eCommerce Email Marketing Explained: Strategies for Profit

eCommerce Email Marketing: Strategies and Tips for Success

eCommerce Email Marketing Strategies and Tips for Success blog image

eCommerce Email Marketing is how online stores send emails to sell products and connect with existing or potential customers. It helps boost sales and build relationships through email communication.

In this guide, you will learn everything about eCommerce email marketing strategy, including the best tools, types of emails, and real examples.

  • Wholesale and boutique email marketing target different audiences with varying content
  • Build your email list through pre-launch pages, sales, customer accounts, opt-in forms, and lead magnets
  • A good starting point for email frequency is 2-4 emails per week
  • Segmenting your email list and using automation for personalized touchpoints is a must

What Is eCommerce Email Marketing?

eCommerce email marketing is a strategy where online stores send emails to their new or existing customers to promote products and build brand awareness.

It involves creating and sending personalized messages, like product recommendations, discounts, or updates, directly to a customer’s inbox.

Wholesale Email Marketing vs Boutique Email Marketing

Wholesale retailers often focus on bulk sales (focused on quantity), sending emails with large quantities and discounts to entice business buyers.

On the other hand, boutique retailers serve individual customers, sending unique, tailored emails with niche products, exclusivity, and a personalized touch to create a more intimate shopping experience.

The difference lies in the target audience and the content of the emails, whether it’s bulk deals or exclusive offerings.

Types of eCommerce Email Marketing Campaigns

Here are the three main types of eCommerce emails and tips for improving each type:

  1. Transactional Emails

These emails are essential for keeping customers informed about their purchases. They are sent as a response to a specific action a customer takes on your online store.

Order Confirmation and Email Receipts

These emails confirm the details of a purchase, including what the customer bought, the total cost, and shipping information.

Tips to Improve Order Confirmation and Email Receipts

  • Ensure the order details are clear and easy to understand
  • Use engaging language and thank the customer for their purchase

Shipping Confirmation Emails

Sent when a customer’s order is on its way to them, with tracking information.

Tips to Improve Shipping Confirmation Emails

  • Include a tracking link so customers can easily follow their package’s journey
  • Use a friendly tone to build excitement about the upcoming delivery

Check-in Emails

These emails can ask customers for feedback after they have received their orders.

Tips to Improve Check-in Emails

  • Ask for specific feedback about the product or the shopping experience.
  • Offer an incentive like a discount for completing the survey.

Thank You Emails

A simple ‘thank you’ for a customer’s purchase to show appreciation.

Tips to Improve Thank You Emails

  • Personalize the message with the customer’s name
  • Include social media links to encourage customers to follow your brand
  1. Promotional Emails

Promotional emails are designed to market your products or services to your customers and subscribers. They can include various types:

New Products

They announce and showcase new items in your store.

Tips to Improve New Products Emails

  • Use high-quality images to make the products visually appealing
  • Offer a special introductory discount

Time-Sensitive Deals

They promote offers that are only available for a limited time.

Tips to Improve Time-Sensitive Deals Emails

  • Create a sense of urgency with a countdown or a limited quantity
  • Clearly state the discount or special offer

Subscriber-Only Discounts

They offer exclusive discounts for subscribers to reward their loyalty.

Tips to Improve Subscriber-Only Discounts Emails

  • Make subscribers feel valued by acknowledging their loyalty
  • Offer personalized recommendations based on their past purchases

Seasonal Promotions

They are themed promotions tied to holidays, seasons, or special occasions.

Tips to Improve Seasonal Promotions Emails

  • Create a compelling holiday-themed subject line
  • Use festive visuals and imagery


They inform your audience about your brand’s latest news, content, and products.

Tips to Improve Newsletters

  • Use a captivating headline to entice readers.
  • Include helpful and engaging content beyond just product listings.

Content Updates

They share your latest blog posts, articles, or other content.

Tips to Improve Content Updates Emails

  • Provide a teaser or summary of the content to encourage clicks
  • Include share buttons to promote content sharing

Upsell Emails

They suggest related or higher-priced products to boost order values.

Tips to Improve Upsell Emails

  • Recommend products that complement what the customer has already purchased
  • Offer a bundled discount for buying related items

Cross-Sell Emails

They suggest products from different categories that might interest the customer.

Tips to Improve Cross-Sell Emails

  • Highlight the benefits of owning both the original and suggested product
  • Use compelling visuals to showcase the products
  1. Lifecycle Emails

Lifecycle emails are designed to guide customers through different stages of their relationship with your store.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails

They are sent when a customer leaves items in their cart without completing the purchase.

Tips to Improve Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails

  • Remind customers of the items in their cart and emphasize their value
  • Offer incentives like discounts or free shipping to encourage them to complete the purchase

Welcome Email Series

A series of emails is sent to new subscribers to introduce them to your brand.

Tips to Improve Welcome Email Series

  • Send the first email immediately after sign-up with a warm welcome
  • Provide a valuable incentive, like a discount, to encourage new subscribers to make their first purchase

Second Order Emails

They are sent to encourage customers who made their first purchase to make another.

