The Ultimate Guide to Your Email Marketing Strategy (eCommerce)

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Let me let you in on a dirty little secret that Google, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and the execs of every other hot marketing platform don’t want you know:

The returns you get from social media, PPC, video advertising and even organic content (if it’s not part of a broader strategy) are hot garbage compared to what you can make from good email marketing.

Now, pop quiz time:

  1. What’s the secret behind the organic growth of standout brands like BeardBrand and Bailey’s Blossoms?
  2. What marketing method offers a 10-20x better return than the “good” 4:1 return of a Facebook Ads campaign?
  3. What’s the one marketing channel you can totally own – independent of whatever BS terms big companies try to put on you?

(I hope the title of this guide was a big hint)


In particular, your email marketing strategy (eCommerce).

For proof of this, look no further than the three reliable sources below.

First, here’s Oberlo:

“For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.”

Next, here’s McKinsey & Company:

“Email is 40x more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.”

Finally, here’s the DMA:

“One in five companies report an email marketing ROI of over 70:1 ($70 return for every $1 invested.. or 7000%)”.

If you’ve been around, you’ve heard all about the benefits of email marketing before.

But let me ask you this: how much are you making from email marketing right now?

If it’s just a fraction of the numbers listed above, you have plenty of room to grow. Particularly when you think about the kind of returns you get from other channels.

Email marketing is something that a lot of businesses have trouble with.

Whether you’re a struggling startup or a company with 1,000,000 square foot warehouses, you are letting predictable revenue slip through your fingers every month.

Some businesses blow their whole budget on sexy social media ads to keep new customers coming in. They work their asses off to increase “brand awareness” and gain deeper “market penetration” because they want to play “big brand”.

And everyone acts like it’s the most perfectly normal thing to do.

But they never realise that their business is taking on water like a rickety raft.

Until you can plug those leaks and build a better boat…

…you’ll be stuck throwing money at these ad campaigns just to keep your business afloat. #poetdidntknowit

Getting new customers is great, but it can cost five times as much to acquire a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Doubling down on existing customers is faster, easier and more profitable.

And the best way BY FAR of doing that?

Putting a solid email marketing system to work for your business.

Alright, so now that you’re on the email marketing hype train, just click the link below and give me $99 to unlock the next part of this masterclass….


Nah, I’m just kidding.

I mean I probably could charge for this.

me @ me

But since you’re already here, I SUPPOSE I’ll go ahead and lay out this system for free… 😉

You can learn a lot from reverse-engineering the strategies successful companies use to doemail marketing strategy ecommerceminate their industry.

In my 10+ years in the eCom space, I’ve seen the same three-tier system being used time and time again for winning more sales with email.

And honestly – even getting one part of this system set up properly could be enough to revolutionize your business (read: more deposits in your bank account).

These strategies can be used by pretty much any eCommerce business looking to level up their email game (read: you getting sales on autopilot).

The principles of selling your products via this channel are the same across the board, whether you’re selling bird cages, bathtubs, sex toys, horse sedatives, coffins, or ethically sourced clothing from Mars.

Dropshipping, made-on-demand, or manufactured in-house.

Bootstrapped, Kickstarted or investor-funded.

Still not sure if you can make email work for you? Drop me a line here, let me know what you sell and I’ll hit you back with my thoughts.


This ain’t gonna be some 500 word fluff piece (there’s enough of those on the internet already).

If you came to me for consulting (which would be awesome btw), this is the exact stuff I’d explain to you before we began working together.

So, if you’re serious about making this happen for your business, then you should do one of three things depending on who you are:

Option One: I’m a hands-on DIY-er

This is best if:

  • 🔧You’re willing to try this yourself
  • 😅You like getting your hands dirty
  • 👛You don’t have the budget to outsource the work

If this is you, set aside 30 mins right now to read this guide from start to finish.

Give me this time and I’ll give you the keys to unlocking a brand new stream of revenue for your business – guaranteed.

Option Two: I’m kinda busy (BUT I PROMISE I’LL GET TO IT)

This is best if:

  • ⌚You can’t spare 30 mins right now to read this guide in full
  • 📖You want to read through the system in full before committing
  • 💰You’re actually interested in learning about effective email marketing

If this is you, enter your email address into the form below.

