Every Ecommerce Store Needs These 4 Email Automations

Over the years we’ve worked with dozens, if not close to a hundred stores at this point, and 90% of the time one integral part of their store was not optimized or even built. Yep that’s right, it’s email marketing! More and more store owners are educating themselves on email marketing campaigns and automations, but the majority don’t know exactly which ones they need to build out and are the highest priority. Not to worry, today I’ll be covering exactly this—outlining what each automation is and telling you exactly how many emails should be within automation.

Abandon Cart Email Automation

The abandoned cart email automation is by far the most important on the list and for good reason. Your store is like a bucket with a bunch of holes at the bottom, and those holes represent a leak in your marketing. You’ve reached your customer every step of the way up until they were about to purchase your product, but something came up in their life and they didn’t get a chance to. It’s your duty to remind that person that they forgot something. The abandoned cart automation acts as a type of Flex Seal to stop those leaky holes.

Klaviyo even did a study on this. They analyzed their email marketing clients for 3 months and noticed over $60 million was recovered through setting up abandoned cart email automations. Now that you know all about abandoned cart automations, how do you set one up? The cool thing is, Shopify gives a pre-built template for you when you start your store. That’s great and all, but it’s up to you to expand on that and implement a better strategy that goes at least 3-5 emails deep. Here you can either set the automation yourself or hire an email marketing agency to help with the fulfillment. Within those emails, you can do things like drop a coupon code, bring up previous testimonials, or add special offer combos with something in their cart to entice them. Here are some good examples of abandoned cart emails.

Abandoned cart style email from 23 and Me that reminds the user to purchase their DNA kit.
Abandoned cart style email from Peel that reminds the user of items left in their shopping cart.

Welcome/Newsletter Automation

Second on the priority list is the welcome/newsletter funnel. While it’s not exactly revenue based like the abandoned cart automation, this one is all about building up brand equity for potential customers. We’ve all heard the saying that an average consumer who has never heard about your brand needs at least 5-20 touch points before they trust you enough to buy. With this automation, you’re increasing that number significantly by providing them with content about your brand and niche, and throwing in an irresistible offer here and there in between. With that said, you would want to follow the 80/20 rule on content—80% content and 20% selling. For example, if your store provides hiking gear, here you can send a couple emails including your brand’s origins, how your gear beats the competition, or even content talking about the best hiking trails in the US or the top 10 things someone needs on a hike. Then, every 4-5 emails you can send over a sale email highlighting a “limited edition sale” that lasts only for the next week or so. This helps turn random visitors into actual customers. That’s the beauty of email marketing: once you have the person’s contact information, it’s basically free marketing. All you have to do is pay for the email service provider. For this type, I would recommend anywhere between 8-12 emails depending on how much content you can write about your brand. Here are some good examples of welcome/newsletter emails.

Welcome/newsletter style email from Kate Spade that thanks the user for signing up for their emails.
Welcome/newsletter style email from Virgin America that thanks the user for signing up for their emails.

Post Purchase Upsell Automation

Third on the list is the post purchase email automation. Here our main purpose is to increase the customer’s AOV (Average Order Value). We do this either by promoting an incentive on a specific product that ties in well with what they’ve already bought (for example, upselling a lamp with a desk) or by including a significant discount on the same product that they just purchased. The second method works really well with food & beverage, CPG, and consumables. This email is the best opportunity to get those extra purchases out of the customer since they’re still in that buying mentality. So strike while the iron’s hot and send an email right away with some follow ups a few hours/days later. Since we want to keep this short and sweet, anywhere between 2-3 emails should suffice. The timing for those might look like 1 email sent right away, 1 a couple hours later, and the last one the next day. Here are some good examples of post purchase emails.

Post purchase style email from Matalan that promotes other clothing based on the user's recent purchase.
Post purchase type email from Sambag that promotes other clothing based on the user's recent purchase.

Win Back Email Automation

Last but not least is the Win Back Email Automation. The main purpose of this automation is to re-engage with the customer after a good amount of time has passed (6-12 months) and basically check in and update them with what’s going on with your brand. Additionally, here we’re writing content that can entice that person who used to open your emails or purchase from you to buy again by either providing great incentives or including excellent copy in place of emails (see the examples below). Lastly, you can also mix in a bit more content with your winback emails to help regain their trust in the brand—this has been a hit or miss for us, so I would recommend just testing this method out. You’d want to keep the number of emails sent here on the shorter side to avoid overstepping on this person, so anywhere between 3-5 emails is plenty. Here are some good examples of winback emails.

Winback style email from Girlfriend Collective that provides a $20 off code.
Winback style email from Penguin Random House that aims to rekindle the reader's passion for reading.

In Summary

This all may seem overwhelming to set up, and after reading this you’re probably thinking that it’s a ton of work. That may be true, butthe great thing about email marketing is that once it’s set up, very little maintenance needs to be done for the most part. The only things that will need to be kept up are the analytics for the automations, A/B testing subject lines, and specific hooks, but that’s later down the line. However, if you’re not too keen on setting these automations up yourself, we can help set them up for you. Just click below or at the top to schedule a call with us, and we’ll be happy to help! Now that you have a great foundation set up to handle customers properly, you can now start to run traffic to your store knowing that you’ve fixed those leaky holes.

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