Get Repeat Sales with Email Marketing

28 min. read
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Imagine this:

You’re going about your daily life, minding your own business, when a genie suddenly materializes in front of you and says:

“It’s your lucky day! I’m giving you $10,000 to blow on marketing your eCommerce store. But you need to tell me what channel you’d like to spend it on within 10 seconds - otherwise the money goes away.”

What channel would you pick?

Many eCommerce store owners would pick PPC. After all, it’s one of the most straightforward ways of generating revenue, and you can get your campaign up and running within a day.

Some store owners might choose influencer collaboration marketing. Now you can finally engage your favourite celebrities and have them market your products. They have hundreds of thousands of fans, so you’re sure to get maximum reach through them, right?

But here’s what you (probably!) don’t know:

There’s another marketing channel that’s way more effective than both PPC and influencer collaboration marketing…

And that’s email marketing.

The numbers don’t lie:

According to Google’s Economic Impact Report, businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords.

Influencer collaboration marketing, on the other hand, brings marketers $6.85 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media.

Think that’s pretty impressive? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Compare the above with email marketing, which brings you an average return of $44 for every $1 spent, and both Adwords and influencer collaboration marketing suddenly look like child’s play.

You’re looking at email marketing in a new light now, aren’t you?

The truth is, many eCommerce store owners often overlook email marketing.

It makes sense - when you think about how other marketing channels are constantly evolving in ways which are specifically relevant to the eCommerce industry.

Take Facebook, for instance.

Just last year, Facebook added a “shop” functionality to its platform, allowing users to purchase items without ever leaving its website.

It’s natural to get excited about the newest and most innovative channels or ad formats to hit the market, and to want to test these out.

But at the same time, you’d be a fool to neglect the less sexy, but still immensely profitable forms of marketing… such as email marketing!

In this bumper guide to email marketing, we’ll cover all you need to know about email marketing for eCommerce, and teach you a few strategies that will make your email campaigns super effective.

Let’s get to it!

What is eCommerce email marketing?

Technically speaking, any and every email you send to a potential or current customer falls under the umbrella of email marketing.

When marketers and eCommerce store owners talk about email marketing, though, they’re often specifically referring to automated email campaigns.

What are automated email campaigns? These campaigns only require a one-time setup…

...but subsequently trigger automated emails to your specific segments of subscribers (or even individual subscribers).

For example, let’s say you want to send out a birthday email to your newsletter subscribers.

You can’t possibly log down the birthdays of all your subscribers in your calendar, then manually send out these emails one by one.

Instead, using email software, you can create a campaign which will trigger these emails whenever you encounter a subscriber’s birthday.

At this time, you’re probably thinking, wow, that sounds like it’ll really streamline my operations and free up more time. You’re absolutely right - but that’s not all.

Apart from helping you save time and increasing productivity, automated email campaigns also bring you more revenue.

More specifically, automated emails generate, on average, 320% more revenue than non-automated emails.

As you get further into this article, you’ll see just how powerful automated emails can be. But for now, let’s run through the various elements that your eCommerce email needs to contain.

Anatomy of a high-converting eCommerce email copy

There’s much more to an email than your subject line and email copy. In this section, I’ll break down the various elements of a high-converting eCommerce email, and run through the best practices for each element.

Sender’s email

It doesn’t matter how small (or new!) your eCommerce business is. Even if you’re working out of your parents’ basement, and subsisting on instant ramen, you still need a legitimate email address.

Please, for the love of god, do not send any business-related emails from Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail email addresses.

Instead, go for the standard

Credibility is a big thing in the eCommerce industry - and you can’t expect your customers to take you seriously if you’re not using a professional email.

Sender’s name

The two most important things when it comes to your sender’s name:

Firstly, it has to be recognizable. You don’t want your customer to be asking - who’s that?

Secondly, it has to be consistent. Once you’ve decided on a sender’s name, stick with it so that your customers don’t get confused.

To put things in context, let’s look at some of your options.

