How to Convert Email Subscribers into Customers

Mar 07 2019

convert email subscribers into customers

The end goal of email marketing is converting your email subscribers into loyal customers. It all starts with building an email list that should lead to sales down the road.

But let’s face it, most email marketers struggle with converting email subscribers into customers because they don’t have a follow-up plan to make things happen.

In this post we are going to cover the basics of a good email subscription form and the steps you need to take to successfully convert your email subscribers into loyal buyers.

How Triggers & Automated Flows Work

Let’s say you work at a brick and mortar store. You’ll have many different ways to tell when a customer is interested in buying a product. Also, you’ll spot people that come over and over again into your shop interested in one particular product every time, just because they want to satisfy their desire for it.

Selling via eCommerce works the same. There are many different signals that people give you to say they are interested in a particular product.


Here is a list of three different types of triggers and when they might be used:

  • Email Subscribers to a list: If you have sign up forms or a subscribe page on your website, you likely have all new subscribers be added to a specific list. Using this trigger, you can ensure every new subscriber gets queued up for a specific flow. For example, you can use a Welcome Series flow to send a thank you email to someone once they sign up for your Newsletter list.

  • Added to a segment: Segments are defined by a set of conditions and will grow as new people meet the condition filters. Triggering a flow based on when someone new is added to a segment will allow you to ensure everyone meets a certain set of conditions will get queued up for this flow. This can be useful for when you want to use multiple actions to trigger a flow, such as a Win-Back flow which is triggered when customers order a unique product OR when they place an order over a certain value.

    To learn more about email segmentation, read our tips on how to slice your email database effectively.

Takes an action: This trigger option allows you to add people to a flow based on an action they have taken. For example, this can be an interaction with an email (i.e received, opened, or clicked an email), as well as starting a checkout or placing an order.

Triggered Emails that Drive Sales

Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment happens when a customer visits your website, starts placing items into their online shopping cart, but eventually ends up leaving without purchasing.


When the customer is in the middle of the shopping process, they start to ask rational questions:

  • Do I really need this product?

  • What if this jacket doesn’t fit me? Will I get a refund or be able to send it back for free?

  • Is delivery included in the price?

  • What if the product doesn’t meet my expectations?

Cart abandonment emails convince your customer that they are making the right decision. They serve as a reminder to what the customer liked in the first place and answer the questions that made the customer doubt their purchasing decision.

Need a developer to help you set up automation? Check out

Huckleberry email

Warby Parker Email

Levis Email

Browse Abandonment

A browse abandonment automated email is sent to contacts based on their behavior while browsing certain pages on the client’s website.

A site browse abandonment trigger is similar to a cart abandonment trigger in that both are based on behavioral cues of the user. The difference is that with the browse abandonment trigger, the user is further away from the point of conversion (they’ve shown interest in a particular page/product/category but have not placed anything in their cart). Nevertheless, there is an opportunity to target such users based on the specific page they viewed with a relevant follow-up email trigger. The idea behind this is to convert them by showcasing what they have already shown an inclination towards.

Williams-Sonoma Email


Product Re-Order/Recommendation

A re-order/product upsell email is sent out post-purchase to either get customers to repurchase a specific product before they run out (re-order) or purchase a related product.

For stores that sell either consumable/replaceable products or products that are conducive to upsells, the re-order/product upsell trigger is invaluable.

The basic premise of these two types of emails is sending hyper-relevant product suggestions to contacts at the optimal time in the post-purchase period, based on the items they purchased in their last order.

For example, if someone purchases a particular type of fish food, we should set a re-order email for that kind of food X days after the purchase, based on the estimated time in which it should run out.

These emails tend to see high conversion rates since they are very timely and relevant.

Karma Kiss Email


Online retail is a competitive market. If your product is out of stock, shoppers can easily check for it in another store with just a few clicks.

You need to stop shoppers from abandoning your store when a product they want is out of stock. Rather than losing these customers to competitors, you have a way of holding onto them.

The back-in-stock trigger is sent to those who requested to be notified of a specific out-of-stock item when it is restocked.

The purpose of the trigger is to alert users of when the item is back-in-stock, so they can come to your store and purchase.

Linzi Shoes


The birthday trigger triggers an email that is sent based on the date of the email subscribers birthday.

Birthdays of your customers are the perfect opportunity to market to them. These timely emails can generate great engagement, as well as sales.

Of course, we first need to capture the contact’s birthday somehow in a manage preferences form so we know when it is.

happy birthday email from LEE


The key to effective email marketing is to understand users’ needs and to offer them as much value as you can in your emails.

About 75% of online purchases are not completed. People have many reasons for leaving shopping carts just before the payment is done, but you still have a chance to direct them back to your shop. The success of recovering money depends on how you can leverage data and send the right message at the right time.

Build your sales funnel around the idea of helping your audience, and you won’t have any problems converting them. Before you go, check out these examples of top brands with super effective email marketing.


Guest Post By: Monika Gaberova, Marketing Associate @ Essence of Email

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