[Shopify Marketing Automation] How It Works & Why To Start Today

Last updated November 8, 2018

When you’re running a business, there’s a lot to think about. Marketing is obviously not something that can be overlooked, but it usually takes a lot of time and knowhow. Unless you’re a fully trained marketing professional, that can be a daunting prospect. However, Shopify users can testify that there is a way to simplify this process… with great results.

Shopify marketing automation makes it easy for you to market to both site visitors and current customers, via tried and tested software. Simply put, the hard work is taken out of your marketing, freeing up your time for the many other daily tasks your business generates.

Why automate your marketing on Shopify?

Once you have your Shopify store up and running, it would be smart to think about setting up your marketing automation. What do you stand to gain from this? A lot, actually. For one thing, it’s all about customer experience these days, and Shopify marketing automation complements that considerably. It’s a simple equation: a happy customer base equals a thriving business.

Suffice to say that your customers want an easy ride when they visit your store. They want to be guided through the process of searching for and buying products without having to spend too much time and effort on the process. They also respond best to personalized communications containing information that is highly relevant to them.

What do your customers get from the experience?

Most customers will be prone to some level of hesitancy when purchasing online. After all, there’s often a better deal out there – it’s just a case of digging for it. They want to be convinced, so if your business is perceived as going the extra mile to assist them in their shopping experience, you’re onto a winner. Shopify marketing automation helps you to do all of this and more.

Your customers will have lots in common, but there will also be many significant differences – and that’s the information you need to capture. Profiling and segmenting the customers based on their activity, purchases and indicated preferences will tailor your marketing so that it saves both parties precious time.

Then when you send out personal, highly targeted communications and offers, your customers will be more inspired to visit your site. They’ll also be happy to read your newsletters, they’ll consistently check out your offers, and they’ll probably even open your gentle reminder emails.

The good news is, none of this takes much effort on your part! What’s more, you can expect revenue to rise by at least 20%… and potentially up to around 74%. That’s pretty inspiring.

How does marketing automation work?

We’ve put together an overview of how Shopify marketing automation works. It should give you a good idea as to the amount of time you could save on a daily basis; it should also help you to understand how you can build customer relationships, increase loyalty and (of course) brand and product awareness. You might be happy to know that no coding skills are required – everything is simple to set up and use. So, here’s how it works.


Ultimately your goal is to get a comprehensive picture of each customer. You’ll capture information about their behaviour, as well as their needs, wants, and circumstances. Shopify marketing automation will do this on your behalf, through various apps you can integrate with your store.

It’s not all about purchases. For example, you also need to capture the details of any online and offline communications with your business, where on your site they visit and how often, and so on. You can then divide the customers into groups based on their preferences, and tailor the content you’ll send out to each group.

With automated marketing apps, there will be predefined segments available but you can also create your own segments with multi-leveled conditions for targeting customers.

Personalised email campaigns

Email campaigns will be highly relevant to your individual customers and will help to build lasting relationships. Welcome emails can immediately be sent out to those who register new accounts… reward coupons can be sent to prompt a return… you might even send a customer a ‘happy birthday’ email with a personal discount or offer. One-click surveys can also be sent out to boost engagement.

Emails recommending relevant products and services can be sent to new arrivals, and you can cross-sell this way too.  Regular drafted and scheduled newsletters can go out to customers, reminding them that you’re there and what you have that may be of interest to them.

Another point to note is that you can sync other mailing lists from Shopify admin, Mailchimp etc., broadening your chances of success.

Follow up emails

Follow up emails will keep customers’ fingers on your pulse; they work very well at increasing conversions, which is one of the main reasons you can anticipate up to 74% in increased revenue. Some campaigns are pre-built, and you can modify campaigns according to your requirements.

For instance, customers who have abandoned their shopping cart could receive a series of automated emails prompting them to return to it. This is known as sales nurturing. When a customer hasn’t returned to your site for a specified number of days, you can send emails aimed at reestablishing their interest; this should increase the retention rate.

Furthermore, you can incentivize your most loyal groups with personal offers, and tempt casual browsers into actually making a purchase. Cyclical emails can be sent to previous customers, compelling them to repeat buy, and discounts can be offered to lapsed customers.


Another way to market effectively to site visitors is popup coupons. If a customer is about to leave the site without having made a purchase, a popup coupon can appear on the screen just before they exit. This is a good way of reducing abandoned shopping carts numbers too.

Similarly, you can turn site visitors into email subscribers, social network followers, and ideally… paying customers! There are many different kinds of popups that can be customized according to your preferences, making them totally unique to your business. You can also apply themes, such as a holiday theme at certain time of year.

When it’s all set up, you can let it roll…

Once you’ve done the initial work of tailoring your marketing automation to suit your business, you can start to relax. There won’t be too much more manual work to do, except for testing out new campaigns according to your latest ideas and product ranges.

To summarise, Shopify marketing automation frees up your time while making it easy for you to reach your customers with very specific and personalized communications. Naturally that gives you a much better chance of converting visitors to customers… and making your current customer base happier than ever.

About The Author: John Munday is the head of marketing at GravIT – an IT Company based in Geelong, Australia. They specialise in IT solutions for small to medium sized business. In his spare time, he enjoys giving back to the community by sharing his knowledge on marketing.

giles thomas


Giles Thomas is the founder of AcquireConvert, the conversion rate optimization blog that teaches ecommerce stores how to increase conversion rates and profits. He is the Founder of Berlin based ecommerce growth agency Whole Design Studios, a head mentor at the Google Launchpad Accelerator and a member of the Google Experts program.


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