eCommerce Email Marketing Automation and Email Workflows for 2020
eCommerce Email Marketing Automation and Email Workflows for 2020
Before we start, let me get this straight.
If you sell anything online, you must have an email marketing strategy.
Because email is the most efficient and cost-effective digital marketing channel.
Sending automated emails to your customers will help you to increase your conversion rate and average order value significantly.
A case study by MarketingSherpa revealed that email marketing automation can increase revenue by 175% and conversion rate by 83%.
According to a DemandGen Report, implementing email automation workflows helped B2B companies to increase sales opportunities by 20%.
In this blog, we explain what is email automation, why should eCommerce businesses adopt it, how to plan and execute automated emails workflows for an eCommerce business, and the best tools to help you with the process.
What is Email Automation
Email automation is the process of sending personalized emails to customers automatically using a dedicated email marketing automation app.
The email marketing tool is at the center of email automation. It allows you to
- Create a contact list with email addresses and names
- Segment the contacts based on sales funnel stages
- Create email templates
- Set up email flows
Then the email automation app takes care of sending the right email at the right time to the right customers based on various triggers.
The triggers could be
- adding products to the cart
- completing an order
- shipment of their order
- inactivity for a particular period of time
Here is a small example of email automation.
At least once in your life, you might have received an email from an eCommerce website like Amazon reminding you that you have placed a product in the cart but didn’t complete the checkout process.
This is email automation in action.
The email automation tool identifies the customers who add a product in the cart but quit before making the purchase using a tracking code on the online store.
Then it sends the cart abandonment reminder email after a predefined time.
The tool will automatically include the name of the customer and the products they added to their cart in the email.
This is a very simple example. There are many more things you can do with email automation.
Email automation takes away the manual work completely from sending marketing emails like this. You can send each customer the right marketing email at the right time regardless of the number of contacts, customers, or orders on your online store.
Why Do eCommerce Businesses Need Email Automation?
When it comes to eCommerce businesses, there are hundreds of ways you can utilize email automation to build a connection with your customers, achieve better customer engagement and increase customer retention, etc.
Here is a list of reasons why you should definitely implement email automation for your eCommerce business.
Automate Email Marketing Campaign
Email automation takes away various manual jobs at each stage of an email marketing management workflow from organizing the leads and customers in your email list to sending targeted emails based on customer action and tracking the email to analyze user behavior.
Reduce manual intervention
Email marketing automation takes away the manual intervention from the email marketing process. All you need to set up the campaign and the program will send the right email to the right customers at the right time.
The idea that email automation helps to send personalized emails to the leads and customers may seem counterintuitive because the word automation is just the opposite of human and personal.
But the truth is, email automation helps you to speak to your customers on an even more personal level. You can
- address them with their first name,
- suggest products based on their purchase history,
- offer discount coupons relevant for the products they are interested in,
- send greetings emails for their birthdays,
and much more with email marketing.
Adding personal elements to the email helps you to strengthen the relationship with leads or customers.
You don’t need a large team to make cold calls when you can send the right emails at the right to the right prospects.
Moreover, you also don’t need a team to ensure that the emails are sent out regularly because email automation will do it accurately.
Good email automation tools automatically segment contacts into different groups or lists based on where they are on the sales pipeline, their interests, and other relevant factors.
Segmenting contacts into groups based on similar characteristics enables you to send emails specifically tailored to each group which can significantly increase email open rate and conversion.
Sending personalized products promotional emails to customers based on the products they added to the wish-list, placed in the cart, or purchased and updating them about the upcoming and current promo offers are proven strategies to retain the customers with your business.
Email tracking and reporting
Email marketing automation offers email tracking and reporting which helps you to measure the success of the email marketing campaign. It allows you to
- How many people opened the email
- How many people clicked the links in the email
It gives you vast insight into campaign effectiveness and customer interests.
Best Tools for Email Automation
Not all email automation packages are the same and there are many things to consider while choosing the right solution for you.
It requires lots of research and time to identify the best players in the market and find a suitable solution. So, to save your time, here is a list of 2 dedicated email marketing automation platforms we recommend for eCommerce businesses.
ActiveCampaign is a versatile and dynamic email marketing and CRM tool. It syncs the user data including order total, products, shipping information, and customer lifetime value, etc. from WooCommerce to the ActiveCampaign smoothly. It has all the tools and features you need to design and implement well-organized automated email marketing flows.
MailChimp is one of the most popular email automation tools out there. It offers all the features a small and medium-sized eCommerce business needs to automate to implement proper email automation.
Drip is a powerful email tool with lots of features to implement a well-planned email marketing campaign.
The primary reason why we recommend Drip is that it is easy to integrate Drip with major ecCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify.
Moreover, it has all the essential features to run an automated email marketing campaign for an eCommerce business.
How to Setup Automated Email Workflows for eCommerce
The core of email marketing automation for online stores is setting up various email workflows. An email workflow is a series of automated emails that are sent sequentially to the customers based on customer behavior and triggers.
Each email in the workflow has a mini conversion goal and together they guide the customers through a journey from initial contact to the purchase and beyond to the retention and loyalty.
Email workflow to encourage new leads to make a purchase
Even if you are selling amazing products at incredible rates, many of your first-time visitors won’t make a purchase on your online store.
Once they leave your website, most of them never come back to your website again.
