eCommerce needs a lot of experimentation before you get it right. Here are 9 different eCommerce email examples to draw inspiration.
eCommerce email examples are the various types of emails that online stores send to their customers and subscribers. These emails serve multiple purposes, such as boosting sales, nurturing customer relationships, increasing customer awareness, and increasing customer loyalty.
eCommerce emails are used by giant online retailers like Amazon and eBay to small, niche-specific online stores that sell everything that you can imagine - pens, flowers, watches, jewelry etc. They illustrate how businesses use the email platform to reach customers, showcase products, and handle transactions entirely online.
But before we go into eCommerce email marketing examples, let's clear the air on the market participants.
4 Primary Types of eCommerce Businesses
So, if you thought eCommerce is just between a business and its customers, you're mistaken. The beauty of eCommerce lies in its diversity. It encompasses a wide range of businesses, including but not limited to:
1. B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
This is the most common form, where businesses sell directly to consumers through online platforms. Think of your favorite online clothing store or electronic goods retailer.
For instance, Zara, an online clothing retailer has a website where consumers can browse collections, select sizes, and purchase items directly. Their entire shopping experience, from browsing to payment and delivery, is handled online. Zara's model excels in providing convenience, variety, and often, competitive pricing.
2. B2B (Business-to-Business)
Here, transactions happen between businesses. For example, a manufacturer selling products in bulk to retailers through an online portal.
An ideal example that comes to mind here is Alibaba, a platform where businesses can purchase materials, products, or services in bulk from manufacturers or wholesalers. Alibaba's model focuses on larger transactions and often involves more complex logistics, payment terms, and customer relationships than simple B2C models.
3. C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)
Platforms like eBay, where individuals can sell products to other individuals, fall under this category. Here, individual sellers list items for sale, which can range from second-hand goods to handmade crafts. Buyers can bid or purchase these items directly from the sellers. This model thrives on community, user reviews, and a wide array of unique, often hard-to-find products.
Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter which enable small entrepreneurs to raise funds for their creative projects by inviting small contributions from a large pool of people are C2C platforms.
4. C2B (Consumer-to-Business)
A less common but emerging model where individuals offer products or services to businesses such as Upwork is also an eCommerce example.
Each type of eCommerce has unique characteristics, challenges, and strategies for success. They represent the vast potential of the internet as a marketplace for every kind of product and service imaginable.
In the next section of the blog, we'll dive into specific examples and explore how different eCommerce companies use email marketing in the real world.
9 Different eCommerce Email Examples You Can Use Today
In this section of the blog, we will dive into different types of eCommerce email examples (along with tips on how to get them right) that you can use in your email flow. Here's what we have in store for you:
- Welcome Email
- Abandoned Cart Email
- Promotional Email
- Purchase Anniversary Email
- Seasonal Email
- Post-Purchase Follow-Up Email
- Retention/Up-sell Email
- Loyalty program Email
- Win-back Email
Let's examine them one by one.
1. Welcome Email
When a new customer signs up for your online store, a welcome email is sent. For example, if someone signs up on a site like ASOS, they might receive an email thanking them for joining, introducing them to the brand, and possibly offering a first-time purchase discount.
It necessarily doesn't have to follow this pattern though. In other words, you could purchase an item on ASOS via its online store or sign up for its newsletter, which could trigger a welcome email from them. The welcome email sets the tone and starts building a relationship.
Purpose of a welcome email
To greet new subscribers and introduce your brand.
What you need to remember?
- Send the welcome email immediately after subscription
- Include a warm welcome message and a brief introduction to your brand
- Offer a first-time purchase discount or exclusive content to engage new subscribers
In the below example, we do all of the above and more.
- This welcome email offer the users a quiz about their hair so the eCommerce company can suggest them the best solution.
- A single CTA repeated twice in the email body that asks users to take the quiz.
- Product pictures that show them what to expect.
2. Abandoned Cart Email
If a customer adds items to their cart but doesn't complete the purchase, an abandoned cart email is triggered. Imagine you're shopping on Amazon and leave a book in your cart. You might receive an email reminding you about the book, often with a direct link to complete the purchase.
Purpose of an abandoned cart email
To remind customers about items they left in their shopping cart.
