12 essential emails every ecommerce company should be sending


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So you send out the standard order confirmation emails, but did you know there are 12 essential emails every ecommerce business should be sending to really make the most of every opportunity?

Fastnet founder Sarah is going to take you through each & every one of them, & explain why taking the time to get these 12 emails in place will really benefit your business growth.

PLUS this doesn’t mean loads of extra work – with automation available for lots of the emails on the list, you can set it & forget it, business win!

Scroll down for the transcript if you prefer to read rather than watch, and as always, feel free to share this with any small business owners you know who may benefit from our top tips.

We’ll have a new episode each week, which will appear here & on our YouTube channel (if you subscribe there you won’t miss one).

Got questions about anything in the video? Drop us a line or give us a call at Fastnet HQ.


Video transcript:

‘Scaling an ecommerce brand can be hard, and it can be difficult to stand out and get traction. But one of the key things you can do to keep your targets on track is to make sure that you’ve got a comprehensive email campaign.

Now, why is email so important? Well, when somebody visits your site, if you can capture their email address and you have a prime sitting duck there waiting to go and buy your products, and of course, if they’ve already bought from you, and you’ve already got their emails so provided they’ve signed in and they’ve applied to all the GDPR guidelines, then you’ve also got people that you can then re-target to sell more things to.

Now we know from years and years and years of experience that while email kind of comes across as a fairly old fashioned form of marketing, it’s actually, in many ways, the most effective, providing it’s done right. We all hate spam. We all hate emails that land in our inbox and fill up the inbox without us really enjoying the content that they produce. But actually, a well-written, well-orchestrated email campaign can really transform a brand, so that’s what we’re going to go into today.

So this video is going to cover the emails you want to consider implementing into your ecommerce store right now. For the best advice on how to grow your ecommerce brand quickly and profitably, subscribe to my channel, hit the bell, I release a new video every Thursday. I’m Sarah, founder of The Fastnet Agency and we specialise in helping up-and-coming, adventurous ecommerce brands to scale their store online. So follow my channel for more great videos on how to scale your ecommerce brand.

So email, whilst it seems a bit of an old fashioned form of communication these days is actually becoming more important than ever. You may have heard in the news that Apple is bringing out, with their new IOS update, various privacy measures, which is going to make potential retargeting on things like Facebook more and more difficult. We know that people are actively trying to protect their privacy more and more by blocking cookies and doing various other things.

So, you know, email, whilst it’s a fairly old-fashioned form of marketing is actually highly effective. If you want to make sure that you’re really reaching out to your target customers and to your existing customers as well. And I think with this in mind, you know where Apple goes, everybody else follows.

I think this is just going to become a more and more important aspect of everybody’s marketing. Okay, so email number one, the welcome email. Now you should have a really lovely brand- orientated welcome email that goes out to anybody that either subscribes to your mailing list or when somebody places an order on your site for the first time and they haven’t bought from you before. This is a great way of initiating them into your brand.

It gets them used to the idea of receiving emails from you and done right, this can be a great way of making people feel genuinely welcome and part of your brand family. It can be a fantastic way to nurture a new customer into becoming an absolute super fan, so the welcome email should never, ever be underestimated and can be a massive factor when it comes to building an online audience.

Ok so email number two is the curation email. Now this is a very sales-orientated email you should send these regularly, and it’s basically a culmination of your best products for that week or products that you think your customer will be interested in. Now, If you’re doing very sophisticated marketing and you’ve got a wide range of products, then you can look at what, that you know, your customers looked at online and then you can send them products that relate to that.

You’ll find Amazon and big companies like that, doing this all the time. If you’ve got a smaller range of products or to be frank, your email marketing isn’t up to that level of sophistication, which is understandable, then this could just be based on seasonality, it can be based on your top picks, it can be based on what’s new in at the moment.

Perhaps you’ve got products that have been sold out for a while, but now you’ve got them back in again. It could be a curation of any products that you think a particularly valid for that time. We’ve got a number of seasonal benchmarks throughout the year. We’ve got Valentine’s Day, Easter… coming up to summer holidays, making sure you’ve got well-targeted curation emails targeting those main seasonal benchmarks is a sure fire way of ensuring that you get a high level of sales from your email marketing campaigns.

Email type number three is the offer email. This is the ones that you send out every so often with a really tasty, fantastic offer, and that is the trick to it. You know, make sure that when you send somebody an offer email it is an offer that is worth grabbing. If they get these on a weekly basis. But the offer is really poor, you know, what you’ll find is a big unsubscribed rate. If people get them every so often with a fantastic offer, then that means that people will actively be looking to open those emails and potentially participate in whatever offer you have.