  • 📧 I’ll send the PDF version of this guide directly to your inbox as soon as it’s ready
  • 📋 PLUS a FREE BONUS “Email Audit Worksheet” you can use to see how your store stacks up.

But for the love of God, don’t just let it sit there and gather e-dust.


This is best if:

  • ⌛You know you won’t finish this guide
  • 🥫The PDF version would just sit in your inbox like a can of kidney beans
  • 🤪You’re insanely busy and you’re already convinced you need this like yesterday

If this is you, let’s talk.

Just book a call here and I’ll walk you through exactly how we can apply this system for your business.

If you don’t have time for number 1 or 2, I highly suggest you choose number 3.

But hey – it’s your life 🤷

Since my goal is to make this into the best, most informative damn article you’ll ever read on email marketing, let’s set the scene.

Just like a college essay (but way less boring + you’re not the one having to write it), we’re going to tackle this topic in several parts:

Why Email Marketing Matters

👉 Start here if you’re new to email marketing & want to learn more about why email marketing NEEDS to be part of your eCom game plan. We’ll talk about:

  • Why “Social First” doesn’t work in the long run
  • The key metric that will make or break your business (and how email helps you crush it)
  • Why owning your email channel sets you free

The Three-Tier Email Marketing System

👉 Start here if you’re already sold on the value of email marketing, but need some structure to get you started. We’ll cover:

  • The three components of any effective email marketing strategy (ecommerce)
  • What part of the system to focus on first
  • The real cost of bad email marketing – and how to calculate it for your business

The Three Foundational Flows

👉 Start here if you already understand how email marketing works, but want to make sure you’ve got these three critical flows in place. I’ll take you through:

  • The essential flows you need to get in place on your store today to start capturing predictable revenue on autopilot
  • The order you should tackle these in
  • The key principles you should keep in mind when creating each new sequence

The Big Conclusion

👉 Start here if you’re one of those people that likes to read how the story ends before they start reading. We’ll:

  • Talk about your next steps should be
  • Lay out your options for implementing this system for your business
  • Recap the most vital info from the article

(And also unlike a typical college essay, this wasn’t written in a 8-hour writing binge and submitted 10 minutes before the deadline. More like over 8 sessions across 10 months)

Let’s get this started.

Why Email Marketing Matters For eCom Stores (And Like…Every Other Business You Want to Succeed With)

Done right, email marketing can:

So if you haven’t been paying as much attention to email marketing as you should have before now…

Don’t worry.

Here’s your chance to get back on track.

The Not-So-Boring History of Email Marketing

In case you’re curious:

The first marketing email ever sent was by a guy called Gary Thuerk in 1978.

Back in the dark days before

  • internet browsers,
  • chicken wings delivered to your door at the push of a button and
  • 24/7 access to politics conspiracy theories

this plucky marketing manager was just trying to sell a couple of computers to a list of….

400 people…

But he ended up making $13 million in direct sales.

Now that’s what I call ROI 😎

What followed in the decades between now and then was anarchy.

B2C marketers soon caught wind. They were very interested.

Direct mail had long been a huge source of income for marketers, but email was exciting and new.

No more duking it out with all the other companies forcing their way through your letterbox.

Instead, they could get in front of their prospects for pennies on the dollar. Big reach + low cost = HUGE $$$ for these companies. It was open season.

Predictably, they latched on like there was no tomorrow. Even more predictably, It wasn’t long before the spammers caught on too.

Before you could even blink, junk mail was an everyday reality (and constant headache). You’d check your email, see this trash, delete it, refresh, annnnnnnnnd….

🤮 More spam.

Bad practice was commonplace, but back in the day, that didn’t matter too much. Laws were looser, email was still a novelty, and the marketplace wasn’t yet jaded.

However, as people grew more used to the technology, people using spammy tactics and bottom-of-the-barrel tricks started to see smaller returns.

Slowly, people were picking up on best practices. They figured what they needed to do to make sales, and they did it.

Those best practices changed over time, but by and large, email marketing kept giving people returns.

Then along came social media. Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, to more modern ones like TikTok. Users came looking for fun.

Marketers flocked to these platforms in search of undivided user attention.

But, as anyone who has used one of these sites can attest to, social media is like a party.

And parties & marketers don’t really mix.

