The eCommerce industry has gained immense momentum in recent times. eCommerce businesses are all set to reach a new high in 2021 with an exponential growth rate of 265%.
With the intense competition in the marketplace, eCommerce businesses must try their best to stand out and draw the attention of their target audience.
Out of all the marketing channels, email continues to be the most effective platform to drive business.
The main reason why emails have outperformed all the social media channels is that they are more personalized and impart a sense of exclusivity to the readers.
You can even segment your subscribers based on different parameters like age, gender, geographical location, past purchases, and kinds of products searched for. This goes to show that emails help to send the right message to the person at the right time.
Automated emails play a crucial role in the eCommerce industry as they serve as a source of passive income by deploying triggered messages that strike the right chord with subscribers.
So, let’s take a look at the automated workflows that you must incorporate in your eCommerce email marketing strategy.
1. Welcome emails
Whenever you get a new subscriber or someone makes the first purchase from your eCommerce store, you should send out a welcome email to introduce your brand and the products you offer.
The welcome email is the most crucial part of your automation strategy as it is the very first communication received by the user. It helps to set the tone for all future communications and build a stronger rapport with the customer.
It is a great idea to send out a series of two to three welcome emails that let the customer learn more about you and your products.
Here’s an example of a winning welcome email series by Office.
In the first email, they have welcomed the subscriber and highlighted their four USPs.
The second email shares the most popular products with the new subscribers.
The last email of the series asks the subscribers to share their birthday so that they can send a birthday present to them.
You can even incentivize a new user to encourage them to make the first purchase as Reebok does.
2. Promotional emails
Just like you have nurturing emails for the B2B and SaaS industry, eCommerce stores have promotional emails that can be used to upsell or cross-sell products.
You can send out product recommendations based on a subscriber’s past purchases. In addition, you can also share regular updates and DIY ideas to use your products.
Educational content goes a long way in fostering credibility and building relationships with the customer. You can share engaging inside stories regarding the production of the items. It will give a personal touch to your emails and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Take a look at this email by Everlane in which they have displayed the new styles launching that month. They have used attractive visuals to entice users to join the waitlist for early access and look forward to making the purchase.
3. Cart abandonment emails
Cart abandonment is the biggest blasphemy faced by the eCommerce industry. To overcome this unfortunate event, you can send out reminder emails to bring back the cart abandoners and prompt them to complete the purchase. Just like in welcome emails, savvy marketers advise you use a series of cart abandonment emails to recover lost customers.
Wayfair sends out a series of two abandoned cart emails to gently nudge customers to make a purchase.
While the first email is deployed within an hour of cart abandonment, the next email is scheduled after 24 hours.
Take a look how they have done it.
4. Post-purchase feedback emails
Asking for customer feedback after product delivery makes the subscriber feel that you care for their satisfaction and not just your business. Follow up with the customer and encourage them to leave a review for the product they purchased. In addition, you can also share your customer service email address so that they can share any grievances or complaints.
See this product feedback email example by Everlane. The possibility to win a gift card will tempt users to share their review, thereby generating user-generated content for your eCommerce store. You can repurpose these reviews and use them as testimonials to build your brand credibility.
5. Stock replenishment emails
Suppose you have purchased anti-aging cream from an eCommerce store. Wouldn’t it be great if you receive a reminder email that asks you if you need it again?
That’s exactly how stock replenishment emails make things easy for the customer. After a customer has placed an order, you can schedule the replenishment email in case they need to place the order again. Time the automated email according to the shelf life of the product.
On the same lines, Amazon has launched the “Subscribe and Save” model that eliminates the need to reorder and automatically sends the product as per the timeline chosen by the user.
6. Back-in-stock emails
Often, it so happens that products go out of stock and users are unable to place an order. You can send out back-in-stock emails to help customers who are looking to purchase a particular product.
Have a look how Sephora has sent out a back-in-stock email. Also, see how they have shared some product recommendations for the user. Isn’t that a great idea to cross-sell your products and yield better ROI?
7. Re-engagement emails
Over time, your customers will find some other eCommerce platform and stop engaging with your emails. They will go dormant and not purchase from you anymore. To win them back, you can send out a series of re-engagement emails that gets them to take action.
Make sure that you think like a fish, not a fisherman before sending out a re-engagement email. You can share an exciting offer for inactive subscribers that may make them purchase from you again. Additionally, you can tap on the fear of missing out (FOMO) by creating a sense of urgency. Use phrases like “Hurry”, “Last chance”, or “Offer valid only for today”.
Clear sets the perfect example of a re-engagement email series to help you get started.
The subject line of the first email: Smiles Davis, we’re ready to wow you again
The subject line of the second email: Final call: $60 off a year of CLEAR
8. Occasion-based emails
Lastly, I would like to talk about occasion-based emails. You can send out visually rich birthday or holiday emails to users. In these emails, include relevant offers that will grab the subscriber’s attention and persuade them to make a purchase.
If you want your occasion-based emails to cut through the noise and get conversions, add some attractive animations and visual elements like Nike has.
Just make sure you follow all the email design best practices while creating such unique emails.
In a nutshell
eCommerce email marketing can get pretty overwhelming as there are too many operations to take care of. Automation proves to be a boon as it spares you of all the manual scheduling.
Once you have set up your automation workflows, you will be able to send out highly personalized messages to your customers at the perfect time. You only need to monitor the results and revisit the emails in case the performance is not up to the mark.
If done right, automated emails can take the customer experience to the next level and boost your conversion rates.
Guest author: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion, and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.