The Art of the Customer Journey: Expert Email Flow Lessons from Santiago Cruz for Any Business

By paulchittenden

The Art of the Customer Journey: Expert Email Flow Lessons from Santiago Cruz for any Business


Santiago Cruz is an elite email marketer.

His expertly crafted email flows routinely boost his client’s email marketing revenue 2X, 3X, and even 20X.

Starting from zero is one thing, but I’m talking about going from a respectable $100K to an astonishing $2 million in just email revenue. Crazy right?

After we figure out the method to his madness, I’ll show you several ways you can use these game-changing email flow tactics and apply them to other areas of your business.

Who is this Email Marketing Master & Why Should You Care?

I’ve been following Santiago Cruz on Twitter for a while, watching, as he gives away his strategies for free and shows the results of some of his campaigns.

Santiago Cruz

Santiago Cruz

Santiago has taken his clients from results like this:

Email Revenue Before: $115,000

To this:

Email Revenue After: $2,307,900

Impressive, right?

His company, Fourth Planet Media has no shortage of success stories for his e-commerce clients.

But why should you care, especially if you are not an e-commerce company?

Because elite email marketing techniques encompass the very best of sales and marketing strategy:

  • Lead generation
  • Storytelling
  • Trust building
  • Call to action/Offers
  • Discount strategies
  • Upsells and cross sells
  • Re-activation
  • Relationship building

And completely automates it!

Then, because it is digital and has significant reach (depending on the size of the email list), the copy, story, offers, etc. can all be quickly tested to increase conversion rates.

Pure gold.

Next, I’ll explain exactly what I’ve learned about Santiago’s email marketing strategies.

Santiago Cruz's Email Flow Template: An Overview

Santiago's email flows follow a very specific customer journey.

As you will see, each flow has a goal to help the client through each stage of pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. 

He will build trust and provide incentives pre-purchase. He'll catch clients before they walk away without purchasing. He'll help them with their purchase by offering complimentary products they will need. Lastly, he'll gently nudge the clients to keep coming back for more.

It's a carefully orchestrated dance, which Santiago has mastered.

Email Flow

Core Tenets: 4 Essential Elements of an Email Marketing Campaign

Santiago adheres to 4 essential elements to get the most out of his email campaigns.

  • Clear and compelling subject lines that encourage recipients to open the email.
  • Engaging and personalized content that resonates with the audience.
  • A prominent and relevant call-to-action (CTA) drives recipients to take the desired action.
  • Mobile responsiveness to ensure seamless viewing on various devices.

Contact Capture: Mastering Lead Generation with Irresistible Incentives

50% Off - Email Capture Offer

The first step in building an effective email marketing strategy is to capture the contact information of potential customers.

Implementing pop-ups or signup forms on your website can entice visitors to subscribe to your email list.

Tweet From Santiago on pop-ups

Offering incentives such as discounts, free shipping, or valuable content can significantly increase sign-up rates.

Remember, the key is to provide something of value in exchange for their email addresses.

Email Flow Strategy  1

Welcome Series: Building Rapport and Trust from the Start

Email Flow

Once you've captured email addresses, the welcome series becomes the gateway to introducing your brand to new subscribers.

This series typically includes a sequence of emails that deliver value, share your brand story, and showcase your unique selling proposition.

Santiago Tweet on Welcome Flows

Personalization is crucial in this phase, as it helps build rapport and trust with new subscribers.

The Welcome Flow will typically look like this:

  • Email 1: Give bait (whatever you promised in the pop-up)
  • Email 2: Introduce the brand and your unique selling proposition
  • Email 3: Sell – promote your best sellers
  • Email 4: Value – remind or provide a discount code
  • Email 5: Code – add urgency by providing an expiration

I’m unsure about Santiago, but I call Emails 4 & 5 the Buy or Die Sequence. In these emails, I like to make a last-ditch effort to sell the client before removing them from the list or moving them to the general email list.

Santiago may have a different strategy for this.

Email FlowStrategy 2

Other Pre-Purchase Flows: Recovering Lost Sales Abandoned Carts

Email Flow

What if a client came all the way to your store, picked out an item, waited in line to checkout, and right before buying, just left?

The Abandoned Cart flows are a way to recover a portion of these abandonments and rake in some serious cash.


Abandoned Cart Flow: Reclaiming Lost Sales

The Abandoned Cart Flow is a critical email flow which targets customers who added items to their shopping carts but didn't complete the purchase.

According to industry data, the average cart abandonment rate hovers around 70%, presenting a significant opportunity for businesses to recover lost sales.

