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Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

The difference between good email marketing and great email marketing is email automation.


It’s clear that most email marketers are catching onto this phenomenon, as 67% of marketers either use or plan in the next 2 years to use an email automation tool.


So let’s deep dive into all things email automation and answer all the big questions:

  • What is it?
  • Why should you do it?
  • What does an automated email marketing campaign look like?
  • Which email automation software is the best?

1. What is email automation?

What is email automation?

Email automation allows you to automate your email marketing by sending targeted automated email campaigns, based on a specific trigger or a specific time.


Email automation can do wonders for your personalization, time management, lead generation, and ultimately, your sales — if executed correctly.


For example, you can send an automated email to everyone that opts into your subscriber list and subscribe them to a welcome campaign.


This saves you endless hours slaving away manually sending every new subscriber a welcome email.


An excellent email automation tool is the key to unlocking this power.


A tool like systeme.io offers email marketing and email automation all in one place, plus an entire host of other tools to run your entire business.


If you still aren’t convinced marketing automation is the way to go, take a look at all the benefits automated email marketing can offer you.

2. Top 10 benefits of email automation

Here are 10 benefits that prove email automation is something you simply can’t live without:

1. It helps you grow your list and generate leads

A welcome email can go a long way in inviting a subscriber to become an engaged and qualified lead.


By consistently engaging your subscribers with lead nurturing campaigns, you can make sure you gain more subscribers than you lose.

2. You can create targeted campaigns based on triggers

You can use a subscriber’s behavior to segment them and subscribe them to an automated campaign.


For example, if a subscriber abandons their shopping cart, you can use an abandoned cart campaign to draw them back in.

3. Personalized email campaigns boost conversions

By using the recipient’s first name in the subject line or utilizing behavioral triggers, you can make your recipient feel seen so that they’re more likely to convert.


Triggered emails boast the highest click-through and open rates with 6.76% and 38.03%, respectively.

4. It helps you stay relevant in the minds of your subscribers

Drip campaigns allow you to send automated, scheduled emails which continuously engage your subscriber with a constant stream of content.


This keeps your business top-of-mind to subscribers that aren’t yet ready to buy.

5. Improves customer retention

A customer that feels valued is much more likely to stick around. Creating personalized, targeted campaigns can boost your customer loyalty.


You can even throw in some automated re-engagement campaigns to ensure your subscribers never lose interest.

6. Increases your revenue

It’s much easier and more cost-effective to sell to an existing customer than it is to try to convert a new one.


Increasing your leads, conversions, and returning customers can only lead to more profits from sales.

7. Saves you loads of time

74% of marketers say that saving time is the largest benefit of marketing automation — you set up an automated campaign once, and it lasts forever.


Without having to compose and send each email, you’ll be able to focus your time on more important business matters.

8. It helps ready your business to scale

Sending emails manually may be practical when you only have 10 subscribers, but what happens when you have 10,000?


Automating your email marketing is the only way to give your business room to grow and scale.

9. Keeps your brand consistent

Build a consistent brand image with email designs that you only have to create once but can send to everyone.


Automation also helps remove all errors from your email marketing — never worry about forgetting to send an email in a sequence or letting a typo slip through the cracks.

10. Helps you stay ahead of the competition

With everyone in digital marketing realizing how essential automation is for their email marketing campaigns, soon email automation will be a necessity, not a luxury.


If you want to keep up with your competition or get ahead of them, the sooner you start automating, the better.

3. Examples of automated email campaigns

Now you know why you should use email automation, but you might still be wondering what an automated email sequence looks like.


Here are 6 examples of the most common types of automated email marketing campaigns.

3.1. Confirmation emails

When someone rings your doorbell, it’s common practice to verify their identity before letting them inside your home.


Similarly, before allowing a subscriber to join your email list, a confirmation email makes sure that a valid email address was used to opt-in.


But instead of having to get out of your comfy position on the couch and trudge to the front door to see for yourself, your automation software can verify it for you.


All you have to do is set up an automated confirmation email that’s triggered every time someone opts into your list.


This is called a double opt-in system, and it has some major benefits:

  • It prevents invalid email addresses or addresses with typos from infiltrating your list
  • This decreases your bounce rate and increases your email deliverability
  • It also prevents spammers and phishing attacks from being added to your list

Here’s an example of a confirmation email. Spotify uses a simple design that’s straight to the point — no need for anything too fancy.


Just a simple confirmation link will do:

Spotify’s confirmation email

Spotify’s confirmation email

3.2. Welcome emails

Your welcome email is your official first meeting with your new subscribers, and you want to make a good first impression.


An automated welcome email is triggered after someone successfully subscribes to your list, usually after they’ve confirmed their address with a confirmation email.


