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Automation and Lifecycle Email Marketing: The Next Generation?

Written by Anna Milward on September 1, 2015

Email marketing is no longer just about sending a weekly email newsletter. As technology evolves and customer expectations change, there are a growing number of new and different ways to target customers with email marketing.

Most email marketing strategies these days take into account the fact that people who are at different stages of their journey with your business will want different things from their emails.

New subscribers will have different needs from established customers who will be different to first time customers. For many businesses that are trying to market themselves using email the biggest challenge is how to cater for the different stages without being completely overwhelmed trying to keep up.

This is where automation and lifecycle email marketing comes in.

Lifecycle email marketing techniques are also known as drip marketing, autoresponders, marketing automation and automated email campaigns but they all mean the same thing.

Lifecycle email marketing is a series of automated emails that are triggered by certain behaviour on the part of your recipients, or that are sent out on a specific schedule to customers at different stages. The content of the emails is designed to nurture your recipients from when they first subscribe to becoming long term, loyal customers.

Here are some ways you can use lifecycle emails in your marketing strategy.

When a new subscriber signs up

A welcome sequence of emails can be scheduled to arrive in a new subscriber’s inbox at set intervals, with a few days or a week between emails. They might take the form of an overview of your business and products or services, an introductory offer or discount or something else that could be relevant to them. What’s important is that they are engaging and you start to build a relationship with the recipient.

When a subscriber views a product or service on your site

Drip emails can be set up to respond to behavioural triggers, like someone viewing a product on your site a number of times. Sending a follow up email after they leave encouraging them to buy or offering free shipping or another incentive can help convince them to make the purchase and become a customer.

When a subscriber reads a blog post or article on your site

Even if they aren’t ready to buy, when you know that someone has read a particular article you can follow up with an email suggesting other blog posts or articles they may be interested in. This can help nurture the relationship until they are ready to make a purchase.

After someone makes a purchase

Sending a follow up email after someone has made a purchase is a great way to thank them, keep them informed about the next step including delivery time and how to get in touch if they have questions, and also suggest possible supplementary purchases based on what they have just bought.

When a customer has made a number of purchases

Loyalty programs and discounts can help encourage your best customers to stay with you and spread the word to their friends.

Disengaged subscribers

You can even use email automation to re-engage people who haven’t interacted with your emails for a while. Coupons, offers and discounts could be the incentive they need to come back and give you another try.

Automated lifecycle email marketing is one of the few set and forget marketing strategies out there and it is proven to increase open rates and improve conversions.

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