The abandoned cart flow consists of a sequence of emails sent to remind and incentivize customers to return and complete their purchase.

These emails can include personalized product recommendations, time-limited discounts, or customer support assistance to address any concerns or barriers to purchase.

  • Email 1: Remind them about the item left in the cart
  • Email 2: Address any objections, show social proof (reviews & testimonials), and utilize risk reversal (warranties or guarantees).
  • Email 3: Incentives – a coupon code
  • Email 4: Coupon reminder plus urgency

Email Flow Strategy 3

Post-Purchase Flows: Fostering Loyalty and Upselling Opportunities

Email Flow

At purchase, there are a few things you want to do. First, say thank you. Additionally, make sure your client has everything they need to fully enjoy or utilize their purchase or additional items they might enjoy from your store. Lastly, make them feel good about their purchase (no buyer's remorse).

Santiago does this in several ways:

Thank You / Post Purchase Flow:

The post-purchase flow is an essential part of fostering customer loyalty.

Sending a series of emails to thank customers for their purchase, confirm order details, and provide valuable post-purchase information can significantly impact customer satisfaction.

Additionally, this is an opportunity to request product reviews or referrals, which can enhance social proof and drive future sales.

Santiago Tweet Upsell Flow

Upsell / Cross-sell Flow: Maximizing Customer Lifetime Value

Upselling and cross-selling are powerful tactics to increase customer lifetime value (CLTV). By analyzing customers' purchase history, businesses can send personalized emails with upsell or cross-sell offers based on their preferences and behaviors.

Offering complementary products or exclusive upgrades can entice customers to make additional purchases, driving revenue growth.

A typical post-purchase flow would look something like this:

  • Email 1: Thank You Message, bonus points if from Founder
  • Email 2: Provide value related to the item purchased
  • Email 3: Promote your up-sell or cross-sell
  • Email 4: Code – discount plus urgency for the up-sell / cross-sells
  • Email 5: Ask for review or UGC content

Email Flow Strategy 4

Additional Post Purchase Lifetime Value Booster Flows

Email Flow

After the sale, there is still one VERY IMPORTANT thing you must do. Get your customer to come back and buy again.

Product Replenishment: Nudging Customers to Repurchase

For businesses that offer consumable or subscription-based products, the product replenishment flow plays a crucial role in reminding customers to repurchase when their supplies are likely to run out.

Sending timely emails with replenishment reminders can help customers maintain their supply of products they love, leading to increased customer loyalty and revenue.

Win-Back Flow: Reconnecting with Inactive Customers

Every business experiences customer churn, where customers become inactive or stop making purchases.

The win-back flow is designed to re-engage with these inactive customers by sending enticing offers, personalized messages, or exclusive discounts.

This tactic aims to reignite their interest in your brand and incentivize them to make a repeat purchase.

VIP Flow: Rewarding and Retaining Top Customers

Lastly, the VIP flow is dedicated to rewarding your most loyal and high-value customers.


By segmenting your customer base and identifying VIPs based on their purchase frequency, order value, or engagement levels, you can create exclusive email campaigns that offer special rewards, discounts, or early access to new products.

This strategy strengthens customer loyalty and encourages ongoing engagement, turning your VIPs into brand advocates who spread positive word-of-mouth.

Applying Email Flow Strategies to Non-E-com Businesses

Advanced email marketing takes some of the best strategies from old-school sales and marketing and automates them at a mass scale.

So, let’s look at three examples have how we can implement these techniques in non-e-commerce businesses.

Pet Salon

Example: Applying Santiago Cruz’s Email Flow Strategies to a Pet Grooming Salon

I love exploring how we can take what works in one business or industry and toying with ideas on how we can implement those strategies in unrelated businesses for exponential growth.

Since e-com email flows are pretty much an automation of best practices, this one is rather easy to mimic in other business types.

For our example, we're going to utilize a pet spa.

Pet spas are a great example where Santiago's email flows could make a huge difference in bumping up revenue.

Example 1: 

The Welcome Series: Develop a Sales Script that Mimics the Welcome Series Flow

Pet Salon

The Welcome Series Flow was designed to introduce the brand, get you to like the brand through a USP, and to gain the client’s trust.

Know, Like, and Trust. It’s how business is won.

Well, we want to do the same damn thing.

First, establish whether this is a first-time visitor to the salon. If it is, develop a sales script that does the following:

  • Introduces the brand
  • Showcases what makes you different from other salons (your unique selling proposition)
  • Offer a discount on your best package

But, why the best package?