“Social First” Doesn’t Work in The Long Run (And Ruins the Vibe)

Imagine a hot new nightclub opens up in your town. Let’s call it Hansel for reference.

Everyone wants to get in, but it’s super exclusive. Luckily, you know a girl who knows a guy who knows a different guy who knows the owner. So, basically, you’re a VIP.

You rock up to the club and it’s just as amazing as you hoped it would be.

And hey, what do you know – your aunt’s cats and your brother’s hunting trip photos and a bunch of baby pictures are here.

Okay, kinda weird but hey the place is still hip and new.

The drinks are flowing, the music is pumping and people are having a good time. This is the place to be.

Then one dude shows up and starts trying to sell people on his new “money making opportunity”.

Maybe he catches the interest of a couple of people who are willing to join his downline… it’s a little weird, but he’s just one guy. Not enough to bring down the whole party ecosystem…right?

But when he goes back to his weekly MLM meeting and tells all his MLM buddies about this GREAT new place to find prospects, the inevitable happens.

Next week, you rock up to the club as usual…

But instead of seeing all those beautiful people you had grown used to seeing, there’s a bunch of slimy MLM pushers canvassing your friends and fam.

Cue the vibe getting killed and people moving to the new “it” spot.

This might seem like a huge exaggeration, but oftentimes, this is exactly what happens to social networks.

  1. People start using a site because it’s cool and all their friends are on it (and it’s a new outlet to show off their new baby)
  2. Marketers catch wind of a new place to hawk their products/services
  3. The first few people succeed because they’ve got good organic reach and ad costs are low
  4. Other marketers see their competitors succeeding, and, eager to get a piece of the action, push their way in
  5. Organic reach declines, ad costs go up, and people start to become desensitised to ads
  6. People either get overwhelmed with the amount of ads they’re faced with and stop using the service, or the network dials up ad costs to keep their audience engaged

Email is largely immune to the social media death spiral we outlined above, for several reasons:

1) People have a fundamentally different relationship with email than with social media.

No one is using email because it’s cool. They use it because they need an email address – just like having a phone number or physical address (jokes on you btw – I live to snag cool email addresses).

2) People have control over their inbox.
If they get sick of seeing a brand communicating with them, they can just unsubscribe.

They don’t have this same control with social media (where you have way less scope to stop seeing ads and sponsored posts that bother you).

  1. Assuming your deliverability is on point, you know your emails will reach the customer. No paying extra just to guarantee you show up in their inbox.
  2. Subscribers opt-in to hear more from you. That changes the whole dynamic. You’re not just hunting a cold prospect: you’re building a relationship with someone who’s open to listening.

Email marketing isn’t without its flaws. But having this channel in place is a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

That’s not to say that you can’t succeed with social media marketing.

Countless businesses have won big by using these platforms to fuel their growth. If you can get 3-5x ROI, then more power to you!

There’s also nothing wrong with using social media as part of an overall marketing strategy.

But I’d argue that putting these platforms first is the wrong move when you’ve already got a solid base of revenue (low-to-mid six figures).

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is What Matters Most (Raise This + Acquire More Ad Spend)

Think of it this way:

When you’re running ads on platforms like Facebook, it’s a customer acquisition game. You’re attracting eyeballs, clicks, and (hopefully) sales from people who didn’t know about your brand beforehand.

(Leave retargeting to one side for the moment.)

If you can manage to turn someone from a cold prospect into a brand-new customer, you’ve already done the expensive part.

We measure Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) on Facebook for this very reason. We need to know if the strategies we’re using are helping us land customers for a decent price.

The important thing to remember about CAC is that it only matters in context.

The higher your customer LTV, the more you can afford to spend on landing them (within reason – don’t go bankrupt servicing customers that might become profitable 5 years from now).

You can afford to spend $100 wooing a new customer if you know their first purchase will be for $1000. The opposite is true if your best possible outcome is selling a $3 fidget spinner.

(RIP lil’ guys, you burned brightly)

Email Sequences Help You Maximize Profits & Revenues

Maximising the lifetime value of each customer you land is critical…

And this is exactly where email marketing comes into play.

You’ve done the expensive and difficult work when you turn a cold prospect into a first-time customer (or even just someone on the fringes, like a subscriber to your free newsletter). You have a chance to go from break-even to break-the-bank profitability.

