Your email automation FAQs answered
If you’ve done any research on email service providers, then you’ve seen the term “automations.” A lot.
Maybe you haven’t given them a second thought — or sheepishly admit you have no clue what they are. You’ve possibly tried creating an email automation for your Shopify store and quickly gave up. Or, you cobbled together one and aren’t happy with the outcome.
Wherever you reside on the spectrum of understanding and implementing email automations, grasping the basics is step one. Here are answers to our customers’ most frequently asked questions.
What is email automation and why is it important?
Everyone is familiar with what we call email newsletters — those broadcast-type messages sent to an entire email subscriber list. Depending on the topic, sometimes they’re sent to a particular segment.
Most times they fall into the promotional email category. You’ve got a new product or are introducing a big promotional pricing offer, and want everyone to know about it. You create your message and send it.
On the other hand, email automations are triggered when a subscriber performs (or doesn’t perform) a critical action. For example, your list contains a number of subscribers who have made a purchase or two in the past. But it’s been a while — a few months or more. An automated email thanking them for their past business and nudging them toward further engagement is the perfect avenue for these folks.
Email automations provide the ability to reach your subscribers with the perfect content at the perfect time. It's as close to one-to-one communication you’re going to get without actually writing messages tailored specifically to that individual.
Yes, this means sending a lower volume of emails. But the payoff is worth it. We consistently see conversion rates that are two to three times higher in comparison to what newsletters generate.
What kind of automations can I do with Seguno?
The great thing about Seguno is that you don’t have to stress about creating an automation from scratch. Several automations await, complete with built-in best practices that take out the guesswork, and are customizable. They revolve around subscriber activations, behavioral data like purchases, and more.
Our inventory includes the following email automations based on subscriber or ecommerce activity:
- Coming soon: build excitement prior to your store launch
- Welcome: send a “hello” and introduce your brand
- Discount reminder: notify subscribers of a Shopify discount offer that’s about to expire
- Abandoned checkout: remind shoppers about the items they left behind in their cart
- New purchaser: thank subscribers after they make their first purchase and keep them engaged
- Repeat purchaser: express gratitude to those who make a second purchase and continue to build brand loyalty
- Review request: ask a customer to review a product they purchased
- Lapsed purchaser: win back customers who haven’t made a purchase in a few months
- Product purchased: follow up with customers after they order a specific product or collection to provide prep details or upsell opportunities
- Back-in-stock alert: inform subscribers when a product is restocked
- Customer tagged: engage subscribers when a particular tag is added to their customer record in Shopify, such as VIPs and wholesale, and send segmented emails
- Blog post published: share your newest blog post to build interest among your full subscriber list
Read more about Seguno's automations and get a glimpse into how you can bring them to life with examples.
Where do I begin?
Having access to so many email automation options can be overwhelming. I recommend starting with two in particular.
For essentially every shop we work with, the top converting automations are:
These are going to move the needle for you, which makes them absolutely critical for every email marketing strategy. Begin with them before expanding into other automations.
Dig into creating welcome and cart abandonment automations with our master class.
I don’t want to annoy my subscribers with too many emails. Won’t email automations do that?
I love that our customers are concerned about bombarding their subscribers. Keep in mind, though, that they signed up for a reason. They want to hear from you.
Email automations are extremely relevant. You should absolutely be sending them.
And if nothing else, set up a welcome email. Don’t you expect to receive one when agreeing to receive a brand’s messages? It’s a confirmation that your sign-up was processed. You might wonder whether the email program actually exists if you’re met with silence.
Seguno has an advanced setting if you’re still nervous about sending too much. You can temporarily turn off email newsletters when an automation is active.
Say, for instance, your series of welcome emails span a week. You don’t want regular marketing promotions to compete. Activating the setting means that a subscriber won’t receive email newsletters until they exit the series’ workflow.
Email automations aside, how frequently should you send email newsletters? There are different aspects to weigh when determining an email sending cadence.
I’ve created my email automation. How do I know it’s working?
This one ranks very high — if not No. 1 — on the email automation FAQ list. So many of our customers have wondered whether their automation actually functions.
The answer is easy: test! Think about what action triggers the email automation you’re trying to perfect. Create the scenario and pretend you are the customer. As you’re doing this, remember that email automations only work if you’re subscribed. (Aside: I hope you’re already on your shop’s email list. For shame, if not.)
Here’s a testing tip, especially for a welcome automation.
You’ll undoubtedly make tweaks along the way that you’ll want to check out, which means an already-subscribed email won’t receive the update. Avoid creating a bunch of new email addresses by making dummy addresses with a Gmail account.
For instance, your address is email@example.com. Add a “+” sign with a number before the @ sign (firstname.lastname@example.org) to generate a fake subscriber that rolls up under your account. Continue to make them (email@example.com, etc.) as needed.
Once you're up and running, take a look at your analytics to see how they're working, performance-wise. You can check stats like engagement and total sales attributed to automations, and compare them to email newsletter conversions.
This is still intimidating. Help!
Don’t worry if email automations feel like an insurmountable task. We are always here to help.
If you’re running into issues when testing, jump into live chat within the Seguno app by clicking on the “Talk to support” button and “Ask for help.” We’re available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. You can also reach our support team by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact us, too, if you want to improve an email automation. We’re always happy to assess.
And if you’re the go-it-alone kind, push aside any insecurities and dive in. Email automations can be as simple as you have the wherewithal for, or as multi-layered as you want them to be.
We explore these questions and more in Your Seguno Automation Questions Answered
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