There are many terms used by marketers to describe automated emails – marketing automation, auto-responders, drip emails, email sequences, and more. Whatever you call your automated emails, BigMailer supports them. While RSS to email and transactional (via API calls) email campaigns are technically automations, in this article we focus on auto-responders and sequences.
An Automation campaign in BigMailer can be a single email (e.g. a signup confirmation or welcome) or a sequence of emails, that are typically triggered based on something happening to the contact (e.g. subscriber) record or an action performed. In addition to action, an automated email can be triggered with a time delay in hours, days, or weeks, or have no delay.
After the Automation campaign sends the 1st email the future steps in the sequence can be scheduled in 2 ways:
- Relative to the first email, e.g. X days after the same trigger as the 1st email. For example, you can send a welcome email immediately after someone signs up for your newsletter or creates an account, then send weekly emails after 7, 14, 21 days, etc.
- Relative to the previous email and/or action taken, e.g. X days after a previous email in the sequence is sent or after a contact opens or clicks on the previous email.
Ready to get started? Here are the steps to setup your Automation campaign.
- Log into your BigMailer account and select a brand you want to create a campaign under. Don’t have a BigMailer account? Create a free account – all accounts start on a Free plan, no credit card required.
- Click on Campaigns tab in the site header, then on “Create Campaign” button.
- Click on “Create” under the Automation section.
Once on the Campaign page you need to give your Automation campaign a name, click on small “rename” tag next to name.
Click on “Add Email” to create your first email step, then click on “Edit” links to define each element of an email – trigger, message type, and segment (optional).
The most typical trigger for a 1st or only step in an Automation campaign is subscriber record being added to a specific list.
TIP: Create a List named Test and always use it for testing your automation campaigns before finalizing against customer list.
How to Add Contacts to a List:
- Manual import of a CSV file.
- An email collection webform that sends customer data to a List. In BigMailer you have 2 options, embed the form into your website or just link to a form as a standalone page on BigMailer.
- An API call (e.g. to create a contact when someone makes a purchase).
- A Zapier integration (when someone performs an action on a 3rd party platform a record of contact is created at BigMailer). So the data can first enter your CRM or a Google spreadsheet, then pushed to BigMailer.
- Manual adding of records one-by-one, useful for adding your own records for testing.
How to Use Segments in Addition to Triggers
In BigMailer, in addition to trigger rules available, you can also narrow down your target audience for a given email via custom defined segment. You can use segments to:
- Only send an automated email to customers based on their aggregate engagement with prior campaigns.
- Send an automated email only if a certain field in customer record has a value, e.g. LastPurchase > 30 days.
- Split a certain step in a sequence into multiple versions to customize email content based on certain customer attributes, like interest, gender, or certain interaction with your product, for example offerRedeemed or similar.
- Target your audience based on non-engagement, e.g. anyone who did not open a previous email. This is useful since an email trigger can’t be based on inaction.
Automation Campaign Analytics
Automation campaigns have the same analytics as marketing campaigns, once they are activated and emails are sent. You can see engagement metrics like open and click rates, as well as unsubscribes, bounces, and complaints.
The stats for Automation campaign do NOT reset when an email is modified or moved around in a sequence. So if you want to track performance of a single step in a sequence you may want to pause the step and create a new version to replace it so you can compare engagement stats before/after the changes made.
Examples of Automation Campaigns
1. A single welcome email sent when a new subscriber is added to the list, perhaps with links to best content or info on how often new content will be emailed.
2. A welcome sequence sent X days after signup with valuable content, matching subscriber’s interests.
3. A product/service on-boarding email sequence with tips on using a product or advice from experts. This type of sequence can start with an event outside BigMailer and contact record is pushed to BigMailer via an integration.
4. An email or a sequence triggered by a customer interaction with a website or product. For example, if a subscriber visits a specific article they are tagged as interested in a given topic and sent relevant content or promotional emails. To set this up you have to add code to your website to fire an API call to BigMailer to either a) update your customer record with info on the action or interest or b) add that customer to a new List which can trigger an Automation campaign.
Ready to get started? Click on Campaigns tab in the site header, then on “Create Campaign” button and select “Automation” campaign from the list. Don’t have a BigMailer account? Try out BigMailer with a free account.
Need assistance with your Automation Campaign? Reach out via chat icon once you log in, help is available 7 days a week.