The Top 10 Email Automations of 2020

top email automations email flow examples 2020

Since the start of 2020, over 50,000 Klaviyo customers have activated email automations, otherwise known as flows, within their accounts, and have generated a collective four billion dollars in revenue. 

These emails enable brands to tailor their communication to individuals and stay top of mind with their subscriber base through automations that trigger based on a customer’s action, such as placing an order or looking at products on a website. But which email automations are most effective and which should you consider for your brand?

As an onboarding specialist at Klaviyo, I’ve had plenty of experience helping our customers set up these email automations in their accounts, which is why I wanted to share my knowledge at the Klaviyo Holiday Show

During the virtual event, I walked attendees through the customer’s journey, highlighting the 10 touch points to consider making along the way with automated flows. Watch below or keep reading my recommendations.

1 |  Welcome series email

email automation examples welcome series email

With an increase in traffic to your website over the course of 2020 also comes the opportunity to grow your subscriber base. The welcome series is the perfect automation to welcome your new subscribers to your brand. 

This is your opportunity to highlight all the aspects that make your brand unique, share your social media channels, and collect customer preferences to better understand how your subscribers would like to hear from you. You get one shot at making a great first impression, and the welcome series is the perfect canvas to let your brand shine through.

Pro tip: You can set up a signup form that routes subscribers to a holiday 2020 shoppers list. You can then trigger a holiday-specific welcome series from that list to give those subscribers a unique experience based on how they first interacted with your brand. Once you’ve made your introduction to your customers, consider how you want to continue to build the relationship.

2 | Browse abandonment automation

email fow browse abandonment email

Part of the fun of the holiday season is window shopping and walking past storefronts that are decorated with festive colors and themes. Why not translate a similar experience through email? 

You can do this with the browse abandonment automation. Your subscribers can receive emails based on the items they’re looking at on your website, and you can control how often this message triggers and which audiences you want to receive this messaging. 

Pro tip: Keep your messaging for this automation simple. The customer has already shown an interest in the item by looking at it on your website, so don’t distract them with cross-selling or multiple calls-to-action (CTAs). Capture the passerby’s attention with a gentle reminder of the items they were interested in.

3 | Abandoned cart automation

email marketing abandoned cart

Say your customer gets so far as to add the item to their shopping cart, but then they get called away because the baby’s crying or dinner is ready. Fear not! The abandoned cart automation can help. 

It can become difficult for customers to remember every item they’ve added to their cart with an intent to buy before something distracted them. The abandoned cart email acts as a reminder to your customers of the items they’ve left sitting in their shopping cart. 

Additionally, the abandoned cart automation populates with dynamic content, such as an image of the specific product they added, so each shopper’s card is unique to them and their items. 

Pro tip: A/B test time delays for sending the first abandoned cart email. For instance, brands that sell higher ticket items may benefit from a longer delay so the buyer has more time to research and think over the potential purchase, compared to brands that sell less expensive and more impulse purchase items, which may benefit from a shorter time delay.

4 | Thank you email

email thank you flow

Who doesn’t love a nice thank you? The thank you flow, which goes out after a shopper completes their purchase, allows you to foster brand loyalty by expressing your gratitude to your customers for their business. 

A small thank you can go a long way, especially during a year when the deals are endless and online competition is heightened. The customer chose your products and services. Make them feel special with a personalized thank you. 

Pro tip: A/B test text-only emails versus text and image-based emails for this type of automation. It may surprise you that some audiences respond better to a plain text email that looks more like a letter from an individual rather than a flashy message with tons of imagery.

5 | Instructional email

email flow instructional how to product email

By this point, you’ve already told your customer how much you appreciate their business, but how do you keep them coming back? You’re going to wow them with your amazing products, of course!

The instructional email automation educates your customer on how to use, clean, or assemble the product they’ve purchased. This helps cut down on customer service inquiries and reduce poor product adoption, all of which helps create a more seamless and pleasant experience for the shopper. And a happy customer is more likely to turn into a repeat customer.

Pro tip: As long as there isn’t any sales or marketing content in this email series, you can get this email tagged as transactional so that all customers are eligible to receive this important messaging.

