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Utilizing automation in your marketing efforts is essential to ensuring ease and flow in your lead generation and conversions. Whether you’re creating an automated email to deliver a piece of premium content, creating a nurture sequence to convert leads, or simply setting up an automatic reply to a contact form, automation is critical. But how do you ensure your automated emails don’t inadvertently put people off? Here’s all you need to know about marketing automation etiquette.

Consent, PII And GDPR

From a marketing perspective, best practice has always told us that we shouldn’t send emails to people who haven’t agreed to receive them in some way. This has always been common courtesy, yet laws cover the use of email addresses and whether or not you’re able to send automated emails. In the US, this is covered by Personally Identifiable Information, the specifics of which vary from state to state, while in the UK, there is GDPR.

Simply speaking, as long as you ensure that the email addresses you are sending automated mail to have, in some way, consented to you emailing them, there’s nothing to worry about.

For example, if you provide premium content on your website and users need to input their name and email address to access it, you can include a checkbox that, when checked, states they agree to receive marketing emails.

Similarly, you can include such checkboxes on every point of contact. You can also (usually) infer that if someone has contacted your business directly to make inquiries, they’re happy to receive correspondence from you. And if someone is a current customer, you can reasonably say the same.

Always Deliver What You’ve Promised

If you’re convincing people to willingly subscribe to receiving automated emails (opting in), it’s essential that you immediately deliver whatever incentive you offer. If that’s a lead magnet or freebie, your first automated response to them should be an email delivering that lead magnet. You may need multiple automations to achieve this if what was promised is a series, like a course.

Consider also any elements you promised that aren’t automated. Have you promised a call? A free audit? A strategy or quote? Having an automation that confirms they have successfully signed up and gives them a clear idea of when to expect what was promised is essential.

Have they signed up for a discount? Send them the code. Did you promise them regular updates and weekly content? Make sure you consistently send it.

It’s easy to think of an email as an insignificant piece of information. But it’s not. It’s an agreement you have entered into with a prospect or a client, and it’s important to respect that. Whatever you promised, they have ‘paid’ for it with that email address.

Always Give The Option To Unsubscribe (And Hold To It)

Your prospects may agree to receive correspondence, but they can also change their minds and opt out. They may have had all they need from you already or it could not be the right time for them to consider your offer. They might have found what they were looking for or are simply in the research phase of their buying journey. That is why it's good email etiquette to always provide the option for contacts to unsubscribe. This allows them to leave on their terms and lets your team focus on engaged contacts.

Don’t Be Too Pushy

There are several ways to encourage contacts to continue their buying journey. Perhaps they’ve clicked a link to a sales page in a previous email, and you want to send them more information about that product. Or maybe they started the checkout process on your website but paused part way through, and you want to remind them to complete their purchase.

These are highly effective, but it’s easy for them to become intrusive and pushy.

Who hasn’t done a double take when an email landed in their inbox with the query ‘Forget Something?’ and the image of a product you were just perusing online? It’s no different when offering a product or service to a business; you can easily come across as overbearing. The best way to do this is to look at it from the perspective of how you can help rather than what you can gain by sending the email.

For example, instead of asking if they forgot to sign up for your service, you can ask if they’re struggling with a core pain point it solves and then explain how you can help.

Need help setting up your marketing automations? Get in touch; we can help - and you can always unsubscribe later if you change your mind…

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