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How to Make The Most of Email Marketing Automation – A Beginner’s Guide

how-to guide to email marketing automation

With email marketing automation your business can go further – in fact, automated emails are opened more often and generate more revenue than standard marketing emails. Why is email marketing automation so useful? Because it helps marketers send timely, personalized, and more relevant messages to their audiences.

On the other hand, automation minimizes repetitive tasks, saves time and reduces human error in campaigns. It is a true win-win tool that not only it allows for better targeting of leads and customers on your side – it also improves the overall experience of your audience by setting them on an exciting journey.

How does automation work?

Email marketing automation is when a software automatically sends campaigns to your subscribers list based on triggers and time that you specify. Mailigen offers email marketing automation that’s very efficient and easy-to-use. For example, if you’d like to welcome a new subscriber to your newsletter. You can create an automated email providing some helpful information or a special offer. Automation makes this super easy – instead of manually creating and sending a campaign to each new subscriber, you can set up an automated welcome email that will be sent out each time a newcomer joins. Joining a list is just one of many possible triggers. You can also send birthday greeting campaigns, approach your customer when they open an email or click on a particular link, and much more.

Start your journey!

Email Marketing Automation

Any marketing automation journey begins with a clear plan. Decide how to segment your audience based on the data you have – age, gender, address, subscription date, loyalty status, purchase behavior, etc. It might be helpful to draw a scheme on a piece of paper, mapping out all the possible branches and “if” conditions. Think about time intervals and choose the best day and time to target your subscribers. The blend of data, if conditions, timing, and content should create a successful campaign for you and an exciting experience for your customer.

Types of email marketing automation campaigns

Welcome series – use a single email or a series to introduce your subscribers to your company. Tell them that you appreciate them signing up and that they won’t regret it. Inform them about what they can expect in future newsletters. If they don’t open or click the first email, try sending a special offer or give them tips on how they can take advantage of all your services. Welcome emails have high open and click-through rates because they’re sent in a moment when your customer is highly interested in what your business can offer. Once you have engaged your audience with the welcome email, keep the connection alive and add value with each message or offer you send.

Reminder campaigns can be a powerful tool for different services – and they can be helpful to the customer too. For example, if you own a car service, remind your clients about their last check-up. If you are a SaaS, segment the clients who have been inactive for a while and send updates on how to make the most of your service.

Birthday greetings – use the “specific date” trigger to send a Happy Birthday campaign to your customers. If you make the greeting beautiful and personal, it can increase customer loyalty and strengthen the bond with your audience.

Special offers or VIP offers – make your customers feel appreciated by sending an offer that is available only to those who subscribed to your newsletter. It can be a discount coupon, an early announcement of sale or some special content that can give added value to your customers.

Upsell campaigns – most marketers want their users to purchase more products more often, in other words – spend more money at their e-commerce store. This is easier to do with automation series that offers to buy more products that correspond to each customer’s purchase history.

Re-engagement series – send a personal “We miss you” email or a special offer to customers who have been inactive for a longer time. This is your last chance to impress your audience so make the content of this email precious and attractive.

Website or content updates – segment the customers who joined recently and create education series for them. Introduce long-term customers to new features in your e-store or service or remind them about useful tools they don’t use daily. Educating your customers can be a powerful tool when it comes to building customer loyalty.

How to get the right data?

For some automated campaigns it is sufficient to know the subscriber’s email address – others, however, require more detailed information. First, you should establish a goal for your email series – is it onboarding new subscribers? Turning leads into customers? Or re-engaging inactive subscribers?

Once you know your goal, think about the consumer data you need in order achieve it. One way is to include relevant fields – like date of birth, gender and city – in the signup form. Make sure to ask only the most necessary things, because nobody likes to fill out too many fields.

Also, you can import the customer data from your CRM tool or e-commerce platform. Mailigen clients can directly integrate with numerous CRM systems, such as Pipedrive.

It all starts with the trigger

You can choose one of five triggers for your email marketing automation:

  • Subscribed or is included in segment – automation series will start when a subscriber joins a list or a segment. This is especially useful for welcome campaigns.
  • Field value is updated – series will begin when a particular field changes its value which you will indicate once this trigger is chosen. First, you will need to select a list, then a field name and then type in the field value that will trigger the automation series.
  • Specific date occurs – series will begin on a particular date. You will be able to specify the list and date field after choosing this trigger. This is most often used for Birthdays or subscription anniversaries.
  • Opens email or clicks on link – series will begin once a particular campaign is opened or clicked. You will be able to specify the campaign and choose whether it should be opened or clicked. If you choose “clicked” you can also define a specific link or any link clicked in the email.
  • Based on previous automation – you can select automation series that will trigger a new automation series. This trigger is based on endpoints that you place at the end of each automation branch. You have to give a name to each endpoint and then specify it after choosing the trigger.

Build your email story

When you enter Mailigen system, choose Automation and add New Automation on your right upper corner. Here you will see all the triggers we described above. Once you choose the trigger, you have to indicate the criteria for sending, e.g. automation title, days when series will start sending, etc. You can also set intervals and times of the day when to send the messages. It is possible to adjust sending time to the recipient’s time zone.

When you click the button Create Automation, the real fun part begins! Automation editing sheet for marketers is just like canvas for artists so enjoy making your series by adding, editing and deleting new emails, if splits and random splits! Press the “+” button after the starting trigger and choose the next step. For both emails and if splits you can specify a delay or choose immediate sending. When adding an email, you can choose any template from your gallery and edit it if necessary. You can also adjust each email’s sending settings separately.

When adding If splits, you can base them on actions from the previous campaign – depending if the email was opened or clicked. Or you can set them depending on the value of a trigger list’s field. Note that this option will only be available for series that involve one particular list, e.g., for the Field value change trigger.

One of the great things about Mailigen’s Automation is the Random split option. It is basically an A/B testing feature inside the Automation builder; only it’s even better because it lets you determine the percentage of each branch. You can divide subscribers to 50/50 or any other ratio you need. This lets you perform tests risking less, and it can also be used in various contests to determine a specific percentage of lucky subscribers.

Enjoy powerful reports

Do you think there are few things more boring that analyzing reports and comparing statistics? Think again! We at Mailigen have made the Automation reports section a real treat for any marketer! Here you can view the overall success of your automation series and also monitor detailed statistics for every separate email. A multi-dimensional chart illustrates your data in a clear and graphic way.


Email automation is an incredibly powerful tool to nurture the relationship with your audience and grow your business. Moreover, it is easy to setup, and it saves time while generating significantly higher revenue. Remember – if you take your audience on a personal and relevant journey, they’ll be more likely to engage and become loyal to your brand.

How to Make The Most of Email Marketing Automation – A Beginner’s Guide
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    January 14, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Thanks for the awesome post.

    I am using mailchimp for the automation but looking for other service as it lands in the promotion tab sometime.

    January 15, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Hi @heyashutosh:disqus,
    Feel free to contact us! We definitely could help you to get more exposure. Write to us at and we will contact you! 😉

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