IF you take a strategic approach to:

  1. Nurturing your relationship with them
  2. Fostering buy-in to your brand
  3. Upsells, cross-sells, promos and having other key marketing pieces in place

You’ll dramatically increase customer LTV.

Contrary to popular belief, the best place to build a relationship with your customer is in their inbox, not in their social feed.

That’s why every good article about increasing customer lifetime value talks about email marketing (see here, here, here, here, or here for some evidence).

Once you’ve got a solid flow of customers coming across your business every day, lifetime value is the primary driver of growth.

Winning new customers is great, but we want to get as much value (read: money) from each relationship as we can. To do anything else is short-sighted.

When you take customer LTV from $30 to $100, you can afford to spend more money to acquire them.

To speak to the ancient caveman brain: You can afford to trade one of your wives for a really sharp stick IF that means you’ll be able to hunt bigger wooly mammoths……or for another wife.

That means you’ll be able to outspend your competitors, win more business, and capture more market share.

No more worrying about ad costs spiking during the year: you’ve got the margin to handle it.

And everyone else in your industry that got caught up chasing short-term wins? They’ll be left behind.

Owning Email Will Set You Free of the Social Media Ad Spend Roller-Coaster + Slot Machine

And finally, never forget: you don’t own your Facebook fans, Instagram followers, Snapchat friends, or TikTok hangers-on.

For reasons outside of your control, you can lose your accounts on any of these apps overnight. Check out this story from Reddit:

  • $150,000 spent on Facebook Ads
  • 85% of their business coming from the platform
  • Banned for no apparent reason
  • No easy way to get the problem fixed

An absolute nightmare for any business owner. And the exact same thing could happen with any other platform you use, for reasons entirely outside of your control.

But when you build an email list, it’s yours to keep.

Keep a backup of that puppy, migrate from tool to tool as you need. With no more friction than figuring out how to use new software.

An email list is an asset. Being able to market to that list is a privilege your business can only benefit from.

Until you get serious about email marketing, you’ll lack this freedom.

The Three-Tier Email Marketing Strategy (eCommerce) To Turn Six Figures Into Seven

If you want to build email into a six, seven or even eight-figure channel for your business, you need to do three things.

  1. Get your foundational flows in place
  2. Build out a campaign calendar and run promos like clockwork
  3. Diligently track and test your emails so they make you more money over time

Together, I like to refer to these as The Trifecta of Effective Email Marketing. That’s because, like a pyramid, each level builds on the last.

I use this trifecta everyday in my business.

I also used it back when I ran my own eCommerce store. It was a critical part of me being able to sell that store for a great price – the email list I’d built over the lifespan of the biz was attractive to potential buyers.

But more importantly, I’ve seen each element of this system being used by the biggest, most successful email marketing eCom brands out there.

So if you’re looking to scale your business using the low-cost, high-impact channel of email… you could do worse than try it out for yourself 😉

While businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from putting this system to work, I’ve found it’s most effective when you’ve already got a stable base of revenue in place (low-to-mid six figures in annual revenue).

Getting to this point is easier said than done, but if you can get this foundation in place, you’ll have a solid platform to build your system on.

At this size, you’re not a startup anymore.

You’ve made it past the tutorial level. Maybe you’re even dominating your niche with the help of a great product and some social media marketing wizardry…

But just because you beat the first boss doesn’t mean you’re ready for the big time yet.

Email is a different beast. While many of the skills you use to succeed with paid advertising will help you with email marketing too, it’s not a perfect crossover.

And if there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, it’s fail to take this stuff seriously.

The Real Cost of Bad Email Marketing

Let’s take a simple example:

Let’s say you’ve got a business that’s doing $20,000 revenue per month. $240,000 a year is decent – a solid base to build on.

If you start any email marketing right now (or even do it badly), you could see a 10-25% monthly revenue bump within 6 months with a solid email marketing strategy (ecommerce).

After 6 months, you could be making $25,000/month. Annualized, that’s $300,000 per year. A topline increase of $60,000 just for taking care of business.

And believe me – getting these systems in place doesn’t have to be expensive.

In my business, I look for ways to work out win-win arrangements with clients where I only get paid when they see results (i.e. I take a percentage of the upside).

In the example above, every month that you skip out on getting this done is costing you as much as $5,000.

And that cost gets even higher as your business scales. Even if you double or triple your bottom line, easy money will keep slipping through the cracks.

