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Email marketing gives you the unique opportunity to land directly in shopper inboxes.
You don’t have to wait for them to notice your post as they scroll through their busy social feeds. You don’t have to spend tons of cash on ad campaigns hoping they’ll click through. According to email marketing platform Constant Contact, 79% of marketers claim email marketing is one of their top three marketing channels in terms of engagement and sales.
But there’s more to an effective ecommerce email campaign than simply firing off an email and hoping for the best. Here are 15 of the most successful types of email for ecommerce brands to get your inspiration flowing.
Welcome emails are often the first point of contact new customers will have with your brand — and first impressions are critical. This is your chance to introduce your brand and products while creating a deeper relationship with subscribers.
Research by conversion rate optimization firm Invesp CRO found that welcome emails have an average open rate of 50%, which makes them 86% more effective than regular emails and newsletters.
Send your welcome email as soon as someone buys or signs up for your email list to capitalize on engagement.
Image Source: Little Sleepies
Little Sleepies’ welcome email includes a note from the founder and a discount code.
Everyone has abandoned a cart at some point — maybe you got distracted, found a better deal elsewhere, or were simply “window shopping” in the first place. However, luring customers who have already shown an interest in a specific product by reminding them what’s in their cart is an effective way to secure a sale.
The Baymard Institute, an independent user experience (UX) research institute, logs the average cart abandonment rate at 70%, some of which can be recovered with an email. Research by digital solutions provider Klaviyo found that merchants clawed back $60 million in sales directly from their abandoned cart emails.
Add relevant reviews to your abandoned cart emails to reassure shoppers who are on the fence.
Image Source: Le Puzz
Le Puzz sends an abandoned cart email full of personality.
Shoppers want to know that you’ve received their order. This email should go out as soon as a customer has paid to provide reassurance and confidence that you’re going to send out their product.
This is a good opportunity to build trust with new shoppers and, in some cases, generate additional value by promoting upsells or cross-sells.
Take advantage of hot leads by sharing links to other, similar products or encouraging new customers to sign up for your newsletter.
Image Source: Crocs
Crocs includes a tracker log in its order confirmation emails.
If your support team gets a ton of “Where Is My Order?” (WISMO) calls, there’s a good chance you’re post-purchase updates aren’t cutting the mustard. Shipping and delivery updates provide reassurance to customers and keep them in the loop with any delays. This is crucial for building trust and fostering long-term loyalty.
According to Digital Commerce 360, 68% of shoppers want to be notified when a purchase has shipped and 45% want to know when it’s been delivered. Today’s customers stay on top of their orders, with 39% tracking their orders at least once per day.
Proactively send shipping and delivery updates to stay ahead of any problems and show customers you care about their post-purchase experience.
Image Source: United By Blue
United By Blue shares an estimated delivery time and a link for shoppers to track packages.
Product recommendation emails are a chance to share your wider product catalog with new customers. It’s a great way to introduce relevant products to shoppers and encourage additional sales.
Salesforce research found that product recommendation emails account for just 7% of ecommerce traffic but make up 24% of orders and a whopping 26% of revenue.
Personalize product recommendation emails based on a customer’s previous purchasing history or items they’ve shown interest in on your website.
Image Source: Yespo
Tarte sends personalized product emails based on the items a shopper has already shown interest in.
Post-purchase emails such as cross-sell and upsell emails have a 61.7% open rate, a 9.7% click-through rate, and a 9.16% conversion from click rate (per sales solution provider SaleCycle). This is because it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to attract a new one — existing shoppers already know and trust your brand.
Upsell and cross-sell emails can introduce customers to new products and provide a better post-purchase experience by promoting products they might want or need. For example, upselling batteries to someone who’s just bought a camera means they can start using their new product as soon as it arrives.
Make sure the upsells and cross-sells you promote are highly relevant to a shopper’s previous purchases for best results.
Image Source: Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club asks shoppers if they want to add more to their upcoming subscriptions.
The holiday season is a busy time for shoppers. They’re often on the lookout for new products or a good deal, so it can be a great time to land in their inbox with new product suggestions or an exclusive seasonal discount.
Follow up with seasonal buyers to make sure they come back. Shoppers are fickle during the holidays, so it’s important to continue nurturing them after the sale.
Image Source: RXBAR
RXBAR shares its seasonal products in this holiday-inspired promotional email.
