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Shopify Email Automation – Everything You Need To Know

Shopify launches global email automation.

Are you dissatisfied with the results of your current Shopify email marketing strategies?

Or are you among those who have not yet tapped into the potential of Shopify email marketing? If you answer yes, this Shopify email automation guide is right for you. It can help streamline your email marketing efforts and unlock new possibilities for success.

Shopify’s feature-rich email automation system helps store owners and email marketers automate various aspects of their email marketing campaigns. All you need to do is set your email campaigns based on customer behavior (abandoned carts, repeat purchases, etc.). As a result, they can send targeted and relevant content to the right customer at the most optimal time.

Today, we will explore the ins and outs of the tool. You’ll discover how to choose the most appropriate templates and measure their effectiveness. We’ll also include its benefits, implementation, and best practices.

Once you finish reading, you will have the confidence and knowledge to create effective email campaigns to nurture leads and turn them into loyal customers. Before we proceed to the setup process, let’s understand the essential components of Shopify email automation.

3 Essential Elements Of Shopify Email Automation

Learning Shopify email automation’s components helps optimize your email campaigns for maximum results. It also provides a seamless and more enjoyable experience for your existing and first-time customers. Let’s begin.

1. Email Automation Templates

Shopify offers 2 email automation options: custom templates and pre-built templates. The latter option is the most favorable for many because it’s convenient and time-saving. Currently, Shopify offers 9 email automation templates.

A screenshot of the ecommerce dashboard showcasing Shopify email automation.

Each ready-made template includes a starting point and other elements proven to achieve your desired outcomes. They are also designed to assist with different stages of the customer journey. Here’s an excellent way to illustrate this concept. Let’s take the example of an online lingerie and sexy costume store aiming to strengthen customer retention.

It’s generally more cost-effective to win back existing customers than to acquire new ones. The customer winback template can help you reignite their interest. They can deliver it by personalizing your emails based on the customer’s previous purchases and engagement history. Acknowledging their past interactions is important because it shows how much you value the business they bring.

The template also includes special incentives (one-time discounts). Offering a discount (coupon code) creates a sense of urgency and provides a compelling reason for customers to return. Ultimately, make a new purchase. Here’s one idea on how to implement a customer winback template:

  • Email Subject line: We Miss You! Come Back for Exclusive Offers and New Arrivals
  • Personalized Message: Dear [Customer’s Name], We appreciated your past support and wanted to let you know how much we value you as a customer.
  • Acknowledging Previous Purchases: We remember your passion for our seductive Halloween costumes and lingerie sets. As a valued customer, we know you have a flair for making a statement with your style. That’s why we wanted to inform you about our latest costume collection additions – featuring even more daring and enchanting designs.
  • Special Incentive or Exclusive Offer: As a token of our appreciation, we’re offering you an exclusive 15% discount on any costume you choose. Simply use the promo code ‘WINBACK15’ at checkout to claim your discount.
  • Call to Action: It could be a button that says “Shop Now” or “Explore New Arrivals,” linking them to a personalized recommendation page.

You can measure its success by checking these metrics: open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. You can use this data to gain insights into customer behavior and refine your email marketing strategy accordingly.

2. Automation Triggers, Conditions, & Actions

When you create an email automation workflow, there are 3 things you need to set: triggers, conditions, and actions. These elements work together to create a seamless and personalized customer experience. Let’s explore these components’ significance in Shopify email automation.

2.1 Triggers

Triggers are the events or actions that initiate the sending of automated emails. Defining it determines when customers will receive a specific email, ensuring timely and relevant communication. At present, there are 23 triggers to choose from, and you can get more through integration.

One-sentence: A screenshot displaying the Shopify account settings.

2.2 Conditions

Conditions allow you to further refine and segment your audience based on specific criteria. These additional criteria must be met to ensure your automated emails are sent to the right customers at the right time.

You can set conditions based on various factors. A few factors to consider are demographics, purchase behavior, and engagement levels.

A screenshot showcasing Shopify's email automation workflow.

