Email marketing generates the highest ROI of all the digital channels with a 44 to 1 return on investment, as well as being one of the best ways to encourage repeat purchases. An automated email sequence is effective because it only needs to be set up once and is a completely scalable solution that brings people back to your website driving awareness and new conversions at virtually no cost.
Automated email marketing is a customer retention tool that online sellers can’t afford to overlook but with the many different types of automated campaigns to set-up and optimize, it can be difficult to know which ones to prioritize and start with. We introduced the concept of email marketing automation here, and now we want to show you the five top automated emails that could be making more money for your business. They are welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, first order emails, re-order reminders and VIP customer flows.
1. Welcome Emails
They’re the first email that someone receives when they join your mailing list making them a great opportunity to convert prospects and leads into customers. Because welcome emails have an open rate upwards of around 82% and a click through rate of nearly 26% it’s important not to waste this opening. You need to make sure that the mails are optimized to give them more information about your brand and move subscribers towards a buying decision.
An effective welcome email series usually includes:
- A welcome for new subscribers;
- A time sensitive incentive to encourage users to make a purchase;
- Information about what they can expect from your company; and
- An invitation to connect on other social channels
Get more from your welcome emails through personalization and capturing more information. You can personalize the message by using dynamic content to make it more relevant to the prospect. The welcome email flow can also be used as an opportunity to capture more information from the prospect. This will improve your ability to better segment your email list so that you can set up and send downstream flows that are targeted to specific users according to their preferences.
2. Abandoned Cart Emails
A study by the Baymard Institute estimates that over 81% of online shopping carts are abandoned. But instead of focusing on the negative, rather see this as an excellent opportunity to connect with shoppers who are far down the buying process.
A cart abandonment strategy that is supported by automated cart abandonment emails is crucial as online retailers lose an estimated $4 trillion to cart abandonment. But the exciting news is that statistics show that retailers with an abandonment strategy in place can recover upwards of 63% of that lost revenue.
To get the most from this strategy, rather than relying on a single reminder email, consider sending a sequence of emails that are set to send once a visitor abandons their cart. You can improve the effectiveness of abandonment emails by offering a discount to encourage users to return to the checkout. And this can be further personalized with dynamic content featuring items that they’ve looked at earlier.
There is also scope to extend the abandoned cart email into a sequence of five to seven emails starting with an initial reminder with no offer and answers to common road-blocks to purchase (FAQs on quality, shipping and returns). This mail could then be followed with a time sensitive offer and later by a reminder of the offer.
3. First Order Emails
The emails that you send to a new customer that just purchased something are critical, they’re an opportunity to build a relationship with new customers that will encourage loyalty and hopefully convert them into a lifelong advocate for your brand.
A new customer email automation flow offers dynamic upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and can be used to drive reviews which boost your online reputation by providing social proof. An example flow would include a check-in email, a product arrival follow-up, a request for a review and one or two time-sensitive promotions to encourage additional or upsell purchases.
- Check-in Email (sent immediately) – check that the customer was happy with the ordering process, and make it easy for them to get in contact if they need help or have any questions.
- Product Arrival Follow-Up (sent 2 days after scheduled delivery) – check that their order has been received, and that they’re happy with it.
- Product Review Request (5 days after scheduled delivery) – ask for feedback on the product and your service. This feedback can be used as testimonials on your site and social channels.
- Time Sensitive Promotions (around 5 days later) – here’s your chance to strike while the iron’s hot. Offer a discount on a related product that needs to be used within a couple of days. Send a follow-up email when there are only 24 hours to go before the discount expires.
4. Reorder Reminders
How these are set up will depend on the products or services that you offer. You can align your re-order email strategy to dovetail with your customer’s needs, thereby ensuring that they order from you rather than a competitor.
An example would be a contact lens company that sends a reminder when they know you are going to need more contacts based on what you ordered in the past. This would help to determine when the disposable contacts would be used up.
For other company where re-purchases are not linear, a re-engagement series is a popular alternative. Here you could offer subscribers a discount or special offer to encourage them to first, open your email (essential for good email deliverability) and second, make a re-ordering decision.
5. VIP and Repeat Customer Flows
When you’re thinking about your automated email sequences, it’s important to keep in mind the 80/20 principle. For most businesses, 20% of your customers contribute 80% of your sales. And they’re loyal. So it makes sense to have an automated series specifically for them.
Make sure you’re rewarding them for their purchases and continued loyalty, as well as encouraging them to return and become advocates for your brand. There are many different approaches to doing this, but at the very least you should be curating dynamic content that looks at their past purchases and makes relevant, useful suggestions for new purchases. It’s also critical that they feel valued so inviting them to exclusive sales events or previews to online launches can be effective.
One thing that you want to encourage with repeat buyers is word-of-mouth marketing. These are your most loyal customers and therefore the most likely to want to share about your brand. Emails should include triggers asking them to share their experience on social media, these reviews can then be amplified.
With many different automated email campaigns to choose from, we’d recommend focusing on welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, first order emails, re-order reminders and VIP flow for repeat customers. These are the top five that will convert subscribers to buyers, encourage repeat purchases and build brand loyalty. If you need help with any of these or would like to talk more about your email automation strategy, book some time with our experts.