Email Automation for E-commerce Websites in 2022

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Guest Updated: February 01, 2023

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Every business out there uses email. And so do you. So, what can you do to place yourself a cut above the rest? Two words- email automation. But well, that’s only the short of it. The long of it is what forms the main scope of this article. Grab yourself the most ergonomic chair you can see around you; you will want to be really comfortable for this. All set? Let’s dive in!

Table of content

What is Email Automation?

Email automation is the practice of sending automated or triggered emails to your subscribers when they either perform a certain activity or satisfy particular pre-set conditions or triggers. This is usually facilitated by a marketing automation platform or software. Ever received an email in your inbox the very instant you finished signing up on a website? Yes, that’s email automation right there.

“But, I can just as well send an email manually every time a customer creates a new account on my website, right?”

Well, technically, you can. But, suppose, you have a thousand new account creations taking place every day. Can you imagine the sheer amount of time you will have to spend crafting these emails? Time that you could have possibly invested elsewhere? This is among the many reasons why email automation is such a boon for businesses across the globe.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small or mid-sized firm or an established multinational corporation- if you want to stay ahead of the curve, email automation is the way forward.

What are the Benefits of Email Automation?

The virtues of email automation aren’t just confined to saving your valuable time and resources. Listed below are some of its other merits.

  • One of the greatest advantages of adopting email automation is that it allows you to send your subscribers the right message at the right time. With a deluge of emails flooding our inboxes every single day, email timing is critical, now more than ever, towards determining the success of your campaigns. Automation helps you take stock of your customers’ interactions and activities and respond to those with personalized messages. Personalization, in turn, lays the foundation for improved customer relationships leading to increased engagement and interaction, and ultimately, higher sales.
  • Email automation increases productivity by leaps and bounds. Instead of spending time on tasks such as scheduling messages and compiling lists, you can let automation take charge. As a result, your workforce productivity will increase and they will have additional time on their hands to focus on other critical issues such as fine-tuning your content, strengthening customer relationships, and the like.
  • Email automation ensures that you always send relevant content to your subscribers. Not just that, it also ensures that there’s not much of a gap between two successive messages. This improves your customer retention rate significantly. As such, selling to an existing customer is any day more cost-effective than attempting to convert a newly acquired lead.
  • When you have automation in your toolkit, scaling your email marketing efforts becomes incredibly hassle-free. Irrespective of the volume by which your business grows with time, you will never find yourself struggling to keep up so long you have automation leading the charge.

Automated Email Campaigns for E-commerce Websites

Email automation is no one-trick pony; it presents you with a diverse bag of tricks. If you want your e-commerce website to cut through the noise, you must familiarize yourself with the various types of automated email campaigns. We discuss them in detail in this section.

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are the first kind of communication that your customers receive from you and we all know how the saying about first impressions goes. A good welcome email is worth its weight in gold for it instantly endears the subscribers to your brand. Automated welcome emails are not just about casting a formidable first impression; they also go a long way towards increasing your credibility.

How? In the current scheme of things, it has become standard protocol for brands to dispatch a welcome email the very instant a new visitor finishes signing up or creating an account on their website. As a result, customers now actively look forward to it. Hence, if you fail to send one, you might just find your brand reputation being questioned by new users.

That said, what exactly goes into crafting a winning welcome email? Let’s take a look:

  • Keep your subject lines engaging. It is the first thing your readers will notice about your welcome email. If it’s not persuasive enough, you can might as well kiss the chances of your email being opened goodbye. Wondering what a good welcome email subject line looks like? Take a look at these examples:
welcome-email-for-ecommerce-webiste-1
GoodRx: Why people love GoodRx — Hint: We help you save.
welcome-email-for-ecommerce-webiste-2
Disco: We're solving these massive problems
welcome-email-for-ecommerce-webiste-3
DeFeet: We're here to listen
  • The tone of your welcome message is extremely critical. It determines whether or not subscribers would want to tune in to your communications in the future. So, make sure that your welcome emails don’t sound overly self-promotional. You don’t have to start selling from the first email itself; welcome emails are best kept unfussy. Confirm that the user has, indeed, successfully opted in or signed up, express your gratitude, and ask them to stay tuned. Easy does it. For instance, take a look at HYLO’s Welcome Email.
demo-hylo's-welcome-email
DeFeet: We're here to listen
  • Offer your subscribers a relevant action. Typically, an individual’s interest levels regarding your brand are at their peak during the welcome email phase. Capitalize on it by giving them something to do. This can be anything- asking them to check your blog, requesting them to whitelist you, inviting them to check out your social media handles, and the like.

  • Include a special offer. Gaining a new customer is a cause worthy of celebration, isn’t it? Well, share this joy with your new subscribers by offering them a reward- a discount, promo code, coupon, or anything you deem fit. Nothing quite screams “We appreciate you for choosing us” quite as loudly as this gesture.

