If you’ve been keeping up with our updates in the past year, you might have noticed that Getsitecontrol has started outgrowing the definition of a popup builder.
In 2022, we introduced a built-in email editor, a gallery of follow-up email templates, and a Contacts section.
Have you already guessed the direction we’re headed?
It’s email marketing.
And as the first step towards becoming an email marketing platform, we’ve added automations.
From now on, you can automatically assign tags or launch email sequences for subscribers who have joined your list or clicked a link in a specific email.
Wondering how it works?
Let’s break it down.
We’ll first explain what automations are, and what they consist of. Then, we’ll show you how to use automations in Getsitecontrol and provide examples along the way.
What exactly is “Automation” and how it works?
An automation is a workflow triggered by the conditions of your choice.
Here is an automation example you’re surely familiar with. When someone joins your email list, they automatically receive a welcome email. If they click on a certain link in the welcome email, they get a tag and receive an additional promo email 24 hours later. If they don’t click anywhere in the email, they just continue receiving the welcome sequence.
Like all automations, this one has three fundamental elements:
- and conditions.
Triggers launch a workflow; actions shape a workflow; conditions define whether a workflow or an action should occur for each contact or just for a segment of contacts.
Let’s have a closer look at each element.
Choosing a trigger is the first step when you create a new automation. Right now, you have two options:
- New contact created
- Email link clicked
More Shopify-specific triggers are in the works, we’ll talk more about them at the end of this post.
New contact created means that an automation will be launched as soon as a new contact joins your email list. Welcome emails are the best examples of an automation triggered by a new contact.
Email link clicked means that an automation will be launched if a contact clicks a link or button in an email. For example, if your welcome email contains a link to a certain product collection, and a contact clicks it, you can assume that this collection piques their interest.
Based on your assumption, you may want to send an extra promo email featuring best-sellers from that collection. Or a special offer on the items from this collection. Or an educational email about that collection.
For example, suppose I clicked on “Men’s Jewelry” in a welcome email above. Next, I receive an email featuring the bestsellers in this category:
So, let’s recap. An automation can be triggered by a new contact joining your list or by a contact clicking through your email.
Although the most common first step in automations is an email, workflows aren’t just about emails. There are 4 more actions you can use 👇
You can compare actions to steps or chain links: they form your automation.
These are 5 actions you can choose from:
- Send an email – allows you to send an email to the contact
- Add a tag – allows you to add a tag to a contact
- Remove a tag – allows you to remove a tag if a contact no longer meets the conditions
- Run a sequence – run a custom sequence (we’ll explain this action in a moment)
- Set up a time delay – set up a time delay before the next action happens
Selected actions occur sequentially, without delay, unless you set a delay using the
Going back to our example, if a contact indicates they’re interested in a certain product collection by clicking a link in your welcome email, you can:
- send them an email featuring this collection
- assign a tag to the contact for future campaigns
Let’s now have a closer look at the action named
Run sequence because it’s not as self-explanatory as other options.
What are sequences?
Sequences are reusable workflows you can create separately and launch within other automations.
For example, you can create different welcome email sequences for contacts with different areas of interest:
To create a sequence, you’ll need to choose the third automation option:
From there, the process of creating a sequence is identical to the process of creating automations we reviewed earlier: you just need to add actions at your discretion.
Once you’ve created and saved a sequence, you can use it within another automation or another sequence under the desired conditions:
Conditions are optional, but if you have a large email list or a wide variety of products, you might want to use them to apply proper segmentation. In this case, you can set conditions both for automations and for actions.
Let's explore what it means.
When you start creating an automation, conditions can help you define who should be included in the workflow. For example, if the automation is triggered by a new contact joining your list, you can specify the requirements your contacts should meet to be a part of this workflow.
Such conditions include:
- marketing status
- email addresses
- phone numbers
- contact names
If your automation is triggered by a contact clicking through the email, you can also specify the URL or text in the URL to make sure you’re adding the right audience segment to the workflow.
Finally, you can create additional conditions for actions. For example, you may want to assign a tag to the contacts from a certain country or region if you have special shipping conditions for this location (also, to ensure your holiday promos are aligned with the dates of local holidays):
Let’s do another quick recap. To create an automation, you first need to choose a trigger: a new contact, or an email link click. Within any automation, you can set conditions and send emails to the contacts who meet these conditions; you can also assign tags to them or remove tags that are no longer valid, set a time delay between steps, and launch a separate automated sequence.
Once you start running automations, their performance will be reflected on the main dashboard screen:
At a glance, the report features the list of active automations, shows the total number of automations you’ve run in the past 30 days, and the number of emails sent via automations. You can also use the dropdown menu to view the number of email links clicked and sequences launched.
How to create an automation in Getsitecontrol: video tutorial
By now, you should have a clear understanding of what automations are and how you can use them.
Would you like to see what creating an automation looks like? Giorgia, our customer happiness manager, has prepared a step-by-step video to show you exactly that:
Sneak peek into our roadmap
We’re just getting started with email marketing but we already have big plans ahead.
More automation triggers
For starters, we’re working on new automation triggers for Shopify users. These triggers will include:
- purchase completion
- cart or checkout abandonment
- product fulfillment
- customer inactivity (win-back workflow)
This means that you’ll be able to send personalized product recommendation campaigns, invite high spenders to the loyalty program, recover abandoned carts, conduct post-purchase surveys, win-back dormant customers, and more.
The second major part of the upcoming update is email Broadcasts:
Email broadcasts will allow you to send promotional email campaigns using tags and contact segments. Broadcasts will add another essential layer of functionality and help you streamline most of your email marketing efforts within a single platform: from email list building to lead nurturing and sales.
Finally, we’re working on product cards for emails:
Cards are the best way to feature products in an email and let customers start shopping right from their inboxes. This is an indispensable feature for cross-selling emails, back-in-stock emails, and collection promo emails.
We hope you’re as excited about this, as we are! Stay tuned to get notified when the new features become available. And feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Nina De la Cruz is a content strategist at Getsitecontrol. She is passionate about helping small and medium ecommerce brands achieve sustainable growth through email marketing.
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