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What is Email Automation? A Beginner’s Guide

Have you been wanting to email your customers more often but not sure how?

If so, email automation might be the answer. Email automation is a great way for small businesses to stay in touch with their clients without having to manually email them all the time!

In this guide, we’ll cover what email automation is and why it’s such a good idea for business owners. We’ll also show you how it works and introduce some of the best tools that are available right now. Ready? Let’s get started!

What is email automation?

Email automation is a term used to describe the process of sending out automated emails to your contacts at predetermined intervals or on certain triggers. So, if you know that every Friday afternoon you want to send an email letting your customers know about new products added in their size and favourite colour, this could be set up as email automation.

email automation abandoned cart

You could also set up an email to be sent after a customer adds something to their basket and then leaves your website without making a purchase. This email could be the final encouragement they need to commit to the purchase. Abandoned cart emails are gaining popularity as they encourage over 10% of people to go back and check out.

Your email automation strategy can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. The best way to make the most of the technology is to store as much information about your customers as possible to make the emails you send really personal. This way you won’t be sending ‘leave us a review’ emails to customers who have already posted reviews, or offers for your London site to customers who live overseas.

Benefits of email automation

Save time

Imagine trying to write personalised emails to the 70 customers in your database. Ok, it may take up a whole lot of your valuable time but it’s still doable. Try that for 10,000 customers or 300,000. Now we’re veering on impossible. You need your email marketing strategy to grow with your business.

Whether your customer base is 100, 100,000 or 1,000,000, you’re still going to be striving for growth. Setting a foundation that will accommodate expansion is key to growing in the right way. Email automation means that you can keep in contact with all of your customers at once while making individuals feel as though you have personally emailed them. This will make them feel valued and keep them loyal.

Share the news

If you have an exciting business development that you know your consumers will be interested in, email automation is a fantastic approach to share the news. You will be able to just select groups of customers to whom the news is relevant; i.e. your new payroll service that would be of interest to business owners.

business news email typewriter

Doing this will really make the most of your new launches, events, landing pages, and successes as it gives them some well-deserved attention from those who actually want to hear about it.

No intervention

The longest part of the email marketing automation process is setting up. But this is minimal compared to the benefits you reap. Once you’ve set up your email templates and the triggers, you can just leave them to do their thing.

At most you may have to do some occasional light housekeeping to make sure all the details in the email are up to date and are still relevant. This leaves you with so much extra time to spend doing tasks that can’t be automated.

Staying consistent

One of the most important rules in branding is to stay consistent. If you were to manually send out an email to customers after they took a certain action on your website, you’d end up putting out a different message to each customer.

With email automation, all of your customers will receive the same treatment. This means you can never forget to send the special promotion to your new customers or miss a customer’s birthday.

Fewer errors

We all know how easy it is to slip on the keyboard and make a spelling error when you’re in a rush. If you were having to quickfire thousands of emails per day to your customers, the chances are you’re going to mess up on some of them.

spelling mistake email man laptop

While spelling mistakes are only human, it does give off a sloppy, unprofessional appearance which is not how you want to be perceived. Since you’ll only be writing out a handful of emails per campaign with email automation, you will have more time to check the email for any embarrassing errors.

Stay present

Some customers may use you once and then forget you ever existed. Using email automation, you can make sure you stay in their inbox and on their mind. Little effort for a big gain.

In life, we meet a lot of people, so only really remember the people who have an impact on us or we see a lot. Your goal is to be seen and have a positive impact on customers by sending them emails that will be relevant to their interests and their history with your company.

How email automation works

Different tools will work in different ways, but the general principle of email automation remains.

When someone visits your website, they may be encouraged to give their email address. This may be via downloading an ebook, filling out a form, subscribing, or making a purchase.

Once they’ve handed over their email, they will be added to your email lists. Here they will be filtered into many different groups based on their location, interests, behaviour, etc.

You can then create an email marketing campaign, either for your entire customer base or for a targeted group of them, which can be selected based on your filters. The rules and triggers can be set for this email so that the right person receives each email at the right time, under the right conditions. 

The best marketing automation tools

There are several great email automation tools out there at the moment including Keap by Infusionsoft, MailChimp and GetResponse. Each email marketing tool will function slightly differently.

man emailing on laptop

As these tools store so much data, it is best to try out each tool before committing to one so you know which will work best for you. This will save you the hassle of having to switch in the future and help you get the most effective results possible.


If you’re ready to start using email automation at your company, contact us now to learn how it may help and what the next steps would be.