Firstly, you can use a combination of your name and company - “Cherie from LunchClick”. This is great if…

  • You are your company’s brand ambassador, and your name is associated with the brand (you might frequently post on social media about your brand, or perhaps you’ve appeared in mainstream media talking about your brand)
  • You’re trying to elicit some sort of response (maybe you’re running a customer survey), and you want to reach out on a personal level to increase engagement

Alternatively, you can simply use your company name - “Uber”. This is the safest and clearest option, but some eCommerce store owners are of the opinion that this option is too distanced, and gives off an overly “corporate” vibe.  

Last but not least, you can just use your own name - “Rachel”. This is potentially problematic because it’s the least recognizable (Rachel who?). Also, bear in mind that your customers might flag you as spam if they don’t remember signing up for your newsletter (and your sender’s name doesn’t help to jolt their memory).

Subject line

Ah, the all-important subject line.

If you’re spending hours crafting your email copy, but take just an additional 5 seconds to dash off a subject before you call it a day, you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s why:

According to data, roughly 35% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone.

Yup, humans are judgmental creatures, there’s no denying that.

So how can you write better subject lines which will get you higher open rates?

Firstly - keep it short and sweet.

Yes, I know you’re excited to tell your customers all about your irresistible year-end offer, but here’s the thing:

The majority of people read emails on their mobile devices (and not on their desktops), and the longer your subject line is, the higher the chances of it getting cut off.

Different email clients display different character counts before cutting subject lines off, but as a general rule of thumb, you’re probably safe if you stick with 50 characters or so.

Having said that, you can still get away with titles which are cut off if your titles are intriguing enough. Do some experimenting, and see what works for you!

Next, avoid anything spammy-sounding.

Statistics show that 69% of people report emails as spam based solely on the subject line, so you’ll want to be on your best behaviour, and steer clear of:

  • Excessive punctuation (Sale going on now!!!!!)
  • Excessive capitalization (BEST DEAL YOU WILL EVER FIND), and
  • Salesy language (Best promo Guarantee Money Back If you’re not happy)

Yikes. A small part of me just died whilst typing out those examples. But let’s move on!

Another way you can get more email opens is to personalize your subject lines.

A lot of people do this by including their customer’s first names in their subject lines, but you can also switch it up.

For example, reference your customer’s location in the subject line.

If you’re selling coats and outerwear, you might do something along the lines of: “It’s getting cold in {customer’s country}, isn’t it?”

If you’re selling travel accessories, you could consider saying: “The weather in {customer’s country} sucks right now, but the sun is shining over at Costa Rica.”

Last but not least, always think of what emotions you can evoke when writing your subject lines.

Your main aim is to come up with something that’s so compelling that they can’t help but open your email…

...and not something that’s so standard and cookie cutter that their eyes will glaze over immediately.

How do you do this?

Invoking your customer’s curiosity by tapping into their Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), or by sharing something unexpected.

One easy trick is to open with a question, such as:

  • Want to know the secret to losing weight sustainably?
  • How many of your New Year’s resolutions have you ditched already?
  • You’re one smart cookie. Know why?

You could also throw out an interesting statistic, such as:

  • 97% of marketers say this is the best tool for social media marketing.
  • 86% of neck aches can be cured with this simple trick.
  • 89% of people say this is the one thing they regret not doing in their 20s.

Don’t worry about your subject line not promoting a product directly. You can easily do a lead-in within your email copy.

Let’s take the third subject title (89% of people say this is the one thing they regret not doing in their 20s) as an example.

In your email copy, talk about how people regret not travelling more in their 20s, and from there, introduce your customers to your best-selling waterproof camera (for the beach bunnies) or your hiking boots (for intrepid explorers).

One last option:

You can also use social proof, such as:

  • Our customers can’t stop raving about this one product.
  • We’ve sold ten thousand units of this waffle maker in the past 2 months.
  • The last time we restocked this product, it was sold out in 10 minutes.

Think out of the box! The possibilities are endless.

Preheader text

What’s preheader text, you ask?

It’s the line of text that immediately follows the subject line of your emails.

By default, this line of text will automatically display the first line of text from your email copy. But if you’d like, you can specify your own preheader text as well.

Why is this important?

If you’re sending out a generic newsletter notifying your subscribers of new arrivals, chances are that your preheader text will consist of a bunch of categories (eg “New arrivals men women shop now for 10% off storewide”.)

C’mon, that isn’t the best you can do.

Instead of this, tailor your preheader text such that it provides more context to your email, and encourages your subscribers to open the email.

