Email Marketing and New Automated Emails

30 min listen

The podcast host Jesse talks with Tim Osborn, Content Manager at Ecwid, about the latest in email marketing. Ecwid listeners may know Tim from the Ecwid Youtube videos, and he is also responsible for many of the emails Ecwid sends.

The episode covers Ecwid’s Automated Emails. Enable them to automatically send tailored sales emails to your customers when they complete certain actions on your site, like adding a new product to their favorites or completing a purchase.

Enable Automated Emails in your store

Show Notes

  • Email isn’t dead
  • Millennials still want email
  • Staying away from spam
  • Options for marketing emails

Ecwid’s Automated Emails:

  • Favorite item reminder
  • Abandoned cart recovery email with a discount
  • Order confirmation with related products
  • Feedback request
  • “Thank you for shopping with us”
  • Inactive customer reminder (with bestsellers)
  • Purchase anniversary


Jesse: What’s going on, Tim? We got a substitute co-host. You’re really the star of Ecwid YouTube anyway.

Tim: I’m no Richard Otey.

Jesse: That is true. Richard Otey would be talking into the microphone like a professional. Come on now.

Tim: Look at this guy up here, pointing at me from behind the window. What do you think you know, huh? Nothing.

Jesse: Yes, nothing. You’ve replaced him. Wally pipped him. Oh, well.

Tim: Today I am so excited to be talking about my ten favorite kinds of pizza. Now we’re gonna get into a lot of different crusts. OK. Little known fact about deep dish. Most people think it’s a thick crust. It isn’t. You know, sometimes it’s thick, but traditionally it’s a very thin crust that’s been pressed to the sides of a pan. It’s very buttery. It’s very crispy. But that is the indicator of a good traditional deep dish.

Jesse: Wow.

Tim: Now, we could talk about New York style. We can talk about tavern style. I know a lot.

Jesse: Cauliflower crust, is that a thing? Sadly, no.

Tim: No, we’re not talking about that.

Jesse: All right. We’re off to a good start here, Tim. I like it. I hope listeners are getting hungry, ready for the top ten pizza crusts.

Tim: Yeah. That’s what we’re talking about. But we are talking about something that’s equally as good. We are gonna be talking about why you need to be using email marketing in 2020.

Jesse: Wow. Email marketing. Have you guys ever heard about email marketing?

Tim: I bet you have. If you have an email because your inbox is loaded with it.

Jesse: Yes. So like many people, you probably spend a good portion of your day reading emails. You’re probably as a store owner thinking: “Man, I don’t want to send more emails. I hate emails.” No, you should send more emails. Emails totally work. They’ve always worked, and they’re going to work even more in 2020.

Tim: Yeah, I think email is one of those things that people tend to neglect, or they think, oh, emails, it’s kind of going out of vogue. We’ve got all these new kinds of traditional advertising or digital advertising, all these different things and it’s just not true. Email marketing is just continuing to grow. I don’t know what the stat was, but it’s something like three hundred and fifty billion dollars that was spent on email marketing in 2019 alone. So it’s a big, big avenue and a big, big opportunity to speak to your customers at a place that they are interacting on a daily basis. I think it’s something like 50 percent of Americans check their email at least once a day. And fifty-five percent of consumers actually like to receive relevant content from businesses in their inbox.

Jesse: They like email. They check email, send people some emails. We’re obviously talking about email here today. We want to give you some real examples. So you’ve probably heard before, email marketing, you should do it. “Oh, yeah, yeah. I got a sense of newsletters. I got to send some emails.” We’re going to give you more of some easier options for that. We’ll talk about some of our previous guests in the emails that we think they should send. And of course, there is some awesome new functionality inside of Ecwid to help you with this. So, Tim, where should we start here?

