Email automation is the most effective way to engage in email marketing because it enables you to send out messages to your customers at designated times. Small-business owners don't have the time to send individualized messages to their customers. Using automation, they can save time by setting up the email platform to send messages when customers take specific actions. While automation sounds robotic, it actually allows business owners to develop closer relationships with their customers by maintaining effective communication and brand awareness.

Benefits of email automation

There are very compelling reasons to invest in an email automation platform, such as iContact, MailChimp or Constant Contact.

  • Email marketing is effective - Email marketing is still one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing for most businesses. More than 90 percent of all U.S. consumers use email daily, and it's more than 40 times more effective for gaining new customers than social media. Emails are at least three times more likely to prompt a purchase, and the average order value is 17 percent higher (1).
  • Save timeand money - Email marketing provides high returns for less time investment than writing manual emails. Event-triggered automated emails can save 80 percent of a direct mail budget (2).
  • Consistent branding - Automating email messages allows business owners to spend more time crafting them and keep the messaging and tone consistent.
  • Customer engagement and retention - Email automation provides a quick and easy way to keep in touch with customers and encourage them to make additional purchases.
  • Segment customer lists - To create more engaging emails for customer groups, segment messages by gender, age, location or other demographics.
  • Use metrics to improve emails - Use key performance indicators like delivery, open and click through rate to improve your emails.

When to use automation

Different businesses may have different workflows they wish to automate. Automated email campaigns can be complex or simple. Most platforms provide ways to set up workflows that will deliver messages based on more intricate steps taken by recipients.

The most frequent uses for email automation are:

  • When a subscriber signs up for your email list - Send a welcome message to let them know they've been added to the list and to give them an idea of what to expect from future messages.
  • An email series - If you provide some kind of online courses or tutorials, you can break it up into a series that is delivered over the course of a few days, weeks or months.
  • Annual messages - Send out yearly messages on someone's birthday or some other type of anniversary to keep customers engaged, like product coupons.
  • Website activity - Set up your email automation to send customers an email based on specific links clicked or material downloaded.
  • Following up after a purchase - Send customers an email thanking them for their purchase and recommend additional products for them.
  • Surveys - Another engagement tactic, surveys allow you to gain important feedback about the shopping experience and helps customers feel valued.

1) Mckinsey and Company

2) Wishpond

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