As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been known to be a little late to the party.

Whether it’s that great new TV show everyone’s talking about, the hot new song everyone somehow already knows the words to, or the latest app on everyone’s phone, there’s a fair chance I need to be brought up to speed.

For me, it’s no problem. Sure, I’m a little behind, but I get caught up eventually.

But when it comes to your email contacts, feeling like they need to play “catch up,” isn’t the best way to kick off a new relationship with your business.

Where automation comes in

With email marketing automation, you can create a series of personalized, automated emails that are sent to a contact after they are added to a mailing list.

You choose the order, frequency, and targeted content of the automated email messages. Once the sequence is set up, it will send all on its own, on autopilot.

For new contacts, your automated welcome email series might look something like this:

  • A welcome to the list email that provides the offer and includes an overview of what to expect
  • An invitation to connect email that provides information on how to stay connected (company hours, contacts, and social media channels)
  • A getting-to-know-you email that includes some of the key values that separate you from others in your field and includes a survey that asks for more information (and explains how you’re going to use it).

The biggest benefit of automation is that you’re building a relationship with personalized content, but it’s not taking any more time than the initial setup.

Now, someone who may have signed up with a brief understanding of your business and what you offer will have the same knowledge as someone who has been receiving your automated emails and interacting with your business for years! But automation isn’t just about building new relationships. It can also be used in a variety of other ways to improve relationships with existing contacts on your list and drive more meaningful results for your business.

A few more examples of how automated email series can work for you

1. Build trust through education

One of the best ways to win your list of contacts over quickly is by showing your expertise. Offer them information that’s useful to them, and they’ll begin to know, like, and trust you.

Here are some examples:

  • A health food store might send weekly healthy recipes for contacts to try out
  • A mentoring organization could offer five proven benefits of having a mentor
  • A marketing consultant could offer a list of social media “don’ts” to avoid

2. Build credibility with your subscribers by showcasing your success

Case studies allow you to paint a picture of what life will look like with your help. Giving concrete examples of problems you’ve tackled and solutions you’ve created will help them imagine their own possibilities in working with you.

You can try:

  • Highlighting customers individually and showing your step-by-step approach to delivering a great experience
  • Focusing on a new problem in each message and offering a couple of stories of how you creatively and effectively came up with multiple solutions

3. Humanize your business with staff profiles

The most effective way to gain trust is to let your audience connect with you on a personal level. Every member of your company has a unique area of expertise, point of view, and personality that can make for engaging and relatable content.

You can humanize your business by:

  • Interviewing a different member of your staff in each message
  • Creating a series of videos introducing different departments
  • Having a different staff member contribute the content for each message

4. Make a series of your very best content

If you’ve been updating your company blog regularly, you may have a lot of great, timeless content out there that doesn’t get the views it once did. Consider repurposing this content in an automated email series for newer customers who haven’t seen this content yet.

This automated email marketing campaign is a great way to get more from the content you create, while also building stronger relationships with customers and prospects.

Some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Go through and make sure your posts are still relevant and up-to-date
  • Make sure the automated email sequence builds upon ideas and that there’s enough variety to be as engaging as possible

5. Turn customers into repeat buyers

If you have an email list contact that has been involved with you for a while, you might want to convince them to take an even bigger step. Make an automated email series for your most loyal audience members and give them some special attention.

Here are some examples:

  • A yoga studio could send tips for mastering new poses, with information about registering for an advanced-level class
  • A marketing consultant could send ideas for taking their marketing to the next level, with details for scheduling a call
  • A lawn care business could send information about new services, with special offers for returning customers

6. Build enthusiasm for an event

Anyone who’s put on a successful event knows how much time, energy, and planning is involved. Make things a little easier for yourself by creating a series of emails to engage registrants, so you can focus on other things.

Consider including:

  • A thank you for registering email
  • An email with a profile of your speakers and presenters
  • A preview of the items that will be part of your silent auction
  • Sneak peeks of the venue, menu, or decor
  • Countdowns to the day of the event

7. Engage with customers to improve satisfaction

Another great way to use automation is to collect customer feedback.  Engaging with customers this way will make them feel valued and help you learn what they like — it’s a win-win!

Check out these examples:

  • A cupcake shop could create a survey asking what cupcake flavors customers like best
  • A nail salon could send a poll to customers asking what nail colors they should order for summer
  • Run a social media contest and have customers suggest names for the new office cat

Use automation to personally and easily talk to customers

Of course, no one knows your subscribers and loyal contacts as well as you do, so spend some time thinking about what different people need to know and how you can send emails that are valuable to them. Then create an automated email series of your own.

Have a Shopify or WooCommerce store? You can now set up an automated customer journey in your Constant Contact account to capture abandoned carts, win back customers, ask for reviews, and more.