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In an all-exploding world of new digital technologies, eCommerce businesses use every trick up their sleeve to vie for the online consumer’s attention (and even build a long-term relationship),

In this highly competitive scenario, eCommerce businesses need to market themselves by doing more with less. Those who can connect with their prospects in a highly personalized and targeted way will succeed in attracting their customers and converting them into buyers.

Out of the many marketing strategies adopted by eCommerce businesses, one particular category has outperformed itself year after year: Email Marketing. While some naysayers may declare email marketing a slow-dying marketing tool, the reality suggests the opposite.

According to Campaign Monitor, 72 percent of people prefer receiving branded content through email. Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for building personal relationships with customers. In the past decade alone, email has generated the highest ROI for marketers. Equipping marketers with the broadest reach of marketing channels for eCommerce businesses, email marketing is simply the best bet for eCommerce growth.

While social media channels like Facebook and Twitter may seem ubiquitous and the marketing channel of choice, research reveals that email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. When it comes to connecting with your prospects and customers, no other channel has a broader reach than email.

In this guide, we’ll elaborate on why we consider email marketing as a go-to strategy for eCommerce growth.

What is Ecommerce Email Marketing?

Ecommerce email marketing is an effective marketing strategy that uses emails to promote products and generate sales for an online store. It is used to strengthen relationships with existing/ potential customers or build one with a new customer.

Email marketing is immensely popular with eCommerce stores as they help boost user engagement, build customer loyalty, announce attractive ongoing deals, share useful information, and uplift sales. It could be as simple as sending an email to customers who abandoned their shopping cart, or as complex as multiple email campaigns working collectively to boost sales.

Whether it’s offers, promotions, offers, discount coupons, or lead nurturing emails, they all boil down to one simple goal: Building Relationships!

Emails like the one shared below are highly effective in reconnecting with a non-returning customer and encourage them to actively engage with your online store, and possibly make a purchase.

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Why is Email Marketing Important for eCommerce Businesses?

Email marketing is crucial for eCommerce businesses because it’s a direct and effective way to reach your customers without depending on search engine rankings or social media algorithms.

Even if you’re able to bring highly targeted traffic to your website organically, through ads or social media, chances are they will not return to your site unless you establish a connection with them.

Creating an email list and sending compelling broadcasts increases your chances of getting return customers. Moreover, email marketing is extremely measurable and allows you to spot areas where there’s a scope of improvement.

Let’s look in more detail as to why your eCommerce business needs email marketing:

1. Email lets you build and nurture customer relationships

Email marketing is highly effective with a reach of up to 90% of your customers and results in a much higher conversion rate than social media channels. Since 99% of consumers check their email inboxes daily, this is the most direct and assured way of getting your message to reach your customer, unlike social channels where the chances of discovering your business are lesser.

While search engines and social media platforms can get your future customers to discover you, email helps create an incentive for the customers to revisit you repeatedly, thus strengthening the customer’s relationship with your eCommerce business.

According to Hubspot, 59% of consumers indicate that marketing emails have the power to influence their purchase decision. In fact, customers welcome this form of advertising as they want to hear from you. The more personalized and attention-grabbing an email, the more returns you’ll get to see.

2. Email marketing can boost your online sales

Email campaigns are powerful revenue drivers and, in fact, drives more conversions than any other marketing channel. With cost-effective implementation, email marketing results in a much larger ROI than social or search. Consumers end up spending 138% more by the purchase of products through email than those that don’t receive email offers.

According to a 2018 study by DMA, email marketing yields an average investment return of $38 on every $1 spent. While a majority of such studies advocate an upward trend in ROI, all conclude the same fact: email marketing outperforms all its alternatives.

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Shopify data showing that email brings the most conversions on a Black Friday Cyber Monday. Image courtesy: Shopify

However, the question arises: Why email outperforms other channels when it comes to ROI?

That’s because email campaigns employ segmentation and dynamic content with highly personalized messages to ensure that the recipient gets the most relevant offer. While social networks display all content to every follower without considering their interests, purchase history, and demographics, emails allow you to enable super-targeted communication with your buyer. This practice drives customers to click-through and makes purchases, therefore increasing the ROI of their marketing campaigns.

3. Email marketing can multiply your eCommerce organization’s growth

For every eCommerce organization, there are 3 ways to grow revenue:

  • Increase the number of customers (C)
  • Increase the purchase frequency i.e number of purchases made per customer (F) or,
  • Increase the average order value (AOV)

Email marketing helps organizations achieve all of the above growth multipliers in the most cost-effective manner:

  • Automated welcome and abandoned cart emails can raise conversion rates (C). Welcome emails can begin to cultivate a new relationship with a new subscriber. Whereas cart abandonment emails can help you earn revenue from visitors who added items to their cart but are not checking out.
  • Bounce back or win-back campaigns can help revive inactive customers and subscribers and get them browsing your online store again. This, in turn, can increase a customer’s number of purchases (F)
  • Email Campaigns and seasonal deals can highlight high-value products to the right customers (AOV)

Building your email marketing strategy with a focus on all three growth areas will further boost your results.

4. Email marketing operates unaffected by third-party gatekeepers

One aspect of email marketing that gives it a unique advantage over other channels is its ability to be unaffected by the whims of centralized platforms.

For the past few years, brands invested in various social media platforms to get large followings and build active engagement with them. However, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter frequently tweak their algorithms. As a result, 98% of brand followers miss out on posts in their newsfeeds, due to which a brand loses viewership unless these posts are paid advertisements.

Channels like Facebook and Twitter are controlled by third parties which makes marketers at the mercy of these platform’s functioning and at times completely derail a distribution strategy.

On the other hand, email is a more open platform and is not influenced by any third party gatekeepers. When you build a great email list and cultivate a relationship with your subscribers, this becomes your marketing asset whose value will keep rising with the time and effort you put in. No third party can affect this form of marketing.

Getting Started with Email Marketing

By now, you’re probably convinced that email is an important part of your digital marketing plan that you need to capitalize on. You’re keen to start using it to drive sales and revenue for your business. But from here, what steps can you take to get started with your first email campaign and ensure they’re a success?

The following guide will talk you through the steps to get started with email marketing and help you build a campaign that delivers the results you want.

Step 1: Select an email service provider

The first step when getting started with email marketing is to select an email service provider that you’ll use to build your email list.

Luckily, there are plenty of robust and cost-effective email marketing software available at your disposal. We’d recommend that you not get stuck at picking the “perfect” service provider as you can always switch to another down the line.

Instead, choose a service provider with a well-reviewed solution that fits your needs. Before taking your pick, assess factors like pricing, drag-and-drop editors, and email templates among a few. Sign up for the software and start building your first email campaign.

Step 2: Build your email list

Now that you’ve signed up with an email service provider, the next step is to build your email list to which you can start sending campaigns to meet your goal. There are a couple of different ways to build your email list:

1. Set up a pre-launch page

If you plan to build a fresh email list from scratch, setting up a per-launch page on your domain is a good way to start capturing email addresses and build an engaged email list with ‘potential customers’.

Set up a basic landing page that invites visitors to stay informed on what you have to offer by subscribing to email updates. Your landing page copy should describe your upcoming products and offer attractive incentives for early adopters (early-bird customers get 15% off on launch day)

To build a successful launch page, marketers follow a 2 part formula:

Valuable incentive + Easy to subscribe option = Large email list

Here are some incentives you could use to entice people to join your email list:

  • Compelling content – Write strong copy for your upcoming products and support with content on how they are unique and an attractive option for your visitors.
  • Early bird discounts – Another way to incentivize your launch page is to offer early bird discounts to first time buyers of your product. Offering people a discount on their first order if they subscribe to your email list not only drives subscription but gives them additional incentive to purchase.
  • Free or priority shipping upgrade – A free or upgraded shipping is another incentive to join your list. No customer likes the extra shipping charges and prefers quick delivery, making this offer highly relevant and a powerful motivator to subscribe.

2. Use a list of existing contacts from sales and customer accounts

If you already have an existing customer base who’ve purchased from you before or interacted in any way, collect emails from sales and customer accounts. Build an email list by importing existing customer details into your chosen marketing tool. But, first ensure that you have adequate permission to use these emails for further communication.

3. Provide discoverable subscription opportunities

The next step in the process is offering numerous, easy-to-find subscribe opportunities to make it easy for people to opt-in. The best places to insert these opt-in forms is where you see the most engagement on relevant pages across your online store (without compromising on the site’s design and user-experience)

The choice of subscriber will depend on the incentive you’re offering. Here are a few ideas on where to place your signup forms:

a) Header Bar, Navigation and Footer

The header bar sits right at the top of your site and is the first thing a visitor sees when they land on your site. Placing a call to action in the header encouraging people to subscribe for attractive offers can be a good way to capture leads.


The navigation bar and the footer are also sought upon choices for placing an opt-in form. However these get lower conversion rates compared to a proper landing page. However, incentives like first customer discount do attract visitors to fill in with time.

b) Popup forms

While many would consider pop-ups annoying and intrusive, studies have shown they can be quite effective if popped up at the right time. To create an effective pop-up opt-in that doesn’t get ignored by your audience, consider a few things:

  • Timing
  • The right value offer
  • Strong call to action


The one aspect to pay attention to is Timing. For increasing your chances of converting, display the pop-up when a reader finishes an article or has scrolled around 3/4th of the page.

Experiment with the value offer and timing of the opt-in pop-ups to find what brings you the most subscriptions

c) About Us page

“Customers don’t sign up for email, they sign up for your brand.”

Bob Frady

The About Us page of your company is your best sales pitch. Perfect your vision statement and your this page will be your best value proposition. If your About us page is doing a great job in selling your brand’s vision (supplemented with the right offers), customers will automatically subscribe.

d) Blog or Resource pages

End of post opt-ins is the best place to convert readers into subscribers. If you’re leveraging content marketing to provide useful information and rank in search engines, your reader base is already your best prospect.

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Utilize this space to include an opt-in form at the end of a post or as a sidebar on the blog/ resource page. Include a visual call to action with your newsletter opt-in. This incentivizes them to sign up and never miss out on upcoming content.

4. Leverage lead magnets for signups

Lead magnets are one of the most effective ways to gain a prospective customer’s contact information and grow your email list with qualified subscribers.

So what exactly are lead magnets?

Leveraging lead magnets is a marketing strategy where you offer a valuable incentive in order to convert a website visitor into an email subscriber. This incentive could be anything that offers value to the reader: long form content like ebooks, whitepapers, video resources etc. Marketers employ this tactic to not only generate organic leads who they are able to utilize in the second stage of the conversion journey, but also keep the visitor hooked to your brand by engaging them with evergreen content.

So to up your marketing level, here are a few tried and fruitful approaches eCommerce companies can try:

  • Deal, discounts or free shipping exclusive offers: As an online store, offering deals, discounts or free shipping is one of the easiest and most effective lead magnets you can provide. Once a visitor subscribes to your email list, they receive a coupon code via email to use in their next buy. Image27
  • Run sweepstakes or a contest: Giveaways and contests is another great way to bring a lot of signups and jumpstart an email list. However, once these contests are over, there is a chance these signups end up unsubscribing or become inactive unless you use email marketing to keep them engaged. Shopify has a collection of Contest apps you can start with
  • Provide educational content: Free educational content that brings tangible value to your visitors is a great way to convert them into email subscribers. Online stores can benefit from creating and sharing content related to their products in the form of blogs. Well-written relevant content has the power to sway a reader’s purchase decision and get them to join your mailing list wanting for more. Image24

My Dog Likes encourages readers to subscribe to mailing list by sharing relevant content to dog-lovers

5. Collect email in person

If you’re also selling in a physical world through pop-up shops, word of mouth order from friends and acquaintances, or through a physical storefront, use this opportunity to directly ask customers for their email addresses.

You can insert small cards when shipping orders. These could include discount offers for your buyers or a link they can visit for more offers. You can turn this link into a lead magnet for first time buyers and turn into return customers.

Step 3: Learn about the legality of sending emails

Now that you’ve built your email list, you are focussed on getting the best results from your email campaign: crafting the best email copy, personalizing them, working out the graphics and tracking your metrics. Every email marketer wants to raise their click-through rates, target their leads better and convert them into more sales. But you may overlook one important aspect.

Your emails need to comply with laws and regulations, and not doing so can cost you your subscribers and your company’s reputation. To begin with, get familiar with the following email rules and regulations:

  • CAN-SPAM: CAN-SPAM, which stands for The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, is a law which sets rules on commercial emails.
  • GDPR: GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation, is meant to protect an individual’s personal data within the European Union.
  • CASL: CASL or the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation is created to protect Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.

Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know for diving into email marketing, let’s talk about the different types of email marketing campaign you can employ to grow your business

Different types of email marketing campaigns

By now, you’ve probably started creating your email strategy, worked out a personalized message and built your email list. However, ecommerce marketing is more than just the right strategy: it’s mainly about the right sequencing.

Mailing the right email to the wrong prospect or even at the wrong timing will squander email as a valuable tool. It may even lead to opt-outs by your subscribers or worse, they may move to a competitor.

So let’s talk about the different types of e-commerce marketing campaigns that you can send to build a following of loyal fans. Whether you’re looking to make your engagement skyrocket, boost revenue or dial down the unsubscribes, you’re likely to find the answer in the list shared below:

1. Welcome Email

Welcome emails are the first email you receive when you hit the subscribe button either by creating an account on an online store or joining a newsletter. Your welcome email is the first impression you create with a new subscriber and the fate of your follow-up campaigns will depend on how memorable this first impression is.

Welcome emails are meant to thank subscribers for joining your email conversation, give them an idea of what is to come (and how often they’ll receive emails from you), and if done right, guide them in their purchase with a simplified sales process.

Ann Taylor, for example, rewards new subscribers for signing up by offering a discount code:

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Ways to craft better welcome emails:

  • Aim for novelty and original content: If you want your welcome email to stand out from the sea of emails subscribers have in their inbox, aim for originality. And that means offering something your subscribers aren’t expecting. That could be anything from a discount offer, exclusive insights, to and fro communication or a way for them to get started with your store.
  • Provide value upfront: Don’t use your welcome email to flood the customer’s mailbox with promotional messages. Use this opportunity to create a strong first impression.
  • Design for simplicity: If you want to introduce a big product range, design the purchase process with minimum friction for the buyer. Whether it’s by product category or anything else, make it easy for new subscribers to browse.

2. Second Order Emails

Let’s say you sell sports and fitness products. You might notice that, on average, out of the customers who buy backpack camping tents, 20% come back to your store to purchase other products like camping chairs and sunglasses and other 80% do not return.

In order to turn this 80% into returning customers, you design a second order email campaign. So when an order comes in for a camping tent, you trigger a second email on related products they can buy.

Ways to craft good second order emails:

  • Start with only two to three top selling products: Suggest any more than three complementary items and you may end up confusing the customer.
  • Use discounts for effectiveness: For increasing your chances of sale, do more than just highlight a complementary product. Try offering a discount ladder: buy 1 more product at 30% off, buy 2 more at 40% off and buy 3 more at 50% off.

3. Win Back Emails

Win back emails are designed to lure inactive customers back to your online store.

Let’s say you’ve observed that an active customer makes at least one purchase in every 30 days. If you witness no purchase even after 30 days, it’s unlikely the customer will make a second purchase.

it’s crucial you re-engage members who have emotionally “checked out” (especially if you want to reduce email unsubscribe rates).

It is crucial to re-engage members who’ve stopped interacting with your online store (and reduce your email unsubscribe rates). This is where win back emails get to work. An email would be automatically sent after 30 days of zero activity to gently nudge the customer to make a second purchase and so on.

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The perfect example of a win-back email by Sephora

4. Shopping cart abandonment emails

Abandoned shopping carts are one of the most common issues faced by online stores. With an average of 60-80% shoppers abandoning their shopping carts, this implies a lot of unrealized revenue. Abandoned cart emails have the potential to recover upto 11% of otherwise lost sales

A recent eCommerce checkout report suggests that high shipping costs is the number one reason that impedes shoppers from completing their order. Beardbrand, a men’s grooming brand addresses issues like shipping costs to turn around their cart abandonment rates. Here’s a glimpse of their cart recovery email

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Kate Spade, a luxury fashion design brand incentivizes shoppers to complete their checkout with a 15% discount offer.

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Ways to improve cart abandonment emails

  • Highlight the main message: Grab their attention with a tag line along with a link back to their shopping cart so they can easily complete the transaction.
  • Remind the customer about items in their cart: The aim of this email is to get customers to take action on their abandoned carts. Remind them of purchases they may miss out on by highlighting specific features and showing high-quality product photos.
  • Try an incentive to encourage return to cart: Incentives like free shipping or discounts. You can even create a FOMO (fear of missing out) and instil a sense of urgency among customers by letting them know that the item is about to go out of stock
  • Use a clear, compelling call-to-action: Limit to a single and concise call-to-action. Multiple CTAs can distract from the action you ultimately want the customer to take: finishing their purchase.

5. Promotional emails

Promotional emails are sent to all your subscribers to let them know about a new product offering, a new collection, time-sensitive deals, curated content, newsletter or referral offers.

  • New Product launch

There’s no better way to start marketing a new product than your email subscriber base. Let them be the first to hear about an upcoming and exciting launch, and content on why this could be their next amazing buy. Complete your email with a linkback to a landing page talking more about the product and ways to pre-book it.

  • Time-sensitive deals

Creating time-sensitive deals is a great way to get customers to keep coming back to your online store. You can offer a discount in the same category of items your customer bought in the week before.

  • Subscriber-only discounts

Subscriber-only discounts build exclusivity and encourage shoppers to go for that extra buy. Include special discounts in your newsletters or drip campaigns to make your subscribers feel special.

  • Seasonal promotions

Online stores can leverage upcoming holidays or festivals to run seasonal promotions. Special offers based on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas or deals at a particular time of the year like Black Friday sales drive a large amount of purchases

Let your subscribers know about an upcoming Black Friday sale or a fall clearance sale. You can also notify people about upcoming days like Father’s day and suggest gifting options.


  • Newsletters and curated content

Curated emails and newsletters are popular among e-commerce marketers. The goal of these emails is to share the brand’s top offerings and promote products indirectly by attaching them to high-value content.


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If your shopper is a bike enthusiast, curating content, like the above, gives them extra incentive to check it out (and possibly your content may even inspire them to make a purchase). Consider creating content that provides context to your existing or upcoming products. (e.g., grooming tips if you’re selling beauty products).

Newsletter, on the other hand, is a great way to build a relationship with your subscriber. Newsletters can accomplish important tasks like telling your brand story, customer case studies or simply educating them with interesting content. Maybe a customer used your organic health drink to cure themselves: tell this story interestingly and this could inspire your subscribers to check out your product.

  • Referral Emails

Referral programs are one of the most popular ways to get free leads. Referrals are highly effective because consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations much more than traditional sources.

Referral emails are designed to be a win-win-win for everyone: customer, the referral and the brand. Consider asking a referral after a customer has made a purchase or on your thank you page. Image11 7

6. Transactional emails

Transactional emails are functional emails which are sent at various stages of the buyer’s journey. These include checkout, purchasing updates, sharing key information, order confirmation and shipping details.

Transactional emails aren’t your usual marketing emails. These are the emails your customer expects and have a high engagement. Work on making your transactional emails the best you can. Here are a few basic emails your store should send out:

  • Order and shipping confirmation emails

Order confirmation emails have the highest open (70-90% depending on the industry). This gives you the chance to further engage your customer through an email that is guaranteed to be viewed.

First, ensure that you provide answers to basic questions regarding order information that the customer expects: when they can expect to receive the order, where is the order shipped, which link they can track their order on, and how they can contact you. After sharing the fundamentals, experiment with the extras

Try suggesting products related to the customer’s purchase or give an option of an add-on before the package ships. Offer the option to gift the same product for a friend, or add the option for a subscription purchase.

On the other hand, shipping confirmation emails are sent once the package has been shipped. Your shipping confirmation emails are an underused opportunity to get creative and excite your customers. Some you use the shipping confirmation email to enable further action:

  • Suggest the customer to refer a friend: Implement a referral program and incentivize with rewards by forwarding a link to the product they purchased.
  • Suggest products similar to the customer’s purchase: Make sure you’re asking shoppers to purchase something they’ll actually be interested in.

For example, Tradesy includes its referral program in its shipping confirmation email by incentivizing through a discount offer.

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  • Customer feedback emails

Gathering feedback from your customers is an essential step in improving the experience of your online store. But to convince the customer to fill in your feedback form and get helpful and accurate feedback, you’ll need a rock solid email message. The best time to ask for feedback is after a customer has received the product they had ordered and used it for a while.

You also need to plan a prompt follow-up after a customer has filled an unsatisfactory feedback. Here are some ways you can improve customer feedback emails:

  • Make customer satisfaction your focus: Craft your feedback form to gather the customer’ thoughts on their satisfaction level with the purchase. Based on what they say, look for actionable steps you can take next to improve your business over time.
  • Place the review/ survey form on your website: This ensures that the customer can switch to exploring your online store after filling the feedback form.
  • Include reviews on the product page: Positive reviews will encourage future buyer’s confidence in the purchase.

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Email Marketing Metrics to Track

Just like every other marketing strategy, email marketing too needs to be tracked. This would help you assess if your campaigns are even working for you and what your subscribers and customers really want to hear and what they don’t.

Here are the top 7 email marketing metrics that you should track in your campaigns:

1. List growth rate

List growth rate measures the rate at which your email list is growing. This metric can be calculated using this formula:

{(No. of New Subscribers – No. of Unsubscribes)/ (Total no of email addresses on your list)}*100

A positive list growth rate implies you are reaching out to an increasing number of potential customers, who can drive revenues for you in the future. Keep track of this essential metric using your email service provider to see how many new subscribers you’re adding on a weekly or monthly basis.

2. Open and click-through rate

Open rate is the simplest email marketing KPI and is vital to understand how many subscribers actually open your email you sent. The success of the open rate is largely driven by how you craft your subject line copy – a more compelling subject line will drive better open rates.

The average open rate for most email campaigns is a little over 24%. However, if your campaign is showing a higher open rate than this, you’re on the right track.

On the other hand, CTRs or Click-through rates is another important metric to track how many people clicked on the links within your email. For examples, if your email included a link to redeem an offer, CTR would measure what percentage of subscribers clicked on this link.

Click-through rates are typically much lower than open rates, averaging around 4% for most email campaigns. To increase your click-through rates, place your links at strategic places where you highlight them the most. Add attractive attention-catching call-to-action buttons that subscribers don’t miss out on.

3. Conversion rate

The Conversion rate metric measures the percentage of email recipients who clicked on the link within the email and completed the desired action, such as purchasing a product or filling a review form. If you included a link in your Thanksgiving email for subscribers to browse through a list of products and make a sale, the conversion rate would tell you the percentage of people who clicked the link and purchased from your store.

Conversion rate is a valuable metric to measure especially if your goal is to generate leads. They give you an insight into your return on investment (ROI): is the investment you’ve made in the email campaign giving you back the desired conversions?

4. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate indicates how many subscribed email addresses didn’t receive yout email. There are two kinds of bounce rates:

  • Soft bounces: Soft bounces happen when a valid email address is facing a temporary problem, like issues with the recipient’s server or a full inbox.
  • Hard bounces: Hard bounces occur as a result of invalid or fake email addresses. ISPs use bounce rates as a key factor to identify spam emails so you should immediately remove hard bounce addresses from your email list.

While a bounce rate does not determine the success of your email campaigns, they bring out some hidden issues with your email list. Measure bounce rate to assess the quality of your subscriber list.

A double opt-in which asks subscribers to verify their email address and confirm that they opt to receive emails from you can ensure good quality email lists and decreased bounce rate.

5. Revenue per email

While the ROI tells you the overall return on investment, tracking the revenue per email will help you measure the email’s individual success. Tracking this figure will help you figure out which emails are performing the best and which aren’t.

6. A/B testing

A/B testing allows you to test emails on various test groups for measuring efficiency. To run an A/B test, create 3 groups: A group, B group and C group. Send two variants of an email to A and B groups and use analytics to review which email variant generated better engagement and sales. Whichever variant is chosen, send it to your final pool of email recipients i.e group C.

A/B testing is useful in finding the best performing email by experimenting with a specific messaging, design and CTAs with a smaller subscriber segment first.

7. Spam complaints

Spam complaints can hurt your email campaign. Email service providers take spam complaints very seriously and can even block your account if the spam rate gets too high. Make sure you track spam complaints and keep an eye out for the type of emails classified as spam: this calls a copywriting change.

The hack to getting impressive numbers in your email marketing campaigns

The success of your email campaigns depends on the relevancy point you hit at a particular customer’s journey with your brand. Lifecycle automation is the key to creating winning email campaigns. Segment, personalize and automate your email marketing campaigns as per the lifecycle of the customers and your subscriber behavior.

You can define the stages of a customer lifecycle with 3 metrics:

A) Recency (R): Number of days since the subscriber’s last purchase

B) Frequency (F): Total number of times the subscriber has purchased

C) Monetary value (M): The monetary value of customer’s all orders

These 3 metrics can help you define 5 essential segments of customers when developing a lifecycle automation email campaign:

1. Segment 1: New subscribers

Your first and foremost goal with new subscribers must be to build trust, introduce them to your products, and incentivize them to make their first purchase from your store. In short, establish a relationship with them to turn them from F0 i.e zero purchases to F1 i.e first purchase.

2. Segment 2: One time buyers

Your goal with this segment is to get them to make a second purchase. Most email campaigns result in single purchase buys, it’s however the second time buyers who raise profit margins of retailers. It’s very important to turn F1 into F2 as improving this metric will make you money.

To encourage a second purchase, incentivize with an offer on a related product bought when the customer made the first purchase. For example, if someone bought a bedsheet, email them an offer on pillows or cushions.

3. Segment 3: Big-time buyers

There’s another segment of buyers: the VIPs or spenders who go big on their purchases. Deals or no deals, these are loyal to your brand and make huge amounts of purchases time and again. To engage such customers, plan targeted email campaigns that value their interaction with your brand and keep them buying. Incentives like loyalty programs work well with this segment.

4. Segment 4: Defecting customers

Defecting customers belong to a segment of buyers who may have interacted with your online store once but they’ve gone inactive. To attract back these customers, send win-back emails with attractive options and higher discount offers to entice them to interact with you again.

5. Segment 5: Cart abandoners

A good segment of your online buyers may be abandoning their carts owing to shipping costs. For cart abandoners, send out gentle reminders at first. If that doesn’t work, encourage them to complete their purchase with discount offers or fast-track shipping deals.

10 best ecommerce email marketing examples

We’ve wound up the best eCommerce email marketing examples to inspire you for your next email campaign:

1. The Birchbox: “Mistake” Email


Why we love this email: Birchbox uses this email to disguise a promo for a product at a partner company as a “forgotten” discount in the customer’s email. The catchy subject line “We Forgot Something in Your February Box!” is created to pique the customer’s interest.

2. ProFlowers: Cart Abandonment and Remarketing Email


Why we love this email: ProFlowers uses this highly targeted email to attempt re-engagement with a customer who abandoned their cart. It is also suggesting more options to choose from in case the customer is looking for something different.

3. HireVue – Re-engagement Letter

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Why we love this email: HireVue sends this email to attempt a re-engage with customers who’ve been inactive. They’re also eliminating subscribers who are unlikely to engage in the future. This helps them remove dead-weight and create a more targeted email list.

4. Fab: Welcome Email

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Why we love this email: Fab’s welcome email is doing a great job at highlighting perks like returns and free shipping. It is also encouraging subscribers to download the Fab app, set their email preferences for engaging cross-device.

5. West Elm: Welcome Email

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Why we love this email: The West Elm Welcome email employs great imagery, highlights their coupon code at the top and uses warm colors to match their brand message. From content to photographs, everything is aimed to inspire warmth and coziness

6. Humble Bundle: Product Promo Email

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Why we love this email: This email by Humble Bundle presents a promo offer but with 2 CTAs: one to check out the product and another to set up a reminder when the product is available. This is a great way to ease the pressure off the customer to act right away. Offering them to set a reminder keeps them as a potential future lead.

7. Esprit: Newsletter

Why we love this email: Esprit has used this newsletter to showcase their recycled edition. The email displays each piece of clothing with a separate CTA button. This email makes this list because of its concept and representation.

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8. Kate Spade: Thank you email

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Why we love this email: Kate Spade sends this Thank you email after a customer signs up for their mailing list. The email copy is written perfectly, with the aim of reaffirming the subscriber’s decision (“You will now be among the to hear about…”). The email also sends a valuable offer and a clear CTA to start using these offers.

9. Sephora: Birthday Gift email

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Why we love this email: Sephora uses the Happy Birthday email to highlight their new offer disguised as a free add-on when you make a purchase. Birthdays are the perfect opportunity to personalize your product and get them in your store as everyone likes to feel ‘special’ on their birthday.

10. Adobe: Product Promo email

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Why we love this email: Adobe works out this product promo email using a comparison of its two products along with a special deal and a CTA. Adobe has used the segmentation method to target two segments of customers in one email.

Do you need email marketing?

As an eCommerce store owner, email marketing is a channel you simply can’t afford to ignore. With limited time and resources at your disposal, you need to choose your marketing channels wisely to prioritize your efforts.

Due to all the reasons listed above, email marketing is by far the most effective channel to attract, engage and convert your audience from subscribers to loyal buyers of your brand.

So use this guide to get started on building your winning email campaign and see positive results unfold for your eCommerce store.