With all of the talk about virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and chatbots, it’s not a surprise that many e-commerce store owners consider email marketing as outdated and no longer valid.
This cannot be furthest from the truth, as email marketing plays a pivotal role in your marketing strategy, and it’s still the best way to provide personalized and valuable content that, in return, increases your conversion rates (and adds up to your bottom line).
A quick look at data can prove this statement:
- “96% of people … would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with”. (McKinsey). Yes, you read that right – 96% of people prefer receiving emails from businesses (like you).
- Email marketing is a cost-effective tool. In 2015, it was reported that “email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent” (emailmonday). A more recent study, however, sees an increase in the return of investment you get from your email marketing – “For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 (DMA, 2019)”. Is there any other tool that would give you such a high and stable ROI?
- The number of active email users is forecasted to reach 4.3 billion in 2023.
As you can see, the numbers prove that email marketing is a cost-effective, trackable, powerful, and efficient way to foster relations with customers in your store. Plus, if you automate your email messages, you can nurture customers that would otherwise be left behind.
Yet, starting using email marketing and building email sequences can be a little confusing and overwhelming at the beginning. To overcome this challenge, we created this blog post that will:
- Give you directions on how to start utilizing the power of email marketing (the right way).
- Give you clarity on what email sequences are and why your store needs them.
- Show you 5 of the most powerful email sequences your store needs to have and how you can write them.
- Give you some of the best practices that you should keep in mind when building your sequences (that would save you a lot of time and resources).
All in all, the information you will read can make all of the difference between running a successful and not-so-successful email marketing campaign.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
First things first- what is an email sequence?
Email sequences (also known as email automation, email drips, or email campaigns) are series of emails deployed to your target audience over a certain period of time, based on predetermined criteria.
Emails sequences are a powerful way to move your customers to the point of conversion – and conversion can mean becoming a customer, becoming a repeat customer, gaining lost customers, or any other goal your store wants to attain.
The more personalized, authentic, and valuable content you provide to your audience, the closer you would be to achieving your business goals. That is why having some key email sequences for achieving different goals is of crucial importance.
Why your e-commerce store has to build email sequences?
As an e-commerce store owner, your to-do list is long – you should add products, promote them, drive traffic, create content, to name just a few. But all of this can be a lot easier if you have some key email sequences in place.
Because by building targeted email messages, you get the chance to welcome, nurture, re-target and take care of your prospects and customers (that otherwise would be left behind) while you can focus on the profit-generating activities of your business. That is a lot of burden that you can take off your plate.
And the fact of the matter is that if you are running any kind of paid traffic to your store and don’t have some email sequence (that welcomes and nurtures your subscribers at least), you are not only leaving money on the table – you are wasting it.
5 email sequences your store needs
Now that we have established the importance of building email sequences, let’s look at some of the email automation that your store needs and what content you should include in them.
The 5 email sequences that will help you increase your conversion rates (hence adds to your bottom line) are:
- Welcome sequence
- Nurturing sequence
- Abandoned cart sequence
- Re-Engagement sequence
- Upsell sequence
1) Welcome sequence
Your welcome sequence is a series of emails built to welcome your new subscribers.
What do you do when you go to someone’s house? Do you just walk in? Of course not – you wait to be welcomed and shown around. The same applies to your new subscribers.
Your welcome sequence should show your new subscribers what they will get by joining your email list and what they can expect from you. Your welcome sequence should also tackle their pain points and show them that you are an authority that genuinely wants to help them (not just sell them something).
Your welcome sequence can look like this:
Email 1: Welcome your new subscribers and set some expectations (when they will hear back from you and what to expect). You can go the extra mile and make your customers feel special by including some small gift in your welcome email. It can be a freebie, free shipping, discount, free samples for orders of a certain amount, or whatever you decide is appropriate. This is a great strategy to make your customers happy and remember your brand – after all, who doesn’t want some free goodies?
Email 2: Show them that you are an authority in your field, tell your story, why you do what you do and how this is related to your audience. For instance, you can tell them that you had problem X (a burning problem your audience has) that was always driving you nuts and messing with your confidence (or any other way that the problem has affected you and your target audience) until you found a solution (the products you are offering). Remember, you have to be genuine and try to tie their problem with the solution (products you are offering).
Email 3: Give them something valuable (a tip, resource, whatever it is that will really can help them out)!
2) Nurturing sequence
Now that you’ve welcomed your new subscribers, what do you do? Well, it is time to nurture them. And when you nurture your new subscribers, you try to give them the information they need to keep them intrigued and make them buy your products.
The onboarding sequence helps your leads understand how to use your products and why what you have to offer is the best solution for them. Your nurturing sequence should always follow the number one marketing rule – what is in it for them. In other words, what are they getting if they purchase your products?
Your nurturing sequence can look like this:
Email 1: Send a thank you email (thank them for being your subscriber).
Email 2: Give them value and try to help them as much as you can with a pain point they have.
Email 3: Introduce yourself and your business.
Email 4: Give them more value (help them out with another problem).
Email 5: Present your products and show how they can benefit your subscribers.
