Using Email Marketing Automation is a good way to grow your online business but it’s also a GREAT way to grow your retail store foot traffic.

Selling online implies you are investing money in bringing traffic to your website, there is no question about it.

  • Traffic that is coming from paid adds on Google, Bing, Facebook, or Instagram is traffic that has a fixed cost per each click.
  • Traffic that is coming from Organic sources, has its own cost – the cost of publishing good content and/or paying an SEO professional.

Since traffic is not free, it’s your job to ensure that you are making the MOST out of it.

A great way to get more sales is to target a very specific crowd that often gets overlooked – new online customers and/or subscribers from your area.

Create a segment that auto-populates with new Customers and/or Subscribers that live in a certain area around your store and set up the below automation flow to bring those customers to your store.

How to build the perfect 2-step email flow to get online shoppers to your retail store

THE FIRST EMAIL should inform the recipient that you are close-by – they can come and visit, feel the products, interact with the staff. You have an advantage your competition does not, you are a Local Business that needs Supporting.

Subject line ideas:

  • Do you drive past our store each day?
  • Have you been to our store?
  • We’re in the neighborhood. Come visit!

The email message should not be commercial. Your target is to get the customer in the store.

The first thing the email body should show is a street view picture of your store. This will, in most cases, bring familiarity to your brand with customers saying “Hey, I’ve seen this place!”, or even better “Hey, I drive past this place every day on my way to work!”.

Then you can include any of the following:

  • Latest customer reviews on YELP showing how great your staff is
  • A bird’s eye view of the most popular area of the store highlighting products that you know sell better in-store than online
  • A photo of the team
  • A small map with links to Google and Apple Maps
  • A big “About us” text block – tell your story
  • Add an incentive to the email: “visit our store and get a free gift”

THE SECOND EMAIL, should you chose to send it out, depends on your ESP finding out IF the customer visited the store or not.

How to find out if the customer went to the store or not?

POS -> ESP Integration

This can get very complicated and very expensive quickly. If you don’t have this integration you should at least speak to your POS and ESP reps and find out what it would take for retail store order data to move to your Email Marketing database.

CTA in First Email

Add a call to action in the first email that is trackable.


Clicking that should take the recipient to a landing page which shows your store locations, info about the promotion, and ideally an RSVP form that feeds more data to your ESP (i.e. have them pick the date and store they want to visit).

If the customer shows up at the store but he’s not on the RSVP list, ask him to open the email and just click the link – he does not need to fill in the form for our next step.


Once we have either of the above implemented we can easily create a trigger. We will have several cases:

1. Receive the first email but did not open

Do a resend after 1 week – change the subject line but keep the same email design.

2. Received the first email, opened but did not click

Do a resend after 2 weeks if the link is not clicked meanwhile – change the subject line and put emphasis on the incentive (i.e. free gift).

3. Received the first email, opened, clicked

Send an email 2 days after the RSVP date. Say thank you! Ask for feedback. Be warm and familiar. Explain why their support is so important for your “local” business and the community.