What you need to remember?
- Trigger the email a few hours/days after abandonment.
- Show images and details of the abandoned products in the cart.
- Offer a small discount or free shipping to incentivize completion of the purchase.
Now, let's look at an example of an abandoned cart email. You'd notice:
- It shows the different products that the company sells.
- The CTA is to complete the order which is what you want your users to do.
- It shows the products that have been added too the cart but not purchased.
3. Promotional Email
Promotional emails are sent to advertise sales, new product launches, or special events. For instance, during Black Friday, Best Buy might send an email showcasing top deals and exclusive offers available for a limited time.
Purpose of a promotional email
To inform customers about sales, new product launches, or special events.
What you need to remember?
- Ensure the promotion is clearly highlighted.
- Use eye-catching graphics and a clear call-to-action.
- Segment your audience and tailor the promotion to different groups.
In the promotional email example below, you'd notice:
- It is set up for Black Friday offering a 30% off for users.
- It has a coupon code that users can make use of while checking out.
- The copy makes it a little exclusive by offering discounts to only the 'best' customers (which might be a psychological trigger for all customers to avail the offer).
4. Purchase Anniversary Email
As the name suggests, purchase anniversary emails are sent to customers when they complete a year after buying the product. Generally, eCommerce companies can use such emails for one year or more anniversaries to thank their customers for their business.
Purpose of a purchase anniversary email
To remind customers of the the eCommerce company's association with them.
What you need to remember?
- Make your purchase anniversary email an opportunity for companies to reengage with their customers.
In the below example of a purchase anniversary email, the bedtime accessory selling company:
- Thanks customers and reminds them of their purchase one year back
- Offers a discount to buy their latest range of lockets
- Shows pictures of their lockets and how it can be used in real life
- Wishes them a happy year ahead with a CTA 'Shop Lockets' encouraging customers to buy the new range
5. Seasonal Email
These eCommerce emails align with holidays or seasons, like Christmas or summer. For example, a garden supplies store like Home Depot might send a spring email with a subject line "Get Your Garden Ready for Spring!" featuring seasonal products and gardening tips.
Purpose of a seasonal email
To capitalize on seasonal events or holidays.
What you need to remember?
- Plan in advance for the holiday season or events like Black Friday.
- Use seasonal themes in your email design.
- Offer exclusive deals or limited-time offers to create urgency.
In the below example, the eCommerce company has:
- Launched an offer for a season, i.e., spring when vehicle owners might struggle with visibility due to the precipitation in the air.
- Featured a Before/After image to show how clear the windscreen is after wiping.
- Explains how to clean car windscreens in 4 easy steps.
- Offered a $10 discount for customers to buy the product.
- Provided a summary of their reviews in the email footer.
6. Post-Purchase Follow-Up Email
After a purchase, customers receive transactional emails such order confirmations and shipping updates. For example, after buying a smartphone from Apple from an online store, you might receive a series of emails:
- Confirming your order with details like the order number, estimated delivery date, and a summary of your purchase.
- Explaining safety instructions while using the mobile or how to join a community of Apple lovers.
- Soliciting feedback about your purchase experience and anything you'd like to improve.
Now, imagine you've purchased a consumer durable such as a wall-hanging smart TV or a washing machine. These products are not typical Do-It-Yourself (DIY) like kitchen items or fashion accessories. For such products where the purchase cycle involves delivery, installation, activation etc. you can engage your customers even further by sending emails around:
- Expected date of delivery of the product with shipment details, and its installation.
- Dos and Don'ts while using the product including warranty conditions.
- Process of activation, user credentials, password/s etc.
- Details of customer support and how to reach them.
Purpose of a post-purchase follow-up email
To thank customers after a purchase and encourage future interaction.
What you need to remember?
- Send immediately/within a few days after purchase.
- Include details of the purchased items and express gratitude.
- Offer post-purchase support and ask for feedback or reviews.
In the below post-purchase email example, you'd see how the company:
- Invites users to subscribe to their service with a 10% discount offer.
- Provides recipes for different dishes that can be made with the product customers have just bought.
