Learn three ways to improve your eCommerce email automation workflows. These ideas will promote repeat business and help you outshine your competitors.


Episode 0364




3 Effective eCommerce Email Automation Workflow Ideas


Sandro Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps companies and marketing departments control their business, control their brand and get the word out. Today, Liz is going to share with us some ways to improve your e-commerce marketing automation.

Liz That’s right. And I’m going to be speaking specifically to the email piece of this as opposed to marketing automation as a whole because I feel like that kind of takes us down a different path. We would be talking about different tools. And I’m not going to get too tool-specific. But yes, we will be talking about email marketing automation specifically for e-commerce. And just so everyone’s on the same page, this involves creating timely and personalized emails that can be sent to individuals based on actions that they take. We’ve talked about email marketing automation in the past and we will definitely link to some other episodes in the show notes.


Most eCommerce & Email Platforms Have Built-In Automation


Liz The other thing that I kind of want to set a baseline for is that most or at least all of the e-commerce platforms that I have worked with, they have a lot of email marketing built-in. So for example, WooCommerce. They have some basic email marketing automation built-in. When you make a purchase, your order confirmation email. When your order ships, the order can, the email can automatically go out. So I want to be clear that a lot of the tools out there have some very basic email automation built-in, ready to go.

Liz It’s perfectly acceptable for a lot of small companies that we work with I say just use that for now. Like, let’s not try to reinvent the wheel and get too crazy. Like just start there. But you do have the option to customize some of this stuff. And you can take it to the next level. And that’s really what I want to focus on today, is chatting through three automation flows that can take your business to the next level.


One: Request Product Reviews


Liz So the first one would be product review request emails. So these are intended to be sent to a customer after they’ve purchased a product. And you as the business are asking for some feedback. It’s generally considered a best practice to pick one, maybe two. But I would really argue kind of one place where you’re driving reviews to. So in the case of e-commerce, it could be Google My Business. But I also might argue it could be something like a Trustpilot. So sending the bulk of your reviews to one place. So that ultimately you end up with a boatload of testimonials and reviews again in one spot.

Liz So sending an automated email to a customer after they’ve made a purchase at selected intervals. Maybe this is 24 hours after they’ve made the purchase. And then again in seven days. And then maybe 30 days. So you’re just again, kind of capturing that interest while it’s fresh in the customer’s mind. While they might still be having good feelings about it. Like, oh, my new sweater arrived and I’m so excited. So setting that up to automatically go out.

Liz Again, it’s something that you don’t have to think about as the business owner. You don’t have to customize it for each individual purchase. The intent is that you will use, if it’s WordPress, some type of plugin to pull the name, the email and maybe the product. And say, ‘Hey, we notice that you bought this pair of pants, we’d love your feedback. Head over here to Trustpilot and give us a review.’.


Two: Setup Automatic Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails


Liz So that’s one type of email automation that I would highly recommend for e-commerce. Another one is abandoned cart recovery. Abandoned cart recovery is this idea that consumers are browsing the Internet, maybe dropping something into their cart because they’re considering it. Maybe they want to see what the final price is going to be with the discount code they have. Maybe they want to see how much it’s going to cost after shipping. But hey, they get distracted. Or they’re not quite ready to make a purchase. So they leave your website without making a purchase. So that’s called shopping cart abandonment.

Liz I think the stat is something like 70% or 80% of the time someone puts something in their cart, they abandon it. Because they are still browsing. They’re shopping. They’re educating themselves. Maybe they’re not ready to make a purchase. Again, it’s a very common thing. So the intent behind that is to say, ‘Hey, so-and-so customer, we saw that you were interested in this pair of shoes. Why don’t you complete that purchase? Click here to complete your purchase.’

Liz I don’t want to talk too specifically about tools at the moment because, in the case of WordPress, there are many plugins that can help support this. Some are free. Some are paid for. In some cases in order for a shopping cart abandonment automation to work, the customer would have to be logged into their account. So you as the business, knew what they were looking for. There’s a lot of nuances to actually building this type of workflow. But my point is that a shopping cart abandonment workflow can be very powerful.