Tim: Of course. Well, I think where we should probably start is just talking a little bit about the different types of email marketing. So when I think about email marketing, I think about three big categories. So you’ve got newsletters, which is something businesses might traditionally send out once a week or once a month at some regular interval. It’s news about the business, possibly an offer, but then there’s also transactional emails. Those are emails that you would receive, let’s say if you place an order and say, “Hey, you order confirmation” or “Hey, we just shipped your product”, those types of emails. And then there are promotional emails, and those are the emails where you really get the opportunity to push more products towards your customers, tell them about new offers and really drive them back to your website to make purchases.

Jesse: Ok. Well, Tim, I think we can start with newsletters because anybody who’s listing this probably is on the Ecwid newsletter list. And those emails are written by a very special guy.

Tim: They’re written by me. I’m the special guy.

Jesse: Yep. Tim is the special email editor, writer. Email aficionado. I don’t know if that’s a thing.

Tim: This podcast is gone off the rails. (laughing)

Jesse: All right. So newsletters. These are probably one of the most; I don’t know, they are an easy email. Maybe they’re not easy for everybody. But I think when you buy from a store, you do expect to see a newsletter at some point. You should really have a sign up link on your site to sign up people for newsletters. You can build a list out of people that have previously bought and maybe you’re not going to start ready newsletter when you have three customers. Might be a lot of time for those three customers. But it’s something to start thinking about. It’s regular communication to start building a community with your customers.

Tim: Yeah. I think that the real value of the newsletter is it gives you consistent touchpoints, and it gives you an opportunity to connect and build a relationship with your customer in a way that, say, a promotional offer email that says “Hey, get 50 percent off your products” doesn’t really give you. You can share different news and show different insights. Jesse, what are some examples from some Ecwid customers that you’ve seen of some really good opportunities to send a newsletter?

Jesse: People who have listened to the podcast regularly, you’ve heard from some of our customers. And so maybe they’re already sending newsletters. I hope they are, because I hope that they’re doing the right thing. But for example, we had probably one of the previous podcasts, right before this was Prairie Melody Birdseed. It’s organic birdseed. So you think for that, like, “OK, well, I don’t know. Newsletter? What can you send out?” Well, there’s always some sort of news. A weekly newsletter for organic birdseed. That’s probably a bit much. That’s a bit of an overkill. I agree. I wouldn’t open that email every week, but if it was once a month and I’m a person that already bought organic birdseed, I might be interested in hearing. What’s the latest news like? It’s a seasonal thing. OK. I don’t know. The cardinals are flying here. Steaks should be ready to feed some cardinals. I was going to say they hibernate, but I don’t think cardinals hibernate. We’re not ornithologists. All right. So a lot of big words, Tim. I didn’t have that done in our notes. So that’s an example. Thinking back, a previous guest, we had Akilah of Kissed By a Bee. It was a variety of health products that help with skincare. Maybe a newsletter. There could be once every month, every two months. “Hey, we have a new product that’s great for this.” Or “Here’s a customer story that we received. Somebody had been using our product. Here’s a picture of their elbow that’s all cured.” The reason I’m saying this and stumbling over my stories here is that every single store out there has a reason to put together some email and send it to their customer base. Even if you think you might be spamming people or they don’t want to hear that they signed up for your newsletter, they bought your product. They do care and not everybody is going to open it. That’s fine. They saw the email in their inbox, that might work. They reminded them that you exist as a business. They’re connected with you. And I mean, a lot of times, newsletters, what do they get? Maybe a 20 percent open rate is probably a good number. Tim, what’s our open rate on our newsletter?

Tim: Yeah, our open rates are somewhere in the 20s. It’s not 100 percent. That’s OK.

Jesse: You don’t cry over it.

Tim: I do. Sometimes I cry. OK. But for a variety of reasons.

Jesse: If it goes under 20, do you cry?

