Email marketing automation is a well-covered subject because there are plenty of benefits which could be derived from proper automation.

We know it can be a daunting task for owners of eCommerce websites, but this guide will make your foundation of knowledge rock-solid.

In this article, I’ll discuss the basics of everything from building an email list to the different types of emails that you should be automating. So, grab your notebook, because things are about to get factual.

The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing Automation

Your Main Email List

I’ve observed that a lot of people still don’t know how to build up their email list correctly and this short primer should help you out.

Getting People to Give You Their Emails

In fact, there are many ways to get customers to give you their email addresses. If they have already made a purchase with you, then this should be a no-brainer.

But, what if they happen to be browsing your site and suddenly decide to leave without making a purchase?

This now becomes a problem.

Fear not, because there are many solutions.

Best Buy email marketing automation

You can give them a special offer via an internal ad on your website; this could be in the form of a discount or initial buyer offer. You could utilize some sort of lead magnet tactic where you give something away.

If you have an eCommerce store that deals with specialty services or products, you can even have gated content that can only be accessed by giving away an email address. There are free plugins which help you do this, and you can integrate these with the eCommerce platform your store is running on.

Segmentation and Varied Campaigns

If there is one lesson that we have learned from account-based marketing (ABM), it’s the fact that customized emails work.

Your current list or the list you are building also has to be segmented by demographics, buying power, buying propensity, geographical local and so on.

This will help with the other automated emails that we will be talking about in the latter part of this article.

Remember that people like personalization and custom campaigns. In fact, more than 70 percent of people prefer personalized ads that have been tailor-made for them.

Email List Hygiene

Practice good email hygiene; there are tools available that can help you with this. Check if the emails that you have are still working and are not just bouncing.

This affects the integrity and the reputation of your email address. If it’s terrible, it hurts deliverability.

Remember that email addresses are primed. Ensure that the email address of your eCommerce store is primed too and ready to send emails.

Double Opt-Ins

This is one way of ensuring that the email address that they gave you is valid. It will require the recipient of your email to confirm their email addresses. This way, you don’t send emails to fake addresses.

Linkody email marketing automation

Don’t Forget About the Quality of Your Content

This is one thing that a lot of people frequently forget about. Make sure you have at least 500 characters in your email, so you do not get flagged for spam. However, you also need to make sure that your content is not too “wordy” for your ready or you will lose their attention.

The trick is to utilize the other characters in your copyright notice or your fine print.

Make sure you have enough pictures and graphics to keep the user on your page and make the email read worth their while.

Types of Automated Emails Your E-commerce Store Needs to Send

Automated emails allow you to properly engage with your customers and increase conversion and CTR sans the hassle.

The beauty of automation is it creates a sales system that is automatic and is all-inclusive to make sure that every potential lead is maximized.

Here is where the real fun begins. I recommend you use an application to automate the different campaigns that you will be engaging in. Benchmark is a great application that automates different marketing tasks.

email marketing automation

With software like this, it becomes more comfortable for you to start crafting systems on how to treat different kinds of user behavior towards specific email actions.

For example, we see what happens when a user views or ignores an offer message that was previously sent to their inbox. After a particular amount of time, you can automatically send an email depending on the user’s behavior, i.e., if they opened it or not.

You just have to set the system up, and you’re pretty much good to go. Systems like this make customer interaction and engagement an easier puzzle to solve.

And, those are not the only good things you can do with automation.

Here’s the good news.

You can customize how much time passes before each action of the automated “email flowchart,” and you can even add a variable number of user actions.


It’s a way for you to fully automate the messages that you send out to your customers based on their interactions.

What you see is just a simple example of what you can do to automate your email response systems. This can vary per product or service that you have, and in some cases, you can even create flowcharts under your flowcharts.

These flowcharts can then be further broken into the different market segments that you might have in your email list. In turn, it makes everything you do for your customers – even the automated emails that they receive – fully personalized.

Personalization is the new game in digital marketing, and that is why this is so important.

To further emphasize on this, I would even advise that every email that is received from the end of your e-commerce store, is automatically replied to, with an acknowledgment that’s apt to the matter being discussed.

Abandoned Carts

Just because a customer has left a cart doesn’t mean it’s over.

Here’s how you can help them find their way back to you.

  • Send an automated email an hour after they have abandoned their cart.
  • If there has been no response, send an email 24 hours later.
  • You can even include an offer in this email – only in particular cases.

 automation workflow


Here’s an excellent way for you to get additional revenue after a sale has been made. Send an automated email of an upsell offer containing products that are relevant to the purchase that your customer made.

If you draw on previous data, you can include items that have been purchased along with the previously purchased item from other customers.

Follow Up – Post Purchase

Sending an email after the first purchase is an excellent way for you to show your customers that you care about them.

  • Include information about the product that they bought
  • Thank them for their purchase
  • Again, you can include a special discount for the next purchase to increase purchase velocity

Follow Up – Engagement

If you have customers that have not been engaging with your business for a long time, then you can set your application to send emails to dormant customers.

You can include a return offer or the sort.

Check out how Pinkberry does it.

Pinkberry pinkcard automation

Something like this and personal always does the trick.

VIP Customers

Your VIP customers are customers that have had a history of many purchases and are always ready to engage with your business. You have to keep them on a separate list after they have been qualified to give them better promotions for their loyalty.

Sending out an email to them now and then helps keep the relationship alive, and is also great for revenue.

The welcome series is the essential automated email series that you should send to your customers. It’s the first time that you’ll be sending them an email and naturally, it should be automated.

Moz automation

You need to send this as soon as someone subscribes. Remember our tips above?

There’s a lot that you can do here.

  • CTAs for social media should be included
  • A special offer for the current season
  • Offer them something to subscribe to your content

Value Content

This is syndicated content from your blog or team. It aims to inform rather than to sell.

  • Aim to segment who your value content goes to depending on the demographics of the subscriber.
  • Some content will be appealing to another group.
  • You are aiming for brand recognition here.

Trello automation

Harness the Feedback

At the end of the day, you also want to collect information about the success of your automated email campaigns. It isn’t also wise to start using one campaign with everything, i.e., imagine a sort of response system for the demographics that you cater to.

You should still be conducting split tests to determine effective campaigns.

This means a couple of things.

You will still be looking at your email CTR, your open rates and the overall engagement.

So, there you have it- your beginner’s guide to automation. Now that you have the tools to get emails, know what emails to send and have examples of how to go about it, there is no stopping your eCommerce email campaigns.