Want to instantly understand the value of email automation?

Go grab a cup of joe from the nearest automated drip coffee maker and pay close attention to what happens. You get to stand and watch as the machine does all the work, filling up your mug drop by drop, till you’re left with a delightful, caffeinated experience. You got the final result you wanted, and you barely had to lift a finger to get it.

Automated email campaigns are similar. Once you place a lead into a drip series, you can let go of the wheel and watch as they are nudged further down the pipeline, until you get the final result you’re looking for: a conversion.

An optimized email automation strategy will get you so many hot leads, you won’t even need coffee to kickstart your day. So without further ado… here are five tips to supercharge your email marketing with automation.

#1 Segment Your Email Lists

The first and most crucial step to email marketing automation is segmentation.

Only when customer lists are sorted by demographic and behavioral factors can drip emails become truly personalized and effective.

Research shows that email segmentation results in 54% more click-throughs and 14% more opens than generic email blasts.

Categorize your customer lists based on demographic data, information gleaned from social media sites, behavioral data, and more. With this more complete picture, your messaging will be hyper-relevant to recipients, and your open rates, conversions, and overall brand experience will improve.

#2 Personalize Your Automated Emails

If you’re not personalizing your emails, you’re just not doing it right.

Today’s consumers expect brands to treat them as unique individuals, especially in the personal space of their inboxes.

Personalized email receives 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates. Simply including your customer’s name in the email subject line is known to boost engagement by 22%.

Speak to prospects with familiarity to maximize their engagement rates with your email. Include specific information like company name or purchase history to build trust and familiarity. Contextual behavioral messaging makes emails feel authentic instead of robotic.

As you can see in the image above, Airbnb knows how to prompt a purchase after cart abandonment.

The travel brand delivers an email reminder that calls the recipient by name, references the item under consideration, and includes pictures to spike interest. This level of specificity creates a conversational feel that consumers love and are eager to engage with.

#3 Choose Between Dynamic or Basic Emails

Email layout and design impacts conversion rates.

So, should you make your messaging aesthetically alluring to tempt a conversion? Linear to streamline click-through rates?

The answer depends on your objective and who you’re targeting.

In fact, the real question you should be asking is this: what will your customer want to see based on their position in the funnel?

Dynamic email helps you personalize your messaging based on where leads are in the funnel, so you can improve open rates and boost retention. Physical products benefit from a visual email layout, as do rich media types and promotions.

In the image above, we see online classroom Skillshare appeal to a visually-oriented customer base with a beautifully designed email. This format is effective for artistic types, offering a free month trial that benefits from a beautiful backdrop to encourage sign ups.

Here’s a simple email from marketing guru Neil Patel. Since Neil’s trying to drive traffic, increase his thought leadership, and position his products, he correctly opts for a minimal and informative layout.

Neil understands his readers. They open emails to learn and to get quick solutions. Elaborate design or content would just be distracting. A direct statement of benefits and an unmistakable CTA nets the highest CTR and conversion rates.

#4 Optimally Place Your Calls to Action

An effective call to action should be obvious and should actively encourage clicks.

Your readers will not scour your email copy for a CTA in order to take the next step. It’s up to you to make it easy for them to convert.

Place CTAs where they’re easily seen and make sense.

Positioning the CTA at the bottom of your email is the norm, since conversions usually happen after you’ve promised value.

Some CTAs may work better at the top, however, as seen in the previous example from Skillshare. Split-test different designs to find what suits your offering and customer base.

Just as importantly, always use actionable language to drive results with your CTA.

The Brightcove email above promotes a webinar, calling readers to “Watch Now.” Active verbs drive conversions because they’re both descriptive and directly instructional. A bold purple CTA button draws the eye and aligns with the email design, helping it stand out for optimal clicks.

To maximize your email conversions, bring CTAs to the forefront and write compelling copy that makes the benefits of clicking immediately obvious.

#5 Test and Optimize Emails

If you don’t measure your email performance, you can’t improve it.

The right marketing automation platform allows you to measure the results of your email campaigns through KPIs like:

  • Delivery Rates
  • View Rates
  • Open Rates
  • Click-Through Rates
  • Sales Conversions

Then, you can use your insights from these metrics to optimize conversion rates going forward. Once you have a sense of how your emails are performing in general, A/B test your email campaigns to improve even further.

Adjust the sending time to reach your lists when they’re most receptive. You should also A/B test your content for factors like:

  • Subject Line
  • Sender Name
  • Capitalization
  • Greeting Personalization
  • Email Layout and Design
  • CTA Copy

Send different types of content and offers to find out exactly what your prospects want to engage with. Understanding your audience and optimizing your delivery are the final factors in building a drip email campaign that will get you game-changing results.

The Last Drop

Like morning coffee before a workday, automation is a key part of effective email marketing.

To optimally engage your audience, first segment your contact lists. From there, use data to personalize the email experience and create conversation.

Utilize email design that suits your industry and audience, being sure to place CTAs effectively for conversions. Optimize your email marketing strategy with analytics, reporting, and A/B testing to achieve the best metrics and revenues.

Email marketing automation allows marketers to set, forget, and maximize their drip engagement strategies. The pot is always on – ready to collect a big cup of hot leads.