An automated welcome email sequence has 42% higher read rates than the average email.


Welcome emails are so powerful because they’re the spark that ignites long-lasting relationships that increase customer loyalty.


To create an impactful welcome email, consider including these sections:

  • Use subscribers’ first names in your subject lines — This makes your first introduction personal and inviting
  • Explain to the subscribers the kinds of emails they can expect to receive from you — This ensures they know what they’re getting themselves into
  • Ask the recipients to whitelist you so that you never end up in their spam folder and they never miss an email
  • Make sure to add an unsubscribe button — This stops you from wasting emails, time, and money on someone who doesn’t want it, plus it’s required by anti-spam laws

Here’s the beginning of Grammarly’s welcome email:

Grammarly’s welcome email

Grammarly’s welcome email

With that lovely, warm welcome and details on what to expect, you’re guaranteed to start the relationship with your subscriber on the right foot!

3.3. Promotional emails

Now that you’ve secured your lead as an engaged subscriber, you can start promoting and selling your offers.


Email marketing is the perfect way to get a new product, upgrade, or promotion out there into the hands of your audience.


To know which promotions to send to whom, take note of subscribers’ behavior:

Email automation tools can then help you segment your list according to these categories and plan promotions in advance.


For example, if you plan on promoting an upcoming product launch, you can set it up months in advance, taking your time writing and perfecting each email.


And with automated list segmentation, when the time for the promotional campaign arrives, you can just sit back, relax, and watch the numbers pour in.


Here’s an example of a promotional email from systeme.io, where we promoted the launch of our new online course:

systeme.io’s promotional email

systeme.io’s promotional email

By giving a generous, limited-time offer of 100% affiliate commissions, we successfully enlist our affiliate army to promote our new course.

3.4. Product recommendation emails

A product recommendation email also utilizes browsing behavior to create targeted, personalized emails.


A subscriber’s browsing behavior on your online store can tell you exactly which products they’re interested in.


Automated workflows will take note of their behavior and automatically send them relevant product recommendations.


This could be especially relevant if there’s a discount or promotion on one of the items they were interested in.


This kind of triggered email has a much higher chance of converting, as it delivers personalized content, giving the subscriber exactly what they’re looking for.


It also doesn’t have to be just products — this works for services too.


OpenTable offers a search and booking service for restaurants near you — here’s how they use a recommendation email:

Source: ReallyGoodEmails.com

They use a subscriber’s behavior to recommend restaurants, encouraging them to book a table.

3.5. Abandoned cart emails

Cart abandonment is a frequent tragedy that plagues ecommerce marketers.


Potential customers abandon their cart for a host of reasons, but the most common reason is that they aren’t ready to make a purchase yet.


96% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to buy. This justifies the high average cart abandonment rate of almost 70%.


But what if there was a way for ecommerce marketers to remind potential customers of the items left in their cart to nudge them towards a purchase?


Well, that’s where abandoned cart emails come in!


An automated abandoned cart sequence is triggered when someone leaves your website without completing their purchase.


Here are some things to consider when planning your abandoned cart email sequence:

  • Sending your first email within 3 hours after cart abandonment has proven to be the most effective waiting period with an average of 40% open rates and 20% click-through rates
  • Your first email should be a quick reminder of the items left in their cart
  • Your second email can offer a discount code or coupon to make the decision to buy an easy one
  • Add photos of the items in their cart to remind them of how appetizing your products looked
  • Don’t forget to add a link straight to the checkout page to make the buying process simple and easy

Here’s an example of Taylor Nation’s abandoned cart email with enticing photos of the item and a clear call-to-action to return to their website:

Taylor Nation’s abandoned cart email

Taylor Nation’s abandoned cart email

3.6. Review and feedback emails

Receiving feedback and criticism is the only way you’re going to improve your products and services.


And there’s no one better to ask than existing customers, who have already used your product or service themselves.


Reviews are incredibly handy testimonials to act as social proof and generate new customers.


Using automated email marketing software, you can set up an automated email asking for a review or feedback that’s sent 3-5 days after the product or service has been delivered.


Additionally, you can add an incentive, such as a coupon, entry into a giveaway, or discount on an upsell, encouraging users to give you a review.


Here’s an example of a review email from Boden. Boden entices recipients to send in a review with the chance of winning account credit — a clever way to drastically boost your reviews:

Source: MailCharts.com

3.7. Re-engagement campaign

If you aren’t continuously engaging with your leads, eventually they’ll go cold and unresponsive.


If a lead slips through your super engaging marketing campaigns, email marketing automation can catch them before they fall to oblivion.


With an automated re-engagement campaign, you can revive any cold leads.


This uses a timed trigger that activates a re-engagement campaign after a certain period of disengagement.


