A killer 4 email follow-up sequence for ecommerce sites

More and more ecommerce sites recognise the importance of having a compelling email opt-in offer, usually in the form of a pop-up call to action. But many are still missing the opportunity to increase sales by creating an effective email follow up sequence. Statistics show subscribers are the most receptive to receiving marketing messages right after joining a list, so you should be taking full advantage of new opt-ins with an automated email follow up sequence that will help drive sales and loyalty.

In this article I will show you how to create an effective email follow up sequence. I’ll provide specific examples for what our e-commerce business has done to increase our sales by more than 6 figures in the past year .

On the technical side nearly all email list providers provide tools to create a basic automation sequence. We use MailChimp to handle our email list and create an automated email follow up sequence. If you are using MailChimp, here is a link to their tutorial on using automation workflows to apply the ideas presented below.

Email 1: The Friendly Welcome

This first email in the email follow up sequence is sent immediately upon subscription and will therefore include fulfillment of the offer itself – usually a discount code or link to a piece of content. Along with a warm thank you, you should also point people to your social media channels.


  • Show them you appreciate their subscription
  • Provide details of subscriber benefits and any housekeeping
  • Encourage engagement on social channels
  • Provide an appealing visual of your products
  • Leave them with a warm fuzzy feeling by linking to feel-good content (in this case the video link points here https://www.facebook.com/jessica.sinclair.501/videos/10153114034938197/ )


email 1 1 A killer 4 email follow-up sequence for ecommerce sites


Email 2: Testimonials

We have our automation sequence set to send this email 5 days after the initial subscription. This email should give people a deeper sense of what your brand stands for through the eyes of your existing customers. If you don’t already have testimonials, reach out to past customers to get their feedback, then feature the best examples in this email.


  • Highlight what people love about your products
  • Provide objective “social proof” to build affinity for your brand
  • Soft sell with a simple link to your site


email follow up sequence example 2

Email 3: Social Proof

We send this one week after the previous email. In this outreach you are deepening the idea of social proof by identifying your products with known brands. Celebrities always provide great social proof given the status they are ascribed in today’s culture. But if you don’t have any celebrity spottings with your products, use the familiar logos of any major media outlets that have covered you or even retailer outlets with which you are associated.


  • Boost the credibility of your brand via social proof
  • Associate your products with widely known brands or people
  • Soft sell with a link to your site


email opt-in follow up sequence example 3

Email 4: Top Sellers

We send this one week after the previous email. This is where you try to ease prospects towards a purchase by presenting some of your best performing items. Tell a story about them if you can, or, if you’re willing, offer a introductory incentive offer or discount.


  • Have them consider making a purchase
  • Deepen their affinity for the individual products
  • Have them window shop your site


opt-in email followup sequence example 4

After the Sequence Ends

This automatedemail follow up sequence is triggered by the initial subscription. Once it has finished the subscriber will still be on your list and you can continue to market to them with any updates you choose to send.

The frequency of ad hoc updates you make to your list will depend on the size and turnover of your product catalog. You should only send an update to your full list when you have something significant to announce. We find that new product announcements and sales get the most interest. We also send a monthly update with a non-promotional article from our blog, though we provide a way for subscribers to opt out of these notices without leaving the list.

The Power of Dynamic Retargeting

Email should be a  cornerstone of your online marketing strategy but it should not be your only tactic. I would strongly suggest implementing retargeting, which means that any time someone clicks through to view products on your site, they will then be served banner ads featuring those specific items. To see the full list of online marketing tactics we use to drive sales on our site see  6 Strategies to Dramatically Increase eCommerce Traffic and Conversions

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