So an offer email, well-executed can be really valuable and can be a really good way of driving sales at a time of year when you know that perhaps you’re a bit slower, or on the day of the week, where you generally have a lower return. Ok so email type number four is the ‘refer a friend’ email.

This is a great way of getting existing customers to recommend you to friends and family and therefore build your customer base. Now a good way of going about this is to give an offer code to both parties. So perhaps it would be recommend a friend, and you both get 5% off, or 10% off or 15% off, or recommend a friend, and you both get a free gift.

So it means that your customer is incentivised to recommend you to somebody else because they get something out of it. And it also means that whoever they recommend it to is incentivised to buy quickly, because not only do they benefit but their friend benefits as well, so it can be a fantastic way of growing your customer base very, very quickly. So number five is the exclusive discount email. Now, this is one of the reasons why people will subscribe to your mailing list because they feel that they get exclusive access to certain things. So when I say exclusive discount, you can also play a round of this of other exclusive elements, so it might be that they get invited to an exclusive event.

It might be that they get access to exclusive products that aren’t maybe in your general shop. But that idea of exclusivity means that people feel that they’re rewarded for giving across their valuable email address. So make sure you highlight this. If something is only available to your email audience and not available elsewhere, make sure you make a big song and dance about that, because that will mean that people appreciate receiving these emails and know the benefits they get from them.

So email number six is the cart abandonment email. And actually, that’s a bit of a lie, it’s not one email, it’s three emails. This should be a sequence of emails for anybody that leaves items in their cart on your site that doesn’t then proceed to checkout. So this means that they get notified initially when the cart’s abandoned saying hi, you know, did you just forget to check out? Was there anything wrong?

Can we help at all? Here’s what’s in your cart, check out now, They then get one a couple of days later, saying, oh, it’s still sat here, we don’t want to lose out… Check out now, to benefit from this, and then the third one can quite often have an option for a discount, not always, so you don’t have to do this, but there is always the option to get them over the line by saying look, you know, you still haven’t checked out, we’d really love to have your custom. why don’t use this one-off 5% offer code to check out now and what you find is that you know that all of those thousands of pounds that are sat currently in carts and not being pushed through the checkout will gradually be gotten over the line by an effective abandoned cart email sequence.

So let me know, do you run an ecommerce store? Is this something that you’re looking to set up? Maybe you’re an old hat and you’ve been doing this for a while now. I’d love to know your experience of marketing online, are you finding it easy? Are you finding it difficult? Are their certain things that are working for you? Why don’t you pop a comment in the box down below. I’d love to hear from you.

Ok so on to number seven. This is the confirmation email. Now, every ecommerce store will have this. It confirms that their order has been made, or it could be that it confirms the order’s been dispatched, but the confirmation email is often just fairly plain and drab and just does exactly what it says on the tin, but actually, there’s a really good opportunity here to further build your brand and to build your marketing by making this seem a little bit more exciting. So, yes, you know, your order’s confirmed, it’s on its way, but check out these other things that you might want to take a look at

Or maybe you’ve written a really interesting blog article on how you could utilise this particular item. Or maybe you want to get them to check out your social feeds and show the value and benefit that would be in following you on Facebook or Instagram. You know, every time you send an email to a customer, you should be able to utilise that to get the full amount of worth out of it. So take a little look at your confirmation emails and see if there’s ways you can improve them to make them more on point with your marketing.

Okay, so number eight. You’ve got your up-selling and your cross-selling emails, so I kind of gathered these into one because they do a very, very similar job. But just to remind you, if you don’t, if you don’t understand the terminology I’m using here. So up-selling is taking what they could have bought, and getting persuading them to buy a more expensive version of it, and cross- selling is taking something that they bought and then showing them how they could also benefit from other products related to that.

So having emails that are automatically generated when people have already bought one item that shows them the other items that could go with it is a great way of making sure that you’re cross-selling to people. You can also experiment with up-selling emails, so if you know that somebody’s been on your site and they’ve looked at a certain type of camera, for example, you could then look at sending automatic emails showing the very best cameras you’ve got in stock, which are potentially a little bit more expensive than what they were looking at. So it’s really worth experimenting with this.

I mean, obviously, depending on the sophistication of your email, marketing will depend on actually how granular you can get with this, but there’s always ways that you can experiment with up-selling and cross-selling in your email campaigns. Ok, so number nine, the win-back email. Maybe you haven’t heard from a customer for a while, they haven’t been in touch, they haven’t bought from you. You don’t want that to go cold. You know, it takes time and effort and money to gain a customer.

You want to make sure that you get the most out of every customer that you’ve got for your store. So the win-back email is a great way of just touching base and making them feel valued, which is really important for your brand and getting them over the line to purchase something from you again and to keep you front of mind. Now, I always feel that the most important element of this is habit.

