Despite the growth of social media, chat apps, and messengers, email remains a central part of daily digital life.
Because we all prefer email communication over any other form of communication —the stats don’t lie — in 2020, over 300 billion daily emails were sent and received, and this number is expected to rise to 361 billion emails per day in 2024.
Email marketing works because it’s simple in its approach and can adapt to the continuously evolving marketplace. Additionally, it drives results and brings the best marketing ROI.
Email marketing is a remarkably cost-effective method to communicate with your customers, promote your products, and maximize your sales. According to DMA.org, you can expect a return of up to £32.28 for every £1 you spend on email marketing.
Based on the simplicity and a healthy return on investment, automated email campaigns deserve a spot in your eCommerce marketing strategy. But how do you devise email automation strategies that drive results and achieve business goals?
To answer this question, we’ve compiled this blog post to take you through everything you need to know about email automation.
Let’s start with a simple definition of email automation, look at some of its benefits, and finish off with a few email automation strategies to showcase their versatility. We’ll also discuss the software or tools that you can use to automate your email campaigns. By the end of this article, you’ll go from email automation novice to a bona fide expert.
What is Email Automation?
Email automation is the process of sending pre-written automated emails based on a specific trigger and action system. It’s a powerful marketing tool that helps eCommerce businesses to reach out to their audience with the right message at the right time. With email automation, you increase your opportunity to generate more leads, close more sales, and improve your e-commerce revenue.
The beauty of eCommerce email automation is that once you set up the email, it’s automatically sent to people as they meet the defined trigger. It relieves you from pressing the Send button again for an email.
Benefits of Email Automation:
Since email automation works on a pre-defined trigger, you can develop a strategy and tailor it to most of your business needs. Here are some of the benefits of eCommerce email automation campaigns.
- Higher click-through rate: Automated emails are sent only when a prospect or customer takes a specific action. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, you’re sending them emails when they are most receptive. This is why automated emails for eCommerce have a 119 percent higher click-through rate than a typical email campaign.
- Maximized conversion: As you can assume, a higher click-through rate often translates into higher conversions. B2C eCommerce marketers who use email automation can see up to 50 percent higher conversion rates.
- Saves time: If you automate your email marketing campaign, you can save quite some time. The automation tool handles all the repetitive tasks, so you have more time to focus on other business matters.
- Cost-effective: With automated emails, you do not need additional admin teams to ensure that emails are sent regularly to the right prospects and customers. Even a less-experienced marketer can manage automated emails, thus significantly reducing your marketing costs.
- Better targeting: A key advantage of email automation is that you can segment your customers into different groups based on similar attributes and behavior patterns. This allows you to create targeted emails and send the right message for maximum engagement and conversion.
As you can see, email automation offers an excellent opportunity for businesses – large and small alike – to save time, reduce marketing costs, and increase their eCommerce sales.
Email Automation Strategies for eCommerce:
Now that you’ve got the context and seen the benefits of email automation, here are some of the best eCommerce automation strategies that can help you reap the above benefits.
Customer segmentation is creating customer groups based on their actions, interests, and behavior patterns. Rather than sending the same message to all your prospects and customers, segmentation allows you to make email lists and send targeted emails to each customer group.
Customer segmentation can be carried out based on the customers’ unique attributes. These attributes may include:
- Demography: You can segment your email list based on the demography of your customers. Age, gender, location, occupation, income level, etc., are essential information in demography-based segmentation.
- Customers’ past purchases: Marketers can use customers’ purchase history to build an email segmentation strategy. Make a list of customers who have recently brought a product from your eCommerce store. Send a targeted email to the email list, recommending them similar products ahead of time.
- Email engagement: Another simple but effective way to segment your customers is to consider their engagement with your emails. Focus on the open rate and click-through rate when creating this segment. This segmentation method will help you identify your inactive users and target them with re-engaging email campaigns.
