Essential lifecycle emails that shape your customers’ journey
When a new subscriber joins your ecommerce email list, it could be the start of a beautiful long-term relationship.
The kind of customer relationship where they buy from you often, and tell their friends (and even strangers!) about your amazing products. Sounds great, right?
To create this special bond, you can use a small collection of ecommerce lifecycle email sequences to take each customer on a journey from curious to loving your brand.
Let’s look at how lifecycle emails can help to skyrocket your sales.
Lifecycle Email Sequences take customers on an adventure
Think of Lifecycle emails like you’re creating a choose your own adventure novel for your customers.
In each chapter, you get to present the paths that a customer can take:
New subscriber → To buy or not buy?
Hesitant customer → Checkout or not checkout?
One time customer → browse and buy another product, or stop there?
At each fork in the road, the customer can choose which way to go. So how do we get them to choose the path that YOU want them to take?
With appealing emails filled with enticing products and offers.
Who are lifecycle email sequences for?
Australian retailers selling products online.
Online-only direct to customer (DTC) businesses, or physical stores with online sales.
Ecommerce business owners (doing ALL the things, maybe with a small support team).
Businesses with an in-house marketing team, but no email strategist on the team.
Products for the home and products for children.
START YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY HERE:
Which choices should you present to your customers first? Ideally, present the paths that serve your business goals.
CLICK your customer journey goal or sticking point below, and I’ll help you decide which ecommerce lifecycle email sequences you need to work on first.
I want to MAKE MONEY:
MONEYMAKER Lifecycle Email Sequences
New subscriber Welcome Sequence
(Ideally, you’d nail your welcome sequence FIRST before proceeding to any other sequences)
This sequence sounds pretty simple: the goal is to welcome new subscribers and plant the seed for a long term relationship.
The welcome sequence is the first introduction. It’s for “getting to know you” and its goal is building “Know, Like and Trust” with each customer. Nurturing the relationship with one person at a time.
The best part is that a welcome sequence PRIMES your customers to buy from you in the future. Over the course of 5-7 emails, we want your customers to go from “a bit curious” to “shut up and take my money” 😂
The outcome of writing a relevant, engaging welcome sequence can be that you make 1.5X your current revenue from email.
1.5X! Simply by adding a solid email welcome sequence to your customer journey.
(And if your current revenue from email is low, the outcome is likely to be much more than 1.5X because it’s currently performing below its capacity).
Find out more about my eCommerce Email Welcome Sequence writing package here.
Abandoned cart email sequence
The best way to convert “on the fence” customers into buyers is to entice them to complete their checkout and hit Pay Now.
When you’re talking about conversion ROI, you can’t beat the abandoned cart sequence in bang for your buck.
Not just one abandoned cart email, but a series of 2 to 7 emails that remind your customers why they should come back to buy your product – now.
Across online retail, as an average:
😱 About 74% of customers abandon their cart
😮 Cart abandonment emails have a high open rate, about 42%.
🤩 Click through rate on the abandoned cart emails is about 20%.
🤯 Completion rate is about 10%.
They’re sales that you might otherwise miss out on.
(Stats source: Barilliance)
A multi-part Abandoned Cart Sequence gets you closer to the sale – and that’s exactly what you want 😍
It’s easy to work out your business’s potential ROI for setting up a solid Abandoned Cart Sequence:
– Work out the total value of your abandoned carts in the last month.
– Divide by 10.
– Multiply by 12 to get your yearly potential ROI for abandoned cart conversion. (It’s a big number, isn’t it?)
Your investment for an Abandoned Cart Email Sequence is $3960 including GST, for 4-7 automatically triggered and targeted emails to encourage your customers to get off the fence and buy.
Upsell / Cross sell email sequence
Turn one time customers into repeat customers by encouraging their next purchase.
These customers have already bought from you, and (we hope!) they already love you and your products. Getting a second sale is sometimes easier than getting the first, because you’ve already built that trust with the customer.
Luckily, purchase history is GREAT data for segmentation. You can send highly relevant product offers to go with their recent purchase.
The post purchase upsell and cross sell ideas are endless!
If the customer bought:
A couch → send “couch adjacent” product offers like cushions, lamps, rugs and coffee tables.
