15 Automated Emails That Every Ecommerce Store Needs

11 minute read
In this article:

Automated emails come with a whole range of benefits. They save time, creates touchpoints when users aren’t on your site and will help generate passive revenue for your ecommerce. Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into the power of automated emails and what every ecommerce should be utilising.

What are automated emails?

Automated email marketing involves sensing an automatic message from your email service provider in response to a user’s actions. These actions are also known as triggers, and once a set-defined trigger is set off, an email is sent to the user.

Cart abandonment is the perfect example. Cart abandonment emails are sent when a user enters the checkout or adds something to their basket but does not complete a transaction. Automated emails can help target these users using email marketing software with an email asking them if they need help completing their purchase.

The trigger is what defines the action of the user. In this case, that would be they entered the checkout and didn’t place an order. Once that has been triggered there will usually be a delay – this gives the user time to make their purchase. Once that time has passed, the email has permission to be sent. Before jumping into email automation inspiration, here’s how that looks visually:

Password reset email message serves as another prime example. When a user requests a password reset, this action triggers an automated email with a secure link for a new password. This personalized response provides immediate assistance and helps regain access quickly.

Here are some marketing basics before we get started

•  Ensure you’re not blasting your customers with too many emails (keep an eye on your unsubscribe rate!)
•  Setup full UTM parameters so you can fully track email performance in Google Analytics
•  Test every email you send out by sending it to yourself and peers (this ensures compatibility on different email apps and devices)
•  Always think mobile – the majority of consumers will open their personal emails on their phone (so ensure your email is easy to read and use on mobile!)
•  Subject lines are vital to a successful email campaign (keep them short, sweet and use emojis)

1. Welcome email

A welcome email is the first email that is usually sent to a new customer or subscriber. They usually receive 86% higher open rates than other emails. They’ll be triggered by users signing up to a newsletter or new users that made their first purchase. Your welcome email should set a great first impression on your shop, welcome the new subscriber and even offer them a nice incentive to shop with you.

Welcome emails look to set your new subscriber up with making their first purchase. As soon as an order has been placed from a customer, the order confirmation should send as soon as possible to inform them of their order. Also, incorporating an SPF record checker in your email system ensures that your order confirmation emails are not only timely but also delivered securely.

What should be included in a welcome email?

•  Thank your new subscriber
•  Offer an incentive to drive conversions
•  Include a call-to-action to your site
•  Set expectations and include propositions
•  Tell the subscriber who you are
•  Provide contact information and social channels

Welcome email example

From: Felina
Subject: Hi Again, Reminding You Of Your 10% Off

2. Curation email

Curation emails can form part of a welcome series or be sent out based on behavioural triggers. They are highly relevant emails filled with helpful information for your users. These can become very effective once you start building up your segments and lists based on personal taste, products bought or even specific pages viewed. The goal of curation emails is to provide value to your customers and keep your brand in front of your users.

Curation email series can be automated to send out once every week for however long you feel is necessary without bugging the new subscriber.

What can be included in a curation email?

•  Product and how-to guides
•  Gift guides
•  Your company’s story
•  Customer wins and reviews

Curation email example

From: Parade
Subject: “⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” – Over 10k Parade Customers

3. Back in stock email

Back in stock notifications are usually overlooked when it comes to automated emails. They are great for ensuring you keep in touch with users that would usually jump to the next competitor for a product. Although not the easiest to set up, back in stock emails provide an option for the user to get notified when the product is back on the site and ready to buy. This can be displayed on the product detail page when a product isn’t available, something that Ellysage does very well. Back in stock emails are automated when your email platform is linked up with any stock management on the backend of your Ecommerce CRM Software.

What should be included in a back in stock email?

•  An urgent and to-the-point subject line to improve open rates
•  A clear and conspicuous back in stock heading
•  The image, name and price of the product
•  A tempting call-to-action to drive clicks
•  Include similar products to accommodate the user changing their mind

Back in stock email example

From: Firebox
Subject: OMG! It’s back in stock. The Crying Unicorn Candle

4. Price-drop email

Price-drop emails can be sent to users when you’ve recently dropped the price of a product or category someone was interested in. You can set up lists to collect users that are interested in specific products, whether done through products added to the basket or products viewed.

