Email Automation Is a Major Ecommerce Revenue Booster

Report by Omnisend also supports SMS as a growing trend

Omnisend analyzed 2.4 billion emails and 1.8 million SMS and push messages sent by 50,000 brands. iStock
Headshot of Ian Zelaya

Email marketing performance has skyrocketed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And a new report shows that while performance is holding steady, ecommerce brands that automate email and SMS messages are outperforming those that don’t.

Marketing automation platform Omnisend’s report on email, SMS and push messaging performance for Q2 2020 found that automated messages drove 26% of email marketing sales with less than 2% of email sends (scheduled promotional campaigns made up the other 98% of emails sent during the quarter). The report analyzed 2.4 billion emails and 1.8 million SMS and push messages sent by 50,000 global brands.


The report compiled data on sends, opens, clicks and conversions from April 1-June 30 for 2019 and 2020. Its other key findings include:

  • Open rates for automated messages saw a 76.25% increase year-over-year.
  • Automated messages drew a 21.24% click rate, a 15.37% year-over-year lift.
  • Promotional campaign (traditional scheduled messages) conversion rates increased 5.37%, an 88% year-over-year increase.
  • The conversion rate of automated lifecycle messages increased to 22.39%, a 63% year-over-year lift and a 335% increase over promotional campaigns.

Greg Zakowicz, director of content at Omnisend, said the findings should have marketers prioritizing email automation as a tactic in reaching consumers, especially as ecommerce brands prepare for the holiday shopping season.

“There’s going to be a lot of noise out there. Having targeted and automated messages for people who are shopping is going to be instrumental for companies,” Zakowicz said. “This report is an indication there is going to be a trend of automating more emails, not so much to drive revenue, but to have less reliance on the need to send customers five batch-and-blast emails a week.”


Zakowicz added that brands should be especially mindful of their automated welcome and cart abandonment messaging, which can be key in converting customers.

The report found the welcome messaging drew a 48.35% conversion rate and nearly 800% lift over promotional campaigns, while cart abandonment drew a 25.37% conversion rate and 372.28% lift over promotional campaigns.


Additionally, the report found a rise in brands incorporating SMS and push messaging into their ecommerce strategy. Specifically:

  • SMS messages drew a 14.8% click rate and a 2.13% conversion rate, which marks a 43% and 35% year-over-year lift, respectively.
  • In Q2, there was a 239% lift in SMS messages sent over the same period in 2019.
  • The amount of push messages brands sent increased 1,035% from 2019.

Heading into the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021, Zakowicz said the report demonstrates why more ecommerce brands will, and should, start adopting SMS into their marketing strategies.

“Retailers are realizing SMS is a full-fledged marketing channel that’s just as great as email. We’re seeing the volume of SMS sends increase with pretty good metrics,” he said. “Even if a company has no SMS right now, it’s not too late. You can easily add SMS as a mobile opt-in on an email form.” Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.