Marketing Automation is the best thing that happened to Digital Marketing right after email marketing. Even more so now that email software providers are starting to offer pre-built email automation campaigns. Yes, some ESPs already did the heavy lifting and made marketing funnel templates that only need a bit of customisation.
After reading this article you will know:
- The benefits pre-built Email automation campaigns
- When you should use prebuilt drip campaigns and when not.
- The different types of pre-built email campaigns there are
- A whole lot of (pre-built) email drip campaign examples and tips
And also… should I take pre-built automation templates into consideration when selecting my next ESP?
How could they even make pre-built email automation templates?
How unique your business may seem, many marketers have the same KPIs and goals. for instance you could be looking at these four main goals for this year:
- Increase revenue
- Automate sales funnels
- Grow your customer base
- Make loyal customers out of your website visitors
And for each of these goals there is a set of core triggered emails that goes along with them. The goals are similar, so the types of campaigns are also similar. Makes sense, right?
Yes, it does! It does make sense!
Premade email automation templates start as a complete set of triggered emails / drip campaigns, then you can customize them.
Now, when it comes to email marketing automation, should you go for pre-built workflows or design your own automation campaigns from scratch? Here are the things you should consider.
When to use pre-built email automation templates
Pre-built marketing workflows are templated email sequences. On some marketing automation platforms the pre-built campaigns are fully customizable, whereas on others they are rather fixed. If you can customize them, you won’t find too many difficulties in using them. But if they are fixed it is a whole other consideration.
Use a pre-built automation workflow template if you:
…want to save time. Everything is already set up for you and, just like a cooking recipe, you follow the steps. Set the desired triggered, import or design your newsletter template, and so on. It is much quicker.
…are in the exploring / learning phase. Are you wondering whether a specific drip campaign will work for you? If you are looking at the different options, and want to test different types of emails, but you don’t want to send too many emails to your subscribers. Perfect to try them, by using a pre-made automation. template. You won’t have spent as much type figuring each pain-specific workflow out, and you will then be able to customize it further still.
.. want to try beating your own template. If you have spent time designing your own sophisticated drip emails, you could be procrastinating over going through the process again. But, at the same time, wondering if another would work better. Simply head over to the template library and pick out one that looks like it could be The one.
… getting started with marketing automation. Consider your familiarity and user-expertise with marketing automation. More confident users might want to work from scratch. While if you are just starting out, a workflow template is very useful, as it serves as an outline to design your content on.
… want to be worry free. If you start out with a workflow template, you won’t need to wonder if you skipped an important filter or step. Think about abandoned cart or welcome campaigns, you don’t want to send the same ones to every subscriber.
Design your own Marketing Automation campaigns from scratch
Sometimes it is better to start designing from scratch. In those cases, your own drip campaigns are leading. That isn’t scary if the marketing software is easy to work with. Here’s when it’s better to start designing from scratch:
It is better to start a marketing automation campaign from scratch if you..
…are experienced in Email Marketing and Automations. You could have a very concrete idea of what you want to achieve with your automation. For instance if you have thought out a very complicated or sophisticated workflow.
…want to do something off the beaten track. Email automation templates mostly offer solutions for common challenges (see cart abandonment, welcome or thank you emails, and so on). As a result, if you want to do something more tailored to your business, you should consider designing your very own drip email.
… want to learn by doing. Marketers that want to take the plunge and perfect their workflow-design skills, there is no better way than practice Start small, and over time, you will come up with more advanced ideas for yourself.
But if you want to steal a tip or two… You might not have seen this one coming, but you could use pre-built drip campaign templates to steal tips and get inspired. So even when you are doing your own by seeing the workflow pre-built. It makes it much easier to imagine “how it would work exactly”.
When considering new email marketing software look for those templates.
Pre-built sales funnel templates can help marketers set up email drip campaigns right away. So if you are looking to get started quickly, pre-built email drip campaigns we think are definitely something to look at in your email marketing platform.
Especially if the choice is down to two or three. Remember, you can always use pre-built email automation campaigns and also use your own custom email triggered campaigns.
Some notable email automation software platforms that will allow you to “do pre-made” are:
Moosend, Benchmark Email and ActiveCampaign.
Many of those platforms provide you with a range of email templates to help you with creating those types of marketing automation emails.
