You already know how important email marketing is to your overall business strategy. It’s cost-effective and can be personalized to your potential and current customers.
However, manually sending emails to your contact list is counterproductive and overwhelming. No wonder most businesses don’t do this!
Thankfully, email automation takes care of these things for you and can be applied to any type of business, no matter how big or small.
In this article, we’ll talk about what email marketing automation is and the best email marketing automation flows to set up for your ecommerce business. Let’s dive in.
What is email marketing automation?
Email marketing automation is a crucial piece of an effective email marketing strategy. It’s the process of setting up emails that are automatically sent to your contact list based on actions they take or triggers you set.
Automated emails are sent out after certain triggers or actions that a subscriber or customer takes. Examples of triggers are a subscription, a purchase, clicks, and the time since their last interaction with you.
These email flows are therefore highly personalized and are more likely to strike a chord with your audience.
If you’re not sending automated email flows yet, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. It’s a highly effective way to engage with your audience and turn them into repeat customers because these email flows are personalized based on the stage they’re at in the customer journey.
Here are the top ten email marketing automation flows you need to get started with ASAP.
- Abandoned Cart Emails
- Welcome Series Emails
- Thank You Emails
- Browse Recovery Emails
- Back-In-Stock Emails
- Product Recommendation Emails
- Update and Confirmation Emails
- Re-engagement Emails
- Instructional Emails
- Cross-Sell and Upsell Emails
Top 10 Email Marketing Automation Flows to Set Up for Ecommerce
1. Abandoned Cart Emails
Abandoned cart emails remind customers of the products they’ve left in their cart or shopping bag (whatever you call it). The goal is to decrease the number of people who abandon their carts and to increase purchases.
Lots of people leave their carts and forget about them or postpone their checkout. The abandoned cart email can persuade these customers to proceed with the purchase.
This can lead to a significant amount of revenue for your ecommerce store and it’s relatively simple to set up.
Here’s an example from Uncommon Goods, which specializes in unique gifts.
It has a witty heading that grabs attention and gently directs the customer to return to their cart, saying that it’s not too late to buy.
It’s also a good practice to show the items the customer left in their cart and place a CTA button that leads them directly to the cart so they can continue where they left off.
Uncommon Goods also makes use of valuable real estate at the end of the email by featuring new releases and recommending items that the shopper might like.
2. Welcome Series Emails
A welcome email flow helps you connect with your subscribers right off the bat and introduce them to your brand and what sets you apart. The goal is to show your subscribers that you appreciate them and to turn them into repeat customers, ultimately.
These emails have a higher open rate than other emails and the good thing is they’re not difficult to set up.
An excellent example of a welcome email flow is the one below by the jewelry brand PDPAOLA.
They welcome the subscriber to “the glowing gang” and inform them that they’re on the list and will be the first to know about deals and other information.
Like any good introduction, they describe their mission and what they stand for as a brand. They even have a manifesto at the end of the email that concretizes their values.
Of course, they remind subscribers about new products and share their social media handles before finishing the email.
3. Thank You Emails
A post-purchase email flow should include a thank-you email automation that shows your customers that you’re grateful for their patronage.
A personalized post-purchase email series goes a long way to nurture loyalty and rise above the competition.
You don’t have to agonize over the design of this email automation flow. Simple is better. You can also just use plain text to convey more sincerity.
Gymshark’s thank you emails are a good example of how to do this flow right.
They’re sending the email on a significant date (their 10th anniversary) and include how their customers made it possible.
You don’t have to say more than that but it can also be good to include your signature sign-off or even shopping links (as long as they’re discreet) at the bottom of the email.
4. Browse Recovery Emails
Browse recovery or browse abandonment email flows aim to bring back customers who’ve browsed your products on your website but left without adding items to their cart and checking out.
As the name implies, it’s similar to the abandoned cart email flow but it’s different in that the buyer was simply viewing your products, not adding to their cart.
You can further personalize this email by placing the items the shopper was looking at before they exited your store. It’s a great way to re-engage your potential customers and nudge them into buying the items they had their eyes on.
Take this example from Frankies Bikinis.
They capture interest by announcing a price drop on the item the customer was viewing, along with the name and photo of the item. They highlight the discounted price and include an “Add to Cart” button at the bottom so the subscriber can quickly check out the items.
Next, Frankies Bikinis recommends products that the shopper might also like, adding an extra layer of personalization.
They end with another CTA button, this time leading to their bestsellers, and their signature that details their benefits, contact details, and payment options.
5. Back-In-Stock Emails
The back-in-stock email automation flow alleviates a common frustration shoppers have: they’re browsing and have decided to purchase an item, only to find out that it’s out of stock.
It’s normal to run out of supplies but this dampens the customer experience. The solution is to make customers feel special by letting them know when an item they had their eye on is back in stock.
