A few years ago, several marketers considered automation as nothing more than a buzzword.
We can’t blame them.
After all, the term was seemingly attachable to just about anything relevant. Content marketing automation, SEO automation, social media automation — you name it.
Fast forward to 2018, most of these “types” of automation have grown to such great heights, that they are no longer just considered “buzzwords” — they’ve become indispensable to business owners and marketers alike.
Such is especially the case for email marketing automation.
With how email marketing continues to dominate the online scene, marketers have found a way to automate a good number of their email marketing activities to improve their productivity.
Of course, we’re going to cover several of these email marketing automation hacks.
What is Email Marketing Automation?
As you may have guessed, email marketing automation is the practice of automating lead or customer interactions via email messages.
Thanks to modern email marketing platforms, automated emails can be triggered based on the actions of leads themselves. This enabled brands to supercharge their lead management strategies as well as reduce the likelihood of human error to basically nothing.
Curious how this works? Then you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll talk about the best email marketing automation hacks you can use to put your marketing efforts into hyperdrive.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Automate Lead Data Extraction
Before you even think about email marketing automation, you must first focus on your lead generation game plan.
At this point, you may already have a lineup of strategies in place — from offering lead magnets to pop-up opt-in forms.
What you probably haven’t tried, however, is using an email parser software to automate lead data extraction from direct inquiries.
Parserr, for example, is an email parser that lets you capture specific details from emails based on customizable parsing rules.
Let’s say you want to collect the email addresses of potential leads who send direct inquiries. All you need to do is create a new parsing rule that extracts the “From” attribute and Parserr will do the heavy lifting in the background.
Once collected, you can easily consolidate your parsed data into a downloadable Excel spreadsheet or send them straight to a third-party service. This can be done with an integration tool like Zapier, which supports anything from cloud-storage services to email marketing platforms like MailChimp.
If necessary, you can also use Parserr to obtain data from PDF attachments, be it HR documents, invoices, sales receipts, and so on. This will allow you to save even more time by automating data entry.
2. Create a Welcome Email
After acquiring a new lead to your email marketing campaign, the least you can do is to inform them via a welcome email.
It’s not just about common courtesy — it’s also unethical (or illegal) in some regions with strict anti-spam regulations. That’s why you must also include clear instructions on how to unsubscribe right off the bat.
Of course, a welcome email is also your opportunity to make a strong first impression. Be sure to communicate your brand’s value propositions, provide useful information, and set the tone for the upcoming emails you’ll send in the future.
With an email marketing platform like MailChimp, you can set up your welcome emails with the help of an automation template.
You will then be required to manage the trigger and schedule of your welcome email through the “Automation Builder.” Since you already selected the “Welcome new subscribers” template, then the only thing you should modify would be the waiting time before your message is sent.
If you’re importing leads from Parserr, don’t forget to enable “Trigger when subscribers are imported.”
Why MailChimp? Because it’s one of the few email marketing platforms that offer automation features for free.
When it comes to designing your emails, MailChimp can provide you with professional-looking themes that’ll help you save time. These are also pre-configured to abide by the basic principles of conversions, such as using a visible CTA and maximizing the visual impact above the fold.
3. Recover Sales from Cart Abandoners
In the e-commerce space, it’s a known fact that the majority of visitors are highly unlikely to buy on their first visit.
Even if you manage to get leads all the way to the checkout page, they might still abandon their shopping carts for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Losing internet connectivity
- Additional shipping charges
- Slow loading website
- Lack of a payment option they can use
For a chance to squeeze sales from these leads, you can automate “abandoned cart emails” that remind them about the contents of their online cart. Usually, this includes a direct link that sends them back to the checkout process.
The good news is, automating abandoned cart emails is a lot easier than it sounds. You only need to link your e-commerce platform account to an email marketing platform that supports this workflow.
4. Say Happy Birthday
Automating birthday emails to existing leads isn’t just exclusive to e-commerce businesses. It can also be utilized by any brand to engage existing leads and generate quick sales.
Example source: Runtastic
Remember, people are generally more willing to spend at specific times of the year. Apart from their birthdays, this includes Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, Mother’s Days, and so on.
The best part about creating date-based emails is how easy it is to automate them. Again, email marketing platforms like MailChimp have ready-to-use templates for these workflows.
5. Automate Customer Service Emails
If you can automate only one type of email, which one would it be?
Will you automate a welcome email to make sure new leads are duly briefed about your brand?
Should you prioritize abandoned cart emails to maximize sales?
Well, if you truly value the experience and trust of your users, you should seriously consider automating customer service emails. Doing so is a great way to prove your reliability and responsiveness, especially during your lead’s time of need.
For this to work, you need to do three things:
- Use an email parser to capture the lead’s email address if they send an email to your customer support channel
- Create a new lead segment on your email marketing platform
- Automate your customer service email specifically for this new lead list
Just don’t forget to include a FAQ section and links to useful resources when designing your customer service email. And to make sure their concerns are properly addressed, offer your leads additional ways to connect with you — be it via phone or your social media channels.
Email automation is a great avenue not just for boosting your productivity, but also for ensuring the best experience possible for your potential leads.
With the email automation strategies above, you should be able to save several hours in your daily business activities.
Think we missed a must-have email automation strategy? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!