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Any business that can make you money while you sleep is more than likely going to be successful.

Of course, this isn’t applicable to all types of businesses. A carpenter can’t design or create a beautiful mahogany desk in his sleep.

Those of you with an e-commerce business have the opportunity to use powerful email automations to collect sales, even while you’re catching Z’s.

It’s not easy, but it is possible.

There are a couple of core pre-purchase email flows.

These interact with and guide potential customers down the funnel and should be a priority for any direct-to-consumer brand.

Implementing these flows correctly will acquire new customers.

In this article, I’ve highlighted 4 key pre-purchase flows.

  1. Active on site
  2. Browser Abandonment
  3. Abandoned Cart
  4. Abandoned Checkout 

I’ll explain each, outline the goal and point out why they work.

From here, you can apply them to your business and watch the sales pile up.

There are also post-purchase flows that kick in after someone has purchased but we’ll leave those for another article.

What is a flow?

Before we dive in, I just wanted to clarify exactly what an email ‘flow’ is.

A ‘flow’ is a series of automated emails that brands send to someone who has subscribed to their email list. They can be segmented and targeted based on contact information, preferences, or behaviour.

We’ll use different flows to speak to subscribers at different points in their journey.

The language chosen and messaging must reflect their stage in the funnel.

Now, let’s get into it.

Active on site


When someone visits your website but doesn’t make it to a product page.


This email automation is sent to those who have been browsing your website’s homepage. These are still at the top of the funnel so we should keep this in mind when crafting our message.

Temperature level:

Cold 🥶


Try to create a connection. Make them aware of who you are and what you sell.

Why it works

They have already given a small commitment (their email). Therefore, there is some level of intent.

A gentle reminder could be all it takes to push them towards that all-important purchase.

Potential ideas

Send an email showcasing your best-selling products.

Browser Abandonment

From a funnel perspective, we are slightly further down than our ‘active on-site’ trigger.

However, the consumer is likely still in window shopping mode. It’s our job to change that.


When someone views a product in your store but doesn’t continue to the checkout.


In this instance, they’ve looked at a product but haven’t added it to the cart.

There could be many reasons. The baby started crying, the dog began barking, the list goes on.

Temperature level: 

Cold to slightly warm


Remind them about the product(s) they viewed.

Why it works

We live in a busy world. They may have simply been distracted by something out of their control.

A simple reminder could be all it takes to bring them back.

It’s important to personalise your browser abandonment email. Show images of the product(s) they viewed and let them know they’re still available.

You could go with a ‘thanks for stopping by’ message with an image of the product(s).

Potential ideas

Be creative. The ‘thanks for stopping by’ is fine but you should be aiming for something more creative.

Maybe a ‘caught ya peeking’ or something with a catchy subject line.

The below is a great example of good copywriting with a simple, clean design.

Abandoned Cart


Someone adds a product to their cart but does not continue to the checkout.


We’re now moving closer to the checkout.

They went to the trouble of adding to the cart but didn’t take the next step and proceed to the checkout. It’s our job to see will a nudge or two push them over the line.

Temperature level: 

Warm (ish)


Remind them that they added something to their cart but didn’t reach the checkout.

Why it works

The fact someone clicked the ‘add to cart’ button highlights their interest.

There’s some level of intent there but something stopped them along the way. Similar to browser abandonment, there could be many reasons.

We’ll address them in our email 🙂

Potential ideas

The key to the next two emails is to handle objections.

Can we get inside the customer’s mind and break down any potential barriers?

Highlight social proof with customer testimonials. Outline your products’ benefits(s) and USP’s. It may even be worth offering incentives.

Pro tip – Use screen recording software to analyse visitors movements in real-time. This will help you understand what may be hurting sales and whether you can improve the user experience. Example: Hotjar/Lucky Orange.

Abandoned Checkout


Someone starts the checkout process but doesn’t complete the purchase.


E-commerce brands lose approximately $1 billion in potential revenue each year due to abandoned checkouts.

If you’re a brand owner or manager, this could be costing you thousands every month 😬

Having an effective abandoned checkout could recover massive amounts of previously lost revenue.

Temperature level: 



Recover orders that otherwise would be lost.

Example of Optima Digital Case Study:

We recovered 11.94% of Abandoned Checkouts for this client.

This is over a period of 30 days which means at the same rate we will recover €139,200 annually.

This is a significant amount of sales considering they had no abandoned checkout set up prior to working with us.

Why it works

At this point, they’ve gone to the trouble of viewing the product(s), adding to the cart, and proceeding to the checkout.

However, something happened and they fell at the final hurdle.

Admittedly we can’t read their minds, but we must anticipate as best we can and handle possible objections.

It’s important to optimise this email.

A combination of an eye-catching subject line, clever incentive, and segmenting by cart value should all be explored.

You’ll likely need to A/B test different variations of this email to find what works best.

Potential ideas

Focus on handling potential objections. Remind them about the benefits of your products.

Usual social proof and testimonials. If applicable, offer guarantees to remove any potential indecision.

Remember, they’re almost there and likely just need a gentle nudge!

Want to see an Example of an Effective Welcome Series'?

Click Here to View ABC Skincare
Helping 6,7 & 8 Figure E-Com Brands nurture, convert & retain more customers.


Offer a bigger incentive for those with higher-value carts. For example, if the value of the cart is over €100, offer 10% off.

If the value of the cart is under €40, offer 5% off.

Implementing email automation flows in e-commerce businesses not only drives sales but also opens the door to customer retention, and increases the lifetime value of customers.

The article emphasises four key pre-purchase flows: “Active on site,” “Browser Abandonment,” “Abandoned Cart,” and “Abandoned Checkout,” which engage potential customers at different stages of their buying journey.

By successfully converting a lead into a customer through these flows, the brand can shift its focus towards nurturing the customer relationship, providing exceptional post-purchase experiences, and implementing strategies to encourage repeat purchases.

This customer-centric approach ultimately leads to increased customer loyalty, extended customer lifetime value, and sustained business growth.

Want to increase your online revenue?

P.s If you own or manage an e-commerce business and would like to scale through email, let’s book in a call 😊

You can DM here or book a call here:

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