The value of email automation, according to consultant Tim Watson, is increasing the response you get from marketing activity. Not replacing traditional emails and not setting and forgetting a workflow—but upping the number of positive actions taken by your customers, from visiting your website to making a purchase.
Traditional or broadcast campaigns go to your whole list or the segments you select. A popcorn seller might email their entire list to announce a new product launch, or a clothing company message their “parent” segment to promote children’s T-shirts.
Automations are triggered in response to a customer’s action: when you join a list or buy something or fill out a quote form, for example. Your purchase of clipboards on an office supply site might trigger an email in a week asking you to rate the product, or your birthday might land a special discount in your inbox. Inaction can be a trigger, too, like if you open an email but don’t click anything, or add an item to your cart but don’t complete the purchase.
Mailchimp’s preset automations have pre-defined triggers, and you can set up custom automations of your own for more flexibility. But where should a small business start, and what are the best triggers to select?
Quantity versus intent
The 2 criteria Tim recommends to choose your highest-value triggers: quantity and intent. Frequent triggers that prompt marketing automations to people who are highly motivated earn the most money. A birthday email is only sent once a year, so that’s a low-quantity trigger. An abandoned cart, on the other hand, happens all the time. Someone who clicks “buy” is far more likely to purchase from you than someone who read a press release, which makes the uncompleted purchase a high-conversion trigger.
The highest-value triggers for you will meet both of these requirements.