How to Use Follow-Up Emails to Increase eCommerce Sales

Increasing conversion rates is probably the number one goal of every Magento store owner. In case you’re not familiar with the term, conversion basically means turning your site visitors into shoppers. If you’re crunching your numbers and you see that your cart abandonment rate pretty high, then this is something that you need to focus on. This means that you have too many customers leaving your shop at checkout, or before checkout, without completing the purchase.

Naturally, this has to change. But how? Your product catalog and the quality of your products and services is, surprisingly, the least important factor here. These days, it’s all about online marketing. You need a good marketing strategy that will help your conversion rates sky-rocket and increase your gross revenue.

Now, marketing strategies are an incredibly complex matter, one that takes years to master. But even if you are a complete beginner in this field, you can still implement some tools, in an easy and stress-free way, that can show immediate results, conversion-wise.

Today, we are going to discuss one such method – sending follow-up emails to your customers. Follow-up emails, or trigger emails, as they are sometimes called, can and should be used in a number of instances. In fact, the more you use them, the better, but still you don’t want to blast your customers with messages, because that might be counterproductive.

Sending a follow-up email is not only appropriate, but highly useful, in some instances. Let’s take a look at some of these situations.

This one is technically not a follow-up email but still, it is a message that reaches out to your new visitor and potential shopper, one that is supposed to incite them to keep returning to your Magento store and, ideally, to keep shopping.

What you want to do here is send a nice welcome note, preferably signed by the store owner, CEO or another high-ranking manager. Make it short and sweet, mention any deals you might have at the moment and provide links.

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Cart Abandonment

As we mentioned earlier, abandoned shopping carts are a sure sign of poor conversion rates and they are something you definitely want to improve on as soon as possible. There are extensions available for Magento that can be fully customized to fit your store, as well as your customer’s profile, and that can be deployed within seconds.

Through these extensions and tools, you can remind your visitor of their abandoned cart and try to persuade them to complete the purchase. In order to do so, they need to have additional, and compelling reasons.

For instance, you can offer a discount coupon code if they return to their cart and complete the purchase, or perhaps you can suggest adding additional (and cheaper) items to the cart in order to get the discount.

You can even send more than one email. For instance the first one, sent within an hour or two of the customer abandoning the cart, reminds them of their incomplete purchase. The second one can be sent out one or two days later, offering some sort of deal, e.g. a discount coupon. If the second email doesn’t do the trick, there is no need to push the customer further, otherwise you risk annoying them into losing interest.

Cancelled Orders

People cancel orders. It happens to everyone, even the most successful Magento store owners. It’s no big deal and nothing to get desperate about, but you definitely want to reduce the occurrence of cancelled orders, as they are detrimental to your conversion rates. There are many possible reasons for cancelling an order. The customer may have issues with your shipping and delivery terms and costs. Or your competition might have had a better offer. Perhaps they’ve read a negative review of the product they purchased and decided to pull out.

This is a conversion rate killer, so you definitely want to look into what drove your customers to cancel their order. A post-cancellation follow-up email is ideal in these situations. Remember, you don’t necessarily want to persuade the shopper into purchasing the item they have already cancelled. You just don’t want him or her to leave your store for good.

It’s called customer retention and it is a very important factor. What you can do here is send a couple of messages, offering a) a chance to restore the order, in case they cancelled it by accident, or changed their mind back, and b) offering a discount coupon code for, say, 10% off their next purchase at your Magento store. Again, Magento extensions designed for creating various types of follow-up emails will help you with this, offering pre-made and customizable messages for these types of situations.

Review Requests

Every online store relies greatly on reviews. It doesn’t even matter if they are positive or negative, as long as they are real. When a customer sees that there are a bunch of real people, people just like them, engaging in your store, your products or service, their impression of your store improves greatly, and so does the chance of them making a purchase. But, how do we get people to write reviews?

Some people just adore doing that, it’s a part of their character, a passion for getting their own opinion out there. But for most others, it’s a nuisance, a waste of time, something that does not result in any benefits for themselves. So, let’s give them some benefits then! For example, offer them a discount code if they write a review for the product they have just purchased. These types of follow-up emails are sent out after the order has been completed.

But you can also ask for a review without offering anything in return. In addition to expressing your appreciation for having them as your customers, you can ask them to write a review and help you achieve the highest quality service that your customers (the one receiving the email included) deserve. This kind of message makes people feel as if they are part of a community, your store’s community, and psychology teaches us that no one is immune or indifferent to this kind of feeling of belonging.

Store Loyalty Programs

If you don’t already have a loyalty program at your Magento store, it’s time you make one.

Loyalty programs have been proven to drive more visitors and improve conversion rates on eCommerce websites and they are actually quite easy to develop. In fact, they are fully implemented in Magento 2 and there are extensions available to help you with this process.

After you have established a loyalty program, you need to get people to sign up for it. Again, this is where the follow-up emails come in perfectly. These should be sent out to each and every newly registered user at your online store, informing them of the rewards and conditions required for participating.

In case you have just added the loyalty program to your store, you will need to inform your user base about it. You can either send email notifications, or, and this is definitely better, you can send these messages to users who have just completed a purchase.

Your message, the templates for which can be easily created using one of the handy extensions for Magento, should be short, clear and informative.

Reaching Out to Old Visitors/Customers

Follow-up emails can be sent to those users who have been identified as once regular but now non-returning visitors and shoppers.

Every store has a great number of these users, people who once bought something or never came back, or “window-shoppers,” visitors who made one purchase, kept returning but never bought anything again.

These users represent an important base upon which you can increase your conversion rates. All you need to do is to remind them of why shopping at your store is such a great idea.

You have to offer a little something, perhaps a little discount, or direct the users to the:

  • Special offers
  • Sales
  • Deals page

of your website if you want to get their attention again, however.


Follow-up emails can be an amazing and powerful instrument for improving your conversion rates. Not only can they help you boost sales, assure customer retention and get new shoppers, but they also add a nice touch of direct communication to your business.

These messages let your visitors know you are deeply committed to customer relations and that you actually pay attention to them and to what you have to say.

With some amazing extensions available for Magento 1 and especially for Magento 2, you can set up templates and default email messages and make follow-up emails an important, essential part of your marketing strategy.

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