No matter how big you get, you should sit up and take notice if 10-25% of potential revenue is vanishing before it ever hits your bank account.

Because that’s what will be happening.

You can’t afford to keep waiting to get each level of this system firing for your business.

Focusing on campaign broadcasts is great for sales in the short-term. But in the long run, you’ll end up missing out on tons of revenue you could have captured with a more automated approach.

Covering this whole framework in detail would take a LONG time.

If you’re anything like the eCom entrepreneurs I know, you don’t have time to read a 20,000+ word guide to every aspect of effective email marketing.

With this in mind, we’re just going to focus on dialing in the first level of the system – getting your foundational flows in place.

I’m talking about this first for a couple of reasons:

  1. They’re “foundational” flows for a reason – you should get these in place before you stress out about running tons of campaigns and especially before split-testing every little variable.
  2. They’re universal. No matter what industry you’re in, you can put these sequences to work for your business.
    In contrast, the kinds of campaigns you’ll run for your eCom brand will differ greatly depending on your niche. For example, a lingerie brand is gonna take a different approach to a toothbrush company.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

🎬 BRIEF INTERMISSION: I’d suggest you grab something to drink or go pee if you haven’t already. You’re half way through, bud. But you better come back to this. It’s important stuff.


In my experience, very few eCommerce businesses even have their foundational flows in tip-top shape.

It’s crazy. The vast majority would benefit from putting in these three sequences – which we’ll discuss below.

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at each of these sequences in turn.

I’ll talk you through:

  1. What they’re each used for
  2. What to keep in mind when writing them
  3. How much impact they’re likely to have for your business
  4. What kinda emails these sequences should include (and the goals of including each email)

This is the fun stuff. With this knowledge, you’ll have everything you need to start building email into a highly profitable channel for your business.

Flow #1 – Welcome Sequence

Used for: First-time buyers, people who subscribe to your list without buying

First up, we’ve got the welcome sequence.

First impressions matter. That’s particularly true when someone hasn’t actually purchased from you yet – or if this is their first purchase.

This is why we have a bit of an extended welcome for non-customers.

Existing customers will have the luxury of getting to see the quality of your product for themselves. But for browsers and window shoppers? No such luck.

If you can start strong and create a solid connection with your customer within the first couple of days of contact, you stand a great chance at capturing their business in the future.

If they’ve entered your email list off the back of a purchase, then you should take this chance to welcome them into the family. Set expectations for what’s to come. Talk about things like:

  • How often you’ll email
  • What kind of messages they’ll get from you
  • How you’d like them to interact with you
  • What other channels you’re active on

And so on.

If someone joins your email list without making a purchase first (e.g. they clicked through to your website and signed up to get an exclusive discount), you should put them on a similar welcome sequence.

Although they haven’t bought from you yet, they’re still going to be interested in hearing more about your business. Something inspired them to sign up, and it’s down to you to show them why they should trust you with their hard-earned money.

When you’re writing your welcome sequence, here are some high-level points to keep in mind…

  1. Plan out your sequence before you begin.
    Sounds simple, but few businesses take the time to think about what they want their sequence to achieve before they put it together.

    You’ve got limited time and space to get your points across. Everything you include should be there for a good reason.
  2. Keep your sequence long enough to cover your bases.
    7-10 emails is the sweet spot. You can potentially do up to 15 emails if you’ve got a complex business with a lot to talk about, but think carefully before doing so. Open rates will drop off a cliff if readers start to get bored. And remember, you should be putting them on your regular mailing list after this.
  3. Keep the emails short.
    When you’re just starting to build a relationship with a new customer/prospect, you don’t want to overwhelm them with tons of content in every email. Nobody likes someone who overshares on the first date… or so I’ve been told 😔Some brands can get away with 500+ words per email, but those are few and far between. Keep yours to under 200 words whenever possible.
  4. Limit yourself to one main CTA per email.
    Any more than this and you run the risk of confusing the reader. Whether you’re asking them to check you out on IG, linking them to a cool review of your offering, or giving them a limited-time discount on a hot product, don’t ask for too much.Figure out what you want them to do, then build that single email around driving that action.
  5. Let your personality shine through.
    The worst thing you could do with your welcome sequence (besides failing to have it in the first place) is to make it boring.In a world where literally anything we want is two clicks away on Amazon, customers will only engage with your brand because they identify with you.People have had enough of empty company promises “Our team’s promise to you is to provide the best customer blah blah blah”.