Tips to Improve Second Order Emails

  • Highlight complementary products based on their initial purchase
  • Offer an exclusive discount for their second purchase to boost their motivation

Win-Back Email Series

They are sent to attract back customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while.

Tips to Improve Win-Back Email Series

  • Offer an enticing incentive, such as a special discount
  • Use persuasive language to remind them of the benefits of your products

Referral Email Campaigns

They encourage customers to refer friends and family to your store.

Tips to Improve Referral Email Campaigns

  • Craft a clear and appealing headline or subject line
  • Offer incentives to both referrers and new customers to make the referral process rewarding

Survey Emails

They collect feedback from your customers to improve your products and services.

Tips to Improve Survey Emails

  • Use an engaging subject line to encourage email open rates
  • Clearly communicate the purpose of the survey and offer an incentive for participating

Why Email Marketing is Key to eCommerce Success

Email marketing is important to your eCommerce business success for the following reasons:

Email Marketing Drives Sales

Email marketing is a powerful tool for boosting sales in eCommerce.

Stores can send emails with special offers or reminders about abandoned shopping carts.

This direct communication often leads to more purchases from interested customers.

Building Strong Customer Relationships

Email marketing goes beyond sales; it helps in creating lasting bonds with customers.

By sending personalized content, helpful recommendations, and exclusive deals, online stores build trust.

This, in turn, keeps customers coming back for more, reducing the need to constantly find new ones.

No Dependence on Third-Party Platforms

Email marketing provides independence.

Unlike social media or search engines that can change their rules and algorithms, email remains a consistent way to connect with customers.

Online businesses don’t need to worry about external factors affecting their outreach.

Driving Growth in Three Ways

Email marketing significantly contributes to eCommerce growth in three essential ways:

  1. Attracting New Customers: Through email campaigns, stores can convert new customers.
  2. Increasing Purchase Frequency: Email encourages customers to make more frequent purchases.
  3. Raising Average Order Value: Email campaigns can convince customers to spend more with each purchase.

How to Use Email Marketing in eCommerce: A Step-by-Step Guide

Email marketing is a fantastic way for online stores to connect with their customers, boost sales, and create strong relationships. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide on how to do it successfully.

Step 1: Choose an Email Service Provider (ESP)

An Email Service Provider (ESP) is your main email marketing tool, structuring your email service.

You need to pick one that fits your business.

Shopify Email, Klaviyo, and Omnisend are some popular ones.

These tools help you create beautiful emails, send them to your customers, and check how well they’re doing.

Step 2: Start Building Your Email List

Your email list is super important. The bigger it is, the more people you can reach with your emails.

  • Set Up a Pre-Launch Page

Before you start your business, create a webpage where people can sign up with their email, like Amazon does:

amazon news

Source: Amazon

Give them a reason to do it, like an early-bird discount when you launch.

  • Collect Emails from Sales and Customer Accounts

Whenever someone buys from your store or makes an account, ask for their email.

This is a good way to build your list while serving your customers.

  • Place Opt-In Forms Across the Website

Put sign-up forms in places on your website where visitors can easily find them, like the header, footer, About Us page, and blog posts, like WGSN does:


Source: WGSN

  • Use Lead Magnets to Accelerate Sign-Ups

Give people something they want in exchange for their email.

It could be special deals, educational content, or entry into a contest.

This makes people excited to sign up.

  • Ask for Emails in Person

If you meet customers in your physical store, ask for their emails.

You can also use QR codes to take them to a page where they can sign up.

Step 3: Send Emails Legally

When you send emails, you have to follow rules to keep everything legal and respectful. You can use one of our Top 10 Plugins For GDPR Compliance to make this step easier.

Step 4: Track the Performance of Your Email Marketing Strategy

It’s important to see how well your emails are doing so you can make them even better.

  • List Size and Growth: Monitor new subscriber acquisition to gauge your performance. A growing list indicates effective strategies
  • Open and Click-Through Rates: Track email opens and link clicks. High engagement signifies positive results
  • Deliverability and List Health: Ensure emails reach subscribers and avoid spam folders. Maintain a healthy email list
  • A/B Test Results: Experiment with email variations (subject lines, content, buttons). Identify customer preferences for optimal performance
  • Revenue: Assess the monetary impact of your emails on your store. High revenue indicates a successful approach

eCommerce Email Marketing Best Practices

Having a solid email marketing strategy for eCommerce businesses is a must nowadays. To access its power, you should follow these best practices:

1. Use eCommerce Email Marketing Software

Invest in popular email marketing software designed for eCommerce.

Platforms like MailChimp, Convert Kit, or ActiveCampaign offer specialized features, making it easier to create visually appealing emails, manage your list, and analyze results.

This guarantees that your emails look professional and are well-organized.

2. Leverage eCommerce Email Marketing Automation

Automation is your friend.

Set up automated email sequences for important touchpoints in the customer journey.

