If you do it right, email marketing automation can be a game-changer for your ecommerce business.
By automatically sending targeted emails to your customers and prospects at key points in their customer journey you can boost sales, improve customer loyalty, and drive more repeat business.
The focus here is automation. Sure, one-off broadcasts or campaigns are also valuable but we want to build an eco-system of automated emails that make you money while you sleep.
And whilst it might sound technical, setting up email marketing automation is not as difficult as it may seem, and there are a number of platforms and service providers that offer easy-to-use tools for creating and managing your email campaigns.
First, let's dive into the different types of email automations available to ecommerce sellers.
Types of Ecommerce Email Marketing Automations
There's a number of different types of automations you can use in your business, based on you desired outcomes and based on the actions that customers are taking on your store.
Most reputable email marketing platforms, which we will discuss further along in this article, will offer the following automations that you can deploy without too much hassle:
The email welcome series is a great way to engage new subscribers and introduce them to your brand. You should be sending some sort of welcome series to all new subscribers, even those that have purchased.
Abandoned Cart Emails
According to our friends over at OptinMonster, 75% of people actually abandon the cart! So when customers visit your site and start the purchase process but fail to complete, it makes sense to attempt to recapture those lost sales by sending cart abandonment emails!
Browse Abandonment Emails
Similar to cart abandonment, browse abandonment emails can be sent when a customer visits your site and views products but doesn't add anything to their cart. Your customer will already need to be a contact in your email software for this to work, but it's great to boost your repeat buyer rate.
Post-Purchase Follow Up Emails
After a customer has made a purchase, it's important to follow up with them to ensure they're happy with their purchase and encourage them to shop with you again.
Customer Winback Emails
At some point, you're going to have customers that stop shopping with you. It's inevitable. The goal with a win-back email campaign is to re-engage those inactive customers and get them shopping with you again.
The winback automation might be an email that gets sent 3 or 6 months after making a purchase, if they've not bought again. The time frame will depend on your customer behaviors and the products you are selling.
Tips for Growing Your Email List
Now that you know the different types of email automations you can set up for your business, let's take a look at some tips for growing your email list so you have more people to send automated emails to!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Add an Email Signup Form to Your Website
If you don't already have an email signup form on your website, now is the time to add one! You can usually add a signup form in the footer of your site or in a popup, but don't make them too intrusive or spammy. Just make sure it's prominently displayed and easy for visitors to find.
Your email marketing platform will have instructions on how to add a properly integrated signup form to your store.
Offer an Incentive for Signing Up
Offering your visitors an incentive to sign up for your email list is a great option, as shown in the screenshot from of the Omnisend signup forms up. Offer a discount code to join your VIP email list, or something else like free shipping, a free gift with purchase, or early access to sales or new products.
Run a Social Media Giveaway Campaign
Running a giveaway on social media is a great way to promote your brand and get more people to sign up to your email list.
Collaborate with Other Businesses and Influencers
Partnering with another business in your industry is a great way to get more eyes on your brand and grow your email list. You could do a joint giveaway, cross-promote each other's products or services, or guest blog on each other's websites.
When it comes to influencers, you can also use this strategy to get direct sales. Offer them free products or payment, or both, in return for promoting your brand to their social following.
How to Get The Most Out of Your Email Marketing
In the early days of your ecommerce business, you'll probably have a small list that you'll just send manual campaigns to every so often. Whilst manual campaigns still have a place, you'll want to take advantage of email marketing automation to scale your business.
Here some simple tips to help you get more out of your email automations:
Personalize Your Emails
One way to stand out in someone's inbox is to personalize your emails. Include the customer's name in the subject line and throughout the email body. You could also include their purchase history or recommend products based on what they've bought in the past.
Define Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with your email marketing automations? More sales? More web traffic? Better customer engagement? Once you know your goals, you can select the right platform and tools to help you achieve them.
Segment Your Audience
One of the key advantages of email marketing automation is the ability to send highly targeted emails to specific segments of your audience.
By segmenting your audience, you can ensure that each email campaign is relevant and engaging for the recipients.
Choose the Right Platform
There are a number of different platforms and service providers that offer email marketing automation services. Do some research to find the one that best meets your needs in terms of features, price, and support.
Create Compelling Content
Your email campaigns will only be successful if they contain compelling content that speaks to the needs and interests of your target audience. Be sure to spend some time crafting attention-grabbing subject lines and helpful, informative body copy.
Always Be Testing!
Be sure to test your email campaigns before you launch them to ensure that they look great and function properly on all devices. It's also important to test different elements of your campaigns (subject lines, call to action buttons, etc.) to see what works best with your audience.
Best Ecommerce Email Marketing Platforms
A quick peek in the Shopify App Store and you'll see a huge selection of email marketing related apps. They're not all built the same however, so here's some of the more popular ecommerce email softwares that you may like to consider.
Klaviyo is a data-driven marketing platform that's purpose-built for ecommerce businesses. It integrates seamlessly with Shopify and provides a range of powerful features to help you grow your business.
Recent news also revealed that Shopify invested $100 million into Klaviyo too, so it's safe to say that they are a solid choice when it comes to email marketing for your Shopify store!
Free-Trial: Klaviyo is free to use until you hit 250 contacts.
Klaviyo Price: Once you are over 250 contacts, you will be charged $20 per month until you reach 500 contacts. For more pricing info, check out the Klaviyo pricing page.
Omnisend is an all-in-one ecommerce marketing automation platform that includes everything you need to grow your business. From email marketing and SMS messages to abandoned cart recovery and web push notifications, Omnisend has you covered.
Whilst they are probably the closest competitor to Klaviyo, and a very good alternative, they don't quite have the same advanced features but for most stores they will do the job just fine.
Free-Trial: Omnisend is free to use until you hit 250 contacts.
Omnisend Price: Once you are over 250 contacts, you will be charged $16 per month until you reach 500 contacts. For more pricing info, check out the Omnisend pricing page.
Shopify Email is a fairly new addition to the Shopify ecosystem, but it's quickly become a popular choice for many store owners. It's an email marketing platform that's fully integrated with Shopify, making it easy to get started with little to no setup required.
One of the key benefits of Shopify Email is the ability to send automated abandoned cart emails, which have been shown to be highly effective in recovering lost sales.
Whilst it doesn't really operate on the same level as Klaviyo or Omnisend when it comes to advanced email marketing and analytics, it's a great option for those starting out who might have a low budget.
Free-Trial: Shopify Email is free for the first 10,000 manual or automated emails each month.
Shopify Email Price: When you exceed 10,000 emails sent, it's $1 USD for every 1,000 emails you send thereafter.
Email marketing automation can be a powerful tool for driving sales and growing your ecommerce business. By sending targeted, timely emails to your customers, you can improve customer loyalty, encourage repeat business, and boost your bottom line.
We'd love to hear more about your experience with email marketing in the comments below, or perhaps you'd like to network with over 8,000 other print-on-demand entrepreneurs in our Facebook group.
Thanks for reading, feel free check out our article on Starting your Own Print on Demand Store if you haven’t yet launched!