Email automation has the potential to help publishers—whether traditional, new, media and entertainment, gaming, or apps publishers—drive more Web traffic and encourage readers to visit their sites.

Yet, although publishers are creative producers of content, many are not taking full advantage of the potential that email offers to serve up that content. Automated email campaigns can help them reach the right audience at well-timed moments to drive more Web traffic.

Here are three ways that publishers can and should automate to retain and increase readership and site visitors:

  1. A welcome email or welcome series
  2. A weekly newsletter
  3. Re-engagement campaigns

1. Welcome Email or Welcome Series

Virtually all publishers have some sort of welcome email. However, most are generic and not always helpful for on-boarding your new subscriber.

Automation can help to improve your welcome email or email series and drive more engagement in several ways, including the following:

  • Triggered messaging: As a best-practice, the first welcome message should be automated triggered messaging, allowing you to send a real-time message to each new subscriber. Many companies will bundle welcome messages and send them all at one time each day. However, by using triggered messaging, you can continue to engage with your readers when you know they are engaging with you—right after they visited your website.
  • Audience segmentation: If you have collected information from a preference center during the registration process, use that information to personalize your welcome messages so that they are more targeted. Doing so will allow you to set a precedent with your new subscriber that future messages are going to be of interest to them.
  • Waterfall mailings: If your company has a wide variety of services, products, or offerings, you may want to consider upgrading from a single welcome email to a welcome program. By sending a series of emails, each focused on one topic or theme, you can better demonstrate your full offerings. The welcome series can be automated using a waterfall mailing, which sends out targeted emails that respond to a decision tree based on customers' interactions.

2. Weekly Automated Newsletters

Many publishers today are still manually creating their weekly newsletters. By automating newsletter creation, marketers will have more time for reporting, analysis, and improvements to their existing email program. Plus, automation can allow for customized content:

  • Automated assembly: Automate the creation of your newsletters with tools that allow you to automatically pull content from websites into your newsletters. The automation process will retrieve the content at the time of message assembly and immediately execute the email.
  • Personalized content: Publishers should also be using tools that allow them to personalize subscribers' content based on preferences they have chosen or on Web browsing behavior. Automated tools can dynamically populate content for the reader and deliver a custom newsletter for each subscriber.
  • Audience segmentation: If you email program is still in its infancy stage, at a minimum you should use audience segmentation tools to send different messages to different audiences. The data and knowledge that you will gain from this manual segmentation will prove extremely useful when you are ready to automate your newsletters.

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image of Tony D'Anna

Tony D'Anna is CEO of PostUp, a digital and email marketing solutions company.

LinkedIn: Tony D'Anna

Twitter: @tonydanna