7 Retail Email Marketing Automation Strategies

7 Email Marketing Automation Strategies

In today’s post, I want to go into more detail about the most profitable channel for marketing automation—email!

Time and time again when I talk about email marketing automation, I get this comment: “I don’t want to bombard my list…”

To this, I say, “Don’t stress!”

There are some nightmare examples out there. You’ve probably signed up to some in the past (I know I have). But don’t let this put you off. When email automation is done right it’s one of the best tools in a marketers arsenal and it all starts with the customer’s journey!

In this post you’ll learn:

  • The 4 key areas of your customer journey
  • 7 automated customer journey emails that you should implement

Email Marketing Automation and the Customer’s Journey

Put simply, there are four stages of the customer journey.

Aquire: A customer’s journey begins the moment they see or hear about your brand. This may be through a digital marketing channel such as email or social or it could even be passed on by word of mouth.

Nurture: Once you have the attention of a potential customer it’s time to nurture. This is the stage where your customer will do their research, price compare, make an enquiry or call into your shop for a quick look. They haven’t decided if they want to make the purchase, and more importantly, they haven’t decided if they want to buy it from you or your competitor.

Convert: The customer is ready to make the purchase, they just need the final push. This might be free shipping, a catalogue sale or even the assistance of a knowledgeable and welcoming sales assistant.

Retain: The customer has made a purchase this is where many businesses drop the ball. The retention stage, although often forgotten, is arguably the most important stage. I cannot repeat myself enough in saying that the customer journey DOES NOT FINISH AT THE POINT OF SALE! 

Retention is all about continuing to build on your customer relationship and turn a one-time purchase into a loyal, brand advocating customer.

It’s important to think about your marketing and automation like the above, in four simple parts. You shouldn’t treat a first time visitor like your customers, and you can’t treat non-customers like they are customers.

READ MORE: Mapping Your Customer Journey—Capturing the Complete Customer Experience (CX)

Now that you know how to break down your customer journey, it’s time to fill the gaps…with automation.

Here are the top 7 email marketing automation journey triggers every retailer should implement.

1. Welcome/Nurture 

Chances are you’re reading this and thinking…’yeah lady, I’ve got one of those. Pretty standard. Thanks for nothing!’

But if you read this blog, you may have picked up my advice about the benefits of building out a minimum of 4-5 emails of a series of 30 days.

In fact, a study done by genius.com indicated that 66% of buyers say that consistent and relevant communication provided by businesses is a key influence in choosing a solution or brand. Get off on the right foot and don’t let leads slip through the cracks with an automated lead nurturing campaign.

Bottom line, having a multi-part welcome series is great, but what if you evolved your welcome series to be triggered by key behavioural attributes based on what they did or didn’t do?

When someone joins your list they will need some special TLC in order to become a customer. Or perhaps they’ve just converted if that’s the case the message would be entirely different.

One of our retailers has 20+ emails in their welcome series all designed to guide, surprise and delight the customer based on where they are at in their customer journey, not where we want them to be.

Really Good Emails | Welcome To Typeform

2. Activate 

Do you have a limited time discount or offer for new customers? An activation campaign is designed to remind them to capitalise on it!

This automated email is all about getting people to take action on a critical point in order to strengthen your relationship or convert.

For example, DropBox knows that if you haven’t installed the application onto your computer the chances of you using the service are low, which leaves their chances of landing an upsell to the paid product…practically impossible.

That’s why they send reminder emails to ensure you’re making the most of their service.

Really Good Emails | Dropbox Paper

3. Anniversary

According to Experian, birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails.


Treat your subscribers to a special something when the big day arrives. Whether it be their birthday, your biz-birthday, or some other time-based event, ensure your customers know you care!

Troll through reallygoodemails.com for some more campaign inspiration!

Really Good Emails | Customer Anniversary Twitter

4. Helpful Features/Products

“Oh haven’t you checked out our amazing one of a kind flying skateboard?… Because we know you love skateboards, here is a demo with Tony Hawk we shot last week.”

Okay, so it doesn’t have to be so extreme. But maybe you have a specific bestselling product that is perfectly complemented by a lesser-known product?

Or you know they’ve shopped a specific category in the past. Draw on this behaviour and deliver campaigns that provide valuable educational information.

Really Good Emails | Canopy

5. Post Purchase

Now I often say, it’s remarkable how quickly a sleazy salesperson will lose their charm once you;ve signed on the dotted line…don’t be a sleazy salesperson!

Share in your new customer’s excitement, reinforce that they’ve made a great decision and leave them with confidence to buy from you again.

Behavioural studies suggest that these emails have 50% higher open rates when compored to standard mailings.

Post Purchase
Really Good Emails | Crate & Barrel

6. Cart Abandonment

Do you know how many people will lose focus and abandon their session?

According to some studies, up to 98%!

We’re only human, we often lose focus, but it doesn’t always mean we are disinterested! Without an abandoned cart email, you’re leaving these leads on the table where they will quickly lose interest.

Jump on the opportunity while the lead is hot with an abandoned cart email!

Abandon Cart
Really Good Emails | Casper

7. Reactivation

You won’t believe this but sometimes people don’t open your emails. I know, how rude, you send great emails, right?!

Overtime a portion of your customers and wider subscriber base may become dormant, and if you leave them for long enough they may start to gain cobwebs. A reactivation campaign will help you wake up your sleepers and convert.

Some brands do this on a 12-weekly basis, and what this means is, if they identify a subscriber hasn’t opened any of the past 12 campaigns (weekly emails) then they send them an automated email saying “Hey! Are you still there?” to try and spark some new life into the subscriber.

Really Good Email | Teespring

In summary, these are some highly effective email strategies and they will work to keep your site traffic and sales up.

Now it’s over to you, have you tried these emails? Give it a go and let us know what great results you get!

This blog was originally published on ProBlogger as ‘The Top 7 Email Marketing Automation Lifecycle Triggers Every Blogger Should Implement.’

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