Email automation

Merche Martínez

Written by Merche Martínez

What is email automation?

Email automation consists in creating automatic email marketing strategies that are personalised for each user. We can develop the so-called drip campaigns, where we set a goal and a series of emails, which will be sent based on the user’s actions.

Let’s see an example of these, where our goal is to advertise a new product.

Drip campaign behavioural analysis

First, we need to set the goals we wish to accomplish with our drip campaign. To name a couple of examples, it could be a user subscribing to a blog or to a newsletter of an online shop. We could also be looking for customer loyalty, and of course, focus our strategy on conversion.

As with any #Marketing strategy, #DripCampaigns should also have set goals: ➕conversion, ➕subscription to a blog or a newsletter, ➕customer loyalty...Click To Tweet

Then, we step into the user’s shoes to become familiar with their customer journey, from the moment they discover they need to acquire a product or service, up until the purchase or hiring process is completed. This way, we can define the stage at which we can contribute value, and use the technology to automate the processes involved in each step of the customer journey.

Email automation goals

We could set the following goals:

  • Shorter lifecycle: to be in touch with the users throughout all steps of the buying process to resolve possible objections and outline the advantages.
  • To grow our business.
  • A higher return on investment.
  • Sign-ups: contribute something valuable in exchange for a sign-up, such as an e-book or discounts for inviting friends.
  • Loyalty: discounts applied on previously-acquired products or personalised discounts.
  • Conversion: satisfied customers, success cases or specifiers.

Email automation vs. email marketing

The goal of traditional email marketing strategies is to inform a list of users regarding a specific subject, whilst automated emails connect with the user on a more personal level.

The goal of traditional email marketing strategies is to inform a list of users regarding a specific subject, whilst automated emails connect with the user on a more personal level 🧙‍♂️🧟‍♀️🧜‍♀️Click To Tweet

Email automation types

Behaviour-based emails

We can automate different emails based on how users behave on our website, or as a result of events registered through the emails. Here are some examples of this type of emails:

  • An electronics store sends an email with various currently discounted products. The user clicks on an 50″ HD television, but doesn’t buy it. A few days later, the system will send them an email with more offers for 50″ HD televisions.
  • When a user adds products to their shopping basket on an e-commerce website, but doesn’t go through with the purchase: several days later we could send an email encouraging them to finish their purchase with an additional discount.

Date-based emails

These emails are configured to get in touch with the customer on important dates for the user in question. This kind of personal emails contribute to fostering closeness and exclusivity. Some examples of these are:

  • Birthdays: if you request the birthdate in the sign-up process, you can email the user a happy birthday email on the day they were born. This email can go accompanied by a gift card or any other special promotion.
  • Reminder: a dental clinic, for example, could send the user a reminder that it’s been a year since their last dental cleaning appointment, encouraging them to visit the clinic again soon. This email can provide a further explanation on the benefits of maintaining a good dental and oral hygiene.
  • Seasonal purchases: an email reminding a user about a purchase they made a year ago. For example, if we sell bathing suits, and a user bought one from us in the previous year, we can send them new bathing suit offers.

Welcome emails

When the user subscribes or signs up on our website, the system sends a personalised email thanking them or welcoming them. This email can be the starting point of a drip campaign if, for example, we offer the user some sort of a discount to use in their first purchase. We can also display featured products, and depending on the user’s interests, send emails specifically focussed on products that caught their attention in the welcome email.

Content update emails

The goal of this type of email automation is to let the users know about new additions, to nurture customer loyalty, or to generate traffic.

When they sign up, the user can define their preferences with regard to what they are interested in on our website. Based on this information, we can send emails in all sorts of scenarios:

  • When we generate a new article belonging to a category included in the user’s interests.
  • When a product belonging to one of the categories the user is interested in gets a discounted price.

Email marketing types


When users subscribe to the newsletter of a website, a list of subscribers gets generated. An example of this type of emails could be to send news regarding our business to this list of subscribers.

Promotional emails

Useful for one-time promotions. For example, we can notify our list of subscribers and customers via email about a VAT-free day.

Seasonal emails

Emails that are sent to all subscribers of a website on a specific date. For example, snow equipment discounts at the beginning of the ski season.


These emails are sent to subscribed users with the simple goal of informing them about something. An example of this would be the website of a yearly event, which informs its users about the location of the event, as well as its speakers and schedule.

Tools for email automation

  • Mailchimp: a comprehensive tool for managing and measuring drip campaigns.
  • Doppler: an intuitive tool allowing us to create emails without being skilled in design or HTML.
  • Active Campaign: comprehensive email automation tool.
  • Infusionsoft: a tool created for email automation, which stands out thanks to its metrics and ease of use in creating emails.
  • Benchmark: it stands out for its autoreply feature, it has responsive templates and real-time reports. It offers a free trial for up to 2,000 users.
  • SendInBlue: reliable, easy to use tool. It has a fast and personalised customer service.
  • Mailrelay: it offers up to 75,000 free emails per month, with an individual consultant, who helps you out with your campaign management.
  • AcumbaMail: it’s characterised by including embeddable forms, real-time reports, and the possibility to classify emails by type.
Merche Martínez
Autor: Merche Martínez
SEO consultant at the Human Level online marketing agency. She's an expert in search engine optimization at both national and international levels. She's also a certified Google AdWords user.

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