This article was updated on 12th May 2021.
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. To keep it straightforward, we’ve looked at the best examples for 15 most commonly used emails and sliced & diced them to understand why they work.
Short on time? Here's a quick video with all the brilliant examples:
15 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.
Open Spaces, a brand that sells storage products for organized homes and offices, strikes a cord with the customer and makes a compelling sales pitch (without being pushy).
What makes this email work?
- The email gives shoppers a background of why their products are worth buying. But they don’t use a typical sales pitch. They steer the messaging as their “brand philosophy”. That tone helps build trust among customers while selling the USPs of the products.
- Customers still receive the shopper’s experience on the email. The display of their best products is intriguing and persuades people to click and explore.
- The email includes early access to a private collection. This is great because it creates a sense of exclusivity among customers.
- Clear CTAs that are placed after two different sections - one after the main message and one after the additional information (a few favorite products) which increases the chance of driving clicks. This also makes it easier to drive the intent of the customer - whether they want to pre-order or shop other products.
2. Casper’s cart abandonment email (Witty copy - simple design)
Cart abandonment is probably one of the most popular email sequences as email can be an effective way to win customers back.
Casper’s cart abandonment email copy is stellar!
When crafting your cart abandonment email, they stick to basic 4 best practices:
- Mention the product name.
- Show the picture of the product in the email for instant recall.
- Display the product price. Many merchants also show the retail price and the discounted price if the product is currently on an offer.
- Show recommendations within the email to create more opportunities for clickthrough.
What else is great about it?
- They’ve stuck to their witty language by using a sleep-related pun. What a way to rock your brand!
- Casper also doesn't try too hard with their email design. It's minimal and clean
- Their signature brand blue is used to highlight important CTAs. This creates a contrast from the white background of the entire email. Eye-catching = more clicks.
- They supplement their minimalistic messaging with a compelling testimonial to persuade the customer. Social proof always sways the public opinion.
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)
Similar to cart abandonment emails, browse abandonment email is aimed at reminding shoppers of a product they looked at before dropping off your eCommerce store.
But just like the other examples in this article, it's about standing out while being subtle with the messaging.
Hydro Flask does this perfectly – let’s check out what’s amazing about their emails.
- They address the customer by their first name and focus the email on his need and product of interest. This keeps the recall super effective and the copy super personalized.
- They subtly highlight the benefit of their product within the first line in their email and then go on to remind shoppers about the item they were looking at.
- They also display products that are frequently bought with the item that the shopper was looking at, thus achieving an upsell in the process.
- Just like Casper, they too highlight trust badges in their emails to instill confidence within the customer about being associated with their brand.
- Finally, they provide a clear option to unsubscribe. While this might lead to a tiny loss in potential audience, it adds to the trust factor. It also gives you an idea of how interested the recipient is in buying.
4. MeUndies’ re-engagement email (Building a connection)
A well known fact – existing customers are easier to sell to.
If you haven’t set up a re-engagement email sequence, you’re losing out on big purchases.
Re-engagement emails help you gradually rekindle the relationship they had with your brand.
MeUndies successfully re-engages its lapsed shoppers by asking them to join their community online.
What makes this email drive repeat sales?
- The email rocks the voice of the brand subtly but smartly through the image in the background. It displays the energy of the brand and creates a perception that their products are comfortable to wear.
- The email goes all out with social proof. Asking people to join their “community” on social media – starting a potentially viral hashtag and twitter testimonials really solidifies what they preach – Comfort.
- To top it all off, the witty line in the footer of the email - “10 million happy butts and going strong” adds a cute touch to the message, bringing out the child in their customers.
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?
- It provides all the essential details clearly – the discount they’re offering, how long the sale will run, and even display a few best selling products customers can buy during this time.
- It effectively uses urgency to elicit a response. Without having ticking timers, Withings does this well by adding a compelling headline “Tomorrow is too late” and providing further details at the end of the email.
- The email is crisp and well-structured. Since different products are discounted differently, the brand showed the discount that each item has.
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?
- To kick things off, the email talks about Nike’s goal which is essentially the benefit that the product provides. This adds a spin to a cliched approach to pitching a product.
- To ensure that it's not a generic sales pitch, Nike gave statistics on the benefits of the new product, giving readers the assurance that the pair of shoes does its job.
- The quote from their brand ambassador about why the product is great builds trust on a personal level. It’s like saying “the product works, we guarantee it”
- It shows different pictures of the product itself, creating the in-store shopping experience for the potential customer.
- It also offers its plus customers an opportunity to return the product within 30 days if they don’t satisfy the customer’s expectations. This achieves two goals, it indirectly gives other customers a product guarantee and also triggers an interest towards the NikePlus membership.
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 email post-purchase, 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 rekindles the customer’s trust by reminding them of the reasons to buy from Chewy - 24/7 service, free shipping, easy returns and product guarantee.
8. DavidsTea’s rewards email (Creating nostalgia)
If you have set up a rewards program, you need an email sequence that makes earning and redeeming rewards a lot more fun.
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.
On that note, check this out: 10-point checklist for writing amazing welcome emails
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember: major milestones matter — and it’s best not to miss them — especially when they can give you a chance to make the customer relation stronger.
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.
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.
14. Bliss’ cart abandonment email (Know your audience)
Cart abandonment emails, when done correctly, can help you get back potential customers and increase your conversion rate.
Any eCommerce business today understands why they’re important but they often fail to do them right.
Want to know how? Check out 20 Abandoned Cart Email Examples that Actually Win Back Lost Customers
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.
15. TheSkimm’s celebratory email (Celebrate the relationship)
The biggest thing about millennials and Gen Z is that they want to know that you care: about the environment, about them as customers, and about the impact your brand is making.
When that’s checked, they’re happy to go the extra mile. In fact, 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.
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 15 example sequences helps you generate more sales and long term customer loyalty. Let us know your favorite example in the comments below.