Running with the same example of a new arrivals newsletter, your preheader text could be:

  • 10% off on all purchases made within 48 hours
  • Unlock free shipping - details inside

Basically, provide a perk or an incentive that will get your customers clicking!

Email copy

A lot of eCommerce stores try and get all fancy with their email copy, but bear this in mind:

Clear is better than funny.

Clear is also better than witty.

Think about it:

Humor is a highly subjective thing.

If you include a joke or reference in your email, you might have 10% of your subscribers laughing till their sides hurt, and thinking, damn, the owner of this store is hilarious.

But how about the rest of your subscribers? They’ll either be rolling their eyes, or feeling bemused, or maybe even unsubscribing from your newsletter in disgust.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you can never use humor in your email copy.

I’m just saying that unless you’re a master at the English language (and you understand your buyer persona to a tee), it might be better to lay off the jokes, the obscure references, and the complicated metaphors.

Of course, it would be great to understand the customer persona before you start sending these emails so you can get to know their personalities and what they can handle and not handle.

At the end of the day, your email copy needs to convey exactly what you want your readers to do (be it shop the new collection, or follow you on Instagram, or update their profile information).

Anything that takes away their attention from this Call to Action (CTA) is just noise!

Pro Tip: Read this article to improve your email CTAs.

Before I end off this section on your email copy, one last thing:

A lot of people always ask me, should I have my entire email newsletter consist of images? Or should I use a combination of text and images?

Emails which are image-heavy are typically more aesthetically appealing - that’s fairly obvious.

But the downside of images is that some email clients block images, so your subscribers might not see these images at all.

Plus, using too many images in your email is likely to trigger spam filters, which will increase the chance of your email landing in your subscriber’s “spam” inbox.

Because of this, most eCommerce store owners and businesses prefer using a combination of text and images.

Email footer

The last part of your email is your email footer - this is a content block which includes information about your company, including your email signature.

Here’s what your email footer should contain:

  • Your company name. You’ll probably have your company logo featured at the top of your email, but legislation requires businesses to display their company name again at the bottom just to be clear.
  • Your contact information. Provide your physical address (another requirement!); for all do-not-reply emails, also include the email address which your subscribers can reach you at, should they need support.
  • Your social media links. You can grow your Facebook and Instagram following by doing this, so why not?
  • Your permission reminder, which will sound something like: “You're receiving this newsletter because you're subscribed to”. In the event that your subscribers forget that they’ve signed up for your list (or otherwise indicated that they’d like to receive emails from you), this will remind them - and stop them from flagging your email as spam!

Now that you’re up to speed with all the different elements of a high converting eCommerce email, let’s move on to talk about the different types of eCommerce email marketing campaigns that you should be utilizing.

Types of eCommerce email marketing campaigns

The beauty of email marketing campaigns lies in their versatility.

Do you want to increase your Average Order Value (AOV), increase your number of orders, or retain your customers more effectively?

Regardless of what objective you’re looking to achieve, chances are, there’s a specific type of email marketing campaign that can help you do just that.

Abandoned cart emails

Abandoned carts are the worst.

It sucks to think about how your customer was this close to making a purchase, but then changed his/her mind at the very last minute.

To rub salt into your wound, this isn’t just a rare occurrence - it happens all the time. (According to data, a whopping 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a sale.)

Luckily for eCommerce store owners, there’s a way of reaching out to these customers and nudging them to come back and complete their purchase.

Send an abandoned cart email!

Pretty straightforward, right?

You can feel free to play around with how you want to design your abandoned cart email, but remember to include these two pieces of information:

Firstly, a reminder of what your customer has abandoned.

Secondly, instructions on how your customer can get his/her cart back. (For best results, provide a clickable link that will redirect your customer to his/her checkout page).

Throwing in some advanced tips here:

If abandoned carts are really eating into your profits, provide a small incentive for your customer to resume his/her purchase by offering a 5% off promo code.

(Bear in mind that you’ll probably want to limit these, just so you don’t get shoppers who try and game the system by purposely abandoning their cart, and getting multiple promo codes).

Another way you can make your abandoned cart emails more effective?

Emphasize scarcity.

