If you have an eCommerce business, you probably send out carefully crafted email newsletters to announce new products, sales, and special offers. (If your store has no mailing list, stop whatever you are doing and set one up now.)
In addition to your newsletter, you can use automated emails for most eCommerce platforms to reach out to individual customers at key times. These transactional marketing messages may help your customers complete a purchase, receive needed support, or participate in a loyalty program.
Tools to Send Automated Emails
Our tool of choice for sending automated emails is Jilt. We like Jilt because it offers a ton of flexibility in customer segmentation, great templates, excellent support, reliable sendability, and is generally a really effective solution.
Some automated emails can be sent with traditional email senders like Mailchimp, though they are not near as powerful as a dedicated eCommerce email provider. Another market leader is Klayviyo, and they may be a better choice if you want to include SMS marketing as well. However, we are big fans of Jilt.
Automated Emails Every eCommerce Store Should Send
If you do not have an automated system for emailing customers at specific points in the purchasing cycle, you are leaving money on the table and missing opportunities to build customer happiness and loyalty. According to Campaign Monitor, Automated emails generate 320% more revenue than non-automated emails. That's huge!
Here are five examples of automated emails every eCommerce business should have.
1: Abandoned Cart Emails
You know those people who go to your store, add something to their basket, and then never finish checking out? This email is for them.
People abort the checkout process for all kinds of reasons. They may still want to complete the transaction, but something needs to happen for them first. Sending an abandoned cart email is a surefire way to increase your bottom line and recover some of those lost sales. According to Experian, customers who receive an abandoned cart email are twice as likely to complete their purchase as those who do not.
Here is how to do it! Jack Willis, a British clothing brand, has a great example of abandoned cart outreach:
Why This Works
- Clear Messaging — The customer who receives this email understands it immediately. There is easy-to-understand language, no play on words or smart comments that may backfire.
- Multiple CTAs — Not only are the CTAs perfectly placed, but they also take the customer directly back to their cart. That is far better than dumping them on your site without direction.
- Upsells — Never missing out on an opportunity to push for more sales, the email content includes both a discount banner and other items similar to those in the abandoned cart.
2: Ask for a Review
Does it seem risky to ask a customer for a review? There is no risk at all! Every possible customer response is valuable. Some are happy customers and willing to give you credible, positive praise in writing. Others may not be satisfied, but now that you have found them, you can use their feedback to discover and resolve problems others may be having too. You can offer the dissatisfied customer support or make them a special offer. This level of care may improve their view of you dramatically. Outreach for feedback is absolutely a risk worth taking.
Here is an example of an outstanding review request from mega-retailer Target:
Why This Works
- Concise — It does not say too much. Instantly the customer can see what to do.
- Simple Rating System — Selecting the number of stars based on how much you liked the product is easy and quick.
- Issue Resolution — By adding an option for the customer to resolve an issue before they write a review, it helps cut down on 1-star reviews and offers support to those who need it.
3: Loyalty and Reward Programs
Loyal customers are the lifeblood of any business. They come back time and time again, giving you their hard-earned money for the products you sell.
Loyalty programs are a great way to reward these customers. Even better — send them an email to let them know how many more points they need for a reward with upsells included.
A great example of a customer rewards email comes from Domino's Pizza:
Why This Works
- You Are Almost There! — This is a great way to engage and pick up an extra sale by showing the customer they have some points and only need a few more to get a reward.
- Offers Within the Email — If the customer wants to earn those extra points, tempting offers beckon to make the sale.
- Local Store Options — By including the local brick-and-mortar store, Target makes it easy for the customer to decide what action they want to take. Target is taking out the legwork and doing some research that may remove the barrier to a sale.
4: Support Ticket Received
No company wants a customer to have a problem, but there are always reasons customers will want to ask for help. When they ask for support, the customer should receive an automated email to let them know their request was received.
Why would you want such an email? If you fail to confirm their request was received, they might submit another one. Duplicate support tickets can result in multiple support agents working with the same customer. That is time-consuming, confusing, and costly.
One of the best examples? Collaborative design platform InVision:
Why This Works
- Confirmation — The email gets right to the point and confirms the request was received, and someone will be in touch soon.
- Support Options — Clear options cater to people who are in a hurry or who may have missed self-help opportunities, like a knowledge base.
5: Thank You for Your Purchase
Thanking the customer is always a good move. An even better idea is to send an automated thank-you email that includes helpful tips about their new product. Throw in an upsell, a coupon, or an offer for their next purchase.
You never know — they could even make their next purchase before their first product arrives.
A great example of a post-purchase email is from Allergy Buyers Club:
Why This Works
- Useful Tips — Sending the customer information about how their product works before they receive it can help save you a customer support request later. If you sell electronics or other products that require some learning from first-time users, this can be very helpful.
- Upsells — You want your customer to love the product they just purchased and any future products they may buy from you. Including an upsell is a great way to highlight complementary products that may be unknown to the customer.
- Invite a Friend — Giving the customer a discount on their next purchase if they invite a friend is a great incentive for customers to share product information and give you more word-of-mouth coverage. That is a sales method frequently used by European energy and telecommunications companies.
Automated emails for eCommerce can help make your store stand out above others and build loyal customers. They give you a reliable, set-and-forget way to stand out from the crowd, connect better with your customers and improve sales without further manual intervention.
What is your favorite automated email for your eCommerce store? Have you used or received automated emails that stand out? Let us know what your thoughts are in the Commerce Journey Facebook group.