10 Email Flows to Generate Passive Income for Your E-Commerce Brand

Do you know what email flows are? Understand how to use it to your business's advantage.

February 8, 2024

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful ways to turn visitors into loyal buyers and keep them hooked. Unlike social media, emails offer a personal touch, provide excellent customer engagement, and grant direct access to your customer's inboxes. The results of email marketing are undeniable, and its impact on conversions speaks volumes.

Now, let's talk about email flows – the secret sauce to boost your eCommerce business and skyrocket sales! From welcoming new subscribers to post-purchase follow-ups and cart rescues, these flows can generate revenue on autopilot, so you can focus on the more “important” aspects of your businesses.

In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through the essential eCommerce email flows, complete with examples and practical advice to set them up like a pro.

The Importance of Email Flows

Email flows are the secret weapon in your marketing arsenal, enabling you to generate revenue on autopilot while nurturing valuable customer relationships.

Imagine this: a potential customer visits your online store, signs up for your newsletter, and receives a warm welcome email instantly. They get personalized recommendations based on their browsing history, and a few days later, they receive a special offer for the products they showed interest in.

With email flows, you can recover potentially lost revenue from abandoned carts by sending a series of follow-up emails. On average, businesses see a 10-15% increase in recovered sales using cart recovery flows.

Post-purchase email flows show appreciation to customers and gather feedback, leading to higher customer retention rates. Studies show that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. These flows help you build loyalty and turn one-time buyers into repeat customers, resulting in a significant boost to your bottom line.

Moreover, email flows provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. By tracking email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, you gain actionable data to optimize your marketing strategies.

The best part?

Once set up, email flows work tirelessly, saving you time and resources. With the right content and timing, you can expect a substantial return on investment. Research suggests that email marketing can deliver an average return of $42 for every $1 spent.

In summary, email flows are a game-changer for your business, driving revenue on autopilot, fostering customer loyalty, and providing valuable data insights. They combine personalization, automation, and strategic timing to create a seamless customer experience, resulting in higher conversions, increased customer retention, and significant growth for your business.

The 10 Most Essential Email Flows Every E-commerce Business Needs

Now that you understand the power email flows possess, it’s time you start incorporating them into your business, the RIGHT way.

You see, most e-commerce businesses fail to set up their flows, leading to an unengaged email list, and tons of revenue being left on the table.

After working with countless e-commerce brands, and helping them set up effective flows, we want to share with you, the 10 most important flows, and how we utilize them to scale ecom brands to that 7&8 figure mark.

Abandoned Cart Flow

Ever got sidetracked while shopping online, abandoning your cart like a forgotten treasure? Well, your visitors have been there too. But don't worry, that's when the Abandoned Cart flow comes to save the day!

It springs into action when a visitor fills up their cart but mysteriously vanishes before checkout.

The mission? Gently jog their memory and guide them back to their cart.

A good timeframe for when each email should be sent is this: If they disappear within 5 minutes, send the first email. Still undecided after 24 hours? Send email. And if they take their sweet time (48 hours and counting), give 'em one last nudge with urgency and a discount code.

Here’s how the brand RUDY’S utilizes this flow:

What makes this abandonment cart email so good? Apart from the iconic headline, what makes this email effective is how clear it is.

They show the exact products left in the readers' cart (a Klaviyo feature). On top of that, the copy on the email effectively conveys urgency to the reader by mentioning that the “free shipping” code will expire if they don't act now.

Welcome Series

The Welcome Series is the email flow that generates the most revenue, builds a loyal customer base, and expresses your brand's uniqueness.

With that being said, most e-commerce brands have underperforming welcome flows. 

Here’s why:

  • They don’t offer incentives, for example; a coupon code.
  • Doesn’t tell their brand story, making them easy to forget.
  • Don’t build authority or persuade.

On the other hand, here’s what an effective welcome email looks like:

Big Blanket
does a really good job at persuading their readers to use their 10% off discount code and welcoming them to the “Cozy Club”.

This makes the reader feel like they’re a part of this exclusive club, making them a loyal customer.

Welcome flows typically have 3+ emails. We recommend sending the first email IMMEDIATELY after signing up. Send the second email 24 hours after the first email, and send the third email 3 days after that.