There are a couple of ways to win back your lead’s attention:

  • Offer a coupon
  • Showcase your own business by focusing your value proposition and products’ benefits
  • Use smart recommendations to create a targeted experience
  • Include an enticing call-to-action

While we’ve explored the main types of automated email campaigns, here’s a list of other automated email marketing sequences to consider:

  • Discount emails
  • Birthday emails
  • Anniversary emails
  • Order confirmation emails
  • Shipping updates
  • Customer complaint responses

Make sure to employ a combination of all the automated email sequences mentioned above for optimal effect.


It might sound like a lot to remember, but it’ll be a breeze with trusty marketing automation software, like systeme.io, by your side.

4. The top email marketing tools for automated emails

To create the best automated email marketing strategy, you’ll need the best email automation tools.


Here’s a look at the top 3 email marketing tools to help take your automated email marketing to the next level.

4.1. Systeme.io

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

If you’re looking for the best email marketing tool, look no further than systeme.io.


Systeme.io is an all-in-one digital marketing platform with an entire suite of easy-to-use tools:

  • Email marketing — Send unlimited emails, segment your list using tags, and set up email marketing sequences
  • Marketing automation — Automatically capture leads, and trigger automated email messages using automation rules and workflows
  • Website builder — Build your website and landing pages in just a few minutes with our drag-and-drop builder
  • Sales funnel — Make sure each lead receives the right message at the right time with our easy-to-use sales funnel builder
  • Blogging — Blog to your heart’s content with unlimited blog posts, create high-converting content, and drive traffic to your site
  • Online courses and webinars — Run evergreen webinars to boost conversions of your online courses built on our platform
  • Sell products — Become a dropshipper, or sell your own products and services
  • Affiliate marketing — Create an army of affiliates to promote your products and gain more sales

The good news — you can get all of this, and more, for free!


Systeme.io offers a Free plan that’s free forever — no credit card details are required.


Here’s a look at systeme.io’s 4 pricing plans:

  • Free plan — $0/month for 2,000 contacts, 1 workflow, email campaign, tag, and an automation rule
  • Startup plan — $27/month for 5,000 contacts, 5 workflows, and 10 email campaigns, tags, and automation rules
  • Webinar plan — $47/month for 10,000 contacts, 20 workflows, and 100 email campaigns, tags, and automation rules
  • Enterprise plan — $97/month for 15,000 contacts and unlimited everything!

Need more contacts? No problem! Systeme.io also offers custom pricing for up to 100,000 contacts.


Additionally, every systeme.io plan comes with:

  • Unlimited emails, blog posts, file storage space, and membership site members
  • Integrated PayPal and Stripe payments with no transaction fees
  • Access to your own affiliate program
  • 24/7 expert online support that responds in less than 2 hours

Partnering with systeme.io as your email service provider is a no-brainer — just ask our customers!


Systeme.io’s free tool is perfect to get your automated emails up and running, and when you’re ready to upgrade, our affordable and scalable paid plans will fulfill all your automation needs.

4.2. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most well-known names in email marketing with a massive customer base.


Mailchimp’s automation features include:

  • Pre-built journeys — Draw inspiration for your automation flows from expertly built journeys
  • Customer journey builder — Automatically tag customers, and use multiple branching points and delays to set up your automated emails
  • Email templates — Create emails that are appealing to the eye
  • Subject line helper — Receive feedback on how to improve your subject lines to attract more attention from recipients
  • Dynamic content — Create a personalized experience for your subscribers with varying content for each subscriber

Mailchimp has also added additional features, including ecommerce, website building and hosting, landing pages, and more.


But many integrations are still required to satisfy every need of your business.


This can get very pricey, especially considering Mailchimp’s high price on its own — here are their pricing plans:

  • Free plan — $0/month for 2,000 contacts, 10,000 monthly emails, and 1-step automation
  • Essentials plan — Starts at $9.99/month for 500 contacts, 5,000 emails/month, and a customer journey builder
  • Standard plan — Starts at $14.99/month for 500 contacts, 6,000 emails/month, plus everything from the Essentials plan with dynamic content
  • Premium plan — Starts at $299/month for 10,000 contacts, 150,000 emails/month, plus everything from the Standard plan with advanced segmentation

With the sliding scale of each plan based on your number of contacts, you can see how quickly Mailchimp can break the bank.


And unlike systeme.io, the limits on your number of emails and contacts never lift — this can limit your business and your automation.


While Mailchimp has pretty advanced features, the incredibly high price tag is simply unjustifiable.

4.3. Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is another dominant email marketing tool with sleek and easy email marketing automation.


