It is difficult for brands to send relevant emails to the audience in the digital age because they can't be sure if every recipient would receive the messages well. But there is one type of email that is always relevant: Follow-Up Emails.
These emails are sent whenever a visitor or customer has engaged with you or taken a specific action on your website. Sending effective follow-up emails is essential for customer activation, retention, and repeat purchase. More than that, they show that you are listening and catering to customer needs.
Follow-up emails work because they can be highly relevant to each recipient, and have the potential to not only generate more revenue, but also improve the user experience, and keep your brand top of mind. From welcome to reviews and refund, reaching out with follow-up emails keeps the dialog going for the best satisfaction.
In this post, I will take you through the 9 best follow-up email ideas with real-life examples so you can use them to your advantage. Even better, you can automate these follow-ups with AVADA Email Marketing and have peace of mind, so what is not to love? Let's get started!
- Why does your Shopify store need follow-up emails?
- Must-have Shopify follow-up emails (with examples)
- Final words
Why does your Shopify store need follow-up emails?
According to research, email marketing is a well-spent investment with an ROI of $42 for every dollar spent. Follow-up emails are vital to this result for being more relevant to customers than other digital interaction types, since you are extending an existing interaction and making customers know their needs are heard.
Customers feel more valued when a brand reaches out to them in a personal and genuine way. In fact, personalization is the number one tactic that savvy email marketers use to improve performance.
Automating your follow-up emails won't take out the human element either. An automated email tool helps you optimize the working process and interact with customers in a meaningful way. Because you can respond almost instantly with trigger actions by users and set up an automated series, you have the opportunity to nurture a long-lasting relationship with recipients.
Must-have Shopify follow-up emails (with examples)
Take a look at these 9 types of follow-up emails with examples to add to your marketing arsenal. I will also show you which automation tool to consider and how to make the most of each email. Let's begin!
1. Welcome email
A welcome email is the first email for someone who just joined your mailing list. You can create a welcome email for new customers or new subscribers. According to data from Vero, the open rate for a welcome email is 50%, which is 86% more effective than standard newsletters. Shoppers pay more attention to your welcome messages, so you have an excellent opportunity to engage here.
Your welcome emails can do the following:
- Sending a warm welcome to new subscribers
- Setting the right expectations about future communications
- Giving users an incentive for the next purchase
- Directing subscribers to your other channels
- Introducing your brand
Take a look at the example email from Overstock above: Subscribers can immediately receive a 15% off coupon for signing up, making their next purchase already much more exciting. But, of course, you can get more creative and send more than just a discount code.
Think of the welcome email as the start of a new friendship, and treat your subscribers as friends that you want to take care of, then you will find a suitable voice.
2. Cart abandonment email
According to Baymard Institute, 69.80% of shoppers on average were interested enough to add a product into cart, but didn’t complete the purchase. The good news is that you can recover those lost sales with a cart abandonment strategy, using emails at the center.
To maximize the effect, you can create a cart abandonment email series and continue to nurture your leads until they make a purchase. As a place to start, here is my recommendation for a cart recovery series:
- Email 1: send one hour after the abandonment to remind about the cart
- Email 2: send 24 hours later to offer a small discount code with an expiration time
- Email 3: Send 48 hours later and remind that the discount code would expire soon.
That said, you should look at your own data and customer's behavior to determine your email sequence. Don't be afraid to send more or fewer emails based on the metrics for the best result. If people keep buying from your cart recovery emails, then you should keep sending them.
Remember to include a picture of the abandoned product and a link that takes the customers back to the shopping cart, so they can resume purchasing effortlessly. You can see how ThredUp even put a bit of humour into their cart abandonment email, showing how sad the dress is to see a customer leaving.
3. Order confirmation email
An order confirmation email is a must-have for your eCommerce store. Every buyer expects it, but more than just reminding of the bought item, you have a chance to show that your brand is amazing. Also, not all emails have a fantastic open rate like this because customers want to see the confirmation and shipping details.
With order confirmation email, you can thank buyers, encourage them to shop with you again, show the return policy, and, even better, promote relevant upselling or cross-selling items. Remember to have an obvious link between the recommended items and the bought item, or you can come across as too sale-pushy.
Look at the example from Dollar Shave Club, they immediately mention the bought product and the shipping date, but also spend a large part of their confirmation email showing related products to cross-sell. The copy of “Toss more in?” Just sounds so tempting!