Need a revenue injection? Flash sale emails are a great way to stir up interest in your brand and products and give your bottom line a nice little boost. It can also be a great way to get on-the-fence shoppers to take the plunge and finally buy from you, which can start a beautiful, long-term relationship.
Create a sense of urgency to push on-the-fence shoppers to purchase or offer something irresistible to secure that first sale.
Image Source: MeUndies
MeUndies sends an eye-catching flash sale email that includes a time limit and an exclusive discount.
Customer feedback can help you improve your products and the overall shopping experience in the future (which leads to happier customers and more sales — it’s a win-win). The timing is important when sending review request emails. You want your product to be fresh in a customer’s mind, but you also want to give them enough time to test it out.
Add an incentive to review request emails, like a discount on the next purchase or a freebie in exchange for feedback.
Image Source: Commerce Gurus
Bedding brand Casper sends a review request email in its unique voice.
Re-engagement emails target inactive shoppers or those who haven’t interacted with your brand in a while. They can help remind previous customers about your products and encourage them to come back and buy again.
Segment inactive readers and send a sequence of re-engagement emails that gently reintroduce shoppers to your product catalog — it’s even better if you can personalize these emails based on their previous purchasing history.
Image Source: DesignModo
Rockport’s re-engagement email includes a link to its latest products and a discount for returning customers.
Shoppers like to feel special — which is why birthday or anniversary emails can be effective. Offer an exclusive birthday discount code or another incentive to show customers you care and generate sales at the same time.
Data from email platform Omnisend shows that birthday emails have a 45% open rate, a 12% click rate, and a 3% conversion rate, which is much higher than other promotional campaigns.
Create unique discount codes for each customer to add to the occasion.
Image Source: St. Ives
St. Ives sends shoppers a special gift on their birthday.
Loyal customers make up the majority of your sales revenue. Emailing your best customers and inviting them to join your loyalty program will make them feel appreciated and give you a chance to build even deeper relationships.
Once a shopper has joined your loyalty program, you can land in their inbox with reward updates and exclusive offers to maintain the connection.
Make sure you highlight what’s in it for the customer — they want to know what they’ll get out of joining your loyalty program and how to redeem their offers.
Image Source: Starbucks
Starbucks sends an email to a loyalty program member highlighting their new reward and how to redeem it.
There’s nothing worse than finding a product you love only to discover it’s not in stock. Instead of losing customers to a competitor in this situation, take their email address and let them know when the product is back in stock.
According to personalization tool provider Barilliance, back-in-stock emails have the highest open rate of almost any type of email at 65.32%. It’s a great opportunity to stay front-of-mind and recoup sales that you would have otherwise lost.
Offer a small discount to thank customers for waiting.
Image Source: Something Sweet
Something Sweet’s back-in-stock reminder creates a sense of urgency.
The purpose of survey emails is to solicit feedback from your customers in a survey format rather than a review or testimonial. This feedback can then be used to enhance your products, marketing, and other tactics moving forward. It’s a great way to find out what your customers want and need from you and to understand potential future trends.
Highlight how much of a shopper’s time it will take to go through the survey — and try and make it as short as possible.
Image Source: Sightglass Coffee
Sightglass Coffee tells readers how much of their time the survey will take up.
Say thank you to your customers with a simple thank you email. Usually, these are sent out when a customer has taken a specific action like buying a product, answering your survey, or sending a review, but you can also send them at intervals throughout the year to show customers you value them.
Offer an incentive, like a coupon code, a discount, or a freebie to reiterate your thanks.
Image Source: Bombas
Bombas’ thank you email shows appreciation to customers who have helped reach its donation target by sharing a limited-time discount code.
Emails are a great way to reach new and existing customers, and there are plenty of ways you can show up and provide value in people’s inboxes. Use these campaign examples to get some inspiration for your own ecommerce marketing strategy and experiment with different types of emails to see what works best with your audience.
If your goal is to create an enjoyable shopping experience across multiple platforms, check out Salsify’s, “The Complete Omnichannel Commerce Guide.”DOWNLOAD GUIDE
Lizzie Davey (she/her) is a freelance writer and content strategist for ecommerce software brands. Her specialty is combining customer research with actionable copy to create pieces that people actually want to read. Over the past 10 years, she's worked with top industry brands to bring their vision to life and build...
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