The 5 Key Flows Every Ecommerce Business Needs

Imagine if you could set up a machine that’s guaranteed to increase revenue.

It almost sounds too good to be true when we put it like that, but that’s exactly what automated emails flows can do for your business. 

Like many 7- and 8-figure ecommerce brands, many of our clients didn’t have any automated email flows set up prior to working with Longplay — which can lead to $10,000 - $100,000 in missed revenue, every month! 

So how much money are you missing out on? 

When you’re trying to scale your business, automated email flows aren’t the first thing that come to mind — but they help you increase conversion rates, unearth additional revenue, and turn one-time buyers into loyal fans. 

Let’s walk through 5 key automated email flows that follow the 80/20 rule to help you scale your brand. 

Welcome Flow 

Congratulations! Someone has subscribed to your email list. Now you have the chance to turn this one email subscriber into a loyal buyer. But where to start? 

First, think of why they gave you their email address. Was it for a 10% discount or early access to sales or product launches? Whatever the reason, this welcome email shouldn’t be limited to just one email.

Instead, it should be a series of 5-15 emails, which gives you plenty of opportunity to tell your brand’s story, highlight your best-selling products, and add value to your subscribers. Value can be achieved through an introductory discount, articles that tell your brand’s story, reviews that build trust, or blog-focused content that highlights product benefits through a lifestyle lens.

There are many angles you should cover in the welcome flow, with the goal of building an engaged email list and a consistent stream of new customers. 

Abandoned Cart Flow

We’ve all done it — online window shopping, adding everything to cart before whittling it down to our favorites. Then we get cold feet and click off the page, much to the relief of our credit cards. 

It’s common consumer behavior to have a moment of doubt before making a purchase — but a gentle nudge in the form of an abandoned cart reminder email can tap into thousands of dollars of otherwise missed revenue. 

There’s an endless list of scenarios as to why someone added products to their cart but didn’t follow through with the purchase, and abandoned cart emails act as a personal, persuasive voice to push the sale home.

If the first email doesn’t close the sale, try a limited time offer to sweeten the deal. 

We’ve found that 3-4 emails are the optimum number of abandoned cart emails. Klaviyo supports this with client data showing that a 3 email series performs best, with average open rates of 46% and a staggering $24.85-million in additional revenue.

Discount Flow

Once the welcome flow is complete, divide your email list into purchasers and non-purchasers. Non-purchasers will receive the discount flow, a series of emails that focus heavily on getting that first sale. 

If you have the data, personalize each customer’s email with products they’ve shown interest in — with a discount — to build interest on a deeper level.

You may want to consider a discount ladder for this flow. It’s a great way to build engagement across an email series, and avoid discounting too much during a sales period. Why take 20% off when someone will buy it for 10% off? 

Let’s say you start with a 10% discount. It’s going to get people interested — and when they see their recently viewed products in their email, it’s going to get them excited to hopefully purchase. 

But the more savvy shopper may be tentative, or they could have missed the promotion entirely. So you twist their arm a bit by upping the discount to 20%. 

Depending on how long your sales period lasts, 4-6 emails with 2-3 rungs on the discount ladder should do the trick. A reminder email for each discount will slot nicely in between the upcoming increase.  

And by splitting your email list into purchasers and non-purchasers, you're significantly reducing the risk of underselling your products, and therefore maximizing revenue. 

Replenishment Flow 

The main goal of the replenishment flow is to increase customer lifecycles. Keep your customers engaged and your brand relevant. Capitalize on their data to build personal emails that are one step ahead of their purchasing habits, and make it easy to buy again.

But how do you convince customers to part with their cash every month? Or convince one-time buyers to come back for more? By keeping your brand in their minds while showing the benefits your products bring. 

You should be able to predict when their products are running low, so you can use this flow as a reminder to restock. 

Again, this is a great opportunity to personalize each customer’s email with recommended products, or things they’ve previously purchased.

Post-Purchase Upsell Flow

You probably have some form of post-purchase flow in the form of an order confirmation email. But are you maximizing the capabilities of this humble email? 

Order confirmation emails have the highest average open rate of any email. With that in mind, doesn’t it make perfect sense to use them as an upselling opportunity? 

You have their attention, use it to your advantage. Adding ‘frequently purchased together’ messaging is a great way to subtly upsell other products. 

One of our favorite tactics for this flow is a personalized post-purchase discount. 

For example: 

  • Still interested in product X? Add it to your order within 60 minutes and save 20%
  • For 1 week only, get 20% off your next order
  • Spend $X more for FREE shipping - Hurry, offer ends in 60 minutes

Of course, you don’t want to be overly salesy. A customer has just purchased something from you — it’s important to appreciate that. Make your gratitude the primary message of your post-purchase flow. 

Grow through automation 

Often overlooked and undervalued, automated email flows should be top of your to-do list. And if executed correctly, they should make up 15-20% of your total revenue — think of that extra income if you have no flows in place! 

We recommend starting on shorter flows like discount or post-purchase. Implement our top tips and see the results for yourself! 

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