6 ways to automate email marketing before the holidays

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 8, 2019. It’s been updated to reflect the most current data and insights. 

They’re coming. Soon, you’ll see them. A flurry of emails—all competing for your attention. 

Black Friday specials. Friends and family discounts. Deals starting in early November. Holiday gift guides. The holiday shopping season will soon be here and consumers will be ready to buy—especially considering online Cyber Weekend sales are projected to reach $17B this year.1 

Yes, this means there’s a lot of revenue out there to capture. But there’s also a lot of work to do to make sure your holiday marketing strategy goes off without a hitch. And that’s where marketing automation comes in. 

Marketing automation platforms like Klaviyo can help you introduce your brand to new shoppers, deliver a personalized experience, and begin forming a relationship that lasts long after the sales are over. 

Here’s a look at 6 specific email marketing automations that you can put in place to help you effortlessly convert new shoppers, nurture loyal customers, and ensure that your brand gets a share of the profit this year.

1 | Create a welcome series email campaign

One of the most impactful marketing automations you can put in place is a welcome series

The average welcome email can see open rates as high as 47% and click rates as high as 9%, according to Klaviyo data.

Use your welcome series to provide new subscribers with information that you think is relevant as they begin their journey with your brand: 

  • Introduce your business. Who are you? What do you stand for? What can customers expect from you?
  • Describe your products. What are some of your top products that you think first-time shoppers might like? What differentiates your products from other brands?
  • Ask questions about their preferences. Do they prefer red shirts or blue shirts? Do they like basketball or football? If you collect this data, you can tailor future content more effectively.

No matter the size of your business, a welcome series is an essential marketing automation that can help you start building a relationship with your customers. 

Wondering where to start? The Klaviyo guide on creating a welcome series shows you how to trigger and time your emails appropriately.

2 | Add an abandoned cart series automation

An abandoned cart automation is a series of emails that you send to shoppers after they’ve exited your site to remind them about items they left behind in a shopping cart and persuade them to complete  their purchase. 

These emails are proven to help brands capture attention and recover potential lost revenue. In just three months of using an abandoned cart email series, approximately 3,000 brands recovered more than $60M in abandoned cart revenue

During a season where you’re likely to see an influx of new site visitors, setting up an abandoned cart series can help turn window shoppers into first-time customers.

3 | Try a browse abandonment series

Browse abandonment emails are similar to abandoned cart emails, but they’re specifically for shoppers who’ve visited your site, looked at some items—but left your site before adding anything to their cart.

A browse abandonment flow does the same thing as your abandoned cart flow—it reminds shoppers about the things that caught their eye and persuades  them to make a purchase. .

By setting up a browse abandonment series, you can re-engage frantic shoppers who are switching between multiple online stores to find every item on their list.

4 | Take advantage of back in stock automation

You can create a back in stock automation to automatically connect with customers who are interested in out-of-stock products—and potentially recover lost revenue.

Many times, the demand for your product is higher than the inventory that you have on  hand during the holidays.

Rather than letting shoppers go to a competitors’ site to find a similar item, place a back in stock form on your website next to the missing product so that they can be the first to know when your product is available again.

5 | Don’t forget post-purchase series

Once shoppers have made a purchase from your brand, how do you turn them into repeat customers? Post-purchase flows can help keep your customers engaged and create brand loyalty.

Post-purchase emails see a 217% higher open rate, over 500%higher click rate, and a 90% higher revenue per recipient (RPR) than your average email campaign, according to Klaviyo’s data.

Create a post-purchase flow in time for the holiday season to show shoppers that you want to earn their business:

  • Educate customers. If there are certain steps someone should take to use your product effectively, this is an opportunity to demonstrate how to use the product.
  • Motivate people to make their next purchase. Showcase what other products you have to offer—and give people a reason to return to your website.
  • Thank your customers. Show appreciation to your customers for choosingyour business—this is the season of gratitude, after all.

Collect feedback. This is an opportunity to collect rating, reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content from your happy customers.

6 | Feature upsell or cross-sell flows

Upsell or cross-sell flows help you suggest relevant companion products to your customers based on their previous purchase behavior. 

This helps you to personalize your customers’ experience with the brand and it drives repeat purchases. 

Once someone’s made a purchase on your site, take the opportunity to recommend additional products that they might like, similar to ones they just purchased. 

If someone purchased a blue dress shirt from your site, you could use an upsell or cross-sell flow to automatically recommend that same shirt in another color. The flow could also recommend a pair of pants or a skirt that they could wear with their new blue shirt.

Automate joy this holiday season

While the holidays aren’t quite here yet, the seasonal marketing will begin soon. Cyber Weekend is in late November this year, leaving fewer days for holiday shopping. 

Brands will be ramping up their marketing efforts and offering Cyber Weekend-style discounts even earlier this year—especially considering the shipping challenges that are likely to occur again this year. 

Marketing automations like these will help you work smarter, not harder during the busiest time of the year—and help make Cyber Weekend 2021 the best one yet. 

Check out the email marketing strategy that helped Beyond Yoga increase revenue by 274% during the holiday season.


1 ‘Black Friday Predictions for 2021’ BlackFriday.com

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