Learning how to use repeat email sequences can single-handedly boost revenue for your eCommerce business.
The success of your email marketing campaigns depend on various factors -- the email creatives, offers you make, the timing of your email campaigns, and the email marketing frequency (which includes the number of emails you send, when you send them).
The email marketing campaign success is also determined by the copy within, whether your email is HTML-based or plain-text based, the subject lines, and more.
But here’s a little something that most eCommerce brands miss out on: The part art and part science aspect of how to use repeat sales email sequences.
This is where a wee bit of stickiness, determination, and some care is required (on top of everything else you do to make your email campaigns succeed and work for your business).
What are ecommerce retention email sequences?
Retention email sequences are email sequences sent to customers who have purchased from you in the past to remind them of your brand and to persuade them to keep buying from you.
Examples of this type of email sequence include thank you, promotional, welcome, and cart abandonment email flows.
Retention email sequences reduce churn and foster customer loyalty as they make customers feel valued and encourage repeat purchases.
Why use repeat or retention email sequences?
Email broadcasts are one-time.
Automated email sequences are trigger-based, or URL-based (depending), and so on.
Somewhere along the way, eCommerce brands put a stop to these campaigns sooner or later.
Most brands, for instance,
- Use one-time email campaigns to send out announcements, updates, and so on.
- Put up 3-5 automated emails to nurture the leads generated using pop-ups that promise a store discount, for instance.
- One-time emails are triggered that are based on actual transactions (transactional emails) -- sent for Order confirmation, order updates, or shipping updates.
- Advanced email marketing strategies include -- still triggered only a couple of times for retargeting email campaigns, activity of subscribers (or customers) that are action-based, account-based, or according to assigned tags or segments.
If you are still here, and nodding your head in acknowledgement that you do some or all of these, you’ve come a long way.
There’s more, though.
It has to do with the often-forgotten “art of follow-up”.
Follow-up email sequences are the secret sauce leading to much more revenue, sales, and profits -- in a way that doesn’t add too much to your effort (and that’s good news).
When you send out cold-emails to prospects, for instance, this is how it looks like:
- Send just one email to a potential customer and you’d get a 9% reply rate. Add at least one follow-up message to the cold-email sequence and your reply rate goes up by 13%.
- For experienced cold-emailers, the numbers are higher: one email (without follow-ups) gets 16% reply rate. Add follow-up emails ( at least one) and the campaigns get 27% reply rates.
The folks at Woodpecker recommend adding at least 2-3 follow-up emails (regardless of who, why, and when you send these emails to your target audiences -- be it subscribers, cold prospects, or customers).
Can you do something similar with eCommerce-specific automated sequences?
Of course, yes.
How to use repeat sales email sequences to bolster your revenue and profits? Let’s find out.
Examples of Automated Repeat Email Sequences For Ecommerce [Sequences & Workflows]
Take a close look at some of the email workflows, sequences, and other types of email campaigns you could use to enhance your email marketing success.
Repeat Email Sequences on Steroids
For your eCommerce business, don’t just stop at one, two, or three emails. Build it up into a sequence of cleverly organized and well-crafted emails that aim to “build trust and nurture” instead of just giving away offers and trying to sell.
Here are some eCommerce store specific examples that you can relate to:
Post-purchase flow for Repeat Purchase [+ non-subscribers]
The point at which a purchase is made is also the “moment of truth”, a sign of implied trust, and a point at which a customer is primed to buy.
That’s why you need a post-purchase flow. Specifically, you need a post purchase email campaign flow built to generate repeat purchases.
Abandoned Checkout Email Campaigns
Various eCommerce studies point to the average shopping cart abandonment rate at around 75%.
Shopping cart abandonment hurts your eCommerce business, bleeds you dry, and leaves you no room to be casual about it.
75 customers just “leave” out of 100 potential customers who add items to their cart (this is after you do everything you could to get them to take action at checkout in the first place).
If you only had to use a single repeat email sequence or an email marketing campaign for eCommerce at all, it should be the abandon cart campaign or abandoned checkout email campaign.
Add reminders, case studies, success stories, testimonials, use customer reviews in emails [link to previously written post], create a sense of urgency, entice customers with offers, and more.
You can also run parallel and targeted retargeting email campaigns for customers who abandon shopping carts.
Churn Prevention Flow
Churn rate, in ecommerce, is a fancy way of trying to figure out just how many customers “abandon” or “leave” -- expressed in terms of a percentage. For instance, the accepted churn rate for a SaaS, app, or software business is around 5%.
Each business differs, when it comes to churn rate. Regardless, it's the equivalent of “bleeding” when it comes to eCommerce profits and revenue.
While all businesses come to accept churn rate (as a part of running their business), your goal is to minimize churn rate.
Can you use email sequences to reduce churn rate? Absolutely, yes.
What the email sequence should do?
- The email should givethem options (Choose another plan? Switch up their next order? Handle objections? Ask for feedback?
- The next email in the sequence should do more of the same (with a different angle) -- try to build customer loyalty, remind customers about their offers or reward points.
Winback Email Sequences
Only two things you do with your eCommerce business help you grow revenue, boost profits, and scale: getting new customers and keeping existing customers (or making existing customers buy more -- depending on your business).
There are measurable effects when you have effective customer retention strategies. Using “nurturing emails” to keep existing customers and using “winback email sequences” -- you can also tap into your inactive customer segments, one-time customers, and more.
Add follow-up email sequences to your winback email sequences and get exponential results.
The emails don’t just stop at “We hate to see you go” or “Are you coming back?” -- the idea of a repeat email sequence for eCommerce is to bring back lost customers or nudge existing customers to buy more products.
You can get creative with how you line up the repeat email marketing sequences. You can experiment. You can measure results. You can test things out.
What hurts is “not” using repeat email marketing sequences at all.
What’s even worse? Not using email marketing for eCommerce at all.
Do you see how you can boost your email campaign results for eCommerce by adding a few more strategic email campaign inclusions that you usually send out?
Get access to Panoramata and dig into inspiration for some of the world’s best email marketing campaigns, get insights and benchmarks for ad creatives and email marketing campaigns, and so much more.
Mistakes to avoid when making retention email sequences for ecommerce
Before sending your retention emails, make sure the content is relevant to your audience.
Irrelevant content annoys readers and makes them more likely to unsubscribe. To mitigate this, segment your customers and personalize the emails you send.
Other things to avoid are wordy and confusing subject lines and lack of clear CTAs.
It’s important to make customers feel valued so when you waste their time, confuse them with strange subject lines, or send emails with no purpose, it’s a negative point for your brand.