Email and automation
September 21, 2021

Boost your ecommerce with email automation.

Email and automation
September 21, 2021

Boost your ecommerce with email automation.

Boost your ecommerce with email automation.

Are you still sending out your email marketing communications manually?

Do you wish you could set them on autopilot so you can finally get on to that task you were supposed to complete last month? You can! (Well, you can definitely automate your email marketing, but we can’t guarantee this will stop you procrastinating over your task list).

With the help of customer experience and marketing automation platforms, you can use any data you collect on your website to create highly targeted, personalised communications to your customers that help to build the relationship between them and your brand. Our favourite ecommerce marketing automation platform is Klaviyo as you can easily integrate your ecommerce provider and delve deep into behavioural insights to better understand your customers and how they interact with your ecommerce business.

Couple goals: marketing automation and your ecommerce data

There are over 4 billion daily email users globally, and this number grows by 2-3% each year. If you had to send a personalised email to each existing customer of your ecommerce business every month it would take you a serious amount of time. Now imagine you had to send a personalised email to each of your customers every time they signed up to your mailing list, didn’t complete a purchase on your website or you didn’t hear from them for a set period of time… you’d spend your whole life writing emails!

Other than saving a significant amount of time, the main benefits of setting up automated email communications are:

  • Initiate and nurture relationships with your customers without lifting a finger.
  • Harness your ecommerce data to deliver the right messages at the perfectly timed point of the customer lifecycle.
  • Improve the results for your marketing emails and help to build up your sender reputation.
  • Build strong customer loyalty with an army of engaged customers and grow your business.

Kick back and relax while ecommerce email automation boosts your revenue.

Your customers want to hear from you, they’ve either subscribed to your mailing list or made a purchase which signifies that they are interested in your brand. Email marketing can help you to build value from this if you take a small amount of time to set it up.

Automated email flows provide significantly better open rates and click rates than ad-hoc emails because they are sent at specific times during the customer journey, are triggered by your customers’ interactions with your ecommerce business, and provide exactly what your customers are expecting.

One third of email users admit to checking their emails at least once per hour (this is broken down in the chart below), so if you miss out on sending an email within the time frame that your customer is expecting it they’re going to notice, which can provide a negative customer experience and hurt their perception of your business.

Graph of how often people check their emails in a day

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Customers who receive email marketing spend 138% more on average than those who don’t. This is a huge opportunity to significantly boost your revenue with a small amount of effort, and with the help of email marketing automation the effort is even smaller and the reward is much larger.

I’m in! Where do I start?

Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start, and developing automated email flows for your business is no different. Most marketing automation platforms have a range of templates that you can use as a launching pad, with an easy to use drag and drop builder. The templates are a great way to gain inspiration for what is possible, but make sure you personalise with your own brand voice and style.

We recommend starting with a welcome series, an abandoned cart series and a customer winback series before seeing where this whole new world of opportunity takes you.

Welcome Series

When someone subscribes to your email list, it is at one of the highest points of their interest in your brand during their lifecycle. This is your chance to make a 10/10 first impression that reels them in and leaves them wanting to hear more from you. To effectively capture this interest and build customer loyalty, it’s important to follow up within 48 hours of your customer subscribing. Check out the chart below which outlines the major differences in results between emails sent immediately compared to sending out a bulk email to new subscribers in a set time period (for example, once per week).

Graph of real time opens vs bulk opens for emails

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Can you imagine having to jump online and manually email someone within 48 hours of them signing up? You’d need to hire a full time staff member to keep up with this highly reactive task! Luckily you can automate it. You never have a second chance to make a first impression, and that’s why we think the Welcome Series is the most important email automation to have in your communication toolkit.

During this email automation sequence you should aim to do the following:

  • Introduce your brand
  • Reinforce any benefits of being a subscriber
  • Emphasise your point of difference
  • Set expectations for any future communications
  • Tag and segment customers
  • Optional: Add in a time-sensitive promotional offer to drive first purchases.

This might seem like a lot to achieve, but we recommend slowly making your way through it with a sequence of around 3-5 emails to retain customer interest and work toward building customer retention. The first email in your series doesn’t necessarily have to jump straight into offering discount codes or a free gift, a simple thank you is proven to be highly successful – check out the chart below if you aren’t convinced.

Two graphs indicating engagement by email type

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Over time subscribers who receive welcome emails show 33% more brand engagement than those who receive nothing. Don’t ignore your new subscribers, send them a welcome email to make them feel loved.

Abandoned Cart Series

Adding an item to their cart is a pretty clear sign that the shopper is interested in your item, however they don’t always complete their purchase for various reasons (the main ones are outlined in the chart below). In fact, the average rate of cart abandonment is more than 70% – that’s a significant amount of your potential revenue that is being lost!

Graph outlining reasons for cart abandonment

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Sometimes customers abandon their cart because they’re not quite ready to make a purchase at that moment, and need a little reminder later on to let them know how great your product is and why they can’t possibly live without it. This is where an Abandoned Cart Series can step in and save the day. By plugging the leaky funnel and targeting the customers who fell out, you can recapture more than 10% of consumers with an Abandoned Cart email. That’s a significant contribution to your lost revenue that can be saved.

The most important aspects of a successful Abandoned Cart Series are:

  • Timing
  • Motivation (the incentive for your customer to buy)
  • Subject line

We recommend testing and monitoring your email automation to ensure you get the best results for your business.

Customer Winback Series

Disengaged customers are a regular part of any business (don’t worry, it’s not just you), and many ecommerce businesses simply let them drop off the radar. Did you know that it costs five times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep a customer you already have? Re-engage your existing customers with a Customer Winback Series.

A disengaged customer is someone who has previously engaged with your business, but has gone radio silent; they haven’t opened your emails, visited your website or made a purchase recently. Segmenting these customers by recency (the time since their last order), frequency (their number of orders), and monetary value (their average order value) can help you to create highly targeted messages and marketing content that reel these customers back in. The below chart outlines an example timeline and way to segment your disengaged customers.

Recency, frequency and monetart value matrix in graph form

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The length of time before considering a customer as disengaged really depends on your business’ sales cycle. Generally a 3+ month period of total inactivity would suggest that a customer has become disengaged, but if you sell a product with a longer shelf life (such as cars or mattresses), it might be normal for your customers to disappear for a while.

If your product is consumable, a great gauge for timing is the length of time it takes to use it up. For example, if your product is a 30 day supply of toilet paper, you can launch your Winback Series 20-25 days after your customer’s last purchase by asking your customer if their supply is running low and prompting them to place another order (if they haven’t done so already).

On average, 45% of customers who receive a winback email go on to open your future emails – that’s HUGE! So go forth and rekindle those customer relationships with an attention-grabbing Winback Series and build your customer loyalty.

These three suggestions are just a tiny slice of the possibility pie. There is an endless combination of conditions that can trigger email automation; if you collect data for it, you can use it to send a highly personalised email exactly at the right time in the customer journey.

If you’re interested in finding out more about using marketing automation tools to build an army of loyal customers and start seeing some serious business growth, we can help.

Get in touch today >>

Renae Lunjevich
Article written by:
Renae Lunjevich
Founder and Managing Director

Head digital strategist for our key clients. I work with our key clients and our technical team to build high performing campaigns. I also work with our leadership team to expand our product offering and constantly innovate the way we do things. I love a good process (ask me about our wiki).