You need to add a description to quickly identify the task to implement. After writing the description, you can start designing its workflow by filling up the Then and Otherwise. You can add a new condition or set the action you want to happen when it meets the prior condition. Lastly, you need to choose between running this email automation when all conditions are met or if any conditions are met.

2.3 Actions

Actions are the response that follows once a trigger event occurs and meets the conditions. In short, it determines what happens next in your email automation workflow. For example, the action you set is sending a welcome email after customers subscribe to your email marketing newsletter.

This email welcomes the customer and establishes a positive connection from the start. It can include a warm greeting, a brief introduction to your brand, and an expression of gratitude for your subscription. You can also use this opportunity to set expectations for future emails and provide any of the following:

  • Special discount code
  • Connect with your brand through social media platforms
  • Exclusive content (blog articles, educational resources, or product guides)

All actions are proven effective in giving customers a superior subscriber experience, driving conversions, and nurturing relationships. Today, there are 17 actions available for you to use. 

A screen shot showcasing the Shopify email automation workflow in Azure.

3. Third-Party Apps & Plugins Integration

Shopify’s robust ecosystem enables a seamless integration process with various apps and plugins. It creates a centralized hub to make it easier for you to manage your email automation workflows. Currently, it offers 50 direct integration for triggers and 3 for actions.

One strong integration available for triggers is the Tevello course. It’s a handy app for businesses offering an online learning and teaching platform. They can seamlessly incorporate their custom-branded courses into their platform. For example, media production is helping aspiring podcasters start their career.

A screen shot displaying Shopify Email Automation add-ons.

They can use a Tevello course to cover a series of podcasting classes, like “Mastering Podcast Interviews.” Students can explore the art of conducting engaging interviews for podcasts. They can complete the package with video lessons, quizzes, and interactive discussions. All these resources ensure a comprehensive learning experience.

Adding a voice-over to a video offers several benefits. It helps guide the audience through the video, providing context and highlighting important points. It can also engage your audience emotionally, create a connection, and bring the content to life.

Some popular ideas include a comprehensive guide to podcast software, equipment, and advertising. It helps students get everything they need to produce high-quality audio, keeping their listeners engaged and returning for more. This will enhance the course’s educational value and establish them as a go-to knowledge resource.

Pro Advice: Leverage Free Downloadable Resources

Giving away free downloadable resources can help build trust, awareness, and organic traffic to your website. Take Catena, an online service marketplace for recruitment, for example. The company understands the challenges of outsourcing and provides a comprehensive solution. They offer a free downloadable resource that serves as a guide for business owners.

A screenshot of the catena landing page showcases everything you need to know about Shopify email automation.

It helps business owners navigate the hiring process and manage outsourced talent effectively. The form has a simple design to make it easier to populate. They only have to input their email address and will soon receive the downloadable file.

Now that you understand the critical components of Shopify email automation let’s focus on the next step: getting started with it.

Getting Started With Shopify Email Automation

We’ll walk you through the process of getting started with Shopify email automation. We’ll cover all the essentials, from selecting the right email marketing app to creating effective email content. Follow these simple steps to develop impactful automated email campaigns that connect with your audience.

Let’s start with the prerequisite procedures to ensure a smooth and efficient setup process.

I. Set Up A Shopify Store

You need to have an active Shopify store before using its email automation tool. The registration is simple and only asks 4 questions:

  • Step 1: Which of these best describes you?
  • Step 2: Where would you like to sell?
  • Step 3: What do you plan to sell first?
  • Step 4: Where will your business be located?

Assuming you accomplish everything, the following steps will involve the customization of your new store. It may include selecting a theme, adding products, configuring payment gateways, and customizing your store’s settings.

II. Choose An Email Marketing App

Connecting an email marketing app allows you to streamline your email marketing campaigns and manage your customer email list. It ensures a seamless data flow between your Shopify store and the email app, which helps keep your data accurate and up-to-date.

You probably know that Shopify offers email marketing solutions. It has a drag-and-drop editor where you can create custom workflows and tweak pre-built email templates (also include pre-built workflows). Though it provides many helpful features, it’s less comprehensive than other email marketing platforms.

