5 email marketing tactics to improve customer retention

Repeat sales are extremely important for any ecommerce business. You spend the big bucks on getting new customers – creating awareness about your brand through online marketing campaigns, social media, and more – and you hope that the reward for all that hard work will be a growing loyal customer base.

According to a 2012 Adobe report on the U.S. ecommerce sector, repeat shoppers represented just 8% of all site visitors but accounted for 41% of total online sales.  In order to get that repeat business, you need to remind your customers that you’re there, and more than once. Typically you should expect to remind a customer 5-7 times before he/she makes a repeat purchase.  Smart, personalized WooCommerce email marketing leads to greater customer retention.

Here are 5 effective ways for WooCommerce store managers to use marketing automation to reach out to those customers via personalized email campaigns and encourage them to come back to your site:

1. Offer a discount

Everyone loves a deal. For your customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while, send them an email with a special offer to win them back.

For example, you could create a rule to send out an email with a personalized coupon code if the customer hasn’t made a purchase in a while.

With AutomateWoo’s WooCommerce plugin, you can do so with the following trigger/action workflow in your WooCommerce store admin area:

AutomateWoo workflow to create a personalized coupon code

AutomateWoo workflow to create a personalized coupon code

This email campaign sends a simple but effective reminder, combined with a discount, that’s often enough to get customers to visit your site again.

2. Show your appreciation

Let your customers know you love them! For example, you can target your big spender customers and send them a thank you email.

AutomateWoo allows you to create a trigger around the total amount a customer has spent, so you can send a special thank you with a coupon code like “spend $100, get $25 off your next order”.

AutomateWoo created email campaign to show customer appreciation

AutomateWoo workflow triggered by “User total spend reaches”

3. Tell them about a sale from their Wishlist

Of course you’ll want to let your customers know when you’re having a sale. But you can go the extra mile with your existing customers, by letting them know when their wishlist items go on sale.

AutomateWoo trigger "Wishlist item goes on sale"

AutomateWoo trigger “Wishlist item goes on sale”

When a customer sees an item that they already want, and it’s on sale, it can be extremely effective to push them to buy.  This is personalized marketing automation at its best.

4. Cross-sell

You may already be using cross-selling techniques on your website to influence visitors at the time of purchase. You can use this same concept post-sale, via email.

For example, the dress that your customer bought has now arrived at her home, and now’s the time to remind them about those perfect boots to complete the outfit.

AutomaticWoo uses the “order.cross_sells” variable, allowing you to display these products in an email to the customer after their purchase arrives.

AutomateWoo marketing automation to create an email campaign for cross sell products

This AutomateWoo workflow emails the cross-sell items based on “order complete”

5. Recover an abandoned cart

You’ve probably done this one yourself: visited an ecommerce site, put something in your cart, and then never got around to completing the purchase. This “abandoned cart” is an excellent opportunity to reach out to your customers, and your almost-customers, and give them a little push.  Simply send them an email reminding them about the items in their cart, and encouraging them to purchase. You could even give them a discount to further incentivise them.

AutomateWoo abandoned cart email campaign can help close the sale.

AutomateWoo’s abandoned cart email can help close the sale.


Your existing customer base is the best way to get sales, and if you devote just a little bit of your marketing efforts and budget toward winning back your old customers, you’ll start to see those repeat sales making an impact on your bottom line.

AutomateWoo allows all of these marketing automation tactics for WooCommerce stores. With a few simple workflows, you can create effective, specific, personalized email campaigns. Reach out to your customers with these engagement strategies to win them back and get them buying again and again.

About the author

After developing custom WordPress themes and plugins for several years, Dan Bitzer wrote the first line of code for AutomateWoo in 2015. He hails from Australia but loves to travel and work abroad.