Of course, you can spread your nurturing sequence into as many emails as you wish. You can create ten emails and automate them to be sent every week (this way, your audience will receive personalized emails from you while you are taking care of your profit-generating activities). This is the beauty and power of email sequences.
3) Abandoned Cart Email Sequence
Abandoned cart sequence is another series of emails that can be triggered once your customer leaves the checkout without purchasing.
People can visit your website, go around, fill their cart, and then something might happen – the cat might jump on and spill some coffee on them, they might get hungry, go for a snack and forget about your awesome products.
Or they might abandon the cart because your website’s speed is too slow, the delivery time might be more than they expected, or the cart might seem too expensive.
Whatever the reason, you need a way to get at least some of those customers back and understand what the issue might be (so that you can resolve it if it is something related to your store).
And that is why abandoned card emails are so powerful – they help you retrieve some of the customers you have already lost and help you get some feedback as to why they left without purchasing.
Your abandoned cart email sequence might look like this:
Email 1: Remind them about the products they left in the cart.
Email 2: You may include some or all of the following:
- Ask questions (why the purchase was not completed).
- Try to answer their objections.
- Show social proof to show how your product will help them.
Email 3: Offer some discounts to incentivize them
4) Re-Engagement sequence
The truth is, some subscribers will turn inactive after some time. There are numerous reasons why this might happen:
- They lose interest in your products.
- They don’t understand how your products benefit them.
- They found an alternative to your products.
- Or they might simply forget about you and the products that you are offering.
Whatever the reason, you have to invest some efforts to win back some of those inactive subscribers and turn them into paying clients. According to Invesp, it costs five times higher to gain a new customer than turn an inactive subscriber into a customer.
So, it’s worth the time and effort to win back some of your inactive subscribers. Remember, they have signed up for a reason, so you have to remind them of that reason and try to spark their interest.
To do that, you can build a re-engagement sequence whose sole purpose is to remind those inactive customers about you, the value of your products, and how your products can be a change-maker for them. Once they see and understand the real benefit they get by using your products; they will head over to the checkout.
So your re-engagement sequence might look like this:
Email 1: You can send them “we miss you” or “we haven’t seen you in a while” email.
Email 2: You can incentivize them to try your products by giving them a special discount or a special gift. Who doesn’t love to feel special?
Email 3: Offer extra value to spark their interest and grab their attention. Always try to put yourself into your subscriber’s shoes, meaning that you should always try to tie your re-engagement (and all other) emails with how that would improve their lives and solves a pain point they have.
Email 4: Show your inactive subscribers what they have missed. You can also spark your subscriber’s interest by giving them FOMO (fear of missing out). Show them what they can miss and give them the incentive to come back.
5) Upsell sequence
The upsell (or post-purchase) email sequence offers you a unique opportunity to cross-sell and upsell to your customers. It not only increases your average order value but also gives you an opportunity to gain a raving fan.
Your upsell sequence might look like this:
Email 1: Order Confirmation and Upsell.
You can use your order confirmation email and add something that your client might like to buy as an add-on to the current purchase they just have made. You can also offer them some incentive to buy your upsell (for instance, a discount code). For instance, if your customer just bought a bike, they might also be interested in being some safety equipment or some accessories for their brand new bike.
Email 2: Ask for a review.
Once your client receives their products, ask them for their sincere opinion. This will give you a great chance to improve your products. Plus, clients love to know that their opinions matter.
Email 3: Introduce a time-sensitive offer.
Give them FOMO (fear of missing out). Remind them how special is the offer that you are making.
Email 4: Remind them that the time to get their special offer is running out.
Best practices on building email sequences:
Now that you know what the different types of email sequences should look like and what to include in them, you should be aware of some of the best practices for writing your emails (that can save you a lot of time and resources):
- Pay extra attention to your email and name. Your target audience should recognize that they are getting an email from your brand and that they can easily hit respond and reply if they have some question or want to leave feedback. So, it is important to avoid sending emails from a “no-reply” email address where your subscribers will hit a dead-end if they try to reach you out.
- Choose your subject line carefully. Before sending your email, think if you were in your customers’ shoes, would you open this email. Carefully curated subject lines are what make your customers open your email. Try to make your subject line interesting, provoking, and sparking interest. With that being said, it is important never ever to mislead your audience. Remember, subject lines are promises, and when they click on the subject line, they should receive exactly what they were promised to (or they would quickly hit the unsubscribe now button).
- Mind mobile. Many of your subscribers will open your email from mobile. So it’s important to make sure that your email looks nice on all devices.
- Keep it short and focused. Average adult’s attention is less than that of a goldfish – 8 seconds. Eight seconds is all you get to win or lose your subscribers. So make sure that your email has a great subject line, and it’s easy to screen through. Make your call to action very clear and easy to follow.
Now that you understand email marketing and email sequences’ power, it’s time to apply that knowledge and start writing your automation campaigns.
Take baby steps and start building your email sequences one at a time. When you build and send out your first sequence, it is important to measure the results – how can you improve the sequence, what can you make better? Once you have more feedback, you can keep improving your customer’s experience.
If you have any questions, just let us know. Seriously, we would love to hear back from you. You can contact us below!