Email marketing is a powerful tool ecommerce businesses can use to increase sales. It allows you to communicate directly with your customers and can be used to create a variety of different flows depending on your goals.

While you'll want to send out individual email marketing campaigns when you have something specific to promote, like a new product launch or holiday sale, automated email flows drive 17.8x more revenue on average than one-off promotional emails.

Why? Because automated flows respond directly to a customer's behavior. So you're sending relevant marketing messages when it's going to make an impact. On the other hand, when you send a one-off campaign, like a new product launch email, your customers might not be in the buying mood, so they are less likely to convert.

So as you're crafting your ecommerce email marketing strategy for your brand, consider including these nine essential automated email flows to drive more sales.

1. Welcome email sequence

When someone subscribes to your brand's email list, it's the moment they're most excited about you. So it's the perfect opportunity to help new subscribers get to know your ecommerce store with a welcome email sequence. It helps you set the stage for lasting customer relationships.

Your welcome email sequence can include:

  • A thank you: It's a privilege to be able to speak directly to your customers, so thank them for subscribing. Some ecommerce businesses have a simple branded thank-you message, while others include a letter from their founder, which can feel more personal.

  • Any discount or resource you promised: If you offered a discount for subscribing or a resource, like product recommendations from a quiz they took or a downloadable, like a guide to an eco-friendly home.

  • An introduction to your brand: What sets you apart? Is it your origin story that your audience typically connects to? Shared values? Share it here.

  • Educational information about your products: Help your email subscribers get to know the value of your products, whether that's special materials or ingredients you use, ethical or sustainable manufacturing processes, or innovative technology.

  • A reminder about their discount: If you've provided a discount to subscribers, remind them that it will expire towards the end of your welcome sequence.

Welcome email flows can vary in length, and you can play around with which elements you include in which emails. Once a customer purchases, program your welcome flow to end there. Your welcome sequence has done its job, and you don't want to pester your audience with unwanted messages.

2. Browse abandonment emails

If a customer looked at a product on your site but didn't add it to their cart, send them a browse abandonment email reminding them about that product. You can take this opportunity to educate them about the product more or highlight reviews from happy customers.

Consider providing an incentive to purchase, like a discount code or limited-time offer.

3. Cart abandonment flow

Like browse abandonment emails, cart abandonment emails are triggered when someone adds something to their shopping cart but doesn't complete the purchase.

You can send a series of follow-up email campaigns that help draw customers across the finish line.

That could be more information about the product, highlights of customer reviews, or reminders of your free shipping and returns policy.

This flow helps remind customers about items they are interested in and gives them that extra push to complete their purchase.

4. Transactional emails

Transactional emails include order confirmations, shipping notifications, and delivery confirmations.

While these may seem like simple administrative messages, they give customers peace of mind that their order is being processed and is on its way.

It allows them to verify their shipping and payment information and helps them track the delivery to their door.

5. Post-purchase flows

Many brands disappear after a customer converts. But post-purchase flows are essential for customer retention and can lead to fewer returns and more repeat purchases.

Consider sending:

  • Thank you emails: Show your gratitude for their purchase and reinforce their decision to buy from you with a thank you message.

  • Loyalty program information: Share your rewards program and how loyal customers can earn rewards for continuing to shop with you.

  • Product education: Help customers learn more about their new product and how to use it. This is particularly important in reducing returns.

  • Product review requests: Asking for customer feedback can improve your products and provide social proof to attract new customers.

  • Referral program: Invite customers to refer friends and family to your ecommerce business and offer incentives for doing so, like loyalty points or discounts on future purchases. You can connect these to your review software so that these emails only go out to happy customers.

  • Upsell and cross-sell emails: Suggest similar or complementary products they may be interested in based on their previous purchases. Upsell messages should be sent right after checkout to encourage customers to upgrade their purchase before it ships. Cross-sell emails can be sent at any point in your post-purchase flow.

6. Replenishment reminder

For products that need to be frequently replaced, like vitamins or pet food, consider setting up a replenishment reminder flow for existing customers. This can help turn one-time customers into repeat customers.

You'll be doing your customers a favor, too. It's easy to forget to re-order a product at just the right time. And if they forget to place an order before they need more, they might opt to shop locally instead.

7. Back-in-stock notice

If you have a product that is out of stock, keep track of interested customers with an email sign-up on the product page.

Then, when the product is restocked, you can automatically let customers know who are already interested in purchasing.

8. Winback series

If a customer hasn't purchased in a while, send them an email offering special deals or discounts to entice them back to your online store.

Consider letting them know about any new updates that might bring them back in, like a new charity you support, technology you've developed, product improvements made, or even recent awards your brand has received.

Winback emails are about getting dormant subscribers to fall in love with you all over again.

9. Birthday email

If you collect customer birthday information, send them a special offer or discount on their birthday to show appreciation and celebrate with them.

This can make customers feel special and lead to repeat purchases and customer loyalty.

Supplement your email flows with SMS

In addition to email marketing, consider supplementing with SMS to reach customers on a more engaging channel.

SMS is great for time-sensitive information, like discount reminders and order updates. You can also sprinkle SMS into things like your cart abandonment series and replenishment series.

Text message marketing has a 3.8x higher open rate than email, so it can be particularly beneficial if a customer hasn't acted on an email you sent.

Boost your automated flows with the best SMS marketing platform on the market. Emotive connects to your email marketing tool and ecommerce platform so you can reach customers with relevant messages based on their actions.

Automate two-way conversations for product recommendations, replenishment, feedback, abandoned carts, and more. Customers can even place orders right in the text thread without the hassle of going to your ecommerce site.

Learn how Emotive can become your next best revenue channel. Try it free today.