Newborn baby bottles → wait 2-4 months, then offer the next stage of feeding products like bibs, sippy cups, bowls and spoons for starting solids.
Plastic-free food storage products → offer similar items such as silicone cookware, beeswax food covers, and reusable metal straws.
Quilt cover and pillowcases → they’re probably looking at their grubby old pillows and thinking they need replacing, so you can send an offer for pillows, mattress protector.
Electric lawn mower → offer for a whipper snipper, hedge trimmer or other garden products that use the same battery pack.
Post purchase upsell and cross sell emails can be combined with useful content that pre-frames the product offer.
In the case of baby bottles, we could start with a blog or email content piece about “how to start solids”, and follow in the next email about the tools a parent needs to start solids (bibs, bowls, tiny spoons, insulated food storage containers, sippy cups, and more!)
Usually 3-5 emails per offer and includes supporting content such as a blog post.
Once this email sequence is in place, you can run it automatically forever. Everyone who buys product A will get the upsell sequence for the next suitable product. It’s selling on autopilot!
Your investment for an Upsell Email Sequence is $3960 including GST, for automatically triggered and targeted emails to encourage a second purchase from customers.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDER Lifecycle Email Sequences
Post purchase nurture and delivery email sequence
This sequence is all about providing a brilliant customer service experience after a purchase.
The post purchase sequence includes the essential transactional emails such as:
- order confirmation and receipt
- shipping dispatch notification
- updates on delivery
But there’s also an opportunity to provide exceptional customer service in this sequence.
For example, you can also use the post purchase sequence to:
- build anticipation for the product’s arrival
- reassure the customer that they made a great choice with videos or testimonials from customers who bought the same items
- remind the customer that you’re a family owned business and their purchase means the world to you
- provide instructions on how to use the product and how to care for it
The post purchase email sequence doesn’t have to be dry or “all business” transactional emails like the templates that come in your online store platform.
Your post-purchase lifecycle emails should match your brand’s personality and they should tell your story. So if your brand is quirky, have a bit of fun with the copy and images in your post purchase sequence.
Usually 4-5 emails in total.
Your investment for a Post Purchase Email Sequence is $3960 including GST, for automatically triggered emails that provide brilliant customer service, and reduce complaints and refund requests.
Post purchase review & testimonial request email sequence
Get rave reviews and testimonials for your products!
Happy customer LOVE telling people about their experience, so you need to ASK for feedback.
The post purchase review sequence usually includes up to 3 emails asking the customer for a product review or testimonial.
It can be one email request per product, or a combined email asking for reviews of all products in their order. You can link to your Google reviews, or collect them for your website.
TOP TIP: the critical step here is to wait until the customer has definitely received their delivery and had a chance to try it. If you send the review request too soon, and they’re still waiting, you’ll almost certainly get a negative review focused on the delivery timing, which isn’t a fair review of your product.
Usually up to 3 emails.
Post Purchase testimonial request emails start from $990 including GST and can be bundled together as part of the post purchase delivery sequence.
Perfect for consumable products that get used up – cosmetics, household cleaning supplies, vitamins, kids’ name stickers for school, even playdough and crayons!
A targeted campaign reminding customers that it’s time to order again, so you make regular, repeat sales on autopilot.
You can send the same campaign at regular intervals to make sure you’re front of mind when they’re about to run out.
This ecommerce lifecycle email sequence is a profitable one, because it gets customers who already love your products to buy again.
The best part is that the replenishment sequence can massively increase your customer’s lifetime value to your business, because they buy again and again.
Usually 4-6 emails, targeted to the product they’ve been enjoying. Totally reusable!
Your investment for a Replenishment Email Sequence is $2860 including GST, for automatically triggered emails that take customers from one-time customers to valuable, repeat, lifetime customers.
Turn past/lapsed customers into repeat customers.
When you haven’t heard from a customer for a while, it’s time to send in the Winback sequence.
This campaign works best when it focuses on past customers, because they already know your business and your products well. For some reason, they’ve stopped buying or stopped opening or clicking in your emails.
