Those of you who have followed me since the beginning know that email makes up 90% of the revenues on my blog. In fact, email is the main reason that I was able to make over a million dollars blogging this past year.
Here are a few talks and podcasts where I have discussed my strategies at length.
- How I Made Over $300K These Past 2 Years With An Email Autoresponder
- How I Tripled The Sales Of My Info Product By Tweaking My Email Autoresponder
- On The Smart Passive Income Podcast: Actionable Email Marketing Strategies and How to 3X Revenue Using Your Autoresponder with Steve Chou
Anyway what’s funny about all of this is that while I’ve had great success with email on my blog, I didn’t think to implement these exact same strategies on my ecommerce store until a few years ago.
I’m a bonehead right?
For some reason, email funnels are just starting to catch on for ecommerce stores whereas they’ve been used for a long time in the information marketing space.
That being said, I do enjoy writing about ecommerce a lot more than writing about hankies. But over the years, I’ve put my feminine hat on and pumped out some pretty high converting “linen autoresponders”:)
The beauty of these email sequences are that they convert on autopilot. You don’t need to constantly modify them.
They are essentially set it and forget it.
Here are the 5 email auto responders that I use on my ecommerce store that make sales while I sleep.
Note: In case you are curious which email provider I use for ecommerce, I’m on Klaviyo. Click here to try it for free
The Pre Purchase Sequence
The pre purchase sequence is the email sequence that most closely resembles the one I use for my blog. In return for a lead magnet, a customer provides me with an email and is taken down an email sequence that spans 109 days.
Currently, the lead magnet that I use is a free book of arts and crafts and a linen napkin folding guide depending on the product a customer is looking at.
But you can easily give away your own free guide or even a coupon code to get visitors to sign up. Once a customer signs up, I email them every other day for 2 weeks and then gradually taper my sends to about once a week.
Here’s the thing about customer behavior.
It can often take 4-8 touch points before a customer will buy from your site.
They might find you on mobile, browse around, go back home, browse on their desktop, click on an ad or an email before finally making a purchase!
Think about it this way. The average conversion rate for an online store is on the order of 2-3% which means that 97% of customers aren’t going to be buying on their first try.
As a result, you have to keep them coming back multiple times until they are ready to buy. As a result, I purposely make my pre-purchase autoresponder super long.
By contacting potential customers on a consistent basis, they will think about our store when they are finally ready to buy.
And the reason I email them more often in the beginning is because their interest is at its highest immediately after they’ve signed up.
As a result, I often hit customers with a coupon code early on if they haven’t purchased within the first few weeks.
Abandoned Cart Sequence
Have you ever shopped online and gotten interrupted during the process?
A while back, I was shopping for a brand new computer monitor when I heard my daughter screaming at me from downstairs. And it wasn’t a playful “I’m having so much fun” scream. It was an alarm scream.
So I immediately leaped up from my computer, ran downstairs and found my son clutching his head and THERE WAS BLOOD ALL OVER THE PLACE!
I took him to urgent care immediately and thankfully the injury was minor but the point is that I NEVER completed my transaction:)
But lo and behold, the next day I received an email which reminded me to buy this awesome computer and I completed my purchase.
Now I’m sure that most of your customers aren’t having their kid’s head cracked open, but you get the point. If a customer has started checkout and hasn’t completed it within a certain time frame, you need to remind them.
Right now, I’m sending reminders after 4 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours.
If you want, you can sweeten the pot by offering a coupon code on the 2nd day. But even without a coupon, my abandoned sequences generally convert between 10-25%.
Post Purchase Sequence
When it comes to selling anything online, it’s always much easier to sell to an existing customer than to convert a new one.
As a result, you must have a sequence in place that nurtures the customer along AFTER they have bought from you.
Currently, our post purchase sequence is 60 days long (more on why in a moment) and consists of many different types of emails.
- We give customers a free gift. If a customer purchased napkins, they get the napkin folding ebook. If they purchased hankies, they get the arts and crafts ebook.
- We ask for reviews on our products. Having more reviews not only adds social proof to our products but we also upload our reviews to Google Shopping to get these beautiful stars next to our products.
- We ask for social media follows. Right now we aren’t doing much with our Facebook and Instagram pages but we plan to going forward.
- We provide related content. If a customer purchased hankies, they’ll receive hanky crafts. If they purchased napkins and table linens, they’ll receive table linen crafts.
- We suggest cross sells and product recommendations. For example, someone who purchased bridal hankies might be interested in getting mens hankies for the groomsmen but never thought to do so at the time of purchase.
A Win Back Sequence
Remember when I said that my post purchase sequence is roughly 60 days long?
The reason is because after 60 days without a follow on purchase, my win back sequence kicks in.
If a customer has purchased before and hasn’t bought within 60 days, I send out a coupon to get them to come back.
Since we primarily cater to the wedding industry and most people don’t get married twice within 60 days (I wish), this sequence doesn’t get as much mileage for us as a normal store.
However, there are a subset of our customers who actually use handkerchiefs everyday and buy from us regularly.
Taking a page from Drew Sanocki, I employ what is called a discount ladder.
If they haven’t purchased in 60 days, I send them a 10% off coupon.
If they haven’t purchased in 75 days, I send them a 15% off coupon.
And finally if they haven’t purchased in 90 days, I send them a 20% off coupon as a last ditch effort.
Note: If a purchase occurs at any of these tiers, they do NOT receive another coupon.
A View Abandon Sequence
Finally, the last sequence we employ that converts like bonkers is what I call a view abandon sequence.
If a customer has viewed a product but never started checkout, I send them an email with a picture of their product and 6 suggested products.
Note: This sequence should not be confused with the abandoned cart sequence described above. The view abandon sequence only kicks in if the customer has NOT started checkout.
Here’s what my view abandon email looks like.
A question I commonly get asked with this sequence is how I know a customer’s email address if they haven’t started checkout yet?
The answer is that I don’t unless they have given it to me in the past which is why getting your customer’s email address is so crucial.
I know exactly who my customer is as long as they have given me an email address at any point in time.
If they’ve signed up for my newsletter, this sequence will kick in. If they have started checkout at anytime in the past, I’ve got them. If they’ve given me their email ever, I have them in my database.
The view abandon sequence is my second highest performing sequence next to my abandoned cart sequence and is useful for making sales and increasing average order size.
Sales On Autopilot
Once again, the beauty of all of these email sequences is that they are set it and forget it. It takes time to put everything in place, but once you’re done, you’re done!
Right now, email makes up about 21% of my sales but I plan increasing this number going forward this year.
Seriously though. This is low hanging fruit so implement these sequences now!
- How To Recover Lost Sales From Your Online Store
- Follow Up: When Coupon Codes Are Bad For Business
- Are Coupon Code Searches Costing Your Online Store Money?
- What Amazon Doesn’t Want You To Know About Running An Ecommerce Business
- 2016 Income Report: How Our Online Store Performed This Past Year