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Email automation: the art of boosting customer engagement

Email Automation: The Art of Boosting Customer Engagement

Good customer communication is the secret to your business’ success. But sending out individual welcome emails and follow-ups to each user is impossible to maintain once your company scales. Using email automation, you can create and send customized emails based on site visitors' behaviors.

After you create a website and connect your email to your Wix website, your analytics and communication settings can be set to fit the exact customer cadence you’re looking for. From re-engagement emails and shopping cart abandonment messages to order confirmations, email automation can improve sales, drive customer engagement and increase repeat buyers.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

What is email automation?

Email automation is a powerful tool that streamlines your work process to reach customers systematically. The software sends customizable messages (or other types of content, newsletter examples as one) triggered by specific actions or events that occur on your site. Ultimately, when visitors follow particular behaviors, you can send a ready response to improve their experience with your brand. The goal? Email automation helps move your visitors down the marketing funnel efficiently.

What is email automation? screenshot of an email automation dashboard

The structure of an automation

An automation can be broken down into two parts:

  • The trigger: the event which starts off, or "triggers" the automation.

  • The action: the response which occurs after the automation is triggered.

Another important factor of automation is timing. Since the action occurs automatically, the timing needs to be set in advance. The action can take place before or immediately after the trigger or after a predefined number of hours or days. For example, you can trigger an automated email for Pricing Plans before a plan expires.

The structure of an email automation screenshot

Key benefits of email automation

  • Perfect timing: Automating much of your communication allows you to send the right messages at the right time. You might not be at your computer right when that high-potential customer fills a form or completes a course, but your email automation tool has you covered and knows exactly what to do and when.

  • More sales, traffic and customer retention: Without a doubt, email automation increases sales. More specifically, a cart abandonment email can give a sales uplift of 6.6% and a conversion rate of 10.19%. Drip campaigns built for customer retention can increase company revenue by 13%. Moreover, email automation is an ideal way to drive traffic by 2.7 times.

  • The power of personalization: Not only are you adding a lot of value by being helpful and specific to the user’s action, but you’re letting the reader see the message is meant for them. Engagement with personalized emails is much greater than generic email marketing as they deliver six times higher transactional rates.

  • Saved resources: When automated technology does that manual work for you, you have more time to focus on other parts of growing your business. Instead of sorting through thousands of emails, an automation tool like those provided by Wix becomes your personal assistant (see email AI tool).

Email automation use cases and examples

While there are various types of email automation, we’ve included the most strategic and recommended ones for driving customer engagement.

01. Welcome email

Sending a welcome email when a visitor signs up to your email list is a fantastic way to start a customer relationship. Greeting a newbie with a personalized note or instructions on getting started can be quite helpful.

Our logo maker welcome email strategically outlines what the logo maker can do, together with a friendly “Get started” call-to-action to lead the user to the next step. It’s important this email is fun and friendly, as it might be the first formal interaction a user has with your business.

Wix Welcome email email automation

02. Cart abandonment

One of the best email automation methods is prompting emails to those who put items in their shopping cart but left without checking out. Whether they still needed time to think over the purchase or did not have their credit card information nearby, you can remind users to come back and complete the purchase. Some users offer a small discount to customers that abandoned their cart to create an incentive to return.

To show you how it’s done, let’s look at how Food 52 used the appropriate tone of voice to persuade their users to buy without coming off as spammy, “Your cart called. It’s hoping you’ll come back and see it. The goodies you love are there waiting for you, but they won’t be forever.”

03. Customer feedback

Asking customers for feedback or product reviews is an effective way to build credibility with new potential consumers. We recommend you send an email automation after a purchase or service was completed, asking the customer to rate the experience or write a testimonial. This can help you understand what areas of your business can improve and assist you in attracting new business—a win-win.

You might even want to add an incentive for users to fill a feedback survey like Signature Hardware did in the example below. The reward can be anything from a gift card, future discount or contest entry.

​​04. Order confirmation and shipping information

After making that exciting purchase, consumers love nothing more than knowing it successfully went through and is on its way. Keep customers informed and up-to-date by using email automation to send a customer a transactional email including their order number. In the message. include your contact info somewhere in case questions arise during the shipping or return process.