6 | Product review automation

post purchase email product review

You’ve told your customers how important they are to you—now let’s see if you can get a little love from them. This next automation will help you identify your brand ambassadors. 

The product review automation is your chance to hear from your customers about their experiences with your product. By using a time delay, you can let time pass after a customer places an order and then trigger the product review series to request product reviews from your customers.

When buying online, customers don’t have the luxury to feel and test the products in person, so reviews are more important than ever. It’s one thing for a brand to highlight how their products or services are exceptional, it’s another to have others echoing a similar style sentiment. 

Pro tip: Not every product review’s going to be a positive one, and that’s okay. Critical feedback will help you grow and improve your product or service offerings. If someone leaves a negative review, this is your chance to listen to the customer, understand their pain points, address the issue, and flip them from being an attractor to an ambassador.

7 | Cross-sell and up-sell automations

email cross sell upsell newsletter

Sometimes the number of options you offer on your online store can be overwhelming to sort through. Other times, shoppers just don’t have enough time to do a thorough search. The cross-sell or up-sell automation will help inspire those shoppers struggling to find exactly what they’re looking for. 

Use this automation to showcase some of your other products or services. You can do this by handpicking some of your flagship or best-selling items or by leveraging product recommendations so you can make suggestions based on a user’s purchasing history and that of similar customers. 

Pro tip: Implement time delays so that after someone buys an item, you can send a message to them to buy a complementary item or the next progression of that item in an up-sell.

8 | Replenishment automation

email flow replenishment

For brands that sell products that customers purchase repeatedly within certain timeframes—most often consumer packaged goods (CPGs)—a replenishment automation is often a welcome reminder to customers that their supplies may be running low and it’s time to get a refill. 

Show your customers that you’re looking out for them before they find themselves in a pinch by sending out a reminder email just before your product will run out if someone uses it regularly. For example, if you sell daily vitamins that typically last a customer six weeks, automate a replenishment campaign at the five-week mark. 

Pro tip: You can set up separate replenishment automations if you have products that each have their own unique average lifetime.

9 | Back in stock automation

email automation back in stock

Regardless of your industry, one goal that all ecommerce businesses owners have in common is generating revenue. 

That’s why it’s so important to have back-in-stock automations so you don’t miss out on a sale, even if you’re running into inventory shortages. Implementing a back-in-stock journey will prompt your customer to sign up for an alert when a specific item is back in stock. You can then make these customers feel special by contacting them first when the item becomes available. 

Pro tip: Set minimum inventory rules to control the threshold for notifying a customer after you restock the item. You don’t want to tell 100 customers a popular item is back in stock if only 10 are available. You can also set up an advanced back in stock automation to give your VIP customers a little extra love by giving them early access to restocked items. 

10 | Birthday automation

email automation birthday anniversary date

I highlighted the importance of collecting the new subscribers on your website. Use this time to gather information about your audience. Who are they shopping for? What collections are they most interested in? What’s their first and last name?

All of this information can get you on a path of personalizing and tailoring communication to each customer. This final email automation leverages information you can gather up front to help make that personal connection with your customers. 

Connecting on a more personal level with your customers is unique to ecommerce—how many of your brick-and-mortar sales people remember your customers’ birthdays? I’d give a guess that number is pretty low. 

With a birthday automation, you can celebrate along with your customers on their special day by offering a discount, free shipping, free birthday gift, or simply just acknowledging the day. 

Pro tip: Birthdays aren’t the only occasion you can collect date property information for. Tag users on their date of first purchase to send a first purchase anniversary email. If you’re in the business of selling baby or maternity products, you can set up an automation to trigger on important dates, such as due date. Feel free to mix and match these ideas any way that seems most appropriate for your brand. 

Final thoughts

While these 10 email automations are a great place to start, there are endless possibilities when it comes to curating relevant and timely experiences for your customers. 

Once you have a solid understanding of your audience and what makes them tick—or click—you can really start to get creative when it comes to creating messaging that resonates and arrives in their inbox at just the right time.

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