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Set It and Forget It – Four Automated Email Campaigns You Should Be Running

By June 15, 2015July 16th, 2015Email Marketing

This genius slogan was once created for a genius product, the Ronco Rotisserie Oven. The chant “Set it and forget it!” reverberated through the studio audience with a little help from Ronco inventor Ron Popeil.

Automated Email Campaigns Ron Popeil Set it and Forget it

This whole “set it and forget it” chant is also perfectly applicable to the eCommerce world. More specifically, automated emails. Now I know what you’re thinking to yourself.

How could I ever compare to Ron Popeil?

And the answer is, you can’t. With those pale blue eyes, winning smile and mind for invention, there’s really no comparison.

We can’t all be Popeils. But we CAN take a page from his book and use four email marketing campaigns that live up to his mantra. 

Run these four automated campaigns starting like right now

Abandoned cart recovery
Inactive customer followups
Welcome series
Order followups

These four easy email marketing campaigns kick into action immediately. And they will keep kicking into action whenever a customer triggers the rules you set.

You, on the other hand, forget about the emails while the automation goes to work. Strategic emails will send to your clients continuously without any additional time or effort on your part. See Remarkety.

Maybe you’re thinking email marketing is “old-school” and you would rather focus on social campaigns. Or maybe you think email marketing is mostly just spam. To those people I say, “I’m sorry but you are mistaken sir/madame.”

Less smack talk, more stats

While I may not be the best at smack talk, I do have some numbers to flip the tables.

The White House Office of Consumer Affairs says it’s 6-7 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep a current one. Email marketing is the best key way to keep these customers engaged in your business and increasing sales.

Here’s another one. A marketing message sent via email is five times more likely to be seen versus social marketing messages according to these guys.

Convinced yet? Good. Now, if you’re an eCommerce business, these are the four simple and easy automated email campaigns you SHOULD be running.


1. Abandoned Cart

Let’s say I’m a customer looking at your website. We’ll say you sell pants— great pants in fact. I’m clicking through, selecting some pairs and throwing them in my cart. I’m pretty much all set in the pant department and now it’s time for checkout.

But I never make it there. Why? Well, the beauty of online shopping is I can leave my cart and go check out the pants and prices at your competitor’s online store with the simple opening of a tab. So that’s what I’m doing.

Or because the new Game of Thrones is on.

Either way, revenue is being lost. And I, the frivolous pants shopper, am not in the minority. Shopify aggregated studies and found that 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer makes the purchase.


That means you need to get me back to my cart and complete the sale. This is where abandoned cart emails come in. Used correctly you can re-engage customers and recover the previously abandoned sale.

How should an abandoned cart email look?

The email should include the items I’ve abandoned. Remind me of the sweet corduroys I’ve left behind. Have a button or link that will transport me right back to my cart and your website so purchasing is that much easier.

But as mentioned earlier, I may have left in the first place to look for better prices. A Statistia study showed cost reasons were at the top for cart abandonment. There’s a simple way to combat this.

Offer a discount. Engage the customer with a deal in the subject line and include a discount code in the email. Do something to incentivize me to buy from you and not the competition.

Make product recommendations. Perhaps they abandoned their cart because they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Suggest best sellers or items commonly bought with the items in thier cart.

Create a sense of urgency. Force my hand a bit (or legs if you will) into those pants. (Alright, I’ve taken the pants thing too far, I apologize.)

But the point is, let the customer know that while their items in the cart are reserved for now, the deal only lasts for a little while. They won’t be forever and those jeans are flying off the virtual racks.

Play around with it and do some A/B testing with subject lines, incentives and delivery times to see which emails get the most opens, clicks and results.

When should I send an abandoned cart email?

As far as timing goes, send the first hour after abandonment, the second 24 hours after, and the 3rd anytime from 48 hours to 7 days post abandonment.

Bliss inactive customer automated email

2. Inactive Customer Emails

Much like sheep, customers will stray. Unlike sheep, customers have email, which can be a great way to guide them back into the fold.

Not all who wander are lost, and stores using Remarkety have seen up to a 15% jump in purchase rate after launching an inactive customer email campaign.0f4281b666ee82c3464f3b3073457dcb

It’s important to think about why a customer may be inactive. Have more competitors popped up? Are they dissatisfied with your service? Have they moved to one of those tech-free hippie compounds?