Check out how the card company, Postable, sends an engaging order confirmation email. Not only is the vector art charming, but they included full details regarding shipping arrival times, which we’re sure customers appreciate.

05. Back in stock

As a business owner, you already know there's nothing better than an item being in popular demand. Unfortunately, when that same item goes out of stock, there is a missed revenue opportunity. In such cases, use a “Back in stock” email automation, letting customers know as soon as it’s available again. Of course, you don’t want to appear spammy or desperate with your notification.

P & Co serves as a strong example of what a back-in-stock automation message looks like. The company cleverly writes, “Waiting on this?... Your item you had your eyes on.” The text in the email is playful, down-to-earth, and makes the brand sound human, a great goal to achieve through automation. For even more email marketing examples, check out our guide.

06. Follow-up after attending a class or event

You’ve worked hard and long on an event, course, or class and it was a huge success. What’s next? Continue to ride the wave and send attendees an automated email with follow-up information that will keep them engaged with your company further. The options of what to include are entirely up to you. Maybe a further course recommendation or class they’d be interested in, or a recap of the event with links to articles or relevant products on your site.

Let’s take a glance at how the software company, Salesforce, used its event follow-up email to add all kinds of value. They included a report, E-book and a link to the keynote speaker recordings to further educate the event attendees.

07. Sending a coupon via email

You can incentivize your audience to use a coupon on your website from time to time. You can include a "valid-through" limited-time offer if you want to create urgency. Many companies do this for seasonal events as part of their holiday marketing efforts.

To demonstrate, Public Desire makes their first order quite a desire. Offering 20% off a first order code helps the interested buyer take the leap. They used a visible black "Shop now" CTA button to create seamless navigation from the email to their website.

08. “Haven't seen you in a while” re-engagement email

Life can get busy, and we might not get around to re-booking our next appointment for that regular service we enjoyed so much. Remind your past customers to come back for a newly booked appointment by sending them an email automation and re-engaging them. Sometimes a tiny nudge can help your audience remember why they loved your services so much.

To show you how it’s done, let’s look at how Myles Apparel used humor to re-engage with its subscribers. “Ghosting us?... It’s not the first time we’ve been ghosted this hot girl summer, but we’re shooting our shot one last time to keep in touch with you.” Their creative content applies popular culture references and language that makes this email quite entertaining but also gets its point across.

Tips and tricks for successful email automation

Just like with any of the top marketing strategies out there, for automation to make an impact, it needs to be optimized. Follow these universal email marketing tips and avoid these email mistakes to ensure your process reaps the results you’re looking for.

  • Send the right volume of emails. According to research by SmartrMail, one to two bulk emails a week is ideal. Don't overdo it, as the email automation will be less effective or can become invasive to the user. This will also reduce your rates of hard bounces.

  • Write powerful email subject lines. Keep text to 25-30 characters to not get cut off on mobile. Also, try to personalize them, as emails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

  • Follow the CAN-SPAM and CASl best practices to adhere to regulations and avoid landing in the spam inbox. According to Beckage legal technology, you shouldn’t use false or misleading header information in the “From” and “To” lines. They suggest you avoid deceptive subject lines, identify the message as an ad, tell recipients where you are located.

  • Include compelling CTAs. Use action words written in the first person to prompt the strongest response. See our call-to-action examples and newsletter examples for further guidance and inspiration on where and how to place these buttons.

  • Allow opt-outs with an unsubscribe button.

  • Use common email marketing KPIs to measure and track performance. Some KPIs include the number of emails sent, bounced, arrived in spam and opened.

Getting started

Before you delve in, take a look at the various email marketing tools available. With Wix, you can customize your own automation to fit your exact business needs and best of all, it’s already integrated with your website. To create your automation, select an app (i.e bookings, forms, store,) and set the trigger. Then choose which action should occur and when.

Here are the steps to set up email automation:

  1. Go to your Automations Dashboard.

  2. Click + New Automation at the top right.

  3. Choose the trigger, action and timing.

  4. Edit the template to add your unique text and design.

  5. When ready, click Activate.

Email automation dashboard

For more information on launching your automation campaigns, watch this video tutorial or read this guide from our support center.

Thank you, Really Good Emails, for providing some of the images in this article.

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