Take a look at this email by The Giving Keys.

demo-the-giving-keys-welcome-email
DeFeet: We're here to listen
  • Add an unsubscribe or opt-out link. At the core of long-term customer relationships lies integrity, honesty, and transparency. Let’s face it- irrespective of how compelling your content is, not every new subscriber will be fond of it. Hence, it is important that your welcome email, itself, gives them the choice of opting out. Believe us, the only thing you stand to gain from communicating with someone who doesn’t fancy your emails is a tarnished brand reputation.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Your email marketing armory is utterly incomplete if it is bereft of automated cart abandonment email sequences. As infuriating as they might be, abandoned carts are an inevitability which email marketers don’t have a choice but to contend with. The average cart abandonment rate is a whopping 81.08 %, making it all the more important for you to have an airtight automated abandoned cart workflow at your disposal.

Listed below are a few tips you can take into account while creating your abandoned cart workflows.

  • Remember, the customers you will be targeting in a cart abandonment campaign aren’t new shoppers; they are individuals who have already scanned through your website and expressed a clear purchase intent too. But for some reason, they haven’t yet completed the transaction. Therefore, your objective should simply be to lure them back, not to give them a primer about your products.
  • Timing is everything when it comes to abandoned cart emails. And usually, these emails are sent in a series, so the frequency between successive emails is equally vital. Send the first email a few hours after the cart abandonment. If that spurs them to action, well and good. Otherwise, wait for at least 24 hours before sending the second one. You don’t want to come across as pushy; you simply want to understand what might be preventing them from completing the purchase and resolve that at the earliest.
  • Include an incentive. As we said earlier, abandoned cart emails are all about luring back your customers and nothing works better in that regard than an incentive. Offer them a discount or free shipping or a 45 days return policy- anything you think will grab their attention
  • Add an image of the abandoned product in the email. There’s a good possibility that the visitor would have completely forgotten the product they left unattended to in their shopping cart. And what’s a better way to jog their memory than featuring the product itself in the abandoned cart email.

Here’s how the best in the business go about their abandoned cart emails.

food-52-abandoned-ecommerce-cart-email
Food52
columbia-sportswear-abandoned-ecommerce-cart-email
Columbia Sportswear
lego-abandoned-ecommerce-cart-email
Lego

Post-Purchase Emails

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that the real grind starts after the purchase. That’s where post-purchase automation workflows come into the picture. After they have bought your product, you must follow up with your customers to check how their overall experience was. This tells your customers that you value their feedback, thereby strengthening their loyalty to your brand.

Listed below are some post-purchase email best practices you must keep in mind.

  • Say ‘thanks’. It is a simple and effective tactic, costs you absolutely nothing, and does a whole world of good for your customer relationships.
  • Try to include a small interactive element. Along with soliciting their review, you can also include a “star” rating scale, where they just have to hover their cursor on the scale to submit their rating. This will greatly enhance the customer experience.
  • You can try cross-selling by showcasing a few products that are similar to the one they have purchased.
  • Include additional information surrounding the product such as best ways to use it, caring tips, and a few FAQs in the email.

Take a look at these examples.

crate-and-barrel-post-ecommerce-purchase-email
Crate And Barrel
post-purchase-of-bellroy-email-automation-ecommerce-wesbite
Bellroy

Re-engagement Emails

Does your list have a certain segment of contacts who have, for quite some time, either not purchased from you or responded to your emails? Well, it is about time you targeted them with a re-engagement email automation workflow. Keep in mind that these people are prior customers and are hence quite familiar with a brand. They just need a slight nudge to get back to their shopping ways. And a neatly crafted re-engagement email is what you need to do the trick. Wondering how you should go about it? Let the tips below guide you.

  • If a particular contact has been dormant for long, a single email wouldn’t be enough to take stock of you. Hence, re-engagement emails are best executed in the form of a planned sequence.
  • Re-emphasize your value proposition. Basically, remind them why they had subscribed to you in the first place. With so much competition in the market, customers generally tend to lose sight of your USP over time, which eventually reflects in their interactions with you. A re-engagement email allows you to register yourself afresh on their radars.
  • Bring new benefits under the spotlight. If you have added any new features to your repertoire, leverage them to break the exile of your inactive customers. Nothing delights an old customer more than when their favorite brand promises to add more value to their lives.

Here are a few examples that will get your creative juices flowing.

meundies-re-engagement-emails-automation
MeUndies
better.com-re-engagement-emails-automation
Better.com

Wrapping It Up

Now that you are rich with the knowledge of the myriad email automation workflows out there, we are sure you are raring to go and implement them for your business! Well, we would be the last ones to hold you back. Pump new life into your campaigns with automation and let the world take note of your brand!

Author Bio Kevin George is Marketing Head at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, 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, data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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