7. Retention/Upsell Email
We spoke about post-purchase emails in the previous example. Sometimes, post-purchase emails could also have a retention email flow included in them. Retention emails are used to ensure customers do not drop off the radar immediately after a purchase. Besides, one surefire way of retaining customers is by giving them offers and discounts. These retention emails could also be used as an opportunity to up-sell other products to existing customers.
Purpose of a retention/up-sell email
To retain customers in the long run.
What you need to remember?
- Give customers a reason to re-associate with your brand. So, you could even offer memberships to exclusive communities, groups, events, etc.
- Encourage them to buy from your eCommerce brand with a discount.
In the retention email below, you'd notice how the eCommerce brand:
- Urges users not to give up after the first month (because their research probably indicates customers slack off after the first month).
- Encourages users to upgrade to 3-month/6-month/12-month plans with a juicy discount.
- The upgrade option is also an opportunity to up-sell longer duration plans.
- Informs them about member-only events that they can take part in.
8. Loyalty Program Email
For customers enrolled in loyalty programs, emails updating them on their points or rewards are common. The loyalty program emails keep them linked to the eCommerce for a longer time. Sephora, for instance, sends emails to its Beauty Insider members with updates on their points, upcoming rewards, and exclusive member-only offers.
Purpose of a loyalty program email
To reward repeat customers and enhance loyalty.
What you need to remember?
- Highlight the benefits of your loyalty program.
- Show the customer’s points or status and how they can be used.
- Offer exclusive deals or early access to products for loyalty program members.
- Offer customers a chance to redeem their accumulated points (thereby increasing sales).
In the below eCommerce loyalty mail example, the company:
- Reminds customers of the points in their kitty.
- Gives a CTA with an offer to redeem the accumulated points, i.e., more sales.
- Suggests different ways to earn points which is a must to keep customers loyal.
9. Win-back Email
Customer memory is short. So, after a customer purchases from you, chances are that they may forget about your brand. Or, they might switch to another brand. Especially if the value if the product is not too expensive and the 'cost of switching' is low or non-existent. That's when you include a win-back email flow. As the name suggests, 'win-back' emails help eCommerce re-engage with their customers with offers and discounts.
Purpose of a win-back email
To re-engage customers who have not interacted with the brand for a long time.
What you need to remember?
- Aimed at customers who have not engaged with the eCommerce brand.
- Offer exclusive discounts for products that they might be interested in (based on purchase history).
In the below win-back email, you'd see that the company:
- Urges customers to browse their online store.
- Uses effective copywriting that blends with their brand style (casual tone).
- Gives a CTA that asks buyers to shop for their favorite products.
How to Write an eCommerce Email That Sells?
In the previous section, we saw different eCommerce email ideas. In this section, let us understand how to write an effective eCommerce email that pushes your customers to click the CTA button and take the action you want.
Writing the copy for an eCommerce email involves a blend of strategic content, personalization, and attention to detail. Here’s how you can craft compelling emails for your eCommerce business:
- Compelling subject line
- Personalized greeting
- Engaging content
- Conciseness and focus
- Clear Call to Action (CTA)
- Mobile optimization
- Incorporating testimonials/social proofs
- Brand consistency
- Include necessary information
- Test and analyze
Now, let us look into each of the above aspects one by one.
1. Compelling Subject Line
This is where it all starts. Any eCommerce email must have a great subject line. Your subject line is the gateway to your email. It should spark interest and give a hint of what to expect. Use actionable language, personalization, or intrigue. For example, "Sarah, Your Dream Shoes Are on Sale!" or "Don't Miss Out on Our Exclusive Weekend Flash Sale!" These subject lines are personalized, create urgency, and clearly state the email's value.
2. Personalized Greeting
Like we've said before, most email service providers give you the option to use first names of customers. So, there's really no way to differentiate your product/service with your competitors using just first names!
So, make sure you customize the email based on the customer's past interactions, preferences, or purchase history. For example, you could copy like this one: "We noticed you love our skincare range, here's something just for you!" This approach makes the customer feel seen and valued.
Moreover, to write such personalized emails, you'd need to dig into data. In the above example, you can create email copy based on the browsing/purchase history of your customers.