    Enough of that corporate horse shit.

    Give em the damn lamb sauce.

    Don’t be afraid to share stories, images and perspectives that highlight what your business is about while also highlighting the value you can provide them.

    This will help you build a deeper connection with anyone who you’re a great fit for…

    Just like what this guide is doing right now 😏

Emails to Include

Depending on your product, I generally recommend an 8-10 email Welcome Sequence.

That’s long enough to cover everything most businesses will want to talk about…

But short enough that subscribers won’t start to get sick of seeing your name pop up in their inbox.

Here are a few emails you should include in your Welcome Sequence:

  1. “Brand Ambassadors” Email = Use this email to showcase some other customers that use & benefit from your products. This works great for some niches where the results are highly visual (e.g. skin care or clothing). For other types of products, testimonials & case studies can be just as effective.
  2. “USP” Email = Use this email to remind them what makes you different to other businesses in your niche. Better prices, iron-clad guarantees, excellent Customer Support – whatever will get them excited to buy from you.
  3. “Setting Expectations” Email = Use this email to lay out what your brand is about, how often they can expect to hear from you, and what you want them to do first (use a special discount, follow you on social media, etc.)

There’s lots more that can go into a high-impact Welcome Sequence. But the three emails above are non-negotiable.

Get them in place for your store and you’ll see for yourself how conversions, customer LTV and your profits skyrocket.

Flow #2 – Fulfillment Sequence

Used for: Customers (first-time and recurring)

Another simple – but critical – flow is the Fulfillment Sequence.

In the context of the customer journey, this sequence takes effect when someone has successfully made a purchase from your business.

Much like an Abandoned Cart Sequence (which we’ll discuss next), these emails are standard. People are used to getting them from other brands.

If yours are in any way confusing, you’ll be inundated with needless customer support requests, questions about package status, etc. Better to nip this in the bud and give the information before it’s asked for.

Depending on whether they’re a first-time buyer or a repeat client, you have to be careful that these emails don’t conflict with your other flows (e.g. your welcome sequence or your first product pitch).

In practice, customers won’t mind getting these emails separately from your brand. Their desire to see how their order is progressing is separate to their willingness to learn more about your business.

Pretty much every store already has these in place. What they haven’t done is optimized them

There are some simple things you can keep in mind to get more value out of this sequence. Here are a few to consider:

    1. Think about the whole journey, not just one email.
      This sequence will include more than just the order confirmation email. You should also send shipping/dispatch notifications and a follow up email after arrival to touch base.

      That second email is crucial. It’s a breeze to set up, but you’ll get massive value from it. Nipping problems in the bud, fostering a positive perception of your customer service, getting great reviews from happy customers – one little addition to your flow makes all this easier. 
    2. Make the goal of each email clear.
      Whatever piece of key information you want to communicate, make sure you do so clearly. That means having a good subject line, not including too much additional info in the email, and having clear action steps for them to take if they need to follow up.

      These emails are easy to get right when you’ve got a process for writing them. But they’re also easy to get wrong. Save yourself and your team from headaches and give customers exactly what they need in each email. 
    3. Look for ways to positively impact your customer.
      As we’ve talked about elsewhere, the best brands inject their unique personality into all of their touchpoints. Even something as simple as an order confirmation email is an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face.

      Look for ways to make your customer’s day a little better. If you can do that, you’ll boost their perception of your brand, and their LTV too. Small steps could create big impact over time, so don’t skip out on this. 
    4. Think bigger than just “order confirmation”.
      A great Fulfillment Sequence should do more than just update customers about the status of their package. Done right, it can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal for gaining two key assets: referrals and positive reviews.

      The easiest sale you’ll ever make is to a satisfied customer. The second easiest one is to their friends. Make the ask. Odds are that a lot of your customers (assuming they’re happy with your product) would be delighted to send more business your way in exchange for a discount or other exclusive rewards.

Emails to Include

I recommend you run a 5-7 email Fulfillment Sequence.

As we mentioned above, you should think bigger than just confirming their order and letting them know when it’s dispatched.

