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Six Types of Emails You Need to Automate

Your contacts hate those mass “one-size-fits-all” emails.

They want emails that actually mean something to them – AKA triggered by their needs, actions, and behavior.

And that’s exactly why automation exists!

Automated emails help you reach out to the right reader, with the right message, at just the right time. They target users depending on where they stand in the customer journey.

Here are 6 emails you need to automate right now!

1. Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are your classic “Thanks for signing up!” and “Welcome aboard” emails. They form the first impression of your company, so you need to pay attention.

But, here’s what actually triggers these emails – the sign up.

Knowing what triggers the welcome email tells you how your contacts currently feels about your business.

In this case, it means your emails should specifically cater to new users.

Airbnb’s welcome email is created with new users in mind:

We love how they’ve used multiple CTAs and a friendly, inviting tone to encourage engagement!

Also, notice how they’ve only included information that’s relevant to new contacts.

How to Implement

The welcome email is probably the easiest workflow to put together.

Sendlane even comes with a basic automation template to help you set this up quickly:

All you need to do is add your email and tagging in the pre-built workflow skeleton, and you’re good to go!

2. Onboarding Series

New sign ups can also trigger onboarding emails – an extension of welcome emails.

These emails are targeted towards new users, too.

The only difference is they help a new user get started with your business – you can offer a tutorial, walkthrough, or even a brief overview/explanation of the main features and benefits of your product or service.

Onboarding emails are especially useful if you offer a complex app or a SaaS product.

Here’s how Evernote onboards its new users:

Most businesses prefer to send a series of onboarding emails to make the information easier to digest and act upon.

How to Implement

You can set up your onboarding sequence to be sent right after your welcome email.

Or, you can send out a single welcome + onboarding email as soon as someone signs up!

Here’s a sample workflow in Sendlane to help you do that:

Just like with the welcome email, all you need to do is add your specific emails/tagging in the template to get started.

3. Cart Abandonment Reminders

Cart abandonment reminders are triggered by the obvious – abandoned carts.

If you’re an eCommerce business, you definitely need to automate these emails. They help you bring back doubtful customers and motivate them to finish their purchase.

Here’s a cute abandoned cart email from At Home in the Country:

Pro-tip: Make an offer they can’t resist – throw in a discount for your cart abandoner and watch them whip out their credit card.

How to Implement

To send out abandoned cart emails, you need to have the email addresses of the customers.

Also, you can either choose to send one follow-up email, or a series of multiple emails.

You guessed it. Sendlane comes with a cart abandonment workflow template too:

All you have to do is design your own abandoned cart email and voila!

Simple, isn’t it?

4. Post-Purchase Follow-Ups

A customer who has just bought something from you has certain expectations and opinions about your business.

And that’s why post-purchase emails are multi-purpose.

You can send them to thank customers for their purchase, ask for their feedback, and even recommend similar products.

Better yet, you can even offer them a discount on their next purchase to drive repeat sales – like Althea does!

How to Implement

Post-purchase emails are triggered by the obvious action – as soon as a customer makes a purchase on your site.

With Sendlane, you can easily set up an automation triggered by a purchase:

You can either send out a generic post-purchase email to all new customers, or create different versions depending on what they purchase.

5. Re-Engagement Emails

You’re going to lose active contacts all the time – it happens with everyone.

But, that’s what re-engagement emails are for.

These emails wake up sleepy contacts and rekindle the flame. Sometimes, even a simple (yet, heartfelt) “We Miss You!” email will work.

Other times, you might need to throw in a too-good-to-ignore incentive, like free stuff or a discount coupon!

Bonobos reaches out to inactive contacts by asking if they’re still interested in receiving their emails:

The point is, you need to get their attention.

How to Implement

Re-engagement emails are automatically sent to sleepy contacts triggered by a certain period of inactivity.

Sendlane offers an automation template for re-engagement emails, too:

And there you have it. A simple and effective workflow skeleton:

The “condition” specified is whether or not the reader opened or clicked in your email. You can always change it as you see fit.

All you need to do is plug in a gorgeous re-engagement email, and you’re done!

6. Special Occasion Emails

There’s no better way to connect with your readers than by becoming a part of their special moments. Like birthdays, holidays and anniversaries!

And it’s totally okay if you’re bad at remembering dates.

Automation takes care of that for you.

Here’s a tip. Don’t just wish your readers on their birthday – throw in a gift, too!

Gap sends over a special 25% discount to the birthday boy/girl:

If you plan to delight your contacts with a discount, wish them a few days in advance to give them some time to make the purchase.

How to Implement

Automated special occasion emails can be triggered by a specific date. For birthdays and anniversaries, you can use the information collected during sign up.

Sendlane lets you add custom values to your workflow!

All you need to do is add custom fields to your opt-in form (like date-of-birth, for example):

 That’s it – now you can easily create a custom workflow and send out personalized emails!

Automate Your Way to Success

Automating the emails above will help you get started – but they aren’t the only ones you should hand over to the machines.

Tons of automation opportunities already exist within your company’s sales and marketing strategies.

The key is to visualize your sales process, identify these opportunities, and save valuable time.

What kind of emails do you send out on an automated basis? We’d love to know!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!
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