customers. It also offers a fantastic potential return on investment (anywhere between 3000-4000% according to some sources) when compared to traditional marketing, or even some paid digital advertising. As you are using your own curated database of contacts, also known as first-party data, you’re future proofed against the day third-party tracking cookies are gone from the net. Just be sure you follow robust privacy and data storage protocols.

Going beyond the newsletter

Email marketing includes the well-known newsletter, but also includes automated emails that can be set up to trigger after a certain event has taken place. For example, if you run an e-commerce store, you might set up an email series to entice customers back to your shop with a personalised offer. Abandoned cart emails are also a good example of this.

The great thing about email automations is that once they are all set up, you don’t have to sit down and write a new one every week or month – your emails will automatically send to the right people.

Turn abandoned carts into orders with tailored email automations

Turn abandoned carts into orders with tailored email automations.

Getting started with email automations

If you’re new to email marketing, the first thing you’ll want to consider is what email marketing software to use. Here at ninetyblack, we will use whatever our clients choose – but mostly, this is Mailchimp, the dominant player, or Klaviyo – a brilliant option for those with online stores on Shopify or WordPress. When deciding, weigh up the features and pricing of each to see what you need. Every platform will have its differences, but on the whole, email automations allow you to segment your audience and then target them with different types of automated emails.

Common examples of these automations you want to start with are:

  • Abandoned cart emails
  • New sign up welcome series
  • Post-purchase after care or offers
  • Customer win-back emails

Abandoned cart flow in Klaviyo

Start by thinking about your trigger event – for example, when someone starts a checkout, but doesn’t place an order. You’ll then want to get specific about who can enter your email series depending on what your goals are. You could include only people who’ve opened and read previous emails from you, to target loyal, high-engagement people. Win-back emails are good for people who haven’t placed an order in a while as well.

Once you’ve set up your automations, be sure to preview them first on both mobile and desktop devices. You’d be surprised how many businesses forget that mobile accounts for over 75% of email opens! You should also personalise your subject lines and greetings with first name and last name, and set up fallbacks where the person hasn’t provided these details. Personalisation can increase open rates by over 25%.


Set yourself up for success

Once you’ve had your automations running for a while, it’s important to check in on how they are going. Did you generate additional sales? How are your open rates? Maybe you need to improve your subject lines, or consider adding a tempting offer. Some platforms, including Klaviyo, have A/B testing capability so you can make minor tweaks to test what’s working and what isn’t.

Need some advice on email marketing and automations? Our digital marketing team will be eager to help you craft impactful email marketing campaigns that work!