If you play your cards right, this Fulfillment Sequence could be a golden ticket for organic lead gen in the short-term (with customer referrals) and the long-term (with positive social proof).

With that in mind, here are some essential emails you should include:

  1. Winback” Email = Use this email when a customer hasn’t purchased from you in 60-90+ days. Give them a reason to come back and buy again. Link them to your best-sellers, give them a time-limited discount, offer something free if they spend over $xx – test out different angles and see what your audience responds to. 
  2. Survey Invite” Email = Use this email to make sure they’re satisfied with their order before you ask them to share a review on social media. If they have an issue with something you provided, take the time to solve their problem. Chances are that they’ll be much happier with your service once you’ve done so. Reviews that detail how helpful your brand is can go a long way towards helping sceptical customers make their first purchase! 
  3. Review Request” Email = Once you’re confident that your customers will share a positive review for your brand, you should ask them to do so on a platform of your choice. Good choices include Trustpilot, Instagram, a video review uploaded to Youtube, or anywhere else your business is active.

Flow #3 – Abandoned Cart Sequence

Used for: Email list subscribers who add items to their cart on your site but leave before completing checkout

The abandoned cart sequence is a mainstay of eCommerce businesses everywhere. If people have taken the time to browse through your website, pick out something they like, then add it to the cart, they’re probably interested in following through.

You’ve been there, so you know how it is. Any number of things can distract you and prevent you from finishing what you started. Introduce the tiniest bit of friction into the process and people will drop off in droves.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though – and a stalled purchase doesn’t have to stay stalled forever. With a solid abandoned cart sequence, you can see a solid uptick in revenue as you simply remind people to finish the thing they meant to do before they got sidetracked.

A good abandoned cart sequence doesn’t need to be complex. It can be shorter & simpler than the first two flows we talked about. However, I don’t recommend this across the board.

It’s important to keep buyer psychology in mind.

People end up abandoning their carts for different reasons. Some might use it like a wishlist.

Some are just waiting until an item goes on sale to pull the trigger.

Some want to see the full cost of buying the item.

Others are just forgetful.

Your job is to make sure that your Abandoned Cart Sequence has something for everyone.

Whatever their reason for stalling on the purchase, your abandoned cart sequence should be detailed enough to nudge them back on track – whatever the reason for their delay.

Here are some key principles you should keep in mind when writing this sequence…

  1. Respect where they’re coming from.
    People have different reasons for failing to follow through on a purchase. Don’t assume that it’s a cost thing, a value thing or even an interest thing.

    Your sequence should remind them of the value of shopping with you. But if you don’t know why they’re stalling on their decision, ask!

    If the issue is price, you can offer a discount or more generous financing terms (easier with high-ticket items, but great for getting data on your pricing regardless).

    If the issue is shipping, you can offer free shipping.

    If the issue is because they need an answer to a question only your Support team can answer, you can solve that too!Whatever their reason for needing a little extra encouragement to get over the line, your Abandoned Cart Sequence will help take care of business.
  2. Offer an incentive to take quick action.
    One technique I’ve seen many stores use to great effect – offering a limited-time discount to complete checkout. Usually in the range of 5-15%, this is a quick remedy to any price/value concerns your customer might have.Before setting this up, make sure that it doesn’t stack with other discounts and promos you offer on your store. Nothing worse than waking up to a flood of 50% off orders you didn’t intend to let through (ask me how I know 😬).
  3. When in doubt, keep it simple.
    I’m a huge fan of personalizing your emails and injecting brand voice into everything you write. However, you can have too much of a good thing.Customers are used to getting abandoned cart emails from other brands. If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and customize your message to your heart’s content. But don’t feel like you have to push the boat out too far. Keep it simple and focused on the task at hand: getting them to return to your store and make a purchase if they’re ready to do so.

Emails to Include

Depending on what you’re selling, I recommend you run an 8-10 email Abandoned Cart Sequence.


Believe me – you’d be shocked how many people only end up converting after they’ve been reminded 6+ times.

Sure, if they’re right on the cusp of making a purchase and just get distracted, then a simple “hey, did you forget to complete your order?” email is enough to put them back on the path.

But if there’s something else that’s stopping them from pulling the trigger – the cost, lack of free shipping, wanting to do more research – then you need to go hard. Spare no effort in winning them back. If they’re right for your business, they’ll appreciate your reminders!