- Sales funnel: The position of a prospect in the sales funnel is a valuable factor in developing your segmentation strategy. You can make an email list for customers at the bottom of the sales funnel and target them with generalized messages. Customers at the top of the funnel require more specific content since they might already have interacted with your content and are aware of your products and services.
Developing customer segmentation strategies can be stressful if you don’t know where to start and what factors to consider. However, several eCommerce marketing courses can help you build these vital eCommerce marketing skills.
2. Welcome Emails
Welcome emails have three times higher open rates and can generate five times higher revenue than regular promotional emails. Send new customers and subscribers a series of welcome emails because a series of emails generate 69 percent more sales.
A welcome email should introduce a new customer to your brand and inspire them to purchase your products. Omnisend provides the following breakdown of the welcome email series.
- Email 1: The first email in the series introduces you and your company/store to the recipient. Here, you get a chance to make a great impression and build a positive relationship with the prospect. You can include attractive images of your products to gain their attention, followed by a clear message about your brand.
- Email 2: The second email in the welcome series should show the subscribers how you work, design, and create your products. You can include behind-the-scenes moments and offer the readers a chance to know you on a personal level. The aim here is to form an emotional connection which will lead to repeated purchases, longer lifetime value, and better customer relationship.
- Email 3: The final email in this series will show reviews, satisfied customers, and their experience with your brand. At this point, you can offer the recipients a discount since they have already established familiarity with your brand. The welcome email series should end with a clear call-to-action.
3. Birthday Emails
The birthday email is your chance to strengthen your relationship with the subscribers. Birthday email, together with a special offer and personal attention, can be a profitable email campaign. The offer can include a discount, free shipping, or anything else as a gift.
Seventy-five percent of companies see birthday emails as ‘very effective.’ Birthday emails have a 45 percent open rate and a 3 percent conversion rate.
This type of email campaign is only possible when you’ve got the subscriber’s birth date or contact information. Otherwise, you won’t be able to send them personalized messages.
4. Abandoned Cart Emails
One of the biggest headaches for eCommerce stores and marketing funnel is buyers who add products to their carts but abandon them at the checkout. This is frustrating because marketers spend money to gain their attention and these prospects show a strong purchasing intent until they reach the checkout point.
Ecommerce marketers can combat this phenomenon by implementing an abandoned shopping cart email strategy. Abandoned cart emails are follow-up emails that remind customers of the products they left in the cart. These emails are highly effective and enjoy a healthy order rate.
Like the Welcome Emails, abandoned cart emails should be a series of emails to entice customers to purchase the items they had left in the cart. Here is an outline of the emails and the content they should contain.
- Email 1: The first email in this series should show the customers what they have left behind in the cart and give them a chance to get them back. It should be a straightforward email and sent an hour after the customer abandoned his/her cart.
- Email 2: You should send the second Abandoned Cart Email roughly a day after the customer leaves their cart behind. The content should be convincing and describe the benefits of shopping and buying now.
- Email 3: This email should introduce urgency and apply gentle pressure on the buyer to complete the purchase. You can also offer a discount in the final abandoned cart email. You should send them two or three days after the customer’s engagement with the product.
5. Promotion Emails
Ecommerce stores can also take advantage of promotional emails and adopt an email automation strategy to inform subscribers of seasonal sales, product launches, and promotions. Such emails should offer special discounts on public holidays and events to increase user engagement.
Promotion emails can also help you connect with loyal customers and show that you care about them, inspiring repeated purchases and increasing their LTV.
An email automation strategy can succeed when you’ve got the right eCommerce automation tools at hand.
Besides, you always have the option of hiring the services of an eCommerce agency to take the stress out of your eCommerce email automation campaigns. Digital Agency Network has compiled a list of eCommerce agencies to help you get this strategy straight.
So there you have it: everything you need to know about email automation strategies for eCommerce. Some of them may seem simple enough to be ignored, but they will help you save some resources and get vital attention from prospects and customers. Armed with the knowledge shared in this blog, you can move forward with confidence and use these strategies to maximize your eCommerce sales.