Email marketing automation allows you to connect with customers on a consistent basis while saving time so that you can focus on other aspects of your business. There are near innumerable types of automated emails you can send based on ecommerce purchase behavior and on-site actions. For online merchants, regardless of size or vertical, these are the 8 automated emails you need to send:
1. Abandoned Cart
Reminder customers that they left something(s) in their shopping cart and provide links to the item(s) within the email. Oftentimes this reminder is enough to encourage them to come back and complete their purchase. You could also sweeten the deal by offering a limited time discount on that purchase, or create a sense of urgency by showing limited quantities are left in stock.
2. Welcome Series
Most email platforms will send a default email letting customers know that they successfully signed up for your list. You can expand on this and create a more personalized experience by also sending your own custom Welcome message. This message should set an expectation for the type and frequency of messages they will receive, share a little of your brand personality and can include a special discount or promotion for new subscribers.
3. Product/Category Retargeting
When customers view a product or product category on your site, you can send an email to encourage them to purchase that product or promote related products that they may also be interested in.
4. Purchase Follow Up
Naturally, customers need logistical information after making a purchase, things like order confirmation, shipping information, refund and cancellation policies. To continue building rapport with the customers and showcase your commitment to their enjoyment of the product, you can also send helpful or educational information, such as owner’s manuals, product care instructions, how-to articles or videos, or even interesting back stories on how to product was invented or unique materials that went into it’s development.
5. Review Solicitation
Some merchants ask for reviews right away after a purchase, but unless it’s a digital product, they won’t truly have feedback until they receive the product have have time to use it. By waiting a week or two to ask for feedback, you give the customer time to experience the product and thus will have a more accurate review. The timing of this email depends on shipping timeframes and the type of product and how it’s used (e.g., if it’s shoes, the customer is likely to wear them immediately after receiving but if it’s something larger that requires assembly, they may not use it right away).
6. Reward Best Customers
Your best customers deserve some special perks. Reward them with unique discounts, early access to sales or previews of new products. And while you’re at it, encourage them to connect on social--these loyal customer are more likely to be advocates for your brand, and encourage their family and friends to also become customers.
7. Re-Engagement of Old Customers
Every merchant has dormant customers that haven’t purchased, haven’t visited the site and haven’t opened emails in while. You can try to re-engage these customers by sending a “Miss you” email after a certain time period of inactivity. Offering a unique discount, free product or exclusive access to sales can also help to reactive them.
8. Anniversary of Birthday Celebration
Sending birthday or anniversary emails is a nice way to acknowledge your customers as individuals. These automated emails can triggered by birthday fields in the customer’s profile, and based on date of signing up, date of first purchase or other date-based information. A special coupon or discount makes for a simple gift, but sometimes just a warm and thoughtful well-wishing (like a video greeting from the owner or a customer care rep) can do the trick to show you care.
There are loads of marketing automation platforms to choose from. For more sophisticated and integrated campaigns, we’re partial to Listrak. But if you’re just getting your feet wet with marketing automation and/or have limited resources, MailChimp is a great place to start. They recently released all of their automation tools for free.
For more help with ecommerce email marketing, check out our blog, “9 Email Marketing Tips for Ecommerce Merchants.”