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Email Marketing 10 min read

8 Effective E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies and Why They Work

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 07 Mar 2023

According to Statista, e-commerce will account for 24% of all global retail sales by 2026. Clearly, it represents a great opportunity, but companies seeking to ensure they get a slice of the e-commerce pie must embrace the use of e-commerce email marketing techniques. 

Email marketing allows e-commerce organizations to promote new products and upcoming sales and generally keep in touch with their customers. It’s a strategic way of communicating with clients without being overly pushy. In fact, most customers like receiving emails from their favorite brands — that way, they stay on top of new trends without needing to visit the shopping mall.

With that in mind, here are a few ways to incorporate email marketing for your e-commerce businesses. 

  1. Knowing Your Target Audience Is Critical

target audience = good marketing

Think of each email campaign as an opportunity to interact personally with your customers. To this end, you’ll want to personalize each communication with their characteristics in mind if you want maximum impact. You can manage this level of personalization by tracking your customer’s buying habits through your CRM, revealing the products and services most likely to interest them.

For instance, if you’re an online bookseller, you probably notice that your buyers gravitate toward specific authors or genres. Hundreds of readers may enjoy mysteries and sci-fi, while other buyers tend to reach for romance novels. 

As you gather more data about your customers, you can send them personalized recommendations for books that align with their tastes. That way, they’re alerted to books they’re unaware of, increasing their spending with you.

This strategy applies to just about every e-commerce store out there. Sending personalized emails with recommendations is relatively simple, especially if you have automation tools to help.

  1. New Product Introductions

Whether your e-commerce business creates its products for sale or you seek out innovative goods to resell to clients, you should periodically update your customers about your newest offerings. 

When showcasing new products, it’s best to include photos that present the product in a positive light. For instance, if you’re reselling a high-end set of kitchen knives, you’ll want to have a photo that accents the brand name and the sharpness of the blades. You might consider adding smaller photos that show the knife set in a beautiful kitchen or people using them to slice fresh vegetables.

Besides pictures, you’ll want to list the features of your product and what makes it unique compared to competitor offerings. You can include a button that links directly to the order page so your audience doesn’t need to sift through your website to find the product. 

  1. Consider Embedding Video to Your Emails

Video is one of the most popular ways e-commerce companies drive brand recognition and show off their products. Typically, advertising videos are short (less than 30 seconds) and display a product in various settings.

While you may associate video advertising with social media or informational content, it’s also appropriate for e-commerce email marketing. You can embed the video into your email, including a thumbnail with a play button over the video. Some email providers don’t allow users to view videos directly in an email, but you can include a link from the thumbnail to the location of the video on a hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo.

Video is especially beneficial for action shots of your products in use. For instance, an e-commerce store selling e-bikes could greatly benefit from a video showing the e-bike in action, riding through the city streets or over the rugged grounds of a hiking trail in the frame of a setting sun.

  1. Notify Customers of Abandoned Carts

Abandoned cart email example

One of the most frustrating parts of e-commerce is when customers abandon their cart, halting the purchasing process midstream. According to Zippia, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 70%. That’s a lot of lost revenue! 

Fortunately, there are ways to encourage your shoppers to finish their purchases through email marketing. 

For example, suppose your clients log into your website during their shopping search. In that case, you can set up an automatic email process that notifies them of their unfinished purchases after a certain amount of time has passed. Most email marketing tools can even generate an abandoned cart message without your intervention.

To further encourage the client to finish their purchase, you can offer a special one-time discount or free shipping. That gives them an additional incentive to return to your e-commerce store.

  1. Create an Upselling Email Marketing Campaign

If you successfully receive a sale from a customer, that’s excellent news. But what can you do to increase your revenue from that client?

The answer is an upselling or cross-selling email. This e-commerce email marketing strategy aims to identify items related to a customer’s purchase that might further benefit them, then send an email suggesting the related product. If your customers open the email and see a need for the product, they’ll likely purchase it too.

Consider an e-commerce store that specializes in skin care. Suppose that a client purchases a serum designed to reduce hyperpigmentation and brighten the skin. In that case, your email platform can generate an automatic email advertising a retinol-based face wash that also helps even the skin tone.

When your client receives the email, they may decide that the product will in fact contribute to their skin care routine. They make a second purchase with your store, and both you and your customer come out on top — your customer will receive another helpful product, and you’ll gain more sales!

  1. The Promotional Sale Email

You’re probably familiar with the promotional sale email, but there’s a reason we include it in our list — everyone loves a sale, especially when their favorite store offers one. 

Promotional emails are great for companies that need to increase their revenue quickly or eliminate excess stock. You can use these emails to promote discounts on specific items or provide a one-time coupon for everything in your store.

For instance, if you have a laptop e-commerce store, you know how quickly technology changes. Your current laptops have a shelf life, and if they don’t sell, you’ll have extra inventory that doesn’t contain newer technological features. 

You can use your promotional sales emails to notify customers of your discounted laptops. They’ll benefit from a lower price while you prepare for a new influx of up-to-date computers.

However, one thing to consider is the frequency of your discount offers. If you regularly offer lower prices, your clients will be less likely to purchase from you when there isn’t a sale. Instead, they’ll wait until you send your coupon. An ongoing discount policy can be detrimental to e-commerce stores that can’t survive on bargain sales alone.

  1. Re-Engage with Prior Customers

Pinkberry email example

Sometimes, customers will sign up for your promotional emails only to never open them. When that happens, you can benefit from a re-engagement campaign that attempts to capture the attention of prior customers. 

After all, they had an interest in your store at one point. So unless their needs have changed, you can re-attract them using the right message.

One of the best ways to re-engage customers is to offer a special discount or information about a product they might be interested in. However, you should incorporate a conversational tone that lets them know you miss their visits to your store and why they should return.

Keep in mind that some customers may no longer need your products. For instance, a store specializing in baby clothes will likely lose customers as the child ages. In that case, you’ll want to pay attention to your subscriber’s open rates. If your customers don’t respond to your re-engagement campaign and haven’t opened an email in a while, it’s best to remove them from your email list. That way, you don’t continually send emails they don’t want.

  1. Use Humor to Your Advantage

Whenever you communicate with a customer via email, try to do so in a way that distinguishes your company from your competitors. One of the best ways to do so is through humor.

For example, you likely send automated emails to notify shoppers when they’ve made a purchase or when their product will ship. However, your email doesn’t have to be text-heavy, dry, and dull. You might include a funny meme relevant to your company or a GIF that will make them laugh. 

When you embrace humor and try to inject some differentiation into your communications, your clients are more likely to remember your company. Rather than being “that service that sent me printer ink six months ago,” clients will remember your company as “the printer company that had the slickest email confirmation ever!”

Email Marketing Doesn’t Have to Follow a Script

While these are fantastic strategies to get you started in your e-commerce email marketing journey, creativity is key. Above all, you want your clients to enjoy reading your emails. They shouldn’t follow the strategy of your competitors or other e-commerce stores. Use them to embrace your inner ingenuity, and you’ll reap the rewards several times over.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed