Learn how to implement email marketing for your eCommerce brand to increase conversions and provide personalized customer experiences.
What is Email Marketing for eCommerce?
Email marketing for eCommerce refers to the strategic use of email communications to promote products, inform customers, and cultivate a loyal customer base. It is not just about sending out emails; it’s about creating targeted, thoughtful messages that resonate with your audience.
Is Email Marketing Good for eCommerce?
A lot of people say "email is dead." We agree there are reasons why they feel that way. A 2019 report by Forbes said there were 281 billion business emails sent and received in 2018.
So, is email dead?
Surely not. Think about it. You're probably reading this blog because someone emailed you the link. So, let us understand 7 reasons why email marketing is key to eCommerce success:
1. Personalized Customer Experience
Imagine this: You buy anti-dandruff shampoo from an online store. After a fortnight, you receive emails around how to keep your hair healthy with options to buy hair conditioners. Doesn't it feel personal?
That's what email marketing can do. It allows you to tailor content based on customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history. Besides, remember personalization is not just limited to addressing customers by their first name. Instead, it is more about anticipating what they'd likely prefer as a next step, providing them tips to succeed, and recommending products they're likely to love. This level of customization enhances customer experience, making each individual feel valued and understood.
2. Direct and Cost-Effective Communication
Email marketing stands out for its direct reach and cost-effectiveness. Unlike paid ads, the cost of reaching your audience is relatively low with email. A full-service email marketing agency can get you started at $2,500 a month and it could go up based on their skills, services, and expertise.
Besides, you're communicating directly with people who have shown interest in your brand, making it a focused and efficient marketing channel.
3. Enhanced Customer Loyalty
Regular, engaging email communication can turn casual buyers into loyal customers. By sharing not just product information but also your brand story, values, How-Tos, and insights, you create a bond with your audience. Loyalty programs, exclusive deals, and birthday discounts sent via newsletters are great ways to foster this loyalty.
As a result, email marketing can help you build a community around your eCommerce brand. You can share stories, customer testimonials, and engaging content to create a sense of belonging among your customers, which is invaluable for long-term brand success.
4. Measurable Results and Analytics
“What gets measured gets managed." -- Peter Drucker, Management Guru.
One of the biggest strengths of email marketing is its measurability. You can track open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, providing clear insights into what works and what doesn’t. This data-driven approach allows for continual optimization of your marketing strategies.
5. Higher Conversion Rates and Flexibility
Email continues to be a highly effective communication channel, delivering a significant return on investment. In 2021, its conversion rate reached 15.22%. That means 15 in 100 recipients take the specific action that companies want them to. That is why 41% marketers prioritize it above other metrics.
By targeting people who have already expressed interest in your brand, you're more likely to see a response to your calls-to-action, whether it's a product purchase, a website visit, or engagement with content.
Moreover, email marketing's flexibility is unmatched. Whether it’s adapting to customer feedback, testing different types of content, or segmenting your audience for more targeted messaging, email allows for a high degree of adaptability.
6. Effective Cart Abandonment Strategies
One of the most common issues in eCommerce is cart abandonment. Emails can be used to combat cart abandonment. In fact, you can even stay connected with your customers, offering them special deals or reminding them about items they viewed but didn’t purchase. Use automated emails to remind them about items they've left in their cart to nudge them towards completing the purchase.
7. Strengthening Brand Identity
Emails can drive traffic to your website, be it a blog post, check out new products, or take advantage of a special offer. This not only boosts sales but also improves your website's SEO over time.
Moreover, it is an excellent platform for strengthening your brand identity. Through consistent tone, style, and content, your emails help in building a recognizable and relatable brand image.
8 Different Email Types and Ideas for Your eCommerce Business [Explained With Examples]
In eCommerce, variety is key. Each type of email serves a unique purpose, and understanding these can help you engage with your customers more effectively. The key is to maintain a balance – not too salesy, nor too spammy.
Remember, email marketing is not just about selling; it’s about creating a conversation and a community around your brand.
In this section, we will look at various types of emails and examples which you can use as inspiration for your campaigns:
1. Welcome Emails
First impressions matter, and welcome emails are your chance to make a great one. When someone signs up for your newsletter or creates an account, a warm, friendly welcome email can set the tone for your future communications.
It's like greeting a new friend – be inviting, be helpful, and maybe offer a welcome discount to kickstart their shopping journey.
Here's why we like the below welcome email example:
- It creates a sense of urgency by mentioning "72 hours only" upfront
- Offers a 10% discount with a code as well
- Looks professional due its sleek design
- Offers customer support
- Uses minimal copy
2. Post Purchase Emails
Post purchase emails help buyers understand better about their recent purchase. Do you remember receiving small booklets along with your mobile phone or watch purchases? They are so long and created in so many languages that nobody cares to read them.