Here’s what Campaign Monitor can offer your email marketing efforts:

  • Visual journey builder — Choose triggers, set up rules, and create content for an effective automated email sequence
  • Smart segmentation — Use tags and customer data to create hyper-targeted segments and personalized emails
  • Email templates — Use customizable templates to create professional marketing emails
  • Dynamic content — Deliver email content using automation that’s unique to each subscriber

All of Campaign Monitor’s plans include automated emails, campaign tags, and dynamic content.


However, they unfortunately also have a sliding scale where the price of each plan depends on your number of contacts.


With up to 500 contacts, the starting price for each plan is:

  • Basic plan — $9/month for 2,500 monthly emails
  • Unlimited plan — $29/month for unlimited emails
  • Premier plan — $149/month for unlimited emails and advanced segmentation

There’s also a free trial available with no time limit, but it doesn’t offer any automation features, so it would be useless for an email marketer looking to automate their emails.


With systeme.io, it’ll only cost you $97/month for 15,000 contacts and unlimited emails, compared to Campaign Monitor’s high price of $249/month for the same limits.


It’s clear that systeme.io is the obvious choice.


With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create an automated email sequence with systeme.io.

5. How to automate your email marketing with systeme.io

It only takes 5 steps to automate your email marketing with systeme.io.


To start, you’re going to need a systeme.io account. Click here to sign up for free.

Once you’ve signed in, it’ll open up onto your dashboard, ready to begin.

Step 1: Create an email campaign

1. Head over to campaigns by clicking on the ‘Emails’ dropdown menu and then on ‘Campaigns’.

2. Click on ‘Create’ to start your first campaign.

Create a campaign with systeme.io

Create a campaign with systeme.io

3. Name your campaign, and save.

Step 2: Design each email

Once you’ve created your campaign, you now need to plan and design your email sequence.

1. To add your first email, click on ‘Add an email’ in the top right corner.

2. Input the sender name, sender address, and subject.

You can also choose between email templates or the classic editor — we recommend the classic editor, as simple text-based emails have been proven to be more effective.

3. The classic editor will open up onto the page below where you can design your entire email.

Design your email with systeme.io

Design your email with systeme.io

4. Once you’ve finished creating your winning email, click ‘save’.

Step 3: Plan your sequence

1. When you’re ready to publish your email, click ‘save and publish’, and the following pop-up will appear.

Plan your email sequence with systeme.io

Plan your email sequence with systeme.io

This pop-up allows you to plan the sequence of your campaign.

2. Set the intended delay before the email is sent.

3. Choose which email the current email should follow.

4. Set your emails to send at the best times for every subscriber to increase conversions.

5. You can also choose whether or not the email should or shouldn’t be sent on certain days of the week.

6. Once you’ve completed planning your sequence, select ‘Publish’.

Step 4: Add an automation rule

With your campaign set up, it’s time to automate it.

1. Click the dropdown menu, and select ‘Automations’ and then ‘Rules’

This will take you to the page below.

2. To create your first automation rule, click on ‘Add a rule’ in the top right corner.

Add an automation rule with systeme.io

Add an automation rule with systeme.io

Step 5: Choose a trigger and an action

This will take you to a page where you can add triggers and the corresponding actions.

1. Click on the ‘+’ sign next to triggers to add your first trigger.

A list of triggers will then appear, as seen below, for you to choose from.

Add a trigger and action with systeme.io

Add a trigger and action with systeme.io

2. Once you’ve chosen your trigger, you can then choose its corresponding action.

For example, a trigger of ‘Funnel step form subscribed’ could have the corresponding action of ‘Subscribe to campaign’.


So when someone opts into a specific form, they’ll automatically be subscribed to a specific campaign.


Email automation couldn’t get any easier!


But it can get more dynamic with an automation workflow!

Bonus step: Use workflows to create automated emails

Instead of using automation rules to automate your email marketing, you can use systeme.io’s visual workflow builder.


To create your first workflow, simply:

1. Click on ‘Automations’ and then ‘Workflows’.

2. Click ‘Create’ in the top right corner.

3. Name your workflow.

4. Click on the magic wand to the right to edit your workflow.

Once you’re in the workflow builder, you can start setting up your automated email sequence.

1. Select your first trigger.

2. Below the trigger, select the corresponding action.

Now you can get really creative and continue to build your workflow using triggers, actions, and decisions.


Here’s an example of an automation workflow for an email campaign built on systeme.io:

An example of an automated workflow with systeme.io

An example of an automated workflow with systeme.io

6. Conclusion

The power of email automation is undeniable.


Email automation can completely transform your business and your email marketing.


You’re now fully equipped to go out into the world of email automation and succeed.


Use the examples of email marketing campaigns as inspiration to help you create effective automated email sequences.


And with the best email automation software under your belt, you’ll be sending successful automated emails in no time!


Sign up for a free systeme.io account today, and watch your email marketing soar to new heights.

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