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Whoever said email is dead must have worked for a social media platform. Email marketing, especially for ecommerce brands, is a critical component of a customer loyalty and overall marketing strategy.

And, these campaigns have been proven to be more effective than customer outreach or communication in other channels. Just check out the stats:

  • You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.
  • Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources.
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.
  • A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook.

Of course, we aren’t talking about implementing just any email campaign. When it comes to scaling your business, you have little time to spare. Instead, the team over at Soundest has determined which email marketing campaigns produce the highest ROI for ecommerce brands. These are the emails you should be getting in place first, and hint: promotional emails aren’t the highest revenue drivers. Data confirms that the average revenue per promotional email is $0.02. Meanwhile birthday emails result in $0.07, welcome emails $0.18 and abandoned cart emails $5.64.


Source: Soundest

OK, so automated emails based on customer behavior or personalization produce the highest ROI. Guess what: they also take the least amount of time. This is because you only have to build them once.

Here are five ways to begin your automated email marketing campaigns and increase ROI through your email channel.

1.Send a welcome email or series of emails to your new subscribers

Here’s the short of it: 96% of your new website visitors are not ready to buy. They have, however, expressed their interest in your brand by coming to your site and may be enticed to make a purchase. Use pop-up newsletter subscriptions to move those even more interested in your brand down the funnel. Apps like SumoMe have great options for this.

Then, once you have their email, send them a welcome note. Show your appreciation. Tell them your brand story, offer a discount for their first purchase. Get them more involved and gauge their interest (you can do this by seeing open rates and click-throughs using a tool like Soundest). This pushes them closer to the conversion point.

2. Send an abandoned cart email or series of emails

An abandoned cart email or email series is sent to customers who have put items in their cart but left the site without checking out. After cart abandonment, a shopping cart recovery tool sets up the visitor’s order, packs it into the email and sends it ready-made to the client as a friendly reminder to proceed with the purchase.

Now, in order to launch this type of email series, your website visitor needs to already be signed in to their account. Anonymous visitors will not receive these emails. That said, this type of email campaign is the highest producer of ROI –– and yet only 24% of online retailers activate this.

How One Brand Brought Back Nearly 10% of Customers to Purchase

Here’s a real world example of open rates for cart recovery email automation from a brand selling mobile accessories. The brand sends a series of abandoned cart emails in this cadence: the first email is sent an hour after abandonment, the second after 12 hours and the last after 24 hours. The total percentage of abandoners who ended up coming back to purchase is 9.8%

The brand uses default cart recovery emails. Here are their results:

The chart below compares the first abandoned cart email performance with average promotional email statistics.

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Source: Soundest

There’s is very little reason not to set up these automated emails. It is truly making money while you sleep.

3. Send a birthday email

This email is automatically sent to the recipient on his or her birthday. Showing personal attention as well as offering a discount for any order on that day can show great results. The research has revealed that 75% of companies that send this kind of email series assess them as very effective and only 6% see little or any value in them.

Here’s a quick tip for launching a birthday email: give some extra time to your customers to redeem the discount. One great example of this in action is TopShop’s birthday email. It offers free shipping, discounts 20% of order value and gives time to redeem it.

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4. Send a follow-up email after a purchase

This is one more type of triggered email. The purchase is done, so what else should you say to the customer? The answer is: Thank you.

Show your appreciation and interact with him or her once again. Follow-up emails are great for inviting customers to connect on social media, for offering a discount for the next purchase, sending related recommendations, etc. Be creative.

In the purchase follow-up email, Zulily promotes its loyalty program and encourages customers to spread the word and earn credit for the future deals.

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5. Send reactivation emails

This email or series goes to customers who have not purchased from you in a while. These emails usually use incentives, i.e. free shipping, personal discounts, a special gift, etc. In most cases, the message in this email is: “We miss you, come back.”

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Reactivation emails should be sent 30-90 days after the customer becomes inactive, but no later than 180 days after.


All in all, email communications are an important part of maintaining solid relationships with your customers. Moreover though, automated emails can also produce revenue for your business –– earning you back customers who would have walked away without the reminder. And, with only 24% of retailers using automated abandoned cart emails –– this is a huge opportunity for your brand to earn back customers and out compete your competitors.