If yes to any of these, inactive customer email campaigns can help you. Except for the last one. We can’t combat the compounds.

How do I target inactive customers?

It’s important to define the differences between your inactive customers. You want to tailor specific messages to specific kinds of shoppers to reap the best results. These variations could depend on how many purchases they made in the past or to how much time has passed since their last order on your website.

Tools like Remarkety can do this automatically for you. Learn more about best practices for inactive customer email campaigns.

Your goal is to get these customers back on your website and placing orders. Some strategies for inactive customers emails include offering incentives like free shipping and returns. Or maybe you offer a discount or coupon.

Consider running A/B tests with different incentives or discounts to see which inactive customer emails are most effective.

automated email campaigns welcome email huckberry

3. Welcome Series Emails

Everyone likes a welcome, whether it comes as a friendly hello, an inviting doormat, or a well timed email. An Experian study showed companies that send out welcome emails, see 33% more long-term engagement from consumers. It also showed that welcome emails also yield a high percentage of open rates, averaging at about 50%-60%.

Welcome emails are an introduction, and should be sent as soon as possible. The best welcome emails are sent in real time, immediately upon subscription. According to Experian, those emails see ten times the transactions and revenue rates than those not sent within 10 minutes of sign up time.

When introducing yourself, you want to start off on the right foot. Subject lines are the first thing your customer will see. It sets the tone, and you don’t want that tone to be annoying.

Litmus says emails with 25-40 characters in the subject line saw the highest open rates. Keep it short and sweet, a simple thank you for signing up is a good go-to. Do some A/B testing with varying subject lines to see which receive optimal results.

What should I have in my welcome emails?

  • Confirm the user’s subscription and give them a background on your brand while pushing them to your website
  • Promote some of you best selling products or any sales your store is currently running
  • Encourage social shares to grow word-of-mouth or even offer an incentive to Tweet @your-brand or make a Facebook post

A great welcome series tool is to offer a discount or coupon for their first purchase. This is an incentive to get them to make that initial purchase.

How often should I send welcome emails?

The formula for welcome emails isn’t as straight-forward as something like an abandoned cart email. Aside from the immediate welcome email, consider emailing for customers every few days until they place a purchase. Make sure each email is slightly different, this includes the subject line and the content inside.

Like the other automated email campaigns mentioned above, including an incentive or deal, along with product recommendations are a smart way to improve conversion.

Asos Automated Email Order Follow Up Image

4. Order Followup Emails 

After a customer makes a purchase from you, you want to keep them coming back to place new orders.

There are several different kinds of order follow ups. The emails can range from a confirmation of an order, follow up with shipping and order details, offers on other products, making product recommendations based on the products they just bought, asking for a review, etc.

For example, if I buy a top hat from your store, you could send an email with a picture of some nice bow ties you have in stock that would go well with it, or perhaps a cane or monocle by the same designer of similar style.

And regardless that you now must go directly to jail and not collect $200 because I’m the monopoly man and I can make those rules, these types of follow ups encourage other purchases which generate more revenue for your business.

Another type of order follow up can be a product review or feedback requests. Remember: all feedback is helpful, whether positive or negative, to improving your company.

Asking your customers for their feedback is also a way to better understand them and to find out what they need. You don’t have to just get feedback for products, but you can also ask for feedback for purchases over a certain amount of time, cancelled orders and first purchase feedback.

When should I send order followup emails?

Research varies, of course. Delivering order follow ups around lunch time and between 8pm-12am are some of the best times to send mail in which you want to receive a reply. Do A/B testing to see which is the best time to send follow ups, as well as how long to send after shipping.

Keep in mind you’ll definitely want to make sure orders have been placed into a certain status like ‘Complete’ or ‘Fulfilled’ before sending any sort of review requests.

Go Get ‘Em Kid

Ron Popeil probably never said these words publicly, but he should have. Because armed with a Ronco rotisserie oven, people can cook amazing things. And armed with Remarkety, along with these four email marketing campaigns, you will see a growth in sales, purchase frequency and customer retention. You just have to set it, and forget it! 

Want to learn more about how to set up these campaigns or if Remarkety is right for you? Drop us a line.

But wait, there’s more…

Here are some other articles for you to really get after it with email marketing.

3 Email Marketing Strategies to Increase Purchase Frequency 
Email Marketing vs. Email Remarketing 
How to grow sales without coupons


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