10 Essential Email Flows for Every Ecommerce Store

Discover the top 10 email marketing flows essential for ecommerce success. Learn how these email automation can enhance customer engagement and boost sales.

10 Essential Email Flows for Every Ecommerce Store

Email is one of the most crucial marketing channels for ecommerce. With over 4 billion daily email users, email marketing can help bring in a significant amount of revenue and build lasting relationships with customers.

An important part of email marketing is email flows or automation. In this article, we’ll explore the 10 essential email flows for every ecommerce store.

But first, let’s talk about what email automation is.

What’s an Email Automation?

Email flow (or automation) is a series of emails sent to subscribers based on their contact information, behavior, and preferences.  It’s a tool that allows ecommerce brands to tailor communication with their customer base, depending on which stage of the funnel the customer is at.

Automated emails are triggered by a customer’s action, like placing an order or simply browsing products on a website.

This automation not only streamlines communication but also enhances the customer experience by providing timely, relevant content that resonates with their specific interactions and journey with the brand.

Top 5 Ecommerce Email Flows to Nurture and Convert Leads

Here are the most important automated email to increase revenue and average order value, and achieve better retention rates:

Welcome Flow + Popup

The Welcome Flow is perhaps the most crucial flow in any email marketing strategy, as it marks the initial interaction between a brand and its new subscribers. 

Typically, when visitors land on a brand’s website, they are ‘welcome’ by a pop-up inviting them to provide their email address. To get people to subscribe, brands usually offer an incentive, such as “10% off your first purchase”. Once the visitor signs up, this triggers a series of welcome emails, which play an important role in in introducing the brand and its offerings. These emails are essential for building brand awareness and setting the tone for future communications.

For many customers, the Welcome Flow represents their first personal contact with the brand, making it a foundational element in shaping their initial impression. In fact, according to a recent study, 74.4% of consumers expect to receive a welcome email upon subscribing to a website. This shows the critical role of these emails in meeting customer expectations and beginning the relationship on the right note.

A typical Welcome flow consists of 1 or more emails that provide the customer insight into what the brand is all about, build trust, and provide the discount code promised in the popup.

Welcome Flow + Popup

Abandoned Checkout Flow

The second most important email flow for ecommerce stores is the Abandoned Checkout flow.

A lot of times, a customer lands on your website, adds their desired products to the cart and even fills out their billing and shipping information, but for some reason, they do not end up placing an order. This is where the abandoned checkout automation comes into play. These emails aim to recover lost revenue by prompting the customer to complete their purchase.

A typical abandoned checkout flow consists of at least 2 or more emails, with email #1 being a simple reminder to checkout and email #2 offering customers an exclusive discount for a limited time. Depending on the industry practices and your preferences, you can add more emails.

Abandoned Checkout Flow

Post-Purchase Flow

Email marketing flows are not just for making sales; they also help build lasting customer relationships. It’s important to keep in touch even after a purchase to keep the relationship strong. This can be done by setting up a post-purchase email automation.

A post-purchase email flow is a series of automated emails sent to customers after they successfully complete their purchase. These emails aim to enhance the customer experience, encourage repeat business, and foster stronger relationships.

This flow can comprise of various types of emails, including:

  • Order confirmation
  • Thank you messages
  • Request for feedback or review
  • Tips on how to use or care for the product
  • Cross-sell recommendations based on their purchase history
Post-Purchase Flow

Browse Abandonment Flow

The Browse Abandonment flow is aimed at re-engaging visitors who look at products on a brand's website but leave without adding anything to their cart.

This flow is triggered when visitors browse products on your website but leave without adding anything to their cart. The emails are sent to remind them of what they were browsing and often include personalized recommendations or incentives to encourage the visitors to purchase.

Browse abandonment emails may not be as important as crucial as cart abandonment emails, but they still go a long way in increasing sales by boosting sales and increasing customer engagement. By sending these timely reminders, brands can increase the chances of converting website visitors into buyers.

