Email marketing…it’s not just for lead nurturing anymore.

As a marketer, I tend to think email automation is one of the best things since sliced bread or dresses with pockets. It can make our jobs as marketers so much easier, giving us time to work on other projects, and making our colleagues think we’re capable some sort of marketing magic.

As the name implies, email automation is the creation and sending of a pre-written email (or series of emails) to an individual or list of recipients once triggered by a time, date or action.

Today, the majority of the most popular email service providers like MailChimp, Emma, AWeber or Constant Contact offer automation, as do the more robust marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign. Actually, if you Google “email automation”, the list of options is quite extensive.

But these are all just tools. It doesn’t matter which tool you use but how you use it that can make a difference in your marketing efforts.

Using email automation for lead nurturing in your marketing and sales process is pretty common these days. Following up with prospects after they have subscribed to your blog or downloaded a piece of your free content is a standard practice for online marketers.

(If this isn’t standard practice for you, read our Honest Guide to Inbound Marketing first, then come back to this blog!)

If you are already incorporating email automation into your marketing practices, you are off to a good start. But are you leveraging the full power of email automation?

Email automation does not have to be limited solely to lead nurturing. You can create automated emails for most of your communications with prospects, current clients, even your employees and associates.

Because, if you are going to pay for the tool, you might as well maximize its power, right?

Alternative Ways to Use Email Automation

Here are 23 alternative ways to use email automation in your daily internal and external communications:

Use Email Automation for Marketing to Leads and Customers

  1. Welcome someone to a new subscription service Make a new client feel welcomed and add additional value to your monthly or annual subscription program.
  2. Welcome someone who joined your list Thank someone for subscribing to your blog or joining your list. Send an automated email to let them know what to expect from your company and communications.
  3. Celebrate the anniversary of a customer first using your service or making their first purchase Trigger this automation by date and your customers will be touched that you remembered them.
  4. Send a Happy Birthday card with coupon or gift Because who doesn’t like birthdays?
  5. Send pre-launch content for new product release Build consumer awareness of a new product, service or course you plan to launch

Automate Your Customer Service Experiences

  1. Follow up on product satisfaction post-purchase Check in with your customers after a few days or weeks of using your product to make sure they are satisfied with their purchase.
  2. Follow up on customer service call Gain insight into your customer service operations by following up on the experience after someone makes a call, sends an email, or makes an appointment with the customer service team.
  3. Onboard a new client Ensure a seamless transition from sales manager to account manager and add extra value by automating the client onboarding process.

Increase Your Sales Potential

  1. Set up abandoned cart nurturing Don’t let those products sit in shopping carts! Maximize your e-commerce potential by reminding potential customers to complete their purchase.
  2. Showcase similar products Because a customer bought a t-shirt in green, they might also like a similar t-shirt in blue. Guide them to explore other products in your inventory by making suggestions based on their purchase patterns.
  3. Send a reminder to reorder a product that may be running low Don’t you hate it when you pull the last tissue out of the box or open the last ream of paper and have no replacement in stock? So do your customers. Trigger date-based reminders to keep their inventory filled and your sales coming in.
  4. Remind subscribers to renew a monthly or annual membership If your membership or subscription services expire, send date-based reminders to encourage subscribers to renew.
  5. Announce a new product or feature Tease a new product or feature rollout to generate excitement prior to launch.

Streamline Internal Communications

  1. Notify employees when new assets are available Update your sales team on the availability of new marketing materials, software updates or even when the Coke machine has been refilled.
  2. Set reminders to submit invoices Tired of tracking down employees to submit invoices or expense reports? Pre-schedule these reminders so you don’t have to think about it again!
  3. Send office-wide announcements Remind employees of upcoming office closures, holidays, parking updates or other announcements.
  4. Notify Sales of new leads Use lead scoring and email automation to notify your sales team of Marketing Qualified Leads who are ready to be contacted by a salesperson.
  5. Alert teams of closed deals Notify each team know of a closed/won deal at the same time, so the new client onboarding process can begin immediately.
  6. Transition a prospect from their salesperson to their account manager Streamline the handoff from sales to account management easily through an automated email
  7. Onboard a new associate Help your new hires know what to expect on their first days and weeks of employment

Deliver Educational Materials

  1. Deliver membership or course materials Use a drip campaign or time-based workflow to deliver content for your online course or membership program.
  2. Send materials for subscription-based program Schedule content delivery for subscription services based on when someone enrolls in the program.
  3. Prepare new students for orientation Whether you offer in-person or online courses, let your new students know what to expect from your educational programming through automation.

Of course, the options for using email automation are endless. And, like most successful ventures, the more time you can allocate on the front end to set up your workflows properly, the easier your communications will become over time…which ultimately frees up your time to make even more great marketing magic happen!