That’s why they provide various email marketing app options for integration to ensure they can cater to your needs. Here are some important aspects to consider in choosing an email marketing app:

  • Ease of use
  • Pricing model
  • Email deliverability rates
  • Customer support and training
  • Scalability (send unlimited emails)
  • Compatibility and integration options
  • User reviews and reputation in the industry

Remember to check its key features and functionality. It should contain all the essential automation features you need. It’s a plus if it provides extra features like list management, email templates, segmentation, and personalization. Mailchimp and Klaviyo are some of the popular options.

A. Mailchimp

Screenshot, workflow, Adobe Acrobat

Many choose Mailchimp because it provides a straightforward drag-and-drop email builder, making it accessible to users of all levels of expertise. It also has a free pricing plan. This allows users to send 1,000 monthly emails to one target audience. They can also develop 3 types of email design:

  • Plain text
  • Interactive email design
  • Rich HTML email design

You can sign up for its premium plans if you’re an advanced user. It allows you to send 150,000 personalized email messages and target unlimited audiences. Another advantage of Mailchimp is it’s a lightweight email marketing tool. It’s a surprise for many as it offers additional features beyond email marketing.

B. Klaviyo

Customer thank you flow in Shopify.

Klaviyo became a go-to solution because of its advanced segmentation feature. It allows you to create customer segments based on various attributes and behaviors. Other advanced features it has are the following:

  • Triggers
  • Behavioral tracking
  • Multichannel attribution
  • Product recommendation
  • Personalized benchmarks

Like Mailchimp, you can use Klaviyo with a free plan (send 500 emails monthly). It also features a drag-and-drop automation builder with a massive library of templates for email, SMS, and mobile push. Both customizable templates and premium versions are available. It’s a better option for creating hyper-precise email campaigns for higher conversions, revenue, and customer engagement.

III. Build & Segment Your Email List

Email automation relies on a subscriber list to automate and personalize your email campaigns. One excellent method to build one is by creating compelling lead magnets.

You should offer valuable and relevant content that your target audience finds helpful. This could include eBooks, guides, premium templates, checklists, or exclusive resource access. You can promote these lead magnets on your website, blog, or social media platforms. A good example is Recruiterflow, an applicant tracking and recruiting platform.

Get incredible sourcing and recruiting tips delivered directly to your email with the help of Shopify Email Automation.

They use a sign-up form on their blog to encourage their target audience to join their email list. It’s non-intrusive, which helps create a positive impression and encourages them to stay on your site longer. It also provides a clear and direct statement of the resources they will get when they sign up.

Recruiterflow gives away sourcing and recruiting tips to help business owners hire the best applicants. Some of the resources they provide focus on recruiter marketing – everything you need to know. This may include a step-by-step tutorial on creating a marketing plan, recruiting email templates, or setting a budget.

After building your email list, the next step is identifying and creating customer audience segments. Segmenting involves dividing your subscriber base into smaller, targeted groups. All these groups are based on specific criteria you’ve set. It may seem challenging, but several tools can assist you.

  • Data analytics
  • Business intelligence tools
  • Surveys and feedback tools
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) system

These methods allow you to send more personalized and relevant emails. Once you gather everything, you can use tagging or labeling systems. It helps you further categorize subscribers based on specific interests or actions.

IV. Define Your Email Automation Goals

Goals provide clarity and focus on what you want to achieve for your Shopify store. The simplest way to identify them is by looking at broader business objectives. Are you looking to increase sales, boost customer retention, or drive repeat purchases?

Once you list everything, you can break them into smaller, actionable goals. Select the goals that can be achieved through email automation. Let’s say your business objective is to increase sales. Your email automation goals could include increasing conversion rates or recovering abandoned carts.

Other proven methods you can apply to define your email automation goals are:

  • Use the SMART goal-setting technique
  • Consider customer lifecycle stages
  • Prioritize goals based on their importance and impact on your business objectives

Remember, having clear goals will help you identify the emails you want to automate. Also, it guides you in creating relevant content and setting up appropriate workflows.

