How to Use Email Automation for Ecommerce

Even after GDPR came into force, email marketing doesn’t give up its’ positions in the overall ecommerce marketing strategy.


But instead of sending bulk email campaigns to all their subscribers, ecommerce businesses tend to switch their focus to more targeted email communication – automated email workflows.


Why? Because automated emails are timely and relevant to subscribers. This kind of email messages gets more engagement – they are more opened and clicked. So emails bring significantly bigger revenue.


If you look for hints on how you should start email automation for your business, keep reading. This article reveals three easy-to-implement workflows and some tips worth knowing before automating your messages.



What Is Email Automation?

Email automation is when you set up email messages to be sent based on a trigger or an elapsed period of time.


A welcome email is a great example. Customers expect welcome messages when they subscribe to the newsletter. You can send manually this kind of message to every new subscriber. Or you can set up an automated welcome email workflow and all your new subscribers will get your welcome message without you even lifting a finger.


In the discussed example, the trigger is a new sign up. But triggers can vary a lot. Starting from customer’s birthday, ending with their campaign or even shopping behavior.


The triggers ensure that you are approaching your subscribers with the relevant messages at the right time. And that’s happening even while you’re asleep.


One important thing to do before starting to automate your emails. Make sure you’re using the decent email automation tool. Double-check, that your email service provider is capable of:

  1. Send automatic welcome emails when someone subscribes to your newsletter (a series of emails are even better)
  2. Send post-purchase messages with order confirmation, recommendations, etc.
  3. Has a behavioral trigger, like abandoning a cart (abandoned cart emails are the most effective from all automated workflows)
  4. Has a time-based trigger to re-engage customers who are inactive.
  5. Send messages on an elapsed period of time, for example, birthday emails, anniversaries, etc.


What Emails Should You Automate First?

You can automate dozens of various email messages. Usually, this number depends on the customer database – how much data you have about your customers and what can be treated as a trigger for communication.

Welcome, reactivation messages, messages about a new blog post, style guides, new arrivals, sales, cart abandonment, and birthday messages, etc. The number is endless.


However, for the very beginning, I recommend you start from these three email workflows. You don’t need any specific data to launch them and they will show their results fast.


1.   Welcome Email

To be more precise – a series of three welcome emails.


By sending a series of emails instead of a single one you can kill more birds with the same stone. So you can:

  1. confirm a new registration and welcome a new subscriber
  2. build your credibility as an ecommerce business
  3. take advantage and tell your story
  4. highlight the best customer reviews
  5. invite new subscribers to follow you on social media
  6. promote and even sell your products with welcome emails.


At Omnisend, we’ve discovered that three messages are the most effective for welcoming your new subscriber and introducing your brand. By sending three emails instead of one, you can get 3x higher open and click rates—as well as 5x higher revenue.


See the example of three welcome messages below:

Automated welcome series. Click here for the larger version.


Bearing in mind that 96% of your visitors aren’t yet ready to buy, your welcome emails might perform a great warming up.


In addition, try to include a discount code for the first purchase and soon you will see positive results.


2. Abandoned Cart Email

An automated cart recovery/abandoned cart email workflow is king among all automated messages. It generates almost 2% conversion rate, and it’s 20 times more effective than a single promotional newsletter.


These emails are automatically sent to your known customers who have added products to their carts but leave your website without buying anything from you.


Abandoned cart emails look very simple. All it needs to have is:

  • an image of the actual abandoned item(s)
  • a catchy headline, such as “You left some items in your cart”, “Grab them before they’re gone”
  • a bold call-to-action button that the email recipients could easily click to get back to their abandoned cart.


See below the example of an abandoned cart series:


The interesting fact is that although cart recovery emails are highly effective, only 25% of ecommerce businesses use them. So it might be your chance to use them and go ahead of your competitors.


3. Post-Purchase Email


A post-purchase email like a welcome email can be multifunctional. By employing automated post-purchase messages, you can:

  1. Show your customer-centric approach
  2. Up-sell
  3. Cross-sell
  4. Expand your audience by inviting customers to follow you on social media or reward for a referral and get new potential customers.
  5. By sending a series of follow-up emails, in one of them, you can ask for a review (make sure, the customer gets the parcel first)
  6. Also, offer a deal for new purchases and boost new sales as well as customer loyalty.



Let’s look at the Pottery Barn Kids example.

Pottery Barn Kids

Although this brand doesn’t use any of incentives, its post-purchase email looks great.


The email is not too long or overwhelmed with details. Great copy-writing. This company is taking the recommended products approach, and it’s a good strategy.




As a marketer, you likely have dozens of things competing for your time and attention every day.


Luckily, by automating your marketing messages, you can cut a significant part of your duties without cutting the results.


On the opposite, automated email workflows will help you to be relevant and appear in your customer’s inbox right on time.


Business is about making money. So launch your automated emails today and let them do their job for you.

Written by CrazyLeaf Editorial

Follow us on Twitter @crazyleaf , Facebook , Pinterest


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