Tim: It depends on the day. It’s a Tuesday, maybe. But yeah, I think the key is just don’t be afraid to be in the inbox. I’ve got some more stats here that I just like. They’re just endlessly interesting because they’re so contrary to what we instinctively believe to be true. Seventy-two percent of consumers actually prefer to receive business communications through email. So if you have the opportunity to be in their social feed or placing a billboard on the side of a building, they would rather you be in their email.

Jesse: Tim, I know you are Chief Millennial here. Often where you might send me a text, and I will prefer that you send it to me an email, and now maybe send you scanned fax back just to just to let you know, my preferred method.

Tim: Just living in the dark ages. (laughing)

Jesse: Yeah. I prefer email. And a lot of people do that.

Tim: Another quick stat here. Sixty-one percent of consumers actually have said they enjoy receiving promotional emails from businesses. Even if they don’t open your email, it’s not to say that they don’t want it. People get a lot of emails. We realize that is why Google has created filters to have a promotional section and all these different things. But suffice it to say, people still want to receive those emails even if they don’t open everyone. So don’t be afraid to be there.

Jesse: Yeah, I get a lot of emails, and I rarely open them. But I get an email from Home Depot probably if not every day, every other day, you know, like Bed, Bath and Beyond. I haven’t got anything there in years, but I know that I get these emails. And so if I’m ever going to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, I don’t know why I would do that, by the way. But if I did, I know there’s a 20 percent discount somewhere in my email. So I don’t unsubscribe. I just don’t read it. I’m not mad at any of these stores for sending me emails. I know that’s just part of the game, and I got to remove the noise.

Tim: I think just how unfortunate would it be if the stats say you have a customer who doesn’t open any of your emails, and you’re just like, “Oh, I’m not going to send them an email.” Then the one time they want an email, they’re like, “Oh, I’m ready to buy now. I’d like to see if I have a coupon, one of the new products.” There’s no email in their inbox; you missed that opportunity. If they don’t want to be on your list, they’ll unsubscribe. That’s why we put unsubscribe buttons in emails. Just be there.

Jesse: Just be there. Sent some emails. Now we talked mostly about newsletters there. And that does take a little creativity. You do have to sit down and put your writing hat on or whatever it is, whatever it is you do to write. You do have to do that. Right. I think now we want to talk to you about another way that is really just automated, where you don’t need to do all this thinking, you don’t need to press send, like when you send emails from Mailchimp. There’s like a little monkey’s hand pushing a button. You don’t have to sweat it out here. These are just emails that happen all the time.

Tim: Mailchimp, what is with the sweat it out monkey? Stresses me out every time.

Jesse: But you still push that button.

Tim: Like that game catchphrase where they put the beeper on, like, why do the people have to be there? Just turn it off and be a lot less anxious about this experience. Yeah, I digress. To Jessie’s point, let’s say you’re a merchant, you’ve got a store, and you’re saying this is my side hustle. I understand that I need to be in the inbox. I need to be where my customers want to see my communications. But I don’t have the time to put into writing a newsletter every week or even every month. I don’t have the photos. I don’t have the resources. What do I do in that situation? If you’re an Ecwid merchant, you are in luck. Ecwid just released a new…

Jesse: For many reasons by the way.

Tim: Many reasons, not the least of which is a new tool that Ecwid did release, Automated Emails. Now, one automated email I think everyone is probably familiar with is the abandoned cart email. It’s the email someone gets when they add an item to their cart, and then they piece out, leave your store without buying. Ecwid will kick out an email to that shopper and say: “Hey, you put this in your cart. Why don’t you go ahead and complete your purchase?” Maybe throw a coupon code in there to sweeten the deal. And they’re very, very effective. They are an email tool that even before this new automated tool just required a click, you just turn it on and it happens. And we’ve even had Ecwid merchants who’ve reported as much as a 17 percent conversion rate on these abandoned card emails. That’s 17 percent more sales just by turning on this tool that kicks out an email and says, “Hey, you didn’t finish buying X, Y, Z. Why don’t you go ahead and do that?”