Welcome emails, cart abandonment reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups can be scheduled to be sent at the right moments without manual intervention, increasing your rates and driving conversions.

3. Personalize Your Emails

For customer engagement, personalization is key.

Address subscribers by their name, and send tailored content and product recommendations based on their past interactions.

Personalized emails make customers feel valued and lead to higher engagement and conversions.

4. Optimize for Mobile Devices

Many people read emails on their mobile devices.

Guarantee your emails are mobile-friendly with responsive designs, readable fonts, and appropriately sized images.

Mobile-friendly emails are more likely to be opened and acted upon.

How to Improve Your eCommerce Email Copywriting: What You Need to Know

Provide answers to the following questions.

What Is a Good Sized Email List for eCommerce?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what constitutes a good-sized email list for eCommerce. It depends on the scale of your business and the industry you operate in.

A good starting point for smaller businesses might be several thousand subscribers, while larger enterprises could have tens of thousands or more.

How Many Emails Should You Send a Week with eCommerce?

Determining the right email frequency is crucial in eCommerce. Sending too many emails can overwhelm subscribers and lead to unsubscribes.

Generally, sending 2-4 emails per week is a good starting point for most eCommerce businesses. It’s important to maintain consistency while ensuring the content remains valuable.

What Are the Characteristics of a Successful eCommerce Email?

Successful eCommerce emails share these key characteristics:

  • Relevance: Emails should be customized to match individual preferences, purchase history, and browsing behavior.
  • Personalization: Personalize subject lines, content, and recommendations to make subscribers feel valued.
  • Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): The desired action, such as “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Claim Your Discount,” should be evident and compelling.
  • Compelling Content: Emails should offer valuable and engaging content, including product recommendations, educational materials, or exclusive offers.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive and visually appealing on different devices.
  • Segmentation: Segment your email list to deliver targeted content to various groups of subscribers based on their interests or behavior.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously enhance your emails through A/B testing of subject lines, content, and designs.
  • Feedback Loop: Encourage feedback and engagement by incorporating surveys, reviews, and social media.

eCommerce Email Marketing Examples and Ideas

Here are five simplified examples of eCommerce email marketing campaigns and what makes them great:

Netflix’s Product Recommendations

Netflix sends personalized product recommendations based on your history.

Netflix’s Product Recommendations

Source: Really Good Emails

They’re great because they make you utilize the service more, decreasing the churn rate.

Sephora’s Exclusive Promotions

Sephora sends new products to their email subscribers.

Sephora's Exclusive Promotions

Source: Really Good Emails

It’s great because it rewards shoppers for customer loyalty, encouraging them to be the first ones to conclude their purchases.

Google’s Discounts

Google’s email clearly states the discount and terms, making it easy for potential customers to understand and act upon.

Google’s Discounts

Source: Really Good Emails

Fabletics’ Abandoned Cart Recovery

Fabletics sends emails to remind customers of items left in their cart.

Fabletics' Abandoned Cart Recovery

Source: Really Good Emails

It’s great because it recovers potentially lost sales.

Etsy’s Thank You

Etsy thanks customers by giving a discount to buy more products.

Etsy's Thank You

Source: Really Good Emails

This is great because it encourages additional purchases while inspiring loyal customers.

Final Word

Creating the perfect eCommerce email marketing strategy is always a challenge.

You need to develop campaigns that will amaze your customers weekly (sometimes even daily).

A good way of guaranteeing that these efforts won’t be ruined by a poor website experience is choosing one of the hosting services we included on our list of the Best eCommerce Hosts.

This way, once your customers are convinced by your emails, your website will perform well too.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About eCommerce

Frequently Asked Questions

Does email marketing work for eCommerce?

Yes, email marketing works well for eCommerce.

It’s a proven tool to drive sales, build customer relationships, and boost brand engagement.

With personalized, targeted campaigns, it leads to high conversion rates and return on investment, making it a great marketing strategy for eCommerce success.

What are the most effective email marketing campaigns for e-commerce businesses?

The most effective email marketing campaigns for eCommerce businesses are personalized product recommendations and abandoned cart emails.

Personalized recommendations suggest products based on a customer’s past behavior, making them more likely to buy.

Abandoned cart emails remind customers about forgotten items, recovering potentially lost sales.

What are the 7 email marketing strategies?

The seven email marketing strategies include:

  1. Segmentation: Dividing your email list into smaller groups for more targeted content.
  2. Personalization: Customizing emails with the recipient’s name and relevant details.
  3. Mobile optimization: Ensuring emails are mobile-friendly for all devices.
  4. A/B testing: Experimenting with different email elements to find the most effective ones.
  5. Automation: Setting up automated email sequences for timely and relevant messages.
  6. Good content: Creating engaging and valuable content in your emails.
  7. Analytics: Monitoring email campaign performance and adjusting strategies accordingly.
What makes a successful eCommerce email?

A successful eCommerce email needs to be personal and relevant to the person getting it.

It should guide them on what to do next, offer valuable information, look good on phones, be sent to the right people, and be tested and improved over time.

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