By including a short and sweet one-liner in your abandoned cart email (“we’re running low on stock on these items, so we can’t guarantee that they’ll be around for long!”), you’ll tap into your customer’s FOMO, and encourage him/her to complete the purchase.

That’s all I have for you as far as abandoned cart emails are concerned. On to the upsells and cross-sells!

Upsell and cross-sell emails

If you want to increase your AOV, then upsell and cross-sell emails will be right up your alley.

Remember: you’ve got this half in the bag.

With upsell and cross-sell emails, you’re targeting people who have already purchased from you (or at least indicated interest in your products in some way) - this is way easier than targeting people who are completely new to your brand.

If you’re not 100% sure on the difference between cross-selling and upselling, this handy illustration will help you out.

With upselling, you’re getting your customer to upgrade to a superior product.

With cross-selling, you’re getting your customer to purchase additional, complementary products.

Here are some tips which will help you to craft better cross-selling and upselling emails:

1. Personalize your cross-selling and upselling

Cross-selling or upselling is always the most effective when you’re making targeted (and non-generic!) recommendations.

Before you can do this, you’ll need to set up your eCommerce store such that you can track every action that your customer has taken.

Other than knowing what your customer has bought, you should also know what he or she has clicked on, wishlisted, favorited, or liked.

The more tailored your cross-selling and upselling recommendations are, the higher chance of your customer converting!

2. Don’t get to the point

Wait, what?

I know I previously talked about how it’s important to be clear and concise in your emails, but cross-selling and upselling emails are an exception.

Instead of going all wham bam thank you ma’am with these emails, it might be advantageous to beat around the bush a little first, before working your way up to the sale.

For example, a typical cross-selling email would sound something like:

Hey, {Name}!

You recently bought a phone docking station from us - so if you’re interested, check out our wireless earphones as well.

It’s definitely straightforward, but maybe a little too straightforward, if you know what I mean.

But what if your cross-selling email sounded like this?

Hey, {Name}!

This is Hazel from {company’s name}’s customer service department. I just wanted to reach out to you to make sure that you’re enjoying your phone docking station, and that it’s working fine with your phone. If you have any questions at all, feel free to give me a holler by replying this email!

PS: If you’re looking for wireless earphones, we’ve just added these to our store. These are two of my favourites - if you’d like to make a purchase within the next 24 hours, you can get 10% off with my special promo code.

Much more persuasive, isn’t it?

3. Consider the timing of your cross-sell and upsell

Timing is everything.

For example, if your customer just bought a grill from you yesterday, don’t trigger an immediate email which cross-sells your grill cleaning products.

Your customer probably hasn’t even unwrapped the grill yet - so wait till two or three weeks in, then send your email.

Remember: personalization, easing into the sell, and nailing the timing. These three factors will help you maximize revenue from your cross-sell and upsell emails.

Onto the next type of emails… promotional emails!

Promotional offer emails

Not all promotional emails are made equal.

Here are a few tricks that you can use to increase the conversion rates of your promotional offer emails:

1. Use social proof

First up, pack your promotional emails with as much social proof as possible.

We’re talking Facebook reviews, comments left on your brand’s Instagram page, testimonials on your website, and anything else you can get your hands on.

Pro Tip: To add to the authenticity, include a screenshot of these reviews and testimonials in your email, rather than reproducing the review/testimonial in text form.

2. Create urgency

If you’re launching a new collection, let your customers know that the most popular pieces from your previous collection sold out within an hour of launch.

If you’re alerting your customers to a sale, emphasize how long the sale will last.

If you’re offering free shipping, again, emphasize how long this perk will last.

By doing this, you’re motivating your subscribers to take action quickly.

3. Make your CTA buttons clear

This is actually relevant for all marketing emails across the board - but it’s especially important when you’re linking to specific products or collections which you want your subscribers to check out.

My recommendation is to use an actual button, like what you see in the example above.

Some eCommerce stores prefer making their entire image clickable, but this might be confusing to subscribers who might be less technologically-savvy.

Alternatively, you can also use in-text links, but these are often a lot smaller and less eye-catching.

Now that you know how to craft your promotional emails for maximum impact, let’s move on to customer loyalty emails!

Customer loyalty and re-engagement emails

It’s no secret that it’s cheaper to retain an existing customer, than to acquire a new one.

