GTM Dictionary

The Go-to-Market Dictionary: Email Automation

Learn the ins and outs of email automation with our comprehensive Go-to-Market Dictionary.

In today's fast-paced digital world, businesses need to be smart and efficient when it comes to marketing their products or services. One such marketing strategy that has proved to be cost-effective and provides high engagement is email automation. However, for those new to this marketing method, it can be daunting to navigate the terminology and tools involved. Fear not, as this article will serve as your personal dictionary for all things related to email automation.

Understanding Email Automation

Email automation refers to the process of sending tailored, automated messages to your target consumers based on specific triggers or actions they take with your brand. These personalized messages can include welcome emails, abandoned cart recovery, re-engagement campaigns, and post-purchase follow-ups. The goal of email automation is to create a seamless and personalized experience for your consumers that ultimately results in more customer engagement, retention, and revenue.

What is Email Automation?

To put it simply, email automation is using software to automate the sending and tracking of emails to your target consumers. These emails can be triggered by specific actions or behaviors taken, making it a targeted and efficient marketing method. With email automation, you can set up a series of emails that are automatically sent to your subscribers at specific intervals after they take a certain action, such as signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase on your website. This allows you to stay in touch with your audience and keep them engaged with your brand without having to manually send each email individually.

One of the key benefits of email automation is that it allows you to send highly targeted messages to your subscribers. By segmenting your email list based on factors such as location, interests, and past purchase history, you can create personalized messages that are more likely to resonate with your audience. This can lead to higher open and click-through rates, as well as increased conversions and revenue.

Benefits of Email Automation

There are many benefits to using email automation. For starters, it saves time and resources by automating the process, freeing up your marketing team to focus on more strategic tasks. Additionally, email automation can lead to higher engagement rates, increased revenue, and better customer retention rates, making it a cost-effective marketing strategy.

Another benefit of email automation is that it allows you to stay top-of-mind with your audience. By sending targeted messages on a regular basis, you can keep your brand front and center in the minds of your subscribers and build a stronger relationship with them over time. This can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy, as well as more repeat business and referrals.

Key Components of Email Automation

Before implementing email automation, it's important to understand the basics. Key components include the email list, the trigger or action that initiates the email, the content of the email itself, and the metrics or tracking systems used to measure the success of the campaign.

The email list is the foundation of your email automation campaign. This is the group of subscribers who will receive your messages. It's important to keep your list up-to-date and segmented based on factors such as location, interests, and past purchase history to ensure that your messages are as targeted and relevant as possible.

The trigger or action that initiates the email is another key component of email automation. This could be something as simple as signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase on your website. By setting up triggers based on specific actions, you can ensure that your messages are sent at the right time and to the right people.

The content of the email itself is also critical to the success of your email automation campaign. Your messages should be personalized, relevant, and engaging, and should provide value to your subscribers. This could include special offers, exclusive content, or helpful tips and advice.

Finally, it's important to have metrics or tracking systems in place to measure the success of your email automation campaign. This could include open and click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. By tracking these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your campaign over time.

Setting Up Your Email Automation Strategy

Now that you understand the basics of email automation, let's dive into how to set up your email automation strategy. Email automation is a powerful tool that can help you save time, increase engagement, and drive revenue.

Defining Your Goals

Before you begin, you need to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your email automation strategy? Do you want to increase sales, improve customer engagement, or drive website traffic? Whatever your goals may be, it's important to define them upfront so that you can measure your success and track your progress. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you might measure success by tracking revenue generated from your email campaigns.

It's also important to set realistic goals. Don't try to achieve everything at once. Start with one or two goals and build from there as you see success.

Identifying Your Target Audience

The next step is to identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your email campaigns? What demographics do they fall within? What do they care about? Answering these questions will help you craft your messaging and tailor it to your audience.

One way to identify your target audience is to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It includes information such as age, gender, job title, interests, and pain points. Creating buyer personas can help you understand your audience better and create more targeted and effective email campaigns.

Creating Engaging Content

With the goals and target audience in mind, you can now begin crafting your email content. Your content should be personalized, engaging, and relevant to the consumer's interests or needs. Personalization can include using the recipient's name in the subject line or body of the email, segmenting your email list based on interests or behavior, or sending personalized product recommendations.