Complement Abandoned Cart Recovery with Retargeting


Liz I would also argue, and I don’t want to go down this rabbit hole because it’s for another episode, for some general retargeting as well. So if you have some sort of pixel on your website. Then that product can follow the consumer around the Internet wherever they go. Whether that’s a general pixel that you’re doing just some general banner ads with. And maybe it’s the Facebook Pixel and they start to see your shoes in their feed on Facebook. I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that you can do that. But I think if you were able to pair a retargeting campaign with the shopping cart abandonment automation, it would be even better. Again, that is an abandoned cart recovery email automation workflow. That is such a mouthful. But you get my point.


Three: Setup Back-in-Stock Notification Emails


Liz The third one that I would recommend is some sort of back-in-stock notification. The following may not apply to everybody depending on what type of products you are selling. But if you periodically sell out or run out of merchandise and you know you’re going to restock it, then you might want to consider giving customers an option to sign up for a notification when a product is back in stock. Because clearly there’s interest there. And you don’t want to lose them to another company. And let’s say that you’ve built really good trust with a customer. They know you. They like you. And they want to order from you. And they might be willing to wait another week or two to come back and order from you when the product is in stock.

Liz Well, let’s make it as easy as possible for them. So give them a place to enter their email so they can be notified when again, when a product is back in stock, they can zip back over to your website. It’s you know, it’s no extra work on your part. Aside from the initial setup, you just need to have the notification ready to go. The consumer gets the alert in their inbox and then they hopefully go order the product from you and not a competitor.


Make Sure You Actually Use Back-in-Stock Notifications


Liz My only personal complaint about back in stock notifications is, there have been times where I’ve signed up for back in stock notifications and I’ve never received one. I suppose there’s a chance that an email is buried deep within my ten thousand unopened emails in my personal inbox. But I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t simply put that on your site unless you’re really going to use it. Because I can tell you, I can name the two websites where I signed up with the hope of getting a back in stock notification and I never did.


Avoid Losing a Customer to a Competitor


Liz Again, on the flip side, it would be a good way to kind of burn some trust and maybe leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth if you’re not truly using it as it should be. But if you are, again, if you are and you plan to use it and you plan to restock and email your customers, I think it could be a great way to again, ensure that you’re not losing someone to a competitor.

Liz So again, there’s a really good chance that whatever e-commerce tool plugin platform you’re using has a lot of the really important basics built-in. But these are three ways that you can kick it up a notch and really outshine competitors and ensure repeat business. Because as we all know, it’s a heck of a lot easier to get repeat business than it is to go and try to find a new customer. So if someone has ordered from you, if they’ve bought a pair of pants or a pair of shoes from you, ask for the review. If they’re interested in a product that’s out of stock, be in communication with them. Because it’s going to ensure the long term success of your e-commerce business.


eBay Has Mastered Automation Workflows


Liz And to build on something we’ve said offline, you were mentioning eBay. eBay has all of this down pat. I’m sure Amazon does too. As Sandro knows I don’t actually purchase from Amazon. I tell my husband to buy everything for me and magically it shows up. So thank you, Rob. But the very successful big e-commerce retailers, they have all of this in place and that is why they’re so successful. So if you are a smaller e-commerce retailer or you’re just getting started, my hope is that you work towards these workflows. You don’t have to have them all in place tomorrow. I would actually again, argue that, use what’s there. Start to collect some data. Start to understand how your customers are interacting with your brand. And then that way, when you implement some sort of shopping cart abandonment workflow, it’s well-tailored to your customers.

Sandro Thanks so much, Liz. And thank you for listening. You will find us where you find your favorite podcasts. And you will also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you have a question, our email address is in the show notes. Feel free to message us. Send us an email. We’ll give you a shout out and a link back to your site. Thanks again for joining us. We will see you next time.