The first email in your flow should offer the incentive (should be in your pop-up). The second email should convey to the reader your brands story. Lastly, your third email should share social proof and showcase your best sellers.

Upsell Flow

, which stands for Average Order Value, is one of the most important metrics for e-commerce brands. After all, your AOV goes hand in hand with how much revenue your business makes.

Increasing your AOV is crucial for the success of any business, and by utilizing the Upsell Flow you can do just that!

When setting up this flow, we recommend sending it to customers who bought from you 15-30 days ago. The whole point of this flow is to introduce your customers to more expensive products.

Pro tip: Make sure to implement testimonials/social proof in the email.

Here’s how SPECIALIZED utilizes this flow:

They send this email to customers who bought a product 30 days ago.

This email introduces their customers to a new product and shows a video of how it works and its features.

Customer Review Requests

Customer reviews/feedback is painfully underlooked by many e-commerce businesses. By understanding what your customers are experiencing with your product, delivery, and service, you’ll find most of the flaws in your business.

With that information, you can dial in the “weak points” of your business and also leverage the good reviews by using them as social proof to persuade more customers.

Here’s how Sun of a Beach uses email marketing to get more customer reviews:

As you can see, this email is sent a couple of days after a customer makes a purchase (and hopefully after using the product).

What makes this email so good is that they add an incentive to make the customer want to leave a review. After all, most customers don’t care to give you a review if they don’t gain anything from it.

Pro tip: Add urgency by making the code expire in X number of days.

At ConversionBird we recommend all of our e-commerce clients to use Stamped.io as their review platform.

Browse Abandonment

Similarly to the abandonment cart flow, the Browse Abandonment email is used as a reminder to your visitors.

The main difference between them is that the browse abandonment flow is targeted toward people that visited your product (clicked on it) but didn’t end up buying.

Here’s what a browse abandonment email typically looks like:

It shows the image of the products they visited, to give them a gentle reminder.

But what’s missing that would take this email to the next level?

URGENCY. Adding a simple phrase like “supplies are limited” or better yet, throwing in a discount code that expires in 24 hours.

Remember, the reader didn’t “forget” to buy the product. They weren’t persuaded enough to buy it. Think of this email as one last push to get that sale.

Customer 1-year anniversary

When it comes to relationships, birthdays, and personal milestones, we always cherish that special day when it hits the one-year mark.

So why not celebrate your customer's 1-year anniversary of ordering their first product from you?

1-year anniversary emails are a great way to thank your customers, create a tighter relationship, and remind them of that special moment they chose to order from you.

Here’s what a 1-year anniversary email looks like:

This email does a great job at thanking their customers for being a part of the “Wemo family” for a year, making the customer feel special and appreciated.

What adds the cherry on top of this email is giving the customer a PERSONAL code. This is a great way to show how much you appreciate them and in return give them a gift (a discount code $$$).

Subscription / Replenishment Flow

This flow is more so important for businesses that sell renewable products like food, supplements, etc.

If your business offers renewable products then you understand how important MRR is (monthly recurring revenue).

With the replenishment flow, you can build a consistent MRR on auto-pilot. With this particular flow, it’s best to send the email out after 30 days of their first purchase (or whenever their product is estimated to run out).

Here’s what an email in this flow typically looks like:

This email checks off all the 3 most important boxes when making a replenishment email. But what are these three boxes?

Timing, reminder, incentive.

As you can see in the email the phrase “it may be time to replenish this product”, indicates that this email is sent out after a certain period of time when their product is estimated to run out.

This email also does a great job at giving their customers a “friendly reminder”, and offering an incentive (free shipping) to further persuade their customers to reorder.

Pro tip
: Set up “ReCharge”, which is a subscription Shopify app that puts this on auto-pilot so you can build consistent MRR.

Customer Birthday Flow

Similarly to the Customer Anniversary flow, the Customer Birthday email is used to send your customers a happy birthday message.

While this may seem unnecessary, it’s not. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to nurture your audience and build a strong relationship with them. It’s not JUST about selling.

Let’s take a look at the birthday email FitOn sends:

As you can see, their email feels very personal, with the recipients names being mentioned in the headline.

Not only does this email give you a heartwarming birthday message, but they also gift you a free “Rainbow Birthday Cake” recipe.

Another thing that you can do if you don’t want to give any free gift, is you can add a discount code or give them free shipping on their next order.