Think of post purchases emails exactly as these small booklets with instructions about how to use the product or how to take care of them. (Except they're much shorter and specific).
So, why do you need these emails? Because a sale does not end when you ship the product out. You need to handhold customers until they're comfortable using your product.
Here's an example of a post purchase email that highlights:
- Copy urging buyers to make the most of their products
- How to take care of your most recent purchases
- Pictures showing product care
- Support options at the bottom
3. Promotional Emails
Here’s where you get to showcase your special offers, sales, new product launches or new features. Promotional emails are direct and to the point – they're about creating excitement and urgency. A well-timed sale announcement or an exclusive discount can encourage customers to make a purchase they've been considering.
Here's why the below promotional email example looks the part:
- Copy that is intriguing and engaging
- A 20% discount offer with a code to go with it
- Reviews that reinforce the product messaging
- Product images and customized CTAs for every category
4. Abandoned Cart Emails
Customers often add items to their cart and then, for various reasons, don't complete the purchase. Abandoned cart emails are gentle reminders sent to nudge them to revisit their cart. A little push, like a reminder of what they’re missing out on or a limited-time discount, can often convert these into successful sales.
Take a look at the below abandoned cart example. Here's why you could use it as an inspiration for your email workflow:
- Pictures that convey what the brand offers
- Short, impactful copy that reminds readers of items in their cart
- A CTA that pushes readers to scroll and explore more
- Points accumulated in the buyer's account that's available for redemption
5. Transactional Emails
Transactional emails are the nuts and bolts of eCommerce emails – order confirmations, shipping updates, and delivery notifications. While transactional in nature, these emails are still an opportunity to enhance customer experience. So, make sure they’re clear, informative, and on-brand.
Take the case of an order confirmation email. In this case, the buyer would like to confirm what she ordered, when could she expect the delivery, and who to reach out to if there's a need for it. It is simple psychology at play. The buyer does not expect any promotions or discounts in this email. So don't push your products here although you could let your branding do all the talking for you.
In the below transactional email example, you'll notice:
- An option to track your order
- Items in the order
- Order details such as shipping number, date etc.
- Support details
6. Re-engagement Emails
Over time, some customers might stop interacting with your emails. Re-engagement emails are your attempt to win them back. Although a simple “We miss you” message or a special offer can reignite their interest in your brand, we suggest you make the copy a little more engaging.
In a re-engagement email, the objective is to remind buyers of what they are missing out on. Here's an example of a re-engagement mail that features:
- Compelling copy highlighting the brands and collections on offer
- A "Shop Collection" CTA that urges buyers to view the collection
- Products with pictures that the buyer may have forgotten
- A free shipping offer
7. Seasonal or Thematic Emails
Align your email marketing with holidays, seasons, or special events. These emails can tap into the collective mood – think a summer essentials sale or a holiday gift guide. They’re timely, relevant, and often well-received.
Here's an example of a seasonal email aimed at the holiday season. Holiday seasons bring friends and family together which also include engagements, weddings etc. This email creates a 'WOW' feeling in the minds of buyers who're planning to get engaged by:
- Displaying ring trends for the season
- Urging buyers to view the rest of the collection
- Providing a glimpse of different options to choose from
- Offering a consultation on what ring to buy (because buying an engagement ring is a unique occasion so buyers need all the information before purchasing one)
8. Loyalty Program Emails
If you have a loyalty program, use emails to update customers on their points, rewards, or special perks. It’s a way to appreciate and incentivize your most loyal customers, ensuring they feel valued and continue to engage with your brand.
Here's what we prefer in the below loyalty email example:
- It does not scream "Join our loyalty program"
- Instead, it invites already-engaged users to join a Facebook community (after all, who doesn't love being a part of a group?!)
- Nurturing the Facebook community with user-generated content is a clever way of reinforcing the brand
- A subtle offer to restock and stay in touch at the bottom
How To Do Email Marketing for eCommerce Businesses? 9 Evergreen Best Practices for 2024
Ask any eCommerce owner their biggest email marketing challenges. We bet you'll hear one common reason: "Customers inboxes are crowded, how can we make our emails stand out?"
So, in this section, we will dive into how to do email marketing for your eCommerce business and the best practices you'll need to follow to be successful. Don't worry if you're starting anew because these are evergreen best practices that will help you refine your existing approach, and will enable you to engage customers more effectively.
Besides, scroll down to the bottom of this section to know how to set up a tailored email marketing strategy for 6, 7, 8 and 9-figure brands.
