Should I Automate My Email Newsletters?

In a recent article, we covered the core reasons your newsletter strategy might not be working. As mentioned in that article, very often we can put a priority on the wrong pieces of newsletter strategy. Before thinking about design, images, and automatization, you need to consider content. If your content is not engaging or perceived as valuable to your customers it will be an uphill battle to maintain your contact click and open rates. This is where many email services mention automation. Automation makes it easier to email specific lists of people. Some platforms like HubSpot utilize automation to help differentiate and better market to the right customers. But should your company use it?

The Automated Email Every Company Should Have

There is one email every company should have automated: Thank You for subscribing. It seems simple, but whether you use MailChimp, Constant Contact, or another service, you should automate a thank you message. This message should be sent to all new subscribers. A simple thank you message can verify to a client that they have joined your email list. Think of it this way, if the first message you received from a company was a standard newsletter you didn’t know you signed up for, you would be likely to unsubscribe. If you receive a thank you and then start seeing newsletters, you have more context for these emails. A thank you message can also be a good way to encourage users to revisit your website. But what about automating using lists and segments?

How Large Is Your Email List?

Before you start creating segments and lists, you should consider the overall size of your contact list. A common misconception is that automation saves you from needing to work. However, the return on investment is dependent on your audience size. Automation is great for companies with large audiences. It takes a lot of work upfront, but if you can create enrollment triggers that work well, it is worth it. Some advice on automation:

  • Deciding The Groups: Depending on your industry and the content of your newsletters you need to create the right groups. If your audience has obvious segments based on the services or location consider starting there. Some companies segment based on customers vs collaborators or vendors. Other companies with multiple locations segment their lists based on zip code.
  • Content: As mentioned in our last post: content is the most important part of the newsletter. If you write general newsletters and do not have a desire to right targeted messaging, there is no value in having a targeted audience segment. Consider tracking how your customers interact with your social media, newsletters, and other messaging. You may notice some trends that show you what type of content will be the most valuable.
  • Enrollment: One way to intelligently create segments is to send a general newsletter to your entire audience. Pay attention to who interacts with it and what they interact with. People who click the blog can be added to a list where they get blog updates. People who click the specials should get new specials. People who clicked a specific service should get information on that service.

A Guide To Email Automation

If you decide to automate emails you to plan how you handle automation. The key to automation is that work should become easier over time. Once you have segmented your audience you will want to create enrollment criteria. When you add contacts to your list it can be beneficial to include their segments and lists in the CSV or spreadsheet. If you get contacts from a contact form, you can add “what services are you interested in” or “where are you located” to your contact form. These extra questions will help you quickly move new contacts to their proper lists. You should also use your newsletter insights to improve your lists. Check what users click to improve where they are put in your lists. After enrollment, you need to consider content. If you plan to have a segmented email that shares your blog, you can create a simple template that makes it easy to produce these quick emails. The same goes for specials or service updates.

Learn More From Boston Web Marketing

Interested in email automation? Get specific email strategy advice and content generation from Boston Web Marketing. Simply contact us online for a full list of our services to help improve your digital presence.

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