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Top Email Marketing Flow Ideas + Tools (Beginner Friendly!)

Whether you're selling services or physical products, setting up automatic emails can help you stay top-of-mind for your audience, provide value, and more.

Octavia Drexler
By Octavia Drexler
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Edited by Mayple staff

Updated February 25, 2024.

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Imagine if you could sell products efficiently, 24/7 and with zero employees, handle thousands of potential customers at once, and never have to worry about remembering names or personal details. Imagine doing all of this while increasing your revenue, retaining your customer base, building loyalty, and encouraging them to recommend you to their peers.

It's not some far-fetched dream – with email marketing flows, you can automate email marketing, save time, harness the power of communication, and reap all the benefits that come as a result.

In this article, we will explore what email marketing flows are, how to create them, and what types of email automations you should consider for your business.

Email marketing automation statistics

There is an excellent reason email marketing automation is a top priority for everyone: it works. But don't just take our word for it. Here's some of the data on the positive impact this form of marketing can have:

  • According to Oracle, marketers report a 451% increase in qualified leads using email marketing automation software. What's more, lead quality increases by 80% too.
  • Saving time, lead generation, and increase in revenue are the top 3 most commonly touted benefits of email marketing flows and automation.
  • Effective marketers are 46% more likely to be using automation software than marketers who report their strategies are ineffective.
  • Almost one-third (69%) of marketers consider their customers' journeys are partially or mostly automated.
  • Marketing automation and email flows can increase sales productivity and reduce the marketing overhead by an impressive 12.2%.

This data is just the tip of the iceberg regarding automated email campaigns. An email marketing strategy can help you get happy customers that return to your store, discuss their experience with their peers, and help your eCommerce business grow.


Benefits of email automation

Email is a powerful tool to turn your mailing list into an audience prepped and ready to buy. Every type of email you send will help you feed into the customer's journey and provide them with the rapport and support they need to complete their purchase. Be it a shopping cart abandonment email or a special email marketing campaign, email content can help you

Save time

Email marketing flows allow you to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up your time to focus on other strategic aspects of your marketing campaigns. By streamlining your email marketing efforts, you can maximize efficiency and productivity and focus on the more strategic part of running successful email campaigns.

Harness the power of personalization

By leveraging email automation, you can deliver timely and personalized messages to your customers, enhancing their overall experience with your brand. Automation enables you to segment your audience and send targeted content that resonates with each recipient.

Email automation allows you to go down into the nitty-gritty of your email lists and send personalized emails to people who can relate (and react).

Boost customer retention

Email journeys enable you to nurture your existing customers and keep them engaged with relevant content, promotions, and offers, increasing their loyalty and likelihood of repeat purchases. You can strengthen your relationship and foster long-term customer retention by staying top-of-mind with your customers.

Create great customer relationships

Good email marketing is based on personalized and targeted communication and it’s meant to help you establish a strong rapport with your customers, fostering trust and loyalty. By sending tailored content and offers based on their preferences and behaviors, you can demonstrate that you understand and care about their needs.

Increase conversion rates

Email marketing flows can drive conversions by sending the right message at the right time. Whether completing a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or taking any desired action, well-crafted flows can guide your customers through the buyer's journey and optimize conversion rates.

Pro tip: want to improve your email flows? Hire a drip marketing expert.

Create genuine customer experiences

With email marketing flows, you can send customers tailored content and recommendations, based on their preferences and behaviors. This creates an authentic experience for your customers, making them want to return to your site.

Top 5 tools for building email marketing flows

The market is full of email automation tools. Some tend to be better than others, but before you subscribe to any of them, look for one that allows you to create the kind of email flows you need.

Here are some of the most popular tools, along with their unique features:


With its intuitive interface and robust features, Mailchimp is popular for building email workflows. It's especially ideal for simpler sequences or companies that do not need a generous set of features from their email automation tool.

Mailchimp offers automation workflows, customizable templates, and advanced segmentation options to target the right audience with personalized messages. It's user-friendly, more affordable than other platforms, and makes building an email sequence easy for anyone.

