Email Automation: How to Get Started

The point of automation is to take work off your plate, so you can focus on the things that require the most brainpower. It will involve some time up front, but then you’re off the hook!

Below, I’ll walk you through some questions to consider as you get your automated email campaign underway.


What are your goals?

Start here. It’s a broad question, but don’t be intimidated. There’s no wrong answer. And you need to define what you want your email automation to achieve before you dive in to implementation.

Your goal can be as simple as wanting more people to visit your website. Or it can be as complex as wanting people who have left your site to return to purchase something within a certain timeframe.

Automation can help get you closer to your goal, and depending on what tools you’re using, you could set up an automated email workflow today. On that note, here’s a shameless plug for the tool I love and use often: MailChimp.

It’s quick. It’s easy. The customer service is great. And the entire team is focused on providing business value with their products. Their automation services are free to use and can be set up in a matter of minutes with their drag-n-drop editor.

If you need a custom email template developed or want to talk automation strategy with us, give Papercut Partner Jenny a shout!


What do your subscribers expect from you?

This can get tricky quick and may deserve some additional research time on your end. Research can help you determine the holes in your marketing strategy that automation could fix.

Start by putting yourself in the shoes of those visiting your website. Why did they come? What are they looking for? Why did they leave?

I look at the lifecycle of a visitor to try to understand the trends. This will help you determine how to keep users on your site for longer periods of time and bring them back later. The behavior flow tab of Google Analytics is a great tool for analyzing visitors’ behaviors.

Take it a step further to think about what someone expects when they sign up for your emails. Did they sign up for something every week, every month or every day? Based on your brand, do they expect a personal touch or some personality added in?

I usually start by creating some automated onboarding emails to familiarize users with the voice and tone of the brand, as well as give them a peek of what they’ll be getting and how often. Onboarding is always a great place to start and you can continue to test different methods to make the process better!


What can add value?

What can help your users be more engaged and interested in your brand? What will make them come back?

Maybe you need a pitch deck about your new startup or a slick white paper about your product. Email automation is a great way to get those details into your subscriber’s inbox! There are an infinite amount of triggers to send emails out.

With a service like MailChimp, it’s as easy as creating an email and setting up a trigger event. Like, when someone subscribes, this email sends. Or after someone’s been on the list for a certain period of time, they receive this one. It’s really simple!

Here at Papercut, we use several rapid succession emails to get subcribers warmed up to the digital marketing expertise we have to offer. We have a welcome email that greets people after they add their email to our list. We follow that up, 2 days after someone joins, with a selection of helpful past blogs that a new subscriber might find interesting. We also check in at the 6-month mark to survey subscribers to learn more about their interests.

If you’d like to check what we have set up, subscribe now! P.S. – Don’t forget to add your birthday. You won’t regret it!

Get started!

There are a variety of ways to put email automation to work – whether you have something routine going out or a time-sensitive offer that all your users need to see. It will help take your user engagement to the next level, and you’ll hardly have to lift a finger!

It requires some set up on the frontend, but then you can sit back as it does the work for you. That sounds nice, right?