Email marketing

Key email marketing automations every business needs

Aubrey Harper, February 3rd 2022
A bearded person wearing bright red glasses and a taupe apron works on a bicycle.

What is email marketing automation?

An automated email or email marketing automation is a message that is sent to your audience based on some rules that have been defined in the email marketing automation platform or software (set-up for personalized email messages).

An example would be a welcome message sent when a visitor fills the sign-up form on your website. You can use an email platform like Klaviyo to send automated emails.

Email automation is different from a typical email campaign, like a Black Friday sale email that goes to a target list built in advance.

Email marketing automations can be much more powerful than a manually sent campaign, because it’s inherently tailored to your audience’s behavior. Based on Klaviyo data, automated emails drive over 14x higher revenue per recipient (RPR) than manual campaigns.

With flows, we only have to do the job once, optimize it, and then it works on its own. This was very appealing, and it works. We get more sales from our automated emails than from other campaigns.

Ivan Monells, co-founder, Brava Fabrics

Once you set up an automated flow, it doesn’t require much effort to maintain—and your customers get a highly personalized experience.

Want to tap into the power of automations? Learn about the top 6 email marketing flows that every brand needs:

1. Email automation for a welcome series

When someone first signs up to your marketing list, a welcome email introduces them to your brand. This message is an opportunity for you to quickly establish a strong connection with new subscribers.

These new subscribers are typically highly engaged, so welcome messages typically perform very well. Welcome messages perform at 4x the click rate and 23x the conversion rate of non-automated email campaigns.

Benchmarks for email marketing automations

Brightland’s high-performing welcome email includes:

  • A personal message from the company’s founder
  • Links to learn more about their products, and
  • CTA to lead customers where to shop
Key automation welcome email example from Brightland

Brand tip: Personalizing your welcome emails will help you resonate more deeply with your target audience.

Wilkinson Sword UK, a personal care brand, set up a welcome series flow composed of three different versions of a welcome email that each catered to its customers’ preferences. This welcome email yields a purchase rate of 39%—meaning nearly two out of five recipients made an order from it.

Read the Wilkinson Sword case study

Key automation welcome email example from Wilkinson Sword

2. Create emails triggered for abandoned browsing

An abandoned browsing email is sent to a user who browsed your site, viewed a few items, but decided not to add anything to the cart before leaving the site. An abandoned browsing email reminds customers about items they viewed and motivates them to make a purchase.

On average, browse abandonment emails convert 1% of recipients and earn an average revenue of $1.01 per recipient, which can really add up over time.

Brand tip: Personalize your abandoned browsing emails based on the recipients’ behavior and browsing history. Encourage browsers to convert into buyers by showing images of the items they had previously viewed in the email flow. Use CTAs to prompt users to return to your site and  resume shopping, like Mejuri does. Their simple and concise CTA of “Remember This?” captures your customer’s attention. It also links to items that the customer had previously viewed, making it easy for the customer to start shopping.

Key email automation browse abandonment example from Mejuri

3. Create abandoned cart email flows

An abandoned cart email is sent to someone who leaves your website without purchasing items they added to their cart.

According to data from Baymard Institute, 70% of shoppers leave items in their cart without checking out. This large audience is an opportunity for you to bring shoppers back to your site so they can complete their purchase.

On average, cart abandonment emails convert almost 4% of recipients and have the highest RPR of all automated flows at $3.52.

Brand tip: Consider sweetening the deal with a discount code. For example, wellness brand Golde offers customers 15% off their first purchase.

Key email automation example from Golde

4. Sell more with back-in-stock emails

Back-in-stock emails notify customers who had previously expressed interest in an out-of-stock item when it’s restocked. By encouraging a customer to shop for an item in which they’ve previously demonstrated interest, you are able to strengthen customer relationships and enhance retention.

Audiences that go to your site from a back-in-stock email see up to 11x higher conversion than other site visitors.

Observe behavioral cues and browsing patterns to personalize emails with items that customers have previously viewed and have demonstrated interest. Brava Fabrics had success by sending back-in-stock email notifications, personalized based on the items they previously viewed and had demonstrated an interest.

Brava Fabrics personalizes their experience for double the impact

Key email automation example from Brava Fabrics.

We create small batches of customers—for example, 10 people—that we send a back-in-stock email to. If the product is still unsold after a while, then the flow automatically sends to the next 10 people.

Ivan Monells, co-founder, Brava Fabrics

5. End it all with thank-you or post-purchase emails

A thank you email is sent to a customer following their purchase to express appreciation for their business. These emails help to humanize your brand and strengthen the emotional bond between you and your customers.

Compared with traditional email campaigns, thank you emails have a 329% higher click-through rate (CTR) and even 3x higher RPR, based on Klaviyo data.

Brand tip: Use a thank you email to reward customers who have recently purchased from you with an exclusive offer.

After collecting reviews from purchasing customers, Brava Fabrics sent thank you emails based on their reviews. A warm and friendly message of “welcome to our family” further humanizes the brand to foster a connection with the customer.

Samples of post-purchase email automations

Screenshot of Brava Fabrics' post-review email that shows coupon codes.

6. Never lose a customer with a winback email automation

A winback email automation is sent to subscribers or previous customers who haven’t engaged with your brand in a while, usually about a year..

Winback emails help increase the lifetime value of your customers by reengaging customers who otherwise may not have returned to purchase from you. Nearly 45% of subscribers that you send a winback email to will open your future emails.

Brand tip: Tempt customers back into doing business with you with a special offer. Women’s activewear brand, Girlfriend Collective did this by giving their customers a nudge to engage with the brand again, sweetening the deal with a $20 discount code off their next purchase. The email expires after 30 days, creating a sense of urgency.

Get more sales with winback email automations

Key email automation example from Girlfriend Collective

Supercharge growth with a powerful email marketing automations tool

Mastering email marketing automations is crucial to your overall marketing strategy—and ultimately, the growth of your business. With insights into your customers’ preferences and behavioral patterns, you can better tailor your email strategy to resonate with your audience and cultivate improved conversions.

Grow your business on your terms.
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Aubrey Harper
Aubrey Harper
Content strategist
Aubrey is a Content Strategist at Klaviyo, where she leads content efforts across EMEA. Her background is in marketing technology, but she most recently worked in ecommerce, giving her a passion for entrepreneurs selling amazing stuff online. When she’s not making content to educate fellow ecom enthusiasts, you can find her in one of the many London parks chasing after her squirrel-happy dog and listening to the Everybody Hates Marketers podcast.