Creating Customer Email Flows

Oh my goodness, we are 3 days from going live with your store! This is like the build up to the Olympics but far more exciting!!!

Just imagine yourself running through the streets bearing the torch of your forthcoming ecom store, soon to light the fire that will shine brightly across the internet as viewers look on in wonder, clamoring to be a part of your world!

Alrighty so feet firmly back under your desk, one of the most important things you’ll want to have setup before you launch are your email campaigns.


  • A – Newsletter & Discount Coupon Flow
  • B – Abandoned Cart Flow
  • C – Post Purchase Flow

Rejoiner actually has a fab graphic showing no less than 8 trigger points for emailing potential customers, active customers and declining activity.

To get up and running, we’re just focusing on 3 in the ‘Entering Customer Base’ section, and can come back later to add the others.

Sorry, email what?…..

Apologies if I’m running away with myself here.

If you have never come across email marketing before, in very simple terms it’s a way of communicating with potential and current customers by way of email.

Here is an excellent Beginners Guide to Email Marketing by Elna Cain writing for Blogging Wizard if you’d like to delve into it a bit deeper before we begin here.

Setting Up Your Email Flows

OK, but how do we get their emails?

Ah, well this is where the magic happens.

For Flow A – the newsletter or discount coupon coupon flow, you’ll need to setup some kind of ‘optin’ offer on your store.

For Flow B – this kicks in after your visitor has added items to their cart page, has come close to completing checkout but then for whatever reason abandons the purchase. (See abandoned cart emails below)

Flow C is of course after a visitor purchases an item.

Now this may sound complicated and I’m not going to lie to you, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to email marketing, but thankfully for us, there are super techie people who spend their lives trying to make it easier for us to run our businesses, so we need to take advantage of the fabulous tools they’ve built for us!

First you need to decide who you are going to use for your email service provider.

I personally recommend Klaviyo when it comes to email marketing for Ecommerce. Much like Shopify, the platform is made for ecommerce.

When you sign up, you already have all the flows & campaigns built in, you just have to go in and personalize to your store.

The downside, they are not the cheapest on the market and as your database grows so do their fees, but the good news is they’re free up to 250 people on your email list, so by the time you have more than that I would hope you are generating enough to afford them, but again that all depends on profit margins etc.

There are a multitude of email providers you can choose from. Here is a super post from Oberlo comparing many of the email platforms on the market today to help you make your decision.

You’ll notice they are very specific under each email platform which ones integrate directly with Shopify and which ones don’t.

This is important as if it doesn’t directly integrate with Shopify you’ll have to connect using another app like Zapier and now things start to get complicated.

Keep it simple my friend and pick a platform which works directly with Shopify.

No matter which one you choose, once you get inside the platform, aside from different layouts, names and references the process is roughly the same, so once you’ve made your decision head to the help guides provided by your platform of choice for detailed walk throughs on setting up flows, campaigns and such like.

Here’s an example from Klaviyo;

Getting Started Handbook – Guide to an Abandoned Cart Flow

Getting Started with Klaviyo YouTube Playlist – (over 2.5 hours of detailed training)

Now before you go about creating all your campaigns and emails you’ll want to ensure your email provider is installed inside of Shopify.

Simply follow the instructions for adding an app as per Day 11 and install your email platform. This will ensure that your abandoned cart emails, product purchased emails and any other pop ups, newsletters or discount flows you create all connect with your email platform.

So that’s a rough overview of the technical aspect of setting up your emails which albeit tough to get your head around, for the most part you’ll be able to follow detailed help docs & videos to help you get started.

If you’re really struggling, I highly recommend getting in touch with the lovely Helen Lindop. Helen setup all my campaigns for me in Klaviyo but knows how to work with all the main email platforms. If you don’t want her to set it all up, she also offers a service to coach you through doing it yourself and all for a very reasonable price. Highly recommended.

Crafting Your Email Content

The challenge comes with what to write in your emails! This now requires your creativity.

What do you say when someone abandons your cart? ‘Oi! Come back!!!

Or after someone leaves their name and email? ‘Thanks, here’s a discount code.

Here is a brilliant run down of some great email follow up examples by the folks over at Optin Monster.

