Email marketing automation is one of the best ways to take some tasks off your plate while keeping your prospects and customers engaged. But how do you make automated emails feel relevant and unique?
Based on a report by Forrester, B2B marketers that implement marketing automation increase their sales pipeline contribution by an average of 10%.
But wait … there’s more!
Automated email enables you to send one-to-one, real-time emails that that strengthens customer retention, engagement, and loyalty.
And if you want to get the most out of your contact database, this blog post will give you ideas for designing automated emails, which you can use to set-up automated email workflows to be sent out to activate and engage all different types of contacts in your database.
Lead nurturing email campaigns aren’t the only kind of email automation that you can use to get the most out of your contact database. Email automation can not only help you convert leads into happy customers, but it can also help you satisfy your existing customers and at the same time encourages activities like additional purchases, greater product adoption, evangelism, up-sell, and cross-sell.
If you’re just getting started with email automation, then get excited, as email automation is fun-filled, easy-to-use.
But how do you make your automated messages feel relevant and personal?
By making intentional design decisions and creating your email messages- including your store’s order notification, you can leverage email automation to establish credibility with your audience and build your brand. Following are some valuable advice to help you get started in no time.
Match the look and feel of your brand
Email automation tools make it quite easy to customize your email design and layout, so your audience will always know the email is coming from you. So, include your name, logo, and other familiar imagery in a prominent location like the header of the email to foster your brand recognition.
Choose a font and color palette similar to the ones you use on your official website and social media channels. Add relevant images to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business or to showcase new store arrivals.
You can also include personalized product recommendations to suggest items your customers will love if you have connected your store.
Make your campaigns accessible for everyone
Around 15% of the entire world’s population lives with some form of disability, and that number is increasing, according to the World Health Organization.
So, it’s very important to implement design choices that allow disables people to perceive, access, and interact with all your content. On the other hand, a beautiful email that is not accessible to disables people can negatively affect your business and potentially alienate a significant portion of your audience.
Example; when selecting font sizes, try using the “arm’s length” rule for mobile. Then send out a test email and access it from a mobile device by holding the device at arm’s length to see if the content is still readable. And if it isn’t, try increasing the font size and weight.
Designing automated emails with all subscribers in mind can be challenging, but we have put together a list of best practices that can help make it easier. There are also many resources and tools like WebAIM, which helps to show you how your email will be received by people with disabilities. These tools have simulators for low visibility, screen readers, distractibility, and dyslexia. Their contrast checker helps you test the readability of your links, texts, and buttons on different background colors.
Consider the structure of your email
The way words are structures on a page is just as valuable as the words themselves. Does the automated email layout you’re using make sense for the kind of information you’re conveying? Is the email scannable? How will things look on a phone? These are all important to consider when creating your email.
The one-column layout usually works better for a simple, short email message, while the multi-column layout is better for heavier image and text content. And if your automated email has long sections of text, images, try using email headers to organize related content and make your email more readable.
Have fun with your design
Once you have ensured that your automated email design is functional and on-board, you might decide to include some more visual elements to liven up your content.
Email automation tool builder includes a number of web fonts, and while email client support for web fonts are limited for some tools, learning how to pair them can have a positive impact on the design of your automated email.
And if you’d like to include better quality images to your emails but don’t have the budget or resources to hire a photographer or buy costly equipment, consider stock photos. Some websites like Unsplash even offers free assets that you can modify and use in your email.
Do you need some more inspiration? Websites like Really Good Emails and Pinterest can give you important insights into current trends and help you overcome designer’s block.
Humanize your messaging
Thinking of your company as a person can help you develop content that feels more natural. After all, no one wants to read an email that sounds like it’s been written by a robot and clearly been automated.
Using personalization is a good way to kick off some of that automated feel, but be sure that you have a default state set-up for your subscribers who haven’t given you their personal information.
Set up subscribers for success
Ensure that you add all the relevant information in your automated emails.
Example; if you are sending an order update, ensure that you provide your subscribers with all the details they may need to reach out to you about any concerns or issues. Or, if you’re asking information from your subscribers, ensure that your “from name” is easily recognizable and your reply-to address is set to an inbox that’s actively monitored.
Schedule time for routine maintenance
Your automated emails will run till their conditions are met, so it’s a smart idea to set aside some time to perform a periodic review of them. This will help you to ensure that your email sending triggers are still relevant and also allows you to implement changes to any of your content that might need a quick update.
Marketing automation best practices
If you’re new to email marketing automation, following are some of the best practices you should keep in mind while creating you automated email workflows.
Start with a plan
Before you begin to build your automated email workflows, it’s better to start by writing it out.
