Email automation examples and use cases
There are numerous possible use cases for automated email that vary by industry and business goals. It can feel overwhelming for you and your email program, but doesn’t have to be. Here are some common, high-impact ideas to start with:
Nurture campaigns with the goal to upsell
For your current customers, you may want to trigger email campaigns based off of whether they are a free subscriber or a paying one. For example, if a free user is using your product or service X amount of time a month for three months, an email can be triggered that suggests an upgrade by explaining the benefits of a paid plan to the user.
This is a simple way to make your user feel special. Consider sending them a special email with a discount or free gift that is triggered on the year after they sign up. Just make sure that the discount or gift can be redeemed with a week or two of wiggle room in case they aren’t checking their email all the time.
Onboarding and email signup automation
When someone signs up for your product/service, or even if they are just signing up to receive emails from your brand, automating this portion will help keep their attention and mind on your brand while saving you time so you can focus on acquiring more users. Looking for more information on creating a welcome email series? Check out The Welcome Email Series: Strategy And Benefits of A Layered Brand Introduction.
Re-engagement and sunsetting policies
One of the most crucial actions that influences your delivery rates is how well you remove unengaged users from your email list. A good rule of thumb is to remove a user as soon as 3 months go by without them opening your email. But before removing unengaged users, consider an automated campaign that asks recipients if they would prefer to receive email at a different cadence before you remove them from your email list for good.
When somebody's subscription is about the expire, triggering an email with copy asking them to update or renew a couple of weeks ahead of time will save lost users who just forgot and let their membership or subscription lapse.
Tips to nail email automation best practices
Once you’ve established your goals and determined which automated email experiences will best help you achieve those goals, keep in mind the following best practice tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of automation:
1. Don’t take content for granted
Automated email deploys your content; it doesn’t remove the time and resources required to actually create that content. Email automation frees up time for those tasks that require a human touch to truly stand out in the inbox. If your content isn’t valuable, no matter how well timed it is, the user won’t act upon it. Continuous tweaks to existing content flows are crucial for long-term success.
2. Don’t just automate for the sake of automating
Although it may sound counterintuitive, just automating every piece of your email program won’t solve all your email marketing problems. Start by automating one portion of your program. You can always add more automated email recipes as you gain more experience and feel more comfortable.
3. Set up consistent engagement and performance monitoring
As your email program grows more sophisticated with automation, closely monitoring your metrics becomes even more crucial. For example, if you notice that your open rates are starting to decline with automation, it might be a good time to review your sending frequency.
Ironically, automated emails should not feel mechanically made.
Quiz: Test your knowledge of email automation best practices
Ready to validate your automated email marketing chops? Take the following quiz to test your automation mastery:
One benefit of email automation is that it frees up time for other tasks such as content creation and segmentation strategies.True False
True - But keep in mind that automation and segmentation takes a good deal of pre-work and won’t work at all if you don’t spend careful time crafting content for your users.
When you’re beginning to think about integrating automation into your email program, the first thing you should do is write out all the possible paths you want your customer to take and then build your program.True False
False - Before you start writing out specific paths, you need to 1) benchmark what data you have and what you may want to invest in gathering and 2) finalize an end goal from which you can work backwards before you determine the most appropriate use cases.
One major risk of of email automation is email overload (and consequently reduced delivery rates).True False
True - Although automated email helps you achieve more personalized messages with precision timing, the reality is that some recipients may end up receiving too many emails. Keep a close watch on those metrics as you scale your automated email program!
When signing up, ask as many questions from your user as you can so that you can collect as much data as possibleTrue False
False - You want your sign-up process to be as seamless and free of friction as possible. Requiring multiple questions risks abandonment.
Although it may feel overwhelming at first, automated email streamlines your email marketing efforts. Adding automated email to your program provides large-scale and long-term benefits such as:
Always remember that email automation strategy requires work upfront, along with time dedicated to testing and monitoring. Instead of manually chasing down each recipient on your list, let automation curate a personal brand experience that touches base with them when they want you to and one that they will adore and look forward to.
Get Started With SendGrid
SendGrid helps you focus on your business without the cost and complexity of owning and maintaining an email infrastructure. We help with all technical details (from whitelabeling to DKIM) and offer world-class deliverability expertise to help your emails reach the inbox. And with a full-featured marketing email service that offers an intuitive workflow, effortless list segmentation, and actionable analytics, all of your email needs are met in one simple platform.