Marketing automations are designed to save you time and boost your business—that’s kind of their whole thing. Set up an automation to reach your customers at the right time, with the right message, and let it do the work for you on autopilot.
That’s why we’re excited to share three new marketing automation templates, built directly into Shopify, that will have you up and running with marketing best practices in just a few minutes:
- The welcome email series (discount with reminder) template starts with an email featuring a discount, followed by two emails designed to build your relationship with new subscribers. Then, if they haven’t made a purchase, a fourth email is sent out as a reminder to use the discount.
- The welcome email series (brand story with discount) template sends three emails designed to share your story and connect with new subscribers. Then, if they haven’t made a purchase, a fourth email goes out with a discount code.
- The thank you email template sends an email a day after a customer makes a purchase, and sends personalized messaging depending on whether it’s their first purchase or their second.
Our team didn’t build these alone, either. We worked with Ezra Firestone, whose commerce marketing experience is the stuff of legend. He’s the founder and CEO of Boom! By Cindy Joseph, CEO of oVertone and Zipify, and the founder of Smart Marketer.
His expert advice is weaved into how these automation templates work, from content tweaks to the timing of each email. But he has more advice than can fit into a template, so read on to get all of his top tips to make the most of your welcome series and thank you emails.
Your welcome series is a perfect introduction to you and your business
One of the best ways to engage new subscribers is to send them a series of welcome emails in the first few days after they join your list, instead of just a single welcome email. This gives you a better chance to build a strong connection right from the start, and keeps your brand top of mind.
But if you’re wondering what to say in four whole emails, we’ve got you covered with advice from Ezra.
Email Idea: Introduce yourself
“What would be interesting as one of the first emails to send—which increases the intimacy between the brand and the subscriber, and it just works—is a ‘meet the founder’ or ‘our story’ email,” says Ezra.
Introducing yourself and sharing your brand’s story is a great way to build trust and establish a personal connection with your subscribers. Plus, almost every brand has a founder or leader who can step in as the face of this email.
Email Idea: Mix promotional and relationship-building emails
When it comes to a welcome email series, it’s not just about closing the sale every time. Balance out your promotional content with more information about your business to keep your subscribers engaged and interested.
Not sure what else to include as relationship-building content? “Every brand could do manufacturing transparency emails. Every brand could do social proof,” says Ezra. “The point of these emails is to build trust between you and your subscribers. Here’s some ideas of what you could include in there: where you’re located, why you started your brand, who you’ve served in the past, or a story about how your product helps somebody.”
"The point of these emails is to build trust between you and your subscribers."
Email Idea: It’s not just about discounts
Incentives in your emails can help you close a sale, but that doesn’t mean you always have to offer a discount. Consider other ways to motivate your subscribers to take action, like free shipping or hassle-free returns.
“Some kind of incentive to take action is going to work so much better than not including one, even if it’s a free shipping threshold communication. Just something to incentivize the shopping experience from the first communication, you know, even if it’s like ‘hassle-free returns’ or ‘free shipping with returns,’” says Ezra.
Set up thank you emails to connect with new and returning customers
Showing gratitude to your customers, both new and returning, has never been easier. With the new thank you automation template, you can set up different emails based on whether someone just placed their first or second order with your store.
On top of that, Ezra has a tip to take this template a step further with a small customization. He recommends adding a wait step, and then sending a second (or even third) email after the first thank you, to hype up the order that’s en route. It’s something he does, and sees working, in his businesses.
“We have our pre-arrival excitement builder emails, which are like, ‘Hey, before your order arrives, here’s what you should know.’ One of the things that pre-arrival excitement builders do is they reduce refund rates, and they increase the number of reviews you get. So we have that category of email: Here’s what your product’s gonna look like when you get it, here’s what you need to know, all that stuff.”
You can either add that content directly to your thank you email, or add a wait step and a second email to your thank you automation.
Email Idea: You don’t need tons of images in every email
And last but not least, if you’re worried that you might not have images for every one of these new emails, that’s OK, says Ezra. In fact, it might even perform better.
“One thing that’s interesting is that what’s performing best for us most of the time are HTML light emails,” says Ezra. That means fewer images, less formatting, and more text—more like an email you’d send to a friend, less like a branded email.
There’s a time and a place for leading with imagery, but it’s worth testing out whether low-formatting emails will work for your brand, too.
Boost your results with new marketing automation templates
Whether you want to upgrade your current welcome email to a series, add thank you emails to your repertoire, or explore the rest of the available marketing automation templates, you can now do it all right within Shopify. Just make sure that as you set up new automations, you’re considering how they all work together—you don’t want to accidentally send three welcome emails at the same time!
And remember, your first 10,000 manual and automated emails are free every month with Shopify Email.