Engaging content can include eye-catching images, videos, or GIFs, compelling subject lines, and clear calls-to-action. Your content should also be relevant to the consumer's interests or needs. For example, if you sell pet products, you might send an email with tips for keeping your pet healthy or a discount on a popular pet product.

Remember, the goal of your email automation strategy is to provide value to your subscribers. If your content is not providing value, your subscribers will quickly lose interest and unsubscribe.

Incorporating A/B Testing

Finally, incorporating A/B testing into your email automation strategy can help you optimize your campaigns and improve your results. A/B testing involves sending two versions of an email to a small portion of your email list and measuring which version performs better. You can test different elements such as subject lines, calls-to-action, or images. Once you determine which version performs better, you can send that version to the rest of your email list.

Overall, setting up your email automation strategy involves defining your goals, identifying your target audience, creating engaging content, and incorporating A/B testing. By following these steps, you can create effective and successful email campaigns that drive results.

Essential Email Automation Tools

Now that you have a plan in place let's dive into the essential email automation tools you'll need to execute a successful campaign.

Email automation is a powerful way to connect with your customers and build lasting relationships. By delivering targeted and personalized messages at the right time, you can increase engagement, drive conversions, and boost revenue.

Email Service Providers (ESPs)

ESPs are software platforms that provide the tools and infrastructure needed to create and send emails. They offer a range of features, including email templates, list management, segmentation, automation workflows, and reporting. Popular ESPs include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. Choose an ESP that meets your business needs and budget.

MailChimp is a popular choice for small businesses due to its user-friendly interface and affordable pricing. It offers a range of templates and automation workflows, as well as integrations with other marketing tools.

Constant Contact is another popular ESP that offers a range of features, including email templates, list management, and social media integration. It also offers a free trial and 24/7 customer support.

Campaign Monitor is a more advanced ESP that offers features such as dynamic content, A/B testing, and advanced segmentation. It also offers integrations with popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

A CRM system is a powerful tool for managing customer data, preferences, behavior, and interactions. It helps you better understand your customers, which is crucial for personalized marketing, including email automation. By integrating your ESP with your CRM, you can create targeted and personalized campaigns based on customer data.

Popular CRMs include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho CRM. Salesforce is a leading CRM that offers a range of features, including lead and opportunity management, sales forecasting, and customer analytics. HubSpot is a popular choice for small businesses due to its user-friendly interface and affordable pricing. It offers a range of features, including lead management, marketing automation, and customer support. Zoho CRM is another popular CRM that offers features such as lead and contact management, sales forecasting, and social media integration.

Analytics and Reporting Tools

Analytics and reporting tools allow you to measure the success of your email campaigns by tracking key metrics. These metrics include open rates, click-through rates, website traffic, and revenue generated. By analyzing these metrics, you can optimize your campaigns for better results.

Popular tools include Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool that offers a range of features, including website traffic analysis, goal tracking, and ecommerce tracking. Adobe Analytics is a more advanced tool that offers features such as real-time analytics, segmentation, and attribution modeling.

By using these essential email automation tools, you can create targeted and personalized campaigns that engage your customers and drive revenue. Remember to choose tools that meet your business needs and budget, and to analyze your campaigns for better results.

Types of Automated Email Campaigns

Now that you have the tools and technology in place, let's dive into the different types of automated email campaigns.

Welcome Email Series

A welcome email series is a sequence of emails that automatically goes out after a new subscriber joins your email list. These emails should welcome them to your brand, provide information about your company, and encourage engagement.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Abandoned cart recovery emails are sent to subscribers who add an item to their cart but do not complete the purchase. These emails aim to entice them to return to the cart and complete the purchase by offering a discount or highlighting the items left behind.

Re-engagement Campaigns

Re-engagement campaigns target subscribers who have not opened your emails in a while. These emails aim to reignite their interest in your brand, provide value, and encourage them to engage again.

Post-purchase Follow-ups

Post-purchase follow-ups are emails sent to customers after they make a purchase. These emails should thank the customer for their purchase, provide order details, and offer support or upsell opportunities for related products or services.


Email automation is a powerful marketing strategy that can drive engagement, revenue, and customer retention. Whether you're just starting or looking to optimize your existing campaigns, it's critical to understand the components, tools, and types of campaigns involved to execute a successful email automation strategy. Remember to define your goals, identify your target audience, create engaging content, and track your metrics to measure success. Happy automating!