How To Engage With Your Email List Using E-Commerce

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Over the past 3 years I had built a pretty decent sized list to over 6,700 people with my Shopify store, Calm The Ham. However it wasn't very engaged and more of the typical e-commerce store list (impersonal). As someone who wasn't taking advantage of email marketing to0 much anyway, I wanted to migrate somewhere else where I could take more advantage of the asset I'd created and add more personality to my emails.

I procrastinated on migration for weeks and weeks, dreading it. However once I did it I was shocked at how much easier it was than I expected.

Here’s where I’m at today:

subscribers in ConvertKit

How to

Want to do what I did? Here’s how:

  1. Map out the E-commerce funnel
  2. Plan Email Sequences
  3. Create/Duplicate forms
  4. Create tags
  5. Create segments
  6. Set up automations (MAGIC!)
  7. Upload your email list

What you will need for the full setup I’m going to describe:

–  ConvertKit (obvs)
–  Shopify
–  Zapier (for advanced automation options)

1. Map out the E-Commerce funnel

The e-commerce flow for physical products like mine looks a little different than the typical digital products as there's a shipping you need to be aware of. However the same process would work for digital products.

Here's how it looks:

Basic Opt-in Funnel:

  1. A subscriber opts in through the 10% deal pop-up form
  2. Receives confirmation email with discount code
  3. Begins follow-up sequence reminding them of the discount
  4. Added to Newsletter segment
  5. Tagged as ‘Prospect'

funnel in ConvertKit

Product Funnel:

  1. Customer buys a product through the shopify store
  2. Added to “customer” tag
  3. Added to “customer” segment
  4. Added to ‘New Customer – Thank You’ sequence
  5. Optional: Added to Post-purchase sequence (order confirmation, shipping confirmation, customer satisfaction survey, product review)

new customer funnel in ConvertKit

2. E-Commerce Sequences

Here are some sequences you can set up within ConvertKit for your Shopify store to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more:

  • New customer discount

This sequence is when someone opts in for a discount on their first order

  • New customer thank you

When you get a new customer, have an email go out to thank them

  • Customer winback

After someone places an order you send them an email to entice them back for more.

sequence types in ConvertKit

3. Creating/Duplicating Forms

Before starting I made a checklist of my existing forms and what I needed to move. For my Shopify store it was pretty simple, the key for me was not in the forms but in the tagging of customers (coming next).

Here are the only forms I needed:

  • Basic sign-up form
  • 10% Discount Form

4. Create Tags

Tags are a great way to segment your audience according to their engagement, buying status, product purchase and much more.

General Tags:

  • Prospect – For people who have not yet purchased
  • Customer – For 1 time purchaser

Advanced Tag Strategy:

  • Repeat-customer: For people who have bought more than once
  • High-Value: For customers that spend over $X in your store
  • Product-specific: For customers interested in a certain product type

I have product collections within my store, due to this I like to tag my customers with the collection they have previously purchased from. This way when I add a new product to the collection I can easily segment these people.

To add a tag: Subscribers > Create a Tag

subscribers in ConvertKit

Tagging repeat customers:

There doesn’t seem to be a completely automated way of automatically tagging repeat buyers in ConvertKit, however it’s very easy to do. You can also use this same process for tagging different segments of people in bulk (makes migration a cinch).

  1. In Shopify under the Customers tab, create a new customer filter for repeat buyers. It looks like this:

Filter: Number of orders > greater than > 1

Shopify and ConvertKit


Export the customer results as a CSV

Shopify and ConvertKit


Import the subscribers to Shopify and add them to ‘Repeat-Customer’ tag

tagging Shopify customers in ConvertKit

Now all the customers you have added to your list have been tagged as ‘Repeat-Customers’ so you can easily segment them for custom promotions or offers.

5. Create Segments

Once you have created tags based on your subscribers buying status, engagement level, product choice etc, you can now create some segments to make contacting those people in one batch much easier:

Under the Subscribers tab you’ll see an option on the right to ‘Create a Segment’.

  1. Create a segment
  2. Name your segment
  3. Create a filter for your segment based on tags in previous section
  4. Save

subscribers in ConvertKit

Some segments you should consider:

  • Customers
  • Prospects
  • Customers by product type
  • High-value customers
  • Repeat customers

Once you know who your best customers are you can send them unique offers. Additionally with prospects – you set them up with a custom offer sequence to convert them to buyers.

6. Set up Automations

The automations part is where the magic happens! To take full advantage of everything, I would recommend getting Zapier which will allow you to do a lot with.

The next step is to add the shopify integration to your ConvertKit account. To do this you go to Automations > Integrations > Shopify

integrations in ConvertKit

To see a detailed step-by-step guide head here.

Automations I would recommend:

  • Abandoned Cart
  • New Customer Thank You
  • Customer Winback
  • Product Specific Tags

Abandoned Cart:

  1. Set up a zapier integration between ConvertKit and Zapier
  2. Trigger: New Abandoned Cart -> Tag ‘Prospect’ in ConvertKit

Shopify and ConvertKit

      3. Set up the ConvertKit automation:

triggers in ConvertKit

2. Product Specific Tags:

To tag customers for specific product types they buy you can create an automation for this:

Trigger: Purchases a Product > Shopify > Product = Tag added

Shopify and ConvertKit

3. Customer Thank you:

triggers in ConvertKit

There it is, all you need to get started with Shopify and ConvertKit.

This whole process can be setup within a couple of hours and will give you powerful insights and capabilities for email marketing for your online store. By doing this you can promote only products that are relevant to your customer and keep them more engaged.

Why is this important? Your email list is your business asset and by engaging with the customer better and offering them what they want you will increase the customer lifetime value which hits your bottom line.

Ready to increase your customer lifetime value? Join me on ConvertKit to get started.


Editor’s note: This week’s guest post comes from Cathryn Lavery, founder of Little Might. Cathryn teaches smart people like you how to build and launch a product successfully – even if you have zero experience. In this post, Cathryn takes you behind the scenes of her ConvertKit strategy to show you how you can use Shopify and ConvertKit together to keep your products top of mind for your customers. 

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