But which campaigns? This gets us to the examples and tips 😀
The most popular types of email automation campaigns
There are a lot of different pre-built automation campaigns. The possibilities with email automation are endless (literally). Here’s a list of the most popular email automation campaigns. These you are most likely to find as a pre-built template:
- Abandoned Cart
- Repeat purchases reminder
- Onboarding / welcome emails
- Product recommendations
- Website re-engagement emails
- Special offer reminder
- Specific area of interest
- Change in custom field
- Anniversary / Loyalty / Happy Birthday
- Improve customer experience and Survey Buyers
The absolute most popular examples are “Abandoned Cart” (for ecommerce) and “Happy Birthday” triggered emails. But lets go over these one-by-one with examples.
1. Increase conversion with Cart Abandonment drip email
Cart abandonment stats, 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened on average.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the most successful and popular recipe is cart abandonment for the e-commerce industry. Here are two examples of how a cart abandonment automation flow will look like:
And here is a real email automation example of a cart abandonment email from Jack Wills.
An abandoned cart drip campaign triggers when a signed-in / recognised user left products in their cart, but didn’t finish the purchase. Then it will send out a series of reminders.
According to recent research, the ideal Cart Abandonment drip email campaign should be 2-3 emails. The first be sent in the first hour. That way you have the biggest chance to get the customer back to complete the checkout process
Here’s an email automation example of a very well-crafted cart recovery email sequence by the fashion retail company Kate Spade New York. As soon as the customer abandoned their shopping cart, the cart abandonment email is sent in the email is the product they were originally interested in:
A day later, the customer gets a second abandoned cart email, this time offering them a discount to complete their purchase.
Like the two abandoned cart email examples showed, you can set these emails up to show the products left behind. This is done using dynamic content to load the product images, details and links.
This way every time a subscribers drops out of the checkout, they get an email that mirrors the products from their abandoned cart, without requiring any action from the marketer after setting it up.
The products in the abandoned cart mail show what the customer left behind and prompt user action!
2. Increase AOV with automated Upsell and Cross-sell emails.
Two premade email automation templates that are very popular and effective are cross-sell and Upsell mails.
These automations are triggered after a first purchase to increase the average order value.
With Cross-sell emails, the customer will receive a product recommendation to go along with the product they purchased. For instance to save on shipping fees.
With Upsell emails customers who just purchased an item, say a smartphone, will get an email upselling them. For instance a special offer on a more expensive model, or a tag on of extra insurance, data plan etc.
3. Automated weather-based recommendation emails
One I especially like is the email automation template that automatically checks the weather in your customers location and triggers the right email.
For example, a fashion eshop, if it is very sunny can send out an email about “the newest Flip flops and sunglasses”.
But when it’s rainy, the email has much higher success rate with a promotion on your latest umbrella designs.
4. Sales funnel template for Repeat Purchase reminders
Sometimes Marketing automation sounds a bit pie in the sky, but it’s not. If you have any kind of restock, recurring or renewal products, you ideally want to have them on a subscription. Next best thing is an automated email reminder sequence, which are intelligently triggered.
A repeat purchase reminder is an automated email you can schedule emails to go off after a specific time from the day of purchase.
For example, if someone purchases an electric toothbrush on March 1st and this comes with 2 replacement heads, average use is 3 months? Then the reminder should be set a little before 6 months from the day of purchase.
This way the customer is prompted to restock in time AND with you.
5. Onboarding sequences / welcome emails
Lead your users and customers further down the funnel with an onboarding sequence or welcome emails. These triggered emails are designed to motivate the new subscribers to take action and reach the next stage in there the customer experience.
Welcome emails allow you to have a first soft-touch with your newly registered customer or subscriber. Start off on the right (but automated) foot and begin building out that relationship.
When new users subscribe to your newsletter, and while they are still familiarizing themselves with the platform, it is very useful to show them around using a rich Welcome email sequence.
There are more than 8 types of Welcome and onboarding emails you can set up for your users.
- Standard welcome email: “Welcome to Acme.com!”
- Welcome to a reward system/ loyalty program: “Welcome to our Acme’s loyalty program!”
- Confirmation email disguised as a welcome email: “Confirm your account to Acme.com!”
- Upgraded subscription Welcome email: “Welcome to Premium Acme.com!”
- First delivery welcome: “Welcome to your first delivery from Acme.com!”
- User/customer re-activates their account: “Welcome back to Acme.com!”
- VIP customer segment: “Welcome to Acme’s VIP list!”
- Content upgrade welcome: “Welcome to our free cheat sheet!”
Here is another one:
Source: How 30 Companies do Welcome Emails.