Added-to-Cart Flow

This email marketing flow is triggered when a potential customers lands on your website, adds product(s) to their cart, but doesn’t proceed to checkout. 

Typically, abandoned cart emails include lines like, “Did something go wrong?” or “Did your WiFi crash?” to express concern and subtly encourage customers to checkout and complete their purchase.

You might be wondering, “Abandoned checkout flow serves the same purpose, so why is there a need for another flow?” You’re not exactly wrong; the only difference between these two flows is that added-to-cart is triggered when someone abandons their cart, whereas abandoned checkout is triggered when someone adds their details on the checkout page but doesn’t click on ‘Place Order’. The strategy for both flows is pretty much the same.

Other Important Email Marketing Flows for Ecommerce Stores

Winback Flow

If you’ve been in the ecommerce sphere for a while, you must know that selling to an existing customer costs much less than acquiring a new customer. It’s also true that repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. This means you should go the extra mile to keep your customers happy and engaged. 

Setting up a Winback flow is possibly one of the most effective ways to re-engage customers who have previously purchased but haven't interacted with the brand for an extended period. This flow is triggered when a previous customer has purchased or interacted with the brand for a set period of time, usually months. 

This series of emails often includes messages that remind the customer of the brand's value, showcase new or updated products, or offer exclusive promotions or discounts to tempt and bring them back.

Site Abandonment Flow

Site Abandonment automation is another email marketing tactic used to re-engage visitors who leave your website without interacting much. In simple words, this flow targets visitors who might browse 2-3 pages but don’t take any action, such as adding to the cart, signing up, or placing an order.

This flow is crucial for reconnecting with potential customers who have shown initial interest but have yet to engage deeply. You can use emails in this automation to tell potential customers more about your brand and get them interested in your offering by highlighting USPs or offering discounts.

Birthday Flow

The Birthday Flow is another marketing strategy that makes customers feel special on their birthday. This flow comprises of personalized email(s) sent to customers on or around their birthday, often including a special offer, discount, or gift as a way of celebrating their special day.

Utilizing a Birthday Flow is an effective way to show customers they are appreciated, which can increase loyalty and encourage repeat business. It's a thoughtful touch that can make a big difference in customer relations and overall brand sentiment.
To implement a Birthday Flow, you only need to collect your subscribers’ birth dates and email addresses. You can do this by adding an optional birthday field to the welcome popup you have added to your website.

VIP Flow

The VIP Flow is an email marketing strategy targeting a brand’s most loyal and frequent shoppers. These emails typically offer VIP customers special perks, such as early access to new products, exclusive discounts, special loyalty rewards, or invitations to private events. The purpose is to make these customers feel recognized and valued for their loyalty to the brand.

To set up a VIP flow, all you have to do is set a criterion. The trigger commonly used by brands is that when the same customer purchases three times or more from the store, they are automatically added to the VIP flow.

Sunset Unengaged Flow

Last but not least, we have the Sunset Unengaged Flow. This is a series of automated emails sent to customers who don’t engage with your brand at all – and this includes opening your emails. 

The purpose of this flow is to make the subscribers notice you, and if they don’t notice your brand even if after this, take it as your last-ditch effort and remove them from your mailing list. In other words, it’s time your sun sets on them (get it?)

The tone for these emails can be a bit threatening, but you have to balance it with being sweet and courteous. Subject lines like, “Not interested? Fine, we won't send you emails now” and “Boy, does that remind you of a family member?” have often proven to be successful for sunset emails.

Key Takeaways

The importance of email marketing is being increasingly recognized by businesses, especially in the ecommerce industry. One of the biggest strengths of this form of marketing is the ability to personalize communication with different audiences according to their interests and preferences. 

The best part about email marketing is that there’s email flow for almost every step of the customer journey, and together, they work quite well to generate more sales, convert lost sales, and build customer loyalty. 

But here’s the catch: designing and implementing these flows is not as easy as it may seem. You need an experienced email marketing partner like DIGITORM to successfully set up and continuously optimize these flows for top-notch performance.

Get in touch with us today for a free email marketing consultation!