One of the best ways to grow your eCommerce business is to build a marketing automation strategy that makes money while you sleep. Email automation flows allow you to create touchpoints across the entire customer journey — ensuring you’re consistently engaging your customers with timely, relevant messages.
Why invest in automation flows?
Flows are revenue-generating powerhouses. They have 1558% higher conversion rates than standalone email campaigns.
Flows make you (more) money while you sleep. Once set up, they are working for you 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year.
Flows help you build stronger relationships with your customers. Flows have a 33% higher average open rate and help increase customer lifetime value (CLV), bringing you more revenue from your exisitng customers.
Visualizing the Customer Lifecycle
In order to plan your automation strategy, you need to understand the customer lifecycle. Many marketers are familiar with the AIDA sales funnel: moving customers through the phases of Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. But what about after the purchase? Thinking longterm, you may also want to consider post-purchase Loyalty and Advocacy phases where repeat purchases and customer lifetime value come into play.
Here are some of the touch points where it may make sense to implement automation flows:
Think of Customers as Friends
To better understand the customer lifecycle, it may be helpful to think of customers as friends. After all, building relationships with timely and relevant messages is really what email marketing is all about.
Automation Flows: the Big Four
When it comes to email automation, most people think of these four foundational flows:
Welcome Series: onboard new subscribers to your brand.
Winback Series: engage customers that have lapsed and are overdue to come back and purchase again.
Browse Abandonment: target website visitors that browse items, but don’t make it to the checkout phase.
Abandoned Cart Reminder: convert potential customers that leave items behind in their cart.
These flows form the basis of any automation strategy, and are sure to increase your revenue and site conversions.
Leveling Up Your Automation
Businesses that stick to only the big four automations are leaving money on the table — money you literally make while you sleep! If you want to supercharge your marketing automation efforts, try some of these more advanced techniques:
Advanced Technique #1: Flow Branching
• Create parallel paths for different stages of the customer lifecycle
• Optimize discount strategy by splitting flows based on cart or order value
• Customize split sequences for different categories of products
Example #1: Many welcome series emails include something like a 10% or 20% discount on the first order. But what if that new subscriber has already purchased from you before? Branching flows allows you to target only new customers with the discount, while still sending an automated welcome email to all your new subscribers.
Example #2: High-value vs. low-value cart abandonment. Branching allows you to craft your communication depending on the cart value. Perhaps you want to remind customers about abandoned carts under $100, but offer an incentive, such as free shipping within the next 48 hours, to customers with cart values over $100. If you’re selling worldwide, you may take this a step further by branching between domestic and international high-value orders, offering free shipping for domestic orders, and a 10% discount on international orders.
Advanced Technique #2: Leverage Data Science
• Nurture repeat purchases using the Expected Date of Next Order
• Use Predicted Gender to better target content
• Use Predicted CLV to experiment with longer nurture sequencesKlaviyo’s data science capabilities utilize machine learning to calculate and predict your customer’s purchase cycles and lifetime values. This includes predictive data about their next expected date of purchase.
Example #1: Set up flows to trigger emails on a person’s expected date of next order. These timely and relevant emails drive tremendous open and click rates right at the time that your customer is considering their next purchase. It’s a bit like magic!
Example #2: Provide longer and more strategic nurturing sequences for customers with low customer lifetime values, while holding back on discounts for high lifetime value customers as they will probably purchase regardless.
Example #3: Use predicted gender flags to market different products to men and women. Or change your messaging for the genders; for example, by swapping out a hero image or changing a color scheme.
Advanced Technique #3: Test, Test, Test
• Test different subject lines and monitor open rates to evaluate the performance
• Split test sequences with different timing
• Add additional emails to existing flows and watch impact on revenue per recipient
Klaviyo supports A/B testing for both subject lines and email content and even entire email sequences.
Example #1: Optimize Subject Lines — test variations such as short vs. long, or with and without emojis.
Example #2: Optimize wait periods — test time delay variations within win-back or abandoned cart flows.
Example #3: Optimize series length — should you include two or four messages in your welcome series? Test it!Test variations of subject lines
Advanced Technique #4: Tag Profiles in Flows
• Start capturing First Purchase Date
• Buildout tags for VIP tiers
• Collect categories of interest using flows
Use flows to learn more about your subscribers and customers. Set or update profile properties as contacts move through flows.
Example #1: Capture your customer’s first purchase date and tag their profile. Use that tag to send an automated email on the anniversary of their first purchase.
Example #2: Use customer’s browsing activity to tag their profile with their category/product interests. Use that tag to personalized emails based on their preferences.Tag profiles with First Purchase Date
How should I start?
An important first step in determing your automation flows is to set your goals and document your strategy:
What are your goals? Write down your high-level goals behind leveling up your email automation.
What lifecycle stages are you focused on? Call out which stages you are going to prioritize based on your goals.
How will you measure success? Document how you will measure success, so you can hold yourself accountable and track progress.
Looking for an Expert to Set Up and Manage Email Automations for your business? I’m here to help.
I’ve been managing best-in-class email marketing campaigns and automation flows for major consumer brands over ten years. I have extensive experience and expertise with both MailChimp and Klaviyo ESP platforms and am Klaviyo Master certified.
I work with businesses to understand their customer profiles, lifecycles, and purchase behaviors. I unlock the power of email marketing by designing a custom strategy and game plan, segmenting and personalizing communication and timing, and analyzing the results to optimize for ROI.
Contact me now at 949-280-6085 or book an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your eCommerce business and goals and understand how I can help you make (more) money while you sleep through the power of email automation.