Tim: So, regular listeners of the podcast clearly have clicked this button before because they’ve heard us talking about it before. Or if you’re reading all of Tim’s awesome emails, you’ve already turned on abandoned cart emails, and it is no brainer. So please do that if you have not. Do you want an extra 17 percent? Click this button. Automated emails. Done, right.

Tim: Yeah. But I think what’s cool is that Ecwid has evolved that. So it was just this automated abandoned cart email, which is great. But the Ecwid developers went ahead and said, “Hey, what are some other opportunities, some timely actions that shoppers might take in your store? Behaviors they might have that we can use to send them an email automatically at a time that they would want to receive it.” And so, they developed a new automated email marketing tool with seven separate automated emails for different interactions with your store.

Jesse: Yeah. So think what we did with the abandoned cart emails, which makes sense. This is like that on steroids or with other applications where customers do things in your store. And at some point, based on what you set up in the store, which is pretty easy by the way, other emails get sent. And when you send emails, you generally get traffic and get sales. So, all right. Let’s get people going on these. What are some examples of these automated emails?

Tim: One new one is the Favorite Items Reminder. Let’s say a shopper comes to your store and they’re like, “Oh, I like this product. Oh, I like this product. I like this product.” So they click that heart button. They favorite that item. And then they leave. So they haven’t put it in their cart necessarily, but they have shown some interest in a product and saved it for later. They favorite items. Automated email would appear at a certain interval, maybe it’s two days after they add the item, maybe it’s twelve hours after the item is added to their favorites, it will send them an email and say, “Hey, you favorited these items. Still interested?” You have an opportunity to add again a coupon or an offer or something to sweeten the deal, to bring them back and close that sale.

Jesse: Got it. So for an example, if you’re thinking, all right, well, who favorites items, right? Prarie Melody Birdseed. People are probably not favorite in the birdseed, right? Like that’s probably less likely to favorite now. ScouterWear, which we had on, the custom dog clothes, which people are in there all the time, herding these different doggie clothes. Doggie clothes probably get more favorites than birdseed, just saying. But it’s one of those things you might not be ready to buy it because you’re like, “Wow, that’s a lot of money for my dog.” But then two or three days later, you get this email, which is similar to an abandoned cart email. You’re like, a little fluffy over there looks a little cold. I think it’s time he needs a leather jacket. So they just an example, probably works better for stores that would be likely to have favorite products. Clothing and jewelry.

Tim: Accessories, et cetera. So that’s one that’s new. Another one that’s new is the order confirmation with related products. So generally, shoppers would receive some sort of email that says, “Hey, we got your order. Hey, your order shipped.” So this new automated email, it gives you an opportunity with this order confirmation, which anecdotally is often the most open email for merchants front from customers.

Jesse: Yeah. Tim, you stole that stat for me, that was gonna be my zinger.

Tim: I know, I wrote it down, and I was like, “This is my chance to shine.”

Jesse: Totally stole that stat for me. The order confirmation, people open that email. They just bought something. Even though they know what it’s gonna look like in their email. It’s basically like, yeah, “Thank you for your order. Here’s the order number, address, blah blah.” But because it’s the most opened, it’s the best opportunity for you to slip in a little bit of marketing in there, cause they’re going to open it. And if you just bought something from a store, maybe people didn’t look at every single product in your store. They just saw this awesome jean jacket like Tim is wearing here. And they’re like, “I’m to buy this jean jacket.” They didn’t really look around. And then they get these little related products, and they’re like, “Oh, look, there’s a beanie in there that perfectly matches this jacket.” And then they’re like, “I got to jump in and buy this beanie.”

Tim: Yeah. Or let’s say you’ve got some accessory item. Maybe you sell shoes, and you have suede shoes, and someone buys the shoes, and then they’re like, “Oh, these shoes are gonna get dirty.” You send them their order confirmation with maybe an accessory. They make little sprays that you can spray on your shoes to guard them from dirt and water. So I’m like, “Oh, that’s a useful thing. I should go ahead and buy that to protect my new investment.”

