10 Best Email Automation Software Tools
For example, you might have a rule established to trigger whenever someone new signs up for your email newsletter; when this trigger is activated, your chosen system will automatically send them a “welcome” email confirming their subscription.
- Increased customer communication. Setting up automated emails in response to specific triggers allows you to be in contact with your customers almost constantly. It also helps keep your brand top-of-mind. Ultimately, this results in better brand interactions and more sales.
- No manual effort. The “automated” nature of email automation means you won’t have to spend any manual effort beyond initial setup and occasional maintenance. Any gains you receive from your automated emails are basically free.
- Analytics and improvement. Running ongoing email automation campaigns also gives you the potential to conduct analytics and improve; for example, how many new welcome emails are you sending out? How many people respond to your first, second, and third follow-ups after an abandoned cart?
7 Examples of email automation
1. Welcome emails
2. Relationship building emails
These emails are mostly personalized to meet the needs of your customers. You only send them what they want to see. The below example has cleverly crafted this email for selling the house when their subscriber is getting married, hence they must be looking for a new place for moving in.
3. Targeted SaaS promotional emails
These are the core emails for any online business; they are used to introduce, promote and sell new products. Although many use the free version of Grammarly, it never fails to send you an email to try out the Grammarly premium.
4. Birthday emails
These are the emails sent on a specific date every year for a special occasion. So, you can set up automated emails for birthdays and anniversaries of your customers and send a special email on that day.
5. Abandoned cart emails
6. Post-purchase follow-up emails
Sending an email once the purchase is made shows that you appreciate your customers and ensure their satisfaction. You know whether the customers are satisfied and what you can do for the betterment of their experience.
7. Re-engagement emails
People have different choices and opinions, and they keep changing frequently. One time they purchase from your website, and the next time they might forget how much they liked your products and then go for another. Hence, re-engagement emails are essential to remind your customers why they bought from you in the first place.
4 Best practices to keep in mind before emailing your customers
Sending the relevant messages to your customers is great, but sending too many of them can drive the customers away. Focus on the right opportunities, and only send the emails that are helpful to them at the right time.
3. Allow opt-outs
It’s understandable that sometimes, your business is no more relevant to your customers. For such a situation, you should provide an easy unsubscribe/ opt-out option in your emails so that your email subscribers don’t mark you as spam to avoid your emails.
4. CAN-SPAM and CASL
The primary purpose of your automated emails is to divert the customers back to your website from where they subscribed to your mailing list in the first place since these emails are considered a form of marketing communication.
There are two ways to craft an anniversary email: celebrate the birthday of your company (or the launch of a particular product or spin-off brand), or celebrate the day when each customer started using your service.
The Skimm has a fun and endearing anniversary email series that we can lift a few ideas from. Its five-year customer anniversary celebration recaps the time its customer has spent reading its daily news digest.
By showing customers how much time they’ve spent on its platform, The Skimm demonstrates value and creates a sense of nostalgia. At the end of the email, the subscriber is offered the chance to win a generous referral program bonus of $1000 USD for making just one referral.
7 types of automated emails
1. Welcome emails
The Welcome Email is the most common type of automated email. Every time a new subscriber joins your list thank, them for subscribing and tell them what to expect. You can opt for a single email or create a welcome series.
2. Thank you emails
3. Online course emails
One of the best ways to entice people to join your email list is by offering a free email course. Email automation makes it possible to drip feed each lesson from your course at a set interval. Here’s how Henneke from Enchanting Marketing promotes her Snackable Writing Course:
4. Re-engagement emails
Automated re-engagement emails allow you to target inactive contacts or customers. Your workflow could have conditions such as the length of time since their last website visit or email click. Plus you could try including an exclusive offer or coupon to get them excited about your products or services again.
Here’s an example from Grammarly that presents inactive users with ‘The Wrinkle in Time Badge’, followed by a big ‘GO’ button to start using the product again, and a special offer for their premium product:
5. Upsell emails
If you have customers in a membership scheme or making regular purchases, you can send automated upsell emails that contain special offers. Here’s an example from Cornerstone offering a new product at an introductory price to existing members:
6. Abandoned shopping cart emails
7. Subscription renewal emails
Nobody wants to lose existing customers, especially those paying recurring subscriptions. So one of the best ways to keep them is to send an automated renewal email reminding them that their subscription, account, or policy with you is about to expire.
