How lifecycle emails can engage customers

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Lifecycle emails are effective for engaging customers and creating a personalized experience.

These specific emails can help build customer relationships that lead to higher open and transaction rates. Plus, they tend to give your business opportunities for email personalization based on products purchased or other store interactions.

“Email offers a unique ability to contact your customers at given moments with personalized messages. When done correctly, personalized email messages combine all kinds of data to deliver mails which are extremely relevant and useful to the customer.”

Robert Allen, blog editor for Smart Insights

Use lifecycle emails to your advantage. Here are five different types to get you started.

1. Welcome emails

First impressions matter when establishing customer relationships. One way to intrigue buyers is to create welcome emails that excite them.

When a visitor registers with your site or signs up for your online newsletter, send them a welcome email expressing your gratitude for their interest in your brand. For example, here’s a guide to creating welcome emails when customers register for an account with your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads store.

Compelling eCommerce welcome emails will spotlight special announcements, like a new product launch or an upcoming sale. You might even want to include a selection of products for the consumer to buy right now.  The Economist includes an upsell for their premium subscriptions when welcoming free newsletter subscribers.

The Economist Welcome
Economist welcome email.

Welcome emails also are useful when visitors make their first purchase. In these messages, reassure buyers that they made the right purchase. Your team may desire to cross-sell as well.

2. Cart abandonment recovery emails

Every person who visits your eCommerce store won’t purchase on the first visit. They may just add items to their shopping carts as they browse, and some will get distracted before completing a transaction.

That’s where cart abandonment recovery emails bring value. They serve multiple purposes to attract and maintain your audience’s attention.

Use them as a reminder to notify consumers of products left in their online carts. A simple notification can easily save lost sales.

Jilt email: product in subject
A Jilt recovery email.

Or gain valuable insight about your customer’s reservation. Your team might ask consumers how they felt about their online experience. This feedback is crucial to improving your bottom line.

Jilt Email: Service-focused
A Jilt email geared towards customer service.

Remember to include pertinent details about the purchasing process. Greg Wise, principal eCommerce inbound marketing expert at HubSpot, states:

“Lay out return information or exchange policies to let them know they’re secure. Finally, be sure to include your phone number and email so they can contact you with any questions before and after the purchase.”

Will these emails annoy your customers? Probably not.

More than half of people find shopping cart abandonment emails helpful. They are most popular amongst women aged 55 to 64, with 62 percent of that group embracing these types of emails.

3. Discount emails

Want to reward your customers? Sending emails notifying consumers of discounts helps generate more revenue for your business.

Discount emails are usually sent to consumers who need a little nudge to complete the transaction. However, avoid offering discounts to products that don’t interest the buyer.

Segment your subscriber list to personalize your offerings, and use product categories that the customer has purchased or shown previous interest.

Several types of discount offers exist, including percentage based discounts, dollar value discounts, free shipping, and free product gifts. For instance, by positioning a dollar value discount as a credit, consumers may feel like they’re losing money if they don’t redeem the offer.

4. Order emails

According to an Experian white paper, “Transaction rates soar eight times higher than bulk mailings for order confirmations and four times bulk for shipping- and return/exchange-based messages.”

Order emails, such as confirmation or shipping notifications, play an integral role in not only providing essential purchasing information but also engaging customers for repeat purchases. You could improve receipt emails using Jilt.

Since consumers open transactional emails repeatedly, there’s an opportunity for companies to cross-sell products and services to highly-connected customers.

“A great order confirmation email can help you grow your list, generate additional revenue, capture customer feedback and make your customers happier. Think of your order confirmation emails as an important part of your customer’s journey instead of as that ugly email that IT is in charge of.”

Email marketer Andrew King

McKinsey reports that one financial institution increased its revenue from target segments by 20 percent with lifecycle events to trigger personalized emails to existing customers.

Personalization centers around delivering the right message to the right person. The days of sending mass email blasts are gone. To earn real returns, create order emails that go beyond delivering tracking information.

5. Milestone emails

Celebrating milestones with customers is a chance to boost revenue. Key milestones such as birthdays and consumer anniversaries offer another reason to show customers you care about them.

Research shows that open rates for birthday email campaigns were over three times higher than for mass-promotion mailings sent to the same clients. Moreover, open rates for anniversary campaigns were nearly three times as high: 34.4 percent vs. 12.9 percent.

“It can be an email celebrating the customer’s one year of being an email subscriber. It can also be an email for celebrating an order purchased one year ago. And similar to birthday emails, include a gift, such as a discount on their next purchase.”

John Komarek, conversion expert and founder of Pixelter

Continue to learn about your customers—their needs, wants, and challenges. Use behavioral data to pinpoint important moments in the customer lifecycle.

The goal of milestone emails is to keep your company top of mind. By optimizing the shopping experience, you encourage customers to buy products and drive value to your business.

Email as engagement

Lifecycle emails are effective engagement tools for your company. Move consumers down the sales funnel with relevant, timely messages.

Whether you want to onboard new buyers or reconnect with existing customers, email marketing is designed to increase your ROI. Leverage lifecycle emails to target specific customers at pivotal stages.


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