Jesse: Yeah, all sorts of ideas for related products. You can set it up inside of Ecwid. If you don’t set up biproduct, what’s the related ones, it’ll just get automatically done for you. So again, this is a literally one click thing here. You can set up related products in one click.

Tim: Yeah. It’s basically if you don’t want to do anything, if you want to set up any related products manually, you just want Ecwid to just pick products and send them and just get an email out there. It’s as simple as going in your Control Panel and clicking “Enable the email.” And it just happens. It takes zero investment of your time, say, for the 30 seconds if you’re on really, really old dial-up.

Jesse: If you forget your password. OK. That’s gonna take another 30 seconds. But yeah. Literally, these are two options here that are one click each. I don’t want to say guaranteed to make you money, but they’re guaranteed to send more emails. So I’ll give you that guarantee to send more emails is very, very, very likely to give you more money and more sales as well.

Tim: Yep. Another one that is new and this one is more of long gameplay, but still a very, very important email. It is the Ask for a Review email. So you can automate that now through Ecwid. Someone buys a product. Generally, you want to wait for the length of time it takes for that item to get to that merchant. Let’s say your average shipping time is six days. So you wouldn’t want to send that email for at least six days. Probably more like seven, eight, nine days. Give them a chance to interact with that, experience it, and then kick out this email that says, “Hey, hope you’re enjoying your products. I’d like to ask you for a review.” And again, it’s automated. You just set the average interval time for how long it takes you to ship your products generally, and Ecwid takes the rest.

Jesse: Yeah. Love it. Online shopping, online e-commerce, you really do need these reviews. So when you just start, when you open up a store, you’re not going to have any reviews. And that’s fine. Everybody has to start somewhere. But reviews do matter. And this is a way to start gathering these reviews over time. We do it at Ecwid. I’m actually the guy that’s responsible for those emails. Sorry, please give us five-star reviews, by the way. But you know, we need reviews. It’s OK to do this. And sometimes you get one-star reviews. And that’s an opportunity to improve your product. If you get bad reviews, yeah, it’s not awesome to get a bad review, but it is very important to learn what’s wrong with your product and what’s wrong with your shipping. Whatever the problem is, it gives you a chance to fix it. If you don’t get that feedback, you can’t fix anything.

Tim: Hopefully, you already have some sort of a system where you’re asking for reviews, Ecwid just made it a whole lot easier.

Jesse: My guess is people don’t have a system, and now this is going to be in the system to get reviews. So again, a very simple click to set up automatic review emails.

Tim: All right. A couple of more. “Thank you for shopping with us” email. So this is an email you send out generally to customers who shopped a few times in your store. And it’s just to continue reinforcing that customer loyalty. Let’s say someone’s come and shop in your store three times. They’ve shown some evidence like this customer could stick around for a while. It’s good to make that customer feel appreciated. So send them an email, say thanks for shopping, thanks for being a customer. Here’s a discount. Just saying thanks for being around, it can go a really, really long way. So, yeah, that one’s a pretty simple one.

Jesse: We mentioned doing newsletters and the promo emails. You can have coupons. It’s a set it and forget it again, where you also don’t have to send out these coupons all the time if you’re worried about having too many coupons out there in the world. This is one where you can set it up to only go to certain people. If they’ve bought three times, they get this coupon or maybe just getting that with a free shipping notification or something. A gift, or maybe you just have all your social media on the bottom as well where you say, “Thanks, here’s a coupon. By the way, here’s a link to Facebook, Instagram.” They can give a little shout out to the world. Why not? This is very easy.

Tim: Why not?

Jesse: “Why not?” is the bottom line here.

