5 Email Automation Ideas

As opposed to newsletters and one-off campaigns that you create and send to a whole list of people in one go, an automated email campaign is set up once and then automatically sent to a particular individual when that person meets a certain trigger.

Because Automation works on a basic trigger and action system (i.e. when a specific trigger happens, send this specific email or set of emails) you are really only limited in what you can do by your creativity and business needs. From a list of 10, we've chosen our TOP 5 automated emails you can start sending today that will help grow your business.

1. Welcome new subscribers
According to research, 96% of visitors to your website aren’t yet ready to buy. However, these people have clearly shown interest in what you have to offer and are perfect candidates to continue communicating with to try to get them to buy later on. A great way to do this is to get them to subscribe to your email list. Subscribing to your list is a much smaller conversion action than handing over money to make a purchase, and therefore people are much more likely to do it. Once they’ve subscribed, you can then use an automated email campaign to welcome them to your list and offer a special subscriber-only offer that compels them to buy.

2. Offer customers a birthday surprise
Birthday emails are one of the most common types of automated emails you can send, and they can be extremely effective when done right. Your Birthday email should not only wish the reader a happy birthday but is should show you care about your customers by providing them with a highly-relevant birthday offer that encourages them to make a purchase. Great imagery and an excellent call to action help drive conversions too.

Birthday emails are fantastic for restaurants

Birthday emails are fantastic for restaurants

Pro tip: If you are offering a restaurant voucher or something the recipient might be likely to use on their birthday as part of the celebrations, best to send it a few days earlier so they can adequately plan ahead. 

3. Promote your event
If your business invests time and money into running events, then getting people to attend is critical to driving a positive return on investment. Unfortunately though, even if you get a large amount of registrations only about 50% of those people will actually end up attending (unless you get an upfront payment). A great way to increase this is to send people reminder emails in the lead up to the event, and then a series of follow up emails after the event. Post event emails can contain feedback surveys, product purchases from the event, links to photos and other information from the event.

4. Gather product feedback
Building a product / service your customers want is hard, and it’s next to impossible if you don’t have a deep understanding of what your customers actually want. One of the best ways to get a thorough understanding of your customer’s pain points and needs is by asking them directly. Using an automated email campaign that goes out to new users when they sign up with a link to a survey form can automatically collect a massive amount of feedback on what your customers are looking for.

5. Nurture your leads 
According to research, 50% of leads generated by organisations are qualified but not yet ready to purchase. The challenge with this is, how do you help move those leads along to purchase without spending too much time on them? And how do you make sure your business is top of mind when they are ready to purchase? Using automation to set up a series of lead nurturing emails can be a great way to do this. You can send a series of automated email messages over time that educate your audience on the benefits of your product and why they should use it.

Popular marketing blogger Patrick McKenzie recommends you start with a simple series of 6 emails that goes out over 30 days, and increases in "salesness" as time goes on. The email flow he recommends is as follows:

  • The problem email – possibilities of replacing their existing process with your product. This email should focus on educating readers on the problems associated with their current method and should barely mention your product.

  • The benefit email – A look at the benefits of using a product like yours to achieve their goals. This email should focus on the benefits of using your category of product (I.e. using email marketing tools over mass-mailing from Gmail) and outline how doing so can help improve their lives.

  • The transition email – Remember, every potential customer is currently using something else to do what your product could do for them, and the act of switching from that process to using your product is a barrier you need to overcome. This email should focus on outlining a simple and easy process for making the switch from their existing solution to using your product to solve their problem.

  • The tools email – An overview of the tools available to achieve what your product achieves, almost like a quick buyer’s guide. This is the first time you introduce your product and outline why it’s superior to your competition. Include a call to action to purchase or sign up for your product for the first time in this email.

  • The case study email – A case study on how one of your customers uses your product. Make sure to outline what problems it solves for them (tied to the problems outlined in the first email) and what benefits it brings them (tied to the benefits outlined in the second email). Include a testimonial from a customer and a call to action to signup for your free trial/free plan in this email.

  • The resources email – The final email. Suggest some other eBooks, blogs, templates, kits, etc. for learning more about whatever it is your product does. You can also try including a discount code or special offer in this email, as if you haven't converted them from the previous emails a special offer could help tip them over the edge.

While this is just an example, you can see that the focus is on educating prospects rather than making the hard sale. Only once they have been sufficiently educated on the problems of their existing approach and the benefits of replacing it with a product like yours do you introduce your product and make an offer, at which point they are much more likely to sign up or purchase. This kind of automated email series, when sent to the leads your business generates through your website and other marketing channels, can be a very effective way to nurture potential customers through to purchase, and help grow your business. 

Tips for creating effective automated emails

Just like the regular campaigns and newsletters you send, automated emails need to be optimized for conversion in order to be effective.Here are a few tips & resources to help you create remarkably high-converting automated email campaigns:

Write great subject lines – Even though automated email campaigns are triggered off the recipients actions, they still need to have great subject lines to grab recipients attention and ensure they get opened.

Structure your email for scanners – Research shows people don't read email campaigns word for word like they do a book, instead, they scan the email looking for elements that pique their interest. So in order to get your message across you need to make sure your automated email campaign is structured for scanners. 

Use compelling copy – It’s important in your automated emails to create desire towards the conversion action, and there is no better way to do this than by using compelling, benefit-focused copy. 

Use a call to action button – Including a call to action button (as opposed to just text links) increased conversions by 28%. So when creating your automated email campaign, make sure to include a call to action button to increase your chances of people clicking through and taking your desired conversion action. 

Measure your results – Most email marketing tools will give you comprehensive data on email-related metrics like opens, clicks, etc. However, to truly measure and optimize the results of your automated email you need to go beyond these metrics and look at the fundamental numbers that matter to your business, things like visits, customers and revenue.


As a marketer, you likely have more and more things competing for your limited time and resources. However, of all the opportunities available to you to grow your business, email marketing still remains one of the most impactful, and setting up automated emails can help you drive results without having to spend time continuously working on them. So take some of the ideas for automated emails presented in this guide and apply them to your business or contact our team to get these implemented for you today.


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