1. Choosing an Email Service Provider (ESP)
The first step is to choose an Email Service Provider that matches your requirements. It is about finding the right balance of features, usability, and cost that fits your specific eCommerce needs. Here're a few factors to consider:
- Integration with eCommerce Platform: Ensure the ESP integrates seamlessly with your eCommerce platform for smooth data transfer and automation.
- Automation Capabilities: Look for advanced automation features that can handle welcome series, cart abandonment, and other customer journey touchpoints.
- Segmentation and Personalization: Choose an ESP that offers robust segmentation options and personalization features to tailor your communication effectively.
- Analytics and Reporting: The ESP should provide you detailed analytics to track open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, helping you gauge the success of your campaigns.
- Scalability: As your eCommerce business grows, your ESP should be able to scale with you, handling increased volume without a hitch.
- User-Friendly Interface: A user-friendly interface is vital for efficiently setting up campaigns and managing your email marketing.
- Customer Support: Good customer support is essential, especially if you're new to email marketing.
- Cost: Consider the pricing structure of the ESP and ensure it fits within your budget while meeting your needs.
- Deliverability: High email deliverability rates are a must to ensure your emails actually reach your customers’ inboxes.
Read our detailed take on Omnisend vs Klaviyo: Which Should You Choose for your eCommerce business.
2. Detailed Personalization
Go beyond basic email personalization such as using first names in subject line body, analyze customer data to create hyper-personalized copy. For instance, use their browsing history or past purchases to suggest products, or reference their previous interactions for a more conversational tone that aligns with individual preferences. Personalization can also extend to referencing their previous interactions with your brand.
3. Comprehensive Audience Segmentation
Segment your audience not just by demographics but also based on:
- Purchase frequency
- Average order value
- Product preferences
- Engagement patterns
Create different email content for first-time buyers, frequent purchasers, or those who haven't bought in a while. Tailoring your message to each segment can significantly increase engagement and conversions.
Including a screenshot of segmenting customers from Klaviyo by masking customer names and campaigns would be a great value addition here.
4. Optimized Mobile Experience
In 2020, 81% of emails were opened and read on mobile devices. With more and more emails being opened on mobile devices, design your emails with a mobile-first approach. That means:
- Keep subject lines short and compelling to grab attention on smaller screens.
- Use large, clear fonts and buttons for easy reading and interaction.
- Ensure images are optimized for quick loading and scale appropriately.
- Keep your email layout simple and uncluttered, with a clear call-to-action.
- Always test your emails on various devices to ensure a smooth mobile experience.
This approach helps in engaging the growing number of mobile users effectively.
5. Content Richness and Relevance
Create email copy that tells a story. Instead of just showcasing products, share the inspiration behind them, customer stories, or how your brand is making a difference. Here's how you do it:
- First, understand your audience's interests and preferences. Use this knowledge to craft content that speaks to their needs, such as helpful tips, industry insights, or stories related to your products.
- Use high-quality images, videos, or infographics to make your emails visually appealing and engaging.
- Regularly update your content to keep it fresh and interesting. Personalize your messages based on customer data for added relevance.
- Don't forget to add in customer reviews while pushing promotions or offers because it helps reinforce your core message.
- And always aim to provide value in every email, whether it's through informative content, exclusive deals, or entertaining stories. One way of doing it is through regular newsletters - not to push products for sale but as an informative piece. It helps in building a strong connection with your audience.
6. Clear and Compelling CTAs
"Click Here" is a boring CTA that does not tell a buyer what happens when they click it. Being ambiguous in your CTAs will only decrease your click-through rates. Writing clear and compelling CTAs (Call-to-Action) in your emails involves clarity, urgency, and relevance. Remember, the goal is to make the next step irresistible and straightforward for the reader.
- Use direct and action-oriented language. For example, instead of vague CTAs that don't do enough to prompt an action, use "Book Free Consultation Now" for a sales email or "Explore More Deals."
- Create a sense of urgency with phrases like "Limited Time Offer" or "Get Yours While Supplies Last." Personalize the CTA where possible, like "Claim Your Exclusive Discount."
- Ensure your CTA stands out visually, using buttons or contrasting colors. Experiment with different colors, placements, and wording to see what drives the best engagement.
7. Consistency in Branding and Messaging
Maintain a consistent brand voice and visual style, colors, fonts, and copy across all emails. This involves using a consistent color scheme, logo placement, and typography that aligns with your brand identity.
For example, if your brand voice is friendly and informal, ensure all your emails reflect this tone. Include your brand's unique value proposition in your messaging. Regularly feature your best-selling products or new arrivals to reinforce product recognition. This helps in building a strong brand identity and makes your emails instantly recognizable.
8. In-depth Testing and Analytics
A/B test your emails on various elements such as subject lines, email designs/formats, sending times, length, CTAs etc. Use your email software's analytics to track open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics to continually refine your strategy.