But we’re not just talking about cost savings of 10% or 20%...

…acquiring new customers actually costs you 500% times what you’d spend on retaining existing ones.

When it comes to customer retention, there’s no better way to go about it than using email marketing.

Social media marketing, content marketing and referral marketing all can’t hold a candle to email marketing when it comes to retaining customers.

Now that we’ve gotten that sorted out, let’s look at the different types of retention emails there are out there.

Firstly, there are the birthday emails.

I mentioned this briefly at the start of this article - birthday emails are a great way to touch base with your customer and wish them well. At the same time, many eCommerce stores also take the chance to offer them a promo code (giving them a reason to make a purchase).

💡 Pro Tip: Don’t turn up your nose at birthday emails, thinking that it’s just another standard email that all eCommerce store owners send. The numbers show that birthday emails are exceptionally effective in driving sales - so don’t miss out on this chance to boost your revenue!

Here’s an example:

This email is festive, it’s cute, and it gets the point across. What more could you ask for?

Next up…

Win back emails. (Aka the “We miss you!” email).

These are sent primarily to inactive customers, and they essentially ask your customer to come back to your store to check out your new stuff.

You can craft these emails depending on how long it’s been since your customer last made a purchase, or engaged with your store.

If it hasn’t been that long, but you want to drop your customer a reminder anyway, take reference from this email from New Look:

This basically just asks customers to revisit the store to check out what’s new.

If you’ve sent your first win back email, and your subscriber still hasn’t taken action, you might want to go with something that’s a little more persuasive:

Nice graphics, cute headline, but most importantly, a promo code which incentivizes your customer to return.

Now, if you’ve tried this as well, and your customer is still unresponsive, then it’s time for the Break Up email...

Essentially, this tells your customer that unless they reply, you’ll be removing them from your subscriber list.

Wait, why would you want to remove your subscribers? Isn’t an inactive subscriber better than no subscriber?

Not exactly.

Firstly, the more people delete your emails without opening them, the higher the chance of mailbox providers sending your newsletters straight to spam.

By cleaning up your email list and removing subscribers who aren’t interested anymore, you can increase your open rates, and reduce your chances of being relegated to the dreaded spam folder.

In addition to this, the more email subscribers you have, the more expensive your email marketing software will get. Why waste all that money on emailing a bunch of subscribers who aren’t even interested?

I know it hurts seeing your email list dwindle (and it hurts even more if you’re the one who pulls the plug), but think of it as a necessary evil.

By keeping your email list pruned and healthy, you’ll boost your open rates and conversion rates, ultimately leading to more sales.

Okay - that’s enough about win back emails for now.

Let’s move on to the last type of retention emails, which are replenishment emails.

These are great for eCommerce stores which sell products that people run out of (and have to replenish). If you sell food, makeup, or toilet paper, you should be sending out replenishment emails!

According to statistics, these emails have extraordinarily high open rates...

Yup, a 53.6% open rate is pretty damn legit.

Here’s an example of what a replenishment email might look like…

If you can predict with a reasonable amount of accuracy when your customer will run out of his/her product, you can also specifically point this information out.

For example...

Alright, that’s pretty much all you need to know about retention emails.

Time to move on to some email marketing tips and tricks - these will help you become an absolute pro at email marketing!

Email marketing for eCommerce tips and best practices:

We’re getting to the good stuff. In this section, you’ll find all the tips and tricks you need to up your email marketing game.

1. A/B test your emails

I previously talked about the importance of optimizing the different elements of the emails that you send out, including your subject title and your sender’s name.

But unless you’re a seasoned pro at content marketing, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to tell right off the bat which subject title your subscribers will prefer.

(In all honesty, even the seasoned pros get it wrong sometimes. We’re not mind readers!)

Here’s where A/B testing come in.

In a nutshell, A/B testing refers to the act of creating multiple variations of a particular email, to identify which one has the highest conversion rate.

Many email softwares allow you to A/B test your emails - here’s how it works:

Firstly, create your email as per normal.

Once you’re done, indicate that you want to do A/B testing, and duplicate your original email so that you have two variants: variant A and B.

Now, edit variant B so that it differs slightly from variant A. Be sure to edit only ONE element. If you change two things, and variant B performs better, you won’t know what to attribute the better performance to.

