Getting started guide to revenue-generating robot emails
You have a problem. You aren’t sending the kind of emails you should be to your customers.
And you are losing revenue because of it.
Good news is that this is a pretty easy fix. Let's talk about how to do that.
You have a chance to create a lot of new touch points with your perfect buyers. You can offer them more chances to buy, build a relationship with them, and even prevent customer service nightmares.
How? By letting a robot send your emails for you.
Emails that look and feel like you sent them by hand. But you didn’t. Because you are a busy person and nobody has time for that.
“I already send those”
Automated emails aren’t new. Newsletters have been around for a very long time. Every purchase made through your site generates an automatic order confirmation and shipping notice. Stores have sent out emails for sales and holidays since literally before I could drive. It’s been a while.
When you receive those emails, you already know what they’re going to say. They’re default. Standard. Boring. They don’t add value and they don’t reliably generate revenue.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can send emails that people care about and that actually help you make more money.
You already send out order and shipping confirmations. You may even send abandoned cart emails. Maybe they’re the default emails that your eCommerce platform sends out for you, but they’re better than nothing.
Thing is, you can do so much more with email. You have the ability to personalize emails based on criteria like buyer behavior, demographics, interests. And you can actually generate revenue from something as simple as a purchase receipt.
Advanced email marketing automation
Today’s tools allow you to set up multiple email flows specifically crafted to reach out your buyers at the right time and encourage them to buy. Or to buy more. Or to just strengthen the relationship the two of you have. That sweet, sweet love between a great business and their buyers.
What can automated email do for you?
Increase average order value
Offer upsells immediately after a purchase. Show off items that are frequently bought with the thing your buyer purchased, and allow them to add it to their order for no additional shipping cost in the next ______ hours.
Fix cart abandonment
Reclaim some of the revenue lost when people leave items in their cart without buying. More than 1/2 of abandoned cart emails get opened, and more than 1/3 of those get click-throughs.
Get more repeat buyers
Make your customers feel loved. Thank them for buying. Once someone becomes a repeat customer, make sure to notice. Use a triggered email to call out the fact that they bought again and say thank you. They will notice you noticing them.
Staying in a buyer's inbox is staying in their mind. Send them some kind of value-adding content and a chance to buy again. Offer reorders, cross-sells, upsells, best sellers as a product feed in an email that is otherwise all about them.
When you give freely to your buyers, you build a solid relationship with them, and give them reason to choose you over the competition. Entertain them. Inform them. Give them more reasons to love you and your products.
Improve buyer satisfaction
Reduce returns and improve customer satisfaction. Reach out with an automated customer service email asking how they like their new purchase and whether or not they have any questions.
Learn more about your buyers
Send out small, automated surveys. Find out how you can better serve your customers. Find out what else they might want to buy from you. Find out all the answers to your burning business owner questions.
You don’t get all of this done by sending out an email “blast” to your entire list. Because it’s not 2010.
You do it by splitting your audience up into smaller groups based on certain criteria, and sending a much more personalized message to each of them. There are endless combinations you can use to determine who gets what email.
The general idea is that certain segments of your audience will respond better or worse to a given email, so you find out what works best for different groups. Each segment could receive email that varies in the copy or images used, what you offer them, subject lines, etc.
How segmentation works in practice
Emails will be triggered by a given behavior.
- A purchase
- Abandoning a cart
- Newsletter signup
- Interaction with content
- Specified time since last purchase
- Viewing item without buying
So one part of segmenting is simply the behavior of the buyer or visitor. They do a specific thing, so they get a specific email.
Anyone who puts an item in the cart and then leaves the site without buying triggers an abandoned cart email. This is segmenting, because only a small part of the overall list receives the email, and it’s triggered by a behavior.
But a single behavior as a trigger isn’t the only way to segment. You can use demographics, purchase history, secondary behaviors, etc to choose a specific message for the specific type of buyer.
Maybe in the past, you have tried different abandoned cart emails, and found that women responded better to a specific set of images or subject line than men.
Or, if the person abandoning your cart would be a first time buyer you offer them a small discount to come back and make their first purchase. You get them in the door, but don’t train them to expect a discount every time.
So now, your abandoned cart emails are segmented in multiple ways.
- Male First time buyers
- Female first time buyers
- Male returning customers
- Female returning customers
And after the initial setup of these emails, there is no difference to your workload by using segments. Everything is automatic, and the emails go out while you sleep.
Example of segementation
You sell women’s clothing.
Someone buys a pair of jeans and a shirt. So now you are sending them an order confirmation, which will include the chance to offer them other things they could buy. What should you offer?
You could offer them another shirt or pair of jeans that they viewed while on site or other items frequently purchased with what they bought.
Or you could offer them the undergarments that are most frequently purchased by others who bought the same jeans and top. Or the undergarments most purchased by other women in their age range who had the same total order value.
You set this up with your eCommerce platform and your email provider. It automatically puts a product feed into your email, and it goes into the purchase confirmation with an offer to “add these items to your order for no extra shipping cost for the next _____ hours”.
If the buyer clicks through and confirms, the item is added to their order. It’s 6:00 AM and an email just increased your average order value, and you don’t even know it yet. You’re still working on your first coffee.
How you can get started
Many eCommerce platforms like Shopify offer very basic built-in email automation. But if you want to go further and really go in, you’ll need a dedicated email provider.
Many of the bigger services offer some levels of segmentation. Personally I use and recommend Klaviyo. They allow nearly endless segmentation options so you can really get personalized in your targeting. They also integrate well with eCommerce store services, and allow you to import your existing email list if you use another service.
Klaviyo and most other service providers offer free or low-cost plans for stores with small lists, and the return on your investment will be far more than worth the cost of the service.
Whatever service you choose, your online store should be sending customized, branded, behavior triggered emails to grow your revenue.
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Ben Froedge Wrote This
I'm Ben, and for the last 3 years, I've helped people build strong, sustainably profitable online stores that thrive and grow. I want to see the people who create awesome products get paid more, so they can keep on making the world a better place.
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