Email for eCommerce businesses must be relevant and timely to your customers. There should be an intentional and well thought out strategy behind when to send emails. You’ll want to make sure they are sent at optimal times and maintain relevant content so that your message isn’t being ignored or sent to spam. If your strategy with email for ecommerce is correctly used, it can produce amazing results. Here are some ideas for how you can use timely and relevant emails to create those amazing results.

Use Email Throughout the Customer Life Cycle 

Be sure to outline what happens in an average customer’s life cycle. Effective email marketing is correlated with significant events in a customers life cycle. These significant events can include the following:

  • The first time the land on your website.
  • Their first purchase.
  • Receiving their first item.
  • A birthday.
  • Placing an additional order. 

The list goes on. It’s important to map this out and consider all significant events within a customer’s life cycle so that you can effectively use marketing with email for ecommerce. Many businesses will only focus on short term wins, such as only sending out promotional emails, but showing up in a customer’s email during significant events is a longer term win. As a business, it’s important to understand every single way that a customer will interact with your brand – from product reviews to order notifications.

Here are some helpful ways to use email throughout a customer’s life cycle with your brand.

Trigger Emails:

These are typically automated emails that are triggered by a customer event. Ecommerce brands should utilize trigger emails to create a better and more personalized experience. Here are some trigger emails:

Browse Abandonment

We all like to window shop, and online is no exception. As a brand, it’s helpful to identify these clients and send a followup if they didn’t purchase anything. This is only available if the user has searched and purchased something from your shop before. It’s helpful because you can send a personalized (but automated) email asking if they needed help find what they were looking for, a reminder to come back, or even an incentive to return.

New Subscriber Emails

If someone signs up to receive emails from you, whether through a popup, embedded link, or some other way, it only makes sense to send them an email right away. Ecommerce businesses can utilize emails to welcome new subscribers to their brands. Emails are a great way to build trust and show another side of the brand besides what they see on the commerce website.

Cart Abandonment Emails

This is a very natural part of an eCommerce purchasing cycle. Customers will reach the final stage of purchasing an item only to leave the page; this happens for a variety of reasons. There should always be a followup with a customer if they’ve abandoned their cart. You never know what happened and maybe they actually want to come back to purchase. Abandon cart emails are necessary to stay in contact with your customers who will most likely come back to purchase at some point. Brands should assume this as an opportunity to continue the conversation.

Replenishment Emails

If you offer a product that naturally has a high reorder rate (such as coffee, cleaning wipes, or beard oil), you’ll want to make sure your sending out emails to remind past customers that they may need to replenish their supply. Keep in mind that you will want to do some research as to how long it typically takes customers to reorder so that you’re not sending too early (Where they forget when the time comes) or too late (where they ended up buying another out of convenience. 

Win Back Emails

If a certain amount of time has gone by where a customer has not purchased anything or interacted with your eCommerce shop, it’s a good idea to send them an email. This should be an enticing email about either new products or content to get them back on your store. Just because someone hasn’t visited in a while, doesn’t mean they’re not interested- make sure to check in on them!

Order Notification Emails

Notification emails for an order include the following:

  • Confirmations of purchase.
  • Shipping confirmation.
  • Order delivery.
  • Any shipment notification (ie delayed shipping).

These types of emails engage the client and create trust. When they know the status of their order from the moment of purchase to when it’s delivered, it instills transparency throughout the entire shopping experience.

Customer Engagement Emails

These types of emails are beneficial for eCommerce businesses because they specifically target customers who are potential brand advocates.

Emails to Encourage Involvement

There are services you can use to find who your most active customers are, and then focus on them for engagement emails. Engagement emails can be asking for referrals, letting them know about an ambassador or affiliate program, or asking them to share your latest blog post.

Encouraging the most active clients and other email subscribers to share your brand leaves the potential for your brand to reach even more thousands of potential customers. Make sure you have all your social media handles in your emails so it’s easy for customers to connect with you on other platforms.

Shop Updates

Email for eCommerce can be used to update your customers on significant changes in your brand. If you have added new products to your catalog, rebranded, or added a brick and mortar shop- these are significant updates your loyal customers want to know.

Ask for Reviews

Want to know what your customers really think about your products? Don’t be afraid to ask them for a review! Reviews play a very crucial role for potential customers to properly understand the pros and cons of your products. Typically customers are open to leaving their opinion (hopefully it’s a good one), they just need to be reminded. There is a great Shopify app, FollowUp Email App, that automatically reminds customers to leave a review after a certain period of time. If they don’t, the app will send another reminder.

All in all, emails are an effective way to stay in contact with your customers, gain trust, and encourage them to come back and shop or engage with your brand. Unlike social media, you actually own your email list, so it’s important to use this to your advantage and stay connected with your audience.