What makes the perfect email marketing automation tool
Before we get into the individual tools and their pros and cons, let’s have a word on what we’re actually looking for – what makes the best email marketing automation tools and how they are different from standard email marketing services.
- The first thing we’re looking for is the ability to set up advanced communication sequences. Not just stuff like, “a person subscribes → gets a gift → end.”
- We need something where different emails can be sent based on the person’s activity or inactivity, with different communication paths going on at the same time, and with the same person possibly taking part in multiple such paths at the same time as well.
- We also need advanced stats. Those not only include clicks/conversions on individual emails, but the efficiency of a whole sequence, indicating bottlenecks in communication (where people usually drop off), and so on.
- Also related to stats, we want to see something like “subscriber personas” – a panel where we can check how a given person interacts with our messages, the sequences they went through, their engagement throughout, etc.
- Lastly, integration with e-commerce is key. After all, if we can benefit from automated emails anywhere, it’s for sure in e-commerce. You want to be able to send emails when someone buys, abandons cart, buys certain products, visits a product page multiple times but doesn’t buy (maybe send them a discount code), etc.
No time to read? Here’s our shortlist of the best email marketing automation tools
As a direct result of this, some of the tools are going to be cheaper when you’re sending a lot of emails to a smaller list, while others are going to be cheaper if your list is bigger, but you communicate with them less frequently.
|for 300 emails / day (9,000 / mo). Marketing automation for 2,000 contacts||While there is a free plan and an $15.00 plan, those don’t include marketing automation. FREE TRIAL: 30 days to test out automation features||for 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails / mo||for 100 contacts. Unlimited emails||FREE TRIAL: 14 days||FREE TRIAL: 14 days|
|$25.00 for 20,000 emails / mo. Marketing automation for 2,000 contacts||$25 for 15,000 emails / mo. Unlimited contacts||$59 for 2,500 contacts and 6000 emails||$41 for 2,500 contacts. Unlimited emails||$9.00 for 1,000 contacts. Unlimited emails||$129.00 for 1500 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|$32 for 40,000 emails / mo. Marketing automation for 2,000 contacts||$50 for 50,000 emails / mo. Unlimited contacts||$90 for 5,000 contacts and 6000 emails||$83 for 5,000 contacts. Unlimited emails||$41 for 3,000 contacts. Unlimited emails||$153 for 2,500 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|$45 for 60,000 emails / mo. Marketing automation for 2,000 contacts||$95 for 100,000 emails / mo. Unlimited contacts||$115 for 10,000 contacts and 6000 emails||$64 for 5,000 contacts. Unlimited emails||$184 for 4,000 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|$65 for 100,000 emails / mo. Marketing automation for 2,000 contacts||$225 for 250,000 emails / mo. Unlimited contacts||$359 for 50,000 contacts and 6000 emails||$99 for 10,000 contacts. Unlimited emails||$229 for 6,500 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|$169 for 150,000 emails / mo. Marketing automation for unlimited contacts||$425 for 500,000 emails / mo. Unlimited contacts||$316 for 50,000 contacts. Unlimited emails||$289 for 11,500 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|$229 for 250,000 emails / mo. Marketing automation for unlimited contacts||$349 for 16,500 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|$409 for 25,000 contacts. Unlimited emails|
|PLUS $59 for their advanced sales pipeline automation |
PLUS $59 for e-commerce integration
PLUS one-time $299-$1999 fee for new user training
Sendinblue is an interesting case here. They do offer unlimited contacts on all plans, but only as long as you’re going to be sending regular email campaigns (like a newsletter). The marketing automation features have different rules. There’s a cap of 2,000 contacts, unless you’re willing to pay $66+ / mo, at which point you do get unlimited contacts for marketing automation as well.
On another note, Mailchimp’s pricing is getting crazier and crazier every time I go back to check them out. For a while now, they’ve had this price calculator based on the size of your list. Cool thing, but you’ll quickly find out how expensive the chimp can get.
Infusionsoft is also kind of pricey. Or, rather, the priciest option here for small contact lists. Add to that; there’s also this one-time onboarding fee of $299-800,999, which, although I’m sure very useful, just isn’t something that makes you very eager to give them a shot.