Back In-Stock Automation

Nothing drives in hungry customers like a popular product getting back in stock. When people really want a product, but can’t have it (not in stock) it builds even more desire for it.

It’s like when you were a kid and your parents said you’re NOT allowed to get the toy you’ve always wanted. The fact you can’t have it makes you want it even more, to the point where other toys don’t fascinate you.

Now imagine how much revenue you can generate if you attack this desire…

Here’s how Hero Cosmetic uses their Back In-Stock flow to do this:

This email gives their customers early access to a popular product that went out of stock. It also does a really good job of using urgency with the phrase “We’ve got a limited stash and your early access end in just 24 hours”. This makes the customer feel like they need to buy the product now before it goes out of stock again, and they end up regretting missing out.

Cross-Sell Flow

Last but not least is the Cross-Sell flow. This particular flow is one of the most underrated among the other 9.

With the Cross-Sell flow, you can significantly increase your AOV since you’re selling combos (2 or more products at the same time).

But what is a Cross-Sell flow? It’s essentially an email that you send once a customer makes a purchase. What differentiates the Cross-Sell flow from the Upsell flow is that you’re selling related products to what they just bought.

Think of it like a combo at a fast food spot, what does the person behind the register always ask? “Do you want fries with that?”.

Here’s an example:


The Importance of Email Flows:

- Email flows generate revenue on autopilot and nurture customer relationships.
- They provide a personalized touch, engage customers, and offer direct inbox access.
- Email marketing has a substantial impact on conversions, with an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.

The 10 Most Essential Email Flows for E-commerce:

Abandoned Cart Flow:
- Sends reminders to customers who left their carts, resulting in a 10-15% increase in recovered sales.
- Example: RUDY'S uses urgency and a discount code to recover abandoned carts.

Welcome Series:

- Builds customer loyalty, generates revenue, and shares brand stories.
- Example: Big Blanket persuades customers with a 10% discount and welcomes them to the "Cozy Club."

Upsell Flow:

- Increases Average Order Value (AOV) by introducing more expensive products to existing customers.
- Example: SPECIALIZED introduces a new product and highlights its features with a video.

Customer Review Requests:

- Gathers feedback to improve business and leverages positive reviews for social proof.
- Example: Sun of a Beach incentivizes customers to leave reviews with a discount code.

Browse Abandonment:

- Reminds visitors who clicked on products but didn't purchase.
- Example: An effective browse abandonment email gently reminds visitors of products they viewed.

Customer 1-year Anniversary:

- Celebrates the customer's one-year anniversary with your brand, fostering loyalty.
- Example: A 1-year anniversary email from Wemo appreciates customers with a personal code.

Subscription / Replenishment Flow:

- Builds consistent Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) for renewable products.
- Example: A replenishment email from a supplement brand urges customers to reorder with an incentive.

Customer Birthday Flow:

- Sends personalized birthday wishes, nurturing the relationship with customers.
- Example: FitOn's birthday email includes a free recipe to celebrate the special day.

Back In-Stock Automations:

- Creates a desire for popular products to come back in stock, driving revenue.
- Example: Hero Cosmetic offers early access to an in-demand product with urgency.

Cross-Sell Flow:

- Sells complementary products after a customer's purchase, increasing AOV.
- Example: SAMBAG suggests two more products that complement the customer's recent purchase.

In conclusion, mastering these email flows will enhance your email marketing strategy, foster stronger customer connections, and boost revenue for your e-commerce business.

We get it. You’ve consumed a ton of information on email flows, what they do, their importance, and even the best practices.

Yet you still aren’t clear on how you can execute this for your particular business.

You’re not alone. Most e-commerce businesses have ineffective flows, causing them to miss out on lots of revenue. But you don’t want to be like the rest of them. You want to be a winner.

You want…

  • Email flows so effective and reliable that you can sit back and watch them print money on autopilot.
  • To nurture your audience while also persuading them to BUY, BUY, BUY!
  • A loyal customer base that’s itching to receive your next email.

What's stopping you from achieving this? Expertise!

Why spend a bunch of time and money trying to figure out how you can craft these revenue-generating flows when you can schedule a free call with our team of experts?

We’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how you can set up email flows, optimize them, and generate revenue on autopilot.

It’s a no-brainer. You’ve got nothing to lose, so go ahead and…