In every eCommerce company’s marketing stack, email marketing continues to be an essential tool to reach their customers directly and generate revenue. One of the most cost-effective ways to use email marketing is by creating automated email flows. In this article, we will discuss eight email marketing flows (basic and advanced), how they work, and how to make them effective. This way, you’ll know how to use eCommerce email flows to generate revenue, nurture customer relationships, and promote brand loyalty.
1. Basic Ecommerce Email Flows
If you’re new to email marketing, the best is to start with these five basic eCommerce email flows: the Welcome Flow, Post-Purchase Flow, and Abandonment Flows (for browse, cart, and checkout abandonment). Setting up these basic flows is a great way to ensure you have a continuous revenue stream from email marketing.
1. A. Welcome Flow
The welcome flow is a series of emails triggered when someone signs up for your email list for the first time.
The welcome series usually consists of 3-6 emails that should be carefully crafted to engage and convert new subscribers into customers. While this is one of the basic email flows you need to have in your marketing strategy, it is also one of the most important ones to have in place. This is because most people make a purchase within 10 days of subscribing to a mailing list.
To make the most of this flow, follow these tips:
- Highlight your best sellers and their unique selling points
- Share your brand’s our founder’s story
- Offer promotions or discount codes to encourage non-buyers to make their first purchase
The welcome flow is the first close and direct impression a prospective customer has of your brand, so you need to make it count!
1.B. Browse Abandonment Flow
According to a study by Google, 53% of shoppers do research before making a purchase, which is why browse abandonment emails are not only a nice extra, but a basic element of any email marketing strategy.
The browse abandonment flow is triggered when a shopper views a product but doesn’t proceed to checkout or complete a purchase. This flows targets shoppers in the early stages of making a purchase, so they haven’t yet committed to any one brand or product. Therefore, the goal is to re-engage visitors and encourage them to return and buy something.
However, many brands send generic browse abandonment emails that are insufficient. Effective browse abandonment emails should:
- Address why the shopper didn’t buy the product
- Offer solutions to the recipients’ concerns.
- Showcase product reviews
- Highlight the refund or guarantee policies
- Build trust and authority
- Offer incentives such as discounts or free shipping in later emails
1.C. Added to Cart Abandonment Flow
When a potential customer adds products to their cart but leaves the site without completing the purchase, the abandoned cart flow is triggered. This automation aims to remind the customer about the item(s) they left behind and encourage them to complete the purchase.
The added-to-cart abandonment flow is very much needed, regardless of whether you already have a browse abandonment flow. Those who have added items to their cart are at a more advanced stage in the customer journey and have a higher purchase intent than those who only browsed a few products without taking any further action. Therefore, having separate flows to address these two types of customers’ unique needs is a must.
According to, our white paper on Abandoned Flow Emails, abandoned cart email flows generate an average of 7.5% revenue making them the highest-performing in this metric across campaigns and flows. To create effective abandoned cart emails, you must address the questions your potential customers are asking themselves:
- Will this product work for me?
- Is it worth the price?
- Is this something I’d like?
Answering these concerns, showcasing product reviews, providing incentives such as discounts or free shipping, and including a clear call-to-action can increase the chances of conversion and boost your revenue.
1.D. Checkout Abandonment Flow
The Checkout Abandonment Flow is triggered when someone initiates the checkout process but leaves the website without completing their order. With this automation, you can remind these customers that they are just one click away from getting their products and encourage them to complete their purchases.
In fact, for most eCommerce stores, the Checkout Abandoned flow is the most revenue-generating flow after the Welcome flow series. These two flows are the most critical for any store and can generate anywhere between 20-50% of the total flow revenue.
Customers who have reached the checkout stage are at the very bottom of the funnel, indicating a high level of purchase intent. To effectively use this flow, your first abandoned checkout emails should be friendly reminders that are brief and to the point. However, for later emails in the flow, it’s essential to use social proof, urgency, and scarcity tactics, unique selling points of the brand and products, exclusive discounts, and other incentives to encourage them to complete their purchase.
