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Marketing automation: How to start Automating Emails

Marketing automation is a powerful tool for membership marketers. It streamlines your work and makes marketing teams more efficient, all while improving member acquisition, engagement and retention.

But how do we get started automating our email marketing?

Marketing automation improves productivity by 20% and can lead to significant increases in new member acquisition and engagement, if used appropriately. How? Because it eliminates repetitive tasks and enables you to focus on other parts of your membership organisation.

While your marketing automation programs are getting the right message to the right prospective and existing members, you and your team can create new and exciting marketing campaigns. 

What is email marketing automation?

Email marketing automation works in the same way. Rather than manually building every email campaign over and over again for every targeted segment of your membership base, automation takes one campaign template, the most relevant content and sends it to the right members at the right stage of their membership journey. 

Automating your email marketing makes it easier to execute personalised and contextual campaigns with minimal effort. It eliminates time-consuming tasks like building member email lists and personalising content by pulling in your existing member data.

When you integrate your marketing automation platform with your CRM, like we do for our membership clients with dotdigital and our MemEx platform, you will have even more data and insights to create relevant campaigns that deliver real results. 

What are the benefits of automating your email marketing?

In addition to saving you from manual, repetitive tasks here are our top four benefits of automating your email marketing: 

1) Engage new members

An email automation program is an easy and effective way to make a good first impression with prospective or new members.

  • New member welcome programs are one of the most effective engagement-generating automations available to membership marketers. It enables you to reach out and engage with your newest members as soon as they join and immediately start demonstrating membership value. 
  • You can also cultivate long-lasting and powerful relationships with existing members by sending them personalised content like relevant events, training course or CPD opportunities. This will help them get to know your organisation while seeing clear membership value.

2) Boost member retention

Member retention is essential to the ongoing viability of your membership organisation. According to figures published by MemberWise, it costs eight times more to attract a new member than to retain an existing one. Moreover, loyal members are far more likely to engage with you and attend any free or paid for activities that you offer.

  • All membership organisations expect a certain member churn every year, but keeping this to a minimum ensures you are continually delivering member value.
  • Member loyalty programs, discounted online event attendance and free content, to mention but a few, are great ways to ensure members feel valued and keep them engaged for longer. Thanking or rewarding them for their membership gives them a reason continue their relationship with you.

3) Drive more conversions

In the context of a membership organisation we qualify conversion as:

  • Increasing the acquisition of new members
  • Increasing the engagement levels of existing members i.e. an uplift in a member’s interaction with you such as, for example, online event attendance

Unlike traditional email campaigns, email automations are triggered when members complete a pre-set action. They are centred around your workflow – that is, the actions you want the member to take. It’s like a blueprint. Your email automation will deliver relevant messages and calls to action that will drive the member towards the preferred conversion outcome.

Abandoned event or training course registrations are perfect examples of automation programs that directly drive conversions. Landing in a member’s inbox, shortly after they leave your website, reminds them about what they left behind and encourages them to return to complete the action.  

Similarly, abandoned browse programs target members who have left a high-intent page without completing the desired action. This could be a registration page to download paid for content, for example. Reaching out to a member at this point can help remove some of the blockages on the path to purchase.

4) Re-engage lapsing members

Marketing automation is a powerful tool that can target members at any stage of membership journey.

  • By choosing criteria such as ‘last engagement’, or using more complex engagement benchmarking, you can trigger automated prompts and campaigns to drive member re-engagement prior to a member opting not to renew. 
  • Without automation, re-engagement campaigns would be time-consuming and difficult to set up. However, setting up a program is simple and guaranteed to drive action.
  • With the ability to personalise content, based upon member characteristics, your automation program can send the most effective message to drive re-engagement using nothing more than member insights. 

Ready to take your marketing automation to the next level? For an in-depth look at how our Membership Experience Platform, MemEx, enables membership organisations to deliver comprehensive marketing automation book a demo now.


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