In the winback sequence, we’ll send the customers a little treat to encourage them to come back. This could be a discount code or other offer, with the goal of enticing another purchase.
Usually 3-4 emails.
Your investment for a Winback Sequence is $2860 including GST, for automatically triggered emails that entice your customers to come back for another purchase.
Sunset (list cleaning) sequence
At some point, it becomes time to say goodbye to subscribers. And that’s OK! They’re not going to be interested forever, so it’s a natural part of the customer lifecycle.
The Sunset / List Cleaning sequence helps you identify and remove disengaged subscribers from your list.
Chances are, you’re paying for those disengaged subscribers in your list every month. And worse than that, they’re harming your email open rates and email deliverability!
An ecommerce Sunset Sequence gives one last chance to subscribers who aren’t opening or clicking on your emails any more. A couple of “wake up” emails to encourage them to come back, followed by a gentle “goodbye, and no hard feelings” if they don’t engage.
It’s a list cleaning exercise that you should run every 3 months, for subscribers who haven’t engaged in the last 6-9 months or so.
After the list cleaning sequence has finished, you can unsubscribe those people so they don’t cost you money any more.
Usually 3-4 emails plus some fancy list cleaning tech set up in the background.
Your investment for a Sunset Sequence is $2860 including GST, for automatically triggered emails that give one last chance to customers, then automatically unsubscribe them to keep your list tidy and profitable.
Other essential ecommerce emails
Emails can do SO MUCH for your ecommerce business, and the possibilities are endless!
Other lifecycle email sequences you should consider are:
- Back in stock
- New product release
- Holiday promo sale / Discount offer / Flash sale email sequence
Who’s planning and writing my lifecycle emails?
I’m Zoe Heard from Get Heard, and I’m an email strategist and copywriter working in Ngunnawal country, Canberra. I work with online retailers all over Australia, so location is no barrier.
I audit and write lifecycle emails for retailers selling products online for the home and for children.
Lover of homewares, appliances and renovation products.
Mum of 2 small kids. Obsessed with Bluey. Former Disney Store cast member.
3 cups of Earl Grey tea per day.
Email strategist and copywriter with a background in retail
I was a generalist online copywriter for 5 years before discovering my love of ecommerce emails in 2021.
Now I work exclusively in lifecycle emails for ecommerce and retail brands.
I’m one of the few – possibly the ONLY – ecommerce email strategist and copywriter in Australia with a solid background in retail.
For you, this means I understand your retail business. The planning cycles, how much goes into product development, customer research, promotions, seasonal offers, THE LOT. Not many other copywriters have this depth of experience in retail.
- I started my career as a cast member at The Disney Store in Melbourne. Got to play with toys for a living and sing along to Disney songs!
- Embraced my love of homewares working at Bed Bath N Table in the flagship store in Hawthorn.
- Worked as an Assistant Category Manager for Repco (experienced in white label product creation, purchasing, worked closely with the marketing team, and got good at extracting epic sales data from reports).
- Sold large furniture installations for a Dutch office furniture manufacturer.
And now, I have combined my love of retail with my love of copywriting. It’s a match made in heaven!
What's included in a lifecycle email writing project?
- 📨 60 minute briefing call beforehand to discuss your business, your target customer, and your email goals (overall goals and for this specific sequence)
- 📨 Voice of Customer research including online data mining, testimonial and chat support reviews. (VOC interview calls with past customers can be added as an optional extra)
- 📨 Create a new customer journey through the email sequence
- 📨 Understand how this sequence fits into the customer’s lifecycle journey
- 📨 Customer journey flow chart showing the mechanics of the email sequence (like the customer’s choose your own adventure map)
- 📨 3 to 7 emails written for your sequence (please check each package for the quantity)
- 📨 Emails in your brand’s voice, with language your customers love to hear
- 📨 Image suggestions
- 📨 Email content presented in a Google Docs copy deck for review
- 📨 One round of revisions
- 📨 Test and approve email automation (email upload is not included: to be done by your team in-house or by an email automation technician – I can introduce you to someone wonderful)
- 🤩 BONUS: written report after the sequence has been running for 30 days
- 🤩 BONUS: 30 minute post project call on Zoom to ask any questions that have you stumped (within 14 days)