You’ve probably heard the buzz around email marketing and how eCommerce store owners are using automation to grow their businesses. But what are automated flows exactly? What do they mean to your business? And why should you care? You might be surprised at how many benefits automated flows can provide! We’ll cover the 10 most common types of automated flows, what they mean, and how they can help you achieve your business goals in this comprehensive guide on email marketing and automating your eCommerce store.
1. Welcome Flow
The Welcome Flow is an automated flow that is triggered when a lead completes a form on your website. It’s used as an introductory flow to welcome new leads and provide them with resources that will help them understand what you do and how you can help them. This will create an immediate connection between you, your brand, and your potential customer. The objective is simple: convert your potential customers into leads and use automation as a way to share your story with them. Welcome flows are typically triggered after someone fills out a form. Some websites ask visitors to sign up via a popup or slide-in form, others will ask customers at the checkout stage. If you’re not using some kind of lead capture method yet, start now! Welcome flows should be part of every marketing strategy. They promote engagement, build trust with your audience, and improve conversion rates.
2. Browse Abandonment
A browse abandonment flow is a type of automated flow that will send an email to your subscribers once they leave your site without buying. It’s a nice way to reach out to your potential customers one last time in order to keep them interested in what you have to offer. In many cases, these flows are triggered when someone browses an individual product page but doesn’t complete a purchase on that page. The emails should be personalised with details about their previous browsing activity. And while it can take some testing, scheduling and designing, there are several ways to set up auto-emails like these so that they run automatically whenever needed.
3. Abandoned Cart Email Sequence
If a customer adds an item to their cart but leaves your site without buying, you need to send them an email. This automated flow can help boost sales by reminding customers about items in their cart and encouraging them to buy. For example, after a 24-hour period, you might send a sequence starting with Hi [insert customers name here]! You added [Product X] to your shopping cart yesterday, but didn’t complete checkout. Are you still interested? The goal is to create enough value so that potential buyers feel compelled to finish checking out on a different day. By automating your follow up through personalised communications (such as these abandoned cart emails), businesses increase open rates by 67%, according to Adestra and Hubspot research.
4. Thank you and post-purchase
It’s common knowledge that thank you page or email is what comes after purchase. A customer receives a product, follows up with an email containing order information (or survey), then sees either thank you message or calls to action. Some retailers keep their messaging simple, while others dive deeper into how their product may solve problems—making the purchase appear less like a shopping experience, but more like an educational journey. Many brands take advantage of these post-purchase flows to help them sell additional products. If used correctly, your post-purchase flow can be part of your marketing strategy well beyond the sale. It’s great for nurturing leads as well as encouraging repeat business and referrals.pecialis
5. Review Request
Review Request is a term given to an automated flow that sends out a targeted email to customers asking them to leave feedback on a business or product. Because social proof is such an important part of any business—especially in eCommerce—making your presence known is crucial to its success. Not only will you encourage more positive social proof, but you’ll also be able to learn from it as well. This will help you pinpoint problem areas and work to create better experiences for your audience while ensuring they have what they need to enjoy their shopping experience with you. This can boost retention and bring customers back time after time!
6. Cross-Sell & Up-Sell
These automated flows will send targeted emails to your customers, offering related products and services that may be relevant to them. As such, cross-selling can be a great way to generate more revenue by upselling. For example, if a customer buys one pair of shoes from your store, you might follow up with an email offering other shoe styles or add-ons that complement their purchase. You could also offer discounts on additional items! The idea is to make it as easy as possible for a customer to buy another product in addition to what they’ve already purchased. If used effectively, cross-sell (and upsell) emails can have a huge impact on revenue growth over time.
7. Back in Stock
The back in stock flow reminds customers to buy when a product becomes available. These automated flows are relatively simple to set up because they often use pre-built templates, but they can be very effective in generating sales. When someone receives a message that a particular item is back in stock, it’s likely that person will go right back to their cart and complete their purchase. As long as you have enough inventory on hand, making use of these reminders can ensure you don’t lose a potential sale. You may also want to consider sending follow-up messages. You could start by having an initial email saying something like “Amazing news! [product name] is now back in stock and has been added to your cart! Checkout today to get free shipping! You could then follow up with an additional email creating a sense of urgency, for example, “Hurry this product is selling fast! Checkout now before you miss out!”
8. Birthday and/or Anniversary
It’s a natural move for any eCommerce business owner to engage their customers with a birthday or anniversary email flow. Customers often expect these automated emails, and I’ve seen great results from clients when it comes to re-engaging customers on their big day. It gives you a chance to re-connect with your customer base, offer incentives such as discounts or coupon codes, or upsell new products that you think they’ll love.
9. Win Back
Win Back flow automation is a type of email automation designed to make it easier for you to re-engage with your past customers. This gives you an opportunity to stop customers from forgetting about your brand or offering and/or encourages them to purchase more frequently. It’s mainly used by eCommerce businesses that are aiming at either repeat purchases or encouraging their previous buyers to upgrade their products. However, even if you do not sell physical goods, win back email automation can help you improve customer retention in any business model.
An automated replenishment flow comes in handy when your customers need to order more of a certain product—whether it’s because you’re running low or they have just used up what they had. This can come in handy for things like makeup, razors, food items (especially fresh produce), beverages, or anything else that needs replacing on a regular basis. For example, perhaps your customer uses one mascara tube per month. You could set up an automated flow so that once they go through their first tube and use up 75% of their second tube within 30 days of ordering, a brand-new one will be sent out for them automatically.
So now what?
Although these are the most popular or common flows used by most eCommerce businesses, it’s not always necessary to have every single one for your business. Even if you only pick one or 2 to get started with and see how you feel from there, that’s better than not starting at all right?
If you need a little more guidance, download my email content workbook and you’ll have your first 3 flows done in no time!
If you just want to get your flows set up but don’t have the time or just feel like it’s all too overwhelming, click the button below to view my done-for-you packages or click here to book a free 15 minute consultation.