When it’s time to send out the email, your email software will divide your email list into two groups, and send variant A to one group, and variant B to the other group.

Once you find out which variant performs better, you can stick with this variant subsequently, and enjoy your increased conversion rates.

The great thing about A/B testing is that it doesn’t involve that much work (you’re often just editing a single sentence or changing a single image)...

...but it can bring you great results.

Even Obama’s used A/B testing. Whilst he was campaigning for president back in 2007, his team found, through A/B testing, that one subject line variant generated $403,600 in donations, and another generated $2,540,866.

Plus, you can A/B test just about anything, including:

  • Your subject title
  • Your sender’s name
  • Your CTA text
  • Your CTA format (plain text vs button)
  • Your CTA color (if it’s a button)
  • The position of your CTA (at the top vs at the end of your email)
  • The number of pictures you use
  • The type of pictures you use
  • The salutation (“Joe” vs “Mr Smith”)
  • The day of week your emails are sent
  • The time of day your emails are sent
  • The length of your emails

Knock yourself out, man.

But before you get started with A/B testing, here are some things to keep in mind:

Firstly, if your subscriber list is too small, your A/B tests might not be accurate.

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to this, but personally, I like to make sure I have at least 100 subscribers before I do any sort of testing.

If you have a little less than that, you can still run tests - just bear in mind that your results might not be 100% representative of the real picture.

Another tip:

Email A/B testing deals with improving your open rates and clickthrough rates (CTR), but it’s also worth keeping an eye on your conversion rate outside of your email.

Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you’re selling stainless steel pots, and you’re A/B testing the tone of voice used in your email copy. In variant A, your copy is more professional and subdued, but in variant B, you’re praising your pots to the sky, and talking them up big-time.

Variant A gives you a 5% CTR to your landing page, and variant B gives you a 10% CTR.

It’s tempting to just conclude immediately that variant B is superior (after all, we’re talking about double the CTR here!), but that would be a little shortsighted.

Apart from your CTR, you should also take into account your conversion rate on your landing page.

Maybe the copy in variant B was initially more attractive, but upon reaching your landing page, your subscribers realize that they’ve been duped, and your stainless steel pot is just like every other stainless steel pot out there.

You’ve over-promised, and under-delivered.

This is probably what’s going to happen:

Those who came to your landing page from variant B are more likely to leave without making a purchase. Whilst less subscribers came to your landing page from variant A, these subscribers might convert to purchasing customers at a higher rate.

Moral of the story? Open rates and CTRs are important, but don’t lose sight of your ultimate conversions.

2. Segment your customers

At a basic level, you should be sending out emails which are triggered by certain events (birthdays, promotions, etc) - we’ve talked about these at length.

But don’t just stop there.

In addition to this, go one step further in segmenting your customers, and creating email campaigns which are relevant to each segment.

Here’s an example:

Howards Storage World segmented their customers into five groups based on engagement and loyalty, and sent gift card incentives tailored to each group.

Guess how much this increased their short-term revenue by?

Not $10,000.

Not $100,000.

But a mind-blowing $250,000.

The more targeted you can get with these segments, the more effective your email campaigns can be.

But segmenting your email subscribers doesn’t just help you increase your revenue…

It can also help you gain insights into your business, which you can then use to make strategic decisions.

For example:

After identifying your most loyal customers, you can go ahead and survey them and ask them for feedback.

(Of course, you can do this with your entire subscriber list, but I find that it’s more valuable to specifically speak to the people whom are spending the most money on your eCommerce store. It’s their opinions that matter the most!)

3. Sync up your email marketing with Facebook ads

Let’s face it - most shoppers don’t make a purchase during their first contact with a brand, or an eCommerce store.

Say you have an eCommerce store selling clothes. A customer, Nicole, is browsing through the selection, when she receives a text.

It’s her boss, asking her about work.

She calls him to give him a quick update, and when she’s done, she forgets all about the items she wants to buy.

A few hours later, whilst waiting in line at the supermarket, Nicole opens the Facebook app on her phone.

The first thing that pops up on her newsfeed?

An ad showing the exact dress she was looking at when her boss texted.

