It’s that simple: If you have an eCommerce business, you need to be using email marketing.
More than 3.7 billion people use email worldwide, according to a survey by Radicati Group — that’s effectively half of the world’s population. The Pew Research Center claims than 92% of adults in the U.S. use email, with 61% of adults using it actively every day.
It’s also the platform where customers are most likely to engage with your content. According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of adults prefer to use email to communicate with companies and brands, making it by far the most popular platform with consumers. Another study by Campaign Monitor supports this statistic, claiming that consumers are 3x more likely to engage with an email than with a social media post, and click-through rates are 6x higher than on Twitter and 5x higher than on Facebook.
Still not convinced?
eCommerce company Envelopes.com cut checkout abandonment by 40% by using a specific email marketing campaign for customers who did not complete purchases. By sending emails to site visitors in three different categories (customers who made it to the checkout page but did not purchase, customers who added an item to their cart and did not purchase, and customers who visited a product or category page but didn’t add anything to their cart) they increased customer conversions by 65%.
When properly used and optimized, automated emails and drip campaigns can keep your customers engaged while nurturing them down the sales funnel.
In this article, we’ll go over the 7 different email templates every eCommerce business should be using to maximize their revenue.
1. Welcome Series
Sending a welcome email after a customer subscribes to an email list is standard practice, so much that customers have come to expect it. Since a welcome email is likely to be your first point of contact between you and a new customer, you’ll want to make sure your messaging is just right to foster the relationship with your audience members.
Don’t worry about pushing a hard sell on your customers at this point — in fact, doing so might turn them off this early in the game. Instead, think of a welcome email as a simple way to confirm their subscription and acquaint new customers with your brand.
Look at how online subscription company Birchbox welcomes customers to the list and gives them some info about how their service works. Even better, they have a CTA at the bottom of the email to keep their eyes open for a special offer in another email, which can help boost email open rates in the future:
Tips for Leveraging a Welcome Series Email Campaign
- Make it simple and easy to read
- Leverage a discount ladder
- 7 day email sequence until first purchase
2. Post-purchase follow-up
If a customer has already purchased from you, there’s a good chance they may be interested in other products you sell. Following up to thank your customers and offer support can show them you still care about their customer experience and satisfaction.
Consider using this opportunity to ask for a review (but make sure you make it convenient for them to actually leave one!) You can also use the email to display some products related to the product they purchased, which can be especially effective if the products work well together.
If you have helpful info about the product itself (a FAQ, product care instructions, or other tips) this email would be a prime place to deliver that useful content.
But most importantly, make sure you thank the customer for their purchase and reinforce that you’re grateful for their business.
Look here at the simple way Warby Parker thanks customers for their purchase and asks for customer feedback:
Alternatively, Pottery Barn does a great job of offering a selection of related products to potentially gain conversions off the follow-up:
Tips for Leveraging a Post-Purchase Follow Up Campaign
- Of course, send a thank you and shipping information follow up
- Show your excitement and how awesome the product they just bought is through social proof – review by blogger, YouTuber, Case Study etc.
- Create ways to give more information about the product i.e. How to use guide or a blog post you have written
- Give them an action to perform i.e. post on social media, send us a selfie, or give us a review
- Make the CTA easy to act on
- Products that are similar that they may be interested in
3. Abandoned Cart Emails
It’s fairly common for a customer to add items to their cart or make it to a checkout page, only to become distracted and click away. (It’s probably happened to you a few times, huh?)
An abandoned cart email is fairly self-explanatory: You’re sending an email to customers who have bounced away from your site after displaying interest in your products (i.e. adding the items to their shopping cart). A gentle nudge reminding them of the products they were interested in is sometimes all that is needed to convert the customer and make the sale.
Look at what Fab.com does to remind customers about abandoned carts and incentivize them to purchase with a strong “act fast” CTA in the subject line:
Tips for Using an Abandoned Cart Email
- Send at least 24 hours after abandonment
- Highlight what makes this product different and better
- CTA that send them directly to the checkout page
- 2nd or 3rd email in, send a discount code
4. Re-engagement emails
If an audience member doesn’t purchase from you, visit your site, or open your emails for several months, they fall into what is known as a “disengaged audience” category. This means they aren’t engaging with any of your content and are less and less likely to purchase from you again, if at all.
However, don’t give up just yet. Since these audience members did engage with your brand at some point, they are already familiar with your brand and, ostensibly, have a reason to be interested in your product and engage again.
A good re-engagement email should, ideally, feature an offer that is “too good” for a disengaged audience member not to consider. Maybe that’s a discount code, a free product, or a giveaway. The easier it is for a user to claim the incentive, the more likely they are to re-engage.
Alternatively (or additionally!) you can focus more on your relationship with that customer, expressing that you miss them and value them.
We recommend split testing multiple re-engagement offers so that you can really understand what works best with your audience.
Pinkberry works to re-engage inactive customers by automatically loading their cards up with a free yogurt, but limiting the time customers can claim it to 7 days:
Tips to Leverage Your Re-engagement Email Campaign
- Give information about your company
- Engaging CTA that stands out and drives engagement
- Remind them why they don’t want to miss this opportunity
5. Upsell emails
You can increase your revenue by sending customers upsell offers, potentially convincing customers who have purchased from you to make another purchase shortly thereafter. You can use automation and segmentation to make sure the offers are relevant to items they already purchased.
Look at how Williams Sonoma upsells a related item on a recent purchase and offers a free shipping code:
Tips for your Up-Selling Email Campaign
- Make this email personalized to each specific buyer based on what they have purchased before
- Show them what they recently purchased and products that go well with it
- Provide a list of suggested products that are similar to what they already purchased
6. Educational Content
Emails can be about more than encouraging transactions: They can be a place you provide value to your customers that helps them become loyal followers of your brand.
Use educational content to empower your customers about your products, or even just topics that are related to your niche. It establishes you as a trusted and reliable source of information, rather than someone who just sells, sells, sells.
You can personalize this content even further by segmenting emails by customer interest and purchase history, so you’re delivering highly-relevant content they’ll be sure to appreciate.
See here how Monster educates jobseekers with info that is empowering to them, rather than just selling their subscription services:
Tips for Emailing Educational Content
- Send out a summary of your recent blog post and then send them over to the actual post
- Don’t try to sell them anything, keep it all informational
7. Testimonial Email
Why say it yourself when your customers can do it for you? Use the words of other customers to reinforce the value you bring as a business while offering a gentle reminder to purchase, check out new items, and engage with your website and brand.
Here, Modcloth uses product reviews as testimonials to describe items certain customers may be interested in, in the form of a bright and fun email.
Tips for Sending out Testimonial Emails
- Have an image of what the testimonial in talking about
- If possible have a picture of who said the quote
- Create a video testimonial
Stryde is an eCommerce agency that helps businesses make the most out of email marketing. We like working with Klaviyo, an email marketing platform, to see businesses grow and reach their target audience.