Boost your ecommerce sales with these 6 email marketing tactics

May 19, 2021 | Email marketing

With the right strategy in place, email can be an ecommerce business’ most profitable digital marketing channel.

Donna Warnett

With the right strategy in place, email can be an ecommerce business’ most profitable digital marketing channel. But forget about blasting the same email to your entire customer list. The secret to maximising your ecommerce sales is to send highly targeted emails that are relevant, timely and appealing. In other words, it’s essential to send the right content to the right people, at the right time. 


Here are 6 types of ecommerce emails that will dramatically improve your conversion rate.

A welcome series for new subscribers

Welcome email read rates are 42% higher than the average email, so sending a welcome series to users who have just opted in via a form on your website (or a social campaign) is a smart move. Convincing email subscribers to take the plunge and place their first order can be a challenge. One proven strategy is to use your welcome series to offer an extra incentive, such as free shipping, a voucher, or a discount on their first order. Making this a limited-time offer can add a sense of urgency. 

Upsell and cross-sell emails

Once a new customer has placed their first order, you have a clear idea of what they’re interested in. Seize the opportunity and send a follow-up email featuring useful add-ons, or product recommendations that are relevant to their purchase. According to Mailchimp, product follow-up emails generate 5 times more orders than bulk emails. Alternatively, recommended products could be shown in the customer’s order confirmation email. Order confirmation emails have sky-high open rates, so this is a great place to cross-sell associated products, or to request product reviews.  

Targeted campaigns

Your online store’s purchase data is one of your most valuable assets. Use it to segment your customer list and send emails that are tailored to your recipients’ interests. If you sell wine, for example, you might use historical purchase data to create a list of Chenin Blanc lovers. You can segment things further by categorising customers based on their motivations – are they motivated by bargains and discounts, or by newness and exclusivity? By creating focused, smaller lists, you can ensure that your campaigns are always as relevant and engaging as possible.   

Loyalty emails

A common mistake that many merchants make is to only focus on the beginning of the customer journey. Rewarding loyalty and thanking customers who buy from you regularly with a discount, a gift, or exclusive access (to products or even content) can boost customer retention. This unexpected gesture has the power to delight your customers and transform them into enthusiastic brand advocates.  

Re-engagement emails

What do you do when a customer you worked so hard to acquire has gone cold? If a customer hasn’t purchased anything from your store for an extended period (usually a year or more), it’s time to draw them back in. A re-engagement email could showcase new products, or offer a time-limited discount or voucher. We’ve found that vouchers – subject to minimum spend limits – often work better than discounts. This is because customers feel that they’re wasting money if they don’t use the voucher before it expires.  

Up the FOMO with cart-abandonment emails

Cart abandonment is a fact of life for ecommerce businesses. In fact, 70 percent of customers abandon their shopping carts before placing an order. One of the most effective ways to recover lost revenue is to send automated emails that invite users to return and complete the purchase. According to  Bluecore, cart abandonment emails have the highest average conversion rate (1.74%) of all automated ecommerce emails. These emails are usually triggered within 24 hours of cart abandonment and typically show all the items that were in the user’s cart. This is a great start, but utilising social proof will make these emails even more compelling, and emphasising limited availability will add to the sense of urgency. For example, if a user has abandoned a cart containing a 5-star product that’s low in stock, mentioning the product’s popularity in the subject line – and the fact that it will sell out soon – will boost both the email open rate and the conversion rate.  

While some ecommerce businesses choose to send a single abandoned cart reminder, others send follow-ups 3-5 days after the cart was abandoned for maximum effect.  

Send highly effective ecommerce emails

When thinking about your email marketing, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and consider their needs and interests. If you get this right, you’ll acquire more customers, massively increase sales, and improve your customer retention rate.  


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