Getting started with automated email campaigns

Getting Started With Automated Email Campaigns

What are automated email campaigns?

Unlike a standard email campaign that you would create once and send to your email list, an automated campaign is sent to a contact when they meet a certain set of criteria.

For example, when someone signs up to your email newsletter via your website they could be sent a welcome email that thanks them for signing up, delivers on a discount code or piece of content promised as part of the sign up process or other offer.

To do this manually would be very time consuming, with each campaign needing to be created multiple times. When a campaign like this is automated it’s simply set up once with a set of rules that condition when and what time it’s triggered.

When you automate your campaigns, your aim is to try and create a 1-2-1 customer experience. The right content at the right time that’s personalised to the individual.

What types of email campaigns can be automated?

OK so now you understand what an automated email campaign is let’s explore the types of campaigns that can be automated.

Below are 11 types of email campaign you can automate

Birthday/Special Occasion
Welcome/Thank You
New Customer
Abandon Basket
First Purchase/Repeat Purchase
Survey e.g. Post Purchase
Double Opt In
Re-engagement campaigns
Upsell/Cross sell
Web visit/behaviour

Some of the above may require additional data, for example an abandon basket campaign would require details of the item left in the basket, together with pricing information.

A post purchase survey may also require the product that the customer bought. This data would need to be fed into the campaign for it to trigger correctly.

Some examples of Welcome campaigns

EMP Welcome Campaign
Welcome campaign from EMP with a discount code off the next order
Iceland Welcome Campaign
Welcome campaign from Iceland.

Campaign Data

Depending on the type of campaign you want to run, you’ll probably need to pull in some additional data and append it to the profile of your contacts.

For example, if a customer has browsed your website and you want to send them an email showing the products that they looked at, you’ll need to collect that data and have it been updated in your email platform so that you can populate the email ready for sending.

So you’d want to collect something like the following

Date Browsed
Product URL
Product Description
Product image URL
Product Price
Product Title
Product Description

Now if you want to show more than one product, you’d obviously need this data multiple times. So something to think about.

This type of campaign will typically take longer to set up and test due to the complexities involved, whereas something like a welcome campaign that’s triggered upon successful sign up to your newsletter can normally be done within your marketing software.

Increase engagement with campaign automation

Timing and relevance are everything when it comes to running a successful email campaign.

Customers are expecting a more personalised experience from your brand, and simply sending the same email to everyone on your list will only give you a limited return on your investment.
According to Mailchimp, campaigns that are segmented and targeted have open rates up to 14.31% higher than non segmented campaigns, with clicks being a whopping 100.95% higher.

Given that resources and time are finite, it’s simply impossible to send a well targeted individual email to all of your customers. This is where campaign automation comes into its own.

Setting up automated campaigns like Welcome, Post Purchase & Anniversary allow you to send relevant and timely communications to your customers that they are likely expecting from you.

Some work will need to go into setting these up, but imagine knowing that every time a new customer makes a purchase from you they are going to get communication automatically that thanks them for becoming a customer, tells them more about your brand, offers them other chances to connect with you and encourages them to make a repeat purchase.

These types of programs are proven to increase engagement because of their relevance. You will see significant increases in open and click rates and well as revenue from your automated campaigns versus a regular ‘batch and blast’ campaign over time.

Phil Monk

View posts by Phil Monk
Email Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience within the email marketing industry.

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