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Privy’s Email Automation Playbook: Ready-to-Use Formulas To Steal (Even If You're Not An Expert)

email automations blog headerIf you’re reading this, chances are you probably have 10 (at least) other things top of mind that you need to get done today.

I know. There’s a LOT on your plate as a Shopify founder.

But, if you can dedicate 10 minutes to read this post and 30 minutes a day over this next week to take action, I promise it will be worth it.

Because when you have so much to juggle, the more you can automate, the better!

And if you’ve read other resources on email automations before, chances are they may have left you overwhelmed. 

Complicated flow builders…

Complex trigger rules…

Advanced segmentation….

Ahhhhh. It makes my head spin too. 🤯🤯

Well, luckily you don't need any of that. There’s a much simpler way.

A way that’s just as powerful to convert sales. An approach that’s built with you in mind. A path that you can rely on (that includes help when you need it!).

That’s exactly what our email automation playbook is about.

Let’s break down the 4 most important email automations for your store:

  1. Abandoned cart
  2. Welcome series
  3. Purchase follow up
  4. Customer winback

#1: Abandoned Cart Email Automation

Abandoned cart emails are a must-have for any ecommerce business. Because no matter how you optimize your site, you’re always going to have shoppers who leave with items still in their cart.

It’s destined to happen. Just think about your own online behaviors...it’s easy to get distracted, right? That’s why abandoned cart emails are so powerful. 

This automation reminds shoppers that they have something in their cart and builds urgency to maximize the % of shoppers you can get back to complete their order. In fact, we see customers typically recover 10-20% of abandoned carts with these automations

The exact abandoned cart formula to steal


Email #1: The Reminder (Sends 1 hour after cart abandonment) 

Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge to get customers to return to your online store and complete their purchase. The Reminder Email notifies your customers that they left items in their cart and includes a link to complete their order.

Email #2: The Expiring Incentive (Sends 23 hours after the first email)

Didn't bite the first time? The Expiring Incentive Email contains a limited-time coupon code, giving customers the extra motivation they need to buy. 

Email #3: The Last Chance (Sends 1 day after the second email)

Nobody likes missing out on a deal. That’s why the Last Chance Email reminds your customers that their limited-time coupon is about to expire. This third nudge builds urgency and should help you recover more abandoned carts.

What you need to know about abandoned cart emails in Privy

Luckily, this 3-step formula is already started for you when you create a Privy account. But that's not all...

  • You can use our flexible trigger settings to edit the time delay, target based on product/collection, set cart value thresholds and more.
  • The cart content block will automatically pull in the items(s) a contact had in their cart, making conversion a breeze!
  • We’ll automatically unenroll anyone that completes a purchase after being enrolled into your abandoned cart automation (we don’t want any confusing experiences for your contacts!)
  • This automation is triggered based on cart abandonment, not just checkouts. This means you’ll get a LOT more coverage (which means more potential $$).

Looking for more abandoned cart inspiration?

Take a peek at this swipe file with real abandoned cart emails from other brands! And this video with expert tips and tricks 👇


#2: Welcome Series Email Automation

The most powerful way to build trust with your subscribers, your welcome email is your chance to really WOW your newest subscribers and make them feel like they’re in the right place.

The best welcome emails do so much more than thank subscribers for signing up. It’s a chance to bring new contacts into your world and turn them into engaged customers. And stories are a great way to connect.

The exact welcome email formula to steal


Email #1: The Founder Story Welcome Email (Sends immediately after signup)

More often than not, there’s some personal connection behind you (the founder) and why your store exists. This is one of the most powerful differentiators you have to compete against big brands. Lean into your story as a way to build trust and form a bond with new subscribers.

Email #2: The Impact Welcome Email (Sends 1 day after signup)

Today’s consumers want to support businesses that share their values. 

If your business was founded with a specific social impact mission in mind, sharing this with subscribers validates that they made the right choice signing up for your emails (and may even move them further along as they consider shopping from your store).

Email #3: The Educational Welcome Email (Sends 3 days after signup)

You can subtly share fun facts about a few of your products without using overly salesy language. At this stage in their brand relationship, the Educational Welcome Email teaches your newest subscribers about your products without feeling like too much.

Now that we’ve talked about the types of content you can include in your Welcome Email automation, let’s talk about how to put it all together.

What you need to know about welcome emails in Privy

This 3-step formula is already started for you when you create a Privy account, but you can always use our flexible trigger settings to make it your own!

Plus, you can tailor this automation to go out based on a specific display. We recommend starting simple with any display, but you can try this out if you have a more specific offer or journey in mind.

Looking for more welcome email inspiration?

Here are tons of real welcome email examples to get your wheels spinning! And a video with expert advice you won't want to miss.


And while your welcome series sets the tone with new subscribers (to help drive first time purchases), these next two automations are all about driving repeat purchases. 