V. Create Email Templates & Content

This is the last stage of the prerequisite procedure; it’s the most enjoyable one. This is where you can showcase your creativity in making visually appealing email templates. The design should align with your brand identity as a general rule of thumb.

It should include your logo, colors, and other consistent branding elements. Plenty of editing options allow you to achieve your desired appearance. If you want a more complex design, you can use an email editor like Shopify Email.

It offers a wide range of pre-built templates that look outstanding and optimized for mobile devices. When adding images, make sure to include alt text.

Alt text is part of SEO best practices that help search engines understand the image content. It improves the website’s visibility and ranking in search results. For email design, alt text is also helpful for users who rely on text-to-speech technology to understand the content of the email.

When crafting persuasive branded email content, it should be concise, compelling, and provide value to your subscribers. Write a captivating subject line to improve open rates. Also, add a prominent call-to-action to increase click-through rates and drive traffic to your desired destination. You can use A/B testing to test different variations and see what resonates best with your potential customers.

It also helps to add social sharing buttons or forward options. It will make it easier for the recipients to share your content with their networks.

VI. Set Up Email Automation Workflows

Setting up email automation workflows in Shopify is relatively easy. First, you need to map out your entire customer journey. It helps visualize the different touchpoints and interactions a customer has with your store. You can identify the best moment to send the automated emails from here.

The following steps are dedicated to setting the triggers, conditions, and actions. Here are a few ideas on how you can create your workflows:

a. Cart Recovery Email Workflow

  • Trigger: Abandoned cart
  • Condition: Customer adding items to their cart but not completing the purchase within a specified time frame
  • Action: Sending a series of reminder cart emails with incentives to encourage them to complete their purchase

b. Post-Purchase Email Workflow

  • Trigger: Completed purchase
  • Condition: Send X days after the purchase
  • Action: Send a personalized thank-you email along with recommendations for related products or exclusive offers

VII. Email Testing & Optimization

Before launching your automated email campaigns, make sure to test each thoroughly. It’s an effective way to ensure they work as intended. You can send some test emails to yourself and any team members involved.

You can all review the content, formatting, and design to identify errors or issues. Pay more attention to the overall layout, images, links, and text alignment. Ensure they appear correctly across different devices and email providers.

Next, optimize the email campaigns using search engine optimization techniques. Incorporate relevant keywords into the subject line, preview text, CTA, images, and entire email body content naturally. You can apply the same tactics if you run your email campaign with a dedicated landing page. It can increase visibility, attract more engaged subscribers, and drive higher click-through rates.

Lastly, test each trigger scenario to know if the corresponding email is triggered and sent at the appropriate times. For example, a new subscriber triggers a welcome email upon joining your contact list. You can subscribe to your email contact list and confirm if the welcome email is sent promptly. As you find errors or issues, make the necessary changes accordingly.

VIII. Monitor & Analyze Results

Once your email automation campaigns are live, keep a close eye on their performance. You can see it through the metrics and analytics your email marketing service provides. You can track KPIs such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.

Analyze this data to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions that will help optimize your email automation strategy. As for your email list, you can test it by integrating the list into Google Ads Settings. Upload the list, and it will tell you if the customer emails are in the correct format.

Additionally, it will create custom audiences and target your subscribers with relevant paid ads across the Google Ads network. They (email campaigns and paid ads) will work together to maximize your reach and conversions.


Shopify email automation is a powerful tool that can revolutionize your email marketing strategies. By automating various aspects of your email campaigns, you can streamline your efforts and deliver targeted and relevant content to the right customers at the optimal time. 

This comprehensive guide covers essential details to get started, including step-by-step instructions. So, even if you’re a novice user of Shopify email automation, you can start easily.

Take the first step towards eCommerce excellence and transform your Shopify business today. eCommerce Fastlane can help you as they share proven strategies, expert advice, and powerful tools that can supercharge your eCommerce success. Visit eCommerce Fastlane now and unlock the secrets to skyrocketing your sales.


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