By hitting users with price-drop emails, you tempt them to purchase the product they didn’t quite complete before. Price drop emails can be automated when your ecommerce platform is integrated with your Ecommerce CRM.

What should be included in a price-drop email?

•  A personal and price-driven subject line
•  Clear product/category images followed by the new price
•  Messaging stating the user’s interest in the product/category
•  A tempting call-to-action to drive clicks
•  Include other products that have also dropped in price

Price-drop email example

From: Columbia Sportswear
Subject: Price drop on your favourites!

5. Cart abandonment email

Cart abandonment is one of the go-to automated emails every ecommerce uses. This automated email triggers when a user leaves a product in the cart and doesn’t proceed with a purchase after a certain amount of time. This time usually differs from 2 – 24 hours. A follow-up email trigger can also be sent as soon as a users cart is going to expire. So after 24 – 48 hours (depending on your site functionality), you can follow up saying your cart is about to expire, shop now!

What should be included in a cart abandonment email?

•  The specific product(s) the user has left in their basket
•  A sense of urgency, asking the user to view their basket again
•  Include the product information such as price, quantity and image

Cart abandonment email example

From: Rudy’s Barbershop
Subject: Don’t let free shipping go to waste

6. Order confirmation email

An order confirmation email is essential to every ecommerce. As this email is triggered when a customer orders a product, this email should reassure the customer that you’re working on getting their order ready to be shipped. It’s a friendly reminder that shows them how much they spent, what they bought and what they can expect next; which is usually a shipping email.

As soon as an order has been placed from a customer, the order confirmation should send as soon as possible to inform them of their order.

What should be included in an order confirmation email?

•  Information on the order, such as product, price, payment used, shipping address, order number etc
•  Offer a chance for any questions to customer service
•  Explain what’s next, reassure the customer that they can expect dispatch within X days and the order on X date

Order confirmation email example

From: Roark
Subject: Roark order #65005 confirmed

7. Shipping confirmation email

A shipping email is simply a confirmation that the product(s) the customer has ordered is now on the way. It will inform the customer of the courier, address and rough date for delivery. Shipping confirmation emails are automated to send as soon as you have packaged and dispatched the customer’s product.

What should be included in an order confirmation email?

•  Information on the order, such as product, price, payment used, shipping address, order number etc
•  ‘Your item is being shipped’ clear messaging
•  Estimated delivery date
•  Option to add delivery notes or change the delivery date

Shipping confirmation email example

From: Chewy
Subject: Your Chewy.com order has shipped

8. Review/feedback email

A feedback email is an email that is sent to a particular group of recipients asking for their opinion about a product or service. If you use review platforms such as Trustpilot, Feefo or reviews.io, these can be automated with their service. They are sent out when a customer has received their order and just purchased a product. These can be automated to be sent out a certain amount of days after purchase or even after shipping confirmation.

What should be included in a feedback email?

•  Tell people why you’re asking them for feedback
•  Let them know how you’ll use the feedback (and how it benefits them)
•  Make sure they know how long it will take
•  Thank them and include a clear CTA

Review/feedback email example

From: Signature Hardware
Subject: Win a $100 Gift Card: Complete Our Survey for Your Chance

9. Referral email

Rather than a mass email, a referral email (or a refer-a-friend email) is sent to one of your existing customers. It’s personal, direct, and best of all, highly effective in growing your customer base. Referral emails are a key fixture in any successful referral program. These can be triggered and sent to your loyal and happy customers. Automated emails can be sent to customers in a list/segment that have left 5-star reviews and have purchased more than once as they’re most likely to refer their friends.

What should be included in a referral email?

•  A referral email subject line enticing enough for customers to open the email
•  An incentive or offer too good to pass on
•  A clear call to action (CTA) that directs them to join the referral program

Referral email example

From: Love Wellness
Subject: HOW TO: access your points

10. Loyalty and reward points email

Loyalty and reward point emails are great techniques to drive lifetime value and improve customer retention. They are emails that incentivise and remind customers of your loyalty and reward programs. Your loyalty program emails should let your customers know that you value them and it will be worth their while returning to your store. These can be sent to customers when they may need reminding of your incentive, whether that’s if they haven’t purchased in a while or whether they’ve missed their regular buying pattern.

