Email Marketing Automation Guide

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Even with all the latest fads in digital marketing, email marketing is still the most effective and cost-effective channel. On average, an email campaign has an ROI of 4200%.

With email automation, you have a sure-fire winner.

To improve your email campaigns, you should embrace automation.

This guide will teach you how to use email marketing automation to send timely, relevant, personal, and contextual messages that increase engagement and drive brand loyalty.

Automation of email marketing

Email marketing automation lets you send out emails to your subscribers based on a predefined trigger or event. If a user subscribes to your email list, you can automatically send a welcome email.

You email everyone on your list simultaneously with the same message. This is the opposite of a standard mass broadcast when you notify your subscribers about a new blog post or send your regular newsletter.

Email automation types

Email Marketing Automation Guide

You can schedule time-based automation to deliver emails on a specific date, time, or delayed basis. You might set up a ‘Welcome Series’ of five emails sent once a week for five weeks after a new subscriber joins.

You can customize what and when you send your emails with behavior-based automation. You could, for instance, monitor your welcome series to see if a user clicks on a specific link and then send them a separate email (outside the standard welcome series) with information about a special offer based on their action.

Email marketing vs. transactional email

It is essential to note the difference between transactional and marketing emails, also known as commercial emails.

Individuals receive transactional emails to complete a process or transaction. This information is unique to an individual and is usually triggered by an event.

When you purchase something from an online store like Amazon, you will automatically receive an order confirmation email.

Generally, marketing emails are sent to contacts who are prospects or customers. Delivered at a pre-determined time and with commercial intent, they are strategic.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with an overview of the tools and types of emails that are used in marketing and commercial automation since it is those that bloggers tend to use the most.

What are the benefits of email marketing automation?

Email marketing automation offers three significant benefits:

  1. You save time

Automating email marketing saves you time by creating an email or email series once and running automatically. Imagine you had to stop what you were doing every time a new subscriber signed up and send a welcome email.

2. Delivers on time

Automation sends emails to the correct recipients at the right time based on triggers. You can even customize delivery based on different time zones, for example, if you want to ensure a recipient receives a separate email at 8 am local time.

3. Increases open and click-through rates

As a result of being relevant and timely, email marketing automation increases recipients’ likelihood to open, read, and click on links in your messages.

As reported by Epsilon Email Institute for Q4 2016, automated emails had a 50.4% higher open rate and a 106.3% higher click-through rate than standard marketing emails.

Based on GetResponse’s email marketing benchmarks report, triggered and autoresponder emails have higher open and click-through rates than regular newsletters:

Automated email marketing tools

Now you’re probably thinking, “This sounds great, but how do I send these automated emails?”.”

The answer is Email Marketing Software.

There are a variety of email marketing software solutions, each with its style of automation. You need to decide what automation features you need and your budget.

The good news for beginners is that (a) there are some free tools available, and (b) most tools give you a free trial period to test out their automation features.


The visual builder in ConvertKit lets you create and send automated email marketing messages. Connecting events, actions, and conditions enable you to build complete marketing funnels by starting with simple “if this, then that” functionality.

For 14 days, you can test all ConvertKit features for free. After that, pricing plans start at $29/month for 1,000 subscribers.

Read detailed ConvertKit Review


With MailerLite, you can welcome new subscribers or engage existing customers based on their behavior. Workflows can be created with simple or sophisticated critical steps based on time, condition, or action.

MailerLite comes with a Forever Free Plan that supports up to 1,000 subscribers. Plans start at $10/month and increase as you add subscribers.


Create welcome series, segment your contacts, or automate your email marketing with ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign also includes a CRM toolkit so that you can keep tabs on your contacts and sales leads, plus a Messaging app so that you can talk to your website, visitors.

ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial. Plans start at $15/month for up to 500 subscribers. If you want the additional CRM and Messaging features, prices start at $70/month.


With Drip’s visual workflow builder, you can easily design behavior-based email campaigns.

There are also over 20 pre-made visual workflows that you can use and adapt to save time.

Take Drip for a free 14-day trial to see if it’s right for you. Starting at $19/month for 500 subscribers, the Basic Plan is the most affordable.


Sendinblue offers both marketing emails and transactional emails on the same platform. The tools listed above provide a visual automation builder that makes it easy to segment subscribers and create behavior-driven campaigns.

They also have conversion-focused features such as an opt-in form builder and landing page software.

Sendinblue’s pricing is based on the number of emails you send, not the number of subscribers you have overall. The Free Plan allows 300 emails per day. The Lite Plan is $25/month and supports 100,000 emails per month.

Automated email types

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are the most common type of automated email. Thanks to new subscribers for subscribing and letting them know what to expect. Send a single welcome email or create a welcome series.

Thank You Email

If a customer makes a purchase or a supporter donates, you can send an automated thank you message. Thank yous go a long way toward establishing a long-term relationship.

Online Course Email

Offering a free email course is one of the best ways to entice people to join your email list. Using email automation, it is possible to drip feed each lesson from your course at a set interval.

Re-engagement email

You can target inactive contacts or customers with automated re-engagement emails. Conditions could include the length of time since they last visited your website or clicked an email. You might also consider including an exclusive coupon or offer to get them excited about your products or services again.

Upsell email

You can send automated emails that contain special offers to customers in a membership scheme or make regular purchases.

Abandoned Shopping Cart email

When someone adds an item to their shopping cart but leaves it without purchasing, you can automatically send them an abandoned shopping cart email.

Subscription Renewal email

Existing customers, especially those with recurring subscriptions, do not want to be lost. One of the best ways to keep them is to send them an automated renewal email when their subscription, account, or policy with you is about to expire.


Email marketing automation saves businesses time, increases customer engagement, and generates revenue. The marketing automation statistics you’ll find will show you how important it is.

Ensure your email marketing strategy combines one-off campaigns and automated messages so you can send timely, relevant, and personalized messages to your prospects and customers.

What are you waiting for? You have the tools, and you already know the types of automated emails to send, so what are you waiting for?

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