How to Prioritize Your Email Marketing Automations

Using a prioritization matrix to appoint scores to different automations helps you prioritize them more easily. In this blog, I’ve discussed elaborately how you can do that.

Robbie Fitzwater
Updated on

One of the main concerns in email marketing is prioritizing different emails, and email automations, and figuring out when to send which email. 

And, with all the email automations on your hands, and with working simultaneously on so many projects to build something big, you ask yourself, how do I prioritize my automations, and how do I start the whole process so that I can make the biggest impact possible? 

For this, we have a really helpful tool that enables you to look at things strategically by making a list and then checking the boxes so you can ensure that you’re doing what needs to be done. 

And as I say, probably too frequently, “you should not starve your stallions and feed your ponies” – you must ensure you’re driving enough revenue first, and then you can experiment with things later. 

Though it can be a challenge and a mental struggle to manage everything simultaneously, in some cases, we want to make that easier and more fun for you. And, this article will show you the behind the scenes of the whole process of figuring out what to. 

So, let me walk you through a more rigorous step-by-step process of prioritization and score these. So we know that we’re doing the right work and doing these automations justice, but also generating revenue and getting these to a payment-positive place before we get to all the fun parts of email automation.

  1. How To Prioritize Your Flows?
    1. Welcome sequence
    2. Post-purchase sequence
  2. Which Email Automations Are The Most Profitable?
    1. Welcome & Cart Abandonment
    2. Thank You
    3. Post-purchase
    4. Win-back
    5. Replenishment
  3. Takeaways – Best Practices for Introducing Email Automations
  4. Flow Scorecard Sheet

With further ado, let’s take a look at what we do.

How To Prioritize Your Flows?

example of email automations prioritization matrix

The figure above is the tool we were talking about earlier. It is a prioritization matrix. With this, you can give scoring to each email flow you’re working on based on the impact it will drive. In other words, the revenue it will bring in and the control you’ll have over the process and systems in introducing that automation. 

For example, understanding if it needs a different plugin or app installed and where and how we get the data from. And then, you’ll see how much effort will be required in that particular automation. 

So using this matrix, you’re going to narrow things down but also have an in-depth view of every email automation, focusing on only items relevant to each email’s success.

This gives you a clear roadmap of which ones you want to place bets on first. As well as where you would like to focus your attention. And when you intend to introduce these over months and years, you should focus on the right automations instead of bright automations.

So as seen in the figure above, this is a high-level view of how things should be. 

Here is a list of several automations you could introduce for anybody. Some of our clients have around 25 automations running at any given time. Some may have even more than that. But there is no use in having a large number if you’re not prioritizing the ones that can drive the revenue you want. 

As you can see in our prioritization matrix, birthday automation may have a different financial impact than others do. It may be easy to create, but if the final score is six, we may prioritize it to a different level. We will prioritize automation with a score of eight. So the higher the score, the more priority it has.

In the opportunities section, as shown in the figure, are the foundational automations you use with any group you work with. You’ll introduce each one based on the time and attention of your business. It enlists the email flows where you will spend a lot of your time during different opportunities that arise throughout your customer’s journey. 

Welcome sequence

Let’s talk about the first opportunity every business gets, the welcome sequence. This is, according to most marketers, a crowd pleaser, as onboarding new customers for the first time is a strong revenue driver. 

So if you nurture your customers well through the first purchase sequence, you may be able to drive a good amount of income. Hence you may give it a score of three in the impact section. 

The control you have over it can also be analyzed. For example, you can introduce a snippet of code onto the site through a popover where you’re likely collecting people’s emails and other information, so everything is in your control. Moreover, Klaviyo and Shopify integration is pretty smooth and easy, making it more straightforward. So let’s give this section a score of three.

In a welcome sequence, you go into much segmentation in many different structures based on who the audience is and what their use cases are. You have some welcome sequences that are upwards of like 25 or 30 emails, making it a bit heavier lift. It’s not insurmountable, but this will be one of the strongest automations we will introduce. So let’s give it a two.

Now, if you add all those up, you can square eight, which is a solid score. Automation with a score like this is on top of the list of priorities, as this will work to get people into the top of our funnel.

And some of this can be prioritized based on our acquisition channel. If people are coming in through Google Shopping and then purchasing, you would want to add them in the post-purchase sequence so we can get onboard them, or you may have a large list of subscribers that you want to engage to the browse abandon and bring back in. All those are things you need to be taking into account. 

Post-purchase sequence

In a post-purchase sequence, you try to take somebody from purchasing the first product stage to making them a loyal member of the brand community, somebody with a strong affinity towards your brand or group.

You do this by trying to add value to the customer beyond the transaction, such as through content. This is how the customers get the most value out of the product they purchase.

It would be best if you made the content strategic and relevant to what products were purchased. 