Also to perhaps give you some inspiration here is the copy for the abandoned cart emails we sent out (note the gaps after the words, ‘you have left in your shopping cart’, Klaviyo & Shopify work together to show the products left in the cart. Clever eh!;

So what should you be sending & when?

Ecommerce Email Campaigns

Here’s a general guide which should be used as just that, ‘a general guide’. This is not set in stone and you need to create email flows which work for you and your brand.

1. Newsletter & Discount Code Flow

Email 1 (Immediately) – Thanks so much for requesting a code, here it is and here’s some fab things you might like to look at on our store.
Email 2 (Day 2) – Your discount code is expiring (if it is of course), or don’t forget your discount code, here are our latest releases / check out our latest product.
Email 3 (Day 3) – – Your discount code is expiring today (if it is of course), or last reminder about your discount code, here’s why our product is so awesome
Ongoing emails – depending on the type of email (see types of emails section below), probably once a week ongoing.

2. Abandoned Cart Flow

Email 1 (Immediately) – Hey! You left these, just bringing your attention in case you got distracted (see my examples above)
Email 2 (24 hrs later) – Just in case you were called away, making it easy for you to come back just click here to grab your cart items.
Email 3 (24hrs later) – One more reminder about your cart items and our site wide discount (if you have one), here’s why you’ll love shopping with us.

3. Post Purchase Campaign

Email 1 (Immediately) – Thank you for purchasing, you are awesome!
Email 2 (Day 2) – Your brand story (plus links back to the site – on every email by the way)
Email 3 (Day 4) – A useful, informative, educational or entertaining email / piece of content
Email 4 (Day 6) – Another useful, informative, educational or entertaining email / piece of content
Email 5 (Day 7) – Yet another useful, informative, educational or entertaining email / piece of content

Follow up emails depending on your shipping times might then be emails asking for a review, an Instagram pic of the customer using the product etc.

Email Types

What are all the types of emails you could send out to your customers following up from your initial welcome campaigns?

Truly you are limited only by your imagination, but here’s some ideas for you;

  • Brand story emails, how it came about, what inspires you, how you select new products etc
  • Inspirational emails, making your customers feel great
  • Educational emails, teaching your customers something that’s valuable and relevant
  • Entertaining emails, making your customers laugh or take note
  • Sales emails, highlighting specific products
  • Promotional emails, offering discounts & special offers
  • User generated content emails, asking the customer to submit a video or pic
  • Engagement emails, encouraging customers to engage on social platforms
  • Survey emails, getting customers feedback & ideas
  • Topical emails, discussing what’s happening in the world and how your product helps

More Email Resources


Before you get caught up in bells and whistles and creating amazing campaigns and flows and spending hours trying to design the perfect email template, content outweighs design every single time and good content done now is better than perfect content done six months from now.

Get your three main flows up and running, no fancy design, no perfectly created email, just up and running and ready in their most basic form.

Once your site is live and you’re starting to make sales, make it a project to head back in and spend more time improving and perfecting your emails.

Here is a fabulous video and a very detailed walk through of a post purchase campaign by Ezra Firestone creator of the 8 figure brand Boom by Cindy JosephMy Easy-to-Copy Content Marketing Strategy (Watch the video but then check out the post also for details).

Here is an excellent article by Nadav over at on 7 Emails Your E-commerce Store Needs to Be Able to Send Out on an Automated Basis

Here is another great post by Sam Thomas Davies over at highlighting examples from across the web of various types of emails sent out by ecommerce companies – E-Commerce Email Marketing 101: 11 Must-Have Emails

Purchase notification in Shopify

Ok so before we call it a day here, I would advise that you amend the ‘Order Confirmation Notification’ section in the backend of Shopify.

Head to ‘Settings’ and click ‘Notifications’.

By now you should have added your logo and colours as per Day 9.

Click on the very top notification ‘Order Confirmation’

You’ll notice that the text is very bland and impersonal.

As you’re sending a post purchase email from your main email account you don’t need to go too mad here, just literally add a line to make the email a little friendlier or more relevant to your brand.

That’s it!

Fan-bloomin-tastic my friend! You are an absolute superstar!

That was definitely a tough part but here you are on the other side with your main email flows setup.

So next we’ll create the little discount pop ups that entice the visitor to leave you their name and email address and make sure our newsletter sign up works!

But first a glass of wine and a rest I feel. Let’s play with pop ups tomorrow!