When you run a small business you never have enough time.; there’s always another product to design, a wholesaler to contact and a customer email to reply to.

Oh and in between all that, you have to market and find new customers.

Automation is the name of the game when it comes to maximising your time and streamlining your process. And when it comes to email, automation can also be a highly effective way to send the right email at the right time to the right person.

Spend a little time now setting up your automated emails and they’ll be rolling out while you get on with tackling your To Do list. Or, you know, not.

Setting up email automation

Most email providers have tools to let you set up autoresponders for your list; I love MailChimp because of how easy it makes this. Plus they have easy one-click integration with nearly all the online shop platforms.

Email automation works by sending a specific email (or series of emails) to your subscribers at a specified moment.

You can set your emails to send: as soon as someone signs up to your email list; when they make a purchase; if they add items to their cart and don’t check out; or even if they haven’t purchased from you in a while.

Emails to Automate

The moment someone joins your list is the moment they’re most engaged – they want to know more about you and your brand.

Set up an automated Welcome Series to go out over a week or so that introduces your brand and products. Share your business story. Tell them the inspiration behind a certain product. Introduce yourself (add a photo if you’re brave!).

Someone’s browsing your site at work, they’ve added a few products to their cart, but then their boss sneaks past and they have to shut down in a hurry (eek!). An hour later they get an email telling them their cart is waiting for them to finish. Badabing, sale made.

An abandoned cart series is a must-have if you run an online store. While statistics vary, some stores can recover up to 12% of abandoned carts with a single email or series.

Some brands will offer a discount to entice customers back to their store. But even if you don’t offer any coupon, a simple reminder can be enough to get someone to complete their sale.

Create an email that automatically goes out if someone buys a specific product or from a particular category. The email can suggest a related product they may also like or an add-on that goes with it.

Say you sell yoga stuff and someone bought a yoga mat last month. About two weeks later you send an email with a selection of yoga carry bags. You make another sale and they love you for being so helpful.

This type of email is effective because you know which of your products are related to each other and you’re only suggesting 1-2 in that email (not hundreds). And you can create these for all types of products in your store. And have them go out at specific times that make sense for your store.

Of course, these aren’t the only automated or trigger emails you can create for your online store. What you create depends entirely on your business goals and your customers. If you haven’t already, start by creating just one automated email. Then test, tweak and create the next one.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I will only ever recommend products that I have used personally and loved.