Email marketing: much more than just newsletters

E-mail marketing is often understood as a synonym for newsletter marketing. However, email marketing involves much more than the periodic sending of digital information. All communication that takes place via email falls into this category: both the signature in a normal business email and the confirmation of a completed form are part of this and are part of comprehensive corporate communication.

Newsletter marketing is nothing more than the digital version of direct marketing. Existing contacts are addressed personally by e-mail with relevant content. To be successful, it is important to know the target group and only send information that the recipient is interested in. The goals of newsletter marketing are diverse. Establishing an interaction with the recipient is always central. Be it that he or she looks at a product on the website and hopefully buys it, fills out a contact form or reads more detailed information about the company.

That is why newsletters are worthwhile

Many reasons speak for good newsletter marketing. For one thing, there is always some kind of relationship between the company and the newsletter recipient. As a result, the wastage can be kept very low. On the other hand, sending the newsletter is very inexpensive, since the costs for newsletter tools are usually manageable. Newsletters are ideal for reaching a large number of recipients and thus increase your return on investment.

In addition to newsletter marketing, there are several other ways to reach prospective customers via email. And thus benefit from stronger customer loyalty, more leads and other advantages of optimal customer communication. One of them is email automation.

What is email automation?

E-mail automation means the automatic sending of ready-made e-mails – and also e-mail routes – which are sent to interested parties based on various triggers. The e-mails do not have to be sent manually as with a newsletter. After being set up once, they are sent again and again as soon as certain conditions are met.

Setting up emails in response to different triggers has several advantages:

  • Once set up, they are sent automatically and no longer require manual implementation. You save work and time.
  • The e-mails are sent punctually and promptly, always exactly when the interested party needs information. They offer perfect service.
  • The e-mails are personalized and tailored to the recipient because they are only sent when certain basic conditions are met. You are close to your customers.

Triggers and occasions for automated mail

Different types of automated emails can be triggered based on your customers’ activity. Typically, they are divided into trigger emails, email retargeting, and transactional emails. They differ in part in their form but above all about the goals of the automated e-mails.

Trigger emails are any emails that are triggered by a specific action or event. Below is a non-exhaustive list of triggered emails with which you could automatically reach your customers:

  • Customer Registration Welcome Mail
  • birthday mailing
  • Order welcome mailing
  • Abandoned Cart Mail
  • Cross Selling Mail
  • Thank you mailing
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Email retargeting is emails that are triggered by a lack of customer activity. This can be the case, for example, if a customer has not ordered for a long time or has never responded to the newsletter. This type of mailing is particularly valuable since generating new customers is more expensive than maintaining existing customer relationships and losing customers always represents a missed opportunity.

Transactional emails are probably the most underrated mailings. These are triggered by a purchase: order confirmation, shipping confirmation, billing, etc. Most transactional emails are kept purely informational with minimal branding. Not taking the decisive step here is a wasted opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty.

Set up e-mail routes professionally

If you want to send automated e-mails or e-mail routes, you must consider the points of contact with customers and record the corresponding triggers. After the various trigger points have been defined, the process is determined. Is only one mail sent or a mailing route? What different points does the prospect go through after the specified trigger is fired? The process shown below shows an example of a mailing route after an initial purchase. This shows which individual mailings a welcome section could include after an investment in an online shop.

In this example, the initial purchase is the trigger point that triggers a mailing route. After the purchase, the customer is first tagged with the “New-Customer” tag. He then receives an e-mail with a voucher for the second purchase. After three days, the mailing route automatically evaluates whether one of the contents of the mail was clicked on. If this is not the case, a reminder mailing will be sent. If the customer has clicked on content in the mail, a distinction is made as to whether he has repurchased a product. If this is the case, it is given the “Customer” tag and the old one is removed. If the customer has not purchased a product, they will receive an email with additional information about the shop.

A person can go through several automated e-mail routes at the same time. For example, he can be in the welcome section after the first purchase, but at the same time, he can also receive a birthday e-mail.

Requirements for email automation

The positive thing about email automation is that it is very scalable. Even as a company with few resources, you can start small and gradually expand the various levels of automation. What you need for this is a good concept, an e-mail marketing suite that can handle automation (e.g. Mailchimp or CleverReach), and the technical implementation of the individual trigger points. After that, the content can be worked out, various routes can be created in the e-mail marketing tool and finally, the first automatic e-mail route can be sent. This is how you lay the foundation for long-lasting success with email automation and perfect customer care with little effort.


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