5 Triggered Emails Your Ecommerce Business Should Send

Triggered emailsAt Klaviyo, we’re strong believers in more personalized and targeted email marketing. It’s better for consumers because the content they’ll see in their inbox is more relevant to them. It’s better for you because consumers will be more likely to read your emails, less likely to unsubscribe and, ultimately, more likely to make additional purchases or recommend you to a friend.

So without further ado, here are five emails you should be sending your customers that are triggered based on their behavior:

1. Win Backs

Win backs are triggered email campaigns designed to “win back” previous customers. Because marketing to existing customers is often much easier than new customers because they’ve already had a positive experience, these campaigns can dramatically increase sales.

If you’re not yet sending these types of emails, the simplest approach is to get a list of all your customers and when they last made a purchase, choose the period of time after which you want to email them and filter out customers who have made a purchase more recently. How long to wait before sending a customer a win back will depend on your business, but a good estimate is between three and 12 months. Once you have a list of customers, you will send them an email campaign designed to motivate them to revisit your website or business. The two most common carrots you can offer are either a limited time offer/discount or a summary of new or related products.

Once you’ve sent the first campaign, you’ll want to repeat the process at least every month or two. You can also start to test different ideas around what message or offer to use and who to target. For instance, you might want to send different win backs based on number of times a customer has purchased or what types of products they typically purchase. You’ll also want to measure the effectiveness of these campaigns and the number of purchases and sales they drive. Learn more about measuring your campaigns in Klaviyo.

There’s lots more to discuss around win backs, but I’ll leave that for another post.

2. Abandoned carts

Most businesses know they should be sending triggered abandoned cart campaigns, but few e-commerce businesses actually implement them. This can be a big missed opportunity. Studies have shown that 87% consumers abandon online carts and 75% say they intend to complete their purchase. Most importantly, 54% of abandoners who intend to buy will do so in the first 24 hours after leaving. This means there’s a small window for reaching out to those consumers before they lose interest.

To send these emails, you need to know when a consumer adds something to a shopping cart online, but doesn’t complete that purchase within an hour. You also need to collect their email address during the checkout process so you have a way to contact them. Once you have that information, you can monitor for new abandoned carts yourself or set up an automated system to do it for you.

It’s also important to think about the message you want to send. It’s easy to think the reason for a consumer abandoning their cart is price, but that’s often not the case. It might be that the checkout process was confusing or complex or that consumer simply didn’t have time to finish the transaction. The content of your email should include a link directly to their shopping cart and a clear message for how someone can get help with their struggling with the checkout process or would prefer to complete it over the phone. As with win backs, you’ll want to experiment with different types of content and different timings to maximize the number of completely purchases.

3. Post-purchase Product Reviews

We’ve discussed triggered emails before a purchase is completed and long after, but an often ignored opportunity is shortly after a purchase is made. A key to driving repeat customers is keeping the conversation going and growing their relationship with your brand or business. A good way to do this is by asking a customers to leave a product review after they’ve made and received their purchase.

Asking consumers to leave reviews not only adds great content to your website for the future, but it allows consumers to create a personal bond with your company by giving their opinions about your products. Just as politicians asking voters to pledge their vote increases the odds those voters actually vote, customers who write positive reviews are more likely to recommend your products or become a repeat customer.

4. Related Product Recommendations

Another strategy for engaging customers after a purchase is sending them a time based email with products related to the one they just bought. Larger retailers are famous for using these types of recommendation emails. This type of campaign might seem complicated, but getting value is easier than you’d think. Most businesses have a handful of very popular products. To get started, choose one of your popular products and a few related products. Then find all of the customers who bought the popular product recently, but did not buy one of the related products and send those customers an email campaign highlighting those items.

You can then repeat this process for your top products to see which combinations perform best. If you have a few products which account for the bulk of your sales, you can do this process manually. However, if you have a large number of products you’d like to try this with, you should consider finding an app or service to help you identify related products and automatically creating different customer segments.

5. Loyalty and Referral Offers

So far we’ve focused on emails that are triggered based on the time of a purchase, but that’s not the only dimension that matters. You should also trigger emails based on a customer’s overall purchase history. For instance, when someone reaches five or 10 purchases all-time, they’ve demonstrated some serious allegiance to your business. Simply recognizing their patronage with a thank you email is a great start, but you can take it even further. Once someone shows their commitment you can reward them with special VIP offers and incentivize them to refer others to your business with refer a friend deals.

This strategy is similar to a loyalty program, but it doesn’t need to be overly formal or complex. You can get started by having a set of triggered emails that are sent when customers reach different lifetime thresholds. With a few well timed emails, you can encourage more repeat purchases or turn high value customers into great affiliates.

Those are just five triggered emails we think you should consider. What are others your business already sends? Let us know.

And if you’re interested in easily sending any of the above triggered emails, you should give Klaviyo a try.


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