9. Spam Avoidance Techniques
To avoid spam filters in ecommerce email marketing, focus on creating authentic, valuable content.
- Use language that doesn't trigger spam filters and maintain a healthy email list.
- Regularly clean your email list by removing inactive subscribers and those who opt-out.
- Use a reputable email service provider to ensure reliable delivery.
- Avoid using overly salesy language or excessive use of capital letters and exclamation marks, which can trigger spam filters. Personalize your emails, as generic content is often marked as spam.
- Don't send emails too frequently to avoid overwhelming your subscribers.
These spam avoiding strategies can enhance your email deliverability and engagement.
10. Automated Email Strategies
Using automation in eCommerce email marketing involves setting up automated email sequences triggered by specific customer actions. Email automation streamlines communication, ensures timely responses, and enhances the customer experience, making it a crucial component of a successful eCommerce email marketing strategy.
Key sequences include:
- Welcome emails for new subscribers
- Abandoned cart reminders for customers who leave items in their cart
- Post-purchase follow-ups for customer engagement and feedback, and
- Re-engagement emails to reconnect with inactive subscribers.
Automated emails should be created based on data, personalized and timed strategically to maximize relevance and impact.
11. Legal Compliance and Respect for Privacy
Adhere strictly to email marketing laws and regulations such as GDPR and CAN-SPAM. Be transparent about how you collect and use data, and provide clear options for unsubscribing.
By deepening your understanding of these aspects and implementing them thoughtfully, you can elevate your ecommerce email marketing to better connect with customers, enhance their experience, and drive business growth.
Email Marketing Strategy for 6, 7, 8 & 9-figure brands
Here's a tailored email and SMS marketing strategy for brands at different revenue levels:
- For emerging 6-figure brands, the focus is on establishing a solid foundation with essential email automations like welcome series, post-purchase follow-ups, and tackling cart abandonment.
- As brands evolve into the 7-figure category, the strategy shifts to more regular email campaigns, integrating SMS marketing, and employing A/B testing to optimize performance.
- For more mature 8-figure brands, the emphasis is on leveraging advanced automation techniques, utilizing predictive analytics, and conducting in-depth customer segment analyses.
- Finally, for top-tier 9-figure brands, the strategy revolves around effectively managing internal dynamics and focusing on precise execution, ensuring that email marketing efforts align with the brand's larger business objectives.
Read our detailed blog on how to create an email marketing strategy for 6, 7, 8, and 9-figure brands.
What Should You Remember While Selecting an Email Marketing Agency for Your eCommerce Business?
Like anything else, email marketing is not an easy strategy to implement by yourself if you’ve never delved into the depths of a backend extravaganza. Therefore, it does take a lot of effort, understanding of customer behaviour, and expertise to execute a killer strategy on your eCommerce platform.
Regardless of whether you already have email marketing set up or you’re a complete beginner when it comes to building your email list, setting up welcome series-triggered emails, manufacturing campaigns to increase open rates, etc., a team of experts (if they know what they’re doing) will always have a solution to bring to the table.
Selecting an email marketing agency for your eCommerce brand involves several key steps:
- Firstly, look for an agency with proven experience and success in eCommerce email marketing. Assess their portfolio and client testimonials.
- Secondly, consider the range of services they offer, including automation, segmentation, and analytics, and ensure these align with your needs.
- Thirdly, evaluate their approach to personalization and customization, as this is crucial in email marketing.
- Additionally, check their understanding of legal compliance in email communication.
- Finally, consider their communication style and customer support, as you want an agency that is responsive and collaborative. Choose an agency that not only understands email marketing but also has a deep understanding of eCommerce dynamics.
Moreover, the agency space is extremely saturated and commoditised for email marketing services at the moment, and the below video should serve as a solid refresher for avoiding charlatans or people who lack fundamental eCommerce knowledge.
Summary and Key Takeaways
Email marketing plays a crucial role in enhancing customer experience, offering cost-effective communication, and building brand loyalty for eCommerce brands. Here're the biggest takeaways from this blog:
- Email marketing is vital for eCommerce success, offering personalized customer experiences and cost-effective communication.
- It enhances customer loyalty, provides measurable results, and offers high conversion rates and flexibility.
- Key strategies include managing cart abandonment, strengthening brand identity, and understanding different email types.
- Best practices for effective email marketing include choosing the right ESP, personalization, audience segmentation, mobile optimization, rich content, clear CTAs, consistent branding, and spam avoidance.
- Automation, legal compliance, and understanding strategies for different business sizes are essential.
- When selecting an email marketing agency, consider their experience, range of services, approach to personalization, legal compliance, and customer support.
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.
- 9 Ecommerce Email Examples to Boost Sales in a Snap
- 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.