4. Shipping email
The next idea is shipping confirmation email – which notifies customers when the shipping process begins. You can send the shipping information, arrival date, and a shipping code so buyers can track through the shipping service app. Also, the return policy and other social media channels are a great bonus.
For better customer service, take a step further and send a product arrival email, preferably a day after the scheduled arrival date. This simple email informs the customer that they should have received the product. Ask them if the product arrived safely and proactively provide support if there is a problem.
Polaroid's shipping email not only lets the customer track the shipment and view bought products but also suggests them head to the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page to learn more and be ready to use the product. That is a great idea to educate customers.
5. Receipt email
Conversio reported that receipt emails have an average open rate of 70.9%, 4x normal eCommerce email. Which means you definitely should try making an offer with receipt emails and encourage customers to take action. But, first, have these default information:
- Transaction number
- Name and photo of the purchased products
- Shipping details
- Support information
Then, you can add extra stuff like social media profiles, product recommendations, or reviews from satisfied customers. You can create a PDF version of the receipt so buyers can download. In the receipt email from Adidas, they included both a score feedback and recommended items for the customer.
6. Review request email
Reviews can help you drive more sales because shoppers often depend on other customers' words to make purchasing decisions. Sending emails to request reviews from past buyers is a great way to let you collect more verified reviews. Your review request email should ask buyers to rate the experience with your products and leave additional feedback on whether they were satisfied or not.
To thank customers for taking the time to review your product, you can give them a discount coupon or reward points to redeem for their next orders.
If you don't know how to gain more reviews using emails, check out this article on tips to gather more reviews with email templates.
In case you are looking for a tool to collect reviews through emails, look no further than Judge.me – the review app that can help you build sequences of review request emails and collect customer feedback on autopilot. The Judge.me app is free to start using, so don't hesitate to give it a try. They also have a fantastic example gallery for inspiration, which I often check out before designing a campaign.
7. Win back email
Over time, a subscriber may stop opening your email, or a customer may stop buying from you. A win-back automated email campaign can reignite their interest and put your brand back on top of their minds. Choose a time-lapse of 3 – 6 months from the last sale to trigger this email and get started.
You should also do this because if you have too many inactive subscribers on your email list, your company's emails are more likely to be sent to the promotion tab or even the spam folder. Here are the fundamental steps of a win-back email series:
- A reminder email about the last sale
- A follow-up email with a fantastic offer
- An email to inform you will delete or unsubscribe them soon due to lack of activity.
- An unsubscribe email for the active users.
By doing this, you will offer the inactive buyers or subscribers a chance to re-engage, while you can take the opportunity to clean your email list. See how Urban Outfitters gives a bonus, but also provides options for keep subscribing or unsubscribe – which urges recipients to act quickly.
8. Return email
Unfortunately, some customers will return your products. It is not you, it is just they simply don't enjoy your product and can't find a good fit for it in their lives. It is important to stay professional and respond to the refund with a friendly email, expressing the hope to do business again with them in the future.
Since this affects your sales immediately, you can manually write return emails or set up automated campaigns. I would recommend manuals if you are a small business since you can reach out to ask about customers' problems and provide personalized support.
In general, a return email gives you a chance to understand your problems with products and services. That’s the most valuable thing about this type of follow-up email.
9. Unsubscribe email
Much like returns, unsubscribers are unavoidable for any business. If they don't respond to your brand's emails or actively click on the unsubscribe link, follow with your words and unsubscribe the users. Your email should notify them that they have successfully unsubscribed and express no hard feelings.
You should also include a link to easily resubscribe to your email list, or adjust the email preferences before finally unsubscribe. The unsubscribe email is also an excellent opportunity to give a final offer and make them stay. Based on your brand's personality, you can have different approaches with the unsubscribe email.
For example, Puma shows sadness with their unsubscribe email by adding the words of “It's not the same without you”. Recipients can also re-subscribe with a link in the email. If your brand is more friendly, you can add the classic “We will miss you” in your unsubscribe email.
Email is a fantastic marketing tool to increase your sales, retention, and profitability. Every Shopify business can benefit from improving the communication chain with customers and prospects through this channel, as long as they can leverage every interaction with personalized and relevant emails. With this article, you can have the 9 most essential follow-up emails for your business and create a meaningful relationship with the audience. The best thing is that you can fully automate all these emails and generate more sales effortlessly. If you need any Follow-Up Email template, check out AVADA Email Marketing – which can help you set up automated emails and SMS with proven and ready-to-use presets.