You have a website, you have profiles on social networks, you may be investing in advertising and traffic generation campaigns on Facebook and Google. But, you’re stuck with an ultra-low conversion rate and not selling as much as you’d like.
You’re not alone.
Here we come with the solution: eCommerce Email Automation
Yes, automated emails. So, you don’t have to spend time on repetitive tasks and focus on more valuable ones, such as staying connected with your customers and responding to their inquiries.
If used correctly, email automation builds credibility, brands your business, simplifies communications, streamlines work, increases revenues, and gets your name out to an audience ready to buy your products.
So, how can email marketing fuel your overall inbound strategy?
We’ll cover just thus that in this in-depth guide.

What will you learn in this article?

  • What is eCommerce email automation?
  • Why you should use email automation for eCommerce?
  • 5 ways to grow your eCommerce with email automation
  • Welcome email series
  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • Product release or promotion
  • Order confirmation email and After-Sales email
  • Informational Emails
  • Email marketing platforms comparison

What is eCommerce email automation?

Email automation is a process of sending one-to-one emails for the right people with the right message at the right time, without doing the work every single time.
When you have your website analytics linked with your email marketing platform, you will be able to target your audience based on their actions, preferences, and purchase history. You can provide a super personalized customer experience leveraging a marketing automation tool.

Why you should use email automation for eCommerce?

Between timing and content, email automation achieves the best of both worlds to help businesses with:
An automated email is triggered when a user takes a particular action. Consequently, the message they receive will be highly relevant and increases the email opening and engagement rate.
Engaging content
The automated email content is specifically created to boost user engagement. It teaches users how to use a product, encourages them to provide feedback, or offers an incentive to return for users who exited without buying.
Brand building
With email automation, you can build and grow your relationships with your customers. Research backs up this info and confirms that personalization helps you win customers’ hearts and minds.

  • 90% of customers enjoy personalized content and finds it appealing.
  • 91% of consumers are more likely to prioritize businesses that provide one-on-one recommendations and offers.
  • 72% of users only respond to marketing messages that target their interests.
  • Email is the leading type of personalization experience that marketers use.

Messaging at the right time can drive business results

  • Loyalty: Recommend your brand to others
  • Retention: Consistent, long-term customers
  • Revenue: Purchase, upgrade account, or return as active users
  • Action: Target users who are already engaged with your brand and move them down the sales funnel.

Related: Complete SEO Checklist For eCommerce – Rank #1 on Google

5 ways to grow your eCommerce with email automation

Despite the great value automated emails provide, many businesses haven’t started leveraging this powerful tool yet.
However, here’s the good news.
Setting up a smart and successful automated email campaign that drives meaningful results is easier than you might think. Here are 5 examples of automated emails you could be sending:

# 1 Welcome Email Series

Trigger: New subscriber
Not all e-commerce store visitors will be ready to make a purchase for the first time. Welcome emails are similar to thank you notes after a job interview. There isn’t a rule that says you have to send them, but people notice it when you don’t.

A warm welcome to a new subscriber can help convert a new lead into a customer without any extra effort.
Your Welcome Email Series Include:
Greet and thank your subscriber for signing up.
Keep it short and sweet with one call-to-action (CTA) to start shopping.
Check this example from Food52:

This stage is simple and straightforward. After a person subscribes to your newsletter, they are automatically added to your email contact list. Use this contact to start the workflow and send them a friendly welcome email
Remind them why it’s beneficial to be on your list
If you don’t have a promotion going on, you can introduce your most popular products or offer an incentive to your new subscribers.

Motivate them to purchase
Introduce a loyalty program, best-sellings, or a new offering that you’re excited about.
Like in this example from Headstart:

It is necessary to keep an eye on the engagement of the first 3 emails at this stage. Recipients who don’t engage in any of the emails may have subscribed unintentionally or are no longer interested. Consider removing them from the list.
Share items you think they might like
Like in this example from Winc:

Create a filter, and a reference point for this could be any contact who hasn’t opened any of your welcome emails.
After that, you can then send these contacts an email informing them that they will be removed from your email list unless they opt-out of receiving your messages again. Include a button in the email that says, “Yes, I want to continue receiving emails.”

Best practices checklist:

  • Immediately sent after sign up or purchase.
  • Don’t go for a hard sell – focus on building a relationship.
  • Build cross-channel engagement by inviting recipients to check out your blog and/or social media channels.

# 2 Shopping cart abandonment

Trigger: Cart abandonment
It takes a second to add an item to the shopping cart, but following through takes some time and effort. Studies have shown that around 70% of users abandon their carts for many reasons, including signing up for an account, high shipping rates, or concerns about the website’s security.
If you get to know your audience well and write a personalized, timely email, you can successfully recapture their interest and recover lost sales. Remind them of their pending products and offer them a valid discount for a few hours to immediately finish the process. This technique is almost the top priority for most of the eCommerce email marketing companies.

This workflow is triggered when users visit the checkout page on your site. After a certain period (usually 24 hours is sufficient), if the transaction wasn’t successful, you can send an email to remind them of the items left in their cart.