“It’s a pretty cute dress, and they’re offering free shipping,” she thinks, but then it’s time to pay, and she’s distracted, once again.

Before going to bed that night, Nicole checks her inbox, and she sees an email from you.

Hey, where’d you go? Your dress is waiting!

This time, she gets out her credit card, and completes her purchase.

The moral of the story?

The more touch points you have, the more sales you’ll get.

Email is a great medium which you can use to reach out to your customer. But when combined with other tools such as Facebook ads, you can increase the impact of email marketing, substantially.

If you’re wondering about the mechanics behind this, it’s actually not that complicated.

Let’s say you have 200 people who have bought from you before. Simply take their email addresses, plug these into Facebook, and you’ll be able to run targeted ads to this specific audience.

At the same time, run an email campaign (with the same messaging, for greater consistency).

Alternatively, you can also use an email marketing tool which has a Facebook integration (I’ll introduce some to you later on in the article).

Then sit back and watch as you rake in the sales!

4. Don’t email your subscribers every. Single. Day.

Repeat after me:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Make this your mantra. If you’re emailing your subscribers every single day, chances are, they’ll get fed up and unsubscribe (or, worse, flag you as spam).

How often can you email your subscribers, then?

It’s really up to you, but according to EmailMonks, here’s how increasing the frequency of your emails will impact your open and CTR…

Sidetracking just a bit here:

The same goes for promotions.

If you run 10% or 20% off deals every single week, your customers will come to expect these promotions, and they’ll stop buying when your items aren’t on sale.

Don’t sabotage your profits (and your brand image) that way!

Now that you’ve got all these cool tips and tricks under your belt, let’s move on to the next section, where I’ll talk about the best email marketing tools for eCommerce.

You’re almost at the end of this bumper guide, so hang in there!

Best email marketing tools for eCommerce

You now know about all the great things you can do with email marketing - and the last piece of the puzzle is figuring out which email marketing software you should be using.

These email marketing software range from email automation tools (duh), to list building tools, to email analytics tools. Read on to find out more!

List building tools

All the knowledge you’ve just acquired would be completely useless if you don’t have a nice, fat subscriber list.

Lucky for you - you don’t need to sit around and twiddle your thumbs whilst for your list to grow organically. These list building tools will help you get the job done!

1. Thrive Leads

If you want to experiment with different opt-in forms, Thrive Leads is your best bet.

Try pop-up light boxes, sticky ribbons, in-line forms, 2-step opt in forms, screen filler overlays, and content locks… and see which one is the most effective at building your subscriber list.

2. GetSiteControl

With GetSiteControl, you can do more with less.

With just one dashboard, you can build and manage surveys, opt-in forms, contact forms, popups, follow and share buttons, live chats and more.

3. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is an intuitive lead generation software which is simple and easy to use (even for folks who have zero technical knowledge)!

With OptinMonster, you can create opt in forms, create exit intent campaigns, do page-level or category-level targeting, and more.

Email automation tools

Now that you’ve built up your email list, it’s time to start creating automated email campaigns. Rely on these bad boys to help you out!

1. Drip

Everything that we’ve discussed in this article today, you can achieve with Drip.

Drip allows you to create personalized emails based on your customers’ website activity, purchase behavior, custom events, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Its newest feature - the Facebook Custom Audiences Integration - also enables you to sync up your email campaigns with your Facebook ads.

The best part about Drip?

If you’re just getting started with your email list and you have less than a hundred subscribers, Drip is completely free to use. How great is that?

2. MailChimp

You’ve probably heard of MailChimp (or even used it!) before. They’re the world’s largest marketing automation platform, and their software comes with a ton of useful features.

Similar to Drip, MailChimp enables you to segment and target your customers, and reach out to them via additional channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Google).

Not a designer? Don’t sweat it.

MailChimp’s easy drag and drop tool will help you create beautifully designed campaigns with minimal effort.

Once your campaigns are up and running, check out MailChimp’s advanced reporting features. These include revenue reports that show you how much sales and website activity your email campaigns are driving.

3. BombBomb

BombBomb is the bomb. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

This marketing tool helps you to incorporate videos into your email campaigns, and by doing so, increase your CTR and engagement rates.

Whilst BombBomb is positioned primarily as a tool for salespeople, you can definitely apply it to your eCommerce business as well.

