Did you know? Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for online retailers to win new customers and keep the old.

The problem remains that companies aren’t sure how effective automated email marketing is. And if so, what types of automated emails are best suited for their audience.

Let me start off by saying that when done right, automated email marketing generates the best ROI for online retailers out of all other digital marketing strategies.

In fact, according to according to one VentureBeat study, e-commerce sites actually earn an average of $38 for every dollar spent on email marketing. Now that’s pretty impressive.

Now that you’re aware of the potential email marketing has when it comes to driving revenue for your e-commerce site, let’s get started.

Today, I’m going to share with you the best automated emails that win customers for e-commerce. Ready? Let’s dive in.

The most known automated emails : nurture emails

If you have a marketer on your e-commerce team, there’s no doubt they know automated emails are great for lead nurturing. Simply put, lead nurturing means you’re building a pathway that guides potential customers through you sales cycle.

Here are some things to know about nurturing leads:

  • Less than 5% of visitors to your e-commerce site are ready to buy right away
  • Less than 30% of visitors to your e-commerce site will buy in the future
  • Over 60% of visitors to your e-commerce site will never buy

There’s no rhyme or reason other than the fact most customers take longer to contemplate a purchase. Nurture emails help to convince these visitors to your e-commerce site the benefits of making a purchase outweighs that of saving their money.

While we tend to focus on visitors that are ready to buy, notice the large portion of visitors we’re not addressing. Because a large portion of visitors may still consider buying in the future, nurture emails help keep your brand top of mind.

Here’s an example of what a nurture email might look like for a furniture retailer:

Best automated emails that win customers for E-commerce

In the nurture email above, it provides the reader with some information on the causes the company supports and educates them about the retailer’s brand. Interestingly enough, a Cone Communications study found that customers prefer to shop with companies that support social and environmental causes.

The welcome email

Visitors that come to your e-commerce site join your mailing list because they’re interested in your brand or like the content you put out.

Well first off, congratulations on generating interest. But what can you do with these emails?

It’s now time to put together an automated welcome email. This is the first message you’re sending; a chance to make a strong first impression.

Welcome emails should be separated into two categories:

  1. The welcome email for visitors that did not buy
  2. The welcome email for visitors that did buy

These two categories help you tailor your messaging towards driving new customers and retaining the old.

Don’t underestimate the impact automated welcome emails have. On average, welcome emails have a 27% higher open rate compared to promotional emails according to Omnisend’s 2016 study. That means your mailing list is paying attention to what you’re sharing and you have the opportunity to convince them to buy (or buy again). Great welcome emails should fulfill 4 simple criteria:

  1. Welcome subscribers to an exclusive community
  2. Provide subscribers with an incentive to purchase right away (i.e. promo codes expiring soon)
  3. Encourage subscribers to engage with your brand (i.e. social media conversations)

Below is an automated email from the brand Huckberry. Their welcome email is a great example of one that fits all of the criteria above. They’re welcoming new subscribers, encouraging subscribers to visit their brand and encourage subscribers to get more use out of their resources.

Best automated emails that win customers for E-commerce 2

Alternatively, Overstock chooses to welcome subscribers with an incentive to buy right away. Below is their welcome offer of 15% off their products.

Best automated emails that win customers for E-commerce 3

Choosing which strategy to use in your welcome email doesn’t have to be guesswork. Try A/B testing both.

For a period of 2 weeks to a month, send half of your new subscribers a welcome email with a call to action that introduces them to your brand and the other half a welcome email with a discount code. Track to see which welcome email drives more engagement and prompts subscribers to buy.

As an online retailer, there’s no one best method to welcome new subscribers. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try both. After all, you have nothing to lose, but much knowledge to gain about the preferences of your potential customers.

The cart abandonment email

Did you know? A shocking 81% of online consumers abandon their shopping carts. That’s a ton of money left on the table!

Luckily, there’s a way for online retailers to recover more than half of these abandoned shopping carts. This is where the automated cart abandonment email saves the day.

Many e-commerce business will set-up an email reminder for abandoned carts. But, in order to make this strategy more effective, here’s my alternative recommendation:

Consider sending a series of 3 automated emails.

The first 24 hours after cart abandonment, the second 48 hours after cart abandonment and the final reminder after 72 hours.

With each reminder, provide a more appealing promotion or call to action inviting the visitor back to their shopping cart.

For instance, the first email can be a simple reminder they abandoned their cart and to complete the transaction.

Below is a simple automated text email sent to remind a visitor to complete their purchase.

Best automated emails that win customers for E-commerce 4

The second email can be a 15% OFF promo code and the last a 30% OFF promo code.

With these automated emails running, make sure to track which emails are getting the most abandoned cart conversions. This way, you can decide which one works the best for your audience and repeat it.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, emails that aren’t well received will never be effective. That’s why it’s important for you as an online retailer to set the expectation for future emails you’re going to send.

Consistency of timing and content is the most important when crafting the best automated emails. Your audience keep opening and engaging with your emails because they know when they will receive it and what it’s going to contain.

Are you aiming to provide value to subscribers in every email? Perhaps your automated email series can contain a promo code, a fun video and new blog in that order every month. Have more content to share? Make it a monthly newsletter. The world is your oyster.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to link all your social media profiles as well as customer support information. That way, you’ll never miss a beat when a potential customer wants to reach out for more information on your products.

Which type of automated email have you already used? If so, how did it work for you? Don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook.