Most eCommerce automated emails fail to hit the right note. They tend to sound too pushy and robotic with their sales pitch and don’t really strike a connection with the recipient – losing the business precious sales.
Yes, they might have many people opening them, but you’re gunning for sales and not just people reading your emails and never coming back to you again.
This article will help you understand email sequences better and inspire new ways to persuade your subscribers to purchase from you.
26 Examples of Automated Emails and Why They Work
1. Open Spaces’ welcome email (Tell your story)
We all know that a welcome email sequence is usually sent once a shopper subscribes to your email list or registers as a new customer on your eCommerce store.
The goal with these such sequences is to make a great first impression and get them to start buying ASAP.
Here’s an example of a brand selling without pushy.
Make your welcome emails better by:
- Giving shoppers a peek into their “brand philosophy” with a tone that helps build trust while selling the USP
- Including favorites conveying collective social proof—if they’re best sellers, they must be good
- Offering early access to a private collection—evokes exclusivity among customers
- Featuring two CTAs with the same color—ensures visual hierarchy
2. Casper’s cart abandonment email (Witty copy - simple design)
Casper’s cart abandonment email copy is stellar!
Here’s how you can make your cart abandonment emails effective:
- Stick to their witty language by using a sleep-related pun. What a way to rock your brand!
- Don't try too hard to create an aesthetic email design—Stick to a minimal and clean one
- Use brand color to highlight important CTAs—create a contrast
- An authentic customer testimonial selling the actual product— in this case, sleep
Hey, have you seen this? Turn boring transactional emails into cash cows: 10 proven ideas
3. Hydros Flask’s browse abandonment email (Smart use of personalization)
Browse abandonment email reminds shoppers of a product they looked at before dropping off your eCommerce store.
A little personalization can increase conversions, here’s what you can learn:
- The first name creates a personal connection while the exclamation brings out the emotion
- The copy offers a benefit to a problem—increases the perceived value
- The product recommendations offer the convenience of chance—a cross-sell opportunity
- Trust badges are reassuring, remove apprehensions, and encourage new product trial
- With the Unsubscribe option that’s hard to miss, you’re respecting user’s choices and cleaning your email list
4. MeUndies’ re-engagement email (Building a connection)
Here’s an automated email re-engaging its lapsed shoppers by asking them to join their community.
What makes this re-engagement email better:
- The email brilliantly conveys the brand voice with help from background images—it creates a brand perception that they’re “fun” products
- Capitalize on the power of hashtags to build a community fueled by social proof
Here’s what you need to know before sending re-engagement emails:
- Send these emails to inactive customers—users who haven’t responded for two months
- Don’t limit yourself to a single email—send 3-4 emails
- Offer a compelling value—10% off on your next purchase
- Write attention-grabbing subject lines—one tip is to ask questions
- Space out your re-engagement emails between 24-72 hours
5. Withings’ sale promotion emails (Building FOMO, playfully)
Holiday seasons like Black Friday and Christmas are the biggest bang for the buck. Many stores focus their email marketing efforts to promote their sale.
A typical promotional sequence should ideally follow this flow of email:
- 1st Email: You need to send a pre-sale hype email to build anticipation and excitement over the sale among your subscribers.
- 2nd Email: When the sale is live, you can send an email, announcing the sale and letting subscribers know how long the sale is and the discounts available.
- 3rd Email: Lastly, a few hours before the sale ends, you can send an email reminding subscribers about the sale and build urgency before it ends.
But unlike the other email sequences, a sale, new product, or collection launch promotion is usually crafted and set up for one-time communication. The rest of the eCommerce email sequences are triggered to send based on activities done by a subscriber.
So, the key to succeeding with these emails is not looking too desperate and being as transparent as possible.
Withings’ email reminding shoppers about their sale hits it out the park.
What makes these emails sell?
- Highlight essential details—the discount, offer validity, plus product recommendations
- It reinforces urgency with the copy Tomorrow is too late
- The email brings out the perceived value with varying discounts for different products
6. Nike’s new product or collection launch (Building trust with data)
Product launch email sequences introduce the product or collection, and explain the idea or benefits behind it, making subscribers eager to shop the product or collection.
Typically a product or collection launch email sequence has the following set of communications:
- 1st Email: Many merchants start by hyping the product or collection, giving a sneak peek, and letting subscribers sign up to be notified about the launch. Some merchants even let shoppers pre-order the new product.
- 2nd Email: Leading up to the launch day, merchants talk about the benefits behind the product or collection and share why they came up with it.
- 3rd Email: On launch day, you can reveal the product or collection, share some information about it, and push subscribers to browse and buy.
Nike’s product launch email for the “Nike react infinity run” is as memorable as its products.
What makes this email compelling?
- The copy cuts the buildup and talks about the benefit—reduce running related injuries
- Assures customers with data from clinical trials—establishes credibility
- The testimonial from a professional athlete conveys authority
- The return policy of 30 days inspires confidence—a perk that’s reserved only for NikePlus members
7. Chewy’s post-purchase follow up (Got feedback: we're all ears)
Post-purchase communication is a crucial part of enriching your relationship with your customers. With the right post-purchase email, you can make your customers feel like you care and provide them with a positive shopping experience.
Based on a number of post purchase campaigns we've run for our clients, we've found the following sequence to be most effective:
- 2 days after purchase but while the product is still not delivered: Keep the shopper engaged by sharing details about the product and get them excited to use it.
- 1 day after product delivery: Once the item is delivered, you can share tips on how to use the product, even sharing videos within your email.
- 10 days after product delivery: Now that the shopper has had time to test the item, you can ask them to leave a review.
- 20 days after product delivery: Use your post-purchase sequence to cross-sell other items that would pair well with the item that the shopper bought.
- 1 to 2 months after product delivery: If shoppers need to buy the product again, a post-purchase email reminding them to restock can help you successfully bring back your customer and get them to shop the item again.
Chewy sends a post-purchase email to its shoppers, requesting reviews.It emulates the conversation between a customer and friendly salesperson.
What makes customers respond to this email?
- “What did you think of your recent purchase?” - is a pleasant and conversational copy that is sure to help them collect reviews easily.
- Provides an alternative to email by adding their contact information.
- It wraps the conversation with trust signals—24/7 service, free shipping, easy returns, and a product guarantee.
Short on time? Here's a quick video with all the brilliant examples:
8. DavidsTea’s rewards email (Creating nostalgia)
DavidsTea had set up a milestone email to celebrate anniversaries with their loyal shoppers, letting customers take a walk down memory lane.
What’s great about their email?
- It starts off with a direct and courteous message – “you’re the best”. Everyone loves hearing that.
- It shares stats on when the shopper joined the brand, how much product they've bought, and the product that the shopper favors. Sharing such details makes the shopper feel important.
- The email is full of witty links to the customer’s products of choice, complemented by fun visuals and an endearing final note.
Here’s what you do to make rewards email exciting:
- Include engagement tiers—underline all the rewards, perks, and exclusive benefits at each tier plus the points required
- Send frequent updates—specify details such as monthly updates, year at a glance, eligibility to move to the next tier, and sufficient points to redeem the next award
- Write subject lines with a twist—for instance, Summer is going to taste better than ever. Get a sneak peek or We're refunding orders today
9. Hipmunk’s onboarding email (Creating an exciting experience)
Onboarding experiences are extremely important to user retention and the long-term success of a brand.
It’s as simple as this. If you’ve got an awesome brand, you need an awesome onboarding experience to introduce it to your customers.
An effective email marketing onboarding experience will help get new users up and running — it’ll give them a low-down into your brand, introduce them to new features, and help build a connection.
When all the components of onboarding come together, they help form an outstanding customer experience — exactly like Hipmunk does here.
- They open their email with an adorable mascot that grabs the audience’s attention and lures them into reading more.
- They follow that up with prominent headings which quickly put forth the various identities of the brand, and have small liners for the reader to know more about each one.
- They end the email with two crucial CTAs - one that encourages the reader to buy something and the other that invites them to share their opinion, both leading to an engagement with the brand.
Onboarding emails don’t have to be dull, here’s what can you do to change that:
- Offer tips to help them get started—how to set up their account, access their order wishlist, you know the drill
- Use educational videos—74% of users have watched a video to learn how to use a website or app better
10. Not on the High Street’s sales follow-up email (Tease them with options)
When a lead becomes a customer, one of the most important things to do is send them an email thanking them and offering them further help.
Such emails — also known as Sales Follow-Up Emails — are important for generating repeat sales. They can be used to show off your entire range, offer a great deal to trigger another purchase, and tell the reader about the different ways to keep in touch.
With a follow-up email, it is also a good idea to offer multiple purchase options that are likely to trigger a response in a few — if not all — of the receivers.
Let’s take a look at how Not on the High Street does this:
- They talk about all the brand can do for their audience: both vendors as well as shoppers.
- They talk about their community, the values they believe in, and exactly where they’d fit into the reader’s life.
- Finally, they highlight their entire range by showing every single category the brand partakes in and encouraging readers to shop from them.
Sales follow-up emails are hard, but a few tips can make it easier:
- Send your sales follow-up emails on Tuesdays for higher open rates
- Schedule your emails between 10 AM to 1 PM
- Mix up your offers—offer a discount, offer a BOGO deal, and the like
11. BAVSound’s upsell email (Upgrade their deal)
The best time to engage with a customer? Right after they make a purchase.
Especially in eCommerce, if your customers are happy with your service and product, they’re in the right space, with a little bit of a money rush, to make more purchases immediately after they’ve made one.
So, hit them when they’re in that headspace — show them stuff they’d like, introduce a new category, or even upgrade their deal.
Take inspiration from BavSound’s upsell email to see how they increase average order value by simply telling their customers what would make their experience even better.
- They immediately hit on the user experience and offer specific, detailed insight on what will improve it.
- They also provide contact information for those who are interested but don’t know enough to make a purchase yet.
Upselling needn’t be hard, follow these tips for a turnaround:
- Increase perceived value by emphasizing sensory information—taste, touch, visual, etc.
- Take help from trust signals such as returns, BNPL options
- Sell exclusivity through premium products
- Use brand authority to sell—for example a fashion stylist or a doctor
12. Dorothy Perkins’ celebratory email (Amp up their special days)
In the world of e-commerce, it’s easy to forget about your customer’s special days.
Whether you’re sending a heartfelt message for their birthday or a jazzy little discount for their anniversary, having automated emails set up for the important stuff will pay off.
Here’s how Dorothy Perkins does that:
- Instead of just celebrating customers’ individual moments, they also look at the milestones they’ve passed together: like a six-month anniversary since the customer first made a purchase with them.
- This is especially unexpected and following it up with a discount code only seals the deal.
Birthday or anniversary special, here are a few pointers to help you:
- Remind customers of the first purchase—give them a reason to remember
- Tell them why they’re special—include data such as AOV, a timeline of purchases made
- Be quick with the incentive—don’t make your customers wait
13. Quip’s email for dormant customers (Welcome them back with a reward)
It’s as simple as this — sometimes, leads fade — for a myriad of reasons, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t bring them back.
In fact, nearly every single eCommerce brand has dormant customers (yes, even the big ones). The trick is knowing what to do with them.
Here’s what Quip does:
- They send an automated email with snappy copy that immediately plays to the readers’ intrigue
- They use an urgency trigger to offer a discount and encourage customers to finish their purchase soon
- They keep the entire design neat and clean, giving attention only to the important stuff
Plus, here are more strategies to make dormant customers buy:
- Write persuasive copy—use the Before-After-Bridge framework
- Include testimonials detailing the problem
- Offer product recommendations based on search history—tailor recommendations based on behavioral and location data
- Offer attractive first-time buyer deals and BNPL options—48% of customers use BNPL services to buy products they can’t afford
14. Bliss’ cart abandonment email (Know your audience)
Unfortunately, brands lack the firepower necessary to make their abandoned cart recovery emails deliver.
Three things help Bliss’ cart abandonment email stand out from the rest: they understand their audience, they play on their brand language, and they bring out the big guns.
- They use a very clever visual hierarchy to steal the readers’ attention, draw them into the purchase options, and encourage them with compelling CTAs.
- Their emails speak to their overall brand identity and design language and are characteristic of the brand they have created. As soon as the receiver opens the email, they know whom it’s from.
Simple tweaks to your abandoned cart recovery emails will bring improvements:
- Make an entrance with your copy—reserve the cart items for 48 hours
- Offer free shipping and returns—the two leading causes of cart abandonment
- Entice with a price drop—these emails yield an average sales uplift of 3%
- Time your emails right—send the first one 30 mins later, the second 24 hours, and the last one 7 days later
- Write a thought-provoking subject line such as Hal, you left without saying goodbye and offer an incentive in the preview text—here’s 20% to change your mind
Want to know how? Check out 20 Abandoned Cart Email Examples that Actually Win Back Lost Customers
15. TheSkimm’s celebratory email (Celebrate the relationship)
68% of millennials say that they will not be loyal to a brand if it does not have a good loyalty program.
So, you’ve got to do the work: develop a killer loyalty program, include them in the major moments, and celebrate your relationship.
Take a look at how TheSkimm does that:
- With compelling visuals, they’ve charted out the entire customer journey right from where it started and how it’s going
- They’ve used a very fun, conversational tone to develop personas and comparisons for the customer
- They’re used crucial points in the email to express how much they value the customer and they’ve given some great offers to support that
Another great brand that does this? Spotify — and we all know how many eyeballs Spotify Wrapped attracts.
Looking for some advice to spruce up your loyalty emails? We got you covered:
- Run a limited-time promotion, offer 2x points on every dollar your customer spends
- Include redeemable points on every spend—$5 for 100 points, $10 for 200 points, and so forth
- Offer rewards valid online and in-store
- Create fun contests—ask customers to tag you using your product, award points for best caption and creativity
16. Nike’s welcome email (highlight your community)
The Nike Community is the place to connect, talk shop, and help customers get hyped.
We love how:
- Nike rightfully addresses that with their welcome email bringing the focus to user-generated content, personalized recommendations, and clever copywriting
- Customers are aware that when they signed up, they became a part of this larger community and will now be updated on new products and programs from Nike
- They know that Nike appreciates their inputs and is available to listen to feedback while sharing enjoyable emails along the way
High-generating welcome emails can be created without breaking a sweat:
- Write captivating subject lines—Offer an incentive
- Tell your users what to do—do you want them to sign in or set up their account
- Show your best sellers and trending products—enable product discovery
- Offer expert tips, include content picks, or offer a quiz
- Test your welcome email subject lines— Use family vs pack vs herd
17. ASOS’s upsell email (personalize the experience)
ASOS doesn’t just sell clothes, they sell an experience. It makes sense that their upsell email represents that.
With this, they build an online shopping experience that caters to their customers' niche wants and desires. This makes customers feel valued and engaged in the larger community.
Three things especially stand apart:
- Cole Sprouse’s clever cameo
- Bright colors & striking visuals
- Very subtle sales messaging (the focus is instead on the experience)
Including these emails as a part of their automated email campaigns is a smart way to offer upsell nudges and additional products that will keep customers engaged across the journey.
Upsell emails can be taxing, here are a few actionable tips to help you:
- Throw in products based on their search history—create a guide and outline their benefits
- Offer DIY product bundles that supplement the products purchased
- Try Decoy Pricing—place the most expensive product in the middle and place 2 products on either side
- Include price badges for your product images—fast selling, most popular, limited-time offer, and 10% price drop
18. J.Crew’s seasonal email (bring out the big guns)
J.Crew knows that it's important to reach out to bank on special events like Mother’s Day.
While most brands choose to send overt holiday messages and accept tradition without fail, J. Crew takes a slightly different route with this email.
They get creative with their copy Some of the Best Ways to Say “Thanks, Mom” and they bring in a model where she voices her thoughts about being a mother to a teenager. This is authority marketing done right.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, here are ideas you’ll like:
- Offer styling guides to impress your mother
- List things to do to spend time with mom—recipes, outdoor ideas, etc
- Don’t forget moms-to-be—offer tips on do’s and don’ts, help with nutrition, sizing, etc.
- Sell curated bundles to attract value-conscious customers
19. White House Black Market’s post-purchase follow-up (keep it simple)
The post-purchase follow-up is an essential communication channel in your marketing campaign. It's an opportunity for you to check whether your customer opened and read your message and reach back to them if they haven't.
When it comes to post-purchase follow-up emails, there are a number of things that can go wrong:
- They're too long & stuff content into one email instead of breaking it up
- Don't include an action or link to take immediately as the next step
- Share irrelevant content that doesn't match the customers' immediate interests
As a result, things tend to get complicated and you’ll end up frustrated. To avoid this, take note of White House Black Market’s post-purchase follow-up.
It’s simple. It’s to the point. It’s easy to follow. And it’s super simple to automate!
Reviews don’t come easy. Here are a few tips to get them:
- Offer a compelling incentive—a 10% or a gift card
- Change the sender name—instead of the brand, say ‘Jamie from ABC’
- Send them on the best days—Wednesdays and Saturdays have the highest conversion rates
- Time your review emails between 10 AM to 2 PM or post 6 PM
20. LUNA’s FAQ email (answer all queries beforehand)
Your post-purchase follow-up emails should help prevent customers from being dissatisfied with their purchases. A good way to do this is with FAQs. See how LUNA does it here?
- They say thank you and hope for the best
- They answer all the little concerns customers have post-purchase
- They keep the design incredibly simple (so simple it reads like an email)
End result: Customer is happy and they’re more likely to come back and buy again.
Here’re a few best practices to refine your FAQ emails:
- Always include links to tutorials and demo guides
- Include a link to your community site for advice
- Update your FAQs every time by collating reviews on other sites such as Amazon, TrustPilot, etc.
- Group FAQs based on types such as technical, transaction-related, and the like
- Always include FAQs related to BNPL and APR Financing
21. Patagonia’s Back in Stock email (Reclaim lost sales)
Back-in-Stock emails have an unbelievable open rate of 65.32%, the highest among popular campaign types.
Patagonia shows how you reclaim lost sales by engaging interested shoppers back into the funnel. What we love about this email:
- The engaging visuals that complement the brand’s vision—outdoor camping
- The use of the metaphor Jump over and term while we still have it triggers urgency
- The benefit-led description increases the possession utility of the product
When you play cards right, back-in-stock emails seldom disappoint, here’re a couple of tips:
- Build real urgency by mentioning the number of products left in stock
- Use a countdown timer as an additional reinforcer
- Sell back-in-stock products using craftsmanship—for instance, hand woven for a breathable feel
22. Elysium Health’s Referral Email(Offer something for everyone)
Referral Marketing emails generate 3-5x more revenue compared to other channels.
Elysium Health’s referral email is a brilliant example of incentives done right. Here’s why this email makes this list:
- The hero image symbolizes friendship and give and take
- The percentage discount is more appealing when you sell products under $100
- We admire how it doesn’t leave everything to chance—it explains the steps for a referral
- The launch bonus brings out the competitive spirit—the higher the rewards, the greater journey
And there’s more you can do with your referral emails:
- Segment your referral email subscribers—send them to the ones with the highest AOV
- Be creative with your subject lines: talk about your product—-for example, Wellness grows when shared
- Include a personalized referral link
- Send referral emails 3-4 days after review or feedback emails
23. For Days’ Winback email(Push them to commit)
Winback emails have an average open rate of over 29%. Think of it as a last-ditch effort to bring back or lose your paying customers/users.
Suffering from a creative block? For Days’ win back email will inspire you in many ways:
- They ask to commit with a 30% discount—this is called your Foot in the Door technique
- The promo code is exciting—research has proven that they increase oxytocin by 38% and increase happiness by 11%
- Using images of smiling people brings forth warmth and competence—it increases perceived similarity with the persona
For winback emails that make their mark:
- Write subject lines that hijack their attention—for example, Are you seeing someone else? or We totally need to catch up
- Segment your inactive users and buyers who haven’t responded to your emails for 3 months or more
- Remind them of the value—discount, latest updates, early access, etc
24. The North Face’s back in stock email (Add personality to your products)
You may know back in stock emails for having a high open rate, but their conversion rate of 12% is spellbinding.
Here’s a textbook example of a back in stock email that adds a personality to the product. Here’s why this is one of our favorites:
- It makes the product the protagonist, leads by benefit, and captivates us with its durability
- The copy paints visual imagery using adjectives like rugged and spacious
We’ve got some simple hacks to help create the best back in stock emails:
- Frame your copy using the cause and effect principle—for instance, This ultra-soft blanket is hand-woven for a breathable feel
- Agitate the problem—explain what happens if the customer runs out of supplies and its outcome when resources are scarce
- Create exclusivity in your subject lines—for example, Our cotton rounds are back in stock (and you get first dibs) 😏
25. Harry’s referral email (Make it convenient)
The majority of referral emails fail simply because they aren’t convenient. There’s no clear incentive and ambiguous instructions are the norm.
