Building your email list is a straight up hack to getting more sales. When a shopper subscribes, you know two things – they are interested in what your store is selling and most importantly the fact that you have established a direct channel for communicating with them. While most stores will implement the latest tactics like gamification to turn visitors into subscribers, not enough have strategies in place to boost online sales using this data.
In this blog, we’re sharing a list of emails that your online store should automate to improve customer engagement and boost online sales.
Automated emails to boost online sales
1. Abandoned cart emails
First things first, we all know that most shoppers will add products to the cart and leave without making a purchase. So much so that the average cart abandonment rate across different industries is about 69.57%. That’s more than half your sales getting lost simply because the shopper did not make up his mind or found a better deal.
But if it’s the first case, you still have a chance to recover the abandoned cart – as long as you reach out and engage the shopper in a timely manner.
Setting up automation for abandoned cart emails is simple. All you need to figure out is a drip campaign that reaches out to the shopper at least three times after abandonment:
- 24 hours later
- 48 hours later
- 72 hours later
Apart from timing, your cart recovery email should focus on using personalization. It doesn’t just mean sending across the products they left behind but also using a copy that speaks to them on a 1:1 basis. You could use the opportunity to also educate about the products they left behind, highlighting why they should buy them right away. Although the one tactic that always works in recovering carts to boost online sales is offering an additional discount.
2. Welcome emails
Considering that a typical online shopper has at least ten stores to choose from when making a purchase, you want to make an impression the moment one trusts you enough to share their email address. That’s where welcome email automation comes in.
According to Omnisend, welcome emails have an average open rate of 45%, which only goes to say that a shopper expects to receive this email once they subscribe to your store’s email list. But what do you send to someone you don’t know much about?
You can use welcome email automation to simply make the shopper feel at home and tell them how happy you are to see them join your community. You could also take the opportunity to share a little about your brand and what makes your products unique, nudging them to explore your collection. Additionally, you can let them know that they can connect with you on other social platforms to keep a tab on discounts, contests, product launches and more.
In this case too, if you want to see immediate results, sending them a special coupon for their first purchase can boost online sales. Here’s an example of Overstock giving a 15% off to their new subscribers to encourage a purchase.
3. Product review request email
Social proof has proven to be one of the most effective ways to boost online sales for a store. When shoppers see others like them have made a purchase from your brand and being happy with them, they tend to trust you more – much more than the promises you make in your ad campaigns.
So when a subscriber makes a purchase, remember to follow-up in a timely manner asking them to drop a rating, review or a quick testimonial for your store. This will not just help you curate social proof for your store, but also establish a rapport for being a brand that truly cares about the customer’s experience.
Your product review request email should be automated for a few days after the order is delivered. You want to be sure that you’re giving the shopper enough time to experience the product.
If you’re wondering why a shopper would make the effort of dropping a review, your skepticism is correct. You may have to incentivize the action for them – be it offering a small discount in lieu of a review, offering in-store points or cash back. It all depends on what type of shoppers your store is getting.
4. Celebrating emails
Take a look at your own shopping behavior. You tend to make more purchases during festivities or your own birthday. Now apply the same psychology on your shoppers and automate emails that celebrate little things with them.
A good place to start is an automated birthday email. If the shopper has signed up for an account on your store and shared this information, of course. Send in a quick email wishing them, offering a discount that is meant ‘just for them’ and recommend a few products curated based on their previous purchases.
Here’s an example of how Anthropologie joining in their subscribers and customers on their birthday.
If the subscriber hasn’t made a purchase from your store yet or hasn’t shared details like their birthday, use the holiday season to join them in the celebrations. An automated email sharing your holiday collection or offer is a great way to boost online sales.
Here’s an example from Canvas Pop.
5. Targeted newsletter emails
The only way to ensure that you remain at the top of a shopper’s mind is to keep them engaged with fresh content – these could be the latest products you’ve added to your store, a new collection you curated or something you shared on the blog. While newsletters are said to no longer be as effective to boost online sales, they’re a great way to improve brand recall and that can turn your subscriber into sales.
Here’s an example from Iconic. The store sends a weekly newsletter to its subscribers with distinct sections for each product they want them to explore or make a purchase.
6. New stock emails
One good practice that online stores need to follow is to not wait for shoppers to come back to the store and explore new products on their own. You should nudge that action out of them. That’s where automated new stock emails are a must.
Knowing a store they subscribed to is adding new products frequently, is a great way to keep subscribers, new customers and existing ones coming back for more purchases.
Here’s an example from Kate Spade.
7. Back in stock emails
Similar to how you notify subscribers on the new stock, a great way to boost online sales is to automate your back in stock emails. If the shopper has subscribed to be notified of a product that was out of stock when he visited, hook them back by reaching out to them with a special discount along with the back in the stock message.
You can also use the shopper’s browsing behavior to identify what products they have shown interest in. using that data, you can set up back in stock emails for those products. If you don’t have that data yet, use back in stock emails to promote your popular products or those that got sold out fast.
Here’s an example of Lulu’s back in stock email.
8. Upsell emails
The one way to boost online sales is to focus on getting your existing customers to buy more. These are shoppers who are aware of your brand, have made purchases before and will need lesser convincing to make another purchase. That’s why you need to put your customer data to use and automate your upsell emails.
Use these emails to recommend a product that goes well with the one that the shopper has recently purchased, or even abandoned. You never know that seeing two products come at a good deal might nudge them to complete the purchase or make more.
Here’s an example from Williams-Sonoma. Their upsell email also helps them increase their product visibility.
Which emails should your store automate to boost online sales?
Well, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to using email marketing to boost online sales. The goal of email automation is to be able to keep your subscribers and existing customers engaged, and coming back for more.
The more data-driven and contextual your email is, the higher are the conversion rates to boost online sales.
So first, remember to segment your subscribers based on their on-site activity, previous purchase, purchase preferences and data that tells you how they make purchases. Then use these segmented lists to create automated email campaigns that look personalized to the T!
Once you have the strategy in place to engage your active and inactive subscribers, all you need to do is pick an email marketing tool that enables you to set up the automation you need.
What’s the one email you’ve automated and the email marketing tool you used for it to boost online sales? We’d love to hear all about how you used automation to grow your store.
Ready to turn subscribers into customers?
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