A Simple Follow Up Brings Back the Love to Your Online Store

Simple Follow Up Ecommerce Sequence

This is the story of the power of follow up.  About a year ago I watched a version of shark tank where they featured this great insole. It was created by an ex NFL player.  The concept was that it dissipated the impact from walking and perted it away from your heel and joints. The demonstration was impressive with a ball bearing and everything.  Watch for yourself.

I was unable to buy them that night because they weren’t in stock.  They flubbed their timing and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars but I opted in to be notified when they came back in stock.

They never emailed me but 4 months later I remembered the insoles again.  I thought I would check to see if they were in stock. I surprisingly found them on Amazon and bought them that night.

They are great and I still use them to this day. About 6 months after I bought them, I got an email from Amazon with a recommendation to buy them again.

I suspect Amazon knows when I’m due for a replacement.  With their data they know that most people buy replacements within 6 months and it was time to start reminding me.

This is yet another way Amazon continues to crush it. I never received an email from NOENE, yet Amazon was poking me to buy it for the second time.

If You Don’t Remind People You Exist, They Forget About You

I read something this week that successful ecommerce businesses generate at least 48% of their income from repeat customers.  The largest ecommerce players are generating more than 75% of their income from repeat customers.

These are numbers that can’t be ignored. This is why I preach that appearance is everything and you should do simple things like writing a thank you note.

With this in mind, I decided to setup some automatic emails to reach out to my wife’s customers that haven’t been around in a while.

Don’t Forget About Me Baby

Mailchimp has made some impressive upgrades over the last couple of years and one of their newest features is the automation tool (available in their paid plans).

With their automation feature, along with Shopify, you can easily schedule emails to be sent to old customers.

I decided I would create a coupon code for my wife.  She could offer a discount to customers who hadn’t purchased in over 45 days.  I also decided to increase that discount, with a more generous code, for those that hadn’t purchased in 90 days.

After creating the two coupon codes in Shopify and creating the email, it’s a quite a simple process.

Creating a Segment of Your Subscribers

Once logged in to MailChimp you are going to want to create a segment from your email list.  You will click on Lists at the top of the screen and then select your email list.  From here you are going to click on the word “Segments” and “Create a new segment.”

creating the mailchimp segment for purchased only once ecommerce

What we are doing here is saying that we only want to send this email to specific people.  In the scenario I have outlined above we are trying to target people who have bought once from us and never again.  So to get this segment, you are going to select “Orders (Total #)” from the list of options which is under the Ecommerce section.  You then want to select “is less than” and enter the number 2.

Creating the ecommerce segment for followup

Preview and Save that segment and the first step is done.

We have created a group of people that consist of anyone who has less than 2 orders placed with you.  This means they either have never ordered from you before or ordered once.

Next Step..

Creating the MailChimp Automation to Follow Up

The second part of this process is creating and automated email. Click on Automation from the top menu within Mailchimp.  You will be taken into the automation section where you will click to create a new automation.  Select your llist from the drop down and you will see a whole bunch of workflow options appear like below.

automation ecommerce follow up email

You are going to want to select “Any Product Purchase.”  This means that after someone purchases anything from your site, it will start the automation process.

Next you will set the subject and message specific stuff you would like and then on to the “Email Worflow.”

You will select to add 3 emails to your workflow.  In my case I’m only going to use two of them but we will just delete one.  You will want to configure the time period you want them to send.  Once configured my emails looked like you see below.

email follow up online store

Now that the time intervals for your follow up emails are set, you will design each email.  Once your email content and design is finalized you will want to make sure you get one final step executed correctly.

On the last step of the email you will be in the Scheduling and Segmentation section.   This is where you want to make sure that you are only sending it to segment we created in the prior section.  Here is what the screen should look like once you have selected Orders Less Than 2.

ordered less than 2 get followup email

You’re Done…

Don’t Delay and Setup this Set it And Forget Follow Up Sequence for your Online Store

Now if you have made it this far you are either

1) Setting this up as you read or

2) Scared,  intimidated, bored or some combination of the three.

Either way you should set this up today.  Automation is the key to consistency.  To summarize, I have setup and automated follow up email system.  The specific sequence I have is to send to anyone who has purchased on my wifes site at both 30 days and 45 days.  The emails contain increasing discount amounts and are only sent to people whose total order count is under 2.  The sole objective here is to make people repeat customers.

Repeat customers is how you build your ecommerce business and there is no better way than to automate the follow up sequence.

As always feel free to ask questions or comment below and thanks for following us at Long Live The Internet.

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  • I don’t know if you’re still reading the comments and replying to them, but it’s worth a shot I guess. Do you mind sharing what the emails actually looked like? This post is definitely an eye opener. I plan on implementing this for our store.