Tim: All right. So two more new ones. This one’s a big one. The Inactive Customer Reminder including new bestsellers on your website. So that was a whole lot of words. Basically, what this email does is it is targeted to customers who haven’t been back for a while. Maybe their last purchase was six months ago. Or maybe it was two years ago. But it’s an opportunity to reach out to customers who’ve already been engaged with your brand, who know who you are, who have shown enough interest to make a purchase and say, “Hey, it’s been a while. We’ve got some new stuff.” And you can link to best seller items. And again, that can be chosen by you. It can be automated through Ecwid, but you link to those items if you like. “These are some new things that are in the store. Why don’t you come back, check us out.” And again, you can add an offer to incentivize that. Yeah, just bring back those customers.

Jesse: Okay. Yeah. I like that. To think of who would use that. If you have products that are bought at a specific regular interval. So the bird birdseed guy. Well, probably no. How long does it take for five pounds of birdseed to be eaten by birds? I don’t know. Two months. Three months. On the size of the bird could be there. It could be some big birds out there. I don’t know. But maybe, you know, with your business, you’ll figure it out. It’s usually about every two months. So somebody doesn’t come back in the third month. Maybe that’s a good time for that email right now. If it’s something where it’s more of a one time purchase, maybe this doesn’t work for you, right? Like it’s not necessarily perfect for everyone. If you sell, I don’t know, replacement transmissions for VW Jetta. Sorry, a sore spot. You probably don’t want to have that reminder email after six months. Because you’ve already bought that transmission.

Tim: But again, it’s always email more affordable to bring back previous customers than to go out and find new customers. So take that opportunity wherever you get it.

Jesse: Totally agree. We do a lot of podcasts about marketing, which is usually about getting new customers, but that’s expensive and hard, and you’ve already done the work. Just bring them back again to purchase from you.

Tim: And then the last new automated email we want to talk about, and this is an interesting one. It’s the Purchase Anniversary Email. And this one might not be for everyone, but it’s a cool email. It’s a cool opportunity to get consistent touchpoints and connect with your previous customers. So say someone bought, we’ll go back to the example of an awesome denim jacket as I’m wearing. You can be like, “Oh, it’s been a year since you bought that denim jacket. Hope you’re loving it. Why don’t you come back, see some of the other new stuff that we’ve got. We have a new denim jacket and indigo blue or something.”

Jesse: Yeah, I like it. That’s very creative, Tim.

Tim: Thank you. I like denim jackets.

Jesse: Yeah. You really like denim jackets, that’s probably a once a year purchase, probably more like every two or three. But you want somebody to buy the one the next year. And now, you’ve basically just created an excuse to send an email. This is all just in a way excuses to send an email that makes sense. And we’re trying to help give you permission to send these emails because we know that they work. If you had to go through your customer list and figure out who bought this, and it’s time to send them an anniversary email. You’re not going to do that. Like you’re just not. So this is just another excuse. We want you not to be afraid to send emails. So you should definitely be sending newsletter emails. Right. I know that’s a little more work. The promo emails, a little bit more work. And you’re gonna have to sweat it out when you press send. So get that. But all these are automated emails based on triggers inside the store. Automations that you can set up, set it and forget it. Start making more money. Tim?

Tim: Everything that Jesse said, we want you to be in the emails. We want you to be getting in those inboxes, sending consistent messages to your customers. But if you are concerned, like, maybe I’m over emailing; maybe I am fatiguing my audience. These automated emails are a great way to send consistent emails that are going to be timely and relevant. You don’t have to think about it at all. We’ve done the work so that they’re going to the right people at the right time.

Jesse: So if you’re listening, you just got to get into your store. This is it. This is a paid feature. Get in there. Find the automated emails, click a few buttons, make it a little smarter. This is gonna be a simple way for you to boost your sales.

Tim: Yep. If you got any questions about pizza crusts, get in touch with me. I know a lot, and I think that’s all we’ve got for today.

Jesse: It’s a lot of expertise coming at you. All right. Get out there. Get your store. Make it happen.

Tim: Thanks, everyone.

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So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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