So, begin by writing out the general plan- what you want to communicate, what you want to achieve, and to whom you want to communicate with.
Once you have all this, it’s much easier to add conditions to each step and begin to put all the pieces together.
Prepare all your marketing assets
Once you have the plan, you can then build an automated email workflow that has all the conditions and actions set-up.
And to finish it off, all you need to do is build your marketing assets like email copy, images, and everything else that goes into your emails.
Sometimes you’ll need to begin by preparing one or two emails, but it’s usually worth doing them all at once.
When you have all your emails lined up next to each other, it’s much easier to clearly see whether the style and tone the objective you wanted to reach with your workflow.
Store key information in a spreadsheet
Sometimes email marketers get confused, and as a result, they end up building many different automated email workflows, which they find quite tough to manage.
So, if you want to run your automated email campaigns with confidence, it’s better to store the key information in a spreadsheet.
Simple things like what automated email workflows you’ve created, their objectives, reasons for using scoring points, target audience and tags- all of this information can help you make much better sense of your automated email campaigns.
This type of information will also be valuable if you want to inform your team about the types of email campaigns you’re running.
Consult and test
What seems logical to you as a marketer may not seem as such to others.
While automated email workflows are quite simple to set-up, it’s worth consulting the logic behind them with someone who is an expert.
And whenever you agree that the automated email workflow makes sense, just test it out. Add an email address into the automated email workflow or just draw over it, pretending that you’re taking the same actions your subscribers would.
Time to use the KPIs and objectives you have written down in your plan and calculate the success of your automated email workflows.
If you can’t measure it, you just can’t improve it.
So, ensure that you take time to analyze your automated email workflows and all the individual automated emails you’re sending to your subscribers.
Email automation tips
Once you have finished designing your automated emails, begin setting-up your workflows and you’re ready to begin sending automated emails. But, there are some best that you should keep in mind before sending these emails to your prospects and customers.
Try the best time to send your emails based on the triggering event and the content of your email. And if you’re sending a series of emails, ensure that you space them in a way that will help your subscribers, and not overwhelm them.
Quality trumps quantity. And more isn’t always better. While it’s good to send relevant emails to your subscribers, sending too many emails can drive them away. So, focus more on the opportunities that are meaningful to your customers and also to your business.
Once you have designed and set-up your automated email, ensure that you repeatedly test them to optimize your emails. So, test your email subject lines, CTAs, content, timing, and even custom metrics that reflect the goal of your emails like key page views or upgrades.
Ensure that you include an easy unsubscribe method and email preference management in your automated emails. These will enable you to focus your efforts on engaged subscribers, and it’s much better for your company to provide a user-friendly, elegant opt-out experience than to burn a bridge.
CAN-SPAM and CASL
As the primary goal of the most automated email is to drive subscribers back to your website or app, they’re considered as a form of marketing communications. And as a result, you’ll need to ensure that all of your automated emails follow CAN-SPAM, CASL laws, and also GRPD laws, if you do business in Europe.
Example of email marketing automation
Let’s take a glimpse at the automated welcome email message that The Peach Truck sends to their new subscribers.
The following makes it a successful email:
- Its look and feel matches with their brand.
- There’s a nice big logo at the top.
- The full-width featured image is mobile-friendly and compelling.
- The tone is natural and friendly.
- Content is relevant, short, and organized in a way that makes more sense.
While content and design are huge parts of your email automation strategy, it’s also critical to pay close attention to how your subscribers are interacting with your emails. And if you’re encountering a fall in engagement between emails in a series, you may want to re-evaluate your messaging and optimize your send triggers. Don’t be afraid to experiment! At the end of the day, your email automation will be most successful if they grow and changes as your business changes.
The automated welcome email of “The Peach Truck” could easily be elevated to the next level with a bigger body font for readability, but overall, they’ve made quite a balance between clean, professional design and a message that seems human and conversational.
Email automation takeaways
As the marketing world is increasingly becoming more and more personalized, the benefit of automated email marketing will undoubtedly make your job as an email marketer much easier. Automated emails allow you to improve your email campaigns without manually sending out each individual email.
Using automated emails in your email marketing campaigns helps to grow engagement and also provide a more tailored email experience for your subscribers.
AS an email marketer, you are like to have many things competing for your limited resources and time.
Although, email marketing still remains one of the most impactful, out of all the opportunities available to you to grow your business, and setting up automated emails with great designs can help you drive results without having to spend time working on repeatedly.
So, take some ideas and suggestions presented in this blog post and apply them to your email marketing. Email automation tools make it surprisingly simple to design and set-up automated email marketing campaigns, and you can also have them driving revenue for your business for many years to come.