Need help with your setup and journey automations? Talk to one of our Mailchimp experts.


Known for its advanced automation capabilities, ActiveCampaign provides a comprehensive suite of tools for email marketing automation. It offers personalized automation journeys, behavior-based triggers, and powerful segmentation options for precise targeting.

ActiveCampaign is a valuable tool for both advanced and beginner users. It allows you to create advanced email series and has an enticing pricing plan. For less than Mailchimp's first-tier plan, you can hold 50,000 contacts and apply behavioral segmentation to your email workflows.


Designed specifically for eCommerce businesses, Klaviyo excels in email marketing automation for online stores. It provides powerful segmentation based on customer behavior and purchase history, allowing you to send highly targeted and relevant emails.

One of the unique characteristics of Klaviyo is that it can connect your email lists with external data, like data from Meta campaigns. This allows you to create highly detailed email automation workflows, which, in turn, can create personalized experiences, and increase the efficiency of your email series, conversion rates, click-through rates, and retention rates.

>>> Want to improve your Klaviyo setup? Check out our guide to getting started with Klaviyo.


HubSpot offers email marketing automation, CRM integration, and lead nurturing tools as an all-in-one marketing platform. It allows you to create automated workflows, personalize emails, and track engagement seamlessly.

HubSpot is primarily seen as a behemoth of automation and email tools – but it is worth mentioning it's also the costlier option in most lists. The upside? HubSpot connects with a wide range of tools and can work as a CRM and a tool for your sales and customer success teams, bringing virtually all your teams to one place with access to the same source of truth.


Built for content creators, ConvertKit offers user-friendly automation features and customizable landing pages. It enables you to easily segment subscribers, create automated sequences, and engage with your audience effectively.

ConvertKit's free version is a good start for sending simple newsletters. For the paid version, you can create email workflows and segment your audience in more detail. While this may not be a pure automation tool, it can do the trick if you're a solo business owner and need to keep things simple, and if you have digital products that you want to promote to your audience.

Top 15 email marketing flows

As a general rule, an email marketing platform (even the most basic one) will enable you to send automated email messages with specific goals. Here are some of the most popular types of email flows to consider:

The welcome series

This flow is triggered when a new subscriber joins your email list. It consists of either a single email or a series of them, to introduce your brand, providing valuable information, and nurturing the relationship from the start. The goal is to make a positive first impression and engage new subscribers.

An effective welcome email series will usually include the following:

  • A straight-forward email subject
  • Information about the product (usually included in one or two educational emails)
  • Information about the company
  • Invitation to social media channels
  • A thank you message, offering a discount or special offer
  • Up-sells or cross-sells (but this is usually provided further in the welcome series)

Browse abandonment emails

This flow is sent to individuals who have shown interest in your products or services by browsing your website but haven't made a purchase. It aims to re-engage them and encourage conversion by reminding them of the products they viewed and providing incentives to complete their purchase.

The email subject on these aims to remind people of the products they viewed so that you can bring them back into the sales funnel. As a general rule, this type of series will not include a lot of emails – you want your email marketing automation campaign to remind potential buyers of you, rather than drive them away.


Abandoned cart emails

When customers add items to their online shopping carts but don't complete the purchase, this flow sends a series of reminders and incentives to motivate them to return and finalize the transaction. It aims to recover lost sales and increase conversion rates.

An abandoned cart email sequence has to gently nudge potential customers back into the funnel without being overly pushy. It should include the items they added to their cart and, ideally a discount code, as well as instructions on how to complete the purchase.


Thank you emails

Thank you emails are sent once customers complete a purchase, to express gratitude for their business, provide order details, and encourage future engagement or referrals. These emails help strengthen the customer's relationship with your brand and foster loyalty.

“Thank you" messages often function as confirmation emails, as well. You can even choose to include information about when the order will be shipped, loyalty points the buyer has gained, or how they can contact customer care.

Remember that "thank you" emails don't always have to include transactional information. You can also send them when your company's turning a milestone or the customer has been with you for a while.