6. Increase sales with Product Recommendation emails
Segmenting your mailing lists is the first step to target the appropriate audience with product recommendations.
Set up our Product Recommendations recipe to increase sales of a specific product that you deem it resonates with the members of a particular segment.
A product recommendation automation email can be divided into three categories:
- Most-viewed Products
- Most-ordered Products
- Most-profitable Products
Therefore as mentioned above you can segment your email list based on those three customer/product attributes and recommend products to your audience that are either popular or have high sales, this can be easily done with the use of email marketing software like moosend (I might be a bit biassed) that has these pre-built templates.
7. Drive customers back with site re-engagement campaigns
These are also sometimes called browse abandonment emails. A pre-built email automation to get people back to the site after they visited.
Every recognised / registered customers that visited your website or eshop but not in the meantime, will receive an email getting them back on track. This can work especially well with price drops or promotions. OR send them an email with the visited products / category in there (but not even mentioning it was because of their shown interest).
You can send them a timed email, with a discount offer valid for a few days and a reminder as the discount is almost expired.
8. Beef up mailing list conversions with Special Offer Reminders
When posting a special offer or sending a newsletter, think about the additional conversions you could get from the ones who didn’t convert from the first email. A special offer reminder, is a series of automated emails in a drip campaign to remind them of the expiring deal.
By setting up a special offer reminder, you can craft a series of beautiful messages possibly increasing urgency in tone and style.
You can segment and filter the subscribers that get these reminder emails when setting up your automation.
For instance, a Special Offer reminder for those who have open and clicked on your first email, but didn’t buy.
You can set up a different reminder for those who haven’t opened any of the promotion emails. In that case, try a different subject line to get them to open it!
9. Automatically segment and trigger mails based on shown interest.
Segmentation and interest based emails always do better. But first you need to know who is interested, what they are interested in. With email automation you are able to find out more about your subscribers based on their behavior. Set up an automation that keeps track of the product categories they clicked on and on-site customer behavior to make better recommendations.
Every time that a user views a specific product page will be counted towards their score for that page. Once that score reaches a specific number you have set, they will be re-segmented into a interest based emailing list.
10. Track any trigger any events with “Field value has changed”
Remember I said the number of email marketing automation campaigns are limitless? Here is an example of how that works. Because your ESP is a database you can track any changes in your customer profile fields. Yes, email automation is tracking (any) custom events. On field changes you can then do what action you like. For instance, a change of home address triggers a “find stores near you” email.
Digital marketers can also keep an eye on behavioral pattern changes or timed events and craft messages and newsletters accordingly.
For example, a well known trigger that is primarily used to remind users when their trial is about to end in order to increase the odds of buying their service/product is the “When a specific date is reached”
Let’s assume this is an entry in your database of a newly registered user on your SaaS Product.
First Name: John
Last Name: Doe
Registration Date: 04/24/2019
End of Trial Date: 05/01/2019
With the use of the “specific date is reached trigger” you can send an automatic email to remind them that today their trial period is ending.
11. Build brand loyalty with “Happy birthday”, “Loyalty sequences”, “Thank you” emails
Did you know you can build brand loyal customers with email drip campaigns?
Set up a Birthday email sequence to send out discount coupons a few days before the actual birthday, and maybe an ecard on their actual birthday.
Another way you could make customers fall in love with your is by sending them VIP Rewards.
To do that, you just need to set up a loyalty Sequences, that keeps track of the events you want to measure and one that keeps the total score in order to trigger the Reward email.
12. Improve customer experience with “Survey Buyers”
One more great idea to improve your email marketing program is to keep track of what they think about your products, your services, your after-sales service, your delivery process and shipping fees, what you could do better.
A pre-build email automation template can go off a couple of days after the customer receives the tracking code for their order. This survey could be about the overall experience of shopping with your brand, but you could set up surveys about next year’s merchandise, and many more.
Should I consider pre-build Email Automation for my next ESP?
Pre-built sales funnel templates can help marketers set up email drip campaigns way faster. So with the need speed, pre-built email drip campaigns are definitely something to look at in your email marketing platform.
It might not be the #1 criteria, but can tip the scale, especially if the choice is down to two or three.
Remember, you can always use pre-built email automation campaigns and also use your own custom email triggered campaigns.
If you don’t have experience with tools and processes it’s always an option to seek for a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in email / automation or one that specializes in eCommerce. If you are looking broader (like an agency for everything ecommerce, John Doherty has created a platform, Getcredo, where you will be able to find those broader eCommerce agencies.