The WHAT, WHY and WHEN of Email Marketing Flows

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All about email marketing flows

Did you read those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books when you were a kid? Email flows are a bit like that. Instead of bombarding your entire subscriber list with the exact same emails at the exact same time, an email marketing flow allows you to send out automated emails based on different filters and customer’s behaviors. 

The outcome? Your subscribers receive emails which are relevant to their journey and behavior patterns, meaning the content meets them where they’re at. And the more relevant the content – the more likely the email is to be opened, read and acted on. 

WHY You Should Use Email Flows

Intuitively knowing when to send the correct customer the correct email is a bit like playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. While blindfolded. In the dark. In short, it’s frustrating and fruitless and there is a better way.

That’s where flows come into play. Email flows help you to segment and target your subscriber list – and the best part is that they play an important role in turning leads into first time customers and first time customers into loyal lifetime customers. 

WHEN You Should Use Email Flows

There are five basic or essential flows which ensure your subscribers get the information they need, when they need it:

1. Welcome Flows

welcome flow sequence email

After customers and potential customers sign up, they expect some form of communication. This is where a Welcome Flow comes in. The Welcome Flow is a sequence of emails sent to new subscribers educating them about your brand, products and services. The content is compelling and gives the reader reasons to engage. Done right, the Welcome Flow is one of the most powerful automations available. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.  

2. Browse Abandoned Flows

A Browse Abandoned Flow targets the window shoppers. Those who (hopefully) liked what they saw but weren’t quite ready to make a purchase. The difference between this and Added to Cart and Cart Abandon Flows is that the subscriber is a step behind: they haven’t added anything to their cart… yet. A Browse Abandon Flow is how you can turn that around and recapture lost conversions. You can give them the push they need to take that step with this series of highly personalized communications – all the while continuing to build your brand.  Read more about the results to expect from all the “Abandoned” flows on our white paper. 

3. Cart Abandoned Flows

The Added to Cart or simple Abandoned Cart flow tends to target more casual potential shoppers who have yet to start checkout. This flow is triggered when someone adds a single item to their cart. An important step in recovering lost sales, this flow also serves as a powerful brand building touch point with prospective customers. 

4. Checkout Abandoned Flows

Abandoned Checkout flow

A Checkout Abandon Flow is used to encourage users to return to the site and buy the items abandoned in their carts despite having started the checkout process. This series of emails is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers. Interacting with them on a personal level – through complimenting their picks or doing them the favor of holding their items for them while they decide – builds trust and customers begin to view your brand as engaging and helpful.

5. Post Purchase Flows


Used to thank customers for the sale and to encourage them to return to the site and make a second sale (cross-sell and up-sell), the Post Purchase Flow is split into two parts: before and after the arrival of the purchase. It is also a way to generate user reviews and an important part of keeping your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds

And two more advanced setups sometimes used:

6. Re-Engagement Flow

Affectionately known as the ‘We Miss You’ flow, this is a communication sent to your subscribers after a period of no engagement.    

6. Win-Back Flows

A Win-Back Flow is used to entice past customers back to the site to make another purchase after a period of prolonged absence. If you’re wondering what the value of this flow is, consider the fact that it costs a lot more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Whatever the customer’s reason may be for their absence, this series can be used to win them back by reminding them of the benefits of your brand and product as well as enticing them back with an offer. 

In a world where your customer base is being targeted by more blanket marketing than ever before, you need to deliver a personalized customer experience in order to stand out. Get in touch if you are ready to learn more about Hustler Marketing’s Email Flow Strategy, or how we can optimize your existing flows.

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