1.E. Post-Purchase Flow
The Post-Purchase flow is a crucial component of any successful email marketing strategy. This flow is triggered when a customer completes an order on your website. While many businesses treat this flow as an order confirmation flow, it is important to have a post-purchase flow that focuses on nurturing your relationship with your customers, cross-selling and upselling, and ensuring customer satisfaction.
There are many different email types you can include in this automation to make it effective.
- A thank you email is a great way to show appreciation to your customers for choosing your brand.
- Behind-the-scenes emails can give your customers an exclusive look into the day-to-day operations of your brand.
- Educational emails on how to take care of their recent purchase or how to use it can help ensure customer satisfaction.
- If you have a rewards program, you can also remind your customers that they have earned points because of their recent purchase.
- Cross-sell or up-sell emails can take advantage of the fact that your customers are in a buying mood.
- You can offer exclusive discounts to use on their next purchase as well.
To decide which of these emails to use, you can expand your post-purchase flows and create different branches based on the number of times a person has bought from your brand, tailoring your emails accordingly.
2.A. Replenishment Flow
If you want to build authentic, long-term relationships with your customers and increase customer lifetime value, consider implementing a subscription model. When someone finds a product that works for them, they tend to stick with it, so why not make it easier for them to keep coming back? That’s where replenishment flows come in.
A replenishment flow helps automate the reordering process for your customers. It is triggered when a certain time has passed since a customer ordered a product and now is likely running low on it and needs to restock. This strategy works particularly well for marketing of health and wellness brands, but it can be applied to any business that sells products with predictable usage patterns.
To create an effective replenishment flow, you’ll need to review your existing purchase data and determine the established buying cycles of your customers and products. This will help you send timely reminders to customers when it’s time to reorder, and ensure that you’re providing value without being too pushy.
2.B. Back-in-Stock Flow
The Back-in-Stock Flow is a valuable automation to have if your best-selling products frequently go out of stock. By using this flow, you can recover lost sales that would have otherwise been missed due to your products being unavailable at any point in time.
Here’s how it works. When a customer subscribes to receive news on an out-of-stock product on your site, they’ll be added to a Back-in-Stock flow waiting list that triggers an email only when you have restocked the product.
When setting up this email, keep your messaging focused on the product they showed interest in and avoid overwhelming them with cross-selling or upselling offers at this point. Remember, the main goal of this flow is to inform subscribers about the restocking, remind them why they wanted the product, and encourage them to take action before it sells out again.
2.F. VIP Flow
A VIP flow is a powerful way to recognize and reward your most loyal customers. These are the customers who love your brand and regularly engage with your products or services. Therefore, it’s important to treat them like the VIPs they are.
The trigger for a VIP flow is when a customer joins your VIP segment. The criteria for joining this segment can vary depending on your business and your data. It could be based on the number of orders placed, the total amount spent, or loyalty program points earned.
To create an effective VIP flow, you need to segment your audience. Do this based on your data and choose the right perks to offer to your VIPs. Perks can include early access to sales or new products, exclusive discounts, personalized customer service, and more.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to offer discounts or coupons immediately upon someone reaching VIP status. The appreciation and anticipation of future VIP treatment and perks are often enough to make customers feel valued.
While VIP flows are essential, it’s also important to nurture your VIP customers year-round through email campaigns. This can include sending them exclusive content, personalized offers, and other special treatment. Doing this on a regular basis will keep them engaged and loyal to your brand.
By implementing these flows, you’ll create a personalized experience for your customers and increase their lifetime value.
While you should definitely start with the five basic flows, don’t just stop there! Take your email marketing to the next level. Explore all the different types of eCommerce email flows available to your business. This way, you’ll be able to create a tailored experience that will have your customers coming back for more.
Setting up and maintaining these flows can be a lot of work, but the payoff is well worth it. And the good thing is that you don’t have to do it all alone. Our team is here to help you every step of the way, from strategizing to implementation. So what are you waiting for? Book a free call with us and let’s get started on taking your email marketing game to the next level!