Email Marketing Course: #6 Email Marketing Automation

Email Marketing

The short answer to define Email Marketing Automation is to say that you can set it and forget it; meaning you can set up an Email Marketing Automation series and then it will continue to work when you’re counting sheep asleep at night or busy doing other things at work.

Set it and forget it? Kind of but for the most part it’s true. Once you have an Email Marketing Automation set up in your email marketing system, you can continue to use that same automation for almost forever.

Even if you make the move to a different email marketing system for whatever reason, you can essentially reformat that very same effective Email Marketing Automation into your newer system. Most Email Marketing System software is essentially the same for simple and even complex automation.

You create an Email Marketing Automation that is time based or triggered by events

So, an Email Marketing Automation is a single series, with one or multiple steps, that could possibly use logic or possibly not, to have the software determine whether to send an email.

Email Marketing Automation is the act of creating a series to send out emails, to one or more customers, automatically, either based on time or by actions that trigger one or a series of emails to go out.

Email marketing automation can wish your customer happy birthday

Example: Let’s say you collect your customer’s birthdates with your email marketing list because you want to do something special on each customer’s birthday. (Make sure you get the customer’s birthdate from them personally, through a sign-up card or some other legitimate marketing way)

You would set up an Email Marketing Automation that when the customer’s birthday arrives, it sends an email out to that individual. The date is the trigger to start the action. There are essentially two things you need to send a customer an email on their birthday to wish them a happy birthday and that’s their email address and their birthdate.

Baskin-Robbins used to send out birthday wishes through their birthday club that you signed up for in the store. They sent the birthday wish, which included a free coupon for an ice cream cone, through the regular mail. I would suggest that it’s too expensive to do that today but instead do it with Email Marketing.

Your Email Marketing Automation has the potential for great things

So, again it can be one email or more emails going out at a time. The key to Email Marketing Automation is that when you set it up, it will repeat the process over and over again automatically. So, setting up an Email Marketing Automation is important to take the burden off of you.

In physics class, they would talk about potential energy. If you leave a glass full of red wine on the corner of a table, it has the potential to fall to the ground if something acts on it, like your mother-in-law, and stain your carpet.

With Email Marketing Automation, the software has the potential to send a birthday wish at a moments notice. It just needs an email address and a birthdate to accomplish its mission and it will act when it has reached a specific date; the customer’s birthdate. Potential energy stored up until the birthdate arrives and a birthday wish goes out.

A more complex Email Marketing Automation example

Example: This one is a little more complex and you have to think in advance about setting it up, or later when you work through each step one-by-one. We’re going to look at setting up an Email Marketing Automation that will send a series of emails out to your customers each time you add another new customer’s email address to your system.

The process of doing something and then going back and changing things for the better is iteration. You can start with an idea and iterate slowly until you get your process or Email Marketing Automation set up the way you want. That’s why you should just jump in and try Email Marketing Automation for your email marketing campaigns. Send small batches in case something goes wrong but the key is to try something. Then iterate until you get everything just the way you want it.

Continuing the example of Email Marketing Automation and how I’m using it

So, for instance, I’m writing a series of emails that I’m compiling into an Email Marketing Course. I want to share my knowledge and teach folks how to use email marketing to better market their business. I love to help folks market their business. I’ve been doing it for the past 25 years. When I complete the Email Marketing Course, I will have about 8-10 emails that I’ve written that I can set up into an Email Marketing Automation.

When I add a new potential lead or customer to my email marketing system, then that new potential lead will receive a series of 8-10 emails, spread out over a month, from me automatically. The trigger to start the series would be me adding a customer to the list. The emails would automatically go out every 3rd day. Presto! I don’t have to wonder whether I sent the emails or not. The system does it automatically.

But with logic, if I’m talking to them about lead generation, or specifically television, then I probably wouldn’t send them the series on email marketing. I would send them an Email Marketing Automation on television advertising. So, with the help of segments and using tags, I can make sure that if they’re a television advertising customer, they get television information and if they’re email marketing, they will get email marketing information. Right?

Once I set up my entire system, and my course or courses stay relatively the same, I won’t have to touch either Email Marketing Automation for some time. I will just set it and forget it.

More examples of Email Marketing Automation

1. If a potential customer subscribes to your blog – The trigger is new blog subscriber. If someone goes to your website and subscribes to your blog, then they can receive a thank you email that was set up to go out automatically. You could also include a series of emails after the welcome email that gives that person more information on your business. You could send an educational piece that talks about your products. Next, you could follow up three days later with an email on frequently asked questions, and then another later on how you’re better than the competition. Maybe in between 3x emails you could send a soft sale email to get them to use your service or buy your product. Then you could send out a couple more emails on your business concerning other aspects that are important to closing that customer, followed by another soft or hard sale.

2. If a free subscriber finally becomes a paying subscriber – The trigger is converting subscriber from free to paid subscription. If you work off of subscriptions, then to hook them into use of your product, you offer a free subscription with limited functions but later they want all the functions. They’re moving to a paid subscription, so they should receive more content. Maybe that content is more stuff you send by email to that new subscriber to catch them up to speed.

3. A client moves from one stage in the funnel to another more important stage – The trigger is moving from one stage to the next stage. In this case, they should be sent different content. Let’s say they’re moving from the initial contact stage to the awareness stage or contract stage. Then obviously the content that you send them will be on the new stage of the funnel that they’re currently in. You would have to change them in the system to a different stage in order for the new content to go out automatically.

4. Customer re-engagement – The trigger is the customer hasn’t engaged with any of your emails or links in a long time. This kind of information is easy to gather in an email marketing system. In this case, you can send them a re-engagement email to try to get them to come back. This email would only be sent to a customer that isn’t engaging. You wouldn’t obviously send this to a customer who is fully engaged and using your product or service.

5. The client signed up to attend a webinar but didn’t – The trigger is a no-show customer. To set this up, you would need a yes/no field that is either yes, they attended or no, they didn’t. You would probably set it to yes when they sign up and then if they don’t show up, it’s changed to no. Your email would be created to get them to see either a recorded version of the previous webinar or to schedule for another webinar.

6. They’re shopping with you in your online store and they put something in the cart but leave – The trigger is an abandoned cart. This is usually a very simple automation to set up because most businesses that offer online purchases want this functionality and the email marketing systems all offer this functionality in their systems.

In summary

These are very common examples of how to set up Email Marketing Automation for your email marketing system. There are many other simple or complex ideas that you can implement to make your life easier. Most systems let you have an Email Marketing Automation for just about anything and everything. So, create away.

The question is what would you do with Email Marketing Automation? Some businesses don’t use Email Marketing Automation at all. It’s not necessary but it sure does help to automate. Why send individual email birthday wishes to thousands of customers throughout the year when you can set it and forget it?

I hope you enjoy the series! The next email is coming soon. Please give me your comments on whether you like the series or not. Also, I want to know what information you want me to add or teach concerning Email Marketing. I really want to hear from you. If you have friends whose job it is to market a business, by all means forward or share it with them. They too can be an AdNation Sensation!


Thanks for reading and I will talk with you soon.

P.S. AdNation is skilled at both helping businesses learn email marketing and at showing how to better nurture your leads to become your customers. Call or email me with questions as soon as they come to mind! I’m here to help!


AdNation is a Marketing Systems Specialists firm. We specialize in Marketing Systems, including Website Design, Email Marketing, Content Creation, Lead Generation, CRM Systems & Analytics.

Go to Email Marketing: How to Guide & Course for more articles on this subject.

Kevin Goodell
AdNation Inc.
702-985-6524 Phone

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