Five types of emails every ecommerce merchant should send
Every eCommerce store has different products and customers, but the basic types of emails are generally the same. Here are five categories that every merchant should send:
- Abandoned cart emails: When your customer was just about to complete a purchase but got distracted or changed their mind at the last minute, this is a time to nudge them in the right direction. Push them over the finish line by offering a discount or starting a conversation about why they didn't complete their order.
- Customer win-back email series: A welcome email is important for new customers, but you can't forget about your loyal shoppers who haven't come back in a while. Remember that it only takes one compelling offer to reignite their interest and turn them into lifetime fans of your brand (who are also more likely to open other promotional emails).
- Post-purchase emails: Thanking your customer for making a purchase is good business etiquette; however, there's so much more you can do with these messages than say "thanks!" You can recommend similar products, upsell accessories or services, or share content that keeps the customer engaged with your brand even after buying something from you (like tips on how to use what they bought—or interesting things they might not know yet).
- Welcome emails: As mentioned above, welcoming new customers is an essential part of building long-term connections with shoppers—and it starts before they even click "buy now" for the first time! Once someone joins your mailing list or decides to make a purchase from you for the first time, send them a personalized welcome email (I like using this tool because I can set up everything in advance and schedule my campaigns around my life).
- Product update emails: Whether it's sharing information about product changes or giving VIP access before items go on sale publicly, product update emails help keep customers engaged and come back for more.
What is an email autoresponder? - and how to use them for eCommerce sales
An email autoresponder is an automatic sequence of emails sent to your customers after they join a mailing list. Typically, you create a series of emails that go out over time. The last email in the chain is called the "Final Welcome," and it's usually the one that makes your customer feel like they have reached the end goal (and should be ready to buy).
It works: You sign up for an account with MailChimp/Hubspot/Constant Contact/Omnisend (a popular email marketing platform) or another similar service, then upload your contacts. If you have an eCommerce store, then most likely, you already have a CRM solution that collects this information and stores it as part of your sales process.
You can set up any number of sequences to send out to each new subscriber automatically when they join your mailing list. The first couple might be plaintext offers or suggestions for getting the best from their subscription; later ones might include deals on special products, events, and more.
The best email autoresponders for eCommerce stores are ones that work with whatever system you're using for sending emails (MailChimp, Constant Contact) and also ones that allow for easy customization so that if something changes (like prices), you can easily update all emails at once without having to change each one individually manually.
Why are transactional emails important and examples of great transactional emails
Transactional emails are the emails you receive when conducting business online, such as receipt emails and shipping confirmations. They're also triggered by your customers' engagement with your brand — for example, if they're shopping on your website or signing up to receive a special offer from you.
Examples of transactional email:
- Receipts for purchases made in brick-and-mortar stores or on eCommerce sites.
- Confirmations of orders (including payment) made on eCommerce sites. These can include shipping confirmations, too.
- Emails triggered by customer behavior, such as cart abandonment and subscription renewal notifications. You can even send passive email series like gift card reminders or product recommendations (we'll cover these types of automated transactional emails later in this chapter).
- How to capitalize on them: Since these are often one-time purchases that are simple to make — like buying a pair of shoes online — there's not much benefit in adding more content beyond what the original receipt shows. But using an automatic email service provider like Mailgun makes it easy to add customized content to each receipt and lets you take advantage of full automation, so you don't even have to log into your account and send them out manually!