How to Automate Your Email Program in 3 Steps

6 minute read

Upland Admin

In the silent film era, filmmakers relied on strong visual elements to tell their stories. Unfortunately, computer technology was a little hard to come by back then, so filmmakers had to get creative. This meant camera tricks, visual gags, and a whole lot of stunts.

Silent film star Buster Keaton performed many of the era’s most famous stunts. He insisted on doing his own stunts, risking his neck – quite literally! – for his craft.

Fortunately, as an email marketer, you don’t have to cheat death to create art. There are plenty of ways to let technology handle the hardest parts of your job, but are you taking advantage of them? Without automation, you’re practically walking an email marketing high wire.

Instead of doing your own marketing stunts, why not check out these 3 ways to automate your email program instead? It could save a life.

Automate your email messaging.

The more relevant an email is, the more likely a reader is to engage with it. Of course, it can be hard to tailor your sends to individual readers when everyone is different, but you don’t have to bend over backward for your audience when you can automate your email program to respond for you. If you set up your emails to send after users complete a particular action or meet certain criteria, you increase the chances that the user receives relevant content.

So what kind of emails should you automate? There are plenty of automated emails you can add to your program. At the very least, the welcome email and confirmation emails are essential. When sent immediately, these emails get exceptionally high open rates because people like to know for sure that their signup or purchase went through successfully. Plus, you’re catching them at the time when they’re most interested in your site.

Setting up these emails to send quickly can give users a satisfying sense of completion, but don’t send these emails in vain. Not only are these emails more likely to be looked at, they also set the tone for the email relationship. Use the time you save automating to make sure you get them right. Take advantage of the increased attention at the height of their engagement by building these emails to guide users back to your site.

The email relationship is particularly important for premium publishers, who rely on email to nurture and retain subscribers. Publishers can use data to target email subscribers with automated marketing emails based on the status of that reader. If a user hits their paywall limit for the month, an email asking the reader to subscribe may have more effect than one sent to a reader who hasn’t visited the site in a month. For those dormant readers, it might be more effective to drop the sales pitch and just direct them back to the site, where they can consume content and generate ad revenue.

When you collect an email address, you gain a direct connection to your audience that allows you to communicate with them at any time. Don’t go silent on your audience; use this relationship to convert them into paying customers.

Automate your newsletter creation. 

Major newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post boast dozens of newsletter products. Why so many? Isn’t email dead, gone the way of the silent film? Hardly! Publishers put work into their email programs because they know it works. Newsletters are the most effective tool for turning casual readers into subscribers.

But what about smaller publishers? How can publishers reap the benefits of email newsletters with limited resources? You guessed it: automation! The PostUp platform integrates with WordPress to enable automated creation. You can also pull content from an RSS feed. It may seem daunting to leave your newsletter up to the computer, but PostUp allows you to set up as much human oversight as you need.

By automating email newsletter creation, publishers can increase email output while decreasing email assembly time. Like other marketing emails, these can also be automated to send with recurring frequencies or when content criteria are met. For instance, you can set up a digest that sends daily, but only if something was posted that day. No content, no newsletter. If you have an important article, such as a breaking news story, you can automate email news alerts that send as soon as the breaking story is posted.

Publishers like use the platform to send emails based on their site categories. Automation allows publishers to pull certain tagged stories based on verticals. Publishers can also use data to set up an email that automatically gives readers the most-visited articles of the day. In any case, publishers get to offer diverse options with minimal effort, then encourage multiple sign-ups with newsletter cross-promotion. In Rare’s case, more than half of their unique subscribers receive more than one newsletter.

By creating more newsletters, you increase the opportunities you have to engage with your reader. That means more clicks, more conversions, and fewer missed opportunities. When publishers are more pressed for revenue ever, you can’t afford to fall short.

Automate your email testing.

Email is a revenue machine, but getting the most out of your email program requires constant improvement.

Automated email testing helps you see maximum engagement from every send. With automated testing, you can send an A/B test to a small portion of your email audience. For instance, you may send one subject line to 5% of your list, and test another subject line to another 5% of your list. Using automation, you can determine the winner of the subject line test after a designated period of time, then send the winning subject line to the remaining 90% of your list.

Even publishers who send multiple newsletters each day can benefit from automation in their email testing regimen. PostUp’s automated lede testing even allows publishers to test placement of articles within the newsletter, ensuring the most engaging version of your newsletter goes out each day.

With an email program that uses automation at each turn, you can get aboard the email revenue train with confidence.

Get automatic!

Email is a powerful way of connecting with your audience, but manually maintaining an email program can make you feel like the walls are falling down around you.

When you’ve got a communication tool that lets you speak directly to your audience, there’s no need to revert to the ways of the silent era. Let the computer take care of the hard stuff: give automation a try!

To learn more about automating your email program, download our free automation solution guide.

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