Abandoned Cart Emails are the first automated email you should set up for your online store. Even though they might only work 15% of the time, that’s 15 orders out of every 100 abandoned carts that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. But there are also other emails you can send to past or potential customers in order to reduce cart abandonment and increase repeat business. Since I know that you can’t do ALL of them right away, I’m going to list them in order of importance, and at the end I’ll give you some links to get you started. Ready? Let’s go.
Abandoned Cart Emails are number zero on the list, since you probably know about them already. If you don’t, Abandoned Cart Emails are automatically sent to a site visitor who puts items in her cart, but then leaves your site without buying anything. This email helps you rescue sales that you might have missed from people who got interrupted before they could buy, or people who were saving items in their carts with the intent of coming back only to forget.
That’s the email everyone knows. Here are a few more you should consider:
6 Revenue-Generating Emails that aren’t Abandoned Cart Emails
1: The Welcome Email
Every eCommerce platform sends an automated order confirmation, but you need your business to rise above the ordinary. So in addition to that order confirmation email send a personalized note from you, the shop owner. This email gives you a chance to build a personal connection with the customer and reinforce the unique image and brand of your store.
Important things to include are customer service contact information, any special care or usage instructions that you send with your products, and a picture of you. That’s right! People who buy handmade items or art do it because they want to support small businesses and artists, and they want to see your smiling face (or not smiling, if that’s your thing).
You might be tempted to include promos for other items they might like but a better place for that would be on the web site before they checked out, or in a separate email. Keep this email short, sweet, and personal.
2: The Newsletter
Email Newsletters might seem old, busted, and out of style in our age of Social Media. But no! A healthy email list is the very best way of communicating with your audience of past and potential customers. These are people who are already on your wavelength, having either opted-in to your list or actually purchased something from you. But you have to stay in touch, regularly and predictably, or that connection can fade away.
The Newsletter is a continuation of the Welcome Email, and should follow many of the same rules. This is your monthly/weekly/quarterly update, sharing what you and your business have been up to. Did you learn a new technique? Introduce a new line? Go on an inspiring trip or see a show that resonated with you? It’s also a way of telling people what’s coming up, things like fairs and shows that you’ll be selling at, or upcoming product releases.
Again, this email’s purpose is to grown, maintain, and reinforce that personal connection with you, your work, and your business that turns people into repeat customers. So don’t worry about it if you worry that your email might not be professional, or businesslike, or whatever enough. You’re writing for yourself and your Dream Customer, and nobody else.
3: Purchase Follow-Up
Product reviews are one of the first things that people look for when they’re thinking of buying an item, but they aren’t easy to get on a consistent basis. That’s where the Purchase Follow-Up email comes in. This one gets sent a month or two after the purchase. The stated purpose can be to check in to make sure the product is meeting expectations. Maybe you can include some tips and tricks for using and caring for the product. And, at the end, is The Ask for a review.
Make sure that writing a review is a quick and simple process for your customers. Consider including a star rating or thumbs-up/thumbs-down and making written comments optional. People are busy! Well-meaning, but busy!
4: Product Announcements
Unlike the Newsletter, Product Announcements are more marketing-focused and all about your work. That means lots of pictures, a brief description of what inspired them and/or how you make them, and (optionally) special pricing for your email list members.
Consider also telling your audience about new stuff before you promote it to the world at large on Social Media etc. This increases the incentive for people to join the list and shows your list members that you value them and want to say “thanks”.
5: Holidays and Birthdays
These can be tricky, and they might not be appropriate for your business depending on how you want to relate to your customers. You may also have a customer base that celebrates a wide variety of holidays, so sending emails to all of your customers about particular holidays might not be effective.
That said, holidays and birthdays are another opportunity to reach out to your customers. You might be promoting a sale, or sending a special birthday offer. Just remember to ask for your customers’ birthdays somewhere so you know when they are!
6: Time to Reorder
This one isn’t going to apply to you unless you sell some kind of consumable. But remember, items like soap, candles, or cosmetics are consumables too. If you know roughly how long your product will last, you can schedule emails to customers reminding them that it’s time to get more.
For extra recurring-revenue points set up a subscription that will re-order automatically! These emails are also an opportunity to suggest accessories or up-sells. Done right these suggestions can be seen as helpful hints or insider tips, so that even if the customer doesn’t choose to act on them they still provide value.
How to Make All These Emails Happen
Clearly, the only way to make these emails work is with some Marketing Automation. If you’re using WooCommerce or Shopify you can connect your store to an email marketing service that will send all of these emails automatically once you set up the workflows and triggers (you do still have to write the emails yourself, though). I use and recommend MailChimp (not an affiliate link). It’s affordable, powerful, easy to use, and connects to dozens of other services, such as ShipStation, QuickBooks, and Facebook Ads.
On the Marketplaces, MailChimp integrates with Pattern by Etsy but not regular Etsy shops. For those and other marketplaces you’ll need to put your subscribe link in your profile, and consider putting it in your Welcome email as well. Once they have joined your list you’ll be able to include them in all of MailChimp’s automation goodness.
As you can see, Abandoned Cart Emails are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using emails to increase your revenue and customer loyalty. If you’ve got more questions or want help setting up MailChimp and automation sequences, get in touch! Together we’ll keep you and your customers in a long and happy relationship with one another.