Thankfully, Harry’s does a fantastic job with its referral email that has caught our eye. Here are our takeaways:
- Get straight to the point—the headline should always include the incentive
- Explain how you and your friend benefit
- Make it easy to share the referral link
For referral emails that hit the bull’s eye:
- Experiment with your subject lines—try with and without the incentive
- Use a different CTA—for example, Unlock my $5 or Give some, Get some
- Offer different incentives—for example, offer a 10% discount for the referred friend and a $55 gift card for the referrer
26. Dollar Shave Club’s win-back email (Don’t be afraid to be free-spirited)
If you don’t ask, you don’t get seems to be the motto Dollar Shave Club lives by. In their automated win-back email, here are things you can’t help but admire:
- The brand doesn’t shy away from using the word bribe—cheeky and crafty
- The question keeps us thinking—it creates a mental reflex
- They are not in a hurry—they slowly ease the subscribers back in with a starter set
- The description in bulleted points helps in readability
Winback emails don’t have to be dull, here’s what you can do:
- Personalize beyond first name—make product recommendations based on past purchases
- Offer a freebie—there’s nothing more compelling than a free product since there’s no finance
- Provide different options such as pause emails, receive fewer emails, and Unsubscribe options
- Rerun the perks they’re missing out on—customization, add-ons, access to seasonal products
BONUS: Frequently Asked Questions
Which email is useful for eCommerce?
There are a few different types of email that can be useful for eCommerce businesses.
These include order confirmation emails, shipping confirmation emails, newsletters, and special offers.
Transactional emails, like order confirmation or shipping notifications, are a great way to keep customers updated on the status of their purchases.
You can also use email to promote new products or special offers and to build customer loyalty with a newsletter or loyalty program.
How do you automate emails to customers?
Email automation can be a great way to improve the customer experience and increase sales for your eCommerce business.
Automated emails can be a great way to keep customers informed about their order status, shipping updates, and special sales or promotions.
You can set these up to go out automatically whenever a new order is placed, or on a schedule that you determine.
You can automate emails to customers using a number of different platforms, including Engage.
How many emails should you send a week eCommerce?
The number of emails you send a week will depend on your list size and how often you want to email your subscribers.
If you're sending promotional emails, you'll want to keep them to a minimum so you don't annoy your customers. One email every week or every two weeks is a good standard.
But if you're sending transactional or loyalty emails, you can send more frequently, since these types of messages are usually welcomed by customers.
How do I create an eCommerce email list?
To create an eCommerce email list, you will need to sign up for an email marketing service and then set up an email workflow that will keep customers engaged.
You'll need to gather a list of email addresses. There are a few different ways to do this, but the best way is to make it easy for people to sign up for your emails.
This could be through a sign-up form on your website or a link in your checkout process.
Once you have a list of email addresses, you can start sending out regular communications.
Be mindful of the recipients' psychographics & demographics. It's best to tailor emails to fit the audience on the other end.
What is the fastest way to build an email list?
Building an email list can be done in a few different ways. You can add a sign-up form to your website, or include a call-to-action in your emails.
You can also grow your list by running a contest or promotion that encourages people to sign up.
The fastest way to build an email list is to buy a list of subscribers.
However, this is not always the most effective or reliable method, since you have no way of knowing if the people on the list are actually interested in what you have to say.
It's always best to grow your list organically, through your own merit, and nurture these subscribers into profitable leads. That is, of course, a long process and tends to take time.
How do I grow my email list?
You can grow your email list by promoting your signup form on social media and through other online channels.
You can also grow your list by running contests or giveaways that require an email address to enter.
It is important to make sure that your emails are high quality and offer value to the reader.
This will help to ensure that your emails are opened and clicked on and that your recipients remain engaged and interested in what you have to say.
That, of course, will also help you grow your email list over time.
Keep your customers engaged
Don’t be that pushy salesman!
Instead, reach out to your shoppers and make them care about your brand. With a well-planned email sequence, you can prioritize relationship building and continuously engage with shoppers rather than sporadically reaching out to them. Your email subscribers would then willingly browse your product catalog and shop your products.
We hope our analysis of these 26 example sequences helps you generate more sales and long term customer loyalty. Let us know your favorite example in the comments below.