Whatever length of sequence you end up going with, here are a few emails you need to include:

  1. “Secret Discount” Email = Use this email to give them an exclusive, limited-time discount they can use to get 5%-15%+ off of your best-selling products, or the specific products they were interested in.
  2. “Stock is Running Out” Email = Use this email to remind them that you have limited supplies of the product they had their eye on (if this is true). FOMO is a powerful driver of action. If they think there’s a chance they might not be able to buy when they want to, they might choose to buy right away to avoid missing out.
  3. “Unique Offer Reminder” Email = Use this email to remind them of your USP. Do you offer free shipping, a generous returns policy, or a guarantee they’d love? If so, make sure they know all about it with this message.

Conclusion (And Your Next Steps)

Alright, so you’re probably feeling a little bit like this right now:

Totally normal. After all, you’ve just finished reading the best two-article intro to eCom email marketing on the internet 😜

So, what comes next?

If you’re anything like most business owners I know, you’re probably excited about the potential this Three-Tier Email Marketing System has to offer your company. And with good reason.

Done right, email can turn your business into one of those success stories you read about in your downtime (with none of the baggage that comes with mastering social media).

But here’s the reality:

  1. You finish reading
  2. You think, “Wow, that’s really nice”
  3. You close the tab – and that’s probably the last time you’ll think about this.

At least, until the topic of email marketing pops up in your head again three months from now and then you wonder why you stalled getting it in place for your business.

The shit really hits the fan when you realize you’ve done that a few times now – and it’s years later and you’re still at square one.

In my line of work, I constantly hear stories like this from my clients.

  1. They knew what outcome they wanted
  2. They knew what path they needed to take to get there
  3. They knew what resources were required
  4. Here’s the real bitch – they even knew who they could turn to for help

But for one reason or another, they stalled. They let urgent matters dominate their days.

They were so busy with running their business day-to-day that they didn’t have any time left over for building out this automated, long-term revenue channel…

And before they know it, they’ve let months and years slip by without taking enough action to get the results they’re after.

An optimized email marketing system has the potential to revolutionize your business. No joke. I’ve seen:

  • Mid-six figure revenues turn into seven inside a year
  • Seven-figure businesses build their email system from zero to “big money” in a couple of quarters
  • Eight figure companies make small adjustments to their flows that generate tens of thousands of dollars in new business every month on autopilot

All of these success stories implemented at least a handful of the principles we discussed in this article to achieve this growth.

Across the board, they dialled in their foundational flows, got highly profitable campaigns working on autopilot, then kept looking for places where they could optimize their emails.

Conservatively, I think that pretty much any business could see a 10-25% revenue bump when they build email the right way from scratch. That’s a lot of money for anyone, and that’s especially true if you’re trying to scale.

It all starts with getting your foundational flows in place. Campaigns and optimization are great (stuff I personally love working on), but they shouldn’t be the focus when you’re starting out.

Every month that you don’t get this in place is costing you another month of growth. So if you’ve seen the value in what I’m saying here, put this information to work.

Give it to your marketing team, your freelancers, your consultants, whoever.

Do it yourself if you have the time (although I’d think twice before adding more work to your already packed schedule).

And if you’re interested in having a chat about how you can implement this information for your business, feel free to book a call here.

Here are some ways I might be able to help you:

  1. Getting your foundational flows firing on all cylinders
  2. Fine-tuning your existing sequences so that you get max return on every email sent
  3. Managing your email list on a monthly basis to skyrocket subscriber LTV
  4. Talking you through how to make email marketing work for your business – even if you’re completely overwhelmed and confused right now

If any of the above sound good to you, we could be a good fit to work together.

Full disclosure: This won’t be a high-pressure sales call.

I only have capacity to work with 10 clients at a time.

This means I can keep delivering a high level of service across the board.

I might be booked up when you reach out. I can get my hands full pretty quick.

That said, I’m always happy to talk to ambitious eCom entrepreneurs looking to get started with email marketing. So if:

  • You’ve got a stable base of revenue (mid-six figures minimum)
  • You don’t do much email marketing (or it’s not optimized)
  • You’re looking for an action plan to get you started

Then reach out. I’d be happy to hear from you.

And if you’d like to contact me with feedback on what you read here, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn (always happy to hear from readers).


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