So, you need to somehow get their email address on their first visit. You can get this by asking them to subscribe to your email newsletters with a lead magnet.
The lead magnet could be a discount coupon, free guide, or an invitation to a webinar.
Once you have their email address, you can send them a sequence of emails over time to encourage them to make a purchase from your store.
Here is an example of the sequence of emails to convert new leads into first-time customers.
Welcome Email – Deliver what you promised
- Target: New email list subscribers
- When to send: Immediately after the email submission
Most of the time you get email addresses of potential customers or leads through the email opt-in forms that offer something valuable to the customer for providing you with their email address.
So, the first thing to do is to ensure that they get what you promised immediately.
It could be a discount coupon, free guide, link to a webinar, or anything that the customer finds it useful. Give them what you promised immediately.
This is where email automation can help you.
An email automation tool can automatically send a personalised welcome email to the lead immediately after they submit their email address.
- Welcome emails get more engagement than any other promotional emails.
- Customers expect to receive a welcome email with some offer when they subscribe to a mailing list.
- Welcome emails give more ROI than any other promotional emails.
Check-in email – Ask if they liked your offer
- Target: Customers who received your lead magnet gifts
- When to send: 2-3 days after the welcome email
If the lead hasn’t opened the welcome email or not used the discount coupon code you offered, you can send a check-in email asking them if they liked what you offered after two or three days from sharing the lead magnet with the new leads.
Most of the leads may not have used the lead magnet you offered.
So, this email reminds them of your online store and they may come back to buy something.
The goal of sending the check-in email is to stay relevant and get the leads engaged with your store.
Cart Abandonment Reminder Emails
- Target: Leads who placed a product in the cart, a user leaves the online store without completing the purchase
- When to send: Multiple times after the cart abandonment
- Email subject line example: Still deciding? Complete your purchase, 20% off!
It takes only one click to add a product to the cart. But completing the checkout process takes a bit of time. Buyers need to fill shipping details, billing address, and make the payment to complete a process.
On average, around 70% of the customers who place products into the cart quit the checkout process before finishing purchase due to various reasons like a distraction, high shipping cost, long checkout process, and security concerns, etc.
Those who visit your online store and add an item to the cart are interested in your products. They are your highest potential customers.
If you could target that 70 % and follow up with them, a considerable part of them would come back and finish the purchase.
This will help you to increase the orders and profit significantly.
The best way to do it is by sending them an email to remind them of the product in their cart and reassure their decision to buy the product.
Cart abandonment email tips
- Offer discounts for the products in their cart
- Use subject lines that create curiosity
- Add authentic and positive reviews
- Create a sense of urgency showing with limited time or limited supply
Post-purchase emails are sent after a customer completes an order on your online store. They improve the customer experience as they provide timely updates on their order status. Moreover, it is an opportunity for marketers to establish a connection with the customers and encourage customer retention.
Order confirmation email
As soon as the order is made, send an order confirmation email containing to let the customer know that order was successfully received.
In the email, you can include an assurance that you have started processing the order along with the following details.
- Confirmation of order and order number
- When it will ship and expected delivery date
- Customer support contact details
- How to track the shipment
A shipping confirmation email is sent after the product is shipped from the warehouse. It helps customers to get updates about the status of their orders.
In this email, you can provide advice to the customers regarding the product and reassurance of customer support. It helps you to build trust and loyalty.
Email after product arrival
A couple of days after the scheduled delivery of the product, send an email asking them if the product has safely delivered.
You can also ask about the product and if they liked it and suggest a communication channel to get in touch with your customer support team if they have any issue with the product.
It shows that you are proactive in customer support and helps you to win their loyalty.
Review request email
A review request email asks customers to leave a review of the product sharing their experience they had with your online store.
This email is usually sent after a few weeks to give the customers enough time to try the product and ensure the quality.
Once a customer has made a purchase, you can send a recommended list of related or complementary items they might be interested in.
If a customer has purchased a camera from your store, you can suggest a list of complementary products like memory cards, tripod, or other cool photography-related products that go along with the camera.
Re-engagement prompt emails
Re-engagement emails target the customers who made one or a few purchases from your online store but then didn’t make subsequent purchases for a certain period.
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These inactive customers might have stopped purchasing from your online store because they forgot about your store or found another alternative.
Instead of leaving them behind, you can send an automated email targeting the customers who have been inactive for a particular period with special offers. It will help you to win back your old customers.
Promo & discount emails
When customers share their email address with an eCommerce store, they expect to receive updates about promotions, discount sales, and new product launches.
So, you need to inform them about the upcoming and current sales campaigns in your online store.
Moreover, your email list contains potential buyers who have already bought from you or expressed an interest in your business. Therefore, they are highly likely to make a purchase when they see promotional offers and discounts.
Personal Greetings Emails
Sending personal emails with special promo codes and discount offers for the birthday or other types of anniversary celebrations of the customers is a great way to win their hearts.
Moreover, automated personal emails like birthday emails are three times more effective than other promotional emails. So, it’s a double win for you.
Sharing educational content with your email subscribers is one of the best ways to build rapport with the customers.
If yours is a niche online store, you can send informational emails or guides focusing on your niche. By helping them to solve their problems and making their life easier, you can make a positive impression.
Email automation helps eCommerce businesses to stay connected with the customers and increase conversion significantly. By implementing the email workflows discussed in this blog, you can convert more subscribers into frequent buyers and get better results over time.