3. Engaging Content
The email body should captivate the reader. In all our eCommerce email examples above, you'd have noticed copy that speaks directly to the customer. If it's a product promotion, highlight features and benefits, perhaps with a compelling story or problem-solution format. In newsletters, mix educational content, brand stories, or user-generated content that resonates with your audience's interests and aligns with your brand voice.
Content also includes using high-quality images because visuals are powerful. Use attractive, high-resolution images that complement your text. They should reflect the style and quality of your products, helping to create a visual connection with the reader.
Pro tip: Try using products of your products instead of stock images. That way, you build more credibility with your offer.
4. Conciseness and Focus
Fact: People don't have time. They are not looking for what you have to offer. Instead, you'll have to force them to drop what they're doing and pay attention to what you're saying.
So, avoid overwhelming your reader with too much information. Stick to one main theme or message per email. This clarity helps in guiding the reader to your desired action without confusion or distraction.
5. Clear Call to Action (CTA)
Your CTA is the action you want the reader to take. Make it stand out with a button or contrasting color. The language should be clear, concise, and action-oriented, like "Shop Now," "Get Your Discount," or "Learn More."
You could even use a bit of FOMO (Fear of missing out) just above your CTA and use copy such as: "Offer expires in 24 hours." Then, you could use a CTA like: "Get Your Offer Now." Nothing too fancy but it urges readers to take action.
Pro tip: Try using one CTA in one email. This way, customers will not get confused with what they are expected to do. Using the same CTA in two places on the email consistently helps reinforce your offer.
6. Mobile Optimization
This one goes without saying and complements point #4 above about conciseness and focus. With most emails opened on mobile devices, your design must be responsive. Ensure text is readable, images load quickly, and CTAs are easily clickable on smaller screens.
7. Incorporating Testimonials/Social Proofs
Remember your customers will not go seeking for your reviews unless they hear about your brand from somebody. That's because customers trust their friends more than an unknown brand. So, how do you make them believe your story? By adding customer reviews, ratings, or testimonials in your eCommerce email copy lends credibility.
It reassures potential customers about the quality of your products or services. For instance, when you use copy such as "See why 95% of our customers love this product" along with a screenshot of a testimonial or a review, you add that much more trust in your email.
Pro tip: Treat your email like a personalized landing page for your customer. What do you expect customers to do when they arrive at your landing page? What would you like them to see that urges them to take action?
8. Brand Consistency
Your email should reflect your brand's identity in language, tone, style, and visuals. Generally, B2C products in the personal care, apparel, and fashion industries use a casual tone. That's because their customers prefer using that tone for their personal needs.
But, B2B eCommerce products use a formal and professional tone of communication. Nevertheless, consistency helps in reinforcing brand recognition and trust. Whether it's playful, professional, or quirky, maintain this across all communications.
9. Include Necessary Information
Always include practical elements like contact information, social media links, and a clear unsubscribe option. This not only adheres to best practices but also enhances customer trust and provides them with useful resources.
10. Test and Analyze
Despite your best efforts at email copywriting, there's no guarantee that your emails will do well. So, how do you get better at it progressively? By testing various elements of your email helps in understanding what resonates with your audience. Make sure you experiment with different subject lines, email layouts, shorter/longer copy, or sending times. Use analytics to track open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and use these insights for future optimizations.
Rounding it Up
In this blog, we learned the following aspects:
- 9 Different eCommerce email ideas that could be used
- Email copywriting principles that can help enhance your eCommerce game
eCommerce needs a lot of email experimentation before you get it right. If you feel getting all of these right in one go is a challenge, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to listen to you. No obligations to sign up to any of our services.
Relevant Reads Curated for You
- Read this detailed Email Marketing Guide to know the exact blueprint we follow with our own clients.
- Looking to crush email marketing for your business? Check out our full online educational Email Marketing Course.
- eCommerce Email Marketing: How to Get It Right in 2024?
- 7 REAL Reasons Why Email Marketing is Important for eCommerce
- eCommerce Welcome Series Email Flow: How to Boost Your Conversions
- Post-Purchase Email Flows: Convert One-Time Buyers Into Brand Advocates
further in depth reading
This is a collection of articles that will provide you with more information about our FREE email marketing course.