A guest blog by Adrian Brandish, Business Development Executive at email marketing software company, Pure360

Imagine owning a business which was predominantly run offline and promised to keep in touch with every single customer with updates on their favourite products, offers on their birthday and to thank them every time they purchase or recommended a friend. You just wouldn’t be able to. You would have employ extra resource just to do this for you. The additional costs incurred could actually outweigh the additional revenue that this activity would generate.

With a business that is completely or predominantly run online you are able to do this via email marketing; by using automated triggered communications. Think of these automations as your behind the scenes, 24 hour workforce who are never late, never off sick and always represent your brand exactly as you want them to.

You may already do one or more of the automations I am going to recommend, if not you will almost definitely find them worthwhile. So invest an hour or two of your time setting them up and then leaving them to run in the background; generating revenue, ensuring your customers feel valued and maintaining brand awareness.

1. A warm welcome

Welcome automations are invaluable to any business. At the point of sign up, purchase or entry into a survey or competition, an automatic email is generated instantaneously confirming the recipient has been added to your contact list. This is the perfect time to present a welcome offer or an add on purchase; we know from studying client data that someone is 8 times more likely to purchase as a result of a welcome email compared to a regular newsletter. So be sure to use this moment of heightened engagement to your advantage.

Haffords welcome email example

2. Happy Birthday

An automated birthday message can increase brand engagement, drive additional revenue and make the recipient feel valued. Out of 35 companies I regularly receive emails from, only 2 sent me a birthday offer recently, indicating that lots of businesses are missing this trick. Clearly this is particularly beneficial to online retailers but can be equally well received in a B2B environment if the message is well thought out.

Jongleaurs Happy Birthday email example

3. It’s that time again

Date or time based automations are traditionally best utilised by insurance companies, banks and utility companies. Consider enabling your ESP to record time between purchases of FMCGs on an individual basis, and send a reminder a few days in advance of the anticipated purchase date to ensure a customer returns to you time and time again.

You may find that that a large amount of people haven’t opened your emails for a while; in this instance set up a simple ‘we miss you’ or ‘would you still like to hear from us?’ campaign for unengaged recipients. This can work wonders at re engaging with dormant subscribers and/or cleaning up your data list.

Southern rail time/date email example

These are my top 3 recommendations to save time and maintain a healthy level of engagement with your email list; the only real limit is your imagination when it comes to automations. As with all marketing I wholeheartedly believe in the ‘test, test and test again’ mantra, as it’s all about finding what works for you.