The Best Email Automation for Small Business: What You Need to Know

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your communication with customers while saving time. That’s where email automation comes in. In this post, we’ll explain what email automation is, why you should consider it and examples of email automation for small businesses. We’ll also cover common challenges with email automation and unsuitable processes for email automation. Finally we’ll share three free tools to help you with your email automation and get you started. Lets’s dive in!

What is email automation?

Email automation is where you use software to automate the sending of emails to your customers or prospects. This can include welcome emails, follow-up emails, abandoned cart emails, and more. By automating these emails, you can save time and improve the timeliness of your communication with customers.

Why small businesses should consider email automation?

Compared to 40% of marketers in 2021, 55% are now using automation for email marketing (Source). Thats a big increase, and we can see why. There are many ways in which email automation can help including:

  • Increasing sales through personalised offers to prospects
  • Improve customer retention through automated onboarding emails
  • Increase sales through personalised upsells to your existing customers

How have small businesses used email automation?

To help bring this to life here are a few real-world examples of small businesses using email automation:

  • A fitness studio sends a series of automated emails to new members. This includes a welcome email, tips for getting started, and reminders to schedule their first class.
  • An ecommerce store sends an abandoned cart email to customers who start but don’t complete an online order. The email reminds them to complete their order and offering a discount.
  • A consulting firm sends a series of automated emails to prospects who download a whitepaper. This includes follow-up emails with more resources and an invitation to schedule a consultation.

Common challenges of implementing email automation:

This of course sounds great, but there can be some challenges with implementing email automation. For example:

  • Ensuring the triggers and workflow is setup correctly. You want to ensure that emails are sent to the right people at the right time. A mis-timed email can be costly.
  • Getting the content right. You want to create personalised and relevant content for the emails to maximise engagement. Test out different messages to see which ones drive the behaviour that you want.

We specialise in automation tools for small businesses and not-for-profits. Check out our Small Business Automation Tools page for more info.

Email Automation isn’t for everything

While email automation is a valuable tool for small businesses, it’s not always suitable for every process. For example, it might not be the best choice for urgent emails as it can take some time for things to be setup. It’s also not a great choice for sensitive situations where a personal touch is going to be better.

3 Free Tools to Help with Email Automation:

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing the best email automation tool for your small business. When assessing a platform look at:

  • Ease of use – whats the learning curve going to be like?
  • Pricing – how well does it scale for your needs?
  • Features – make sure you can measure success with decent analytics
  • Integration with your existing systems
  • Customer support

A few popular email automation tools for small businesses are Mailchimp, Sendinblue, and HubSpot. To help you further we wanted to share some free tools that will help you get the most from email automation:

For more free tools for Small Businesses, check out our Free Tools Series.


Email automation is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to do more with less. When implemented effectively it can drive significant benefits for small businesses and not-for-profits.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: How can I measure the success of my email automation campaigns?

Answer: To measure the success of your email automation campaigns, you can track key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall engagement. These metrics will help you understand how well your emails are performing and whether they are driving the desired actions from your recipients. Additionally, you can use A/B testing to compare different email variations and determine which ones are more effective in achieving your goals.

Question: Are there any legal considerations or regulations I need to be aware of when using email automation?

Answer: When using email automation, it’s important to comply with legal regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act (in the United States) and the GDPR (in Europe). These regulations require you to obtain consent from recipients before sending them marketing emails, provide an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe, and include your business’s physical address in your emails. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws that apply to your region.

Question: Can email automation be used for customer service purposes, such as responding to inquiries or handling complaints?

Answer: While email automation is primarily used for marketing purposes, it can also be used for customer service tasks such as responding to inquiries and handling complaints. For example, you can set up automated emails to acknowledge receipt of a customer inquiry and provide them with a timeline for when they can expect a response from a human agent. This can help improve customer satisfaction and streamline your customer service processes.

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