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Introduction to email automation

Automation is an email or a series of emails triggered by a subscriber’s action or an email marketer’s action.

Here are some common automation examples and ideas:

  • Welcome series — to greet new subscribers and give them a newcomer’s discount.
  • Browse and cart abandonment — to remind your customers of the products or services they’ve been interested in.
  • Post-purchase email — to thank customers for shopping with you and ask for a review.
  • Product or service recommendation — to cross-sell something based on a person’s purchase history, etc.

Email automation has two main benefits: 

Automation saves your time and resources.

You can spend hours writing emails to each individual subscriber. If you have 100 subscribers and one email takes you about 2 minutes, that’s more than 3 hours wasted. Automation frees your and your coworkers' time and resources. It will take 10 minutes to set up an automation, and the rest of the 3 hours can be spent on more critical tasks.

Plus, you only need to set the automation once, and it will scale with your subscribership. So when your subscriber numbers grow, you don’t need to do anything else. The automation will affect 1,000 subscribers the same way it affected 100.

Automation enhances customer experience. 

Automation allows you to constantly respond to customers’ actions, even outside working hours. For example, a person signed up for your newsletter via a subscription form on the website. Thanks to automation, they will receive a confirmation email right away.

An example of a subscription form and a confirmation email

These interactions show subscribers your company’s engagement and strengthen the connection between you. Plus, automation makes your communication more personalized: after all, your subscribers’ actions trigger the emails.

Basics of automation in Selzy

In Selzy, an automation sequence (chain) is a series of emails set up according to a certain script.

You can create an automation sequence in Selzy in the Automation section of the main panel of your personal account.

Click on Automation in the main panel of your personal account to create automations

Let’s explore how automation works in Selzy. 

In the email sequence (chain), a contact moves from a chain trigger to a result. In Selzy, the automation can be triggered when someone subscribes to your emails, you add a new contact to one of your email lists or a new tag or tags to one of your contacts. The result is failure or success.

Choose the type of the initial event: the “Add to list,” “Subscribe to list,” and “Add new tag options” are available.

Between the start and the finish of the automation, there are different actions and checks for users’ reactions.

An email sequence (chain) consists of blocks. These are chain elements in which an event occurs.

Selecting chain block types in Selzy: Action and Condition options available

Inside a block, you can set the delay time. The action can happen with no delay or in a certain amount of time.

Selecting the delay time of an action

The Action block. Shows how the system should work in a particular block: send an email, change a field, add a subscriber, or delete a subscriber.

Action types in Selzy: Send email, Change field, Add subscriber, and Delete subscriber options available

The Condition block. Checks the values of the subscriber’s fields and the subscriber's belonging to a particular list.

Condition types in Selzy: Field value and Presence in the lists options available

The Email activity block. Analyzes reads and clicks on links in the email. Before the Email activity block, there should be an email, so that there is something to analyze.

Analysis types in Selzy: Read analysis and Click analysis

The Condition and Email activity blocks create Yes and No branches.

 Field value condition separates into Yes and No scenarios based on the “Gender” is equal “Female” condition

The branches are different reactions of the system to user actions (for the Email activity block) or characteristics (for the Condition block). For example, If the subscriber has opened the email, the automation sends them through the Yes branch. If not, it is a No branch.

The Result block. The final block in the chain, the success or failure of the script.

Result types in Selzy: Sucess and Fail

You can learn more about chain blocks in a separate article.

A sample automated chain walkthrough

For example, we want to send men and women different offers. Each gender will have its own email sequence with recommendations. Let's set up such a chain in Selzy.

Note that this is an example, and in practice, you can set up more gender options to suit your audience’s needs.

Let's start the automation by checking if the subscriber is in the right contact list.

Start of the automation: Add to list

Let's create a check for the gender field. Make sure you set up this field in your contact lists before you start the chain.

Creating a check for the gender field using the Condition check “Gender” is equal “Female”

To women, we send one email:

 If the condition is met, the Yes branch continues with an Action block Send email

And men will receive a different email:

 If the condition isn’t met, the No branch ends with a Fail Result block

After each email, we will check whether the subscribers have read it or not:

 Each Send email Action block is followed by an Email activity Read analysis block that separates into Yes and No branches ending with Result Success and Result Fail blocks accordingly

The whole chain with the check of the gender field will look like this:

A sample chain overview

How to view chain statistics

To view the statistics, click on the name of your automation.

View the automation

Next, click on the statistics icon at the top.

To view the chain statistics, click on the statistics icon at the top

You can see the number of contacts that have passed through each block and their status:

Chain statistics

More about chain statistics.

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