February 2, 2022
Email automations, otherwise known as email flows, have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Not only that, but they are a core component of a successful ecommerce strategy for stores nowadays.
Email softwares such as Klaviyo have opened new possibilities for ecommerce stores, making it extremely easy to automate more and more areas of the customer journey.
But what email flows are the most effective — and which ones should you consider for your brand?
Here are 25 automated email flows that you can build for your store and align with a potential customer’s buyer journey.
Before we go into detail about each set of flows, I wanted to quickly explain my rationale for this article.
I like to think of the customer journey in email marketing as one unified timeline.
It is obviously more complex than that, but just for the sake of this article, it is important you look at the customer journey in email marketing this way.
My goal was to create something that explains very clearly where each email marketing flow sits within the customer buying timeline. This will allow you to not only understand how each flow can help your ecommerce business, but also how to build flows in the correct order so that you can optimize your customer journey.
You won’t need to build all of these email flows from the beginning. It all really depends on where you are with your ecommerce store and how much revenue you’re currently generating.
Overall, I think you’ll find this an extremely useful resource when planning your automated email strategy for your store.
Your prospect is rarely ready to buy from you on their first visit. That’s why a carefully planned set of pre-purchase flows is essential to nurture them through your funnel and convert them.
In an ideal world, a customer would land on your website, be dazzled by your offer and then purchase from you. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.
The reality is that 92% of customers on your website aren’t even there to buy.
That’s where email marketing comes into picture. Once you collect someone’s email address, it’s your job to take them through the correct set of flows and ensure they convert.
Keep in mind that a lot of these flows will also get triggered to existing customers. Some will be crucial as part of an ongoing strategy to all types of customers, such as the Cart or Checkout Abandonment Flow, but overall you want to think of these as pre-purchase emails.
They are meant to steer the buying decision process and increase conversion rates.
Below you can find a list of all of the pre-purchase flows I would consider building for an ecommerce store.
80% of ecommerce sales are likely coming from 20% of existing customers aka returning customers.
In other words, your customers are too important to ignore.
That’s why post-purchase email flows are the holy grail of email marketing. Once someone has made a purchase, your job is to create a well-thought set of post-purchase email flows that nurture, engage, and provide your customers with a better purchase experience.
There are quite a few flows you can build as part of this experience. Some are meant to increase customer loyalty and decrease churn such as the Customer Thank You Flow and others are meant to increase AOV and CLTV, such as the Upsell and Cross-Sell flows.
However one thing is for sure, you don’t want to skip any of these emails as part of your automated email marketing strategy.
A winback email is a message you can use to reach out to “inactive customers” — someone who previously purchased from you but, for some reason or another, they’ve stopped doing so for a certain amount of time. That is how we also define churn.
And despite the fact that churn is so common, you’d be surprised at how many businesses totally botch their winback emails. Or don’t even write them at all…
Winback emails have relatively high engagement rates and granted you know how to craft a compelling message, they’re perhaps your best “second chance” at securing a customer long-term.
Within my winback strategy are not just direct winback emails, but also back in stock and replenishment emails, which have the same overall purpose: get existing customers to buy from you again.
So make sure you get these set-up properly, as they could be the difference between a $100K revenue month and $200K revenue month.
Retention is one of the key ingredients of a successful ecommerce store. If you’re always chasing new customers and ignoring your loyal customers, you’re destined to have a below-average marketing ROI. After all, the cost of acquiring a new customer is often five times higher than the cost of retaining an existing one.
One of the best email marketing strategies to increase customer retention is to create your loyalty emails: referral requests, loyalty programs, VIP invitations or simply creating emails that acknowledge the loyalty of your customers.
Throughout the years, I’ve created many of these emails, but overall I can honestly say that these emails are most likely to bring you the best results.
Get them implemented and start building stronger relationships with your customers.
If you work with ecommerce stores, you most likely crossed paths at some point with stores that have subscription products.
There are many out there, so it’s important we acknowledge how having subscription products requires more attention and more advanced email marketing strategies.
All of the other emails I explained in this article still apply to subscription products, however you’re going to have to pay more attention to how you set them up, because a customer with an active subscription is very different from a one-time purchase customer.
The following email flows are specific to stores that have subscriptions products, and only then you should consider building them.
A sunset email is meant to identify unengaged subscribers and attempt to re-engage them by sending email reminders. The best way to do this is by automating the entire process.
These email flows will help you achieve the following things:
Sunset emails are fantastic at maintaining a healthy and engaged list without losing any potential sales by prematurely unsubscribing customers.
I’d definitely recommend you get them built as soon as you reach 1,000 active subscribers.
Given how effective email marketing is in providing an ROI for marketers, implementing any of these email flows will most definitely help you increase conversions on autopilot.
Learn the best practices behind an effective email flows strategy for eCommerce stores!