So, if they’re purchasing a pair of boots, you can send content like how you clean and care for your shoes. What kind of polishers you can buy from us for different materials of boots etc. Make sure you’re doing everything to care for them and give them what they might need. This is also typically a good revenue driver if you do everything right. Hence it gets a score of three. 

example of content email in a post-purchase flow

Regarding the control of this automation, you also have that, as the data comes from Shopify or Klaviyo directly. So that’s going to be a score of three again. And the effort here is probably a heavier lift in terms of the amount of work put into it, so you’re going to give that a two. These add up to eight, so these will be one of the first ones you’ll introduce.

After introducing all the automations with eight total scores, you will move to the sevens, the sixes, and so on. 

In this matrix, the ones with the least scores are the five ones. This is the Review/Thank you sequence. If somebody fills out a review form stamped, you may thank them afterward. It may not be the strongest revenue driver for your business, but it is a really easy way to have a nice warm touchpoint later.

We may also segment these sequences in some ways. For example, we can sequence these to drive the most revenue first. We may introduce the welcome sequence in January and post-purchase in February. In this way, you get the eights out of the way. And then start thinking of getting to the seven, move to the sevens, and so on.

This way, you can give your email marketing a roadmap for the year. And when you’re done with one month’s automation, you can add a check mark emoji in front of it, making it a nice visual.

You may also mix things a little and try something different for example if you wanted to score these a little bit differently, you might add an extra column to incorporate revenue from the impact team perspective. So by adding this column, you would take the total score out of 12 instead of nine.

This whole process gives you a way to get strategic and laser-focused on introducing the right automations at the right time in the right sequence. This allows you to maximize the revenue you’re going to drive. Moreover, this also applies to many other areas of our marketing. 

It is a useful tool that can do wonders for your business. If you want to borrow this, here’s a link. It is a helpful tool allowing you to make sure that you’re prioritizing the right work at the right time and hopefully having some fun.

Which Email Automations Are The Most Profitable?

It would be best if you started with the most profitable automations, as we discussed earlier when building this process. You typically start with your core automations.

You will be introducing new automation as you’ll be touching each stage of the customer journey, which can drive a good amount of revenue and be a good foundation to build off of because you can do a lot from there.

  1. Welcome & Cart Abandonment

The first core automation you will work with is the welcome sequence, which will grab people at the top of the funnel and nurture them to purchase. Also, browsing/abandoned flows will bring them back in or push them to act on the abandoned cart/ abandoned checkout. This will be on the edge of that conversion, where you get them back into the store. 

  1. Thank You 

Next, the thank you automation may sound warm and fuzzy, but this one drives a good amount of revenue. If done well, is one of the stronger brand touchpoints you would enjoy and benefit from. 

For example, depending on your brand and your business, if you can get a little thank you from the founder or an influential personality from your company. This can be a powerful touchpoint that gives your customers a nice human feel. 

  1. Post-purchase

After these automations have worked their magic, they encourage customers to make a purchase. Then, the journey moves on to the post-purchase sequence. This is where the groundwork is laid for aiding customers in maximizing their product use. Ultimately, this enhances the value they derive from their interaction with your brand.

  1. Win-back

Next in line is the win-back category of marketing automations. 

Sometimes you may drive more revenue for some brands than others. It depends on your repurchase cycle and what you need to do to bring them back in.

That win-back is likely to bring lapsed customers back into the store. And if you’re not getting them back in, you may pull an incentive and incorporate a discount ladder to give them enough incentive to come back in so you don’t lose them.

Remember! Introducing every automation early on and right on time counts the most. There may come a point where customer responses are minimal. In such a scenario, you could consider implementing cart recovery automation. Additionally, you should look at editing and enhancing the existing automations. This process involves the continuous evolution of the systems you’ve already established. The cart recovery would fit in between browse abandoned and abandoned cart scenarios. 

  1. Replenishment

You may also add a replenishment sequence if your product catalog incorporates a replenishable product. Or you may introduce some automations that are specific to specific segments. If you run a wholesale program, you might consider adding a wholesale variant to your welcome sequence. Similarly, you could include a wholesale version in your post-purchase automation. These additions can significantly influence your subscribers. 

There can be many different things that you can be looking at, but you should try to align things that are going to be best for the business. That’s going to drive the most revenue and create the most impact.

Takeaways – Best Practices for Introducing Email Automations

This whole process of prioritizing email automations is a ground for you to try new and different things. You will do this over a long window of time and keep refining and evolving them and experimenting with each one. 

As soon as you introduce the welcome sequence, you should be testing it and evolving it while testing the subject line, the preview text, and the content inside. You must be testing many things to ensure you’re doing the right things at the right times. That’s what’s going to give you a lot of great insights early. 

As I always say in almost every email automation-related blog, our email automations are our digital Petri dish where we can have a lot of great experiments and learn quickly.

As you poke, tweak, and evolve with different sequences of automations, you’re going to get better with this whole process. This will also help you to get more and more insight into your customers that you can also incorporate into other areas of your marketing.

This is a holistic framework of the marketing around which much of your email marketing ecosystem is built. And then, as time goes on, if you have winning campaigns like in a post-purchase sequence, you can incorporate those into places like that where they would fit contextually within that customer journey.

So this is all for this topic. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to mention those in the comments below. See you soon with another informative blog!

Ps: Here is a link to the flow scorecard sheet –

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