Because repeat customers are SO valuable for your brand. We’ve found that they are 9x more likely to convert, 20% more profitable, and have 3x the average order value than first-time buyers. So, let’s talk about how to convert them 👇

#3: Purchase Follow-Up Email Automation

The post-purchase period is a crucial point in your customer's journey.

That’s why this automation is such a great way to delight your new customers and build loyalty (that’s going to help turn them into repeat customers!). 

This is also a great place to differentiate your brand’s experience. Because too often, brands are just sending a simple confirmation email.

But, you can do so much more with Privy’s purchase follow-up automation.

This type of automation can help you:

  • Set clear expectations about what to expect after placing an order on your site 
  • Send a genuine thank you to your customers
  • Get customers engaged in different ways while they wait for their delivery (this is a great place to promote your social channels!)
  • Layer in education so they can get value from their delivery right away 
  • Introduce complementary products that will go well with their order 

Looking to achieve something else? Reach out to us marketing@privy.com and we’ll show you how you can do it 😊

The exact purchase follow-up email formula to steal


Email #1: The Purchase Confirmation & Summary (Sends immediately after purchase)

This email should be sent immediately after the order is placed. 

No need to overthink this one. In fact, it’s better that you don’t!

Keep this email straightforward and clear. Make sure the buyer knows that their order went through, what to expect and how to reach out if they have any questions.

Email #2: The Thank You (Sends 1 day after purchase)

Send this email shortly after purchase to get your customers excited for their delivery! This is a great place to add a personal touch and thank the customer for shopping from your brand.

Email #3: The Anticipation Builder (Sends 3 days after purchase)

This is a great place to bring in some of the ideas we shared above. Maybe share examples of customers loving the product (as a way to link to your social) or incorporate education around how to use the product. 

This touch will help keep your brand top of mind while the order is still fresh in their mind.

What you need to know about purchase follow-up emails in Privy

  • You can trigger this based on an order being placed or received. These are 2 different stages of your customers' journey, so it’s worth keeping this in mind.
  • You can tailor your purchase follow up email based on the products purchased, order value and order count. Now, you know we recommend starting with a simple approach, so don’t worry about this just yet!

Looking for more purchase follow-up inspiration?

Get inspired with these real purchase-follow up emails. And take a peek at this video with tons of expert advice.


#4: Customer Winback Email Automation

Customer winback emails are an excellent way to re-engage customers who haven’t placed an order in a while. This automation will probably look a bit different based on your industry, what you sell, and what your consumption rates look like.

For example, if you’re selling a beauty product, you can probably estimate when you’d expect a shopper to be running out of your product after it’s been delivered. The same goes for those in the food and beverage space. 

When you have a predictable consumption rate, you should use that to your advantage when you map out your customer winback automations.

On the other hand, if you’re selling custom coffee mugs, you can’t exactly predict when or why your customer would come back for another purchase (but don’t forget these types of products are excellent to recommend they buy for a friend if they love it!).

No matter what you’re selling, customer winback emails are a great way to keep your brand top of mind and continue to build relationships with your subscribers.

The exact customer winback email formula to steal

customer-winback (1)

Email #1: The Running Low Email (Sends 60 days after last order)

Remind customers that it’s been a while since they last shopped and it's probably time for a refill. make it easy for shoppers by highlighting your best sellers.

Email #2: The We Miss You Email (Sends 90 days after last order)

Let customers know how much you appreciate them being part of your brand community.

Then, sweeten the deal with something like a coupon code for 15% off their next order.

Email #3: The Limited Time Offer Email (Sends 120 days after last order)

Put some urgency around shoppers' next purchase with a unique coupon code that expires soon. Use this as a reminder of what makes your brand so great. A social or environmental mission, the quality of products, whatever makes you unique!

What you need to know about customer winback emails in Privy

This 3-step formula is already started for you when you create a Privy account. And we’ll automatically unenroll anyone that makes a purchase during this time. So you can sit back and trust that these automations will deliver to the right people at the right time.

Looking for more customer winback inspiration?

Check out these real-life customer winback emails to get ideas! And don't forget to take a peek at what these experts have to say about building a winning strategy.


Activate these 4 email automations ASAP (without taking weeks of your time)

If you’ve been following along with the Empowered Ecommerce event, you know that we’ve been telling you to think of this program as a fitness plan for your store.

Since you’re still here reading this part, it means you’re on the right track (think of it like you just completed a tour of a new gym).

Which means, the next steps are the hardest part. It’s time to commit to taking the steps that are going to help you get where you want to go with your store’s marketing.

Just think about how good it will feel when you can rely on these automations to deliver sales for your store 24/7.

You can get there if you set aside 30 minutes a day to tackle each automation over the next week.

But, remember. You’re not alone when you go at it with Privy. Book a call to learn how you can work with our team.

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Written by Kristina Simonson

Kristina leads the marketing team here at Privy. She enjoys diving into the latest trends in ecommerce (and writing about them here) and is passionate about supporting independent Shopify brands. Outside of work, you can find Kristina either hanging out with her nieces or training for her next marathon.

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