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Why Email Means Everything for your eCommerce Store

Many people have been foretelling the death of email for years, but it’s not going anywhere and only continues to grow in importance. As a merchant you send your customers order confirmation emails, shipping emails and a few other standard emails that come with Shopify and WooCommerce, but are you really driving revenue with your emails? With this email guide you will learn about the different types of emails that you can send to dramatically increase sales at your store.

Why does Email Matter?

You need to start thinking of every email you send as incremental revenue. It’s hard for many merchants to make this transition as they only see email as a cost for their business and that’s the wrong mentality.

For example let’s say that for every 100 emails you send you earn $5 of additional revenue. Only $5 you say? Well now let’s get into some larger numbers, if you send 1,000 emails a day you are now making an extra $50/day from your store. If you double your customer base in 6 months and start sending 2,000 emails a day, now you’re making an extra $100/day just from your emails.

Take Stock of Your Current Email Marketing Strategy

Most store owners never expand out from the default emails that come with Shopify and WooCommerce so creating a comprehensive email strategy is a tremendous opportunity for you to gain an edge over your competitors. You need to document your current email work flow and also start thinking of additional emails that you can build into your process. To help you brainstorm new ways to reach out to your customers here are many different categories of emails you can add to your store.

Different Categories of Emails

There are many types of emails that are relevant at different points in your customer’s life cycle. For example a brand new person on your site might only be interested in learning about what you are selling and we will call that person a lead (or a prospect). Eventually a percentage of those prospects will turn into a customer and some of those customers will end up dormant, this is the life cycle of your customers. Here are different categories of emails:

  • Lead Capture Emails (for Prospects)
  • Lead Capture Welcome Series Emails
  • Order Confirmation and Shipping Emails
  • New Customer Welcome Series Emails
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Win Back Emails
  • Promotional Emails
  • Segmentation Emails

If you don’t already have these emails setup and customized for your business, it’s important you start making plans to create emails for each of these categories.

Lead Capture Emails

Before a customer makes a purchase on your site they are officially a lead (or prospect). You want to be able to market to these prospects and a great way to do that is to capture their email address. The best way to do that is to create something of value that you can give away for free. Here are some examples of things you can give away in exchange for an email address:

  • eBook
  • Real Book
  • Free Trial
  • How to Guide

You can create a section on your home page to advertise your offer or you can use a popup lead capture form. Once you have captured your prospect’s email address you can then start further developing your relationship with them through a series of welcome emails.

Lead Capture Welcome Series Emails

What is a welcome series of emails? It is typically 2-6 emails that you send out a lead once they have given you their email address in exchange for something free. Another name for a series of emails is a drip campaign. There are many 3rd party tools that you can use to manage your welcome series of emails and we recommend Mail Chimp, Klaviyo and (more on these later in this guide).

Your welcome series of emails is a great way to connect with your customers by educating and informing them about the products you offer. Think about all the informative content you have created about your products:

  • Help Documentation
  • Explainer Videos
  • Facebook Discussions
  • How to Guides

It is this information that you can repurpose and use to create a welcome series of emails that connects your customers to your products.

Order Confirmation and Shipping Emails

Order confirmation emails are the one email that you can almost guarantee will be opened up by your customer. The percentage of opens on this type of email is anywhere from 40-70%, which is astronomically high when you compare that to the other categories of emails. You want to make sure you convey the details of your customers’ most recent order, but you also have the ability to market other products (in a subtle way). Here are ideas to help you jazz up your order confirmation emails:

  • Are there tangential products that would go well with the product just ordered? If so consider adding those to the order confirmation email.
  • Is there a customer service angle you can present that would help your customer use the new product they just ordered?
  • Take an opportunity to include educational content, how about an explainer video on the best way to use your products?
  • Can you offer to reach out and get feedback from your customer? Maybe include a link to a survey that discusses the purchase process so you can get feedback.

New Customer Welcome Series Emails

The new welcome series emails can be very similar to the lead capture series of emails discussed above. In fact you could repurpose the same email drip campaign for new customers and then tweak the new customer series of emails to focus on the product (or category of product) that your customer purchased. For the new customer series you could consider covering the following topics (as examples): product maintenance, warranties and returns.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned carts are an epidemic in eCommerce. You’ve heard this before and probably not given it too much thought, but take a look at the statistics. The average documented online shopping cart abandonment is 69.23%, which is truly a staggering number. If you could win back even 20% of those abandoned carts and convert them into customers you are talking about a 12%+ bump in monthly sales. Why are your customers leaving your checkout path without paying?

  • Shown unexpected costs
  • The customer wasn’t serious about purchasing
  • Found a better deal on another site
  • Overall price was too expensive
  • Determined that they didn’t need the product

These are 5 of the top reasons for abandoned carts, but there are many more. This should convince you that if you don’t have an abandoned cart email enabled, it’s high time you set one up!

Win Back Emails

When do customers become non customers? For example if you sold something 2 weeks ago that person is a customer. What about the products you sold 18 months ago, would you still consider those people customers? At some point your customers will go without making another purchase and you need to win them back. Creating win back emails for customers that haven’t purchased from you in a while is a great way to increase revenue at your store. Looking for ideas on how to reconnect with these dormant customers? Take a look at this post that highlights some great re-engagement emails. Like almost all of these types of emails, win back emails can be automated and sent out after certain conditions are met. If someone bought something and 6 months pass that would be a great time to send out a win back email and you could do the same thing after 12 and 18 months.

Promotional Emails

Promotional emails are one off emails that you can send to your customers for a variety of reasons.  Here are some of the most common reasons that promotional emails get sent:

  • Special Offers
  • One Time Sales
  • Holiday Offers
  • Event Announcements

There are a number of reasons why you can contact your customers and with a promotional email, you just need to brainstorm a list and start executing on it. Stuck in a rut and can’t think of sale ideas? Here are some suggestions to get the juices flowing:

  • Buy one get one free
  • 10% off all purchases in February
  • Free Shipping anywhere in the US in March
  • Valentine’s Day Special, get ½ off all Gifts

Segmentation Emails

It’s time to start segmenting your email lists so you can appropriately tailor your content to your buyer groups. What are some of the ways you can segments your email list? Here are some examples:

  • Geography
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Industry
  • Previous Purchases
  • Purchase Frequency
  • Customers who have Rated your Products
  • Customers who refer your Products to Friends
  • Event Attendance

You can slice up your emails list through our suggestions or you can go ahead and create your own. Remember email management can be automated so once you take the time to create these emails they can be used multiple times in the future.

Email Services

There are some fantastic email marketing options for both Shopify and WooCommerce. Here are 3 that we recommend:

  • Mailchimp (their Mandrill service)
  • Klaviyo

We are very familiar with Mandrill and have installed that on many client sites. It works great and can be an extremely cost effective solution.  Klaviyo is newer to us, but the reporting dashboard they use is really impressive. In addition you can create many custom emails from their dashboard and it works well with Shopify. is brand new to us, but it’s received outstanding reviews on the Facebook Shopify Plus Private Facebook Group.

Thanks for reading our email guide, if you have questions about email marketing drop us a line and we can help out!