There’s a reason an estimated 82% of businesses use email automations to increase customer engagement and revenue. They typically see conversion rates up to 359% higher compared to their one-off email campaigns. 

Automated email marketing is easy to set up. The emails are relevant to your customers and give them a personalized experience with your brand. 

Ready to implement automated emails as part of your eCommerce marketing strategy? We have a few ideas to help you get started. 

Online businesses often overlook their customer experience, and that’s a mistake. You want your customers to become loyal to your brand, and it starts by making them feel special. 

One way to create positive experiences for consumers and generate more sales is by using automated emails that continue to keep your customers engaged. 

Welcome Series 

email marketing best practicesYou may not be able to greet new consumers in person. However, you can still make them feel special. A customer’s first experience on a website often determines if they return. Email welcome series are a great way to introduce a customer to your brand, products, or services. A best practice for eCommerce retailers is incentivizing email signup by providing a promotional discount in return for signing up. So if you follow best practices, you’ll want to include a discount code in the Welcome Series.

Since this series of automated messages comes after the customer opts into your email list, timing is important. You should send the first message immediately after they sign up to make potential customers feel like they are a vital part of your brand, incentivize their first purchase, and encourage them to continue opening your emails. 

We also recommend sending a second email 24 hours later. You should also consider adding a third email to your automation that would go out three to five days after they sign up. This final email in the series could introduce your customer to your brand, encourage them to engage with you on social media and provide a last chance to use the discount code.

Abandoned Cart

Unfortunately for retailers, seven out of 10 customers abandon their shopping carts. This happens when a consumer is interested in an item or service but doesn’t check out. Maybe they’re window shopping, comparing prices, or just got distracted.

Instead of letting these potential customers get away, take advantage of abandoned cart automations. Average open rates for abandoned cart emails hover around 43% with an average conversion rate of 8%. So if you’re not utilizing abandoned cart emails, your store is leaving money on the table.

How these automated emails work is simple. When a customer leaves items in their cart and exits your website, a cart abandonment reminder email should be sent to their inbox within an hour of abandonment. 

We recommend using a three part email sequence. The initial message reminds consumers of their items, and if the first email doesn’t turn into a conversion, a second one is automatically triggered 24 hours later and a third email can be triggered up to 7 days later. Including a discount in the second and third email is a good way to entice a reluctant consumer to go through with the purchase. 

Other best practices include writing copy that encourages action. Copy should be personal and on-brand. For subject lines, consider evoking emotions like FOMO (fear of missing out on an item or discount), curiosity, joy or a connection to the brand.

Back in Stock

Sometimes products run out, which can leave consumers disappointed and frustrated, and unfortunately, lead them to a competitor. 

However, by using email automations, you can entice these customers to give your brand another try. 

Once you’ve set up this automation, customers on your email list will receive automatic messages letting them know the product is back in stock. 

You can choose to only send emails to customers who viewed the item or let everyone know the product is available for purchase. 

Winback 

Gaining new customers does increase your bottom line, but you don’t want to forget about your existing ones. 

Focusing on retaining your existing customers gives your business a predictable income. Plus, acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than retaining current customers. The average amount in dollars your customer is worth to your brand is referred to as customer lifetime value. The goal is to increase this by turning one-time purchasers into repeat customers.

Using automated email flows is an effective way for you to build a strong relationship with consumers. It is especially effective when you use automated winback emails to entice customers who haven’t shopped on your site in a while to return. You should consider your product and shopping patterns to determine the ideal sending strategy for your business. But a general rule of thumb for winback campaigns is to send the first email 3-6 months after the last purchase. The winback series should include 3-5 re-engagement emails with one-to-two weeks between emails. On average, 45% of email subscribers who receive a winback email will open future emails from your brand. 

These email automations and subject lines should be carefully crafted to bring existing customers back to your brand. The average open rate for winback emails is 29%. Some popular subject lines are:

  • “It’s been a while …” (27% average open rate)
  • “We miss … “ (25% average open rate)
  • Discount subject lines average 20% open rates

Again, we recommend A/B testing subject lines and email copy to find the perfect combination for your brand.

Winback emails focus on showing consumers how important they are to your business. The automated messages often contain discount codes and other incentives that make the customer want to revisit your site. 

By using these email flows, you can keep your existing customers returning to your brand for years. 

Post Purchase

Similar to the Winback series, the Post Purchase automation is all about building a relationship with your customers, getting your customers to engage with your brand and repurchase in the future. Strategies for post purchase automations include:

  • 1st email –  Thank the customer for their purchase. You should send this immediately after the purchase.
  • 2nd email – Ask the customer to review your product. To incentivize reviews, you can promise a discount code for a future purchase that will be sent to them after they’ve created the review.
  • 3rd email – This email can include product recommendations based on what they ordered the first time. 
  • 4th email – Finally, you should consider a replenishment email for products that need to be re-purchased like beauty and wellness products, sporting goods like ammo or tennis balls and other consumables.

Birthday and Anniversary

Your email list can serve multiple purposes. Not only is it an effective way to establish a line of communication with consumers, but you can also use it to personalize the experience. 

While you don’t want to include a lot of fields in your email sign-up, you can add a couple without turning consumers off. Adding fields for consumers to input their birthday is a great way to make them feel included. You can also recognize a customer’s anniversary with your brand, such as the anniversary of their first purchase or their newsletter signup.

Everyone likes to feel special on their big days. You can choose to recognize one or both memorable occasions. 

With email automations, you don’t need to remember hundreds of dates. The software takes care of it automatically. Along with the birthday or anniversary greeting, include a special discount. Consumers appreciate getting presents from a brand they use. 

Best of all, the discount costs you very little and you often end up making additional sales. 

Conclusion

Your existing and potential customers are the lifeblood of your brand. You want to do everything possible to keep them coming back to your site. 

With email automations, you can build brand loyalty, reward existing customers, and entice new ones to give your products or services a chance. 

Email marketing campaigns are easy to set up and are a cost-effective advertising tool. 

Contact us today and see how we can help with your email flows. 

Posted by Contributor