Pet salons are primed for recurring revenue. Your goal should be to “WOW” your new client so that they become a member or come back at regular intervals.

Even if you break even on the first service, you will more than make up for it on the back end.

Example 2: 

Upsell / Cross-sell Flow: Leveling Up Your Sales Game

Pet Salon

Upsells and cross-sells are immediate Average Order Value (AOV) boosters. They can turn a break-even sale, or even a loss leader, into a profitable sale. Better yet, an upsell can turn an already profitable sale into an even more profitable sale – all while providing your client more value!

Santiago’s Upsell / Cross-Sell Flow completely automates this process for e-commerce stores.

We may not be able to automate it, but we can build it into our sales process.

Here’s how:

  • First Up-Sell – When presenting your packages, preferably in Good, Better, Best format, you’ll train your front desk staff on how to sell and progress clients into higher dollar packages.
  • Second Up-Sell - While grooming a pet, groomers can take the opportunity to upsell additional services based on the pet's needs. For example, if they notice dry skin, they can recommend an add-on moisturizing treatment.
  • Third Cross-Sell – Similarly, groomers can recommend (cross-sell) grooming products for the pet owner to use at home based on what they find the pet needs during the grooming session.
  • Fourth Up-Sell – At check-out, the sales clerk will automatically try to book the client for their next appointment, or sell them on your membership package.

These are 4 easy opportunities to massively increase profitability on each sale. Align incentives by providing bonuses to your employees when they get the upsell, and this is bound to be a huge profit machine.

Example 3:

Masterful Email Flows:  If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Pet Salon

Ok, I’m going to cheat on this one. Our pet grooming salon is a perfect platform for advanced email flows.

Here’s what we can implement:

Contact Capture:

The pet grooming salon can implement pop-ups on their website and social media pages with enticing incentives such as "Sign up and get 10% off your pet's first grooming session" or "Subscribe to our newsletter and receive grooming tips for a healthy and happy pet." This will encourage pet owners to provide their email addresses, allowing the salon to build a strong email list.

The salon can also capture customer information on all bookings that are phoned-in.

Welcome Series:

Upon subscribing, new pet owners will receive a warm welcome email introducing the salon's services and groomers. The series can include helpful pet care tips, information about the salon's grooming techniques, and a special offer for their first grooming appointment.

Abandonment Flows:

  • Abandoned Cart Flow: If a pet owner starts the booking process but doesn't complete it, the salon can follow up with a sequence of emails reminding them of the benefits of professional pet grooming and offering a discount on their first booking to incentivize them to return and complete the appointment.
  • Browse Abandonment Flow: When a pet owner visits the salon's website and views grooming packages without booking, the salon can send targeted emails showcasing the benefits of different grooming packages, customer reviews, and success stories of happy, well-groomed pets.
  • Site Abandonment Flow: For visitors who leave the website without taking any action, the salon can send emails highlighting the unique features of their grooming services, showcasing before-and-after photos of pets, and offering a limited-time discount to encourage them to return and book an appointment.

Post-Purchase Flows:

  • Thank You / Post Purchase: After each grooming session, the salon can send a personalized thank-you email expressing gratitude for choosing their services. They can also include care tips for maintaining the pet's groomed appearance until their next visit.
  • Upsell / Cross-sell Flow: For repeat customers, the salon can create personalized email recommendations for additional grooming services or grooming products, based on the pet's breed, size, and previous grooming history.
  • Product Replenishment: For pet owners who booked grooming sessions for pets with specific needs (e.g., hypoallergenic shampoo), the salon can send timely reminders to repurchase those products.

Win-Back Flow: If a customer hasn't booked a grooming appointment for a while, the salon can send a re-engagement email with an exclusive offer or discount to encourage them to return.

VIP Flow: The salon can create a special VIP program for their most loyal customers, offering exclusive perks like priority booking, complimentary grooming add-ons, and early access to promotions and events.


Expert email marketer Santiago Cruz's strategies have proven to be effective in e-commerce, but their potential goes far beyond the digital realm.

Any business can embrace email marketing or the principles behind email marketing campaigns to unlock new opportunities for growth, customer loyalty, and increased profitability.

So, whether you are running a trendy boutique, a neighborhood café, or a cutting-edge consultancy, take inspiration from Santiago's email flow framework, tailor it to suit your business model, and witness the transformation as your marketing efforts soar to new heights.

With creativity and a customer-centric approach, any business can harness the power of email marketing to thrive in today's competitive landscape.


About the Author

I help successful entrepreneurs and small business owners discover and implement the growth strategies that will make the largest impact on their business in record time.