Best practices checklist:

  • Feature relevant offers or discounts
  • Create a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): stocks running low, offers to expire soon, etc.
  • Add positive reviews of products and user-generated content if possible.
  • Include a feedback form and ask them about the reason they abandoned their cart.

Announcing every product release, promotion, or upgrade to every subscriber on your list will cause your email marketing to lose its effectiveness. Instead, segment your list and send relevant announcements to subscribers based on their interests. Email campaigns with personalized recommendations can boost sales per email opening by 150%.
Check this example from Casper:

Best practices checklist:

  • Showcase some related products and suggest buying as a bundle or set, if possible.
  • Limit the suggested products to avoid overwhelming customers.  
  • Take into consideration the customer’s budget. If their regular purchase total is around 100$, a $700 offer won’t appeal to them.

#4 Order confirmation email and After-Sales email

Trigger: Purchase
These are emails similar to the welcome emails but triggered by a purchase.
After analyzing 100,000+ email receipts, Conversio showed that eCommerce stores made $0.25 of extra revenue with every order confirmation email. Not much, right?
But imagine for every 100 confirmation emails, you make an average of $25 of extra revenue with no extra effort. Not bad!
After-sales emails work to show customers appreciation and care about their satisfaction even after you’ve got their cash. Thanking the shoppers and asking for their feedback will make them more likely to re-purchase and develop a positive opinion about your company, helping boost sales.
nclude the following details in the order confirmation email:

  • Success message.
  • Order number.
  • Purchased products
  • Order summary (total costs, delivery costs, taxes, etc.)
  • Payment method.
  • Billing and delivery address.
  • The estimated delivery time.
  • Shipping method.

Check this example from Gap:

Best practices checklist

  • Thank the user and show gratitude and appreciation.
  • Ask for a review and make it simple to submit.
  • Include product aftercare info or FAQs
  • Nudge recipients to re-purchase by featuring some relevant products (things they might like).

#5 Informational Emails

You don’t always have to sell in automated emails to boost sales. Providing valuable and useful content that builds rapport with your customers and helps you down the road. There are various options to choose from when it comes to this type of emails, like proper usage of products or an interesting blog link, as shown in the One Kings Lane’s example below:

Best practices checklist

  • Be creative and provide unique and useful content.
  • Focus on offering value.
  • Include less conspicuous CTAs, if recipients choose to buy.

Email marketing platforms comparison

Email marketing platforms can make all the difference in growing your business, but choosing the right business solution is not always an easy task. Here’s our comparison of Klaviyo vs. ActiveCampaign vs. Drip to make the process easier.

1. Klayvio

Pros of choosing Klaviyo:

  • Super flexible: You can personalize emails and build flows for any possible situation. There are also pre-built email marketing flows available, which saves you a lot of time. Big-name integrations: Shopify, Magento, Facebook Lead Ads, Facebook Custom Audiences, etc. Simple visual drag-and-drop builder: You can apply various fonts, brand colors, and templates. As well as you can upload your own.

Cons of choosing Klaviyo:

  • Lacks Lead Scoring: It is a must-have if you want to trigger automation based on users’ engagement. You can use a third-party app integration, but that will add an extra bill to your expenses.Higher costs: It is free up to 250 contacts and 500 emails, which can be great for small businesses. If you’re looking to expand, price tags can be a little hefty. Customer support: The platform’s help center offers quick tips and good basic help. However, their hourly schedule can be an issue if you’re looking for personalized support.

2. Drip Ecommerce CRM

Pros of choosing Drip:

  • Easy automation: You can easily create of-this-then-that rules, email campaigns, and workflows to move customers along unique journeys. A visual email builder with options: You van have complete control of how your emails look and feel, and if building a visual email isn’t your jam, you can use the text/HTML builder on board.Integrations: Shopify, Magento, Facebook Custom Audiences, Facebook Lead Ads, PayPal, Salesforce, ZapierCustomer support. Easy navigation, pre-made workflows, no-coding, API documentation, and 24/7 customer support.Built by humans, for humans. No confusing language and no need for artificial intelligence to navigate the platform.

Cons of choosing Drip:

  • Too much personalization. If you’re looking to send cold and generic messages, you won’t find Drip’s personalization features appealing.

3. ActiveCampaign

Pros of choosing ActiveCampaign:

  • Easy to use: Well-designed and doesn’t require training to understand.
  • Affordable Pricing: starts at just $9/month with no upfront setup fees.
  • Zapier Integration: Integrates with over 2,000+ different tools
  • Automation split testing: It enables you to perform A/B tests instead of testing individual emails.
  • Machine learning: It has some innovative features that help with automation like predictive sending, predictive content, and predictive win-probability scoring of leads.

Cons of choosing ActiveCampaign:

  • CRM – The-built CRM system is not as good as standalone platforms like PipeDrive or Salesforce.
  • Reporting: It is quite crowded and can be challenging to navigate at times.

Email automation may sound like a mouth-full if you’re just starting out. But if you want to run a successful eCommerce business, you need to keep your brand top-of-mind to potential customers. With the right automation strategies in place, your messages will stand out in your consumer’ filled up inboxes.