Not sure where to start with email marketing?

If you are an eCommerce founder who is not currently leveraging email, one of your problems could be that you don’t know where to start.

I hear this every day from prospective clients, who have no idea how to strategically plan or utilize email, or they are struggling to think of an enticing offer to get email addresses.

Or they have no confidence in their skills and don’t know how to talk to their customers.

This is common, you are not alone.

You probably already know that email can be a very profitable channel for your brand. But how profitable? I mean, social media is proven and gets good ROI, right?

According to a recent survey, ROI from email is at 36:1, meaning for every dollar spent on email, you get $36 dollars back.

That beats anything you can get from Facebook, Instagram, Google or TikTok.

It makes sense for DTC founders to get set up for email, but where do you start?

What is the first thing you should do?

The easiest starting point is getting your abandoned cart email sequence set up.

If you have nothing else set up, at the very least get this one sequence (or flow as Klaviyo calls it) set up.

The abandoned cart email can add some easy revenue to your bottom line by scooping any shoppers who changed their minds and didn’t make an immediate purchase.

You might be thinking that as a customer, you get way too many emails and are worried about annoying your customers.

Fear, not.

This sequence is not aggressive.

It’s only two emails but can add a significant amount of revenue to your bottom line depending on your volume. According to Klaviyo, an abandoned cart email can add an average of $5.81 per recipient in revenue.

Depending on the volume of traffic you are currently sending to your store, that could add up to a lot of “found money”. I have seen some merchants add 20% more revenue by adding this one sequence.

Setting an abandoned cart email sequence is simple and takes less than an hour of work. But the rewards could pay you for months or even years to come.

Most email service providers (ESPs) like Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Omnisend, Drip, etc. that serve DTC brands already have templates set up that you can use. But, there are a few key things you need to edit first before you set the sequence live.

First of all, keep it to only two emails to start. I know you can get aggressive, but two emails are enough if you start from scratch.

The Trigger

You want this sequence to trigger for anyone who has added a product to the cart but didn’t purchase it.

On Klaviyo the trigger looks like this:

You want to make sure the trigger excludes anyone who has placed an order since starting the sequence. Klaviyo uses flow filters for this, but other providers could use something else.

Next, wait for 4 hours.


Because life happens.

Let’s say your prospective customer is browsing and they are interrupted; you want to give them some time to complete the purchase before pouncing on them.

Four hours is the sweet spot, especially when starting out. You can eventually experiment with shorter times once you have data on how your customers behave.

After 4 hours, send the first message. The message can be simple: ” did you drop this? And a short message with an image of the product they were browsing.

Don’t make this complicated. This sequence is a reminder email, there is no copywriting needed. Just say something like:

You left something behind!

We saved all of the great items you’ve added to your cart so when you’re ready to buy, simple complete your purchase. [“purchase your purchase” is a link]

If you have any questions or need any help, let us know

[Add a button – Continue To Checkout]

If you are using one of your ESP’s templates, all the code to pull in what was in the cart is already included. That’s why always best to use the templates provided.

You want to modify the email to follow your brand colors. We like to create a separate Google doc that contains all the brand colors, fonts, and logos so that when we are modifying your pre-built template, we have that information on hand.

Next, you wait 20 hours and send the last email.

A subject line I love to use on the second email is ”Your cart is about to expire”  because it’s psychological.

No one wants to let something expire if they want it, right? And it’s less aggressive than something more salesy, like “Final Notice!!!”

When you are starting out, your goal is to test your audience’s temperament and tolerance. You want to see how they respond, then you can test something more aggressive down the line and see if it’s better than a softer approach.

People nowadays are put off by aggressive sales tactics, it turns us off. So, start soft.

That’s it. If you create a Google doc with all your brand colors and fonts and use a template provided by your ESP, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to get this set up.

And you don’t have to fiddle with optin forms, lists, segmentation or any other stuff.

The abandoned cart sequence is perfect for a DTC brand to test email and prove the ROI before investing more time and energy into building more.

Fun fact: some people add a product into their cart because they want the email follow-up. I do that all the time.

When I am at work, and I see something that I want to buy but can’t immediately.  I will add the product to my cart and use the follow-up email as a reminder to complete the purchase.

If you don’t have an abandoned cart sequence in place for those customers you are missing easy revenue.

Get your abandoned cart email sequence set up today, it will only take you an hour or less.