Marketing automation is possibly one of the most effective techniques to increase your business’ ROI, decrease staff costs, improve creativity, and boost revenue.

So why don’t all businesses have marketing automation in place from the get-go?

The answers no doubt vary from business to business; it requires resource to begin with, from finding a suitable platform to crafting the initial content, and sometimes those platforms can be too costly for start-ups or SMEs.

However, if you’re ready to grab automation by the proverbial horns, you’ll already know how and why it’ll be great for your business, so I’m here to detail how you can use it to give your customers the best brand experience possible.

Triggered emails are personalised emails that are automatically sent once a customer takes a specific action on your website. Using behavioural triggered emails allow you to create a highly personalised marketing experience that increases customer engagement and ultimately drives conversions.

Having mapped out your customer journeys, it can seem like a daunting task to create behavioural trigger emails for every conceivable journey your customers will take, so let’s start with the basics; what are some simple triggers for a personalised email to a customer?

  1. Welcome – an active sign up to your newsletter (through your GDPR compliant signup form, of course).
  2. Cart Abandonment – has a customer added to cart but not completed the all-important checkout? Remind them with an automatic email!
  3. Thank You – following a purchase, thank your customer for their order. It’s a little added contact point that will make your customer feel they’re in good hands.

And while these are only three of hundreds of automated emails you could send, the opportunity within these three email types are plentiful!

Upselling to your customer is a great use of marketing automation that not only profits your revenue stream but also gives the customer easy access to new product discovery.

When should you upsell?

Never force it. Put your upsell emails at natural points in your customer journey. A perfect opportunity would be at a cart abandonment stage. Send your customer various models of the product they have in their cart, or add-on products that compliment what they’re contemplating purchasing.

Cross-selling then works hand in hand with your upselling. Once a customer has made a purchase you can follow up with suggestions of similar or related products. This not only makes you seem like a considerate and thoughtful brand but once again gives your customers easy access to new product discovery.

Everything listed so far has been a prime example of personalised marketing techniques. Through data collection, analysis and automation, you give your customers a completely personalised brand experience that will not only benefit your business but, given a positive experience, will increase the lifetime value of your customer and make them trust your brand.

And while everything listed above is all well and good, it’s of absolutely no value if your customer has a poor experience as a result of the content you’re automating.

So here are my Golden Rules of Email Automation:

  1. Do your sense checks

Make sure any products or offers you send out are relevant, in stock, and would seem like a sensical choice for that customer.

  1. Be valuable

Don’t email for emails sake. Make sure what you’re offering or recommending is of value to your customer, and not just your bottom line. Your customers are more likely to come back time and time again if you’re making logical contact with them, rather than just bombarding them with emails and hardcore sales messages.

  1. Be responsive

A big part of your analysis stage should be to see if there are any emerging patterns from your customer behaviour either on or as a result of your emails. Are a number of your customers clicking on a link but not finding what they’re looking for? Have you had the same questions posed to you time and time again? Answer these questions. Solve these problems. Keep your content fresh. It’s as much a journey to perfect as it is to get it running in the first place.

  1. Segment, segment, segment!

It’s an ongoing process, and especially in the early stages, it’s a learning process. If a different type of audience is becoming apparent to you after launching your automation, analyse it, segment it, and target it!

  1. Go beyond email

No matter how enticing your subject line, how amazingly crafted your content, or even how incredibly popular your product – not everyone opens those emails. Be sure to check your automation lists, analyse non-openers and reach out on social channels or through other targeted digital ads. Don’t forget: email automation is just one cog in your digital marketing strategy machine.


By Jess Buckley, Digital Marketer at Cornerstone Design & Marketing. Read more about our digital services here.

Cornerstone DM