Make sure you convey that they’ll be the first to receive the news once the products are available.
Buffy’s back-in-stock email is notable because it’s straightforward and uses enticing copy and large photos of the replenished item. The Shop Now button is placed prominently so the subscriber can resume their shopping immediately.
Buffy also takes this email further by giving a discounted offer on a set composed of the back-in-stock item and another product (a pillow cover). They insert a review snippet before concluding the email and include another Shop Now button at the end for the reader’s convenience.
6. Product Recommendation Emails
A product recommendation email flow engages customers by letting them know that you’ve taken note of the items you like and want to recommend similar products.
It influences them to keep buying from your store because your recommendations are personalized to their tastes and interests. When done right, product recommendation email flows lead to repeat customers.
Standard Dose’s product recommendation email is a good one to emulate.
It feels personal because of the header copy “Our Picks for You”. They include three recommendations, which keep the subscriber from being overwhelmed with options.
Next to the product being advertised is a photo, a customer review, and the reviewer’s photo. It’s powerful social proof and strengthens the recommendation. Standard Dose also includes a Shop Now button after each product review.
Try this approach when you want to feature recommended products in your emails!
7. Update and Confirmation Emails
This email flow gives customers valuable information such as confirmations, receipts, and updates.
The key is to make sure the emails are sent out quickly and have detailed information. Order confirmations should go out immediately after the customer buys while shipping confirmations should include a tracking number.
Lululemon’s update and confirmation email flow features copy that makes the customer look forward to receiving the product (“Good things are coming your way”).
It includes the usual details such as a tracking number, the order ID and date, and the shipping address, as well as information about the item purchased.
It also mentions useful links to their live chat and a help link, conveying that they care about answering questions and helping out with customer concerns.
8. Re-engagement Emails
The goal of a re-engagement email flow, also called a win back email flow, is to re-engage subscribers who have been inactive or stopped engaging with your emails and website. Reaching out to these subscribers will hopefully encourage them to make a purchase.
There are a few reasons why subscribers ignore your emails. They may have stopped finding value in the content you send out. It could also be that you have outdated contact details and they stopped receiving your emails.
You can re-engage customers by offering discounts, recommending products, sharing your company’s mission, and asking them to confirm their contact information.
If you want ideas on how to set up a re-engagement email flow, take notes from Huel.
They inject humor by saying a pun and go on to acknowledge that the subscriber hasn’t purchased from them yet. To rectify this, they let subscribers know of the brand’s new product releases. They limit it to three recommendations, which is great for short attention spans.
For each product they recommend, they attach a photo, a short review from customers, and a Shop Now CTA button to encourage readers to visit their website and start shopping.
9. Instructional Emails
Avoid the common mistake of sending purely salesy email automation flows.
Instructional emails should be part of your automated email mix. This email flow educates subscribers about how to use or take care of your products.
Your customers, as a result, will know how to maximize your products and be less likely to contact customer service or be dissatisfied with your brand.
The instructional email flow should be clear and concise, like this one from the jewelry brand Ana Luisa which includes an email about how to layer their necklaces.
They want to inform customers about how to stack necklaces “like a pro” and give simple step-by-step instructions that feature their products.
The email is filled with pictures to complement the copy and at the end, Ana Luisa also mentions necklaces they recommend.
Throughout the email, they insert various CTA buttons such as “Shop stackable necklaces” and “Start layering”, which are relevant to the email’s content.
10. Cross-Sell and Upsell Emails
Sending a cross-sell or upsell email automation flow helps increase revenue for your ecommerce store.
This is especially valuable for brands that have a huge portfolio of products, which can overwhelm potential customers. Guide them towards your bestsellers or highly recommended items that are complementary to their previous purchases or their interests.
Personalization is key to this email flow. Take advantage of a customer’s purchases and browsing history to offer relevant items to them. They’ll appreciate the gesture and be more likely to buy more or upgrade their purchase.
Subscription offers are a good example of an upsell email. Take a look at this upsell email from Dose. It advertises their bundle of supplements they describe as having “the best in wellness” and “the best in value”.
The call to action they highlight is “Subscribe & Save”. They drive home the quality of this offer by including information from a clinical study about the benefits of their supplements and a review from a satisfied customer.
At the bottom of the email, they also tap into a customer’s fear of missing out (FOMO). All these elements make for a highly persuasive upsell email.
Engage your audience with email marketing automation flows
Email marketing has a high ROI compared to other channels and email automation flows will help you get the most out of it.
Automated emails are sent out after certain triggers or actions that a subscriber or customer takes. These email flows are therefore highly personalized and are more likely to strike a chord with your audience.
We hope this list gives you ideas of which email marketing automation flows to set up for your ecommerce store. Remember, email marketing is all about nurturing a relationship with your audience and building trust. Until next time!