Instructional emails

These flows deliver helpful information and tutorials to educate customers about your products or services. They can include tips, guides, or embedded videos that explain how to use your products effectively, helping customers derive maximum value from their purchases.

This type of email is more common with software-as-a-service products, but it's not exclusive to this industry. For example, it can also be sent as a follow-up email when someone has purchased a more technical product.


Product reviews

The review flow gathers customer feedback and encourages them to leave reviews for purchased products. It helps build social proof, credibility, and trust, influencing potential customers to purchase based on positive reviews.

This type of message is not usually presented in a series of emails but rather included in email flows. Brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce businesses, and digital products or services can showcase past customer reviews to strengthen their position and win more customers.


Product recommendations (cross-sells & up-sells)

This type of eCommerce email flow is based on customer purchases or browsing history, and it will send emails based on automation triggers, such as the purchase of a specific item or a given amount of time after receiving it.

You can encourage customers to explore options and make additional purchases by showcasing relevant products.


Replenishment automation

Replenishment reminder flows are great for businesses selling consumable or perishable goods, as they remind customers to restock or repurchase items regularly. You can increase repeat purchases and customer loyalty by anticipating their needs and providing convenient reminders.

To ensure you're timing your replenishment emails correctly, think about how often people will need to restock the goods they've purchased. Food, cosmetics, pet supplies, vitamins and supplements, and cleaning products are some items that can be included in this type of flow.


Back-in-stock emails

When a product that was previously out of stock becomes available again, this flow notifies interested customers. Creating a sense of urgency and offering the opportunity to purchase a desired item can drive sales and satisfy customer demand.

It is worth noting that customers usually sign up specifically to receive more information about their preferred types of products – so be sure this flow is set up correctly and integrated with your inventories.

back in stock email example

Birthday emails

Personalized birthday greetings and special offers are sent to customers, making them feel valued and encouraging them to celebrate with a purchase. This flow helps strengthen customer relationships and boosts engagement during special occasions.

If you want to make your customers feel special on their birthday, send them a coupon code. It doesn't have to be something huge – even the smallest attention can make a difference in building customer rapport and loyalty.


Discount emails

These flows deliver exclusive discounts and promotions to customers, creating a sense of urgency and driving sales. By offering incentives, you can encourage customers to make a purchase and increase customer loyalty.

You don't need a special occasion to send out a coupon code or discount announcement, but as a general rule, this type of email is associated with celebrations – such as Black Friday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, April Fools Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or Valentine's Day.

Order confirmation & shipping information

These transactional emails provide customers with order details, shipping updates, and tracking information. They reassure customers that their purchase was successful, improve transparency, and enhance the overall customer experience.

This type of message must be clear and present helpful information such as return policies, warranty claim processes, and where customers can contact you if they have questions.

Here’s a great example of a shipping confirmation email from Recess:


Re-engagement emails

Sent to inactive, dormant, or disengaged subscribers, these winback emails aim to reignite their interest and encourage them to re-engage with your brand. By offering personalized incentives or exclusive content, you can prompt them to take action and become active again.

Repeat customer flows

Reward and incentivize repeat purchases with repeat customer flows. They can include exclusive discounts, loyalty rewards, or early access to new products or services. The goal is to foster customer loyalty, increase lifetime value, and turn customers into brand advocates.

Email marketing flows: your gateway to your customers’ loyalty

You don't have to be an expert internet marketer to create email marketing flows that significantly enhance your marketing efforts, save time, and generate better results.

Automating repetitive tasks and delivering personalized, timely, and relevant messages can boost customer retention, create meaningful relationships, increase conversion rates, and provide genuine customer experiences.

With the right tools and a basic understanding of the top email marketing flows, you can take your marketing campaigns to new heights and achieve long-term success in the digital landscape.

Just be sure you focus on delivering valuable content, segmentation, and continuous optimization to drive the most successful email marketing flows. Embrace the power of automation and watch your email marketing efforts thrive.