If you’re emailing your customers to ask them for some feedback, include a short clip of yourself telling them how much you value their opinions.

If you’re sending an order confirmation email, include an unboxing video which will get your customers excited about their purchase.

If you’re sending a post-purchase or follow up email (for a demonstrable product!), include a tutorial video to provide value for your customers.

The possibilities are endless!

4. Avada Abandon Cart Recovery

Avada Abandoned Cart Recovery is one of the leading solutions for any Shopify store owners who aim to recover abandoned shopping carts, and converting them into customers. The module follows up with your customers and reminds them to complete their previous purchases.

The app also provides a user-friendly interface, as well as elegant email templates that come with a drag-and-drop feature. It also supports exit-intent pop-up displays, allowing online stores to effectively collect website visitors' emails.


Email analytics Tools

The key to executing a successful email campaign lies in refining and optimizing. For best results, make sure you have all the analytics and data you need, at your fingertips.  

1. GetResponse

GetResponse is a marketing automation tool that comes with a suite of advanced analytics.

Features include…

Real-time activity tracking, which allows you to view key metrics such as open rate, CTRs, and goals reached in real time.

Mobile view stats, which enable you to get a clearer picture of how your subscribers are reading your emails (be it on mobile or desktop, via Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail).

Social sharing stats, which allow you to hone in on the tweets, likes, and comments your emails generate from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

And more!

2. Emma

Then there’s Emma, which compiles a “mailing score” for every email that you send. This takes into account metrics such as your open rate, CTR, delivery rate, and number of opt-outs, and makes it easy for you to benchmark each email’s performance at a glance.

Emma also comes with a cool “click map” feature, which enables you to see which areas of your email people are clicking - and focusing - on.

Whoa, that’s a pretty long list of email softwares to check out, isn’t it?

But don’t go crazy trying to sign up for a gazillion free trials just yet - sit tight and read my next section on how to choose the right email marketing tool first.

How to choose the right email marketing tools for you?

It’s really not that hard to narrow down your options.

First things first - consider your budget.

If you can only afford to fork out $40 a month for your email marketing tool, this will probably cut down your options by half.

After you’ve got your budget sorted out, it all boils down to deciding which features are must-haves, and which features are nice-to-haves.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’ve already got a huge email list, and you’re not in a hurry to grow your list exponentially.

In that case, you can probably get away with using a email marketing tool which doesn’t allow you to build opt-in forms.

Another example:

If you’re selling lifestyle products (clothes, accessories, and the like) which you know will be pretty well-received on Facebook, then go ahead and look specifically for an email marketing tool that allows you to integrate your email campaigns with Facebook ads.

That’s all there is to it!

A final word on eCommerce email marketing

Give yourself a pat on the back.

You made it all the way to the end of this guide… and assuming you weren’t just skimming through, your knowledge of eCommerce email marketing has probably just multiplied tenfold.

Now all that there’s left to do is to actually put all these tips into practice!

If you’re not sure where to get started, I’d say the lowest hanging fruit is probably your abandoned cart emails.

Here’s a quick recap:

67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a sale. I think we can safely say that abandoned carts are resulting in tons of lost revenue for all eCommerce store owners (including you)!

Well, here’s your chance to regain your lost revenue.

Sign up for an account with the email marketing tool of your choice, and create your first abandoned cart email.

Here’s to less abandoned carts, higher CLVs, higher retention rates, and more profits!

If you found this article useful (and I hope you did, because I broke my back writing it!), please take a minute to share it with your entrepreneur friends.


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Jason Acidre

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  • June 31st of August
    Hi Alice, I have been a subscriber to your newsletter for some time and I must thank you for the interesting a informative info you impart. I have wanted to open a store for some time, but due to health problems have been unable to do so. I hope you will offer your special salehoo join up deal again so I might take advantage of your wonderful offer in the future. Cheers, June (Australia)
  • Alice Delore 2nd of September
    Hi June,

    Thank you for your kind words, I hope I can help to teach you more in the future :) All the best with your business and your health.
  • Faith Hartley 25th of October
    Thanks for the mention of We have up to date influencer rate data freely available on the site as well. It might be useful to your readers and can be found at:

    Thanks again for mentioning us!