Automated messages and responses had a brief period where they were considered poor form, as the social media age rose and everyone encouraged real engagement over marketing. But that comparison isn’t really fair because marketing is always a part of the equation, it’s only a matter of degree and subtlety.

In addition to the purist poo-pooing of automation, it’s long been predicted that email as a messaging platform is about to draw its last breath. Both of these ideas are just wrong. Email is still the most popular and used form of digital communication. This is why email automation is essential for a successful business. As great as social media is, email still beats it hands down.

Types and Uses

Automated emails can serve a range of purposes and be used in all sorts of different situations. The three types that are most commonly used by businesses are Welcome emails, to thank them for signing up for something, Thank You emails thanking them for a purchase, and transactional emails such as receipts, bills, and order confirmations.

Less than 30% of companies even send date-based emails, like birthday or anniversary coupons or renewal reminders, even though these have shown to have a much higher conversion rate. Less than 10% automate emails to remind customers about abandoned shopping carts online, even though studies have shown that up to 60% of abandoned carts are recoverable.

Other standard automated emails are timed emails, giving subscribers valuable information to keep them loyal. These could be newsletters, articles, product information, or free courses you send them. Automated emails can also be used to both grow your membership base and reduce churn.

Strategies

If you aren’t already using automated emails for your business, start now. Our social media dashboard allows you to both create and schedule automated emails alongside your social media activity, saving you time and money.

Something to consider is the open and conversion rates of different types of automated emails. Transactional emails have a much higher open rate than most, so why not make the most of that knowledge? Add promotional material to your transactional emails and you’re likely to get more conversions with the same message.

Instead of sorting your customers by age or location, sort them by their habits on your website. Then create personalized emails triggered by their activity when they visit your website. This is the same idea as saving abandoned shopping carts. Amazon is probably the best known for these kinds of personalized messages with prompts to come back and buy what you were looking at yesterday.

Patch the hole in your process. The abandoned shopping cart scenario can be applied to any step in your process where visitors drop out. That could be any step along the way between showing up and checking out. Find out where this hole is and set up an autoresponder to patch help patch it up.

That email could include the top two or three most frequently asked questions by your customers and the answers. Whatever you put in it, keep it simple, to the point, and cordial. Once you’ve had your automated email routine in place for a few months, you should be seeing a significant uptick in your engagement and conversion rates.

Vishal Pindoriya

Vishal Pindoriya is a social media enthusiast, strategist and writer. He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world.

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