What is email automation? Is it right for your company?

07 Aug 23

Are you a busy marketer working across multiple areas at once? Are you looking for a way to lighten your load, especially when it comes to relationship management?

We’ve all been in the position of trying to juggle multiple campaigns and worrying about eventually dropping the ball, but luckily nowadays, automation is here to help.

Today we’re going to look at email automation, and how you can automate interactions with your leads and prospects to nurture those relationships.

This article will explain what email automation is as well as looking at all of its benefits and drawbacks, to provide an honest, detailed overview of how well it works as a marketing activity. By the end of this article, you’ll have all of the information you need to decide if email automation is the right path for you.

What is email automation?

Email automation is all about setting up workflows and triggers that can run a campaign without manual input.

These triggers can put your campaigns on autopilot, responding to your customer’s actions, or lack of actions, without you having to get involved.

An example of one of these triggers is sending an automatic welcome email to people who sign up to your mailing list, or for ecommerce websites, it might be sending them a reminder that they have items in their basket.

You can use automation to help your audience learn more about your brand, move them through their buyers journey or to remind them to keep coming back to your website to see an read new content. Suddenly, you no longer have to think about doing these things – you only have to set the campaigns up once and it’s taken care of for you. You’ll have time to work on other valuable tasks where your input is needed more.

What are the different types of automation?

Automation can come in many forms to address your audience at the different stages of their buyer’s journey.

Let’s break down the different campaigns and what they can do for you.

  • Drip campaigns

    These are a series of strategic emails that are sent to specific subscribers over a period of time. Your audience receives content on topics that they have individually shown interest in, typically on a monthly or weekly basis.

    You might be asking yourself how can I know what content my audience is interested in? It’s a fair question, and there are a few ways to do it.

    Firstly, you can be direct and ask people what they want to hear about when they sign up for your mailing list. Alternatively, you can ask them to provide information such as their job role, their location or their industry.

    You can then set it up so that they receive either the content they have asked to receive, or content that you think they’ll be interested in based on the information they’ve given you.

    Either way, you’ll need to ensure that your sign-up form is set up to provide you with the information to do that.

    You could also go one step further and use data to determine what they receive, and even better, your email platform can probably take care of it for you. This is done through examining what your subscribers have shown interest in before.

    For example, if you sent out an email including information across different specialties, you can tell what people are interested in based on the specialty they clicked on to read more about. Once that information is captured, the email platform can automate sending out information specifically on the specialty they’ve shown interest in.

  • Event-based automation

    These are automated emails that are sent when the subscriber takes an action, for example registering for a webinar or requesting a demo. These types of emails can go out straightaway and provide your audience with more information on the event they just signed up for.

    This type of automation can give your audience a sense of security and legitimacy confirming that their registration for the event was successful.

  • Transactional automated emails

    This type of automation is only relevant for ecommerce sites but is great for building trust and preventing buyer’s remorse. They are automated emails sent out after your audience purchases something. Although this type of automation will not be appropriate for most MedTech companies it will be for some, especially for those who think outside the box.

    They contain important purchase, use, shipping and return information that’ll reassure your audience that their purchase was successful and when they can expect it.

    This could also work for non-ecommerce businesses, but it wouldn’t be entirely automated as it would require a level of input from your sales team.

Need help with your medical device email campaigns?

What are the benefits of email automation

Now that we know what different types of automation are out there, let’s dive into whether or not email automation is actually worth the time and effort.

We’ll start by looking at the benefits that automating your email campaigns can provide for you.

  • Time-saving

    With email automation, you can bid farewell to the tedious manual tasks that eat up your precious time. By automating your emails, the campaigns practically run themselvess, all you need to do is spend some time in the beginning setting up the triggers.

    While it will run automatically, we recommend still keeping an eye on things and updating the email and triggers when necessary.

  • Higher conversion rate

    Not only will you never accidentally miss a customer, but you will be able to personalise the emails to match your audience’s interests. By sending them information that is catered to them, it is like to resonate more and therefore may be more likely to convert.

    As well, you will ensure that you stay front and center of their mind, which is incredibly important as you will be the brand that comes to mind when they are ready to make a purchase.

  • Maintaining consistency and branding

    An excellent benefit of creating automated emails is that it’s easier to maintain a consistent email brand when you create all the emails you’re going to send at the beginning of your campaign.

    Maintaining consistency in your brand can help lead to a stronger brand message, audience trust and an increase in brand awareness and visibility.

What are the drawbacks of email automation?

While email undoubtedly has benefits, it can be tricky to get right, which can cause some problems for your business.

We’re going to share some of the cons of email automation, but we’ll also provide solutions for each of the points raised.

  • Overloading your subscribers

    One of the main issues with automation is the potential of sending out too many emails. This can occur if a subscriber falls into too many segments (for instance, they have multiple interests and therefore end up receiving multiple emails a week/month).

    This might lead to them getting bored, overwhelmed, or they may even feel harassed. Negative emotions like these can mean that you end up losing them as a customer, let alone a subscriber.

    Keep track of who your sending emails to and cross-reference the names in each segment. If you’re sending out lots of different emails, it’s a good idea to keep a chart of when each subscriber was last contacted to prevent overwhelming them.

  • Sending out generic content

    Most subscribers are so used to automated emails nowadays that they can spot them a mile away. For some subscribers, they can be put off by this and it can make them feel disconnected from the brand.

    It can be offputting, meaning they don’t trust your brand and therefore won’t end up making a sale.

    To avoid this, always make sure that your emails are refreshing, personal and relevant to your subscribers. If you need help on writing fresh and useful content for your subscribers, check out our article on avoiding spammy outreach.

  • Getting marked as spam

    Another problem that you could run into is getting marked as spam by your subscribers. Getting marked as spam means that you won’t be able to reach them anymore.

    If you get marked by enough subscribers as spam, your emails will start going directly into your subscribers’ spam folders.

    While there isn’t much you can do when someone has marked your email as spam, you can take steps to avoid it. Sending only relevant content on a consistent basis will help you avoid getting marked as spam and ending up in people’s junk folders.

    We’ve published a whole guide to optimising your emails, which we would recommend reading before undertaking any kind of email campaign.

Your next steps to running automated email campaigns

Now that you’ve heard all of the benefits and drawbacks, its time to consider how email automation would fit into your company, which is completely dependant on your own resources and needs.

Yes, email automation is designed to save you time and convert your leads in the long run, but getting it set up needs to be done right, which can be time-consuming.

Is the time and effort needed, as well as the potential consequences, worth the potential ROI for your company?

Other pieces of content that you might be interested in:

How to optimise your email campaign

How does Podymos create email campaigns?

How to avoid spammy outreach

Email automation with Podymos

Do you want to communicate more effectively with HCPs and patients? Do you want to be able to deliver high-quality email campaigns as part of your larger multichannel marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place.

Podymos is a healthcare marketing agency, specialising in downstream Medical Device marketing.  We’re more expensive than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams because we only work in the Medical Device space so we have specialist knowledge and experience that other agencies may not be able to offer you.

If you want high-quality, compliant campaigns that help achieve your business goals, we’d love to hear from you. Simply leave us your contact details below and we’ll get back to you very soon for a no-obligation chat.

Are you a busy marketer working across multiple areas at once? Are you looking for a way to lighten your load, especially when it comes to relationship management?

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