What should be included in a loyalty and reward points email?

•  Display point balance and VIP tier in all emails
•  Remind customers they are close to a reward
•  Include products that can be purchased with reward points
•  Ensure you have an enticing call-to-action that drives click-through rate

Loyalty/reward points email example

From: Taco Bell
Subject: Let’s see what your points are up to 👆🌮🔔

11. Cross-sell email

Cross-selling helps to recommend related or complementary products to a customer based on the product they have bought. For example, if someone has bought a mountain bike from your shop, you can show them your bike pumps, bike locks and much more. These types of emails are one of the most profitable methods of marketing. They can be automated to send out a couple of days after the customer has received their order.

What should be included in a cross-sell email?

•  Include messaging of their latest purchase to inform the customer
•  Include a number of recommended products that go perfectly with their purchase
•  Explain how these products benefit them and their product
•  Include any buying guides that can help them make their decision easier

Cross-sell email example

From: Lulu & George
Subject: n/a

12. Replenishment email

For those that do not have subscription models, replenishment emails can prove vital to customer retention.

A replenishment email is something ecommerce brands can use to remind customers to make their next purchase. They should be set to automatically send based on the user’s buying patterns or the product’s estimated lifetime.

What should be included in a replenishment email?

•  Messaging explaining that they may be running out (but don’t be passive!)
•  Include the product they purchased last
•  Include the product price, quantity and call-to-action to the product page

Replenishment email example

From: Chewy
Subject: Running Low?

13. Win-back email

A win-back email is a message you can use to reach out to inactive subscribers – someone who previously engaged with your company (they’ve made a purchase, engaged with your emails, visited your website, etc.) but, for some reason or another, they’ve stopped doing so for a certain amount of time. The goal is to obviously win them back, increasing that lifetime value. This is incredibly important for stores that sell recurring products, such as protein powder or moisturiser.

Win-back emails can be automated in every email platform by segmenting users that haven’t purchased, opened emails or visited the site in a longer than expected time. This would usually be because they have stopped using the product or gone to a competitor.

What should be included in a win-back email?

•  Friendly messaging to the user (a nice hello, we miss you! type of thing)
•  A clear and concise incentive
•  Value propositions as to why they should continue shopping with you

Win-back email example

From: Grammarly
Subject: You’ve Earned a New Badge!

14. Thank you email

An ecommerce thank you email can include words of appreciation, a display of gratitude for customers’ interest in the site, buying a product, or even a simple thank you with their feedback about their site experience. These emails can be automated to send out when a user has submitted a good review, purchased a certain number of times or even hit a lifetime value larger than the average user.

What should be included in a thank you email?

•  Friendly messaging and an attention-grabbing subject line
•  Why you are thanking the customer and what they benefit from this email
•  Offer value through helpful related guides or incentives

Thank you email example

From: Allergy Buyers Club
Subject: Thanks for your purchase Smiles Davis

15. Special occasion email

A special occasion email can be both automated and manually sent out. The automated emails can include special dates that are related to that individual, such as birthdays. The more information you gain from your customers, the more creative you can get with special occasion emails.

What should be included in a thank you email?

•  A clear and appetising incentive
•  Stand out call-to-action
•  Include products the incentive could go towards

Special occasion email example

From: St. Ives
Subject: 🎂 Happy Birthday!

There you have it!

There you have it, 15 automated emails you can implement to support your users’ journey! Just bear in mind the basics;

•  Keep an eye on your unsubscribe rate (this ensures you are making all the right moves)
•  Track email performance in Google Analytics
•  Test every email you send out
•  Always ensure emails are optimised for mobile

For more email inspiration, take a look at reallygoodemails.com – a big thank you to them for helping us find the perfect email examples for our guide!

Subscribe for more articles like this!

Subscribe for more marketing expertise