People get in the habit of buying from certain places, and if they get out of the habit than it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not happy with your product, or they’re not happy with the service, they’re just out of the habit so they don’t do it. What you want to do is reenforce in your customers a habit of buying from you.

So a win-back email is a really good way of doing that, keeping it front of mind and keeping them in the habit of buying from you. Now, it could just be a really friendly hi, haven’t heard from you for a while, hope you’re all ok, you know, something really friendly and colloquial and chatty, encouraging them to go to your website and check out some of your new products.

Or it could be a little bit more sales targeted by saying, look, you know, you haven’t purchased from us for a while, we hope you’re all ok, why don’t you take this one off 10% offer code, we’d love to see you again, so it depends, you know, how sales-y you want to get with that email, but definitely having something in place to target any customers that have gone a bit cold is a really valuable asset to your email marketing. The newsletter. Now, I’m a big fan of newsletters, I love newsletters because I feel like this gives you a real behind the scenes look at the brand.

And I am a genuine believer that newsletters shouldn’t be too sales-y, instead what they should be doing is highlighting all of the lovely aspects of your brand outside of the actual products themselves.

The other 11 emails that we’ve mentioned, are all quite sales-based, all are driving sales. This is more about giving a behind the scenes access to you and your team. So make it about what blog posts you’ve published that week. What events have been going on, has been anyone’s birthday, you know? Is there anything in particular you’d like to highlight in your supply chain that you think people would find interesting and actually a really well put-together, well-thought out newsletter means that people look forward to receiving emails from your brand. And so when they also receive the slightly more sales-y emails, they don’t mind because they’ve had loads of value from your newsletter.

Now you also want to think about potentially adding in things that complement your brand, and that can offer value to your customers. So, for example, say you’re a vegan skincare brand and that’s what you do, you sell vegan skincare, well, we know that actually, your audience are potentially gonna be interested in other vegan topics, such as maybe vegan recipes or vegan how-tos for home care.

So you know you could then look at weaving bits and pieces like that into your email newsletter content so that people know it’s not just about sales. It’s genuinely about helping them and helping them with the interest that they have. So to summarise, the newsletter email is just a fantastic way to build trust and a relationship with your customers. It’s definitely one for the list. And finally, Number 11 is the thank you email.

Do you ever thank your customers like properly, thank you customers for their purchase? Very few retailers do; you have the older confirmation email, which we’ve just we’ve just discussed, but we don’t necessarily thank them for their business. Now this can be actually a really valuable asset, particularly to small businesses, particularly to businesses that are very ethically-minded, showing people actually, what impact their purchase has had and thanking them for that.

So if you’re a small business, it could be as simple as saying thank you from buying from a small business. You know, we hand-make our products, or we do X, Y and Z… We employ a team of whatever… You know, by making this purchase today, you’re really helping to keep a small business going on. People love that, like they really do like to feel like what they’ve done is beneficial to other people outside of themselves.

It could also be that potentially, you know, you’re a bigger business, and you’ve invested in various ways of making your business more sustainable. I don’t know. Perhaps you plant a tree for every X number of sales online. Or maybe you have other benefits that benefit your employees or the environment or your customers. So by thanking people and taking the time to thank people, you can also take the time to highlight the various benefits that they’re experiencing from buying from you other than just the product itself.

So this is a really valuable email that you really should look at implementing in your business. So it might feel like there’s a lot here and there is a lot here. Actually, what you’ll find is that you can automate a lot of this.

So, yes, you have to put initial thought into this. You know, definitely thought is the key factor that you need in all of these emails in order to make them successful. You know, make sure that you’ve really thought through from your customer’s perspective, the nicest possible way that they could receive this email and the best possible messaging they could have. But once you’ve thought about it, a lot of this can be automated.

You set it up once, you maybe look to optimise it according to a bit of experimentation, and then you can leave it to run. Really, the only emails I would say out of this sequence that you need to actively do are maybe the offer emails, as and when you have an offer to push across, and the newsletter emails, which which do take a little bit more time and substance in order to put that together on a regular basis. But most of this can be automated, and once you’ve got that nailed, it will work for your business over and over again without you even thinking about it.

So if you enjoyed this video and you would like to find out more about how emails could potentially fit in to a wider sales funnel, then take a look at this video that I did just over here. If you’d like to find out more about how you can be really targeted in your approach to your customers and in gaining new customers in order to build your brand, then check out this video I did all about niching over here.

Now I release a new video every Thursday, all about growing your ecommerce brand, so make sure that you subscribe to my page and hit the bell and you’ll be notified every time I release a new video.’

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