5 Must-Have Emails for Your Automated Email Program

When email inboxes are getting 4% more crowded each year, and over 60% of people say that most of those emails are irrelevant, using an automated email program to drop a well-timed email into the inbox is a great way to stand out. Automated emails are triggered by an individual user’s actions (or lack thereof). This ensures that you can cater to specific circumstances without having to lift a finger, all while enjoying an 83% increase in your conversion rate. Not bad for a not-hard-at-all day’s work.

Sending a good automated email can make the reader feel like you have a personal connection, but a poor one can come across as gimmicky and too promotional. So here, we’ll discuss 5 kinds of automated emails that you should be sending, like the good pal you are.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

1. The welcome email. Being a good friend, surely you’re already sending the introductory emails that 3/4ths of people expect to get, so you can just nod your head in agreement through this part.

No pressure, but with an open rate up to 4 times higher than that of other mail, the welcome email is one of the most important automated emails you’ll send. Having just handed over their information, it follows that the reader is pretty interested in what you have to offer right now, so an immediate welcome email can go a long way towards capitalizing on this interest and maintaining it.

That being said, they were nice enough to invite you into their personal inbox (or at least the inbox they designate for brand correspondence); you owe it to them to send a worthwhile welcome email. If they can’t discern your emails from the 8 million other brand emails they get, they’ll soon move on. Introduce yourself by making it clear what kind of emails they can expect. Are they signing up for discounts? Store news? Knock-knock jokes?

A good welcome email also incentivizes them to action, whether it’s to complete their site profile, browse articles, or maybe start shopping. You don’t want to go for the hard sell, but presenting them with a sampling of your best content or an offer they can’t refuse might get them to keep clicking.

Just a little nudge, though.

2. The Re-Engagement Email. No matter how sweet that welcome email is, it won’t keep a few people from growing distant. Maybe they’ve neglected their accounts, left your emails unopened, or abandoned their cart. People forget; things come up. It happens. Still, since inactive subscribers can hurt your deliverability rates, it doesn’t hurt to jog their memory with a friendly hello.

Effective re-engagement email doesn’t just tell someone to come back, it gives them a clear path to a specific action they can take.  For instance, if it’s been a while since they’ve engaged with your content, send them an email with one of your top-performing recent articles. Or maybe some of your best content from verticals that subscriber has previously indicated an interest in. When it’s easier to re-engage an existing subscriber than win a new one over, you can’t afford not to have a re-engagement program in place.

3. The Confirmation Email. There’s nothing worse than not knowing where things stand. Was my order accepted? Did my request for more information go through?

The confirmation email can be a giant sigh of relief to the customer, and a breath of fresh air to your online marketing strategy. Not only do confirmation emails have an open rate of 70%, but they’re also going to people who are proven customers. Because selling to an existing customer is 3 times more likely than converting a new one, this is an extremely valuable audience.

So first, let your reader know things are golden, then surprise them with something else while you still have their attention. Point them in the direction of some content they can enjoy! Show them how they can make the most of their new subscription!

4. The Thank You Email. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but simple gestures like that can increase brand loyalty.

Still, being nice doesn’t mean you can’t give them something to do! Whether you’re expressing gratitude for signing up, requesting information, or thanks for sticking around all this time, you want them to keep engaging with you. Setting up a quick thank-you email to be triggered immediately after their first conversion can very well initiate a secondary conversion.

Because they’ve taken action with your brand, they’re clearly aware of what you have to offer, but you’ve got more tricks up your sleeve. Point them towards a similar product, an article they haven’t read, or a feature they’ve yet to explore. I’m no Miss Manners, but I’m sure she’d tell you it’s common courtesy to end your emails with a nice CTA. Also, sit up. Stop slouching. Elbows off the desk!

5. The Update Email. For digital publishers, the kinds of content your audience engages with gives you powerful first-party data about their interests. By enriching your email audience with this data, you can target your subscribers with content you know they’ll be interested in.

How can you put that to use? You can use it to deliver hypertargeted audiences to advertisers, for one. You can also use it to send subscribers updates about a story they previously engaged with. When breaking news happens, you can also automate a news alert to send to subscribers who frequently engage with related content. That way, you can engage your most interested subscribers with appropriate content without fatiguing the rest of your email list. After all, one man’s “breaking news" is another man’s “Why are you telling me this?"

So…why aren’t you automating? Given the ever-increasing amount of data available to marketers, there’s no reason not to go ahead with automation. Automated email programs build relationships, bring in revenue, and can can be set to accommodate a near-infinite number of scenarios. The sky’s the limit, but just barely: geotargeted emails triggered by weather events boast open rates 2.5 times that of traditional promotional emails.

Other emails could include a follow-up to ensure people are happy with a service they’ve purchased, compilations of articles related to their browsing history, or even a birthday greeting. In fact, birthday emails are especially effective, bringing in more than double the revenue of mass mailings. Just make sure your data-driven approach doesn’t involve reminding them how old they are. Come on, be a pal.

Editor, PostUp PlayBook