Email marketing has a lot of power, but when you combine it with automation – now you’ve got a supercharged marketing tool. When email marketing and automation meet, it’s like upgrading from a fast car to a race car.

And here’s the best part, Campaign Monitor is launching new marketing automation features including a powerful Visual Journey Designer that is designed to rev up sales, engage subscribers with incredible speed, and retain customers with pinpoint accuracy.

To help you better understand email marketing and automation, we’ll explain how the two work together, provide a list of benefits, and give you four examples of emails that you can send using marketing automation.

Start your engines! Let’s take marketing automation for a spin.

How do email marketing and automation work together?

Email marketing and automation is the act of sending emails automatically to subscribers when they meet a certain trigger.

Essentially, you combine data, rules, and content to create an email ahead of time, decide who should receive it, and then decide what should trigger the email to send. A trigger can be a date or an action taken or even an action not taken.

For instance, you can trigger an email to send on a specific date, like a subscriber’s birthday. You can set up a trigger based on an action you take, like creating a new blog post; or an action a customer takes, like signing up for your email list. You can even trigger messages based on actions subscribers don’t take like not clicking a link or opening an email. It’s a game changer for your marketing.

The idea is to create and send the right message to the right person at the right time. All at scale. Email marketing and automation allow you to do that and so much more.

What are the benefits of email marketing and automation?

Email marketing and automation has a lot of perks. Here’s a look at the top four:

  • Save time – When email marketing and automation work together, businesses get a valuable commodity back: time. The days of manually sending each and every email are behind you as you can use marketing automation to deliver all different types of campaigns without manually having to push the send button each time.
  • Improve response rates – Every business wants their emails to perform well, and research shows automation can have a significant impact on response rates. Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” emails.
  • Improve revenue – While email marketing has many goals, one that can’t be ignored is its potential to drive sales and increase revenue. Research shows automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue. That’s a serious chunk of change.
  • Send more relevant emails – If you can provide emails that are tailored to specific individuals or groups, you stand a better chance of converting them. Research shows companies that send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle.

What emails can you send using email marketing and automation?

To help you see how email marketing and automation can work together for your business, let’s look at four emails that you can automate:

1. Welcome emails

Welcome emails have a high open rate. Research shows the average open rate for welcome emails hovers around 57.6%, compared to 14.6% of traditional emails. Considering this opportunity, businesses should send a welcome email as soon as a new contact joins their list.

But, signing into your account and manually sending a welcome email takes time. Email automation takes the hassle out of this process. When a new contact is added to your list, you can trigger a pre-made welcome email to automatically arrive in their inbox. Pretty cool, right?

Here’s a welcome email, from Converse that can be automated.

2. Educational email or onboarding email

Does your product or service require some explanation? If so, a series of educational or onboarding emails make great introductory messages for new subscribers.

The idea behind an onboarding campaign is to provide nuggets of information that encourage customers to use your product. Usually, these emails are created in batches.

For instance, let’s say you run a DIY graphic design site where customers pay a monthly fee to make cool graphics for their own marketing purposes. To “onboard” the customer, the first email you send bolsters the effectiveness of your product, the second explains how easy the design process is, and the third email provides a discounted rate to create their first design.

The idea is to educate subscribers, remove any barriers they might have, and encourage them to use your product or service.

Here’s an onboarding email from Campaign Monitor that we use to educate and help our newest customers get started.

3. Service reminder

Does your business work on appointments? If so, the number of “no shows” can impact your bottom line. To reduce the number of missed appointments, and to drive revenue by encouraging folks to come in for services you can send an automated reminder.

A recent case study looked at just how much money a clinic could save by reminding people about their appointments. By automating reminder messages, the clinic experienced 1873 fewer “no shows.” With an appointment cost of $150, the clinic figures it saved $275,000 with reminder messages.

Businesses can automate a reminder email based on a date. Let’s say you own a car dealership and you want to remind folks that recently purchased a car to return to the dealership for service. Service and tuneups generate a lot of revenue so it’s important to keep your customers coming back. 6 months after their purchase you can send them a service reminder to schedule their service.

Here’s an example from Nissan of an automated reminder email:

4. Happy Birthday email

Everyone likes birthday wishes. How cool would it be to send your subscribers a birthday email? Now you can. By using marketing automation, you can schedule emails to send on or before a customer’s specific birthday. You can include a special offer or just send happy wishes.

Here’s an example from Monica Vinader:

Wrap up

Now that we’ve fueled you with information, it’s time to hit the gas and take your first lap around the marketing automation track.